Thursday, July 14, 2022

In Loving Memory

 I want to start by thanking all of Cleo's blogging friends- including those who, for one reason or another I wasn't able to thank on their blogs- for the outpouring of love and sympathy on learning of her passing.  Cleo's mom and I are still trying to accept that our sweet, crusty old girl has left us with a bunch of empty space around this house, and that she's no longer here to greet us with her typical drowsy indifference when we return from being out and about. 

As so many of you have experienced, the heartache endures, and the reminders are many.  Cleo is now back home with us, though that tiny, carved wooden box on the fireplace mantelpiece doesn't do much to lessen our grief.  

Her food & water dishes, her collar and tags, the empty corner where her litter box sat, the narrow kitchen cupboard with her food, treats, meds & grooming things, her little tin bucket of toys she rarely played with and the assorted ramps and steps I cobbled together for her are all reminders.  The majority of photos I hadn't used yet included way too many with Cleo's catnip plant, which has now taken over an entire corner of the front walkway.  Even though we'd shown so many with that damn plant I decided to include one here of our sweet Cleo in healthier times, 

 and maybe a few favorites from over the years.

Our Sweet Angel- We will never forget you.  We love you forever and miss you more than words can say.

Please note- comments aren't necessary as you've all been so gracious with your words of condolence in our previous post.   

With Sincere Appreciation,

Brian (Cleo's Dad)

Thursday, June 30, 2022

 Our hearts are beyond broken.  We walk around this extra empty house like zombies.  The littlest body in our home had the biggest presence, and we don't want to accept that she's gone.  It's hard to write this without her squished in here by my side.  We both break down in tears without warning, especially with all the reminders scattered around.  Her mom is beating herself up with guilt at our having taken that damn vacation.  What few pleasant family visits and activities we did enjoy aside, had we known we'd have so little time with Cleo we'd never have gone away.  The battle between her kidney disease and her anemia alone was too much for her tiny 18-year-old  body to bear.  The final report from MedVet, though realistic, gave us some hope that we might have as much as a couple of weeks with our dear girl.  When we brought her home Monday evening and lifted her from her carrier only to see that she could barely keep her legs under her we knew differently.  She struggled to walk even a few steps on the hardwood floors throughout this place, her weak hind legs sliding out from under her.  We set Carpet padding and drop cloths all over to make it easier for her.  We confined our three selves to one bedroom with food & water, mattress on the floor & her litter box and all the bedding and padding she could want.  By Tuesday morning we knew.  4 Paws Farewell helped her pass peacefully and painlessly that afternoon out on the sun-warmed stone steps where she loved to spend so much time. Dr. Beth picked a red rose from one of our bushes, placing it beside Cleo.  I still move over to one side in this chair as was habit to make room for her when we posted in the early morning hours.  The daily routines with Cleo will likely remain forever in her heartbroken mom's memory.  There are reminders everywhere, and as painful as it is, we want to keep it that way for now.  I'm crying again looking at the photos I'm about to post from her last day with us.  Yesterday morning I woke Cleo's mom, laying beside her and sobbing into her shoulder like a fool.  Today I'll get it out of my system while proofing this post and try to let her sleep.  We miss Cleo terribly and will always wonder if we might've had just a few more years with her.  Rest in Peace, our beautiful, feisty, loving stubborn Tortie Queen.  We can only hope you know that mom and dad tried their best, and we're sorry that you suffered so.  We will never forget you and the years of joy your attitude brought us.  

Monday, June 27, 2022

 Our poor old girl has been in the ICU at MedVet Asheville since this past Saturday morning, where they're doing so much more for her than we were able to here at home.  It's been a rough week for Cleo, and a roller coaster ride for her mom and me.  Her regular vet's most recent report at the end of last week was not good, and even though we had to trust that they were looking out for Cleo's well being we weren't ready to just go along with the direction it seemed they were leaning right then and there. I guess at the very least we wanted to get a second opinion before making the decision we know we're going to have to make sooner or later.  Yesterday evening's progress report from MedVet wasn't too uplifting, and then last night's update, though a little more positive, was only slightly easier to hear.  Like I said, roller coaster...

Our grumbly, don't-touch-me-but-love-me-but-leave-me-alone-but-love-me-dammit old fart was at least resting as comfortably as she could be for the night.  We should be getting an update in the coming hours.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Post-Vacation Post

 Just a quick one to say "Hey".  I'm not feeling too well right now, and mom and dad are going all crazyhead trying to nurse me back to my pre-vacation health. Even though I was in good hands while they were away, we're thinking the stress of them leaving me started this here old bod on its downward slide. They've been doing their best to get me to eat and drink more, and the most excellent lady team at Cedar Ridge Animal Hospital did their pokin' & proddin' and sent mom and dad home with a bunch of crap to aggravate me juice me up and reignite my appetite. Hope y'all are well, and we'll post an update at some point.  And please, like mom and dad's dagger eyes surely told the lady doctors, we don't want to hear the stuff like "well, she IS 18" and all that crap. . .

Friday, June 10, 2022

Time Off

 So this'll be our last post for a couple weeks.  I know we haven't been posting but once a week or so anyway, but whatever.  Mom and dad are finally getting around to taking a road trip they'd originally planned for April 2020.  But then you know what put a damper on travel plans back then! They've both been busy preparing, especially this past week, dad dilly-dallying at work all day as he does, mom doing, well, everything. 

Last weekend they went for a muddy hike at Graveyard Fields, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. They trudged their often wet, occasionally rocky way to the upper falls, where they enjoyed the seclusion that comes with starting out early.
As usual, the photo doesn't do it justice.

Here's dad's semi-self-concious selfie with his spunky, spirited sidekick.

You can tell who keeps things lively around here!
And here's me, all alone in this empty house, waiting and wondering to myself "will they ever come back, and why have they forsaken me?"

And yes, I managed to take my own selfie😋.
 So anyway, they're hitting the road early tomorrow morning and winding their way north to visit assorted sibs, kids and grands in New England.  Somewhere along the way there or back they also want to drive portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway they haven't yet been on, and Skyline Drive in Virginia.  The lady who takes care of dad's employer's dogs will be stopping by every day to see to my needs and keep me company for a bit, and I'll be sure to rub mom's and dad's faces in how good she treated me while they were off gallivanting and neglecting me. See you in a bit...

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sleeping Upright

Hike, fog, blah, blah, blah.  Guest post, whatever, whatever, whatever.  Back to me now.  First off, big props to Ann from Zoolatry for my fabulous new header photo with my ginormous catnip plant.  That sucker, as if to say "So There!", has sprouted beyond all expectations since being mowed down.  So anyway, we all have unique sleeping positions, right?  Dad apparently thought it was funny the way I'd fallen asleep on mom recently.  I was simply sitting half upright, just chillin', when the urge to doze snuck up on me. 

 I don't really see what all the fuss was about, but whatever floats your boat, dad.
Awesome invisible pillow, don't you think?
I guess I stayed like that for a few minutes, blissfully unaware of my blissfully simple-minded, easily entertained dad person human thingy..

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Settle In, Grab a Coffee & Put Your Feet Up- A Rare Long One

For their first "real" hike since dad's surgery, mom and dad headed south on the Blue Ridge Parkway last Sunday morning to Pisgah   National Forest for a moderate 5 to 6-mile hike.  The fog in Asheville was pretty thick in spots that morning, and even though rain was called for later in the day they were eager to hit the trails.  As the parkway wound its way through twists and turns and many of its amazing tunnels, the sky grew clearer and brighter, and before long mom and dad couldn't resist the urge to pull over at a few of the many overlooks to catch a glimpse of what looked like a giant sea of cotton blanketing the valley below.  

Generally, one photo or two would suffice, but bear with us as dad felt the need to put a couple of extras in. 

As awe-inspiring as it was these pictures just don't do the view justice.  When they hit the trailhead, the sun was shining and the air was warm, but as they trekked their way along Laurel Mountain Trail the clouds and slightly cooler air decided they wanted to accompany mom and dad on this fine spring morning.  About 2.5 miles out, rain drops and rolling thunder decided they didn't want to be left out, so together the whole party turned and headed back, albeit at a quicker pace than when they started out. 

Honestly, we'd decided that 2.5 miles out was about enough for the day and were already heading back by the time the thunder started.  Sometimes the old girl likes to make things a little more dramatic and long-winded than they really are.  The part about the quicker pace, however, is true.

Long-winded?  Me?  Whatever you say, scaredy cat.  Anyhoo, after returning home and settling in for the afternoon dad, as he often does, decided to scroll through the Ring videos on his phone.  Now, it's not unusual to catch overnight visitors sauntering up our stone walkway.  Neighborhood cats, foxes and occasionally unidentifiable other such critters use the path as a cut-through on their nocturnal wanderings.  Suddenly, dad gasped with surprise while watching the videos, unaware that while they were hiking, someone a bit, umm, bigger came a-knockin'.  Yep, at about 9:30 a.m. and in broad daylight, mind you.  The first clip's only about 6 seconds long and the second one's 20 or so. 

There have been multiple sightings 'round here lately, but this is the first time one has come right up to our door.  He probably looked in the window, saw me (asleep in the chair, of course), and figured he didn't want to mess with me.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Guest Spotlight

 Since we've lived in Asheville, mom and dad have trusted Cedar Ridge Animal Hospital for all my health needs.  They're a fabulous team of caring animal professionals who are easy to work with and always make us feel welcome.  On entering the front office, one is occasionally greeted by one of the most famous names in show business.  That's right, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you in all her front desk lounging tabby splendor the one, the only film and fashion icon- Audrey Hepburn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Half On/Half Off

So, it's no secret that our felines have to stop and bathe whenever/wherever the need strikes.  Our old gal typically plops onto the carpet in the living room to do her washing, but once or twice now I've managed to snap a few photos of her half on/half off my her chair on her way across the table to the other chair.  Apologies for the poor focus, but consider them "action" shots of our bathing beauty.

Gee, thanks dad.  Next post I'll make sure mom gets me a few pictures of you in the shower.  Bet you'd love that, huh?

The above photos were from a while ago, but I just had to update this post by adding these last two that I literally just took only minutes ago of the old girl.  I was buzzing around in the kitchen, getting ready for work and looked over in the living room to see her sitting there, staring at me as if saying "come on dad, I'm waiting for you."
Guess I didn't need the flash...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


Funny story:   Y'all know that we felines have a way of developing habits and whatnot, right?  I've heard discussions between mom and dad about how I can be a slob because I take up a mouthful of wet food and eat it away from my dish, making a mess on my board.  Or how dad makes mental notes (emphasis on the "mental") of the way I apparently poop in the back corner of my box and pee against the front, often times not covering said pee and stepping through it and leaving tracks. Whatever, says I.  I could write pages of gripes I have with them.  If I could hold a pen.  Anyway, yeah, back to habits.  I fight mom when it comes to sitting in the living room, especially when I'm already there and (usually) asleep and she wants to sit with me.  She grumbles, begs and bitches, and I'm still as a statue, my expression all, like, "what, you want me to move?"  However, for who knows what reason it's a bit different when it comes to sitting with dad.  As you've seen in some posts, I like to squish in on dad's left side between his leg and the arm of the chair where I'm all nice and snug and warm. 

Then, when dad gets up to refill his coffee or something I'll slide right back over for him, or, most often, will stay tucked tightly against the chair arm, patient as can be. 

Which mom, in spite of a bit of jealousy I dare say, finds adorable.  What can I say?  Habits, right?

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Buttsmosis Blog Posting

Hey, a girl's gotta get her thoughts put into words somehow, right?

What, you thought dad did all our posts with his hands?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Slumber Party of Three

Dad's recovering about as we expected, though he did seem to overdo it a bit yesterday, only his second full day back to work.  Thankfully he's got his own full-time nurse/mom/nutrition coach in mom to steer him and admonish when necessary.  

So anyway, dad was up early as usual one recent morning, and mom, who generally sleeps later than dad, shuffled out of the bedroom and plunked herself onto dad's lap the way I like to do (note- this was prior to dad's hernia surgery).  The two of them settled into each other silently, mumbling who-knows-what and eventually closing their eyes. 

Not one to be ignored, I wanted in on this party, so I tread gingerly as I do across the side table from my chair and onto the double laps snoring lightly in the rocker. 
Yeah, their PJ pants almost match.  How cute...

And there we three lazed away the early morning hours (okay, maybe it was more like a few minutes or maybe a half hour or so. Whatever) blissfully, not a care in the world . . .

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Puzzled, Puzzled and Puzzled Some More


Mom and dad recently finished a unique jigsaw puzzle, one made up of the tiniest pieces any of us had ever seen. 

Sure, it was fun, but the size of the pieces made its completion extra difficult. 

The next- and most recent one- was, you guessed it, another feline-themed puzzle.  This time I got to help out.  From the sidelines, sort of. 

At least they let me get up on a chair to watch.  Last, we're puzzled by something that recently took place.  Up until this past week, dad's done the lawn care around the property where we live, and the surgery on his, umm, intestinal underpinnings 
the other day (which, they say, went well and has dad in mild distress, shuffling aimlessly around the house and generally just being in the way) meant he had to hire out for the mowing this past week.  Suffice it to say that on looking out the front door over my sunning steps he was bewildered and saddened to see that the hired groundskeepers had, for who knows what reason, obliterated my beloved bushy catnip (see previous post). 
Yeah, that's the same plant as in my previous post!

Yep, took it right down to the ground.

  And it wasn't like they thought they were being thorough as they left multiple weeds nearby untouched. "Idiots", he howled (I cleaned that one up a bit), then continued to rant and spew things I can't repeat here.  Mom and I figured, if we just ignored him long
enough, he'd eventually let it go and shut up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022


 On mom's behalf I thank you all for your thoughtful birthday wishes and kind words.  She and dad had a nice relaxing weekend that, as usual, went way too fast. 

We had some exquisite weather this past weekend, and it gave me a chance to lounge out on the front steps in the sun. 

Dad took down his lattice enclosure some time ago, but they let me out now and then and just keep an eye on me so I don't take off or get snatched up by a bear or a Sasquatch or anything. 

As I said, the sun was shining, the air was warm and the little catnip plant they bought last year, which dad kind of on a whim planted by the steps, was the icing on the cake, so to speak. I don't really go for eating the stuff, though I do take a nibble now and then. 

Mostly, I just rub my head in it, roll around a bit, then go to sleep. 

We had to throw in this last shot to show what the weather was like here just a day before dad snapped my 'nip photos. 

Snow had been spitting off & on all day, but at one point sleet was raining down like little bullets, bouncing off the stones and coating everything white.  Crazy, I know.