Tag Archives: cats

Sleep comes very naturally to most of us and in our family it isn’t uncommon to find many the beings fast asleep.  Below is a compilation of five images, each with at least one member of the family asleep, and two of the images (top and bottom) contain four family members snoozing.

Sleep

With sleep come dreams.  Perhaps it’s the dreams that make sleeping so enjoyable.  I’m sure that Daisy, Franklin, Sadie have chased a rabbit or two in their sleep, and that Suki and Dino have captured the birds in the bushes outside the kitchen window more than once.

Or, perhaps it’s taking the opportunity – with those who you feel safe and love – to rest up for the challenges that we face each day.  Either way, may we all hold on to and pursue our dreams and enjoy the time we have with those we love.

Thanks to A Word in Your Ear for this week’s A Word A Week Photo Challenge: Sleep!

Our non-human family members mean everything to us.  We share our lives completely.  If you’ve visited before you’ve likely already met them, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to post more photos:

Daisy Mae

Daisy Catches Scent

Sadie Sue

Sadie - Portrait

Suki

Suki Deep in Thought

Being with our family helps me remember that we aren’t alone, and that there are non-human beings that are smart, experience emotions, and loving.  I learn from them each day in many ways, but perhaps the most frequent reminder is that our actions – both conscious and unconscious – impact those around us.

A picture of our cat Suki's face

You Can Make A Difference

Hmm. Five minutes to present any topic that I want to a group of young schoolchildren.  Lot’s of topics jump to mind, including:

  • Be kind to all living creatures
  • Believe in yourself
  • Questions are more powerful than answers

Five minutes isn’t much time. I need to have something I can demonstrate in an engaging and meaningful way.  Kids don’t have the greatest attention span, so I will tell a story.  The story might go something like this:

One day, Joey was out in the neighborhood delivering newspapers and he saw a cat get run over by a car.  He dropped the newspapers, rushed over to the cat, scooped her up, and ran home.

Bursting through the door, he shouts for his mom, who iss busy trying to finish the laundry before going to work.

“Mom, mom, we need to get this cat to the vet, she was just run over by a car!”

“Oh, that’s terrible, Joey,” his mom says, rushing over to take a look.  Inspecting the cat she realizes that this cat is in real trouble, that she doesn’t have the time to get to the vet, and that they don’t know the owner and won’t be able to afford the expenses.

“I’m sorry, Joey.  I just don’t think that there’s much we can do.”

“Why not?  You’ve always helped me take care of animals.  Why can’t we help – she’s going to die?”

Mom looks at the clock, back at the cat, and grabs her car keys.  At the vet, her suspicions are confirmed.  Surgery is required.  She and the vet agree to work out the financial details later and do what they can to save the cat.

Mom drops Joey off at home, where the sitter is waiting, and Joey takes off to finish delivering his papers and find the owner of the cat.  Knocking on door after door he asks if the people own a cat, and if they do, he provides a description of the orange, white, and gray cat.  This goes on for about an hour, until he finally comes to the home where the owners live.

Joey explains the situation provides the business card the vet provided for him.

“Thank you so much,” the people say. “Kitty is such a wonderful cat.  We will call right away and let you know her status as soon as we know.”

Joey heads home to eat dinner and start on his homework.  He learns the next day when he gets home from school that Kitty will live!

About three months later, Joey is delivering his papers and the owners of the cat come outside to greet him.  They give him a kite from a vacation they took, and share with him that since Kitty has been home she’s been a different cat.  She demonstrates affection to all people and even dogs, something never before seen, and the owners are convinced that Kitty knows that Joey, a human, saved him.

A picture of Suki with her back to us  Suki sitting on a couch arm facing usHome on the Couch 2

Perhaps not the best told story, but these are just talking notes for my presentation!

Thinking about what the kids can walk away from this story with:

  1. Don’t always take the first answer you get.  If Joey had taken his mother’s first answer the story ends with a dead cat.
  2. Other people will do mean things, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will.  There is a mix of good and bad acts within this story.
  3. Even cats can recognize that you are kind and this will impact their behavior.
  4. You can make a difference.  Without Joey’s actions Kitty surely will pass.

What do you think?  Will the kids like it?

Christmas Day Dog

In response to The Daily Post writing prompt on February 11, 2013.

Prompt: What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

I haven’t had very many experiences that I would categorize as surreal. I experimented with a few substances in college that provided some interesting evenings, and I’ve had a few dreams that have stuck with me. But one of my most unbelievable experiences is when we found a stray dog on Christmas day.

We’d just adopted Franklin, a basset hound-pointer mix, and we’d started to volunteer with the rescue organization. I was very excited and a little over-the-top, trying to be involved in everything. And driving home from my mom’s, another dog ran in front of the car. We were less than a block from our house, and this was another chance to help a dog.

We brought the collarless big, black and tan mixed breed into our backyard and went into action. Microchip check, fliers, phone calls, updates to the Pet FBI database – we were going to find this dog’s home. Though we hadn’t seen this dog before, we walked the neighborhood putting up the fliers and asking anyone we saw if they knew anything about this dog. By the end of the day two things were clear, Franklin and the dog, now called Rusty, did not get along, and Rusty was going to stay for the night. So we created a spot in the basement.

This went on for 3 days or so. We were starting to have conversations about fostering Rusty through the rescue organization until we could find a home. Because Franklin and Rusty didn’t get along, we’d developed a routine for yard time, an elaborate sequence of steps that Daisy, our other dog, and the two cats, Bert and Dino, watched with curiosity. We thought we could make it work until we could find a good home for Rusty.

The next night, while half asleep, my wife got up to let Rusty out. Two minutes later the screaming started. I leaped out of bed and ran into the kitchen to find blood splattered across the oven, and Bert in Rusty’s mouth as Rusty shook his head back and forth violently. I released Bert, we wrapped him in a blanket, and rushed him to the vet. By the time we got to the vet, Bert had passed away.

The rest of the day was spent crying, cleaning, and trying to find someone who could take Rusty. We weren’t able to find anywhere to take him, so we called the animal shelter. When they came to get him, they asked us if there was anything they needed to know, and we told them what had happened.

Two days later, on my way home from work, my cell phone rang. It was a man looking for Rusty. They’d been to the shelter looking for their dog, seen a flier with my number on it, and called. Rusty was no longer at the shelter, and they were hoping he was still with us. When I explained to him what happened, he chuckled and said, “Yeah, he really hates cats. When he was a puppy a cat attacked him and scratched him up pretty good.”

We learned a lot of lessons over that week, including the need to test an animal before bringing him into our home. Bert was old and sick and lived a good life. We were starting to discuss whether or not it “was time” for Bert to pass, and sometimes we rationalize that Rusty came to help Bert’s suffering end. I don’t really believe that, but it is a comforting idea. Six years have passed and we still cry sometimes.

I still have a hard time remembering details about the day Bert was killed. The kitchen, the drive, and the rest of that day are a blur. It still seems like a really bad dream. Like the kind of dream that when you wake up it feels real.