Oct 182011

Spooky the cat is gone.
My last picture of Spooky.
She worsened over the weekend and Monday morning it was clear she wasn’t very happy about her enormous lump physically interfering with her life. We took her to the vet Monday and said goodbye; she was calm, if irritated in general.

There is a Spooky shaped hole in our hearts and the house is lonely in a particular way. There is no little black cat curled up in the best seat, soaking up the sunshine. When I walk past the bathroom, no multi-syllabic meows demand I turn on the sink faucet. No loud, purring noise wakes me in the morning.

We miss her, much and often, but we are glad for the many years of small, furry companionship.

Oct 162011

I have been down sick the last week and a half. Don’t know what I caught, but it kicked my ass and left me wheezing, weak and dizzy on the sofa for days. At first, upon returning home with this bug, I thought I would sleep heavily over the weekend and be good enough to travel on Monday (last Monday!) but it took until today, a week after that, to be good enough to even get in the car and go to the store. And frankly, I’m mostly wiped out after the store trip. I had to call in sick to work; I haven’t missed work due to sickness in over four years. Not that I haven’t been sick, but it has always conveniently happened on a weekend, holiday or vacation. This wasn’t even the fun kind of sick where you could catch up on books, movies or video games. It was a miserable, laid out, feverish, horizontal-only, snooze and hack fest. Yuck. Not so much fun. Slick was quite solicitous and took care of me, bringing me DayQuil, NyQuil and many tissues. Unfortunately, I may have infected him since he’s started to feel draggy now, too. Sorry, lover!

Spooky snuggled with Slick on the loveseat.
Spooky and her lump continue on. The lump is just enormous; her time is short. But for now, she still enjoys the typical Spooky things: treats, oat grass, more treats, napping on Slick’s lap or snuggled up in his arm.

I hope you are all well.

Sep 302011

Spooky, watching the water drip.
Spooky is spoiled rotten. She prefers to drink her water directly from the faucet and of course we indulge her. Especially since her lump is so big and still growing – look at that thing! It is now the size of a squashed softball. She’s starting to have some trouble with jumps and getting comfortable and you know that’s a problem since cats spend 90% of their time napping comfortably.
And so it goes.
This day, she was done drinking her water, but then settled down to watch the faucet drip, drip, drip. Lazy summer day for the cat.

Jun 252011

You probably already know, but here are the details if you don’t. A couple weeks ago, on a Monday, Slick noticed a hard lump on Spooky’s left side, behind her shoulder area. It was about the size of a golf or ping pong ball and felt as hard as bone. We immediately made an appointment at the vet. The next day, the vet determined that the best way to figure out what the lump was would be to remove it, since it was hard and seemed to be solidly attached to Spooky’s ribcage. Sticking a needle into it to get sample didn’t seem likely because of the hardness of the thing contrasted with Spooky’s unwillingness to participate in the process. Besides, we’d probably need to remove it anyway. We got the next available appointment and moved our work schedules around to support that. If you’re thinking all this is very sudden, you’re right. Spooky was behaving normally, no appetite differences, no sleeping differences and the lump didn’t seem to cause her pain at all. It was just that one moment between conference calls and coffee, the cat now had a big scary tumor on her side.

The surgery appointment went a bit longer than expected. When we picked Spooky up, the vet explained that the tumor was now tangerine-sized and had lots of blood flow going to it. It was a fast growing tumor we were lucky to find it when we did because it was growing through Spooky’s ribcage towards her lungs and heart. Fortunately it had not eaten through her bones, but it was so aggressively spreading that it was not possible to cut every single bit out. The thing was right next to her heart. We took home our drugged and shaved cat and tried to arrange the house and furniture so that she wouldn’t try to (or need to) jump anywhere and possibly damage her sutures or strain her muscles. It was a hard thing to see our spoiled rotten cat unhappy and shivering from the ordeal. She seemed to be moving around okay and enjoying our company enough. Over the next day, she was up and about almost as normal.

By the second day, she was already back in her favorite bird-watching spot.
Shaved pussy ... cat.
Here you can see where they had to shave her whole left side for the surgery. It is interesting to see her skin under the fur.

Spooky recovered swimmingly and had her stitches out a few days ago. She is running around like nothing ever happened, although she will now fight you when she sees her cat carrier.
Sadly, the tumor is malignant although non-metastasizing. This means that it will return, be aggressive and eventually deadly, but it will not metastasize to other systems or organs, like get into her lungs then spread to her liver or such. Essentially, it is a death sentence for Spooky. We don’t know how long she’ll have; weeks, months or a year or so, but it will come back. Obviously, this is terribly sad news. However, Spooky is just past her 13th birthday and has led a life of cat-luxury. We spoil her rotten and will continue to do so. 13+ years is not a bad run for a house cat and we never were those people who expected something beloved to exist forever. So, yes, we’re sad, but we have our Spooky at home and we have some more time with her. She still wants to lay in bed with us, sit on our lap when we watch tv and have us turn the sink faucet on so she can play with the water. And we will do all of that for as long as we have.

May 162011

A couple posts ago I told you that Spooky has abandoned her Dish in favor of her new furniture. Slick managed to get her back on the Dish for about five minutes by tempting her with her favorite mice.
Spooky, back on her dish with the veteran mice toys
This is the phase of play when she has slowed enough to NOT send them flinging away with her batting paws, but when she is still frisky enough to draw blood if you try to take them from her.

The veteran mice toys, close view.
These are some tough mice. They are made by Fat Cat, Inc. and I suggest buying a number of them as soon as you know your cat likes them. You need a few, not because they will fall apart (look! look at the damage they’ve taken!) but because cat toys invariably become lost down air vents, behind couches or refrigerators or who the fuck knows where. They have a whole line of different toys for different cat preferences (cruchers, jinglers, etc) but these catnip mice with a simple ball inside are Spooky’s favorite.

May 112011

I’ve had two requests for more Spooky pictures, so here you go. Since she is a shy cat this might be the most you guys get to see of her no matter how much you are over here to The Arches.

Spooky, snoozing on the oversized ottoman.
Specifically, all these shots are of Spooky enjoying her new furniture. The ottoman here, is the spot she lays on when she is willing to receive attention from us. Here she is falling asleep in the gentle sunlight, although wary of me and my cell phone camera. Two shots edited together into an animated gif. See the tufts of fur in front of her? No matter how much we brush her (when she’s up for it) she still rips out small chunks of her fur, especially now that winter is ending and the days are warm.

Spooky, in the fat-chair, with pillows.
Here she is in her chair. She likes the pillows. When she sits down she purposely arranges herself so she is propped up on the pillows. The fat chair is where she sits when Slick and I are in the living room. She watches us and the tv from there. The back of the chair is where she sits to look out the windows. Conveniently, both sides of the back cushion have indentations precisely where she lays for window viewing. All the furniture will be broken in to the cat’s shape. And covered in fur bits.

Spooky, sitting on the love seat.
Spooky also expanded to the love seat. It took her a while to warm up to this one. Initially, she would avoid it or only walk across the back of it to her Dish. This is now her second favorite napping spot during the day.

Spooky, posing adorably.
Slick sends me photos of Spooky being cute or mischievous while I’m on the road. Love those fuzzy little paws!! These shots make my day.

Speaking of her Dish, she has almost entirely abandoned it now. We’re thinking of taking it away to put a small dresser there to hold our DVDs and reuse the Dish in the squirrel experiments coming up. Who wants to lay on a metal disc when you have three big pieces of squishy furniture to comfort you?

There you go, adorable Spooky pictures.

Mar 112011

Solar-warmed cat edition.
Spooky, on the back of her chair.
She likes the sunlight, the view and her chair.

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Jan 142011
Spooky, enjoying the back of the fat chair and some sunlight.

I told you, she thinks it is her chair.
She is so cute that I can’t seem to argue with her.

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Sep 112010

‘Cause sometimes that is just how it is.
She is the prettiest cat. Although, this picture was the last time I caught her napping or lounging on the blue chair. She has taken to snuggling in the puffy comforter or on my couch blanket for naps now that the weather is so chilly in the evenings here.

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Aug 132010

I could not let this, the solitary Friday the 13th in 2010, go by without a black cat for you.

Spooky, wearing a jester's cap.

This is Spooky. She is wearing a jester’s hat. And she likes it. I am almost ashamed – almost, but not quite.

Slick has trained Spooky to wear the hat with treats. He gets out the hat and she gets very excited and talks to him. He puts the hat on her, tells her she looks pretty, then gives her a little cat ‘mint’ or breath tab. To her they are rare treats. I cannot believe he got Spooky to wear that silly hat and like it. It kills me every time.

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Jul 302010

Spooky sprawled in the blue armchair.
She doesn’t look comfortable. I think the pillows moved around on her and she was just too stubborn to give up. Also, Spooky often looks pissed off in pictures I take of her. I think she doesn’t like the photo attention, plus the flash (when I must use it) dilates her eyes, adding to the annoyed look.

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Jun 182010

Spooky ears, peeking out behind the laundry basket.
What’s this? Ears behind the laundry basket?

Spooky ears, peeking out behind the laundry basket.
Spooky, lounging on the pillow, hidden behind the clothes.

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May 282010

Spooky, annoyed.
Spooky, wearing her ‘WTF is with the bright camera, Human?!’ look.

I’m trying out a few gimmicks to get me blogging more consistently again. Hope you guys like it because it is what you’re getting.

Mar 212010

The quilting finally continues. Over the weekend, due to the ironing board cover situation and celebrations, I only got a few blocks done. In the meantime, Spooky continued her search for new and qualified places to add to her Seven Choice Spots list.
Spooky, trying out the scrap pile
She approached the pile of dyed scraps and laid straight into them.

Spooky, trying out the scrap pile
I was busted with the camera. Oops.

So, I’ve now dealt with bunches of stuffs and will share shortly. Had to get some crazy cat lady photos up first.

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