Category Archives: Animal Adventures

Study Buddies

When I work at my desk during the wintertime, I often have a “study buddy” kitten. They love sitting under my lamp to soak up the warmth and get some scratching. The only problem, is that they tend to think my work isn’t nearly as important as their little selves, and so they sit and roll on my books, purr in my face, and bat at my pencil or hand. It’s a distraction I can tolerate. 😀

10-MONTH-old Knox

10-YEAR-old Twinkles

A Kitten Update

Wow! Time has flown and the kittens are now over 4 weeks! We’ve been away from them for almost a week, and can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown when we get home. But for now, I have 24 day-old kitten pictures from right before we left! They all have names now (we think) but I don’t have recent individual pictures, so I’ll wait to announce them till we get home.

kitten #1

#4, our runt (not so much so now!)

That’s #6 under Lady L’s finger

#2, and 5 walking past

#2

Lady L’s favorites, #’s 5 and 4

Our Adventurous Thursday

Between a crime scene investigation and the delivery of kittens (*happy dance*), Thursday was a day to remember.

Amanda and I were still half awake Wednesday “night” (actually 2:00 AM Thursday) when we heard commotion next door through our open bedroom window. From then until 5 AM we were in and out of sleep, and by 6:30 a man had been taken to the hospital, and the police were blocking the area off as a crime scene. The details are not edifying, and thus I won’t include them.

(picture “borrowed” from our local news)

The “suspect” is the man who had been living next door and talking to us for three months – asking about our garden, petting the bunny, etc. It’s not “scary,” knowing that God is in control, but it is rather heart-breaking to see what comes from rejection of God’s ways and how people’s lives are broken because of it. Please, please pray for our neighborhood and the safety of the people in it! We moved here almost 20 years ago, and it wasn’t like this then. There have been a few rather disturbing incidents recently, and in October, some guys walking down our street broke the mirror off the side of our car.

I only share these things so you can better understand our situation and the need we are feeling to move. We are praying all the time that God would show us His will for when and where. Practically the whole country stands as a possibility before us and we are unsure of what God wills for us. We do see the need for/importance of moving to a place where there is a true biblical church we can be a part of. Anyone attending a Christ-centered, family-integrated church we could consider? Seriously. We are looking into places and churches across the country. Maybe God’s will is not for us to move right now, and if so, then we continue to pray for strength and safety and submit in cheerfulness and joy.

But back to the story. Somewhere around 7 AM the CSI team showed up and the investigation got underway in earnest – little numbered markers, lots of pictures, swabs, and piecing together the actual series of events by the evidence.  At about the same time, Aurelia went into labor! So between 7:00 and 1:00 we were busy delivering kittens and and watching the fascinating process of investigation. And drinking lots of coffee.

(another picture from our local news – minus some things :P)

Aurelia was in labor for 5 1/2 hours and had 6 kittens! For a first litter that is quite a few. It explains why she was so huge and uncomfortable! She is recovering really well and adapting to being a mother. And the kittens are too cute. There are three that look like they will be tabbies, one that will either be black or charcoal gray, and two that are white with gray tabby “caps” on their heads! The whole story and many pictures will follow soon, but here are three to hold you over until then.

The second kitten, this is one of the tabbies (we think), but it also has white on it’s face, tummy, and paws!

I believe this was #4, the runt

Happy (and exhausted!) Aurelia with all of her kittens… the runt isn’t visible, it’s probably under her back leg.

In the late afternoon, some dear friends came over for a piano lesson and visit, and they brought us coffee! How sweet! Thank you, Mrs. L! It was very much appreciated and enjoyed after such a sleepless night and long day.

Meet Aurelia (and other elusive Roman cats)

^This^ is Aurelia, so named for her aquiline looks. It all started out innocently enough. She was a skinny, kittenish thing – scared of humans and desperately hungry. We took pity and left a handful of food out for her. A couple of days later, Daddy announces that he got her to eat out of his hands. A few weeks later, and Lady L has enticed Aurelia onto her lap.

She also has a bed on the back porch, and a water bowl. It’s been really cold and dark this winter, and it was difficult to watch the little thing suffer. A week or so more, and she had been allowed a couple of hours in the warm kitchen every evening. And now, a little over two months since this whole thing began, Miss Aurelia is spending most of her time indoors, including the cold overnights.

She roams the whole downstairs and part of the upstairs, finding great pleasure in slipping by into the places she’s not supposed to be. The other two cats hiss and growl at her whenever she’s near, and there’s an occasional swat exchanged, but they’re rather too lazy to put enough effort into fighting, and Aurelia doesn’t like to fight either. She seems to want their companionship. Unfortunately, she’s still a little distrustful of humans, and does NOT like being picked up or held! AND…

…the little miss has turned out to be PREGNANT! 😯 The above picture was taken a couple weeks ago, and she has grown considerably bigger and more uncomfortable since then! We’re expecting the kittens sometime during the first full week of April (in about 10 days!). This will be an interesting experience if she decides to have them inside, as we have never had kittens before.

The most likely daddy candidates are these two males, which showed up about the same time Aurelia did. We don’t like them – they’re not friendly, and are kinda scary looking, not to mention always getting into fights – so we stuck with the Roman theme, and gave them names we don’t like, Gaius and Decimus.

Gaius, always sticking his nose in other kitties business (literally…)

Decimus, who has one blue eye and one green eye and is often see with patches of fur missing

And our animals adventures continue…

Ebony’s Jaw Abscess (the 2nd update)

These pictures are from the middle of January:

On the larger shaved area, the smaller, redder “nodule” is the abscess itself. The “bulgy” or “puffy” section on what would be her cheek is actually abnormal bone growth, trying to close off the body from the infection.

Ebony is now 4 weeks into her bicillin injections. Since the above photos were taken, the abscess cavity seems to have shrunk, but it’s still weeping pus. We’ve also been giving her injections on our lap instead of on a counter space – she copes much better. And we’ve given up on the towel-wrapping bit. 😛 Our Ebbsy girl enjoys roaming our bedroom… and especially jumping up and lounging on our bed! When our room is clean enough, and the light is pretty enough, I’ll take some pictures for you.

Ebony’s Jaw Abscess

This is just an update post on Ebony’s abscess. If you don’t want to hear about it, you can skip this post, but then you won’t get to see the pictures of our cute girly! Or what’s been occupying our thoughts and time…

First, a funny story: On Tuesday afternoon, we’re back in the vet’s office, ready to open/drain the abscess somehow and start bicillin injections. The vet is ready to wrap Ebony in the towel so he can examine her, and Lady L and I are a little anxious because she IS a squirmy one and she doesn’t like “the towel” either – last time at the vet’s she absolutely wore herself (and the vet) out constantly scrambling and escaping from the towel. This time, as soon as he puts his hand on her and pulls one edge of the towel up, she squirms and leaps and we all grab for her… the vet exclaiming, “oh my word, this is THE ONE!” The vet paused for a moment and repeated it with a bit of a groan before we subdued Ebony enough to get her tightly wrapped and escape-proof. Apparently he had forgotten that Ebony was “THE ONE” he had struggled with so much last time. Hehe. We all laughed, but it’s kinda embarrassing being the “parent” of “that child”…

After examining the abscess (which had gotten considerably bigger), he recommended having it lanced and removing as much pus as possible. I’ll spare you the details, and just say that if I hadn’t been reading all about these abscesses for awhile, it would have been quite disgusting! Thinking about the pus as simply the dead remains of white blood cells makes it a lot more tolerable when you see that much of it.

Though our vet is still rather unconvinced about this treatment, I’m thankful he’s willing to help us along. He taught me how to give sub-cuttaneous injections, and guided me as I gave one there in the office. I was surprised by how simple and painless it is! The only issue is that he gave us just the Penicillin G Procaine – no benzathine with it… so I’m going to have to find it somewhere else after all. So much for going the easy route and just getting it from the vet’s office.

Yesterday, I gave Ebony her second injection (first at home) and it went great. We also got her new cage that we had ordered online! Because of the increasingly cold weather, we decided it was best that she live indoors as we fight this infection. We moved her into the kitchen on Saturday evening, but we had to get a cage with plastic sides before she could reside on the carpeted floor of our bedroom upstairs. *ahem*

Ebony, this past Spring, peeking out the open door of her cage and begging for some petting

See?! She’s going to have to get over this squirmy, jumpy behavior…

After our fist injection at home! I’m so glad it’s easier than people made it out to be! Yes, her eyes are watering – it’s related to the problems with her teeth.

Lady L was so excited to finally get the cage she ordered! She’s been checking it’s status ever since it shipped.

I’ll post again when Ebony is settled into our bedroom and I get some better pictures. 🙂

A New “Adventure”

Happy 2013! How special that we can enter a new year trusting in the Lord and looking forward to the goodness of His will and ways, even if we don’t understand them or wouldn’t choose them.

In this new year, we have another battle to wage with bunny illness. Another possibly sad one. And as much as I don’t really want to have to share these things here, spreading the sadness to you, I believe it’s important because this is life… the life God has given us. Just as much as the joys and triumphs, the beauties and the smiles, are part of God’s marvelous work, so are the trials and difficulties, the pain and death. My goal is not to write about the sweetest and best things that happen to us, but rather the grace and power of God in a submitted life, and the vast and amazing ways this is worked out in a practical way.

I want you to know – it’s not about going to amazing Christian events, having the dearest friends, taking stunning pictures with expensive cameras, composing a breath-taking sentence, cooking healthy and delicious and beautiful food, or anything else that is fun and exciting in life. It’s about our hearts before God, serving Him in those things… and in the simple life in between those things. Blessing others. Returning good for evil. Smiling and trusting the Lord through difficulties. Surrendering pain and finding comfort in God’s fullness. Not seeking the limelight for our own sakes. It’s doing, or not doing, everything solely for Christ’s sake.

…what you are about to read is our life, and our “adventure” in between the outwardly “beautiful”…

Ebony has an abscess on her jaw, and her teeth are in bad shape (which we knew, considering her teeth have been maloccluded for the past year). She was officially diagnosed on Christmas Eve, and we’ve been praying what to do about it since. Surgery isn’t an option for various reasons, but I’ve been reading about an alternative treatment online using penicillin injections. The bad news is that our vet hasn’t had much success with this and doesn’t think it will work. The “good news” is that he doesn’t have any alternative and is willing to prescribe it if that’s what we want to do.

So today I started my search for a good supplier of penicillin G procaine/benzathine, syringes, and the needles… tomorrow the adventure continues…

“30 Days Hath September” – the 14th

Same subject. Same place. Same time. 30 days. } a personal challenge

Having loved working with a prop, we chose another one for the fourteenth – the bunny! As most of you will know, this is Smudge, or more affectionately called in recent days, “Smudgie-Wudgie Handsome-Face!” In the past he has also been dubbed “Sir Smudge, of the fluffy way.”

Yes, Indeed! No laughing, please…

A few weeks ago, we received a never-before-heard-by-us automated phone call – using what Daddy said is called a “reverse-911” system, we were alerted to the fact that our neighborhood was being sprayed for mosquitoes. Between the hours of 9PM and 3AM we were to turn off our air conditioners, close the windows, and keep all our pets inside. … there was a shocked pause in our living room as this news was related. This has never happened here before! But we have had a horrible year with these new zebra-striped Asian Tiger Mosquitoes.

Great. {hear the sarcasm dripping?} So our first thought was that our three outdoor rabbits would have to be brought in overnight (done it twice – once because of extreme heat, and another time because of loose dogs attacking them), but following on it’s heels was a picture of our nice little organic-ish backyard garden covered in chemical residue. Eww. After a short consultation everyone broke off to their individual tasks. Cages were wiped down and prepared for rabbit habitation, newspaper was spread in the kitchen, rabbit food bowls were refilled, AND… tarps were pulled out of the garage. Yes indeed, we are going to protect our garden no matter how difficult they make it! 😀

The next morning, I couldn’t resist going out to take some pictures of our strange-looking yard.

from our back porch

our yard

looking into our neighbor’s yard where we also have things planted

The mosquitoes do seem a little more manageable, but we can’t decide which was the greater of two evils: nasty stripey mosquitoes, or disgusting chemical spray.