Category Archives: pets

Frankie the cat

It’s hard to blog during stay at home orders especially when your blog is about travels. BUT, I did think of something that I have not yet blogged about.  Our darling boy, Frankie.

Frankie started life with us when we rescued him from the humane society.  We really mourned our previous best. cat. ever Eddie but after nearly 8 months without a cat in the house Miss M announced “this house needs a cat.” Turns out she was right!

Frankie was nearly 3.5 years old when we adopted him in October 2018. We learned that he was returned to the humane society twice. And we really weren’t prepared for what came next. We think Frankie suffered immensely from being returned twice so who could blame him for being highly stressed being moved several times in a month’s time. After a month at the Coon Rapids humane society he was moved their Golden Valley location where we were lucky enough to find him. We normally adopt from the St. Paul shelter but having gone there twice and not finding a good match I searched their website and learned the Golden Valley location is much larger and they had tons of kittens and cats ready to be adopted.

We had no idea how to transition an older cat as we had always gotten kittens with the exception of Eddie who was about 8 months old. Long story short we learned about confining. I didn’t know that was a thing! My vet friend from high school and the humane society’s help line advised me what we needed to do.  I won’t go into all the details but suffice it to say I was ready to take him back! He kept going outside the cat box(es) and it was because he was so stressed and we needed to calm him down. Oh, and he had crystals in his urine, might have been the reason the previous owners returned him. Cats typically go outside the box when something is wrong, another thing I did not know. So we started him on special food and a drug to calm him down.

He was confined to our basement bathroom because it was the only room with a functioning door that wasn’t occupied. He eventually graduated to the band room next door to the bathroom. And after about a month in total he graduated to the whole house. It took him a while to get acclimated to his new home but by about a year we could tell he was feeling pretty comfortable in our house.

Naturally this post will contain photos!! The first set here are from his confinement.

We kept him on the drug for a couple more months I think then weaned him off and he’s been fine ever since. He is such a sweet, sweet affectionate boy. I think it was his second day here (before we had to confine him) when he climbed on my stomach and chest and just snuggled and purred. He does this fairly often and it’s just so cute!

The next set of photos are right after he came out of confinement.

And then he went outside. He loves to go outdoors but sometimes he misses curfew causing his mother to fall asleep on the couch waking every couple of hours looking for Frankie. The latest I let him in so far has been 4:00 a.m. Yikes!

Lastly, here are some photos from our own confinement. How fitting.

Naturally Frankie is unique. Every cat has his/her own personality and quirks, kinda like we humans eh? After he came out of jail we decided we’d move his food and water dishes upstairs where we used to feed our other cats. He had such an issue with that!! He would lay on the floor of our upstairs bathroom we think signaling that he wanted his dishes moved back into his studio apartment, the basement bathroom.  Sure enough, once we moved the dishes back he stopped laying on the other bathroom floor. After 1.5 years of being here he still eats in the basement bathroom. And he still takes his breaks with pops in that bathroom. When he was confined hubby would visit him on his breaks from work, one about 9:30 a.m and another around 3:00 p.m. Frankie still looks for hubby to get their special spooning break time. It’s so cute!  Even though it was a tough beginning for all of us, we’re so glad to have Frankie in our lives. He is so much fun and brings so much joy.  And he’s very cuddly though he doesn’t like to be held too long. Here’s one last photo of our special boy.

Back to confinement then. Hope you’re all keeping busy  and staying healthy during this interesting time.  Ta ta!!

 

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RIP Eddie – Best. Cat. Ever.

Eddie started life as we knew it in 2004 as M&M. The humane society gives names to all the cats and dogs available for adoption and so M&M was on the label of Eddie’s cage. I thought this was a strange name for a cat so he became Eddie to us after we brought him home. He was about 6-7 months old towards the end of 2004 and he was Miss M’s birthday present that year.

Eddie was such a docile and friendly sort. So much so, several neighbors really took a liking to him. He’d go to several houses in the neighborhood to visit all of his friends. One very amusing story happened just this past Christmas. It was another one of those bitter cold days that we get here in the frozen tundra of Minnesota but if the sun was shining, Eddie had to go outside. We thought that since it was so cold he’d be back soon. Hours went by and about 3:00 the doorbell rang. It was one of Eddie’s many friends in the neighborhood coming to deliver him back to us. She told us that he has a favorite spot in their house when the sun is shining. He had done this before where he’d disappear for hours and hours so now we felt better that he wasn’t stuck outside in the cold somewhere. He was being well taken care of down the street so we found out on Christmas day!

Eddie started losing weight just over two years ago. We had bloodwork done and our vet at the time suggested an ultrasound. The ultrasound was inconclusive but the bloodwork showed that his liver numbers were way out of whack. A biopsy of the liver was suggested but since Ed was already 12 at the time, I did not want to put him through any invasive tests. We gave him several different medications over the last two plus years but he continued to lose weight. We aren’t sure exactly what happened at the end. Either the liver issues finally got him or his heart gave out.

Throughout the last two plus years of tests and drugs Eddie kept his pleasant demeanor intact. He didn’t argue about the pills I had to shove down his throat carefully placed at the back of his throat so that he wouldn’t spit them out. He did argue about being brought to the vet but what cat doesn’t do that? He never acted sickly, he was just the same old Eddie he’d always been. He was just very thin.

We’ve always had two cats. When one would die, we’d go get another so there would always be two. But we are hoping to retire to southern Spain in several years. The original plan was to take Fritz with us. We got Fritz as a kitten in 2010 shortly after our cat Clyde passed away. But poor little 6 year old Fritz met a horrible end to his life in 2016. We figured that Eddie probably wouldn’t be around in several years but we didn’t figure on Fritz dying so young :(

So, here we are catless for the first time since 1989 and it’s very odd. Miss M thinks we should get another cat, that the house needs a cat. She thinks that since we were planning on taking Fritz on our journey to Spain that we could take another cat. But honestly, the trip is going to be hard enough. I’m not sure I want to make it harder by taking a cat along. Someone in a diary of another blog that I follow suggested fostering. That does seem like a good option and I’m going to look into that, just not right now. Perhaps this summer or in the fall after Miss M starts college. I might need to nurse my empty nest syndrome by then. And a new cat, or cats, in the house might be just the thing.

Eddie made history by becoming our first pet to make it past 12 years of age. We didn’t know the exact date of his birth so we had picked March 1 to celebrate his birthday. And since he was just two weeks shy of being 14 on March 1 I decided that he was in fact 14 when he died last month.

Rest in peace old boy. You were the best cat ever. Thank you for nearly 14 years of fun.

Eddie boy, Fred Fred, Edward Bear, Edward, Ed E. Boy — some of the nicknames we gave him over the years.

I hope you will enjoy this gallery of my handsome cat Eddie.

 

 

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Rest in peace my darling Fritz

I am grieving today and for me, the best way to deal with it is to get support.  Already so many friends and family have commented on my facebook posts.  What I’d like to do here is to post a gallery of photos of my darling cat who passed away overnight last night.

We adopted Fritz about a week or so after our last cat Clyde passed away from cancer in early 2010.  Fritz was a rambunctious little boy, always playful, cuddly and lovable.  He was a great hunter and would spend entire nights outside from spring through fall.  He almost always came back.  Once he was gone for 48 hours worrying all of us!!  But he returned and looked a bit disheveled and we believe he got in a tussle with a fox that had been seen roaming the neighborhood.  In fact, my neighbor saw the fox chase poor little Fritz up a tree! But Fritz got away from the fox! I always assumed that Fritz would meet his end out there in the “hunting grounds”.  Indeed, just this year he was treated for not one, but two abscesses!  Instead he met his end in a bizarre fashion, something I will never forget.

I woke up around 3:00 a.m. because of the rain and immediately went to get Fritz inside.  But hubby had already let him in and I found him under the dining room table.  He wasn’t able to move his back legs at all and was yelling out in pain!  Horrified I found the number to the University of Minnesota’s 24/7 vet clinic and we went right then, about 3:30 this morning. The vet on duty couldn’t have been more compassionate and helpful but she had no good news for us.  She asked if he had a heart murmur and we had been told that in the past but it wasn’t always heard and no other vet seemed alarmed by it.  She told us that he very likely had a condition called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and this likely caused a blood clot to lodge at the base of his spine paralyzing his back end. She told us the prognosis was not good and told us our options, none of them good ones.  While we were there Fritz continued to go downhill so we did the humane thing and put him down.  The jury’s still out on whether it’s easier when pets go quickly or when you try to treat them and they die within a year.  It’s all hard no matter how you slice it.

I’m thankful for many things today.  The wonderful and compassionate vet that helped us through a difficult night.  That the U of MN has a 24 hour clinic.  That this didn’t happen to him while he was out on a hunting mission which means we may not have found him.  That it didn’t happen while we were in Spain earlier this year or at the cabin this summer.  Most of all I am thankful for the 6 plus years we had with our darling Fritz.  Rest in peace my dear boy.  You are out of pain now.

 

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The boys – Fritz and Eddie

I’ve been meaning to create a post with photos of my darling boys.  At long last, here it is.  I hope you all enjoy it. I had fun putting it together. Click anywhere in the gallery to see larger photos.

Just a few words about my boys and cats in general….

Once upon a time, in a land, far, far away I met a boy who loved cats.  “What am I going to do?” I thought at the time. Give up on the boy, or go with the flow and hope I adjust to cats?  Because he certainly wasn’t going to budge, I could see that from the get-go. I was raised with dogs but cats had always liked me so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. When we moved in together, naturally he wanted to get cats.  And I wanted a puppy…….so, we got both!  Goldi was our golden retriever, Gold Dust of the Sierras was her registered name.  She was wonder dog and a great friend.  Bert and Ernie, the kittens we adopted from the humane society, got their names quite by accident.  As we were rescuing them from the shelter we were asked what their names would be.  Well, we didn’t have much time to think about it so hubby just said “call them Bert and Ernie” and it stuck.  So, yes, we had three young pets at the same time.  It was fun!!  But I wonder if I’d do that again.

Since pets don’t last forever, over the years we had a couple more cats.  Clyde was a great friend too, very skittish and would never let Miss M touch him, but he was a sweetie and I loved him dearly.  We got Clyde after Bert died.  Eddie arrived after Ernie went on to cat heaven to join his pal Bert.  And Fritz came on the scene after Clyde passed on.  We did not get another dog and as you can see I have turned into a cat person.  They are such great companions and friends and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

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Christmas cat

I had so much fun photographing Fritz while we opened presents. I think Fritz enjoyed it more than we did ;)

First he got into a box smaller than him:

Then he got out of the box:

Then he decided to play with the box:

and here he is just looking adorable:

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!!

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