May 27, 2020

Goodbye, Buddy

We said goodbye to Buddy today. You may remember that about two months ago, Buddy suddenly started staggering and falling over. The vet diagnosed it as inner ear infection, but two weeks of medication made no difference.   We think he had a stroke because a couple of weeks later, he had another one while he walking in front of me.  He didn't seem to be in any pain, but from then on, his head was cocked at a quizzical angle and he couldn't close one eye when he slept and it was his good eye too. Between that and the cataract in his other eye, he could barely see. And between barely being able to see, and not being able to walk a straight line, he had a hard time finding his way and often got trapped under a chair without being able to find his way out. I won't trouble you with all his other symptoms, but we finally opined that he also had cancer in his mouth, throat, or nose. Still, he didn't seem to be in any pain, and wanted to be held and petted all the time. But lately, he has seemed to be restless or uncomfortable, and this week became incontinent. It was time, probably past time.

Buddy came into our lives around 2007. I don't know how he showed up in our neighborhood, probably dumped by someone who didn't want a male cat marking their yard and fighting with the other cats. The first time I got a glimpse of him in the bushes by our house, he was skinny and covered with cuts and bites. I didn't want him either but couldn't chase him off and couldn't catch him. You can read the story about how that changed and he came to live with us here. Over time, he filled out, calmed down, and devotedly settled into our lives. He preferred being outside, but when we moved, he became a fairly content inside cat. He never scratched the furniture and never had an accident in the house, until recently.

As we said our goodbyes to Buddy, I remembered going for my long walks with him trailing along behind me, of teaching him how to jump (unwillingly) through a hoop, how he would jump into our laps if we snapped our fingers, and how well he seemed to understand what we were saying. He was the smartest pet we have ever known, and that includes all the dogs we've had, as well-trained as they were.

I've gathered some of my favorite pictures here. Rest in peace, Buddy The Cat.

April 12, 2020

Buddy Finds a New Bed

Daughter and Grandsons have been here about a month, and Buddy has finally decided to tolerate the boys. I started babysitting when Daughter started a new job last week and Buddy makes himself scarce when the boys are playing. But at naptime, Buddy is once again beside my chair in his snoozing spot and he generally ignores the boys even though they are sleeping on bench cushions just a few feet away.

On Saturday, Buddy was restless and couldn't seem to settle down. He wanted out. He wanted in. He wanted in my lap but couldn't get comfortable. He went back to the door to look out the window. Every time he went by the four year old's cushion, he made a wide berth so a little hand couldn't reach out for him. On more than one occasion, I noticed that he was looking over the pile that was cushion, child, and a thick quilt.

After a week of babysitting the grands, ages 4 & 5, and not being able to tell when the 4 year old is really asleep or just closing his eyes when I look his way (I have caught them closing many times), I discovered Saturday that Buddy the Cat has that unique talent.

An hour after putting down the cushions and separating the brothers, I knew the four year old was still awake. Buddy obviously did too because his usual detour to the door involved hopping up onto the last few stairs and then down them to avoid the fake-sleeping boy. Finally, he gave up and settled in beside my chair.

Then, I noticed Buddy was gone and when I looked around, he was about to put his foot on the cushion instead of taking the longer route. I tried not to shriek as I called his name, but Buddy intently climbed onto the cushion. From past experience, I knew that if I tried to lift him off, his claws would come out and latch onto whatever he could hang onto, so I cringed and waited for Micah to start talking. But there was silence.

Never one to pass up a good bed, Buddy had waited until the coast was clear to make his move. After testing out a few spots, including on top of the boy, he finally decided the best spot was snuggled against him. And there they both stayed for the next hour, until Buddy sneezed, which woke the boy and startled both of them into tumbling off the cushion.

Linking to:

March 30, 2020

Living in Lockdown With Children

As I said in my last post, my daughter and her two little boys moved here last month. And when I say they moved here, I mean they moved HERE to our farm. They are living in a travel trailer beside our house, so we see a lot of them. Hubby calls them "the neighbors" and not always in a good way. Yesterday afternoon, after sanding the entry gate for hours, he had just kicked back in his recliner for a short nap when the boys, refreshed after their nap, came bouncing into the house. Hubby grumbled about "the noisy neighbor kids" as he kissed his nap goodbye and built a ramp for their hot wheels.

The five year old had been begging for Daughter to take the training wheels off his bicycle, so she started with one training wheel Saturday, and the second one Sunday. By Sunday afternoon, he had it figured out.

Living with grandkids so close has been both fun and trying. We are still trying to adjust to having the noise and confusion in the house and it is such a relief when they are gone and we have peace and quiet again. But there are some funny moments too. One thing about this Covid 19 lock down that they will probably remember when they are older is singing the Happy Birthday song while washing their hands. The four year old was over here this afternoon. He is potty training and mostly successful, especially if we set a timer every hour. So his hour was up and Hubby sent him to the bathroom. I had to help him because it's an ADA height toilet, and he doesn't quite grasp the purpose of wiping. When he finished, I handed him some toilet paper which he held in his left hand while he wiped with his right. Ewww! Twenty seconds of handwashing is mandatory after that, virus or no virus.

After he went home, I noticed Hubby was gone from the room, and then I heard him singing: "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear water, Happy birthday to you!" sung in a child-like off-key voice.

Linking to:

March 15, 2020

"To Our Elderly, High Risk Patients"

That's how the email from my doctor started. My first thought was that it was sent by mistake. Even though I take an immunosuppressant medication, I just thought I had a higher risk than healthy people. But elderly??? Really? ELDERLY?!!! Come on now! Just because I'm over 60, they are lumping me in with someone who is 90.

The email went on to say that if we have an upcoming routine appointment (I do), that we should reschedule if we aren't having any problems, and to stay home as much as possible. There was also a link to a CDC website page for high risk people that should apply to everyone.

After my Friday visit to Walmart, I had already decided to limit my exposure to crowds. I was going to go to church this morning and make it my last visit for awhile, but I got up with a slight cough and drippy nose and decided I'd better not expose the real elderly people at church. I'm 99% sure that it is either allergies or some daycare cold given to me by our grandsons who just moved here. They've been going to McDonald's beside the interstate a lot and my youngest daughter is afraid they will bring the coronavirus home to me. She has been sending me links to playground equipment to see if Hubby will put it together if she has it sent here. So far, Hubby said no. I, however, would like to have a swingset, so when they are gone, I can put a porch swing on it.

A quick update on Buddy T. Cat too. He has not been doing well lately. We noticed a few months ago that he was losing weight and he had begun to have a lot of little cysts popping up on his skin. Then, one Friday morning he got up and fell over. He wobbled when he walked and fell over a couple of times. We took him to the vet, and she did a boatload of tests and with none of them positive, she diagnosed him with an inner ear infection because she noticed he was falling to the left every time. She gave him an injection of antibiotic, a steroid injection, pills for dizziness, azodyl for renal support, prednisone, and ear drops. Over the weekend, he got better but by Thursday, he was falling over again. The vet wanted us to start giving him an oral antibiotic even though the shot she gave him should have lasted a couple of weeks. So I picked up that prescription and an increased dosage for the anti-dizzy medication. This time he didn't improve over the weekend and by the middle of the next week, it was obvious that he was getting worse.

Another trip taking Buddy to the vet and the diagnosis is vestibular disease caused by tumors in his ear. By then, they were large enough to see, and he also has some on his tongue which makes it almost impossible for him to eat. I've been giving him a lot of chicken bone broth, but lately, he won't drink that either, and drinks very little water. We both think this is the end of life for Buddy, and I have spent a lot of hours with him in my lap telling him how glad I am that he came into my life. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and spends a lot of time sleeping in my lap or on a bed beside my chair. If he were in pain, I'd take him to the vet for a final injection, but the vet's office causes him such stress that I just can't do it. I know he would rather pass peacefully at home.