Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sweet Pea's Final Surgery

Sweet Pea

I know it's been a good while since I posted, but things have been busy around here. My daughter's beloved little Sweet Pea had to have surgery again. She was clear of cancer at her last checkup on April 6, but on Mother's Day, May 12, I discovered another lump on her shoulder. The cancer had returned! That was 3 times in that same exact spot! So, after discussing the pros and cons of this latest surgery, we had to give her another chance. The oncologist said when this type of cancer returns like this, it comes back with a vengeance! So on May 18, her left front leg was amputated, including the shoulder where this cancer seemed to return each time. This was the only way to get rid of the cancerous tumor, so we had no other choice but to go this route at this time. Sweet Pea had her surgery on that Monday and was discharged on Wednesday. I met my daughter there on Tuesday, the day after surgery, over her lunch hour so we could visit Sweet Pea. I have never heard that cat so much as meow her entire 14 years of life, but that day she actually was communicating with my daughter! Everything Tammy said to her, Sweet Pea responded with a little meow. I was absolutely stunned!

She was confined to a 2x4-foot crate for 2 weeks, but I was there every day with her until Tammy got in from work each evening. We let her out of the crate several times a day to walk a little and gain her strength and confidence. Her appetite was unbelievable! She had no problems at all adjusting to 3 legs...none whatsoever! The first thing she did when I got her home was hop into her litterbox and use it! She now gets around as if she had 5 legs...up and down the stairs and jumping up onto the bed and sofa. Just amazing! She is receiving a new kind of chemo for 6 rounds, given at 3-week intervals. This is the same kind Buster has been getting, and his tumor this time disappeared entirely after only 2 treatments! He has just one more round of chemo to go, and Sweet Pea has 5 more left. It doesn't make them sick at all. The only effect it has on them is that can lower their white cell count, so they are usually put on antibiotics to ward off infections. Their blood is checked every week. Sweet Pea cannot receive any more radiation treatments now, as it has to be 2 years between treatments so that the skin can heal thoroughly. But she is going strong once again! She has gained over 2 extra years of life since her first cancer surgery, so we feel it has all been worth it. We would do this for our child, so why not our pet? I have seen many 3-legged dogs getting around like normal, and cats are no different....they adjust so well, and you'd never even know she had just 3 legs to see her running around. The surgeon was very optimistic about her surgery as he removed as much of the surrounding tissue as he possibly could, and the lab report came back that there was no cancer in that surrounding tissue. Maybe this surgery bought her another year or two...who knows? She's going to be a hard one to let go as she has been just the best cat! But we do know know when to do that last thing for her.

My little feral kitty, Miss Cookie. is doing well! She had 6 more ounces of fluid drawn off her chest 2 weeks ago, but the internist added another diuretic called spironolactone, to her meds, and this is the longest she has gone without having to have fluid drawn off. She is due for another cardiac ultrasound this week which will tell us how her little heart is responding to the heart medication. She really is a great little kitty!

As for myself, I have been battling an addiction. I am addicted to Farm Town, a game on Facebook! It is normal for me to stay up all night harvesting others' farms and replanting my own! LOL I am not alone, trust me! There are many others in the chatrooms on Farm Town who speak of their own addictions! It is really fun, and the hours seem to fly by! Before I know it, it is daylight! So, blogging has taken a backseat lately to it...and I apologize...but I do plan to visit all of you this week and catch up a little!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Miss Cookie's Cardiac Ultrasound

Miss Cookie

We took Miss Cookie to the specialists' hospital in Greenville yesterday for her cardiac ultrasound. It was not good. She may not live long, or she could live 5 years, I was told. It all depends on how well she reacts to the medications they have started her on. This is breaking my heart....she is just such a loving little cat. The right side of her heart is greatly enlarged and thickened, and the left side is not doing its share of pumping, so she is not getting the proper flow of oxygenated blood to her tiny little body at all. It doesn't seem to be bothering her one bit, but she does sleep a lot lately.

The doctor said, generally, cats with this type of heart condition only live 2-4 months. She has seen them live as long as 5 years sometimes, though. My heart is hurting...she is so sweet and only 3 years old. The specialist there said her condition is more than likely due to the fact that she was born a feral and her mother and ancestors not having the proper nutrition during their own lives. She said these cats don't absorb the taurine in their food as well as healthy-bred cats. She is on 2 meds being lasix, the other for her heart. They drew another 3 ounces of fluid off her chest yesterday, too. 9.5 ounces was drawn off when I took her into my regular vet the first time, and then they referred her to Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Greenville, SC. They only accept referrals there. Thank the good Lord for this wonderful facility!!! They are just super there! It's actually like a human hospital but for animals. They can perform anything there for an animal that our human hospitals can for us. People come there from all over with their pets.

So it was a long day there, as I didn't get home til about 6:30 last evening. She has to go back next Monday for a kidney check to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated from the lasix. Then a repeat ultrasound will be done in one month to see how, and if, her heart is responding to the medication. For being a feral cat, she has tamed quite nicely, and they handled her with ease. She didn't need to be gassed down for the ultrasound procedure or the fluid removal.

I have never had a cat, ever, with a heart condition. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will recall that my son lost his little "Scooter" to a heart condition last October. She was only sick about 4 months before he lost her.

So for now, all I can do is give her the prescribed meds every 12 hours and just enjoy what time I have left with her. Prayers would be welcomed. It hurts to lose a pet, how well I know, as I've had to say goodbye to a good many, but to lose such a young one is just so heartbreaking. I just have to keep reminding myself that she's had a better life, albeit a short one, than what she would have had living outside as a feral.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on Cookie

Miss Cookie
(One happy, contented kitty! And feeling much better, too!)

Just a little update.....I received a call this morning that Miss Cookie had a good night, was breathing well on her own without the oxygen, wasn't eating much at all for them, was hiding under her towel in the oxygen cage, and that she could come home! I have to follow her up with my vet here on Monday, though. What a professional place! I came home with literally pages of printed material about feline heart problems, just so much information!

Well, since I only had 2 hours of sleep last night, I had to take a little nap after the daily A.M. cat care routine was finished. Then I got my shower and got ready to head off to Greenville to bring her home! Again, once I arrived there, I had a long wait. They were so busy with injured and sick animals. One little long-haired chihuahua had gotten into rat poison! He was adorable!!! His name was George and just 2 years old. I don't know why I didn't think to get a picture of him!!! He had the biggest round eyes that actually looked human! Gee, he was soooo cute! Later, much later, when I was leaving with Cookie, I ran into his owner in the parking lot, and she said they had induced vomiting and had brought the poison up but not sure if they got it all. He will be on Vit. K therapy for 14 days and also a good dose of charcoal to absorb any leftover poison in his stomach. I sure hope and pray the little fella pulls through! So many people love their pets and will do anything to save them. This place had technicians everywhere today! One busy place!!!

Anyhow, once they brought Cookie in to me in her carrier, she was one happy little girl! I had to wait for the vet to come in for consult, so I played with her while I waited. She got her tummy rubs, and, oh, how she purred!!! Bless her little heart! She was so happy to see me, and I, her! I could have cried, as she was so happy! I took a few pics of her laying in her carrier...she was so relaxed. Then, finally, the vet came into the exam room. She seems to be certain that Cookie has a heart condition as they detected a heart murmur today, a sure sign in cats. She said the lungs had settled down and were not crackling today, so she got a good listen to her heart. The left ventricle isn't functioning correctly. She said heart problems can be treated in cats with great results for many years sometimes. Our next move is to wait for the cyntology report to come back on the fluid...then an EKG to be done in Greenville one day this week just to see what is going on with her heart. I never anticipated any major health problems in a 3-year-old cat!

She rode in the front seat facing me as I drove home, and we had a non-eventful trip home, except she couldn't wait and wet in her carrier on the beach towel. No big deal! She had quite a time digging away! LOL Anyhow, she was one happy little gal to get back in her own environment! I immediately fed her, and she ate like a little pig! She is now sacked out up on top of the ferret cage. I doubt that she got much sleep at the clinic. She is thin from not eating for the past 3 days, but she will gain it back. She is just the sweetest little kitty, especially for being a feral. So for now, she is back home and doing well at the moment. Thank you, Lord! The other cats growled at her, as they can smell the hospital scent on her. In a couple of days, things should get back to normal as far as them all getting along again.

Well, that's the latest from Nancy's Little Cathouse in 'Dixie' for now!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Miss Cookie's Bad Day

Miss Cookie and Big Boy

These are 2 of the ferals in my office...Miss Cookie on the left and Big boy on the right. They love it up on top of that ferret cage as they look out the window all day. Notice that their left ears were 'tipped' when they were spayed/neutered. This is what they usually do to ferals, so that if they are released back into the wild to their former life and should ever be trapped again, the authorities would know that they have already been fixed. My cats aren't all pretty cats, but do I care? Nope! I love 'em, anyhow!!! They were kittens outside just trying to survive and needed a home, so I gave them a home! I hate to hear people say they only want a 'cute' or 'pretty' kitten or cat...they're all little creatures just wanting someone to love them.

Well, Miss Cookie is the lovingest little thing! She has really been a darling little kitty for being a feral. She has tamed quite well, but a feral will never be like a normal cat. They always have that lack of trust in humans and really don't care to be hugged or restrained in any way. "Pet me, but don't hug me!"

Late Thursday night, I noticed that her breathing was quite labored. Her little sides were sucking way in with every breath. Next morning, I called my vet and took her in, and I was told that she was definitely in respiratory distress. She was placed in oxygen immediately. I was ready to take her on to the specialists in Greenville, but she wasn't stable enough to even make the 30-minute trip without oxygen.

Once she was stabilized a little, X-rays were taken and revealed fluid outside her lungs in the chest cavity. Her heart wasn't even visible nor her lungs. Bloodwork was done along with other tests. The vet phoned me at home later and said they were going to do a chest tap on her to remove some of the fluid to help her breathe better. I was warned that, as stressed as she was, she could die during the procedure. They prepared her a little at a time, such as shaving just one side at a time, and then placing her back in the oxygen, until they finally had her ready for the tap. They drew just one side at a time, placing her back in the oxygen before doing the other side. The vet said she would have died overnight had I not brought her in! I have had cats all my life, but this is my first experience with fluid build-up like this. Well, altogether, they drew off 275 ml/cc off her little chest! I was told that is equal to about 9.5 ounces!!!

My vet phoned me when it was all over with and said that as soon as the last draw was finished, she actually heard the lung 'pop' back into place and the cat took a gasp and started breathing much better after that! She said the kitty did quite well during the procedure...that she kneaded (like kittens do when they nurse their mama) her towel that she was lying on through it all! Not once did she try to bite them, either! With ferals, there is always that danger when they are being restrained like that. They said she was actually very sweet with all they had to put her through. She was kept in oxygen and under observation until 5:30pm when I picked her up and transported her to Greenville to Upstate Veterinary Specialists' Emergency Clinic for the weekend. This place is really a state-of-the-art facility! There are 3 veterinarians on duty all weekend and also during the week all night from 6pm-8am when the regular vets are closed.

Upstate Emergency Clinic
(the stucco entrance on the side)

Under their care, she was immediately placed in an oxygen cubicle and started on IV fluids to hydrate her a little since she hadn't eaten or drank anything all day. She was also started on an antibiotic. Now we have to wait for the lab test to come back on the fluid, hopefully, that will be back on Monday. They still don't know what caused the fluid to build-up like that. The X-rays showed no tumors or anything.

This afternoon, the specialist phoned me to say that they were starting to wean Cookie off the oxygen and would see how she did during that. She is urinating in the litterbox there, so that is a good sign, knowing that her kidneys are still working. I am getting ready to call them when I finish with this post. They were going to give her an appetite stimulant to see if she would eat for them. If not, I may get to bring her home tomorrow as she will be more likely to eat once in her own surroundings. But then Monday will bring another day for her at my vet here. She will have to be watched closely for awhile until they figure out what caused this fluid problem.

I just phoned to get an update on her. She has been off the oxygen since 9:30pm and breathing well, thus far! She has eaten some canned food, too! So I do hope things continue to improve for her.

It has been a stressful couple of days for me, something I really didn't need right now. I had a heart attack 5 years ago the week after my mother passed away. I had another one on April 5th of this year that lasted 15 minutes and another one this week on the night of the 21st that lasted just 5 minutes. I have had a few light ones before these last ones, too. There is no mistaking the was the same as the first one, complete with the jaw pain in my lower jaw, pain between my shoulder blades coming straight through to my chest, the tightness to breathe, the nausea and the sweating. So I have been laying low all week, just trying to rest and take care of myself...and then to have a sick cat! My neighbor unloaded my trunk of cat food and litter yesterday for me. My ex has been coming to take my trash for me, and he drove me to Greenville with Cookie yesterday. And we were there for hours! It was 20 to 10 last night when I finally walked through my front door! Prayers would be appreciated for this dear little kitty...she is only 3 years old.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tile and Pets Update

Just a quick update! I have received several emails from blogger friends asking how the bath redo was coming along. Well, this was taken April 13th, and, since then, I have only laid 2 more tiles! Yes, I know, I am a slow worker, but I have been experiencing some heart problems again so decided to just take it easy for awhile.
Notice Oliver's tail in the pic. He is on special food to help prevent further kidney stone formation, and I feed him in this guest bathroom. He has his own little litterbox in there, too. This is HIS room and HIS only! He loves it in there! It was kind of funny to watch him the first time he walked in there on the new tiles...he kind of "pussy-footed" ever so slowly as he entered!
Every day this week, my ex and I have planned on getting the new saw set up and to do all the special cuts, but the pressure washers have been washing the exteriors of our homes here. For 2 days now, I was told by this guy that he would finish up. I need my front porch to set the saw up on, and it will be wet when he gets done washing out there...I have outdoor carpeting on that porch. (This is an electric saw, and we don't really wish to stand on wet ground while using it!) So we had to cancel the sawing both yesterday and today. And now today, my front was not washed again! So I suppose he will be here tomorrow, but we are planning on doing the sawing then, anyhow! I am tired of delaying it, and I am ready to get this tile job done!!! Do I need to say more? LOL I am anxious to get it grouted and the new baseboard and quarter round molding down.

Now on to my daughter's cats....GREAT NEWS!!!

Sweet Pea and Buster

We had them to Greenville to the specialists' place last week. Sweet Pea is clear of cancer, and she is now 12 months post-radiation!!! Buster also had his ultrasound and chest x-rays done last week, and he is free of all cancer, too!!! The lymph node that was cancerous is not showing up as cancer now at all! This new type of chemo they are using on him is working! It is called cobalt something or other...I can't recall the proper name right now. It does not affect him in any way at all...he has not been sick one minute from it. His ultrasound was clear after just 2 treatments! And since his checkup, he received treatment #3 last Friday...with just 2 more to go! So that was the best news we could have heard!!! So all in all, things are beginning to look up in my neck of the woods here in Dixie! And now temps are to be in the low 80's this weekend, so who could ask for anything more???

I do want to thank you all for the birthday wishes yesterday! My daughter had a birthday dinner for me on Sunday, but I did not get any pictures. Too much talk and chatter, and I totally forgot! Another year older, another year wiser, and another year more forgetful!!! LOL

Wishing you all a wonderful, fun-filled weekend, too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Bath Update, 206-Pound Dog, and Button Thank You's!

Well, believe it or not, I am back to working on my guest bath! I have been putting it off since I discovered that this new batch of tile I purchased is different from the first batch I got for my foyer. That tile was a two-tone, and this new tile is basically all one color, although it is still textured. Same pattern name, just a different batch! But I finally did get the tile started today! Below is a laser square/level, absolutely the best little tool for laying ceramic tile! If you look closely, you will see the red laser line that gets your tile job started straight and square. It's just getting started that I dread! Once I get started, I could lay tile all day long...but my back can't take the bending all day long! LOL Anyhow, I've got it started, so it's all downhill from here on in! Hooray!!!

I think the hardest part of tile laying is getting the bottom of the casings cut off so that the tile can be slipped under it as shown below. This makes for a much neater job than just nipping it to fit 'around' the casing. And that nipper tool is hard for a woman to use, too!

Below is where I laid out just 4 pieces to make sure it would come out right in the doorway. As you can see, I have cardboard laid over the floor so I can keep my feet clean...ha-ha The floor has been scrubbed with straight bleach, but I still don't like to stand on it in my bare feet! I still have 4 more squares of vinyl to remove yet, too, but still using it to stand on, also. My knees are not much good anymore, so I do all this tile work standing on my feet, bending from the waist.

Below are the first 4 pieces I laid! I did a 5th one before quitting this afternoon, and I plan to work in there some more later tonight yet. I am a fussy worker, so this job will take me awhile to complete. Before setting a tile in the cement adhesive, I square each piece and then level each one. I plan to lay all the full pieces before doing any cutting. I bought one of those electric table ceramic saws that you have to hook a water hose up to, so all the cutting will be done at one time, and one time only! I don't plan to lug that thing out to my patio every time I need to make a custom cut. But at least I've got the tile started!!! LOL Then comes the new baseboard and shoe molding...and then the plumber!!! Woo-Hoo!!!

This past Monday, the 6th, we had to take Buster and Sweet Pea back to the oncologist's for their checkups. On days when they have vet appointments, my daughter puts them both in her bonus room when she leaves for work. Sweet Pea is easy to get into her carrier, but Buster is a hider! We couldn't find him anywhere!!! Finally, I looked behind the computer desk and saw a black mass. I knew the cords wouldn't be solid black like that. Sure enough, it was him! Well, he had gotten himself in and under a shelf back of the desk, and with all the cords, it was impossible to pull him out by his back legs. So the only way we could get him out was by moving the desk out. Talk about heavy! Wow! That thing was really a devil to move! And then Buster was a little devil to get out, too! We finally got on the road but ended up being late for their appointments.

Their reports were very encouraging! Sweet Pea is doing phenomenal! Her lung x-rays were clear! Her liver and kidneys are normal yet, too. She is now one year post-radiation!!! Buster just had to have his regular bloodwork done this week to see how his system was tolerating the chemo...and the report came back that he is doing great! So he is on for Round 3 of chemo next Monday!

When we walked in the door, this is what greeted us! This Great Dane's name is "Marcus." He weighed in at 206 pounds, and his owner said he'd lost a few pounds! He has lymphoma, same as Buster. He is 6 1/2 years old. This lady told us the life span of a Great Dane is between 6 and 8 years. He is just one of three great danes in that household! The others weigh 120 and 160, so Marcus is, by far, the largest of the three. He was a friendly guy despite his scary size! He is also receiving chemo but was there that day to be treated for diarrhea. Notice in the first pic below that he is actually sitting in that chair and that his feet are actually off the floor!

Look at how big his head is compared to his owner's! She said they are fed twice a day....2 cups of dry food and half a can of wet food at each feeding.

And this last pic is my absolute favorite! He really was a great dog! He was as gentle as he was big! God bless you, Marcus.....


And now I need to acknowledge and say "thank you" to these great blogging friends! This first button is from Pea..."Sweet Pea" at Pea's Corner. You are so creative, Pea! You always make such pretty buttons for your readers! Thank you, Pea!

This next button is from Mary at Mary's Writing Nook. This button is adorable and makes me think of you working on your children's stories! Thank you, Mary!

This darling Easter button is from Hootin' Anni. This is just so sweet, just like Anni! She always comes up with cute buttons for all her readers! Thank you, Anni!

And this next one is from Mary of Mary's Writing Nook. You can tell Mary writes children's books, can't you? She is giving us a little of our childhood back when we all believed in the Easter Bunny! Thank you, dear Mary!

And this is the most recent one I received, and it is from Pea at Pea's Corner! Absolutely adorable!!! Thank you, Pea!

And now I would like to wish you all a very Happy Blessed Easter!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wallpaper Stripping

This is what I am taking off! I have always loved this paper pattern but have grown tired of it after almost 9 years. It has been quite a tedious job, to say the least! But I am coming down the homestretch now! Below, you can see what little is left to remove yet. Just this partial strip, plus a small piece over the mirror. I have been dreading it all day today, as I have to take the light fixture down next.

Thank goodness, I applied sizing to the walls before the wallpaper hanger hung the paper! Thus, the paper is coming off without any damage to the walls. It's the backing that takes the time. I score it lightly with one of those little scoring tools, and then soak it by spraying it with hot water with fabric softener in it. I just keep soaking it over and over, and then allow it to stand 15-20 minutes, and scrape it off! It's a messy job, no doubt about it! Some of it is actually peeling off so nicely. But then comes the sticky mess....skimming off the softened glue and washing the walls down! This wallpaper was not the pre-pasted kind, so the adhesive is quite sticky!!! And it is also 28" wide! But I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now!

Below, you can see the wallpaper backing that is taking so much time to remove!

I went to Home Depot last night and had my paint mixed now I am just hoping I am going to be pleased with the color! After the painting is done, then comes the vinyl removal from the floor, and then I will lay ceramic tile. I had the commode lifted last Thursday, and so I am moving right along! I am putting all new baseboard down after the ceramic is finished. I figure another 2 weeks, and I'll be finished! I work at my own pace, and I don't rush with anything, anymore! I plan to do my bathroom and dressing area after this. I have to keep busy at night...Believe it or not, I can unwind and relax this way! Plus, every time I open the bathroom door to leave the room, there are all my little 'fur kids' laying in the hallway outside the door waiting for me! What a great reward, wouldn't you agree? LOL I'll be around to visit you all soon!
Below is another darling button from Pea that she was passing on to all her readers! It's a cutie with that little leprachaun perched on top! Thank you, Pea!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Awards Day Again!

First of all...I know I am a little late in acknowledging these, and I do apologize for my tardiness. Being punctual never has been a great virtue of mine.

I want to thank Hootin' Anni for this cute St. Patrick's Day gift...she comes up with such cute things, doesn't she? Thank you, Hootin' Anni! I just love this one!!!

And this Sisterhood Award, I received from Winifred of I'm Trying, Honestly! Thank you so much, Winifred! I am a blue jeans type of gal, so this one really struck my fancy!!! I would like to pass this Sisterhood Award on to all of my readers, so grab it and feel free to place on your own sidebar from me!

And here is another one from Hootin' Anni! What can I say, other than another cute one she created!!! Thank you, Hootin' Anni!

And this darling one is from the Fairy Queen of Blogland...none other than Pea herself of Pea's Corner! Thank you so much, Pea!!!

Without these awards and little gifts, my blog would look pretty plain...So I do thank you all for passing them my way! These gals are so creative!!! A BIG thank you to you all!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion...

Edited to include Edie Marie's Giveaway! Go to bottom of post for more info and check her button on my sidebar, also.

We certainly got walloped with snow this time around! This is such an ususual storm for us here in the South. The trees were in bud and daffodils had already popped up. A storm of this size has just shut down most everything here. Closed are schools, businesses, malls, etc. They are not equipped for snow storms here like up north cause snow is a rare thing here. There are downed trees, some blocking highways, and also a loss of power for almost 24,000 people in the city here. My electric flickered off and on 3 different times, but my daughter lost hers for 3 hours. She phoned me at 11:15 last night to tell me that hers was back on. We had what is called 'thunder snow' which was explained on is like a thunderstorm where we receive heavy rain, and 'thunder snow' is thunder with a heavier snowfall. And it was coming down fast!!!

The interstates are one big mess, but some melting is taking place this afternoon. But those wet roads will be 'black ice' in the morning, as we are to dip down to 17 degrees tonight! Last night there was an accident on I-85 and traffic was at a complete standstill for 7.5 hours! TV later reported it was 9 hours, but I saw it myself when they showed the first car moving and said it was the first to move in 7.5 hours. They told on TV that cars were running out of gasoline while waiting, and that they had to rescue some people and take them to shelters. The Highway Patrol was pleading with people to stay home today and off the highways. There were over 200 accidents reported, also. It was just one big mess!

All day yesterday, they were predicting 5-10 inches overnight. might know who would wait until the last minute to make a run to the supermarket! It was pouring down rain when I left home. The highways were almost deserted, as the wet stuff had started to come down while I was still out running around. I made another run to the petstore, in addition to the supermarket, and then I had to run by my daughter's home as she had picked up the cats' insulin needles and some other things for me at Wal-M*rt. I got home safely, but the grassy areas were already covered with snow when I drove down my street. Before I got my car entirely unloaded, the street was covered with a layer of that beautiful white stuff.
Below, you will see that the highway was practically deserted on the way into the city...all the smart people had already been out and had their storm shopping all done.

Below is a really big intersection...very few motorists were out at this time.

Below, you will see that my little feral kitty came through the snow to my front door. I will put food out there for her tonight. I had moved the igloo doghouse closer to my back door yesterday for her, so I wouldn't have to shovel a path for her from it to the food dishes, but she never even slept in it last night! There were footprints in the back, also, so I know she had come around to the back to eat, plus the canned food dish was empty this morning. She's got me wondering where she could have found a better place to sleep than in that igloo with those nice warm, microwavable heat disks under the blankets for her...they stay warm for 16 hours.

This is my crepe myrtle tree outside my kitchen was hanging low from the weight of the snow.

This is a scene looking up the street....

And this is the scene looking down the can see other crepe myrtle trees drooping from the snow. We are just not accustomed to this much snow!

And this is my poor cleyera bush, all bent over from the heavy snow...

Below is my office window, so you can see that the office cats have had a great view of the snow...and they were enjoying batting the windows last night when the snow was falling. I usually keep the blinds pulled up a ways for them.

And this is what I found in the kitchen window when I got back inside this morning...this is Precious looking out the window. She was looking at me through the blinds with her snappy little eyes until I snapped the picture! Notice Toby's big fluffy tail in the foreground.

Right now, our street is bare, but wet. We are to be 74 degrees on Saturday! I am SO ready for Spring now!!!
Be sure to check out my sidebar for Edie's Giveaway at Edie Marie's Attic coming up on March 9th! She is giving away some beautiful items for her one-year anniversary in Blogland! Hop on over and check it out! You will just love her blog! She's a romanticist...I tell you, you will absolutely love her!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mews Update on Buster

DAPHY, BUSTER & CLEO (Kittens in 1994)

Well, we had him back on Tuesday to have his 23 staples removed. His incision was a long one! The biopsies had come back...not good. Both were carcinomas, each a different type. So the growth on the liver and also the lymph node that is wrapped around the blood suppy to his intestines were both malignant, which we suspected, anyhow.

This morning he was started on a different type of chemo, and the GOOD news is that this type will not make him sick at all! He won't even need meds this time. Last time they gave him appetite pills and another type of med, as he had just one day each time that he wouldn't feel well. After they gave us that second med to give to him, you'd never even have known he was taking chemo...he was just like he always was. This will be better for him getting it on Fridays, as my daughter will be home with him on weekends, and he can sleep in the crate and then she can keep him on a leash during the day. He and Sweet Pea can't share a litterbox for 48 hours after he has received the chemo...seems it is excreted through his stool and urine, so Sweet Pea can't be exposed to it. And we must wear rubber gloves when we scoop his box, etc. So he can be a free man again on Sunday at noon each time he gets a treatment. Before, we kept him in her bonus room by himself, and that had to be lonely for him. But I always went over every day to feed him and keep him company every afternoon for a couple of hours.
They are very optimistic with this type of chemo, stating that they are hoping instead of 3-6 months prognosis, that he will have 6-12 months, and the oncologist said they are hoping for 12 months! Like my daughter said, he isn't ready to put to sleep'd never know he has cancer at all to see and watch him. He's just like a normal cat. He loves to cuddle, he loves to play, he LOVES to eat...just like a healthy cat. So she decided to go ahead with the chemo again. He will get a treatment every 3 weeks, with a total of 5 treatments altogether. He got 8 more months of life this last time, so we are optimistic this time for him, also. He's such a sweetie! I have been going every afternoon to let him out of the crate and feed him and love on him, plus we walk on a leash around the house. But since Tuesday, they said his incision looked great and was healed, so he no longer had to be crated! So he's been a free man since Tuesday! We are looking forward to having him a while longer. But rest assured, when he starts showing signs of not doing well, we will do the right thing by him, but for now we are going to love him all we can!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latest Update on Buster

Please be sure to read my personal comment on the comment page....
Wednesday, February 18, 2009...Buster is home and all settled in! He was one happy little man to get home. He went right in the crate with no trouble and spent the afternoon eating and looking around and watching me snooze on my daughter's sofa. He seems very content and is in much better shape this surgery than the last one. He is on pain med every 8 hours for just 5 days and will have his 23 staples removed next Tuesday. We know his days are numbered this time, but then aren't ours numbered, too? We are just happy to have him back again, regardless of how short or how long he has. The chemo is actually easier on an animal than a person. Cats tolerate it very well. The last time he only had one day after each treatment that he didn't feel well, and the last couple of treatments, they gave him 2 different meds, and that eliminated even that one day of not feeling well. He ate like he always did and even played. I'm not sure yet what my daughter has decided to do regarding the chemo this time around. One girl who works at this specialists' place has a dog who was receiving chemo, but then it had to be stopped as his liver values went up. But his tumor has stopped growing so he is in remission the past 2 or 3 months. So chemo is worth a try, anyhow. If it affected the cat like it does people, we would never do it at all, but it doesn't. They really do very well with it. He is comfortable in the crate and has a pillow to sleep on...all the comforts of home. He was very unhappy at the vet's as there was a dog that barked all the time, and he had never heard a dog's bark before. He was growling when they brought him out to us. My daughter said the only time she has ever heard him growl was when he saw a strange cat in 'his' yard through the window.

Greenville, SC

Tuesday, February 17, 2009...Just a quick update on Buster. He came through the surgery quite well yesterday, but the news wasn't good. The growth that was thought to be in the small intestines turned out to actually be an enlarged lymph node. It could not be removed due to the fact that it was wrapped around the main blood supply to the intestines. To remove it would have meant instant death for him. He has 3-6 months to live with chemo. Without chemo, it would be just weeks. Since the last couple of chemo treatments never bothered him at all, (they gave him meds so he wouldn't get sick from it), he will again receive chemo therapy but not until the staples are removed and his incision is healed.

I received a call at 8 this morning from the surgeon, Dr. Jevens, who said Buster was making himself well heard this morning and could come home! Naturally, we were delighted to hear that he didn't have to stay any longer. Dr. Jevens' assistant also phoned me to set up a pickup time and said that Buster is quite feisty this morning. That is so unusual for him as he's such a quiet, loving little guy. He just wants to get out of there and get back to his own home. Animals know, don't they? Tammy has his crate all prepared for him in her living room, as he has to be confined for the next 7-10 days (no jumping) until his incision heals. She will let him out at night when she's home and walk him on a leash like she did the last time. He will be on pain meds for awhile, and I will be running back and forth to check on him, so he won't be alone all day while she's at work.

I just wish I had better news to tell you all. All we can do now is to love him all we can and then let him go with dignity when his time comes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Upcoming Surgery for Buster

" Sweet Pea" and "Buster"

Just a quick update on my daughter's cats. We had them to Greenville last Thursday for their check-ups. These are done every 2 months to keep an eye on the cancer, should it re-occur.

Sweet Pea had a good report, thank goodness! We were told that they have had cats with her type of cancer (fibrosarcoma) in remission for up to 3 years. So right now, things look pretty rosy for her!

Buster, on the other hand, had lost another .4 pound. He has been losing weight quite steadily, losing quite a bit last June when he was first diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. He is now just under 11 pounds, down from 24 pounds before any of this cancer trouble ever started last June. We knew he had some abnormal kidney values, so we thought maybe this was the cause of his weight loss. The oncologist suggested that he have another ultrasound now instead of waiting for the one scheduled in April. So he had another abdominal ultrasound this morning. It showed that there is a small growth about 1/2 inch in diameter in his small intestines. It also showed one kidney was dilated, so some urine was drawn from his bladder to be checked in case he could also have a kidney infection. His chest x-ray was normal, so no cancer there. After consultation with the oncologist, we decided to go ahead with surgery next Monday. His last ultrasound in November showed everything was okay. Thank goodness, my daughter had the ultrasound done now instead of in April! Buster seems to feel well and is eating like a little piglet. He plays with his toys and acts perfectly normal. He just looks thin in the face, plus now he looks even worse after having his tummy and sides shaved off for the ultrasound. Poor little guy, the hair doesn't even get all grown back when it's time to shave it all off again.

I'll be sure to post about him again after his surgery next Monday. Please remember him in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glenn Miller Concert, A Tag, and More Awards

I was invited to a Glenn Miller Concert this past Sunday evening, January 25, 2009, held at our new Chapman Cultural Center downtown. Stosh invited both my daughter and me to go with him. We had second row balcony seats, which were absolutely wonderful! I was worried if I would be able to walk that far with my bad knee and leg, but I made it! I love music and just couldn't miss this great opportunity. It was a truly delightful evening!

Upon entering the massive lobby, we were thrust back decades in time. In between the shows (after the 3 p.m. show and before the 7 p.m. show), the lobby of the David Reid Theatre was transformed into a classic USO Dance and Canteen. This was a free reception to all ticket holders with huge platters of sandwiches, bags of chips, candy bars and several different beverages. War time music was playing and people were dancing all the old dances. It was just so much fun to watch! The oldsters were having quite a fun time!

A second performance at 7 p.m. was added to this engagement. It was a special show for our military service men and women, both active and veterans. What I found so heartwarming was that some of the older veterans showed up in uniform. One little old guy even had his white Navy cap on. The band leader honored the veterans by asking them all to stand at one point during the show. I felt so proud of my ex when he stood, as he had served his country with a 3-year stint in our U.S. Army! As I looked around at them all standing, I felt a great sense of thankfulness and pride to these great people who fought to keep our country free!

The 19-member band continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements that keep exciting fans who have not heard them played for a while. Additionally, they are also playing more modern selections in the big-band style, carefully selecting only those newer tunes that lend themselves naturally to the Miller style and sound, carefully selected pieces that will stay around for a while. The entire repertoire, which now exceeds 1,700 compositions, keeps the band popular with both young and old. Most of the band’s shows are sell-outs. It has proven staying power, and its popularity has never seemed to wane. Indeed, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big-band in the world just as it was in Glenn’s day. If it ever comes to your area, please don't miss it. They had the audience clapping, and everyone really got into the mood and music!

Some of the songs they performed were Chattanooga Choo-Choo, A String of Pearls, Danny Boy, People Like You & Me, Too Little Time, Moonlight Serenade, Moonlight Cocktail, Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug, Stardust, The American Patrol, Elmer's Tune, In the Mood, Bugle Call Rag, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Rhapsody in Blue, A Sentimental Journey, Everybody Loves My Baby, Too Little Time, St. Louis Blues March, At Last, Serenade in Blue, Tuxedo Junction, Anvil Chorus, Runnin' Wild, I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Come Rain or Come Shine, Pavanne, Juke Box Saturday Night, Adios, For All We Know, Song of the Volga Boatmen, Perfidia, I Dreamt I Dwelt in Harlem, Begin the Beguine, I Know Why, Tangerine, Tail End Charlie, Caribbean Clipper, Sun Valley Jump, Here We Go Again, Skylark, The Nearness of You, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree, Body and Soul.

Glenn Miller was before my time, but I grew up listening to his music as my mom and dad loved his sounds. The following is mainly for all you younger bloggers, in case you never really knew who Glenn Miller was.

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904–presumably December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician, arranger, composer, and band leader in the swing era. His reign as the most popular bandleader in the U.S. came relatively late in his career and was relatively brief, lasting only about three and a half years, from the spring of 1939 to the fall of 1942 when he joined up to serve our country. But during that period he utterly dominated popular music, and over time he has proven the most enduring figure of the swing era, with re-issues of his recordings achieving gold record status 40 years after his death. He developed a distinctive sound in which a high-pitched clarinet carried the melody, doubled by a saxophone section playing an octave lower, and he used that sound to produce a series of hits that remain definitive examples of swing music. His approach is not much appreciated by jazz fans, who prefer bands that allow for greater improvisation than was found in his highly disciplined, rigorously rehearsed unit. But he brought the swing style of popular music to a level of sophistication and commercial acceptance it had not previously achieved and would not see again after his untimely passing.

The Chapman Cultural Center is a three building campus arranged around a central plaza, the Zimmerli Plaza. It is just a gorgeous piece of architecture! The Chapman Cultural Center, owned and operated by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, is the community's pre-eminent common ground where the people of Spartanburg County and its visitors come together to discover, experience, and celebrate the performing and visual arts, science and history.

And now on to some other fun things...

Gramma Ann tagged me a week or so ago for a game of sharing six things about myself, and I am just now getting to post it and pass it on. If you already haven't done so, go check out her blog. She has more than one blog for you to enjoy. She is an avid reader and knows all the best books. I thank you so much, Gramma Ann, for including me to play along in this game!

Here are the rules of the game:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Share six random things about yourself.
3) Tag six people and let them know they are tagged on their own blog, but please feel free to play any way you want.

Six things about me:

1) I cannot stand clutter!
2) I LOVE cats and all animals for that matter.
3) I work from home and love both my jobs. Most days I work in my PJ's!
4) I love to watch old classic movies and musicals.
5) I love decorating my home.
6) I am a NY native, raised in the beautiful mountains of PA known as God's Country, and a Yankee and proud of it!!!

Now with all those enlightening (?) things about myself, I will tag everyone who visits and comments on my blog! Please let me know if you participate so I can check out your answers, too!

This above award is called the Honest Scrap Award, and was given to me by Merle from
Australia. I thank you so very much, Merle! Be sure to drop by and visit Merle as she has a great blog and features jokes quite often. So if you ever need a good chuckle, be sure to drop in
and say "Hi" to Merle. I promise you'll leave with a BIG smile on your face!

1) List 10 honest things about yourself.
2) Post the award on your post and also on your blog sidebar.
3) Put a link to the person who you received the award from.
4) Nominate at least 7 blogs which show "honest scrapness."
5) Be sure to link to your nominees in your post. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.

My 10 honest things about myself :

1) I am a procrastinator. I never was until I got a little older. I think they call it 'lazy' these days. LOL
2) I have 2 wonderful children whom I love with all my heart!
3) I have no grandchildren......yet!
4) I am a true night owl...I love to watch TV all night or clean house late at night!
5) I play piano and was church pianist for many years.
6) I studied opera years ago, but since I had throat surgery 4.5 years ago, I cannot even carry a tune anymore. The nerves over vocal cords were damaged during the surgery.
7) I despise going into the city for supplies, as I am strictly a homebody. I have to psych myself out to get out the door!
8) I love to blog but wish I had more time to do it every day.
9) I love to knit and sew, but again not enough time to do either.
10) I love to do ceramics! And I also have to add that I LOVE my cats...all 33 of them!!!
I am not going to name just 7 people to pass this award on to, but I want everyone who reads and comments on this post to please accept this "Honest Scrap" award from me! Please copy it and take it to your sidebar.

And now another one from Merle! This award is called Your Blog is Fabulous.

Thank you so much, Merle! You are such a dear to share your awards with me! I consider you one of my dearest blogger friends!
I would like to pass this award to everyone who reads and comments on this post, so please accept this "Fabulous Blog" award from me! Feel free to copy it and take it to your sidebar.

And still another one from Merle! Again, I thank you, my dear friend! This one is called Friends award. And we all know that we have made so many new friends through blogging!

I would also like to pass this award to everyone who reads and comments on this post, so please accept this "Friends" award from me! Feel free to copy it and take it to your sidebar.

I saw on the news earlier today that some of our blogger friends in the Midwest have been hit by a BIG ice storm and are without power for possibly a week! Let's all pray that these friends are able to cook and keep warm and remain safe from falling trees. I blog with several gals from Arkansas, which was hit quite hard by this latest storm. Thinking of you all at this time.....and hoping that your power is restored really soon! Be safe, my friends!!!