Caturday: Spring?

Spring? It was nice while it lasted. Oh, it’s not over yet and but the temps are going for a roller coaster ride this week. The highs are supposed to go from 75 to 87 and back down to 69. Joy. At least we have A/C. I don’t mind the temps, but the trailer gets a bit warm and that’s hard on the pointy eared people and floppy eared one. Fur coats are no fun when it’s hot.

Our hills will start going from an unreal, but vivid Spring green to the summer tans and it will start this week. I’ll miss it. On the other hand, the mulberry trees are branching out, so we’ll have afternoon shade soon.

And now, the stars of our show

Tito looks like he's debating an escape
Tito looks like he’s debating an escape
Titanescu looking suspiciously mellow.
Titanescu looking suspiciously mellow.

Miss Jenny? She gets her own vid this week. 🙂

Pepi still hoping for accidental noms
Pepi still hoping for accidental noms

Earlier in the week we ran off to the Martinez Regional Shoreline. We like to visit the marsh and check to see what birds are there. They were tall birds, sort of.

Tall Egret
Tall Egret
Tall Runner duck
Tall Runner duck
Tall? No wait, it's the elusive, and rarely seen, Marsh onion.
Tall? No wait, it’s the elusive, and rarely seen, Marsh onion.


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Caturday: Ode to The Pootie Queen

I’ve heard that online friendships just aren’t real and all kinds of other malarkey. Lastech was an online friend and we’ve been married for twelve years as of today. Our anniversary aside, I lost a friend on March 5th. I found Tricia at a political website. As everyone knows, politics can be vicious. She had a love of cats and she posted what came to be called “The Pootie Diaries”. “Pootie” was the name of someone’s kitty. The name stuck and Tricia became known as The Pootie Queen. Her posts were a safe haven from the political fights. The fights had to be left outside. Inside was a mass of Cheezburger posts and pictures of pets posted in the comments. The posts weren’t limited to cats and included any and all animals. That safe haven provided people with a place to share the joys of their pets and to also share their grief on losing them. When we lost The Boober to lymphoma she did a memorial post for him. She did the same when we lost Kitsy. Her funeral is today, so we are dedicating our Caturday post to The Pootie Queen. I’m sure she was greeted by a throng of critters at the Rainbow Bridge. Orange flowers were her favorites. Rest in peace my friend.

She loved orange flowers. For Tricia Wyse Lefevre September 8th, 1970 - March 5th ,2016
Tricia Wyse Lefevre September 8th, 1970 – March 5th ,2016

As for our anniversary, we celebrated that on Lastech’s day off (Wednesday) We relaxed and grilled some good food and had a glass of champagne. It was good.

Titanescu basking in a sunbeam
Titanescu basking in a sunbeam
Miss Jenny: help!
Miss Jenny: help!
Poor Tito looking nervous
Poor Tito looking nervous
Pepi hoping to hoover something good from the grill.
Pepi hoping to hoover something good from the grill.


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Caturday: Return of the pointy-eared people

The pointy-eared people have been gazing out the window wondering if we’re going to need a boat. It has been raining off and on for days. There’s a new storm headed this way as I type. None of us are complaining. California needs the rain desperately and the kitties can watch from inside where it’s warm and dry. Pepi doesn’t care about the rain. She’s happy to walk in it and so am I.

Before I get to our kitties, I want to give an update on Renfield. We mentioned his ataxia in a prior post.

To quote his housemate Nofur:

Went to town to start Captain Darling’s allergy shots today, and then we went shopping for some fresh “crinkle balls” for Renfield! He is still improving and started running today. Which is a bad idea with the occasional falling over, but Renfield is unstoppable. He is still smart enough to use the chair to get on the bed & countertops though.

YES! He’s getting better. We are so happy to see this news. I’m sure he’ll be catching those sky raisins (flies) again soon.

Here is Renfield wearing his black turtleneck and shopping for crinkle balls.
Here is Renfield wearing his black turtleneck and shopping for crinkle balls.

And now, back to our pointy eared people

Tito has the prettiest green eyes
Tito has the prettiest green eyes
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Even Titan managed to pose without giving us the stinkeye
Even Titan managed to pose without giving us the stinkeye

Here is the little stinker who had us in a state of near panic last week.

No mom, I'm NOT chewing the blanket.
No mom, I’m NOT chewing the blanket.

This is what put her in the ER. It was raining that night and very dark out. I didn’t find it for a day or two. She had hoarked it up at home, but it had already set of the chain of events that led to the veterinary ER.

a Pepi blanket

And now for a unique musical video. I love things like this.


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Caturday: Gone to the dog

No matter how much you watch them, if your dog is the type to eat anything, you may be in for the occasional rough night. Pepita’s a hoover-dog, meaning she’ll ingest virtually anything, given the chance, and a couple days ago now, she ate a piece of blanket she’d torn off. This was bad news. That piece of cloth created a gastric obstruction, which she tried to dislodge as dogs do, by eating grass and drinking lots of water. She managed to hoark up the cloth, but was still in distress.

The grass she ate went nowhere and sat in her gut, compacting in her stomach. We hauled her to the local emergency vet clinic, where she stayed well into the next day. Now as some of you know, Rudha-an is a great dog (and cat) mom, with awesome friends who aren’t just supportive but extremely helpful in dire situations The A-team. From actionable advice to offers of financial assistance, these women were a lot of help getting through this patch. Thanks to many people, but especially Rudha-an, Pepi is now recovering at home. The amount of texts, emails and phone calls to individuals and card companies was even more amazing since Rudha-an is recovering slowly from an ear infection triggered by the flu (it has been a trying month and a half for the crew of the Endurance and friends).

Waiting at the vet's office
In the waiting room
Poor Pepi in the exam room looking a bit scared
Poor Pepi in the exam room looking a bit scared
That funky mass at the end of the arrow is her stomach full of grass. The black stuff to the right was gas.
That funky mass at the end of the arrow is her stomach full of grass. The black stuff to the right was gas.
And here is just part of what they removed. No wonder she was in distress
And here is just part of what they removed. No wonder she was in distress

While she was gone overnight, even Titanescu seemed to be looking for Pepi, and Tito came to our bed for comfort.
We spent part of the day waiting at the Markham Arboretum in Concord, walking off some tension, hoping to get Pepi out there again soon, but we weren’t sure how the endoscopy would turn out.

Magnolias
Magnolias
Dark-eyed junco (male)
Dark-eyed junco (male)
Blossoms
Blossoms
Ivy and roots
Ivy and roots
Magnolia
Magnolia
Wild turkey
Wild turkey

Later that afternoon,when the nurse brought her out to come home with us, the look of relief on Pepi’s little worried face and her attempts to leap from the nurse’s arms were worth everything, and we were happy to submit to ten minutes of frantic licking.

Are we REALLY going home?
Are we REALLY going home?
Pepi and her flatulent hedgehog
Pepi and her flatulent hedgehog

This is from yesterday.

The kitties will return next week, provided a piano doesn’t fall out of the sky and land on us.


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Rainy days are here again and Pepi gets her licks in

Rudha-an here: Yes, rainy days are back! We had a doozy on Sunday with heavy rain and wind. It didn’t last long, but it was good. Thanks to the rain, we’re having to take Pepi for her walks along the canal instead of on Lime Ridge (too muddy). We don’t mind and she doesn’t either. These rainy days are turning the ridge green again.

The canal trail runs parallel to Lime Ridge. With all the rain, it has been to muddy to walk there. The canal trail is paved.
The canal trail runs parallel to Lime Ridge and is paved.

And now, back to Lastech

As we learned during our semi-annual “move out”, the feline crew of the Endurance doesn’t cotton to being in a moving vehicle. Titanescu is disturbed the least, while Jenny will remain in hiding, or crap on the bed. Tito is somewhere in between, but doesn’t like it either. Some catonauts…

On the plus side, they’re all doing rather well in our collective cramped quarters, with Tito continuing to socialize Pepita, Titanescu lazing his days away in bed, and Jenny occasionally romping with Tito for some needed exercise. Pepi is still too rambunctious and puppy-rough to be completely let loose just yet.

Tough though he is, Titanescu’s getting frail in his old age, and Jenny is still a bit freaked out by the yipping yodeler. Two things will help in the near future: getting Pepi spayed and following that with more training and gradual socialization with other dogs, which we can’t really allow for the time being. Pepi is shedding her puppy fat, what with her being about four months older than when we found her, and getting some outdoor exercise. The parks and open spaces are so exciting! So many scents to read! She has no issues riding in the car, although she gets squirmy when she needs to go take care of business, or if there’s a lot of movement outside, from pedestrians to birds and anything in between.

Jenny’s fur is now soft as Tito’s, which feels like silk. Looking at photos of her as a kitten, it’s amazing how her colors changed. From almost completely white to mottled gray/brown, sable and black. Poor old Titanescu’s fur clumps, so he just pulls at them and spits them out…

Tito being calm, as usual
Tito being calm, as usual
Miss Jenny posing with a new refrigerator magnet that we got from our friend Nofuratu The Naked Cat.
Miss Jenny posing with a new refrigerator magnet that we got from our friend Nofuratu The Naked Cat.
Titanescu catching some zzzzzzzs
Titanescu catching some zzzzzzzs
Pepi playing tug of war with the strap we used to extend her leash. She spends time outside with us when we're grilling. It's long enough for her to explore the porch.
Pepi playing tug of war with the strap we used to extend her leash. She spends time outside with us when we’re grilling. It’s long enough for her to explore the porch.

Here’s a little vid that Google+ made from pics of the nearby arboretum

As for Pepita,she welcomes me from work every morning with a frantic tongue bath which sounds, well, really NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Be warned. But laugh…

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Caturday: Frosty days

Yep, we’re having frosty days. Living in San Francisco, it rarely got that cold. Now that we’re thirty miles away, we get frosty days. It’s nowhere near as bad as other places, but it’s going to take getting used to. It doesn’t help that the furnace crapped out on us in the middle of it. We’re getting a portable oil-filled radiator and it should arrive on Tuesday. Lucky for us, the trailer warms up nicely as soon as the sun comes up. In the meantime, the kitties spend their time pretending to be moles and hiding under the blankets. At night, Pepita’s crate is covered with a double layer of blankets and a couple of hot water bottles.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lastech had to work, so we didn’t do anything special. We’ll make up for it later.

Tito imitating a mole
Tito imitating a mole
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Titanescu and Lastech
Titanescu and Lastech

Ask you can see from the next two pics, Pepita and Tito are getting along rather well. Pepi remains on a leash indoors as I don’t want her chasing the cats.

Nom Nom Nom
Nom Nom Nom
Evidently, Pepita has a flavor
Evidently, Pepita has a flavor

And now, for a bit of the Trololo dog herself. Here is Pepi singing to another dog that she spotted.


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When the feral turns fecal and the PITA grows major…

A riddle in a crap-doodle. Miss Jenny, our feral, decided to take a dump on our bed twice about three weeks ago. Technically, she left it there, but the point is we were scratching our head while pinching our nose.

Miss Jenny looking quite innocent
Miss Jenny looking quite innocent

Cats dislike change and recently, we had been moving the trailer, moving the dog crate and litter box, so these were things to consider.

Right about the same time, Pepita went into heat, so it is entirely possible Jenny decided to mask the dog smells with her own. We’ve been giving Jenny as much attention as we have been able to, in order to reassure her feral little soul. Naturally, Pepita’s timing meant we have to reschedule her trip to the vet to get her spayed. We’ve also purchased dog diapers to alleviate the need for constant laundry washing.

Tired doggie. It was also Pepita's first day in heat and she wasn't liking it at all.
Tired doggie. It was also Pepita’s first day in heat and she wasn’t liking it at all.

They both gave new meaning to the expression ” I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers”. Challenges seldom come in onesies, however, as the Endurance life support systems also went haywire. Water pressure went down to little more than a trickle,  just as the furnace plain stopped working. As a temporary measure, the chief engineer cut cardboard inserts to mask the ceiling vents. This netted about ten degrees at night. Further research showed how inefficient and wasteful RV furnaces are, and we’ll be looking at alternatives shortly, before rain storms begin in earnest.

The water pressure issue was easier to identify and resolve. It was due to a clogged filter which was faulty from the factory. We switched to a spare filter which resolved the problem.

Elsewhere, progress: Tito continues to cozy up to Pepita, who herself is deciding that cats aren’t a bad sort after all. Their encounters now involve more gentle slapping, sniffing, licking, biting on the dog’s throat (but gently) and decidedly non-aggressive staring. Pepita is becoming calmer, even as she yearns for “boys”. Ever so slowly, she is finding her place, even as the catonauts themselves are getting accustomed to life aboard the Endurance.

Tito being his normal sweet self.
Tito being his normal sweet self.

Titanescu remains the curmudgeon from hell and continues to direct his stinkeye and ire at Pepi.

Titanescu and his resting stinkeye
Titanescu and his resting stinkeye

Oh, but those diapers? That lasted about four minutes tops, before she Tasmanian-deviled her way out of that…

diaper

Rudha-an here: Given the horrible events of the last week, I thought some joy was in order.

We've had some rain. There's a lovely green haze starting up on our hills
We’ve had some rain. There’s a lovely green haze starting up on our hills
This is how close Lime Ridge is to us. The arrow points at Costco. We live across the street from it (to the right, in the photo). You can't see our park because of the trees. It's less than a mile away, but with a large rail yard in the way, we have to drive  a longer distance to get there.
This is how close Lime Ridge is to us. The arrow points at Costco. We live across the street from it (to the right, in the photo). You can’t see our park because of the trees. It’s less than a mile away, but with a large rail yard in the way, we have to drive a longer distance to get there.

<Someone needs to quit chopping onions already>

And now for the other end of the age spectrum.


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Caturday: Endurance’s 1st orbital mission

This week the crew of the Endurance spent 36 hours under “flight conditions”: restricted space (trailer slide in) and environmental controls at minimum (running on battery power and partial water tank). The catonauts handled stress fairly well, thanks in large part to Feliway.

All three sought to spend time under covers since their favored “fort”, under the couch was greatly reduced by the trailer slide being pulled in. Traffic noise was also much greater and put them on edge a bit. Pepita required more exercise than usual to take the “edge” off, but the entire crew did very well otherwise. As usual for Tito, he would defer to Titanescu and Jenny, letting them eat first and claim humans’ laps before he would.

Tito also checked regularly on Pepita on his rounds. As for Jenny, unless she went straight for a spot under a tented cover between our knees, she would pace slowly back and forth between the pillows and the wall, purring and rubbing against us. Titan mostly slept through it all…

As time goes on, it seems clearer that they are happier here in the more confined space of the trailer than at the old apartment. And much of that I think has to do with the environment, which is quieter and allows them to enjoy more air moving through, and even more direct sunlight, through the screen door or skylight. They raise their head up to sniff at the breeze and go right back to their nap, apparently very contentedly.

The addition of Pepita to the crew may even have helped in some way. Jenny, in particular, is seen more than she was at the old apartment, where she tended to hide in a cupboard. While she still has some spots where she could hide if she wanted to, she chooses instead to come visit and spent more time with us on the bed.

Rudha-an here: The little move was harder on Pepita than it was on the cats. She was confined to her crate a lot more than usual. We’ve been trying to make up for that. Oh, and a miracle update. Titanescu still likes to go smack poor Pepi for no reason other than she exists. However, Pepi and Tito touched noses yesterday. They’re coming along nicely. Pepita is a tad too exuberant, so I have to keep her on a leash indoors, so that I can control where she goes. She could injure a cat without intending to do so.

Tito was glad to have the trailer back to normal
Tito was glad to have the trailer back to normal
Miss Jenny still hides under the blankets a bit.
Miss Jenny still hides under the blankets a bit.
Titanescu sleeping with dad. Note Miss Jenny watching from under the blanket
Titanescu sleeping with dad. Note Miss Jenny watching from under the blanket
Pepita is a happy puppy
Pepita is a happy puppy

Yesterday, they trimmed all the mulberry trees. Today we found this.

Mr or Mrs Crow singing the song of their people
Mr or Mrs Crow singing the song of their people

Now for a bit of Halloween fun

This is just funny. It’s also a brilliant way to get pets adopted. 🙂


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Caturday lost

Caturday got away from us. Lastech pulled a 12 hour graveyard shift followed by hauling Pepita to the Contra Costa Animal Shelter to get her shots and license. She’s legal now. However, after standing in line for a couple of hours, we were pooped when we got home and we slept for the rest of the day.

So now for the news. Pepita is now ours, and we, hers! We can take her places where she can safely interact with other doggies. As for Titanescu, as Lastech posted, he purrs! It’s a silent purr, but if you lay your hand on his neck or head, you can feel the faint flutter. I’m thrilled as today was the first time I got to experience this. Tito and Pepi have played a bit of slappy paws. Pepi is a tad too exuberant though. She’ll calm down eventually. Tito kind of likes her, I think.

Tito milking the "cute" moment
Tito milking the “cute” moment
Beautiful Miss Jenny
Beautiful Miss Jenny
As Pepita "yips and yaps and yodels" Titanescu mutters to Tito "собака мудак" (dog is asshole), To which Tito replies suavely: "you might well think so, dear Marshal, but I couldn't possibly comment."
As Pepita “yips and yaps and yodels” Titanescu mutters to Tito “собака мудак” (dog is asshole), To which Tito replies suavely: “you might well think so, dear Marshal, but I couldn’t possibly comment.”
Pepita making friends in the line at the shelter.
Pepita making friends in the line at the shelter.

And now for the original (and best) Francis Urqhart of House of Cards


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Lime Ridge Open Space

I’ve posted a couple of photos from the Lime Ridge Open Space, but they didn’t really show enough. Here are a few more photos to give a better scale. This ridge runs from the base of Mt. Diablo (about 5 miles away) to less than a mile from our place. As close as it is, we don’t walk there as there’s no rail crossing nearby. As a result, we drive to the parking lot about two miles away. The trails are used by runners and dog walkers as well as anyone wanting a bit of fresh air. In the summer and fall, the grass is brown and there are cracks in the ground here and there. Given the drought, it’s worse than usual. I’m hoping I’ll have some pretty green pics come spring. 🙂

Pepita aka Stick Dog. She picks one up and carries it for a short while, then drops it to pick up another one. She'll go through a dozen sticks on one walk
Pepita aka Stick Dog. She picks up one and carries it for a short while, then drops it to pick up another one. She’ll go through a dozen sticks on one walk
Some of the trails run behind houses
Some of the trails run behind houses
Mapache! We found this carving along side the trail
Mapache! We found this carving along side the trail
Just a tree on the ridge
Just a tree on the ridge
The contrail over the ridge was interesting too
The contrail over the ridge was interesting too
The cloud between the contrail and the ridge looks like bird or butterfly wings
The cloud between the contrail and the ridge looks like bird or butterfly wings
Looking back at Mt. Diablo
Looking back at Mt. Diablo
View from the trail
View from the trail
Looking West from the top of the ridge. This is only a mile from home
Looking West from the top of the ridge. This is only a mile from home
Another view from the top
Another view from the top
Heading back down.
Heading back down.

That hike covered a bit over two miles. It’s good for the dog and even better for me. I’m finally losing some weight and in the right way. 🙂


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