Cold Weather has returned to the Great American SouthEast. Not Shaggy and Scout cold, but cold for here. It's finally time to fire up the old fireplace. Maddie, being a hardy, long-haired, bred for the harshest winter Maine Coon Cat, feels little need for it.
Oh puh-leeze! All I need is a low bush to keep some of the snow off! I'm tough! I'm rugged! Oh, could you slide the ramp over by the papasan? I'm going to want to get up in it in just a mo, after you get me my kibble and give me brushies! What? What do you mean, "irony"? Clod.
Ivy, though, always loved her some warms.
A fire *and* a fuzzy bed? Oh yeah, this is the life...zzzzzz
Not a great picture of the wee tuxedo cat, but enough to give you an idea.
Now, I'm off to build a fire and relax in front of it. This is, in fact, the life.
...you'd best make it a good apology.
I made a desultory comment about the fact that all I'd *ever* see him do is sleep.
It seems that I must now make a heartfelt public apology. Seems he does more than sleep after all.
LION CUBS!!! And wow, were they cute.
I was somewhat hampered in my photographing by the masses of people "Awww"-ing but I got a few good shots. This is not one of them.
Dad was actually standing up and sniffing one of the cubs when we got to the enclosure, but he then proceeded to take a well-deserved nap.
Mom was quite active. She was on a rock outcropping, glaring at the crowd when we arrived. And it was a truly terrifying glare. If she coulda gotten to us, there would have been blood. She then decided to go get one of the enrichment toys from the lower level of the enclosure.
Time to start training the kids to be effective killing machines!
The kids were having none of it. Give 'em time, Ma.
This little guy just wanted to be with Mom.
I hope Mr Lion (named Reilly by the zoo staff) will accept my profound apology and my admiration for what is obviously superior parenting.
Go hang. It'll be a cold, cold day in the Sahara when I care about what you think, primate. My ancestors used to hunt yours, y'know.
This creature is a badass.
How does our resident badass feel about this lion family?
Humph. Not so tough, if you ask me. This window is locked, right? The door? Cool. Just checking.
We topped this week off with an absolutely magical dinner.
This is Potato and Chick Pea stew, flavored with saffron, paprika and sherry. There's plenty of garlic, too. We used a bag of small, multi-colored potatoes. Thicken it with Picada and top it with Romesco sauce and be delighted! It's from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian cooking for Everyone. Page 252. Wow, is it good. Leftovers for Monday night dinner, too! WooHoo!!
"He drew a deep breath. 'Well, I'm back,' he said."
It's been a long 5 weeks or so. I'd like to give thanks to those folks who stopped by to give comfort. It's amazing that people I've never met face to face can be such a boon. I am not eloquent at the best of times, so let me simply say that I am grateful for your presence and that your kindness has touched my heart.
Now, for the real reason you all come here.
It is, at long last, the most wonderful time of the year!
That's right, the return of the Autumnal SunPuddle! There are still leaves on the surrounding trees, so it's not in its full glory yet, but it does suffice for the Furry Center of the Universe. She's been anticipating the return for a few weeks now.
C'mon! Just a few more inches!
The ol' solar orb finally came through for her.
Oh yeah. This is the life. What's not to love?
I've been learning from Maddie, and taking joy in the little things in life, such as a nap in the sun puddle with the cat. It is indeed wonderful.
Of course it's wonderful. You're with me. Now shut up and sleep, if you want to do this right.
Coming up next week, I make my apologies to a lion.
And +5 points to whoever identifies the source of the quote at the head of the post. Shouldn't be too hard, if you've geek cred like mine!
My Mother passed away in the wee hours of last Saturday morning.
MomRanger was loved. By many.
I am not a good memorial writer.
I do hope that somewhere Mom is handing out MomRanger headpats to a certain wee tuxedo cat, who's been showing 'round the new neighborhood.
Blogging will be suspended for a bit. I intend to continue documenting Maddie's general wonderfulness, but I think I'll take a break until November. I'll see you then.
It's been a moderately terrifying and full-on crazy week. If you want to know why, keep reading past the cat pics.
I did promise birthday pictures of Maddie, who turned 14 last Monday. We got her some deli-turkey and Laughing Cow (tm) Brand Spreadable cheese. Both were big hits. We also bought her some fresh Catnip and a couple of new toys! Here she is getting acquainted.
Why, hello, toy!
Please pardon the terrrible-ness of the pic. Turn on the flash and my glorified point-and-shoot camera drops what little awesome it has.
Maddie enjoyed the new, unscuffed toy. She killed it for quite a while, playing under the ceiling fan.
Lots of floof on the birthday girl.
One nice thing about the camera: it does sometimes capture what I call the "crazy face":
We're delighted she likes her present.
It'll do. You may stay.
This was just about the last non-crazy, non-scarey part of the week. Tuesday I get a call at work from LadyRanger. Turns out MomRanger has had a heart attack. A wee, tiny one it seems. BroRanger2 (being studly) takes her to the Emergency Room (almost typed emergency vet there). We spend Wednesday going from "a wee, tiny heart attack, we'll check you out and probably send you home with meds" to the doc saying "triple bypass" to the surgeon saying "I'd like to do four". !! Mom and Dad agree to go ahead and get it done! Now! LadyRanger, BroRanger1 and I (after zipping into school to leave lesson plans) spend the day in the cardiac surgery waiting room, getting updates and calling Dad (who's mostly house-bound)(mostly). The surgeon finally comes in and says he did five (5!!) bypasses and that Mom is fine, there's no damage to the heart from the attack and that the prognosis is pretty darn good.
We visited her about an hour and a half after the surgery. She was responsive and gave me a wink. Bro1 and I visited again about 4 hours after that. She was off her breathing tube and looked like warm mud. She's been back to her normal self the couple of times I've visited after. She's out of ICU and in the cardiac rehab wing. I took DadRanger down to visit. It's odd seeing my parents do things that would be considered "cute". Lunch was served and Mom cut her chicken-salad sandwich in half and they shared it. Greater love hath no man that to help his wife eat hospital food.
Mom's prognosis continues (last I heard) to be good. It'll be a long rising road back to normal, but I'm optimistic.
Maddie's been given something to think about.
They take humans to the emergency vet, too?!? How Awful! Get Better Soon MomRanger!
Monday is Maddie's fourteenth birthday!
'Appy Boifday to ME!!
We've had her for thirteen of those years. Good, good years.
Maddie is the Grandkitty of Grand Champions!
Maddie has had active times
and lazy times
and even some unhappy times
Crumbs! I don't remember having even remotely enough fun to get put into JAIL!
She even had to put up with, and eventually miss, her much older little sister, Ivy.
Mad Ninja Skillz! I has them! <sigh> I *know* she's there. I'm just being nice...
There really were times Maddie was nice to Ivy.
Maddie has always been good to us, if not to the vet. And she has always given me a reason to get out the camera and exercise my meagre photographic talents.
Good God. That thing again?!?
Sometimes I get lucky, but really, with such a model it's a crime if I don't get a decent shot.
Maddie approaches her fourteenth birthday feeling better than she was last week. The NSAIDs the doc gave her seem to have done her a solid. She is still a bit wobbly at times, but she is doing much better and is handling the ups and downs of life, literally getting up on and down from the furniture, without too much trouble. We've set up her old inclined scratching pads as ramps to the couch and papasan and she's learning to appreciate them and use them. We've got to refill the last of them for use by the bed, but we're smart enough to handle that. Thanks to those who've invoked higher powers on her behalf and to those who've taken time from their daily life to think of her.
There should be some deli turkey (sorry Tabbies! Maddie favorite indulgence is BIRD!) and perhaps some Laughing Cow Brand Spreadable Cheese for tomorrow's celebration. There might even be a toy in it for her. There should also be some new photos for you all next week, if I prove a worthy companion to such a wonderful cat!
Hi all. It's been a difficult week for the resident feline. Maddie jumped out of the papasan chaier the other day and bottomed out upon landing, like Ivy used to do. We think she injured her leg, because she was quite wobbly after. Maddie was tumbling and toppling a bit when she did the kitty-turning-in-a-tight-circle thing or taking corners at any pace faster than a slow walk.
Why are you telling people this?
Because they care about you, Miss. Anyways, the next day we zipped her off to the vet.
This is my *private* business, y'know....
Yes Maddie. But inquiring minds want to know. She was seen by one of our favorite doctors. He examined both back legs and found nothing obviously amiss, which was a relief. He prescribed a new NSAID to reduce any inflammation that might be the result of a)her luxating patella or b)arthritis. The idea is that the infammation subsides and natural healing occurs. Maddie also got her rabies booster. This was, of course, accompanied by violent and vigorous protests from the cat in question. Yowling, hissing *and* spitting. We're pretty sure that folks in the waiting room (down the hall and though a closed door) were..disconcerted by the commotion. And (!) the ruckus was caused by a cat who was on a tranquilizer. We give it to her an hour before we go and she is still a furry boxing glove packed with razors. In any event, there was no blood shed.
Oh, go hang. I'd have done for him if it hadn't been for that terrible woman with the towel.
Maddie has been resting and recovering. She seems to be more stable and has no fear of climbing up on the furniture and jumping down again. She does sometimes use the boxes we've put out for her as steps. We'll have to get a way cool set of professional steps like our friend Shaggy has.
Maybe there'll be some steps for her birthday (on the 22nd)(shhhhhh!).
Are you done sharing my business? I tell you, the next time you do something that's not boring, I'll blab it about the internet too! Now come give me pats to make amends.
Pardon. I've been summoned. Have a good week.
Okay...it's blurry action, but it's action!
Regular readers of this blog (Hi Mom!) know that Maddie is a senior cat now. She will be 14 later this month, in fact. She has over the past several years gotten a bit more sedentary. Her jumps are a bit less spectacular than they were in kittenhood. She does still love a good play with one of her toys, though. The blue nip-a-rang is still a fave (Thanks Mom!) as is the yellow catnip snake.
This morning saw Maddie being more demanding than usual. I don't know what it was, but she was quite vocal about having her needs met. There were treats, food, water, rejection of proffered water, brief brushes and pats, and water from the sink and then a bit of quiet time ont he living room floor. There were more strident demands for *more* morning brushies. After morning brushies (accompanied by the appropriate amount of blood extracted from the brusher) she stalked over to the catnip snake and vented her wrath upon it.
One of these days I'll get a shinier camera and you can see the violence in HD perfection...'til then you have to put up with blurry action!
She does love that toy.
I'm hoping that, having taken her yayas out on the toy, it'll be safe for flesh and blood (specifically *my* flesh and blood) to give her pats her later on. I'll let you know....film at eleven.
One non-cat photo...the Rose of Sharon (I think) by our front door gave me a little something to appreciate the other day.
I like this pic. I also like the companion pic: Still Life with Flower and Tow Truck
Life in our little Home on the Highway. Gotta love it.
Hello again! I't been a rough but productive month. I'm sorry for having deprived you of your Maddie-fix. I'll try to make amends.
Maddie continues to be a well traveled cat. She took a summer trip up to the ranger-in-law's Winter Palace! LadyRanger's parents hit a spell of pretty serious ill-health and needed a bit of a hand. After the in-laws were rescheduled and re-rescheduled (and re-re-re, etc) we packed the cat and zipped up to see if we could be any help. All along the medical journey we received the best possible news in every circumstance. Thanks to the Doctors!
After a week spent along the banks of the Ohio, Maddie and I headed home, leaving LadyR to further assist her folks. I'd have been happy to stay, but it was the week we teachers use for setting up rooms, prepping for the new school year and meeting parents. Oh, and of course, everyone's favorite activity: meetings. Oh, the joy.
Two Fridays ago, after school responsibilities were fulfilled, off I drove to fetch the Mrs. Left Maddie at home. Alone! Overnight! I really think that this has been the first time in the 13 years we've had her, that Maddie has spent a night alone in the house. I'm sure it was more traumatic for me than for her. In any event, after an overnight stay at the in-laws and a satisfactory report on their convalescence, I hastily packed LadyR and her things and (obeying all posted speed limits)(plus or minus a little) trundled off to home.
Following that I've had my first week with my students. *Always* a full and exhausting week. I'm actually rather optimistic about this particular group.
But it's been a rough, busy month here. I hope you can understand the absence of blogging.
Maddie was a trooper. She coped well with everything once she realized that we were not going to the vet. Now that everyone is home safe we've plied her with treats and turkey. We've also made sure to provide her with one of her favorite obsessions:
PLASTIC BAGS! And yes, if you look closely in this pic and the next you can see a wee pink kitty-tongue darting out to lick the bag.
LadyR and I had gone out to replace a couple of old t-shirts and dropped the bags of new ones on the bed. Instant Cat-Magnet. I have no idea why she loves them so much. After 30 minutes of licking them she settled in and napped on them for hours.
Well, I think you're weird for not liking them so much!! So there!!
Maddie does seem to be soothed and back to her usual lovely self after a difficult August.
We'll (okay...*I'll*) try to keep up with things better! Promise.