Requiem: in praise of the Vampir

This week, the extended family of pointy eared people observed the passing of Vampir, a good natured soul with a sweet tooth for rodents. Much like one of the characters from “what we do in the shadows”, Vampir roomed with Nofuratu, Count, Vlad, Captain Darling and Renfield.  Renfield,  who follows in Vampir’s footsteps as a great mouser.

A powerful hunger
Renfield’s powerful hunger

I can easily picture Vampir’s handsome ears and glorious whiskers twitching in the dark, as the “doomed” mice scurried about. His casually interested eyes suddenly waning like a total lunar eclipse before the sacrifice.

Vampir at rest
Vampir at rest

A creature of both darkness and light, Vampir occasionally enjoyed exposing his six (or was it eight?) nipples to sunlight in between nightly pursuits. The warmth helping him digest sweetbreads just recently consumed.

Vampir's belly roll
Vampir’s belly roll

We celebrate Vampir’s transition to the other side of the bridge, where the sun always shines, the moon is always full and mice are plentiful and slower than molasses in winter. Why work at it so hard, eh?

Goodnight sweet Vampir
Goodnight sweet Vampir

Increase your website traffic with


Justice and Terra are Together Again

On Monday, January 23, 2012, Justice, a handsome Welsh Corgi, crossed the Rainbow Bridge to join his lifelong friend, Terra

Terra and Justice
Terra and Justice reunited

Justice was born on June 24th, 1996 and took up residence with our friend, Abra Crabcakeya when he was 8 mos. old. His prior life as a show dog ended when he was disqualified (for the third time) for objecting strenuously to a male judge checking him for the required equipment. While his coloring is properly called “tobacco brindle with white points” Abra just calls him “the brown one that’s drooling.”

Justice, loyal and loved

In his younger days, Mr. Justice, along with his pals Tsula and Terra loved to go on trips to the Reservation for a bit of fishing and a good trout dinner. Justice had his favorite foods too. He loved anything Italian and deer meat. According to Abra, Justice learned how to spell.

The first word Justice learned to spell was “lasagna”, defeating all attempts the rest of his life to hide information from him. He really could spell, or recognize a lot of words when spelled out loud, and learned synonyms faster than a lot of people.

Watchful little Corgi

Over the years, he went from boating and fishing to preferring car rides and long naps. He enjoyed his cheeseburger treats on road trips. He also went from chasing deer to sitting still and watching them. According to Abra, he was a good mouser in his day and he loved to chase other varmints as well.

For more than 15 and a half years he was a most loyal and loving companion. Now he waits at the bridge with Terra so he can greet his friends Tsula and Abra when they arrive.


I’m not quite sure of the reasons, but we felt that this beautiful version of a children’s song was rather appropriate. So here is a song for Justice.

Rainbow bridge

Increase your website traffic with


The Divine Miss D Has Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Some of you may remember that we previously a post called The Rainbow Bridge: Sweet Thordoggie. Now, with great sadness we have another passing to announce. A lovely yellow lab we called The Divine Miss D has gone to join him.


I can’t do the justice to Miss D that labwitchy can, so with her permission I have used her words.

she had been used to manufacture puppies for some pretty lowlife owners. she was afraid of loud storms and would get on the bed and lie on me when storms came.
she was always a happy girl. show her a throw toy and she was so wiggly tailed happy. she enjoyed treats and walkies and car rides and was my near constant companion.

last friday, she collapsed. just collapsed, she could walk, but not well. just the day before she and i were rolling in the front yard like two loonies and having the best time. her favorite game was “go get the toy”. she played like that for at least twenty minutes at a time, longer if you wanted her to. she swam in the summer.

Miss D was at least 10 when we got her from DFW labrador rescue. no one thought she’d ever be adopted since she was so old. she and i connected the first time i saw her. she needed me as much as i needed her. my older lab, Thor had died a couple of months earlier. he was 17. she had a pancreatic tumor no one knew about. she had been to the dfw lab rescue vet and to our vet and pronounced healthy. no one knew.

labs, being stoics, with that hunting dog instinct that pushes them on through the pain. i hope she wasn’t in pain long. she never seemed to be until that day.

she had just learned to bring my iphone to me should i need it to call for help. had her paws not been so large, she could have likely dialed and told 911 what the problem was.

she was a cuddle monster. loved to cuddle, probably making up for the cuddles lost to her in her old life.

i miss her so. she was always ready for an interesting walk or an interesting ride. i couldn’t take her too many places in the car, what with the texas heat, but when i could, she was harnessed into the seat next to me and off we went.

someone had once loved her and spent time training her. she was on her way to being a gun dog, then something happened and either that owner gave her up or that owner turned into an ogre.

her best talent was doing the Dee Dance when she was happily awaiting me at the door or doing her Dee Dance when she was going to get a treat. i used to make her homemade doggy treats using recipes i received from her vet. i had planned on making her treats that looked like bats for halloween. she did NOT dress up, although she would have had i wanted her to.

we had long talks when we walked or went anywhere. the metro area isn’t dog friendly, although she was the perfect lady and wouldn’t dream of disgracing herself. she never barked. i heard that only one time. she ignored squirrels and cats and was utterly trustworthy off leash although i kept her on loose leash when we walked because it was safer for her.

she never was frightened by other people or other dogs. she ignored other dogs except torre and sat beautifully and quietly to be petted. someone worked well with her. i was even thinking of training her to be a delta dog. she was that good with people.

we only had her for a year and a half when disaster struck. the vets all agreed that the tumor was too large and too ruptured to take it out so the decision had to be made suddenly. she would never be pain free again and likely would not have made it through the surgery.

she was the best and is sorely missed. she’s coming home today to have her ashes placed next to thor’s.   By labwitchy

Divine Miss D
The Divine Miss D

From Lastech: this is the very first thing that came to me when I saw her picture, a song I’d forgotten from many years ago…

The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
All red and gold
I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold.

Since you went away
The days grow long…
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter songs
But I miss you most of all
My darling, when autumn leaves start to fall…

This is a song
that seems like us
You who loved me
And I who loved you
We lived together
You who loved me
And I who loved you
But life tears away
Those who love each other
Very softly
Without a sound
As the waves wash away
The steps of broken lovers.

Since you went away
The days grow long…
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter songs
But I miss you most of all
My darling, when autumn leaves start to fall…

Rainbow bridge

Increase your website traffic with


The Rainbow Bridge: Sweet Thordoggie

Thor,  aka Thordoggie, was born on June 13, 1994.  As you can see from his photo, he was a beautiful chocolate Lab.  According to his human LABWITCH:

My Thor — he was the largest in his litter and a puppy bully.  he was smart, he learned fast and well, but refused to get in the swimming pool.  drank out of it a lot, but wouldn’t put a toe into it.  definitely not a water dog.



He was a loving and loyal companion.  Whenever LABWITCH was alone, he was her guardian and protector. In her words:

When I was alone for a weekend or a week when the boys and hubby were out camping, etc., Thor was my protector (he got behind me whenever possible).  He hated thunderstorms, loved cuddles.

His favorite treats were bananas and carrots.  Thor was energetic and loved his walks and continued to enjoy them until his hip dysplasia became too much for him to handle.  When that happened, he got a cart so he could continue his walks.


Thordoggie and his wheels

Thordoggie spent his last days in bed, but he was very much loved, cuddled, and cared for.  After spending almost 16 years as her companion, Thordoggie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 2, 2010


He was loved in so many ways and, he sent us the great labradors we have now.

Ahhhh, the sweet smell of St. Augustine grass

Rainbow bridge

Increase your website traffic with


The Rainbow Bridge: Terra

We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to our friend Abra Crabcakeya. He has lost a friend and companion.

On May 10, 2011, a wonderful Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Terra crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Born on November 30, 1997, Terra was 9 weeks old when she went to live with him. She was truly loved and gave her love in return. She will be sorely missed.

Her human, Abra Crabcakeya said this about her:

She has always had a knack of doing everything in a unique way that made her doggish doings uniquely hilarious. Terra will be missed more than I can ever express.

She is hardheaded , eccentric , and seldom obeys anyone but me – “Daddy’s Little Girl” , always.

This way , Daddy - O , this is where we're going

Along with being daddy’s girl, she was also a loving companion to two other fur faces. One is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Justice and the other is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Tsula. They miss her too.

From left to right: Tsula, Terra, and Justice

Terra is now romping with Durango, The Boober, and others while she waits for her human and furry companions at the Rainbow Bridge.

Increase your website traffic with


The Rainbow Bridge: Sundance

Sundance, the black kitty with his brother Durango, the grey tabby

Today we got the sad news that our friend SallyCat and her husband (Mr. Cat) have lost one of their beloved fur kids. Sundance crossed the bridge on May 15, 2011. It’s very hard to lose our furry family members. The Cats have our sincere condolences.  Sundance will be sorely missed.  I’m sure The Boober was at the bridge to greet Sundance when he arrived.

Rainbow bridge

Increase your website traffic with


New Category: Boober’s Rainbow Bridge

We have created a category. It’s called Boober’s Rainbow Bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge

Finding The Boober

We had set out to find a talker, a cat who would announce himself, make demands, complaints and proclamations of kitty love in the loudest and yet somewhat ambiguous terms. Absolute clarity isn’t exactly a feline trait.

Unless they’re hungry.

Or bored and require entertainment, immediately.

This might sound a tad masochistic, but then, cat people do enjoy mischief after all… I was particularly looking forward to this, it had been over 20 years since my last cat.

We simply share space, or territory, as opposed to ‘owning’ the beasties, and provide for their needs, which is why many cat lovers consider themselves to be owned by their cats rather than the reverse.

We searched through various local shelters online, although I leaned toward a Siamese or Burmese, or a mix thereof, two breeds I had experience with and have a lot of affection for. I wasn’t holding my breath at first: how could these breeds find themselves in shelters? And there was no question between my wife and I that we would adopt from there.

But as it turned out, I was quite surprised to discover a few Siamese cats up for adoption.

This I took as a sign of an economy going bad, that people would give up their prized companions for adoption. I wasn’t expecting this and was saddened by it.

As far as shelters went, however, the San Francisco SPCA’s was terrific.

Cats were housed in small groups or alone in private rooms, with toys, televisions showing nature videos or fish swimming in their tanks.

After ‘greeting’ a couple kittehs by head butting (bonking), scritching and cooing, my wife pulled me towards the call of Boober.

It was something like an anguished wail, plaintive yet demanding. ‘I want out now’, in other words, the dictator’s call for his servants.

We were let into his area and there was this Burmese cat with huge eyes gauging us.

I reached down to place him in my lap and pet him, just as he reached up and hugged me. As my wife put it, ‘that was all she wrote’, and we took him home an hour later.

Settling down in the forever home

The Boober
Total, complete relaxation

Boober’s early life was a mystery, the vet estimated him to be about 5 years old, and whatever his circumstances were, he did not take well to being in a shelter. We were given pills to stimulate his appetite, but they seemed to help little. The first couple weeks were touch and go and I was afraid we might have to take him back if he did not start eating the way he should. He would also spend time hiding in the closets which we left open for him to take refuge in.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast

As the days went on, he began to overcome his anxiety and would spend time on the bed with us and relax as we petted him. My wife also managed to stimulate his appetite by dousing his food with water from tuna cans. Eventually he would spend most nights on the bed with us and showed normal Burmese behavior by jumping on our shoulders and looking smug while using us as transports.

I thought of this as ‘the tigers’ revenge’, this cat riding us the way tiger hunting parties rode elephants…

On the other hand, he would do this at any time of day or night, regardless of whether I’d had my first cup of coffee. He would launch frontal assaults, jumping from the floor and climbing us like trees. Ouch.

Yet when my wife riled him up playing, he always stopped short of biting or clawing, showing us he had not a mean bone in his body. Life was going from good to better, coming home from work, I looked forward to his goofy antics, chasing balled up pieces of paper around the apartment or the 3 a.m. race all over the furniture, from kitchen to living room. He was such wonderful company. He loved my singing to him and would run to me and curl up on my chest before going to sleep.

He would sleep so soundly, outstretched on his back, feeling completely safe, so much so that I felt stress fall away just by watching him.

We all had a great two years.

Changes to an end

One day, when we realized he seemed to develop a bump on his throat, we looked for some external sign like a puncture but could not find anything. The bump did not recede and we took the Boober to the vet. He was scheduled for surgery and a biopsy would be performed on the mass. Even before then I unconsciously felt clouds gathering above us.

And the mass turned out to be caused by lymphoma, likely to return.

We were asked whether we wished to begin chemotherapy on him, and I asked what his chances were: I was afraid that subjecting him to all the prodding, syringe pricks and other ‘manipulations’ would stress him to the point where he would again stop eating and perhaps speed up the disease.

I felt ignorant and grasping at straws: was it possible he might be in remission, now that the tumor had been removed? We were cautioned to not keep our hopes too high. The likelihood was that the disease would reappear at some point as Boober had both an aggressive and a milder more treatable version.

When you hear that a cat is un-pillable, trust me: this means the cat has to be sedated.

We tried every technique, every trick, trying to alter the parameters, like timing, temperature and others. We tried the pill gun, placing the pill in a dissolvable capsule in tuna and other foods, no dice.

We tried the more direct version: forcing it down.

He hid from us in a closet for two days and stopped eating.

That’s when we faced that we had to discontinue the chemo. We’d enjoy him for as long as we could, and did. The Boober carried on for an incredible two more years, until the disease lodged in his chest, causing episodes of respiratory distress. By then, we had introduced Tito to the household, and the younger cat, while no cure, was terrific for our Burmese.

He fought the disease with the economy of a true fighter.

Then there was this bad September weekend when he could not rest, or eat. He barely took in water.

The following Monday, was the final visit to the vet and they were very kind. They placed and taped a tube in his foreleg, and weak though he was, he tried to pace the table, perhaps to jump. My wife told me to sing to him, and I didn’t think I could. But I did, badly, and he relaxed enough for the vet to perform the injection.

We had our hands on him, him facing my wife. She said she saw relief in his eyes, and that has helped me. Because when I felt him go, the dam broke and I started crying violently all the way to the car.

We love you B, forever. Only you know just how much.

Increase your website traffic with