Tag Archives: dogs

A Not-So-Story A Day May #19

*Depressing Post Alert*

For any of you who have followed this blog for a long time, you’ll know about our previous cats. All new followers probably don’t, unless you actually like reading through 2-3 years worth of blog posts. 🙂 So for a short version for everyone new to the blog, my husband and I had three cats. For 12 years. Lexus, the mama cat, and Jupiter and Isis, her two daughters. Lexus developed mammary cancer, which eventually spread to her lymph nodes and then pretty much everywhere else in her body. Jupiter, who had a heart problem that we managed well for five-six years, also developed a tumor in one of her mammary glands, and after that was removed, she developed two tumors in her lungs. Now, both of those cats passed in 2012, two months apart.

Fast-forward to 2015, and by now we’d figured that we really dogged a bullet with the bad genetic lottery concerning this family of cats. Alas, that seems not longer the case. Two weeks ago I felt a lump on Isis, on her lower belly. It was small, and while we try to consistently feel her belly for any lumps (for the past three years) she’s not a lap cat. But, she never has been, unless she’s feeling like it and even then rubbing her belly was not high on her list. Isis does like to curl up with Tim between his knees at bedtime, or she sleeps on my pillow, above my head, so she can be a snuggler, plus being 15 has mellowed her out a little. Anyway, the lump. We made a trip to our wonderful vet, who recommended surgery, which I expected. Isis got an EKG last week because she does have an age-related heart murmur, but my vet wanted to recheck her heart so there would be no issues with anesthesia. Today, she had her surgery.

We’ve been staying positive about the whole thing, and I’ve been doing well … until last night. With Lexus, her surgery gave us another 7 months with her, and she had five tumors and one entire side of mammary glands removed. (A ten inch incision is pretty much the entire cat, btw) Now all I could think about last night was how her sister, Jupiter, had one small tumor removed, and died three months later.  I keep thinking about how she’s the last of the original three, and we’ve had her since she was in her mother’s belly. I held this cat when she was one week old, and she’s been my cat ever since. I don’t know what I would possibly do without my vocal, grumpy, sweet girl, who, like her mother and sister, purrs loudly and uses her vocal chords often. Our current two kitties purr, but it’s a quiet purr, and they aren’t very vocal cats. I’m not sure how I would even adjust to that kind of quiet.

Now, you might be thinking, well, Isis just had surgery, like 12 hours ago, and a sample of the growth was sent off, and the biopsy results will be back in a few days. You might think, why even worry about it being cancerous when you don’t have 100% proof that it is. The problem lies with felines. You see, for all you dog people out there, canines get growths sometimes. They develop warts and cysts, and benign tumors. With cats, the malignancy rate is about 90%. Couple that awful fact with an established family history of heart disease and cancer, and the odds are not in her favor. Sure, my vet cut out the growth and the four tiny nodules that were developing, and got the tissue ahead of it to cut off the chain, but that does not reassure me. I did chuckle when my vet called me after the surgery and said Isis ended up with a four inch incision. Caring for Lexus after her surgery three years ago will never have me worried about incisions again. (Seriously, ten inches. On a cat!)

I haven’t cried in a few hours, so I figure that’s got to be something. Of course, I had a pretty sleepless night, since Isis gets Hangry, and she couldn’t have food or water after 10pm. She fussed at bedtime, after bedtime, and started walking around, yelling at me and one of the other cats about 4am this morning.

Right now, she’s lying on her favorite blanket in our bedroom, pain pill in her system so hopefully she’ll get some rest tonight. I did manage to get this awesome shot of her this morning. She’s not and has never been a fan of getting in the cat carrier, and while it’s easier these days than it used to be, she found a bit of the old flare of defiance and got behind the headboard. Then, one of my facebook friends made the greatest comment about the picture, saying it looked like Gandalf’s “Fly, you fools.” face. I think I’m going to need someone to photo shop a wizard hat on her.

I'm not getting in that carrier.


Story (Anecdote??) A Day May #15

Tomorrow, I will have an actual story. Promise, precious. Today, I’ve got an amusing list:

Things Talulah Brings Into The Living Room

I swear, no depth of counter space is enough for this leggy girl. Once, I walked out of the kitchen through the dining room, and had to do one of those double takes as our dog was standing atop the buffet. I don’t know how she got up there, and she made Zero noise doing it, nor did she knock over any photos or the vase of flowers. What a clown dog. Anyways, many of these things are seen as she is trotting by us while we are sitting on the couch, items hanging from her mouth while she gives the most casual look possible. (I promise, we aren’t trying to kill our dog). I generally only took pictures when it wasn’t life threatening. 🙂

A large, serrated bread knife, carried by the handle.

A gallon Arizona tea container.


A roll of potty pickup bags

An empty 24-case pack of Dr. Pepper cardboard

Her 3-legged brother, dragging him across the floor by his collar

Various pieces of tupperware, dishtowels, and pot holders


My new book of checks that I insanely left sitting on the edge of the counter right after I opened them

The ‘wipe our feet’ mat from the back porch

Photo May 15, 7 35 47 PM Photo May 15, 7 35 55 PM Photo May 15, 7 36 01 PM Photo May 15, 7 36 09 PM

Story A Day May #4

Lookie, a story published while the sun is still out! At least in my corner of the universe. Today’s word prompts are from the husband, and features him and the pups.

May 4, 2015

Word prompts: Tripod, Squeak, Yellow

‘Don’t get distracted.’ I kept picking my way through the thicket, leather armor getting scratched from thorns. Talulah wasn’t far from me and, at my admonishment, began moving again. We emerged from the wide forest barrier. I picked a couple of burrs off my vest while Talulah shook her head, long ears flapping loudly in the quiet.

‘I smell her. She’s not far.’

            ‘What about him?’

            ‘No. Her smell is too strong.’

I nodded at the dog’s words and we started into the forest. Dim puddles of light dotted the ground. The forest canopy was thick with age, making the sun struggle to cast its rays through it.

As I climbed over a fallen tree, I reflected at how my wife would probably kill me once she discovered we’d gone. We don’t take the dog on a hunt by ourselves. Never have. It was agreed upon when we received her from the village council. Sharing thoughts with a canine was rare enough, but when it was discovered that we both heard Talulah, and she us, it became clear that she was meant to be part of our family. So why was I out hunting a dragon without my wife?

The tripod.

The tripod was an Australian Shepherd who was found wandering near the village one day. His front right leg broken, mangled and bleeding, we took him in after his surgery. We provided a safe, comfortable place for him to recover, and ended up keeping the pup they’d named Bo after he and Talulah became inseparable.

Bo wasn’t a hunter like Talulah. A mixed breed of Boxer and Hound, she had a keen ability to track and a love of doing it. He loved to herd though: Talulah, our cats, people, and especially my wife every time she wanted to leave our cottage.

That morning, the dragon my wife and I had been hunting for over a month flew over the village. Bo, who happened to be outside, jumped the split-rail fence in his excitement to follow, which brings us ‘round to why the boxer and I were traipsing through the forest.

Soon, I could smell it. Sulfur and ash. The dragon wouldn’t be far.

‘Stay here.’

I halted watching Talulah’s trotting figure disappear among the trees. A minute or two passed and I realized that all I could hear were the sounds of my breathing and the creaking of my armor as I shifted. “Damn it, Lu,” I said softly, and started in the direction I last saw her.

I saw the imprint of her paws in the dirt, followed until I emerged into a sun-filled clearing. Everything was gone. Burned away. The edges of the clearing charred and blackened. An enormous rock face rose opposite, and I could make out a cave entrance.

‘Talulah! Where are you?’

Nothing. I closed my eyes and concentrated, trying to feel past my growing desperation. I caught a glimmer of her rapid heartbeat and breathing, and took off toward the cave. I almost made it to the first tiny mountains of rocks when a set of teeth caught my forearm and yanked me off-balance. I tumbled to the ground and rolled on my back, my weapon digging into my spine, while Talulah pounced atop my chest.

‘Quiet. She’s in there.’

            ‘You didn’t have to knock me down.’

            ‘You were running like a maniac. Sorry.’ She gave my face several licks before hopping off of me.

I got to my feet, and patted her back before unsheathing my sword. I looked down at my loyal companion. ‘Ready?’

She snapped her jaw in a near silent gesture and we headed to the cave. We did not get far. Both of us stopped ten feet from the mouth, staring at the sleeping dragon. She was curled up, dark yellow scales glistening in the light. It took me a minute to realize something was moving beneath her translucent wing—dragonlings. Three of them.

‘We should go.’ Talulah nudged my hand with her wet nose.

I started to take a step back when I heard it. The unmistakable pattern of Bo’s three-legged gallop. He came from my right, and slid to a stop right in front of the dragon’s nose.

“Bo! Come here!” I hissed, forgetting to project my thoughts. The dog turned his head toward me, and I could see red sticking out from both sides of his mouth. ‘Don’t you dare, don’t you dare, young man!’

He let out a yip and worked his jaw around the leather bladder that served as a toy. The air hissed out before he let up, allowing it to inflate, and then he bit down. Squeak. Squeesqueesqueeeaaak. The sound woke all three babies. They started chirping, and worked their way out from beneath their mother’s protective wing. Bo started chomping on the bladder again, excited at the sight of the baby dragons, and he dropped it as the dragon shifted and opened one deep, jewel-green eye. Bo barked at her. The high-pitched shepherd bark resounded through the clearing. She grunted in reply and raised her head a fraction to stare at Talulah and me.

‘Your mother is going to kill us all if we get out of this alive.’

‘Yep.’ Talulah pressed her side against my leg, and I could feel her body tensing, ready to spring.

Bo let out another short bark. He darted forward, licked the dragon’s nose before bouncing away to land among her children.

The dragon let out a long, stinking sigh, and went back to sleep.

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