Category Archives: pets

Solar Panels + Ice + Puppy = Fabulousness

The sheets of ice that had covered our solar panels started to melt this afternoon. They slid off the roof in a loud rumbling whooosh. While I was concerned about getting decapitated by an ice guillotine, I survived and we had the added benefit of chew-safe playtime for the new “puppy.” Willie is now eight months old and is bigger than our full-grown dogs.

I thought this was hilarious:

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Filed under Nashville, pets, weather

Farewell, Mighty Quinn

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This morning our Maine Coon, Quinn, let us know it was time for him to cross the rainbow bridge. He was around nine years old — not very old by our household’s standards; most of our pets live well into their teens. But Quinnie (as we called him) did not have it easy during his time on earth. He was sickly from day one; when we got him from the Nashville Humane Society he promptly infected everyone in the house with some kind of pneumonitic funk. And from there on he battled skin allergies and immune system disorders.

Friends of the blog may remember Quinnie from his allergy days, when I bought him onesies at Target in an effort to keep his raw belly from getting infected.

I spent a fortune on specialists and allergy therapies; he got pollen shots for years, he took steroids and other drugs until we finally found a protocol that worked. More recently it was lymphoma, which required chemo. The lymphoma went into remission and we had Quinnie for about 15 months after his diagnosis, which is far longer than the vet told us to expect. A couple weeks ago we found a mass in his liver, though. He declined quickly after that.

Through it all he was a real trooper, with a big heart and a great attitude. He was an awesome cat.

One of the most unique things about Quinnie was his love of blue foam balls. Not yellow foam balls, not pink foam balls, but BLUE. They had to be blue. He would pick the blue ones out from the rest until we finally figured out we could just buy him blue ones.

You always knew Quinnie was feeling good because he’d walk around the house with a blue ball in his mouth, caterwauling at the top of his lungs. Sometimes he’d make Quinnie art with them. He’d place them on our bed in very precise, organized patterns. Of course he was limited by the number of balls he had access to but once I gave him a whole bunch and he made a perfectly-centered diamond shape on our bed with one blue ball right in the middle. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. It was his masterpiece.

Below, some memories of Quinn. He’s got quite a crew waiting for him on the Rainbow Bridge: Frasier and Sylive and Feister and Puddin’ and Toots, plus the dogs Cleo and Zelda and Boomer. I hope they’re all having a big party up there for him.

What follows are some memories of Quinn:

Christmas Quinnie! A baby picture ...

Christmas Quinnie! A baby picture …

Animals-Quinn2

Quinnie in a new onesie.

Quinnie in a new onesie.

Quinnie's art.

Quinnie’s art.

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Filed under cat blogging, pets

Tell Them Willie Boy Sent Ya

It’s been a crazy week with the new puppy, work, preparing for family to visit, etc. Willie has settled right in and is already twice the dog that Chaka and Riley are — as in, knows to sit, stay, go to bed, and DON’T TRIP MAMA WALKING ON THE LEASH. He doesn’t pull, he’s not aggressive, and will grow out of his chewing phase. Now if I can only get him past his feline curiosity he’ll be the perfect dog.

I’m really amazed at what a quick learner he is. It’s taken me years to train Riley to do stuff that Willie is doing after a week, and even then Riley is only somewhat obedient on account of that stubborn pit bull thing. I don’t mean to razz on Riley, he’s a great dog, but he’s quite the pain in the butt compared to a more trainable pup like Willie. And Chaka has been a nutball from day one.

Here are some pictures. Regular blogging to (hopefully) resume soon.

Willie and Riley playing tug-o-war:

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Tuckered out after a long, long walk:

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Don’t You Hate It When You Go To A Parade & Come Home With A Puppy?

Yesterday we went to a Christmas event and Metro Animal Control (aka, the pound, and no, I don’t even mean like the Humane Society, I mean the city jail for unwanted pets) had some pups out for adoption and this little fella just stole my heart:

WILLIW

His name is Willie, and yes, he’s in that “I experience the world by chewing on it” stage of puppyhood. Four months old, labrador/pit mix. Initially the other dogs extended a welcoming paw though Willie has decided that All Beds And Toys Are Belong To Me, so Riley is rethinking this whole “new puppy” thing:

R&W 1

And as for the cats, well, it’s obvious he thinks they’re self-propelling dog toys. The cats are giving him a wide, wide berth right now. And Riley is pretty sure I’m going to change my mind:

ALL 3

I’ll keep you posted!

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Filed under pets

Your Cat’s Favorite Christmas Present

Works for children too, I hear:

Como In A Box

Como In A Box

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Filed under cat blogging, Holidays, pets

Public Service Announcement: Pet Edition

People, I have to warn you: do not and I repeat do not, under any circumstances, use CostCo’s “Kirkland Signature” brand of flea & tick control! We’ve just had a disastrous experience not even 24 hours after applying the product to our cats.

I’ve used Advantage, Frontline and Revolution on our six cats for years. I didn’t know that CostCo even had its own brand of flea & tick treatment until Mr. Beale and I attended a crafts fair and CostCo had a table set up where they were advertising this stuff and selling memberships. Well, we’ve been CostCo members for years so we thought, “cool, a cheaper flea & tick treatment, what’s not to love?”

Hair loss! And a nasty mess all over the house, that’s what! OMG, this is the worst stuff ever. Almost as soon as we applied the treatment our cats’ hair started falling out. And the stuff doesn’t absorb like other flea products, so it leaves huge greasy stains everywhere — furniture, bedding, you name it. I had to wash the sheets on our bed after Quinn took his afternoon nap on it!

Look:

Quinn's hair started falling out ....

Quinn’s hair started falling out ….

So did Como's ..... finding this stuff EVERYWHERE ....

So did Como’s ….. finding this stuff EVERYWHERE ….

…. and I won’t bore you with photos of my dirty laundry. I’m wishing I’d read the product reviews at Amazon before using this stuff because the reviews are universally negative. I’m so disappointed in CostCo, it appears this product has been poisoning peoples’ pets for over a year, and there they are promoting it at a crafts’ fair? Shame on them.

I’m worried sick that more serious symptoms will appear. Our cats are like our children, and the idea that I’ve actually poisoned my animals has me frantic. I’m going to call the vet as soon as they open and see what they recommend, I might be spending my day giving six cats a bath. :-0

Anyway, it’s too late for me, but save yourselves! Do not use this product!

Quinn in happier times, like, last week.

Quinn in happier times, like, last week.

[UPDATE]:

Just spent about 2 hours on the phone with the vet, CostCo, product manufacturer, Animal Product Services Safety Center, etc. Diagnosis: bathing in Dawn dishwashing liquid.

They are not amused:

Pissed off kitty.

Pissed off kitty.

Misery loves company.

Misery loves company.

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Filed under cat blogging, Housekeeping, pets

The Water Is Wide

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Yesterday we helped our old friend Cleo cross the rainbow bridge. It was a very, very sad day for me, but she went peacefully, at home, thanks to a very compassionate mobile veterinarian who performs at-home euthanasia services.

It was time: an ultrasound last week revealed tumors all through her liver, spleen, and her one remaining kidney. She was in pain, despite doses of Tramadol. She’d stopped eating her regular food and could only manage a few nibbles of ground turkey and sweet potato I cooked for her. So, while we’re sad, we’re grateful we got to spend a final weekend saying our goodbyes and telling her how much we loved her.

I wrote about Cleo here, about how I got her from Nashville’s pound, and our first trip to the beach two weeks later. Cleo was the first dog I actually picked out, and I can’t believe how fast our time together has flown.

We have lots of stories about Cleo, most of them involving food. She was a masterful counter-cleaner, and sneaky, too! One time Mr. Beale was looking for the half dozen Jalapeno bagels we’d bought the day before, and we realized Cleo had eaten them all when we found the plastic sleeve she’d hidden in her bed. Another time I had two New York strip steaks marinating in a dish under a paper towel. When Mr. Beale had the grill ready he lifted the white paper towel and shouted to me, “Hey! Do I get a steak?” — where there had been two steaks, now there was only one! Cleo had snuck one out of the marinade, without disturbing the white paper towel, without leaving so much as a drop of marinade on the counter or floor. If she’s reincarnated as a human she will be the best thief ever.

Cleo loved to swim, but she hated baths. Her favorite thing in the world was to chase squirrels. I imagine she’s with her good buddy Zelda, running through a field chasing squirrels and jumping in a cool, clear pond.

Goodbye, old girl. You were a good dog.

Cleo121

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