patinagle16: (Default)
MishkaIt's been two and a quarter years since I posted this about Mishka, our elder cat, when he started having seizures. Three days ago he stopped eating, and yesterday we finally had him put to rest.

He was an amazingly tough and tenacious cat. He came to live with us after stealing my sweetie's heart by nudging his head against his hand through the bars of the cage at the pound. He did indeed prove me wrong and got in not just one but two more winters.

There are lots of good things to remember.  We had a futon chair where he liked to perch - on the back, like he's doing on this deck chair.  If you sat there he'd give you a complimentary scalp grooming.

When we adopted a five-week-old Nambé, Mishka hissed at him at first, then after about a day something clicked in his head and he became Nambé's foster-father, grooming him and showing him the ropes.  They were good buddies (though Mishka was alpha to the end, stealing Nambé's food whenever he could).  When they were both younger they would play together, but it's been a few years since either had the energy.

Caring for an elderly cat is demanding.  We're already noticing the freedom of not having to be careful about making sharp sounds, not having to watch him constantly, not having to clean up messes.  Regardless, we'll miss him.  He was a loyal friend and companion for over two decades.

I spent yesterday saying goodbye, holding him a lot.  He was too weak to do much of anything but lie still and purr.  I found myself wondering if Nambé would be there to greet him, as it's believed humans do.  I like to think they're romping together again, in a meadow full of butterflies. Regardless, he's free of pain and trouble now.

Farewell, Mishka.  You were a grand old cat.

by the fire

Nambé

Apr. 15th, 2011 12:54 pm
patinagle16: (Default)
NambLife is full of surprises.  While Mishka is going strong (one seizure earlier this month, otherwise well), our younger cat, Nambé, has been going downhill and this week took a  turn for the worse.  It's been a very bad week.  Today I made the difficult decision to put him down.

He was my dear friend and companion for nineteen years.  Sweetest, smartest cat you ever saw.  My spouse called him the scientist, because he always seemed curious about how things worked.

He was my special muse.  I'm heartbroken.

 

patinagle16: (Default)
Whew!  This spring has been super busy for me.

Today my first original novel ebook came out from Book View Cafe!  First as in the first to come out first as an ebook.  There will probably be a print edition later this year.

coverThe novel is IMMORTAL, an urban fantasy.  Here's the cover, and here's a description:

What do you do if the most gorgeous guy you've ever seen asks for your help?

 

No brainer. Len Whiting is smitten from the minute she sees the stranger's amazing eyes. She agrees to help Caeran find the healer he's been seeking in rural New Mexico. What Len doesn't know is that neither Caeran nor the healer is human: they're immortal ælven, and they're locked in an ancient struggle with the vampires who are their kin. Len wants Caeran’s love, and wants to help the healer find a cure—but first they must cope with the bloodthirsty vampire who's got his sights set on them all.


patinagle16: (aurora)
Thought I should post good news - Mishka has not had a seizure since December 11 - almost two months!  He is still frail, but seems to be more stable, though we still have to be careful about making sharp noises.  Looks like he'll make it to his 21st (+) birthday!
patinagle16: (aurora)
Sat out and watched the Geminids for a bit last night.  It was nice to stare at the sky after a stressful day.

Last night was the peak of the shower but there will still be meteors visible for the next few nights.  In fact, it should be interesting to watch the sky during the lunar eclipse in a week.  Looking forward to that.

I think I have figured out one thing that was bothering Mishka.  He would get sick now and then, and I pinned it down to after he'd eaten one particular flavor of cat food.  I eliminated that flavor from the menu rotation and he hasn't been sick since!  (Knock wood.)
patinagle16: (aurora)
Mishka had a small seizure this morning.  Not too bad.  It's been about two weeks since the last one so not unexpected.

Yesterday a Willamson's Sapsucker visited our bird bath.  I'd never seen one before.  Very, very cool!  At first I thought this was a flicker, but the belly was yellow and the black bib went all the way down the chest, so not.  We get flickers a lot, but with orange bellies, not the yellow. 

It's a La Niña year, which is bad news for us.  It means a dry winter, which means a bad fire season next year.  We've had one snowfall in early November, and that's it.  Kind of hard to get into the holiday spirit because of that, but yesterday I went out and made my Yule wreath.  This involves lopping some lower limbs off of trees that can use it, cutting up the greens, and putting them into the wreath frame.  Add a bow and hang it up.

Good Day!

Nov. 22nd, 2010 10:31 am
patinagle16: (Default)
Happy to report that Mishka had a good day yesterday.  Thought I should mention it for a change.  No tummy troubles, just a nice day hanging out on the couch with family.

He is bugging me to build a fire.  No sunshine to lie in, since it's a drizzly cold morning.  Think I'll oblige him.
patinagle16: (Default)
Spent a lot of today vegging out, which was good.  Lately things have been too busy and a bit stressful.  Spouse and I went out and got flu shots, stopped at the grocery store, and otherwise hung out at home.

Mishka had a seizure this evening.  Poor old guy.  It's been kind of a bad week for him. 

Tomorrow I must make dessert for game friends.  I have some frozen berries I need to use up.  Thinking I might take a rhubarb crumble recipe and make berry crumble instead.
patinagle16: (Default)
Am I sounding like a broken record?  If so sorry - I'm just trying to track Mishka's health and this is the place I chose to do it.  Small seizure yesterday (11/11), set off by my clicking a spoon on a dish of yogurt I was fixing for him.  Poor guy.

Yogurt seems to help with his digestion a lot, so I'm giving it to him every day.  He loves it, fortunately.  Unlike pumpkin - which he won't eat!  It might be the only people food he won't eat.  I've tried every which way to get him interested in it, but no go.

I need to bake up some pumpkin and freeze it.  Love the stuff!  I still have the big pumpkin from my garden and a couple that my friend Pat brought me, plus there's one coming in next week.

Off to get a slice of pumpkin bread and more tea.  There's the power of suggestion for you.
patinagle16: (Default)
Well, it's been a crazy month.  Normally I enjoy autumn, but this October has been a series of crises.  I won't clutter this blog with detail.  The latest - and the smallest, really - is that my desktop got zapped yesterday and is in the shop.  This just as I was starting to catch up on two weeks of backlog.  

The first hard freeze hit us a few nights ago.  All the aspens on the mountainsides dropped their leaves overnight.  I just went outside to clean up a bit and found a tomato plant that has survived all the frosts.  Don't know how much longer it'll last, but I applaud its tenacity. 

Mishka had a seizure yesterday.  Not too bad.  And a much longer time in between than usual, so that's good.  He likes treats of yogurt (plain), almond oil, and this anti-hairball salmon goo from the grocery store.  He also loves that we're lighting fires in the wood stove most nights now.

I have baby pansies to plant.  Life goes on.
patinagle16: (Default)
A seizure this morning.  Mercifully short in duration.  Poor old guy has trouble pacing in circles (an after-seizure symptom) now.  He kind of stumbles around in a circle. 

He's been off his feed lately - doesn't eat much breakfast.  I think the cooler weather is getting to him.  He's ready to have a fire in the fireplace all the time, now.
patinagle16: (Default)
Mishka had a seizure today, triggered by the sound of the piezoelectric igniter for the stove.  Poor old guy.

Have dug out a box of matches and put it by the stove.
patinagle16: (Default)
I didn't post the day it happened, for various reasons, but here for the record:  Mishka had a seizure on Tuesday (8/10).  He bounced back as usual and is his good old crochety self.

The Perseids meteor shower peaked this week.  I adore lying out staring at the sky, and since I got glasses this summer I can see things much better. 

I invited friends over to watch the meteors with me, but only one of them came up (hi, Peg!).  The others were scared off by thundershowers or found themselves too tired to drive around the mountains.  I understand.  However, in future I'm going to plan star-gazing parties a little differently.

We went out at about 10:30 and saw a handful of really great meteors, plus a sideshow of lightning going on to the west, then it clouded over. Went inside and watched a movie for a couple of hours, during which it rained.  When we came out again around one, the sky was clear and the meteors were again wonderful.  We pooped out after an hour or so, just when the show was really getting good.  Hence, different plans for next time:  in future, the agenda will include a nap.  (Man, it sucks getting old!)

Visited family on Saturday.  They are well (their good old crochety selves).  Watched Casino Royale with mi esposo.  Good for a Bond movie.  I'm not really an aficionado, but it was fun. 

Today, gaming with friends.  All in all a good week.

patinagle16: (Default)
Seizure this morning.  Tough way to start the week.

Junior cat was in the room, and was kind of freaked.  I don't think he's seen this before.  He pawed at Mishka a couple of times until I made him stop.  Mishka was completely out of it at the time.  Nambe watched from a safe distance while Mishka went through the aftermath - walking in circles, crying. 

Nambe is our scientifically-inclined cat.  He wants to figure out what makes things work.  I think he got a load of data this morning.  We'll see what he does with it.

Mishka is resting now.  He was able to eat breakfast fairly soon after he recovered.

Monday.  La.
patinagle16: (Default)
Mishka had another seizure on Wednesday.  (Pardon all the seizure reports - I am using this Comonplace Book to keep track of when they occur.)  This one scared us because he had been lying on his grooming stand, which is about 3.5 feet high, and he fell off it when he started seizing.  Luckily, no broken bones.  That cat has the hardest head in the world (I know because he's whacked me with it.)

No more napping on the grooming stand.  Sorry dude.

In other news, we had a swamp cooler installed this week.  It has made a huge difference in our comfort especially at night.  Our bedroom is at the southern end of the house, and at about 3:00 a.m. the day's heat works its way through the walls and we wake up hot.  Not happening with the thermostat-controlled swamp cooler.  Yay!  Sleeping better!

For those of you wondering what the heck a swamp cooler is, it's an evaporative air conditioning system.  (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler).  They're ubiquitous here in the southwest, where they function well in the arid climate.  Not so useful in humid areas.



patinagle16: (Default)
Well, my Mishka pics turned out kinda washed out, but here are a couple anyway.  I think he looks rather diabolical in the second one.


 
patinagle16: (Default)
Another seizure yesterday.  It had been over a month since the last one, unless he had one while we were away from the house.  Slightly different behavior this time.  He was on the couch, which was good because it made it less likely that he would hurt himself.  Not so good because he wasn't able to pace in circles afterward.  Instead he seemed to be watching something go around him in circles - his head went back and forth like someone watching a tennis match.  

During the seizure I tried something that my spouse did the previous time, which was to hum a low, steady pitch.  Both times this seemed to help Mishka calm down and come out of the seizure faster.  I offer up this information in the hope it may be useful to someone.

I have some new pics of Mishka, which I will post anon. 
patinagle16: (Default)
Poor guy had another seizure this morning.  Short and weird - he didn't walk in tight little clockwise circles this time.  Instead he walked around things - the dining table, the kitchen island - counter clockwise.

These seizures seem to be coming about every two weeks. 

patinagle16: (Default)
Mishka had a seizure at 2:30 a.m. this morning.  As we were all sound asleep, this one can't have been brought on by a sharp sound, unless he dreamed one.

He's been off his feed a bit the last couple of days.  It's hard when we know he's not feeling well and can't do much to help.  He's been wanting lots of lap time, and we're giving it to him.  Right now he's snoozing in the sun. 

Me, I have a cold.  Going back to bed.  Sorry world, I'll get to you in a bit.
patinagle16: (Default)
We adopted Mishka from the pound, so there's no way of knowing exactly how old he is or when he was born.  He was a year old (at least) when we got him, and it was March, so that's when we celebrate his birthday. 

Here he is snoozing in my writing chair.  If it seems like I post a lot of pictures of him in this chair, well--he spends a lot of time there.  The sun shines on it in the morning, making it a perfect cat-snoozing spot. 

Here he is back in 2002, at our then-residence, checking out one of the turtles that lived in the back yard. 

Unlike his sidekick, Mishka doesn't really miss being an outdoor kitty.  As long as there's a patch of sunshine to lie in or a fire in the wood stove, he's content.

He had another seizure last night.  Short, but intense.  He spent the rest of the evening lying in a fuzzy donut by the stove--was not steady enough to get up on the bench.  He did get up and devour his supper, though.  

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