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New Kitty - Miss Ember

I know I posted a few weeks ago about adopting a new kitty. She has fit in amazingly well with the two boys. There was a certain amount of hissing at first, but now they are all pals together. She's younger than they told me - my guess is she's not much more than a year old now, because she's grown so much since she came. She's mostly Maine Coon, I guess and pretty laid back, but she is blindingly fast when she wants to move.

It's been such fun to watch her learn about toys and how to play with the various cat tunnels, caves, and other stuff around here. I'm very glad we adopted her. Plus, I'm going to be totally shallow and point out that she's drop-dead gorgeous!

Triple Ransom

I was feeling so poorly that I forgot to post about a Very Important Anniversary last month. My dear Triple Ransom (the original) turned 29 years old on March 9th. We're coming up on 23 years together in May and I can honestly say I couldn't have wished for a better pal. He was a decent race horse before he came to me, a good show hunter, an outstanding pleasure horse, a top-notch trail horse, and he is one of the nicest guys ever. I'm glad I am able to give him the retirement he deserves. Happy belated birthday to Trip!

Happy Easter




This is the first time in a while that we've had a nice morning on Easter. It makes me want to watch Ben Hur again. But no joke Happy Easter to all who celebrate. Good morning if you don't.

Well, I've done it again

...been AWOL for a while that is.  I'm still struggling with Lyme disease.  Both the disease itself and trying to get my doctor to grasp that just because I keep testing negative, does not mean that I don't have Lyme disease.   Fortunately, on my last blood test, an additional Lyme band showed up, so that's something and my doc has finally decided that I should take a month of Doxycycline.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending that doctors go less by test results and more by symptoms in trying to diagnose people, because false negatives (and positives) are so common. 

So: evidently, I have late-stage Lyme, which has by now wrecked my left knee completely.  Oh well, it was going to need a replacement anyway.  But the complete exhaustion was/is the worst part, I think.  At least, after a few days of Doxy, that has lessened.  But I have now lost almost a year and a half of my life to this.  Grrrr.

That, plus the death of Evan, which I did write about, has kind of knocked the props out from under me.  I have been knitting a lot - that was about the only activity I could do - and I'm still plugging along sporadically on the current story, but I decided to skip Holmistice this year; I just couldn't face coming up with something else creative and no-one was going to ask for a story about - well, that would be telling. .

I missed an important anniversary last month, which I am going to post about, but I think I'll leave that for tomorrow.  To coin a phrase, I'll be back.

How are all of you?

New Kitty

Some of you (I charitably assume) will have read my post from a month or so ago about how my big Tiger cat passed away form a heart attack or stroke.  I still miss him terribly, too, but the younger cats, especially Radar weer just lost without him.  He raised Radar from a kitten and Radar doesn't have the desire to be an Alpha, so he has been pretty unhappy without anyone to look up to.  It's not been so bad for Blue, he still had Radar, so his world hadn't really changed all that much. 

So a couple of weeks ago, I started the search for another cat.  I wanted a female, because I thought they would be more likely to accept her, and an Alpha.  It had to be one who liked other cats, especially an obnoxious overgrown kitten like Blue, and one who would generally fit into the family circle.

Last weekend I turned up a good candidate.  After meeting her at an adoption event, I brought her home.  Meet Ember

kitty   picture

She's very sweet, but she has the right amount of tortitude to stand up to the boys.  It's been 4 days and so far there hasn't been anything other than a bit of wailing.  I think it's all going quite well.  She came from somewhere down in Southern VA and she's about a year old.  Naturally, she had a litter of kittens which had already found homes, but she's since been spayed and I think she's gorgeous.  The boys are not so sure. 




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RIP Evan

Seems like all I do here lately is post bad news, so here's some more. 



I'm having a difficult time finding the words to tell you all that one of the horses, Evan, colicked and had to be put down Tuesday. He had been with me almost all his life. I fell for Evan when I first saw him as a yearling and bought him a year later.  He turned 20 on Monday.   Evan and his half-brother Brahm were two of the very best horses anyone could ask for and I was very privileged to have them both in my life.  He was still doing great, looking good with no soundness issues at all, clearly still loving his job, and I was looking forward to another show season with him, thinking I had finally licked the worst of my own Lyme disease.

He was fine when I checked on him late that evening, but in the morning I found him trembling, sweating, and in deep shock. My veterinarian made it here within the half hour and we did everything ethically possible to save him, but realistically it couldn't be done, so we had to make the call to euthanise him to spare him any further suffering.

It was terrible to lose Tiger the cat.  He lived in the house, he slept next to me every night and you might think that it's hard to have as close a bond with a horse.  While it's not quite the same, they are partners and true friends as well.  Ev was the ultimate Peter Pan.  Although he grew and matured as he learned to use his enormous talent,  he had exactly the same outlook on life at 20 as he did when he as a two year old. 

It's just a huge loss and I miss him more than I can say.

A mixed kind of day

The household is still kind of reeling from the sudden loss of my Tiger cat.  The younger ones don't know what to do without their 'Uncle Tiger' who raised both of them and I'm still missing him terribly.  Maybe it's just as well this sudden extreme cold snap came along to keep me busy taking care of the horses.  It was 9F (-13C) last night with 25+MPH winds last night and not above freezing all day today, still very windy and about that cold again tonight before we get a warm up. 

When it's that cold, water freezes in the barn even with the horses in, so the hoses have to be taken off, which means carrying buckets of water.  Back to the good ol' days, although I'm still lucky to have hot water in the barn, which I certainly didn't have back then!  The outside troughs froze despite the de-icers, and walking outside is a nightmare due to all the ice.  I thought I had it all covered by using the RTV to clean the stalls into, instead of using the cart - until it refused to start this am, in the middle of the aisle.  Grrr! 

rtv in barn

Luckily, I had just enough room to squeeze all the horses by so I could get them in.  They were only out for a couple of hours, because it is so cold and they were quite anxious to be back inside the warm(er) barn.  I made it plain that they would have to behave and bless their hearts, they all trusted me enough to squeeze through the 2' clearance, even with a Strange Thing in the way.  

Of course, today is a holiday, and no one has a replacement battery in stock.  Maybe it will charge up, but that's a job for tomorrow when I have a minion here to help me.   ARGH!   Have I said before how much I hate cold weather?

On the plus side, a friend called and wants me to judge 2 horse shows for her this spring.  It's a paid gig, plus I love judging, so yay! for that. 

And now it's time to go take care of the horses again.  Sigh.

Tiger the cat

My Tiger cat is gone.  He had an apparent stroke late last night. 

Tiger and Blue

He was fine early in the evening, sitting next to me as usual, playing with his scratching post, just like usual, but he kicked up a fuss about 3 am on the bed next to me.  I patted him and he settled down, but when he didn't come downstairs for breakfast, I knew immediately that something was very wrong.  When I searched him out, his paw was ice cold and he couldn't stand on it and his breathing was labored.  So we called the vet and I took him in. 

They did some diagnostics and found that his heart was enlarged and he had a lot of fluid in his lungs.  They gave him less that a 50% chance of coming through this episode alone.  I could tell he was in a lot of pain, so reluctantly, I opted to have him euthanised.  He was only 10 years old and had been given a clean bill of health less than a month ago when he had the dental work done.  I stayed with him and, of course, the end was very peaceful - at least I could give him that.

He was the sweetest, most empathetic cat and I miss him terribly already.  Go give your pets a hug.  You always think there will be another time, until suddenly, there isn't.

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Twelfth Night

Happy birthday, Mr Sherlock Holmes!!

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Tiger the cat

My poor Tiger cat suddenly started drooling and licking on the 22nd.  Luckily, the cat vet had an appointment that afternoon, so off he went.  Turns out he had an abscess and needed surgery.  Sigh.  She was closed for the holiday, but the local vet hospital is a 24/7 deal, they do surgery on Mondays, and not too surprisingly, had an appointment for the 24th.  Being Christmas Eve, there wasn't much competition for slots.  So off he went for first and evaluation, then surgery.  Of course, he's the worst traveller of any of the cats.

Most cats are not too keen on car travel, although I've had two that loved it, but poor Tiger is the very worst and three trips in 4 days, including surgery was pretty tough, especially since it's 1/2 hour each way, each time.  He kept up a non-stop barrage of wailing and pawing at the carrier the whole way.  In addition, he came home with an e-collar, which he hated, but I had to leave it on him overnight in case he started pawing at the sutures. 

AND of course, the bill was something over $1000, right at Christmas.  Not to mention that I was worried stiff about him.  Merry Christmas!  Thank goodness, I wasn't planning an elaborate dinner and family over or something!    So now he's sacked out under my desk, refusing to even look at me, and I have to be the heavy and give him meds for the next few days.  Again, sigh. 

There's some champagne on ice.  I think I'll take care of the horses, pour myself a stiff drink, and fix us a steak before I tackle the meds.  I hope everyone's Christmas went slightly better than Tiger's. 

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