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Emotional days and saying goodbye…

Nearly two weeks age we had to make the hard decision to put our cat Sparky down. He was about 17 and until a few months ago he was doing great. But when we came back from a camping trip in June, and had someone feeding the cats, we noticed that he suddenly lost a lot of weight.

We got Sparky when he was about 6-7 years old and a friend needed to find a home for him. It was supposed to be temporary but 9 years later he was still with us.

Sparky was the perfect cat for kids. He was big and slow and loved the attention that kids gave him. They could lay on him and cuddle him and he would just soak it up. If he got annoyed, he would get up, walk two step and plop right back down.  He would hang out in the backyard when we were out there but never went far out of the yard and would spend the summer on the deck of the pool sleeping in the sun.

sparky (note the lack of snow)

 

Sparky

With Xavier

Xavier and Sparky

Making Friends with Nala

Sparky and Nala
With Wilhelmina…

with sparky

Sleeping on the deck…

Sparky misses the chairs...

So over the last couple of months he lost more weight, was eating less and the starting having trouble walking. Then I saw that he was in pain and decided that it was time.

I brought him to the vet and very gently he left, with his head resting in my hands, the way he loved to be pet.

The kids were upset but we had time to prepare them and say goodbye. So though they were sad, they took the transition well. Xavier did want another cat but I explained that Nala could get all of the love and if ever the timing was right we would bring another cat in the house.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Two days ago, on Sunday, I was out with my friend (same friend who gave us Sparky) and then I was working at the elections. I got a call from Simon. He and the kids were outside raking and Xavier noticed something in the pool. It was Nala.. oh how my heart breaks while writing this. I had cuddled her that morning and Simon had seen her around lunch time but she was gone when I got the call around 3. I can’t imagine what it was like for Simon and the kids seeing her like that. My heart aches thinking about it. Simon asked me if I wanted to see her, but I could not bear it. So he and the kids buried her in the back yard, and said their goodbyes.

Nala was only 4 1/2 years old…
She was born in an old outhouse near my FIL’s cabin. We got her just around the time that she weaned from her mom.

Xavier and Nala

 

Nala

She loved the kids, she was friendly and cuddly, mischievous and relaxed and just an all around cool cat.

Sleeping with Khéna

Nala sleeping with Khéna

Gotchya!

Something did not belong in the Christmas tree…

Nala...

Looking in from outside…

Nala... watching me while I do dishes

Trying to crochet… 

pull...

Her space on the couch…
She was always there…

With Nala

I can’t stop crying, and I know that Simon is still haunted by the image of seeing her. The kids are heartbroken and there is a lot of healing to be done. Though it is very soon after this tragedy, we decided that having another feline presence in the house would do us some good. It could never replace our lost kitties but we have a lot of love to give and there are kitties in need. I looked on the local Facebook page for lost and found animals and two little kittens were there, in the country about 15 min away, living under a balcony. Though it feel a bit too soon, it also felt right to give them a home… so yesterday evening I picked them up… it is bittersweet.

We will always love you and we will miss you Sparky…
Sparky

We will always cherish you and always remember you Nala…

Nala

little update…

Both my grandma and Nala came out of surgery well…

My grandma’s surgery went very well, but it took a bit longer than thought for her to wake up. She was transferred to the ICU after a few hours and will be getting a room either today or tomorrow. My uncle was able to see her yesterday and though she wasn’t talking much, she was all there and just need to recuperate and recover now… He’ll go see her again this morning so later on I will have more news.

Nala’s surgery went perfectly and we picked her up after our Chiro appointment last night,  and she was completely awake and happy to see us… though she was walking a bit funny for the first few minutes home she was herself and was starving  even though they had given her a small meal there… we fed her and she ate a day’s worth of food without hesitation… She isn’t complaining at all but is very cuddly and is giving all of  us tons of cuddles and kisses… we just have to bring her back in two weeks to get the stitches removed.

Thinking happy thoughts…

My grandmother is an amazing woman. She is 86 and full of  life. She goes out with friends, still works occasionally, loves to gamble and gets her hair and nails done every week (she hasn’t washed her own hair since she was in her teens.. lol) If you want to call her and get her at home, your best bet is to call after midnight… she goes to sleep around 3am every night after completing her crossword puzzle in bed… but don’t call her before 10am!

I don’t get to see her as often as I would like since she and my uncle both smoke in their home, and with my allergies and asthma I can’t visit her. But I do try to talk to her on the phone often and stop by her house when I am in the area even if it just to stay outside for a few minutes… I also love having her here at my home.

Here are some pics that I took last week when she and my mom came over…

My grandma

(striking a pose and showing off her low cut jeans)

Striking a pose!

(With my mom and Khéna)

My mom, grandma and Khéna

Last month, my Grandmother found out that she had stomach cancer. It is large and aggressive and the diagnosis could have gone either way. She went in for a scan 3 weeks ago and was told that they would call her within 2-3 weeks with either an appointment with the specialist (which would mean that it was too advanced/ had spread / was not operable… or with an appointment for a few more tests at the hospital which would mean prep for surgery. I was a nerve wracking week but she finally got the call to go to the hospital for tests and Surgery was scheduled for today. If she hadn’t been called for surgery she was told that she would have had only another 6 months… I can’t imagine her going so soon…

I’ll find out in a few hours how it went…

Another family member is also in Surgery today… we brought Nala to the vet this morning to be spayed… the boys were sad to find out that she was going to be having surgery and that they would be cutting her skin, Xavier was in tears, scared that she won’t come back… I think it helped that they brought her with me this morning and that we will all be picking her up after the Chiro appointment tonight…

So, today we are thinking happy thought that everything will go well for both of our loved ones…

Weekly specials…

Sometimes, the weekly specials at the grocery store just work for you…

I make my weekly menu according to the specials from the grocery stores in my area and I am also trying to stay within budget. I was not being careful for a while and the amount we were spending on groceries was going up a bit more than I would have hoped… So I have been being careful of using what we have in the freezer and pantry and stocking up on things that are on special…

Now that I also have Nala to feed I am really keeping my eye out on cheaper cuts of meat…

I felt I hit the Jackpot this week… Turkey was .99 a pound and so were chickens at another store. I bought two turkeys, one that has been put away in the fridge to defrost for the weekend (which will make a great turkey meal, pot pie, stock and soup along with leftovers) and one for freezer for a later date. I also bought 4 chickens and a 4 bone in chicken breasts. Along with other food to complete the menu plan, including 8lbs of apples and a box of clementines, I managed to keep the cost at about 100$ which I find to be quite remarkable…

The 4 chickens were not the nicest looking or the best quality but Nala won’t mind…  I took the time yesterday morning to cut them up and separate them into baggies for about 3-4 weeks worth of Nala’s meals… I am hoping to do the same whenever I see that special so that we have a good stock of food for her in the freezer at all times.

(Ready for the Freezer)

cut up chicken peices for Nala (our raw fed cat)

At the same time I was cutting up the whole chickens and was in the groove, I also cut up the chicken breasts that I used in last nights supper which was Fried chicken Sandwiches (recipe to come)…

The bones of course did not go to waste and got thrown into a pot with a few onions, carrots and celery stalks and will become the broth for tonight’s soup and there should be broth left over to freeze for other meals…

(Chicken stock  before and after about 20 hours of simmering)

chicken stockchicken stock..Chicken stock after simmering for about 20 hours

So for about 100$ I will be getting weeks worth of food for the whole family…

Planning meals and stocking up on specials can really be quite rewarding…

Learning to raw feed…

In the last few days/weeks I have been learning more and more about raw feeding a cat… and of course I still have a lot to learn…

I am pretty sure that she was being fed prey by her mom before she came to us because I was told that she wasn’t taking to the kibble much that they were trying to get her to eat and she took to raw food perfectly.

The first day I prepared little baggies with a few oz of food a day in them with the amount that an adult cat would eat… pretty much just chicken, chicken hearts, livers and a few pieces with bone to make a complete diet. However, Kittens, like babies, go through growth spurts and she can sometimes eat nearly two of the daily portions in a day and then eat less the next. All the portions are frozen and then I just need to take one out, let it thaw (or thaw it in warm water) and then serve. I takes about 15 min to prepare all the portions and it really isn’t too much more work than feeding kibble…

So I have just been feeding her four times a day and giving her a bit more than I think she needs and letting her be the judge of her appetite…

I have also read many times on the Rawcat Yahoo group that when they are young it is the best time to get them used to eating many types of food… So after having chicken the first week, I then went and bough a cow heart and portioned that all up for quite a few meals and then this weekend I bought some pork for her also…

She has eaten everything without hesitation (though she doesn’t like the fat on the cow heart too much) and the more little portion that I have ready the more variety she is getting…

I had also asked on the group if it would be a good idea to try to feed a mouse to her if Sparky (our older cat) caught it and left it in front of the door which he does on occasion. The answer was to try… she might or might not take it…

So when he left a little mouse next to the door during the night we decided to give it a try this morning… When she eats I often tough her to get her used to our presence and so she is OK if someone touches her or her food when she is eating. But when we presented her with the mouse in the kitchen then decided to move her outside on the balcony to continue, she growled and didn’t want us to touch it… it was hers!

She ended up playing with it for about 10 min…

(click on a pic to make it larger)

touching…

hmm... what's this!

Pouncing…

Got ya! pounce!

Carrying…

mine... mine... mine...

Holding…

my little mouse... all mine...

And then  finally she broke the neck, or the skull or something that when *crunch*  and then she starting to eat it…

oh... yummy!!ohh... this is good!!just legs and tail left

And then within a minute of starting to eat the little mouse… it was gone..

all done

and she was still hungry…

Peek a boo

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