Traveling Dog Lady: April 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

L is for Lady Kitty #AtoZChallenge

Continuing in the theme of yesterday's post for the letter "K", today's post is devoted exclusively to the only other female living in my house.... Lady Kitty!

Lady Kitty is Cali's nickname. G named her Lady Kitty, precisely for the reason mentioned above. She is the only female pet. The only other "lady" around here other than me! LOL

I sing a song to her all the time:  "Lady Kitty, She's so pretty, She's my Lady Kitty!"

I always say, "HI LADY KITTY!" whenever I see her. Even if I just saw her five minutes ago. I love her so much. She is SO beautiful, and just a lovely little friendly feline.

When I call her, I usually use her "real" name, Cali, and she usually comes running.... but not always.

Cali.....(I mean, Lady Kitty!) and Newman follow me on my dog walks. Tux does not participate. Don't worry, we live on a dead-end dirt road and there's no traffic. We walk up and down the dirt road, and the cats walk with us. They are so funny.

K is for Kitties #AtoZChallenge

Let me tell you about my kitties!

Oh my, I have had so many cats. So many, many, many cats.

It all started out with Nigel. He was a feral manx that showed up at my childhood home one day. We kept him for a while, but... well, there's a long story. The short version is, I hugged the cat and he scratched me so badly that I almost lost my eye. Some day I'll tell the whole story, but not in this post.



There was a second cat that came along and lived with us, at the same time as Nigel. Her name was Chi-Chi.

Chi-Chi was my first experience with pet loss and grief. Well, I guess Nigel was, but his departure was so confusing, I never really thought of it as loss and grief.

Those two cats would, I did not know until decades later, be the catalysts (yeah, I wrote CATalysts) that started this whole thing. THIS whole thing.

Chi-Chi had a few litters of kittens. We always managed to give them away, free, with no problems. This was the 1960s and people didn't really spay or neuter then.
After Nigel and Chi-Chi, the order of who came next is hard for me to remember. I think the next cat was Sylvester (no pictures!), and after him Slippers (aka "Hendrix" don't ask!). 



When I moved out of my parents' house, the saga continued. There was a gray feral cat that had no name. He was beautiful, but he wouldn't stay put. I never did find out what happened to him. He was gorgeous.

Then, I had Idgy and Ratsky when I lived in Princeton (Mass.)

Filkin and Charlie (and Timba the dog in the background!
After that, I got Love Kitty, Filkin and Charlie. Then, all the Long View Farm cats came along. There were 20+/- of those, and most of them didn't have names. We kept three when we left the Farm: Mr. Kitty, Maggie and Louise.  Love Kitty, Filkin and Charlie, of course were still with me at the time, too; and someone "dumped" an orange cat at our house that we also ended up keeping for many years. We named him Pointy, 'cause he had the pointiest nose we'd ever seen on a cat!

So, we lived in this little, tiny house with 7 cats, one dog, and two humans! It was pretty crazy.

Love Kitty

Filkin (daughter of Love Kitty)
Pointy. He was "dumped" at our house, and became one of our favorite cats.

Mr. Kitty! One of my all-time favorite cats. He was just an amazing creature

Believe it or not, when the last of those cats died (Maggie), I went two years without any cats. For the first, and only, time in my life... I had NO cats!!  It was weird!

G started bugging me to get a cat. I've never been able to buy just one of anything, so, I adopted THREE kittens at the same time. "Hey, I'll take three, please!" Well, you know what they say: Cats are like potato chips, you can't have just one!
Cali and Tux on the day I adopted them

Cali, Tux and Newman are still with me today, and I love them so much, I can't even put it into words. They entertain me and make me smile every day.

Homely, scrawny Newman on the day I adopted him!

Newman and Tux go paw to paw!

Bonus! One of my cats (can't remember who!) had a litter of kittens. I thought it'd be a great idea to give one of them to my mother as a gift. Please, don't give people an animal as a gift. What a dumb idea! This cat ended up with someone else in the neighborhood. I had named her Patches. She looks remarkably like my current cat, Cali.

So, K is for Kitties. Give yours a hug today!  But don't get scratched!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

J is for Jumping #AtoZChallenge

There are two different kinds of jumping for dogs.

There's the funny, or fun, kind. And there's the "stop jumping!" kind.

My new dog, Petey, does both. He is hilarious when he jumps WAY up off the ground, at least 5 feet. Like a circus act, or something. One of my previous dogs, Hobie, used to do that, too. Only he was a big dog! People used to say he did "little dog tricks".

This is where jumping is allowed! Play time!

When I was recuperating from a recent medical condition, a friend came to visit. I put the dogs outside so they wouldn't bug her, and so that I didn't have to deal with them in my condition. I wasn't allowed to lift anything bigger than a carton of milk, so to hold back three dogs was simply a no-no.

Anyway, Petey was outside on the back porch, and wanted to come in to be with us. He started jumping at the back door, repeatedly. He was jumping so high -- like I said, about 5 feet in the air! We were laughing so hard, and I had to be careful because I had had abdominal surgery so "busting a gut" might have been a real possibility!

But sometimes, Petey and Cooper (not Charlie, thank goodness -- he's such a GOOD BOY!), will jump on people who come to visit. They also jump on me when I come home after being out somewhere. It's not a good habit for a dog to be in, especially one like Cooper who has "the claw" (he only has one front leg, as you probably know).

There are a number of ways to use body blocking to avoid the jumper dog. The easiest one is to turn your back or turn to the side each time the dog jumps. Sometimes this doesn't really work, though. The dog just waits for you to face him again and jumps again.

But I LOVE to jump on YOU!

Another good way is to grab the dog's front paws, gently, and place them down on the ground while saying "No jumping". (People say not to use the command "down" because this is also used when you want the dog to lie down.)

And still another good way is to simply barge past the dogs so they don't have as much of a welcoming opportunity to jump on you.  Teach this to your guests. It really works. I tell people, "Come in! Come in! Just walk in. Barge right past them."  The dogs will naturally congregate at the front door and, rather than walking in, the humans plant themselves on the doormat and refuse to move. Wrong! Walk right on in.

I'm not a dog trainer (thought I am working on getting my certification one of these days), so if you really want help training your dog to stop jumping, please seek the help of a professional. I just write here about my own experiences. Disclaimer!

Until tomorrow!

Monday, April 9, 2018

I is for Including #AtoZChallenge

Well, I got busy and missed two days of the A to Z Challenge. So, I'll make it up with this post... I for INCLUDING (including G, H, and I!!)

Under the letter G, I would have posted about Grief Mentor. I am about to become a certified Pet Loss Grief Mentor. And I am already a Certified Widow Coach. So, I can walk the journey with people who have lost a spouse, and with folks who've lost a pet, and are grieving. I can't imagine anyone NOT grieving over the loss of anyone or anything. I am not prepared (yet) to start taking clients, but as soon as I am ready you'll hear about it here on the blog. So, stay tuned for that.

For the letter H, I suppose I would reminisce about my two dogs, Hobie and Hector (Team H!). How I loved them so. As much as I love my current dogs (and I DO!) no one will ever replace Hector and Hobie. They were with me through the very best years of my life (so far). I think about them every day, and feel their spirits with me, and they will live here in my heart forever.



And "I" is for Include! I included all of this in one post! hah!

Until tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

E is for Ears and Eyes #AtoZChallenge

All my pets have the most beautiful eyes and ears. I think I need a t-shirt with that slogan! Like the one I have that says "All my children have paws"; or the other one that says, "Dogs are the only relatives you choose."

But seriously, my dogs have the most incredible eyes. All of them look like they are wearing eyeliner! My mom said that about the late, great, Hobie, and it's true. It was those eyes that made me fall in love with him at first sight.

The beautiful Hobie. Those eyes!

And then there are the ears. Cali the cat has the coolest ears. They are this gorgeous amber color. She is just so pretty. Cali's nickname is Lady Kitty, and sometimes I sing to her "Lady Kitty! Lady Kitty! She's so pretty! My la-teeeee-kitty!"

Cali's amber ears!

Petey, the newest pack member has ears like The Flying Nun's headpiece. I'm showing my age making reference to this 1960s TV show, that for some peculiar reason is NOT shown in re-runs, ever, at all. Weird, right?

Flying NUN? Really, Mom?!

I digress. Cooper's ears are starting to get flecks of white fur throughout. It makes me sad. He is only six, but he seems to be showing age (graying) faster than his twin brother, Charlie.

Cooper, how'd you get your ear to do that?

Charlie's ears are so soft, and he's got those eyeliner eyes. He is just so handsome!

Newman and Tux both have eyes full of love, and ears full of mites (I am kidding!!).

Tux is all eyes and ears in this photo

Gorgeous Newman