Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Story of Ghost...


Ghost is our 5 year old grey DSH.  She appeared on our back patio when she was a few weeks old along with a few of her feral siblings.  However, she lacked their ability to sense danger or react.  We could tell that 'something' was not right with her, and consequently took her in. The Vet diagnosed her with mental and physical problems and the prognosis was not good.  BUT she has done really well. Despite her rigid expression (which never changes), she is really very sweet.

What I wanted to say here is why we called her "Ghost".  Well, she was very small... and grey... and since our floors are several shades of grey slate, once inside, we could never see her.  She would run along the floor and blend right in... a little grey blur.  Now she's bigger (a lot bigger), but still when she lies on the charcoal grey carpet on our stairs, she's apt to get stepped on if not careful. And another reason we named her that was because she appeared outside around October 31st... and then disappeared inside into the slate... so we started calling her our 'little grey ghost'.

Ghost in her 'youth'....

Monday, July 23, 2012

7 cats on the bed...

7 cats on our bed  (we lost Thibs, orange tabby, this past Jan.  He was 19)

I came across this on Dr. Wells site today and thought I'd post it.  In general, my cats have never liked 'people' food.  But occasionally we have had one that liked crackers or potato chips. At the moment, we have Rose (white) and Ghost (gray) that have taken a liking to chicken and salmon.  I can't cook these without the two of them hanging around the kitchen wanting a bite. And come to think of it, Rose is also crazy about yogurt. DH eats yogurt. I can't because it's one of my 'migraine' foods.  But whenever he sits in the den to eat his yogurt, in pops Rose patiently waiting to lick the bowl.

Here's the article:

5 Foods to Feed Your Feline

Published: 7/23/2012

General Health Want to feed your cat human food? Understanding your pet's nutritional needs is the first step. Cats are classified as obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat to survive and thrive. If you want to cook for a cat, I urge you to talk to your vet or consult with a veterinary nutritionist about the individual needs of your feline companion animal and how those needs change with age. You'll also want to pay close attention to how much home-cooked food your cat should eat in order for him or her to maintain a healthy weight - a good rule of thumb is that human food should not make up more than 15 percent of a cat's diet. Follow these guidelines for foods that are safe to feed cats.

•Meat: Cats are carnivores, and cooked animal meat is safe for them. Cooked poultry is a good choice.

•Veggies: Cats don't get much nutrition from vegetables, but they aren't unhealthy for them, either. Choose washed, cooked vegetables to aid digestion, such as baked carrots, steamed broccoli, green beans and winter squash.

•Cheese: It's a good source of protein for cats, but be aware that some cats become lactose intolerant as they get older. Start with a small amount of cheese to see how your cat digests it - if he or she gets diarrhea, don't feed it any dairy.

•Fish: It can provide some much-needed nutrients for cats, and a bit of fish such as tuna here and there is fine. But don't give your cat too much - the high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in a diet heavy on tuna can deplete a cat's supply of vitamin E.

•Eggs: In nature, cats raid bird nests for the eggs, which is an indication that eggs are fine for your feline friends! Scrambled or hard boiled eggs are a good source of protein, but don't feed your cat raw eggs.

We think our cats eat well.  We give them both wet and dry food.  The Vets change from year to year about which is best. We feed both - to the inside and outside cats. They also get feline treats.  And god knows, they each have their own preferences. Spoiled? Maybe.  Loved, yes.   Ghost has to have her special diet of K/D because of her genetic kidney problems. Jack has to have his daily medication to prevent his body from destroying his red blood cells.  Tux needs time every afternoon on my lap as despite his size, he's very needy.  Julie is very vocal and persistent.  Rose is a bit of a wacko (sweet at times and a bit strange at times - possibly psychotic) And Molly is 19 (92) - and thus, can have anything she wants.

Tux, Jack, Ghost, Thibs, and Molly (they love this fisherman's afghan?)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Years of a cat's life...

 I found this chart a while back. Since we have 6 inside cats of various ages, I was interested in how a cats years correlate to our own. We have 2-19 yr olds (92), 3-8 yr olds(48), and 1-5yr old(36).  Apparently no youngsters in this house-hold... although they act like youngsters on occasion (chasing each other around the house, playing with balls and toys).  I did read somewhere once that most animals don't go past the intellectual age of a 3 year old child. This could account for the playfulness.  But I wonder  if some don't surpass this age.

Jack, our large male black and white, seems extremely intelligent. He watches everything very closely and pays attention.  Even when workmen are here, he follows them around and sits there watching what they're doing. If we're late getting home and haven't locked up the dry cat food, there are times when he will pull it out and feed the others. And he looks directly in your eyes and  'talks' to you... if you turn away, he'll take his paw and pull your face back.  Makes you wonder.  Here's the chart:

Cat Ages:

People years/cat years

1 = 15

2 = 24

3 = 28

4 = 32

5 = 36

6 = 40

7 = 44

8 = 48

9 = 52

10 = 56

11 = 60

12 = 64

13 = 68

14 = 72

15 = 76

16 = 80

17 = 84

18 = 88

19 = 92

20 = 96

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Favorite cat pics...

Tux watching a Garfield movie

I know I've shown this picture before, but its one of my favorites.  My cats do watch TV.  I'm sure yours do also.  They will watch whatever we're watching, but do have preferences.  If there's something with a bird flitting around or a ball flying around the screen, they will get interactive.  Otherwise, they simply sit and watch... occasionally falling asleep.  Can't blame them... with all the reruns and long commercials (sometimes there must be 5 or 6 before the show starts again). I tend to fall asleep a lot during commercials these days.  And this is an old picture... back before our big screen TV.

Whenever I don't have anything interesting to write about, I fall back on my cat pictures. Here's a few of my favorites.

Ghost and Julie playing on the kitchen floor

Of course this was when Ghost was a kitten.  Now she is 5... and huge.  But Julie and her are still buds. When we first brought Ghost "inside", we knew something was wrong.  She was about 4-5 weeks old and very slow to respond... didn't act like she was aware of things around her. When we took her to the Vet to be checked out, he said that she had some major genetic kidney problems... and doubted that she would live to be a year.

He put her on Rx KD and told us to make sure that she always had free access to water or she would die. She does drink an enormous amount of water and does have occasional flare-ups where we have to rush her to the Vets (and they always seem to think that she won't make it... but she does!)  So, she is a fighter.  Here is a more recent picture:

Ghost playing with her mouse

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the Reggie (bunny) and Rupert (rat) story...

This post belongs in my "Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate" blog... since it is about critters.  But it's also part of the ongoing story of our Aga... which was my "Older but better...?" site's previous post.  So, forgive me but I'm posting it on both sites.  Talking about the Aga got me to go back and read one of my old web sites called Agasite which began as a journal of the horrendous days of remodeling our kitchen. If anyone has undergone this elective devastation, you will understand.

Anyway, as I was reading I came across the story of Reggie and Rupert.  It's a true story that was put into a children's story form in a letter to my then 3 year old grand daughter.  (I send her stories about the critter activities in our backyard).  Anyway, it is a cute story about 2 real life animals that became friends and hung out in our yard.  Even the workers who were remodeling were fascinated by this friendship. So, if you're interested, here is the story of Reggie and Rupert.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grand daughter's alpaca...

A few years ago in the hill country my grand daughter went to a country fair where there were alpaca.  She (as well as her parents) fell in love.  Before the week was out, they visited the alpaca farm and took home 2 young ones which were later named Cruise and Rambler.  It was an interesting addition to their already growing managerie of animals; horses, dogs, cats, pet squirrel, tortoises, and now alpaca. I have to admit they havethe most beautiful eyes... with the longest eye lashes.

This bottom pic is of a box of Chocolate Rum Turtles with Sea Salt that  a friend just brought me from her Caribbean cruise.  Although they are not dark chocolate, they are quite good...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Godiva salted dark chocolate...

DH and I were shopping recently and for whatever reason, this store didn't have our Lindt's dark chocolate with sea salt.  We pick this up every Saturday and eat a small piece of it every night after supper.  Anyway, we had to make do with Godiva's salted dark chocolate. It was good... but also more expensive. We have tried several other brand names, but always seem to return to Lindt's.  Good chocolate, like good coffee, is important to us.

If you read my other blog, "Older but better...?", you know that I just had a birthday this week. And since I had to get my TDL renewed (and a new photo taken), it's official... I'm OLD (new photo has white hair).  I think the date could have sneaked by unobtrusively if it wasn't for that photo. Now every time I look at it... I think, "Wow, that's me?"  Funny how when we're on the inside of our skin, we don't notice the outside so much (at least I hadn't).  Always felt there were more important things to think about.  Guess I still do... but may have to consider (heaven forbid!) coloring my hair... I look so washed out...

Now, back to important stuff.  My original web site (years and years ago) was titled, "Coffee, Tea, and me..."    It disappeared into cyberspace one day.  Never could retrieve it.   I've lost other sites through the years, sometimes finding them again, sometimes not.  Decided that it wasn't important.  What was important was for me to keep writing.  So I have.

Occasionally I'll back off the writing, and do more reading, or back off the reading, and do more sketching... or pottery, or whatever.  It's not that I think any of my stories will ever amount to anything, nor any of my other endeavors, but there's magic in the process of creating.  Hard to explain.  But some of you may understand. There are times when words flow, or the hand sculpts... and it takes on a life of its own (and the world disappears, time passes without notice, the world is as it should be). Sound weird? Maybe.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

It's Sunday morning and I (for whatever reason) woke up very early.  So the cats and I watched "Pie in the Sky" for a few episodes before returning back to bed.  Then the urge to make Peanut Butter cookies struck me.  I think I recently got the recipe from one of the cooking blogs online. They looked very good, so I decided to give them a try.

My picture isn't great, but the cookies were good.  However, the recipe called for 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, and I think next time I'll use a whole cup.  I do like them peanut buttery.

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 lg egg (beaten)
1/2 - 1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla
Stir in egg, blend in peanut butter
Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt

Form round balls (walnut size)
Press down with fork tines
Bake 10  mins at 350
Let cool (cookies will firm as they cool)

And since I also love dark chocolate, I did stick some broken pieces of El REY 73.5 % APAMATE into a few of the cookies...  (I get these at Central Market)
um...mmm, good!!

Tomorrow I want to talk some more about chocolate... and coffee. Do any of you out there own a Keurig?