Plants, Purls & Puppies

125D89B9-15C6-4A3D-B3D0-9AB7ACE40725Well folks, once again, it’s been far too long since my last update.  I’m trying to get better about this.  Really.  I promise.   Spring is already beginning to give way into summer and my list of projects at the house seems to continue to grow. A lot of my free time is spent out in the yard these days attempting to shape it into something presentable to the public and more importantly a place I’ll enjoy over the years to come.  It wasn’t horrible to begin with, it was just bare, and I’m not the type of person to have only grass.  The focus has been on planting perennials and shrubs and building out the beds to put them in.  The work I did earlier this spring is starting to show with blooms here and there.  If someone told me this time last year that I would leave the world of rented apartments and duplexes and have my own little house, I would have laughed at them.

Pints_and_PurlsThe crafting projects are still being worked on but not at the pace that I’ve burned through them in the past.  I have a hunch this will pick back up in the fall and winter.  I’m still getting at lest an hour in a day.  It’s important to me to work that little bit of knitting time in for sanity’s sake.  It’s my meditation time.  I’ve still got a sweater for a friend to finish, my own sweater, and a handful of other projects in various states.  There’s also some good news locally, a few of us are trying to get a Friday evening craft meet up rolling again.  It’s called Pints and Purls and we meet up at Downtown Drafts on the Gainesville, GA square.  Now, I know, there are a few other craft groups out there named Pints and Purls, but hey, it’s a perfect name for a group that meets for an adult beverage with yarn in hand.  I guess if there’s an official organization somewhere, consider the Gainesville, GA chapter established. If you are in the area feel free to drop on in around 6pm on Fridays.  We won’t be hard to find, there will be a table with fidgeting fingers and balls of yarn.

fullsizeoutput_150And lastly, in this brief update.
Now this is my favorite long term project.  Sandor, the lab/mystery dog mix, is about 8 months old now and has accomplished making me laugh every single day.  We’re still working on puppy exuberance issues, but overall he’s a damn good dog…well as long as you don’t ask my cat Severus.  Severus is still pissed that a dog has invaded his sanctuary.  Lucious, the more forgiving cat, on the other hand, will play with him like he was another dog.  Sandor and Lu also have an odd afternoon ritual, where they will snuggle up near each other on the couch and before the urge to nap takes over, Lu will wash Sandor’s face.  Sandor used to fight his daily face washing as a tiny puppy but he seems to have grown to enjoy it.

That’s it for the moment.  I’m alive, well, and happy.  How are you guys doing? Fill me in.



When Pets Grieve Pets

There was a change in the house this weekend. I can’t say that I was surprised with it happened, but the timing was unexpected, with all deaths we always think we would have more time. Sir Peanut Butter Fluffy Butt, my first and only guinea pig passed away this weekend. I had been noticing he had been eating less lately, moving slower, and sleeping more his age had caught up to him.

PB wasn’t just my furry companion but interacted on a regular basis with my eldest cat, Severus. Sev introduced himself to PB by jumping on top of his cage within 5 minutes of walking into my home and meowing at him like he was a litter mate. I know it sounds a bit crazy, a cat befriending a rodent and vice versa but they got a long well. When PB was out of his cage, Sev would follow him around when PB would go exploring, it wasn’t unusual to have both cat and guinea pig snuggled into my lap when we would watch TV in the evening. They just got along, they didn’t seem to understand how predators and prey worked. As PB aged and seemed to want to spend more time in his cage than out exploring the house, Sev would often check in on him. PB would toss a treat his way once in a while. I don’t know if he was intentionally sharing or asking to be left alone, but he never hid from Sev.

Sev seems to be missing his friend. After discovering PB’s demise, I buried him, and cleaned out his cage. The empty cage sits in the corner of the living room until it is sent to it’s next owner (hopefully a child and their first pet) Sev looks at it and knows something is missing. At one point last night, I found him asleep on top of it. Today, Sev is wandering around the house occasionally meowing, this isn’t normal behavior for him. I think he’s calling out for his companion, but I could be wrong.

Lucius, the younger cat, seems baffled by Sev’s behavior, but otherwise doesn’t seem impacted. He’s trying to get Severus to play, and keeps getting smacked in the head. If anything Lu is a persistent little bugger.

So if you are an animal person like I am, send a happy thought Sev’s way, and if you have any tips to help him adjust to life without PB please send them my way.

The Cast of Characters

I am the only human that lives in my house, but there are a few furry creatures running around.  I share a home with a cranky, middle-aged guinea pig called Sir Peanut Butter Fluffy Butt (he wasn’t cooperating for photos today) and two cats, Severus and Lucius. All three keep me on my toes.

PB is the elder statesman of the bunch at 3 years old, and has hit the stage where he is happy with his food, and his own space.  PB never has been the most social creature, he doesn’t mind being handled but tires of it pretty quickly, and when an attempt was made to get him a friend it didn’t go well.  PB is the poster child for cranky introverts.  We socialize a bit every day when I fill his feeders and water bottle.  To some extent, I feel like a failure with him when I see other guinea pigs interacting with their humans, but also realize that PB’s personality dictates his level of comfort with interaction too.  As long as he seems content, I’m content.

Then there are the much more interactive creatures in the house…

Severus and Lucius, AKA Sev and Lu, AKA Mini Panther and Little Lion…

Severus walked into the door a little over two and a half years ago.  He literally walked into the house like he owned it.  I had just came home from a work trip, and met this little 6-7 week old kitten hanging out on my porch.  The neighborhood is full of quasi-feral cats, so he was born of that stock.  He mewed at me a few times, and I thought I would bring him out some water because it was a hot day and this little black kitten looked a little uncomfortable.  As I opened the door and was dragging in some luggage a shadow walked right past me.  I got everything inside and this kitten sat in the middle of the living room.  He got a bowl of water and a bit of sandwich meat out of the fridge and I tried to put him back outside.  I shut the door and he started screaming.  Opened the door; he stops and looks at me.  Shut the door; the screaming began again.  Open the door; he stops screaming and makes this cute little mew.  Okay fine.  Open the door some more, he walked right back in, went to the center of the living room and sat down.

I thought I would be able to find him a home, the no-kill shelters were full, the rescues were full, no friends were interested.  It was the peak of kitten season.  I asked friends online to name him and Severus was the clear winner.  He went from pauper to prince in one day.  Sev is now a large cat with a laid back personality.  He’s sociable with most visitors, except children, he will hide from the little humans.  He spends most of the day watching birds at the window.

Then there is the new kid, whom came home as a bit of a surprise after a trip to see family at Thanksgiving this past fall.  My family has an avocado grove and coffee farm in southern California, with a few cats wandering around.  These cats are loved but spend most of their time outdoors to help keep the smaller critters down around the farm.  They have shelter and are loved but life on the farm means there is a job to do.   The female cats are allowed to have a litter and then are spayed.  Sadly, this is done to help ensure there are cats on the farm, there are several predators that will hunt the cats that aren’t wise enough to stay hidden, and the family has figured out lighter colored cats stand out too much and are found homes off of the farm as quickly as possible.  They try to reduce the number of cats snatched by predators.  On my visit, there was a sand colored tabby kitten.

He was offered to me.  I was reluctant at first not knowing how Sev would react.  Then my uncle kept referencing how the little guy would probably be picked off once he began exploring the spaces away from the house.  Crap.  Crap.  Crap.  The family paid his travel fee to fly home with me.   With his light hair and then green eyes (they’ve since turned amber) I kept with the Harry Potter/Slytherin Theme and named him Lucius.

Sev was annoyed for a whole day but then took to his younger brother and began grooming and curling up with him when they slept.  They play together constantly.  Lu has been growing quickly and I would call him aggressively cuddly.  He really likes to be as close as possible to Sev or me, well really anything breathing that walks in the door.  I’ve never heard a cat purr so loudly, when that engine starts it can be heard across the room.

Lu has given me a few scares though.  He hadn’t been vaccinated yet before he came homeimg_0544 with me, surprisingly the airline said it was fine to travel without the shots  because of his age. He was just old enough to fly but too young for a rabies vaccine, and they weren’t concerned with the others.   Getting his vaccines was on the schedule to be done about a week after he arrived in Georgia, but he had other plans.  Lu has had a viral sinus issue since he’s been here.  Thankfully Sev never caught it, or his own vaccinations protected him.  Poor Lu was so congested he had periods where it was hard for him to breathe.  After months of treatment and veterinary care he’s finally clearing it.   Thankfully, the family has paid his vet bills as they have hit, I don’t know what I would have done without their help.  No one planned on something like this hitting so hard and so quickly.  He’s still a bit stuffy in the mornings now and then but it’s gotten so much better.  Lu never seemed to realize he has been ill though, he’s played and ran like nothing has been wrong the whole time, even on his most congested days.

Lu has what I hope will be his last follow-up appointment later on this morning.  Because of his illness he still hasn’t been vaccinated or neutered.  Which makes me more nervous by the day.  Could he be exposed to something else?  And with a young male, unaltered cat, I fear the scent marking could begin anytime.  So I’m really, really, hoping for him to be cleared for shots today and get him scheduled for surgery very soon.

So that’s the cast of characters that may be referenced now and then here.  Cross your fingers for me that Lu is deemed healthy enough to take the next steps in being a happy, healthy, house cat.  At least he won’t ever be owl food.

Update: Lucius was deemed healthy enough to vaccinate and has his surgery scheduled for the first week of March.