Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Au Revoir Mon Coeur Callie 2006-2023


It has taken me some time to process this one and to be able to write Callie's tribute. It never gets easier to say goodbye to my beloved cats. I feel it is even harder as I get older.


Callie had been on hyperthyroid meds for five years, blood pressure meds for 2 years and recently showed that she was in early stage CKD. In the past two years she struggled with her health having to have her med dosages adjusted several times.She had not been feeling well for a few weeks when we took her to the vet this spring. She had a mass on her spleen and non regenerative anemia. At her advanced age of 17, almost 18, with other health issues, we opted to keep her comfortable rather than be aggressive with cancer treatment.



Callie napping on the porch with Sam a few weeks back


For 6 weeks after her diagnosis. Callie did well on her protocol of prednisolone, cbd oil, and other natural treatments. She was eating, using the litterbox etc.  She developed ascetites in her abdomen a few days before she passed. Her body was not even processing the subcutaneous fluids anymore. I knew it was time. 


Don sharing his pizza crust with Callie.  She also loved rice cakes, crackers and toast.


Knowing we would be letting her go, we spent all our time with her the day before. She sat outside with me on the screen porch while my phone played healing music. She ate well and enjoyed her favorite foods.. it was a bittersweet pleasure to spoil her these past few weeks. She was alert and calm, taking in the sun and scenery on the ride to the vet. I had checked in with our animal communicator and Callie trusted us to know when to let her go. Her passing was quick and peaceful.. Don and I held her on our laps sending her off with love and Reiki light.. She left us Friday July 14 in the

 late morning.

Callie, 2006, after we found her.

Ten years ago I  found Callie in the parking lot of the Grove Park Inn in Asheville where I worked nights at the time. It was a dark November evening when I saw this tiny cat meowing for all she was worth, running up to the people walking through the parking lot. I was concerned that the drivers could not see her  so I scooped her up in my arms and put her in my car. We had 18 cats at home in our sanctuary at that time. I figured we would foster her until we found her humans.


Callie did have a micro chip but the woman who adopted her gave her to a friend after three years due to her older cat attacking Callie. Turns out the friend moved out of the area 6 months prior to me finding Callie. We don't know if she gave Callie to someone else or if Callie was on her own for 6 months. Callie was thin,  full of worms, and not not in great shape. We settled her in a small room in our home to recover in peace and quiet.. Basically she just ate, slept and used the litterbox. Poor girl was worn out. By the time Callie recovered her health,  we had fallen for her sweet nature and knew that we were her forever home. I only wish we had found her sooner.



Callie with her bowl


On the dining counter


She loved kibbles but we don't feed dry food except as treats so she would have to beg for some.  Callie would sit on the eating counter overlooking the sink and stare - usually it worked and she got kibbles in her bowl. If that didn't work, Callie would run ahead of us to the kitchen and sit next to her bowl with a pitiful expression on her face. That worked every time. I called her my begging Buddha cat. She always seemed to be sitting next to her empty bowl. 

Perhaps because of her background with the bully older cat or living on her own outside, Callie avoided the other cats initially. They were just curious, not aggressive. Callie loved to just be with us. She was not a lap cat but liked to be in the same room as us and eventually would feel at home enough to sit on the chair arm or sofa with us. This was her way of asking for some loving. She slowly progressed to sitting next to me on the sofa with her front paws on my leg. Eventually she slept on the bed with us down by my feet. During her last weeks she cuddled next to me by my pillow.


Crow watching


Callie bonded mostly with me. She would  sit and stare at me, with such love in her eyes!  She played a little bit with nip toys. I don’t think she had any toys before or at least no one played with her.  Callie loved to  watch the birds outside the window or out on the screen porch.  She got the zoomies almost every morning and would tear through the house from one end to the other. She stayed tiny about the size of Darby and Sweetpea – about six to seven pounds tops. 



Maybe why this one is very difficult is that Callie looks so much like my heart cat Chica who passed away on my birthday in March 2013 the same year I found Callie. Callie came to me a lot like Angel Chica did. Both were lost outside at night, running up to people, hoping to find a friend.  Both just let me pick them up and tuck them in my car. Callie had black tortie colors on her back so when she was curled up napping, she looked like Angel Chica from the back.  It made me smile.




When I went out, Callie was usually the one who was waiting inside the door for me welcoming me home. She helped me write holiday cards, let me photograph her with props for my cards and blog posts, slept next to me while I read. Wherever I was, Callie was close by.


Helping me write holiday cards.


Callie's' markings and colors were gorgeous. Her whiskers were spectacular. She was very photogenic .I had lots of nicknames for her - Callie Calico, Cal, Callie Wallie, Callie Girl, Baby Girl.



In a pensive mood.

She loved to sit up on the dining counter overlooking the kitchen sink, watching us get the cat's food ready. Sometimes she would dose off sitting there. 


Callie fell asleep waiting for food.

With milk on her face.


She was the most easy going, laid back sweet girl. When the other cats bothered her she walked away. She could stand her ground if she wanted but never was harsh with them. She was funny, smart, a delight to have in our lives. I do believe she was sent by Chica to be my second heart cat. Callie did not replace Chica but brought her own elegance, warmth, companionship and love into our lives. She helped me heal from the loss of Chica and filled that hole in my heart. Now who will fill the Callie size hole?


We wrapped her body in pink fleece with one of her favorite catnip toys. She is buried on our land with a bouquet of wildflowers on her grave. We will have a stone made for her at a later date.



I have already received signs from Callie from the Other Side - a pair of goldfinches came to the window, nibbling on the sunflowers outside. They came the day she passed. They did not come by before and have not since. That night of her passing, I woke up to the numbers 11:11 on my clock - a sign someone from the Other Side is reaching out. She has come to me twice now in dreams, young and frisky like she used to be years ago. Goodbye my heart, until we meet again, sweet Callie.


A video of Callie begging for treats on the counter














Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Fly Free Sweet Woody 2006-2021


 Our dear Woody was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and chronic renal disease in 2020. His CRD progressed rapidly in spite of all our efforts administering fluids and medications. He was so very thin and weakened. We let him go on August 4 at the cat clinic. Both of us were allowed to be with him for the procedure. 


Woody was the runt of his litter, the second litter from mom Lily. His brothers were Norm, and Sam named for the guys on Cheers. And sister Georgie. The kittens were born under our deck behind our house in spring 2006. 

Being feral. We were not able to touch or get close to them but did interact with them through the glass door and large windows. I made a weather proof feeding station on the deck as they got older.

I remember one spring morning when Lily guided the kittens off to do some exploring in the woods behind our farmhouse. All but Woody who was afraid to leave the safety of the deck. Lily called to  Woody to join the little family in their outing but he stubbornly refused. The group finally left him behind. Woody spent the day crying and whimpering under the deck or by the stairs. I felt so sad for him.

When Lily and his siblings returned hours later, Woody was overjoyed to see them, running part way out into the yard and back again vocalizing. What a long day for him.

We trapped Woody and his siblings in 2007 along with Snowball to get them spayed and neutered. The males lived in a cat house with a screen room and indoor area until we caught all the cats and moved to our present location in 2008.

We kept the siblings together in their new cat house but Al became aggressive with Woody and Tabitha who was from the last of Lily's litters. Lily was a mastermind at out maneuvering any trap we set out. We moved Woody indoors to our house with Tabitha.




 Woody latched on to Tabitha at this point in his life and never let go. She was a plus sized dominant female and protected Woody. They were inseparable, sleeping, eating and playing together. Tabitha tolerated his attention but occasionally would swat him to leave her alone. He always wormed his way back. 

Woody had such a joyful unique personality. He loved to eat and was the first cat in the kitchen at mealtimes, head bumping the others. He would shimmy his tail, and stomp his back feet, alternating right and left. This was his "Woody dance".

If you cannot see the video please go here.

He was very vocal, meowing in the kitchen if he wanted more food. Or if he didn't feel well he would tell us.

He drank water out of a bowl with both front feet immersed, lifting one paw to lick the water off it. 

His expressive tail showed his every mood, thumping, swishing, tapping. He walked with his tail straight up, the end curled like a lemur. He chased his tail like a dog, going around in circles or rolling end over end on the floor. See below.

If you cannot see the video please go here.

Woody loved sunpuddles indoors or sitting on the back porch. He found any sliver of sun for a nap. In winter he sat on or in front of the heater. I worried he would catch fire he got so warm. 

He loved to chase the laser light toy. And sitting in the window watching birds at the feeder. Woody enjoyed boxes, cubicle, any small spot for his naps. He could be found tucked in the baskets or cat beds with his sister Tabitha.



In the evening when I read in bed, Woody would make biscuits on my reading pillow and snuggle in next to me. 

On his last day he spent some time on the back porch in the fresh air and sun. He ate a good breakfast but his body temperature was low and he was very weak. It was time. There was no more that we could do for him. 

The vet gave a bit of Catit salmon squeezed on a towel. When they gave him the sedative Woody fell asleep licking this treat, his little pink tongue sticking out. Don and I had our hands on him sending Reiki as he breathed out his last breath. It was peaceful and quick. 

Woody is buried with pansies and rosemary tucked in his paws for remembrance. I had recently found Snowball's favorite frog nip toy so added that for him to pass on to his brother. The grave is next to Norm's. I left a bunch of wildflowers on top with a crow feather I found near our pet cemetery. 

I felt that finding the crow feather meant that Woody has  crossed over and was OK. I found this online - Angels communicate with us in a range of different ways such as coins and feathers appearing in our path. Seeing a black crow feather is a good omen. It means you are being protected, kept safe. And for me -  it means angels are with you during the healing process you are going through.

A joyful presence has left our lives with Woody's passing. He brought so much love and light to our lives. I know his mom Lily and litter mates Norm and Georgie were with him as he passed to guide his crossing to the other side of the veil. Until we meet again sweet boy. We love you forever.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Albert Got His Angel Wings (2004 - 2020)


On Tuesday, 12/15 we let our sweet deaf cat Albert go to the Rainbow Bridge. His kidneys had failed.  I spoke with the animal communicator on Friday and she said that Al was very tired, physically and emotionally and was ready to cross over.  He wanted to make sure we were ready to let him go. We pampered him with love and attention all weekend.

Al had been diagnosed with hyperthyroid in 2018.  As with most older cats, his kidneys began to show renal disease shortly after.  We began giving him sub c fluids  in 2019.  He was getting them daily in the end.  Unfortunately he was not able to take the medication for hyperthyroid so I was giving him the herbal blend Sweetpea got as well.

Albert was a very special cat.  He was born deaf - as are most blue eyed white cats and learned to respond to our hand signals.  He also taught us a few things too.  He was very smart, personable, funny and a bit dominating with the other cats.

I found him as a kitten in the fall of 2004 sitting by the side of a busy country road just watching the cars go by. I thought he was a paper bag at first.  Afraid I would spook him into the traffic I got my friend Peel to meet me there and we both corralled him.  He was not at all upset and let me pick him up and get him to safety.  He was banged up and scratched so I assumed he was either  tossed from a car or fell from the rocky hill behind him.

I knew he was deaf once I saw his blue eyes.  Since I am hearing impaired, I felt a strong connection with him and wanted to keep him. We named him Albert Einstein after the scientist.- his fur formed a white wild halo around his head like the his namesake. His nicknames were Ally, Ally Oop and Ally Boo. Al adapted to life with us easily and got along with all the other cats indoors.  He loved to find odd sleeping places - in the pots and pans in the kitchen, on top of the coat stand, in a plant pot.  We never knew where we would find him.

As he grew in size, he still sought out his crazy napping spots and could not figure out why he did not  fit in them anymore!  Even as a senior he still slept in the oddest places like on a pile of mail, in the middle of the floor.

Growing bigger.

Al this year

He loved his laser light toy and his catnip mouse but would get a bit over stimulated and more aggressive from these toys and we would have to calm him down after. He would continue to search for the red dot long after it was put away. Shadows and branches moving outside would get him all riled up as well..  

When we moved to the current house we split the cats into two groups - the older ones inside with us and the younger ones in the cat shelter Don made from a carport/workshop.  Al went into the latter.  By now he was a big cat and becoming a bully, dominating many of the other cats who were his age. Don made a room within a room for him by caging in once section of the screened porch of cat house and then adding an upper level that went into the interior heated room.  That gave both Al and the other cats time to be alone.  We let Al out with us there to supervise him, using his room as his safe place mostly. We still ended up having to move cats out of the cat house to our house when Al persisted in stalking them.  We tried all the drugs, herbs and homeopathy but nothing worked. I found out recently that many deaf cats have a high prey drive.  Perhaps that is what it was.

Al and Don

Talking to an animal communicator helped us get a better idea about Al. He formed a close bond with Don and felt calm and supported by him. Don was his rock. It seems logical when the communicator explained that Al was rejected by his cat mom and siblings and and struggled alone, feeling excluded.  His dominance was fear based so he struck out when he was afraid. When the cats accidentally bumped Al he reacted defensively by attacking. Obviously this caused many cat fights between Al and the others.


Al retained his goofy silly side as he got older, using the cat tree as his jungle gym, hanging off upside down.  He loved running up the ramps to the higher shelves in the cat house and surveying his kingdom from on high. Another animal communicator told us Al felt responsible for all the cats in the outside shelter.  He would defend the others from other critters or neighbor dogs that happened to look in  by flying to the door and hissing, spitting and growling for all he was worth.  The dogs ran in fright. I don't blame them.  Al was terrifying.

We brought Albert inside with us after Norm passed in February this year so that we could care for him better.  Al proceeded to attack each one of the cats in the house - I would assume to establish his authority and then after a few weeks, calmed down and just ignored them.  Our regular communicator Rose said that Al now felt  he could retire being inside with us. We had it all under control.  He was in his own senior home and could just enjoy life without all the responsibilities.  After the rough beginning, Al left the other cats alone and they in turn didn't bother him.

Al delighted in living inside with us.  He found the toy basket and had a ball delving into it looking for new toys.  See the video here

Albert treasured the one on one time he had with Don.  He would drape his body over Don's lap while we watched TV, happy as could be.

Spending time on the back porch on warm sunny days was a favorite pastime for Ally. He loved sitting on the packing paper from the Chewy boxes too.

We catered to Al and fed him on a raised plate, giving him whatever he would eat.  When he wanted more or was done he would slap the plate off the platform on to the floor.  We could hear the plate clatter and would laugh.  His highness wanted something!

Al's last Christmas with us.


His passing was gentle and easy.  An ice storm was predicted so even tho our vet was not available we took him to a local vet.  They fit us in at the end of the day so we were the only ones there.  All of us were masked. We had our hands on him during the injections with me surrounding him in Reiki light as he left us.

Our communicator Rose checked in with Albert as he passed.  Al thanked us for loving him in spite of his being a "problem child."  He said bossing the others made him feel in control.  He appreciated us understanding that that was how he was. Al felt that the had a good life with us and was grateful for the care and affection we gave him.  Snowball met him as he crossed into Spirit to escort him to Summerland. 

 Al is buried on our land next to Norm and Snowball with a catnip mouse, as blue as his gorgeous eyes. We will get him a grave stone at a later date. Don and I will never forget this challenging, intelligent, charming, beautiful boy. I made a bouquet of evergreens and one yellow flower surprisingly still blooming in our garden.  Al was our sunshine for sure. Until we meet again dear boy. We love you.

A Bridge Called Love

It takes us back to brighter years,
to happier sunlit days
and to precious moments
that will be with us always.
And these fond recollections
are treasured in the heart
to bring us always close to those
from whom we had to part.

There is a bridge of memories
from earth to Heaven above...
It keeps our dear ones near us

It's the bridge that we call love.

    Author Unknown



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