Meowllo and welcome to another Blest Sunday. Today is a day fur ‘memberin’ and so mommy wanted to say a few things ‘bout sis Lexi. She’s never written ‘bout this, so purrlease bear with her. Ifin you missed sis Lexi’s goodbye posty you can read it here. Mommy will cover some things dat those of you who have followed us a while already know, but we do have new followers dat don’t know sissy.
Thank you baby. As most of you know I’m just mommy Audra. I give the girls their voice to come to all of you. They are so full of personality and love that writing through them is much easier, especially when it comes to the heartbreaking moments in our lives. When Lexi left us to go to heaven it was only natural to let her say goodbye. I felt like if I added anything to that it would signify closure. And I wasn’t ready to close the book on that part of my life, and I’m still not. So this post isn’t closure, it’s merely a small look into my feelings on the matter. Lexi had been the biggest and best part of my life for the almost 17 years she was with me. And now suddenly it was over and people wanted me to get over it and move on.
From the time Lexi came into my life, when she was 10 minutes old, till the moment she went to be with God, we had never been apart. We’d never spent a night away from each other, and never more than a couple of hours throughout a day. She’d traveled from Oklahoma to Mississippi with me when my aunt died, and we’d moved every year for the first 4 years of her life. The really funny thing is, Lexi was never supposed to be my forever cat.
She was merely another of a 100 fosters that was to go through my home that kitten season. She was tiny. Smaller than most. I and the vet figured it had something to do with her birth, but it didn’t seem to affect her, so we didn’t worry about it. And it all changed when she grew up. She was a huge cat weighing in at around 30 pounds during her healthy adult life. Anyways, when she was finally 6 weeks old, the rescue wanted her at the adoption events, so off we would go. Those days weren’t good for her. She would come home and fight with my resident cats, who learned to give her a wide berth on those days. And then the day came when an application came in for her. My heart sank. But I put a “happy” in my voice and told her she might have a forever home. That just seemed to make her angry and she lashed out and drew blood from my oldest resident cat. As soon as she did it, she ran and jumped in my lap and purred louder and longer than I’d ever heard. I bawled. Of course I took care of Devon, but I cried so hard I was convulsing.
Why had I been so disappointed about the application? Lexi obviously wasn’t happy, so why was I thinking about keeping her? Well I called the rescue president and told her what had happened and her response without giving it a second thought was, “We can’t adopt her out. Take her to the vet and kill her.” All I heard was Kill Her! They had wanted to do that the day she came in because she was too black, and now they were going to get their chance. Well, that did it for me, I told them no and that she would stay with me. I picked her up and explained to her that she was going to be with me forever and that I was going to love her forever, and changed her name (it used to be Lana) and gave her a big kiss. She understood everything and immediately started to purr. The boys sensed the change as well and they all became the best of friends. They laid together, played together and groomed each other. Life was good.
We lost Devon and then Lucky, and Lexi and I carried on. Lexi and I would lose another before Dezi joined us. I just never thought it would be Lexi. She was going to live forever, you know? When she got sick, we fought. I researched and learned all I could. I did the very best for her and she knew it and fought right alongside of me, till she just didn’t. I know it’s stupid and selfish, but all I could think is why would she want to leave me? I needed her. I loved her. How could this be happening? I screamed at God to “fix her”, make her all better, and that He couldn’t have her. She had gladly taken anything I gave her, allowed me to do whatever I needed to her, and suddenly, she was refusing. She was struggling as much as her frail body could struggle. I would watch her try to move from one spot to another and fall over because she was so weak. Those last days I spent in tears. I cried so much I thought eventually there’d be no tears left. But alas, tears are replenishing and I still cry. I still scream at God.
I try to believe that God needed her more than me, but nobody ever needed anyone as much as I needed Lexi. We had developed an almost symbiotic relationship. We moved together, and knew each others thoughts, sometimes before we had them. When she left, it was like half of me went with her…the better half. The half that knew what to do and when to do it. I basically shut down and just went through the motions. I’m getting better now, but I will always want my Lexi back. I will always love her and miss her and remember her. It will always be “yesterday” for me. She taught me so much about pure love and devotion. Through her I learned that there are still good people in the world. Because of her I have some very good friends that adore my girls. Because of Lexi we were featured on an internet radio program to talk about Service Cats. Because of Lexi, there’s all of you.
I know to a lot of people, she was just a black tabby cat. But to me, she was Perfection. She was Love. She was my baby and so much more. I was so blest to have her, even if it was for just a moment in time. And the world is a better place because of her. Thank you to all of you who loved her and made her special and gave to her of your time, devotion, and gifts. Please know that she knew how much she was loved, and that she did love all of you. Someday, I’ll see her again, and be with her again. Until then, she is now healthy and young and feeling no pain. Thank you for letting my Lexi into your lives, and now my Dezi and Raena.
Fank you mommy. Me so misses sis Lexi. She was da bestest sisfur a girly could ask fur. She was soooo bootyful and gracious. She taught me to share, and about this innernet thing where all our furiends and uncles and awnties are. We truly are blest. And now we’ve been blest with Raena. Life is still good. ‘Member to take a minute today and everyday to give thanks fur da blessings in your life. We of course are joinin’ da Kitties Blue fur Selfie Sunday with some Lexi flashbacks. Hope you enjoy lookin’ at her as much as we do. Ifin you would like to read ‘bout sis Lexi’s start in life you can do so here and here.
Till da next time…………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
and mommy Audra
Well here we are, another Miserable Monday. Da end of da weekend and da start of peeps goin’ back to work. We had sun fur da furst time in days yesfurday, but woke up to gray skies and dense fog today. Da weather just doesn’t know what it wants to do. Anyways, today is also Service Cat educational posty day. We didn’t get any questions after last weeks posty, so we’re not sure ifin ya’ll are losin’ innerest in these posts or not. So, ifin ya’ could let us know in da comments, we’d ‘purreciate it. As with all our educational postys, da following will be written in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any post, you can ketch up by clickin’ da linkys below.
We were asked a few posts back to talk about proper training methods. Training is something we think all animals, not just Service Animals can benefit from. We’ve all seen the totally out of control doggy and the doing as it pleases kitty. Unfortunately behavioral problems account for a large percentage of animals taken to shelters; and some of those behaviors could be changed with just a little training and patience. In our Training Foundations post we covered the beginning process mommy chooses to use.
You’s have mines full attention mommy.
There are several acceptable methods of training. If your cat doesn’t respond to one, try another. Hitting, yelling and chasing your kitty Does Not work. Neither does drenching them with water from a water bottle or water gun. Clicker training is probably the best known method these days. It involves a small clicker that the trainer holds and clicks as the animal does what is asked for, followed by a treat. This method is very successful in dog training. Dogs are generally ruled by their tummy and will perform for a treat.
Clicker training can be successful with some cats. Mommy has never used this method per se’, but she does sometimes use a form of it. Long ago when mommy decided to start training Service Kitties she looked in to a clicker. We don’t know the cost these days, but back then it was pretty pricey, and mommy couldn’t afford it. She was already training kitties successfully so she couldn’t justify the cost. However, you can use a finger snap to mimic a clicker. Mommy usually snaps her fingers to get us to pay attention. She doesn’t however follow it up with a treat.
What’s dat mommy? Did you need somethin’?
Treat rewards are the biggest problem mommy has with clicker training. Cats aren’t generally ruled by their tummies and a lot of cats don’t like treats. And too many treats means kitty won’t eat their meal, or they will, and then gain weight and become obese. Positive reinforcement is crucial to train any animal to perform a specific task. Mommy uses praise and love as our reward. It’s not fattening, and it means we will repeat the task even when we don’t get a treat, which would be impossible for her first thing in the morning. Something you may not know, is that most of the handlers of those Service dogs have to carry treats with them to reward the dog off and on throughout the day.
But what about training kitty NOT to do something, such as climb your curtains, stay off the kitchen counters or scratch your brand new leather sofa? Remember, hitting, screaming, chasing or drenching them with water Does Not work. Mommy says the water bottle has it’s place, but if you’re soaking kitty and he/she is still doing the inappropriate behavior, then it obviously isn’t working. And truly, you don’t want kitty to develop a fear of water. Let’s say you’ve ruled out any health issues for kittys’ behavior. Your next step is to offer an appropriate alternative.
jump on da counters.
Let’s talk about inappropriate scratching. All scratchers are not created equal, and not every cat likes the same surface. There are vertical, horizontal and hanging scratchers. Watch kitty to see if he/she has a preference. There are many different textures as well, corrugated cardboard, carpet, sisal and wood. Again, your cat probably has a preference for one of these textures. It may take some time to figure out which, but once you do, you can successfully offer kitty an appropriate scratching surface. The best option would be to have several scratchers of different textures available, as well as vertical and horizontal. Always make sure the scratcher is the right size for your kitty and that it is stable. You can also make a scratcher for your kitty by covering a surface with their favorite material, especially if it’s leather. Place said scratcher next to the area kitty’s scratching and the next time kitty scratches, move him/her over to the new scratching surface and place their paws on it. Initially it might be helpful to take kittys’ paws and mimic scratching on the new surface, as this encourages kitty. And a little catnip on the new scratcher never hurt any kitty either. You must be repetitive in order to stop the offensive behavior completely.
Mommy says that you must speak with a firm tone when training, but Never react in anger. And if there are several people in a household, all parties must be on the training bandwagon. Especially for correcting inappropriate behavior. Now let’s talk a minute about that water bottle so many cat peeps have on hand. And yes, mommy has one too. Here’s mommys’ list of reasons to use the water bottle:
To break up a Cat Fight
To stop a fight you see coming on by distracting kitties
Mommy says NEVER aim the water stream directly at kitty, especially not the head area. Depending on the proximity you are from kitty and where you hit them, kitty could actually be injured. (Mommy has seen some really powerful water bottles and water guns in the market) Instead, spray a few inches above kitty or in between kitties. Mommy says that clapping, snapping fingers, or a shaker can will also work. Again, don’t do this right in kittys’ ears. A clap from across the room is more than sufficient to get kittys’ attention. Whichever action you take, you should include a firm NO at the same time. Mommy always includes our name. She says that doing so makes sure there’s no mistaking who she’s correcting and what behavior is objectionable. There’s a lot of “No Raena’s” going on around here right now.
Me’s gonna get a quick bath in befur a nap.
Well, me’s just realized this is a really long posty, so me’s gonna wrap it up now and try to get a nap befur Raena starts in again. She’d put dat battery bunny to shame she has so much energy. Anyways, hope you all have a pawsum day.
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Welcome to a wonderfully sunny Blest Sunday. It’s been rainin’ here fur days. Fankfully, there were no thunder boomers to go along with said rain, so me didn’t really spend much time UTB/UTC. Of course Raena didn’t even seem to notice. Ya’ know, dat girly has No fears. None, nada, zip, zilch. Mommy even told her a couple times dat she was so purroud of her, but dat a little fear is a good thing.
Dezi: Raena thought we oughtta play a game of whacky paw on da cat tree with her hangin’ from da top ledge. Sure ‘nuff, she fell and just ‘bout gave mommy a heart attack. Dat’s when she got da, “a little fear’s a good thing” speech. But of course, she didn’t pay no attention, cuz she was right back at it a few minutes later.
Are you crazy Raena? You’s gonna fall and then you’re
really gonna get it.
Dezi: Mommy also played ‘fly fishin’’ wand toy with us till me was exhausted and mommy was exhausted. Raena tho’…she was still rarin’ to go. So mommy set up da pawsum Cat’s Meow toy we received from our angel furiends and Raena played till da batteries died and she tore it up. Okay, me got in on a little of dat action too, but me couldn’t keep up with da kid.
Raena: Oh sissy, are you talkin’ ‘bout all da fun we had playin’ yesfurday?
Dezi: Me was till you butted in Raena.
Raena: Who knew there were so many fun toys to chase? Fur some reason tho’, they all kept slowin’ down and quittin’ over time.
Dezi: Dat’s cuz you deaded ‘em Raena. Dat’s what happens when ya’ play with somethin’
elebenty billion hours 3 hours straight. Eventually, it dies. Hmmmmm Me thinks there might be a lesson in there. Now lissen, we don’t have mouseys, but ifin we did, dat’s ‘zactly what you’d do to a mousey, Dead it. Altho’ me would recommend you do it purretty quick or mommy might have dat heart attack fur real. And by da way, you can tear up da mousey like you did our Cat’s Meow.
Dezi: You know dat’s da second Cat’s Meow we’ve done in at our house. Sis Lexi and me played da furst one to death and now you’ve done it to this one. Fankfully mommy can change out da batteries in da other toys and they’ll still work. And fanks to some amazin’ anonymous angels who put some money in our paypal account, mommy can buy some new batteries. We are so blest.
Raena: Oh sissy we are. And we’re blest to have all our dear furiends in our lives too. Good weather, good friends, fun toys and full bellies, what more could a girly ask fur?.
Dezi: Well Raena, me wouldn’t have put it dat way ‘zactly, but you’re right. ‘Course those treats we had durin’ da little break was good too. ‘Member to take a minute today and everyday and give fanks fur da many blessings in your life. We’s joinin’ da Kitties Blue fur Selfie Sunday. We didn’t actually take any selfies, but mommy did get some close ups.
Raena: Mmmmmm These treats are lick your lips good.
Till da next time………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Welcome all, it’s furinally Furiday!!! Me thought it would neeeeeeeever get here. It’s been a crazy week. But furst, didn’t ya’ll think our fly fishercats and doggies were pawsum? We really do wanna fank all of ya’ again fur purrticipatin’. This was our furst year ever purrticipatin’ ourselves. We had so much goin’ on we didn’t have da chance to enter any of da events, but we had a wonderful time hostin’ fly fishin’. There was so many cute inter-purrtations. You know we told ya’ll dat any foto of ya’ playin’ an inneractive game of ____________ was good enuff. We were so purroud to have some doggy entries, and we thought they were just as pawsum as da kitties. Anyways, we just wanted to share our thoughts on this. After readin’ some of da comments yesfurday, we didn’t want any kitty/doggy to feel slighted.
So,Why has our week been crazy? Me knows you wanna know. Well ‘member when Raena came to live with us and awnty Ellen sent her a pawsum Made with Luv ‘nip’ mat and she actually reacted to da nip? You know dat’s not normal. Kittens aren’t normally “nip” reactive till ‘round 6 – 8 months of age. Now let me tell ya’ there’s no real answer as to why dat is, but it’s purretty much common knowledge dat kittens just don’t respawnd. Da respawnse to catnip is caused by da scent, so it would seem dat ifin a kitty has a nose they could respawnd. But alas… Anyways, dat silly Raena did respawnd!!! Sure nuff, she started rollin’ ‘round and wallerin’ all over dat nip mat. And then mommy gave her da Made with Luv toys dat awnty Ellen had sent with special nip blends included, and OMC Raena couldn’t get enuff. Mommy’s respawnse was, “Well now, you’re gonna be an early bloomer little one.” Yep, an early bloomer is all mommy said.
Can you believe it? Mommy had told me dat me wouldn’t have to share da Yeowww nip toys till Raena was old enuff to know not to slobber all over ‘em. And here she was, wantin’ to play with da new Yeowww nip rainbow we got from Timmy and furmily fur Christmas. Don’t even get me started on how it was way to big fur her to be carryin’ ‘round. Then there’s those special times when mommy puts a little nip on one of da scratchers fur me to roll in and eat a bite or two. There me was rollin’ in utter joy, and here come Raena stickin’ her nose in my nip business. Me just can’t get away from her. Anyways, while all this was happenin’ she started getting’ mean and bitin’ like she meant business. Well now, we don’t allow no bitin’ in this house. No bitin’ lessen it’s food or treats or da occasional toy. What’s a girly to do, but tell mommy. Yep, me went and told on Raena.
You sure did sissy. You tattle tale. Dat wasn’t very nice of you at all.
Wasn’t nice of me? Well you bit me!!! Dat wasn’t very nice either.
Maybe not sissy, but mines mouthy hurt and I’s didn’t feel so good. I’s didn’t mean to hurt you. I’s really sorry.
Yeah sis, me knows dat now, and me accepts your ‘pawlogy. Mommy ‘splained dat you were teethin’ and dat made your mouthy hurt and sometimes made you run a fever. She ‘splained dat there’s a lot of confusion ‘bout what age kittens get their adult teefies and so me asked her to tell everypawdy what da feline medical journals say. Mommy, will you tell everypawdy why Raena be teethin’ and what we do to keep her from bitin’ us?
Sure baby. Sometime around 3 – 4 months of age, the incisor teeth start coming in. Then between 4 and 6 months the canines, premolars and molars erupt. A kitten should have all 30 adult teeth by the age of 7 months. Of course there are always exceptions due to health and environment and the health of the mother. But as a general rule, teething begins around 3 months of age. Whether it’s painful or not is debated. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s painful for the kitten. They usually start biting or chewing hard objects. A kitten that didn’t previously bite, may now lash out. They sometimes run a fever. So just like with human babies who are teething, your fur babies are in some pain while teething also. There are a few toys on the market that your kitty or doggy may find appealing and satisfactory, but a thick box will also do.
You should also keep an eye on the baby (milk) teeth to make sure they all fall out. It’s not uncommon for a tooth to be retained. The reason for this isn’t clear, but could cause future problems. If you see any of the following symptoms, please see a VET to have the teeth looked at and removed if necessary.
Abnormally positioned permanent teeth
Swollen, red or bleeding gums around the baby teeth