Monday, January 31, 2011

Hero Kitty Does It Again While Dogs Sleep

I don't write often about Whiskers because he is a sweet, gentle, senior cat who enjoys life, gives me love and no trouble whatsoever. He is a joy.

Whiskers spent his first few weeks of life in a box at the animal shelter and didn't know what is was to be outside. That was in August 2001.

When he came home, he was just 6 weeks old and quickly adjusted to Scully and Dovi, even learning how to carry his toys in his mouth like the dogs.

This morning, Whiskers is my HERO! Once again.

Waking up at 6 a.m. to a very dry mouth and dry apartment, I got out of bed to put a pan of water to boil on the stove. We needed some moisture in the air.

The first hint of any sort of light was just barely showing as the crescent moon glowed in the pre-dawn hour. I really didn't want to wake up yet but knew I had to stay up for awhile. So, naturally, I came to the computer to check my e-mail. 

After a few minutes I added more water to the now boiling frying pan- it was a chicken fryer so it was pretty deep. I wasn't concerned about leaving it unattended- I was a few feet away in the next room.

I became engrossed in a weight-loss video and Whiskers would run to me every so often or come to the living room and vocally "call" me. I thought he was hungry but he had his bowl of dried food and water. He had already gone to his litter box for his morning constitutional. He was driving me crazy...It became incessant.

He was getting to the point of becoming frantic, running in and out of the living room, crying and wailing I left the video and went to the kitchen to mix his wet food with some dry food. The pan was still on and the flame was pretty high. Flames do rise with gas stoves. I didn't have any light on, though it was getting a little lighter in the kitchen. It smelled odd and the sound of the water was very loud...different. I went to the pan and it was EMPTY and TURNING black! If it weren't for Whiskers, I might not have found it until it was too late!

I flipped off the gas as the pan continued to blacken...the smell of burning, scalding stainless steel permeated the air...I added a little water at a time to the pan and the water jumped and bubbled and turned to steam immediately...the smell was worse....I just added more and more until the bottom of the pan was completely I swished the water around in the pan, it turned black...

Whiskers calmly went back to bed, averting a terrible disaster...while Scully and Dovi slept deeply in their beds.

It isn't the first time Whiskers has saved us all but I'll save that for another day...

And it isn't the first time a cat has saved a family from fire while the dog slept peacefully. Thank goodness cats are pretty much nocturnal. 

Think about it, if you have a dog, you're covered during the day...and if you have a cat, he stands watch at night. Twenty-four hour protection, seven days a week...and they love unconditionally.

Now, they're MY kind of body-guards!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tender Moments

Scully loves his bed.

This is common knowledge.

He loves his mama...but he loves his bed, too.

Whiskers woke me at 5:30 this morning to go to his litter box, which is out in the front hallway. It's our morning ritual. I could set a clock to it.

He goes to his litter box and I go to the bathroom. I finish and let him in. Done. Back to bed we go.

When I got back into bed, Whiskers got on his blanket, which is at the foot of my bed. My electric heater was on and it was nice and cozy. The snow was silently falling and it was a morning that you just don't want to get out of bed because the blankets and pillows are "just right." Perfect for a long, Winter's snooze.

Dovi came in and jumped on the bed, coming right up to the other pillow. He loves to snuggle with me. He fell asleep, his little paws wrapped around my arm.

He growled and I opened my eyes to see Whiskers going back to his blanket. So I held Dovi and called Whiskers back...He came and snuggled right next to Dovi.

And there we all slept in Peace and Harmony. Whiskers beside Dovi (which is BIG because Whiskers bites Dovi on the nose when he wants to eat...don't ask me why. I have no idea.) Scully was warm and cozy under his flannel pillowcase and blanket and it was a beautiful way to spend the next few hours.

As Human Beings, we're not perfect and we let each other down sometimes..without meaning to or trying to...sometimes it's deliberate but when it happens to us, we can't control it. Somehow, our beautiful animal companions know how to comfort us. Sometimes, like Whiskers this morning, they come to us for comfort or sometimes just to "belong" and feel like part of the family.

Right now, Whiskers and Dovi are sleeping on my bed and Scully insisted on coming into the Living Room- bed and all...

As for me, I'm calm and feel a quiet Joy because no matter what's going on in the World right now, there is Peace in my Home.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Simple Thank You...

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
Henri Frederic Amiel

Gratitude...being grateful. Feeling grateful. Expressing gratitude with a simple "Thank you."

Each morning before my feet touch the floor, I say out loud or sometimes in my mind,
"Thank. Thank. Thank you."

I thank my Father in Heaven. You may thank your own Higher Power, the Universe, Source, Allah...whomever it may be.  It doesn't matter because the same "Thank yous" are heard.

I believe Holy Scripture in all beliefs teach us to be grateful in all things- for the good and the bad...for the rain and the sun- for we need both to survive, don't we.

Gratitude and being thankful are not acts left only to Humans.

Animals don't need to work at being grateful. They are already, innately grateful.
They don't need to be taught what Gratitude is or being thankful is. They show it when they feel it. 


They live in the moment, as should we.

I know this because I've experienced it firsthand, as every person who has ever been blessed to have an animal in his or her life.

Every time I feed Scully, Dovi and Whiskers, each one comes to me after they finish eating and licks my hand or leg or nuzzles me. Every time. Since the first time I fed Scully over eleven years ago until this morning. It doesn't matter where I am, what room I'm in or what I'm doing. I get a lick or two on my leg or hand...then each one sits humbly and looks at me with adoring love...each one. Scully, Dovi and Whiskers.

We should practice Gratitude daily. Animals do it by Nature. We do it if we remember...

There's a lesson here somewhere...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Midnight Bathroom Trip

I know my dog.

I know both dogs and the cat.

Like other personalities we live with, we get to know them.

When Scully goes to the door, he's not telling me he wants to go for a ride.
He's telling me, "Ma, I gotta go to the bathroom- NOW!"

Midnight in the middle of July is no big deal...but midnight in the middle of January is.
The clicking sound of his nails on the hardwood floor woke me from my toasty slumber at one thirty this morning. I shook my head a little, trying to wake up and saw him peering at me with the intensity of "RIGHT NOW"

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go, right?

So, he ran to the kitchen door and as I placed his little red sweater over his head, he put his right arm through the armhole and then the left...he dresses himself with a little help from Mama. 

Then the other pink plaid fleece jacket...

I grabbed my jacket as we flew down the stairs.

He hopped down the 3 steps to the icy ground and ran to his favorite snowbank to do his business.

As I went around the corner to follow him, I was greeted with a beautiful sky.  Bella Luna was behind some wispy clouds and the haze in the air made the early morning alive with dark blue and glowing moonlit clouds.  Even more beautiful, however, was that the moon was low in the west...behind a beautiful, naked maple tree.  Imagine if you can, the moon peeking through the clouds from the behind the silhouette of hundreds of bare branches.

It was breathtaking and so peaceful.  I wish I could re-create it for you with a palette of pastels.

I thanked Scully for being a good dog and waking me so he could go to the bathroom.  He's never had an accident in the house since 2000...and only once since he came to my life.

The real beauty of all this is that I trusted him to wake me if it was important.  I didn't tell him "No no" or "Go back to bed" because it was inconvenient to me.  I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  It's a luxury not to have to depend on anyone else to take me.  He, Dovi and Whiskers and all other indoor pets don't have that option.  I went with him and by my non-resistance, he gave me a beautiful gift early this morning, while the rest of the community slept.

I have come to treasure those early morning trips outside with him.  He is always happy and grateful...wagging his tail, smiling and giving me his forehead to nuzzle with my own.  He goes right back to his bed and I am left to fall back to sleep, pondering the beautiful, simple gifts of his presence in my life...and of his devoted love and loyalty to me.

He is one of the Lord's greatest blessings to me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Emergency Car Kit For Your Pet

Scully and Dovi are not crazy about the snow anymore.

Oh sure, as pups they loved to run and jump in it, chasing each other and sliding around in it.

They never tired of it.


They run in it... the door.

They don't want to hear it...S-N-O-W...nope. It's a four-letter word.

Now, these dogs are bundled up with a sweater and a fake fleece doggie coat.
They waddle around like the baby brother in "A Christmas Story" but they still enjoy being outside- just for shorter amounts of time.

Rides in the car and walks in the park are still the all-time favorite things to do- next to snuggling with Mama and getting tummy rubs, so I thought putting together a little list for the car would be helpful to other like-minded "dog people."  Actually, you've probably already thought of this so please add anything at all to the list.  I welcome your comments!

  1. Dry blankets for you and Fido or Fluffy. Emergency space blankets are small, compact and reflective.  Check out the camping department at your local retail store
  2. Hand warmers for you and to put under their blankets or a thin cloth-never on their exposed skin
  3. Emergency meds and veterinarian info for them. 
  4. Small bags of kibble or canned food w/plastic utensils and bowls
  5. Water
  6. Chew toys to calm their nerves
  7. Bach Rescue Remedy if it helps them.  Spray a little first so they're used to it
  8. Leads (leashes) and collars- when rescue personnel arrive, your dog will bark and possibly bite them in order to protect you. Having them on a leash or in a doggie seatbelt will keep them safe and get you the help you need sooner
  9. Emergency flares AND a reflective triangle- if you can leave your car, place the triangle far to the rear of your car, then place a flare farther out into the road and the next flare even farther into the lane to divert oncoming cars and trucks AWAY from you and your dogs!  If they see the triangle and at least two flares guiding them to another lane, they'll have time to move AWAY from you and not HIT you!
NEVER LEAVE YOUR ANIMALS ALONE IN THE CAR- EVER!!  Take them with you or stay in the car with them until help arrives!

We hope you never have to use this info but please be prepared and safe with your pets.
CLICK HERE for a list of other non-pet items you should have in your car kit!