Cozy Snow Daze!

Ten great reasons to stay inside where it’s cozy and warm!

Baby It’s Cold Outside!
First Snow Storm of 2022 in Northern Virginia
Breakfast cookies and hot cocoa with mini marshmallows AND whipped cream!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/breakfast-cookies-3864548.amp
Nap Time! photo by Katherine Slovak
We didn’t have a white Christmas, but were having a white New Years, so we’ll take it!
Cozy comfort food!
Gooey grilled cheese and tomato soup, yum!
Not quite ready to un-decorate…
A great day for a roast!
Cheers to 2022!

Happy New Year all!

Pet Safety at Home

After a tumultuous start, Loki’s finally settling in. He had some sort of gastroenteritis that we weren’t sure any of us would survive.

Somehow we all made it through!


Loki Pokey photo by Katherine Slovak

We’re still navigating the co-cat coalition…

King of the stairwell!

News to me was that cats may at times need probiotics. For Loki’s uncontrolled bowel, our veterinarian prescribed a combination of antibiotics, prescription food, and a probiotic regimen which I was only able to administer by mixing it in liquid and using a syringe. It was several weeks of hell!

Loki naps!

I was skeptical about all of this at first but ultimately it worked.

The veterinarian thought Loki may have eaten something toxic. All I know is that he was a very sick kitten.

Plants, the veterinarian said, are often the cause. We were referred to the ASPCA website to review a list of toxic plants: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/17-plants-poisonous-pets

Lily’s make the list of toxic plants

It has been awhile since we have had a kitten roaming the house. It was a little like having a baby again! Everything goes right into his mouth.

Loki chilling

We still have no idea if Loki came to us ill, or if he got into something in our home. Regardless, he survived thankfully!

Typically, cats are very neat and easy to cat box train unless there is a serious issue.

Right now he is a bundle of energy, a coiled spring ready to snap! Teenagers!

Loki entertaining himself.

We are counting our blessings that he is both healthy and happy!

Happy #Caturday all! And Merry Christmas!

Loki’s Feeling Low

Loki Pokey photo by Katherine Slovak

We suffered a major setback when shortly after joining our ranks, Loki showed signs of major dysentery. The veterinarian gave us a plethora of things to try like medication, special food, and probiotics. He’s hanging in there, but it’s been a rough few weeks. I’m hopeful all of this will work.

Loki Cat Napping

He’s still playful, and sweet, and has even convinced Licorice that he’s not so bad.

Double Cat Nap
Licorice & Loki helping us unpack from a trip. Photo by Katherine Slovak
Kitty Video Games photo by Katherine Slovak

We’re hoping and praying it’s not serious, but it’s hard to know. The vet does not seem entirely sure what’s going on with the little guy which is frustrating.

Cozy Cat

You would never know he’s suffering by looking at him, right? Hoping for a better week this week!

Happy #Caturday All!

Loki’s First Week

Loki’s 1st day!

We adopted a new kitty last week named Loki. He’s about six months old, very sweet, and pretty fearless. He was nervous at first. I think he was missing his family who are moving, and sadly could not bring Loki with them.

Loki’s 1st day!
Loki’s hiding out!

Loki brought so many toys, and tunnels and fun things to play with that we hoped Licorice would soon accept his company.

Loki: “Anyone want to play?”
Licorice: “Wait, what? Who’s the kid? And why wasn’t I asked first?”

It was pretty tense at first. There was a considerable amount of growling, and hissing, and some paws were thrown.

To make matters worse, Loki just seemed to instinctively know where all of Licorice’s favorite spots were, and he sat in all of them. The nerve!

Loki in sunbeam central the purrfect napping spot! Photo by Katherine Slovak

Then we had a few hopeful close encounters.

Loki and Licorice sharing the bed at a safe distance. Photo by Katherine Slovak

After a few days the growling and hissing subsided and gave way to some interesting cat noises, like squeaks and chirps.

Loki was exhausted from all the fuss. It’s hard making friends! Photo by Katherine Slovak

As a growing boy, Loki gets very excited about food! He growls when he eats and he likes to eat Licorice’s leftover food.

Luckily, Licorice is not a big eater. But when she catches him at her food dish, she pops Loki with her paw just in case he forgets who’s the boss around here.

Queen of the clean laundry!

Licorice has been the solo queen for several years, ever since her companion, Lily, passed away. As I recall, Lily was not thrilled when we brought Licorice home either but she adapted.

This was Lily. She was a sweet girl who sadly had thyroid disease.

Maybe Licorice remembers this experience, it’s hard to know. Luckily, Loki has decided he’s fine with Licorice being the queen.

I can’t believe it’s been a week already! I wonder what that feels like in cat time?

Sharing a sunbeam! Photo by Katherine Slovak

I think it all comes down sharing a sunbeam, because what’s better than that?

Time will tell, but I believe they are very close to playing together, and becoming best friends.

Happy #Caturday!

Ten Beautiful Things

Nature makes this easy, but I thought a writing prompt like this would inspire some joy on a Sunday morning. Feel free to share yours! #10BeautifulThings

Gorgeous Gourds!
Morning Dew! Photo by guest photographer Katherine Slovak
Naps! Licorice is an expert when it comes to naps.
Lunch Fresh From The Garden
Flowers From a Friend
Cows! Photo by guest photographer Katherine Slovak
Moonlight on the Beach! Photo taken in Bethany Beach, DE
The Change of Seasons. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn.
The Elusive Ghost Crab! Photo by guest photographer Katherine Slovak

My daughter, Katherine, takes excellent photos so I borrowed a few of hers for this post. Here is the guest photographer in action...

Have a blessed Sunday all!

Dog Envy

My sister, a retired kindergarten teacher, recently started a dog walking business. The featured pooch is one of her clients. I imagine it is a very rewarding job. Dogs are always happy to see you, especially if they think they are going out for a W-A-L-K. I envy my sister some days strolling in the open air while I am schlepping to work in the dark.

My neighborhood is perfect for dog walking with its park-like setting, and ample sidewalks. Every day there is a new little puff-ball cuter than the last. Dog owners look so peaceful just following along behind their masters.

Fluffy tails, floppy ears, fuzzy-wuzzy puppy dogs in all shapes and sizes; morning, noon, or night I see them trotting through my neighborhood, walking their owners. Big, small, squatty, tall–I feel the tug on my heartstrings, and I want them all!

Sadly, having a dog is not going to happen in my near future. My life is too hectic and household space is too limited. Half of the time, we cannot even find the cat.

“Where’s Licorice?!?!? Has anyone seen her today?”

“Did you check the closet?”

“How about the dryer?”

Cats like to hide. It is one of their favorite games. Licorice is jet black, so if she has tucked herself under the bed, or if she is lurking in some dark corner, you cannot see her until she opens her eyes. Usually after I spend twenty minutes frantically searching for her, and calling her name, she silently appears, right behind me. It is a little creepy.

Licorice

But she gets me. I wonder if a dog would. She sits on my computer when she wants attention, or grabs my leg when she wants affection. She love bites me when she is tired of being petted, meows when I forget to feed her, and stares at me when her cat box needs changing. Cats are excellent at keeping distracted humans in line.  

Is it true that you are either a cat or a dog person? Can you be both? I think that I have always been a cat person with dog envy. Perhaps I lack the level of commitment required to be a dog a person. All of the dog people who I know treat their dogs like their children.

Dogs seem to be so much more demanding of time and energy than cats do. Cats are amazingly self-sufficient. And then there is dog breath and drool. And there is dog hair that seems to be everywhere.

Cats are very neat. They clean themselves, no bathing required.The short haired variety do not even require brushing. You can leave a bowl of food out for a cat, and she will only eat what she needs.

Adopting a dog is something I will have to work up to doing. I like to think that when I retire I will become a dog owner. But then, I will want to travel more. Will a dog hold me back? Dog people always find a way to take man’s best friend along. They take dog friendly vacations. You see, there is no commitment here!

For now, I am content to covet the dogs of others with my eyes, and to be thankful for my very independent, and somewhat faithful feline. I am simply suffering from a temporary affliction known as dog envy. I am certain it will pass, and that Licorice will never need to find out about it!

Thanks for reading and keep writing!

 

Nocturnal Creatures

I am an insomniac, always have been. I credit this with my writer-ly beginnings. As a child, after my sister and I–who shared bunk beds, she in the top bunk and me in the bottom–performed our nightly monster check, she would drift off to sleep, while I laid wide-eyed staring at the springs on the underside of her bunk. Maybe it was because I was the one who did the monster checking while she, the oldest, dictated the course of the search.

“Check the closet!” She commanded.

I obediently crept over to the closet, carefully turned the door handle. It creaked open ever so slowly. Certain that any monsters lurking there would leap out at me if I opened the door too quickly, I used stealth.

“No monsters!” I announced.

“Check under the bed,” she replied.

Now, this was the worst, because everyone knows monsters favor this location. I slid down, and lay on the cold, wooden floor, with my cheek pressed to the floorboards. I reached out with a shaky hand to lift the sheet that covered the dark monster lair.

“Clear!” I reported.

“OK, good. Now, get me my glass of water.” She said.

Having a bossy older sibling gets old fast. Most nights I did as directed because there was hell to pay if I deviated from the plan. But sometimes, I could not help myself. On occasion, I contaminated the water-glass. Once, I put the rubber stopper from the tub in the bottom of the glass. She did not discover it until she got to the bottom. Another time, it was a tiny dab of toothpaste. Truly, I was surprised she did not detect this straight away but, she had after all just brushed, so there was that.

Most nights, while my sister peacefully slept, I lay awake with my mind racing. The single thing that would quiet my mind was creating elaborate bedtime stories where I, of course, was the heroine. I would add new scenes to these tales each night, and the stories would never end.

I still struggle with sleep issues. Only now, if a story enters my mind, I have to start writing it straight away, or else I might forget the important details my nocturnal brain invents. Some of my best writing comes of these sleep deprived nights.

There is peaceful stillness in the single digit morning hours. I have witnessed them all, especially 3am the witching hour. Usually I am alone in my wakefulness in the house, but not alone in nature. Now that the weather has cooled, I love to leave the windows open, enjoying nature’s air conditioning. But living next to the forest has a downside.

Foxes like to play and “yip” at 2am. Last year we had a litter of five fox kits living in the woods behind our house. They played just like puppies, but only after dark.

We loved watching them frolic. Naturally we named them all: Boots, Tippy (she had black tipped ears), Squirt (the runt), Brownie, and Trooper (the leader). By springtime they had grown up and moved on, or so we think. I am not sure which one I hear calling in the night, but I like to imagine it is one of the pack.

Owls prefer to converse at 4am. I woke the other night to hear “hoot-hoot-hoot-hoot,” followed by a distant answering “hoot-hoot-hoot-hoot.” The hooting grew closer as the chat went on. Owl courting, I guess. This is went on until 5am. Someone was playing hard to get.

And I notice that every time I am awake, so is my faithful companion…

licky 2which is just as well, because I need someone to share ideas with, while my spouse soundly sleeps.

It no longer makes sense to try to get back to sleep. I now know the futility of this. Instead, I take these “interruptions” as a sign that there is something I am supposed to be writing about, that my brain does not appreciate the fact that my body is choosing to ignore great thoughts. After all, my brain is in supposed to be in charge. Unlike the monsters who hid under my bed as a child, the monsters that lurk in the corners of my mind are trickier to eradicate. It is best to let them live on the page, and keep them out of my closet, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading and keep writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitten Therapy

Sweet

When my daughter Katherine and I began volunteering for HART, Homeless Animal Rescue I had no idea how much these cats, and little fuzzy kittens would rescue me back. When I am holding one of these little guys, all of my worries simply fade away. HART helps homeless cats and kittens through foster care, and medical attention, to finding permanent loving homes. If you cannot adopt, please consider donating your time or resources.

cute

Happy #Caturday! And thanks for reading.

Kittens!!!

My daughter and I have been volunteering with HART pet adoption for the last few weeks. It is great fun and the best part is, I get my “kitten therapy”! In between, I am missing these having these little guys in my arms. So sweet! Check out HART (a no kill shelter) if you are interested in adoption, fostering or volunteering.