Thursday, August 31, 2017

All About Bella

You all remember that we adopted an old cat, Bella, right? And that I provided little updates after each of the first three months, right? Well then, month four came and went so quickly that I missed updating despite my most excellent of intentions. So here I am at the end of month five. And I know that you want to know how's she doing. Right?

But nuts to that, at least for awhile, because I am going to backtrack. Keeping past posts short, I've never really told you all about Bella. So now I'm gonna. Right?

(I apologize for being a bad Canadian and repeatedly saying Right instead of Eh. Eh?)

She lived in one room in a seniors residence for I don't know how long. But her human began to experience more and more cognitive difficulties and had to be moved to a part of the residence that couldn't accommodate a wee beastie. Efforts to find her a new home were failing, but to avoid her going to the knackers, with Shauna's urging we agreed to take her in: Shauna being our daughter who works at said home.

The cat was 15 and overweight, but we figured that we could give her a home until the natural end of her days.

Except she had some issues soon after her arrival, and, upon taking her to the vet,  we learned that she was 16, arthritic, had a very low white blood cell count, and also very little muscle tone. For two consecutive days Bella was given an enema and rehydration to get her on an even keel. It was tough on her, and we have promised her no more significant interventions.

When our vet contacted Bella's previous vet, we learned that she has basically had issues with constipation for her whole life. We were told that we must, therefore, restrict her to wet, canned food and also give her laxative daily. And because you can't hide medicine in a discriminating cat's food like you can do with dogs, we'd have to give it to her orally.

Well ladies and gents, medicating cats is not for the faint of heart, and after awhile we did resort to mixing it in her food. And it has worked, thanks be to the Cat Goddess. But she still only poops about every third day, and we do get anxious after a few days although we are starting to get more used to to her rhythms.

It seems best to give her small meals, up to six per day, with a bit of laxative mixed in each. After eating, she likes to drink water. Well, she likes to drink at any time. And she drinks a lot.

Her drinking method is unusual as she reclines by the bowl as if she were in Roman times. She kind of cuddles up to her water dish for an extended period and drinks her fill, often with rests in between lappings. You can see this lying by the water dish in this video, and in the first part ho she sometimes uses her paw to scoop up water. So darn cute. 

(I apologize for the orientation. I did not take this clip. Never take a video in this orientation. Just think how tvs and movie screens are oriented and go ye and do likewise. 😀)

She often even sleeps next to her water dish, but we don't need a video of her sleeping. Right? Eh?

She has some bad days, but not too many, in which we begin to despair that perhaps the end is nigh. But she always rallies (so far) and has many more good than bad days. In fact, we sometimes wonder if she'll outlast us.

As I have already mentioned, arthritis is a problem. In the past you have seen clips of how difficult for her to jump up on furniture and how it is not easy for her to go downstairs. This is a clip of her going upstairs, and you can see that she really has to work at it. But she does manage and goes up and down regularly. This pleases us that she can do this after being kept in one room for so long.

Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for her in her struggles, but then again, I don't go up and down stairs too nimbly anymore either, and when I am stiff in the morning, she easily beats me downstairs for her first breakfast. Yes, she escorts me down just about first thing after I get up.

Just this morning, I got up at 5:30 to y'know. I had some thoughts about going back to bed (although it probably wouldn't have worked), but she was anxious and meowing, so I thought I'd better give in in the hope that she wouldn't awaken Sue. So, down the stairs I stumbled to get a can out of the fridge, mix in some laxative, and warm it in the microwave. Doesn't everybody do this for their cat? I know, right eh?

There is another habit that may shorten her life or more likely mine or Sue's — stealthing up behind us and lying by our feet in the kitchen.

With her need to eat many small and laxative-added meals, we keep fairly close to home, and when we do go out for a few hours, she generally greets us at the door when we get home. So we likely won't be taking extended jaunts for awhile, especially when you consider that she pretty well needs her bottom wiped after she does poop. I mean assuming that you could get someone in to meet her food and laxative requirements, you can't really expect that someone to wipe her bottom. Right eh?

But she's a sweetie, and it has been very nice to have her. She likes a bit of lap time, and we are glad to provide it.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Twenty Questions

This is a Facebook meme, but I thought I would cross-post it here too.

Do it too if you feel so inclined



1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
- A swig of Diet Coke. The last food was a granola bar.

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
- Dionysos Restaurant for breakfast. Sadly, it no longer exists.

3. Worst pain you've ever experienced?
- It might be a tie between a severely sprained ankle and the passing of a kidney stone.

4. Favorite place you've traveled to?
- The Canadian Rockies although Monument Valley is close

5. How late did you stay up last night?
- About 10:30, and I listened to a podcast in bed for awhile.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?
- Vancouver

8. Which of your Facebook friends lives closest to you?
- Other than Sue and other family, Bob and Nick who live in this town

9. How do you feel about Turkey burger?
- Very dispassionate

10. When was the last time you cried?
- I shed some tears on Friday, which was our final normal day with the grandkids for awhile since they won't be using our services before and after school this coming year. It's another of life's passages, and I'm not sure how many more I'll see.

11. Who took your profile picture?
- Sue

12. Who was the last person you took a picture with?
- Danica and JJ

13. What's your favorite season?
- Autumn

14. If you could have any career, what would it be?
- I think I might have made a decent detective but the British tv kind, which I guess is pretty unrealistic.

15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it?
- Well duh ... of course

16. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?
- I would like to time-travel and talk with my grandfathers.

17. Are you a good influence?
- Hope so, but I guess it's not for me to say

18. Does pineapple belong on pizza?

19. You have the remote, what channel?
- Likely Netflix or Acorn or PBS -- all to watch British mysteries. That's right now, but it could be tennis in the summer or hockey in winter.

20. What are you most afraid of?
- I am somewhat afraid of heights and more recently city driving, but I have a deeper fear of dementia and to some extent of dying. It's not death itself but the process.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mississippi Valley Textile Mill

I am sorry to say that I haven't been following your posts this past week. We had both babysitting and company and kept rather busy. Well, both groups are gone now, so I can begin to pick up the pieces, or some of the pieces, at least. However, the next week might be busy too.

Although we have lived in the area for 12 years, we had never visited the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte. I mean to say it's a huge trip that takes almost 15 minutes, so we are to be excused, I should think. 😀

The same door from the outside and inside.

In the Gift Shop.

The special exhibit on the main floor. Although some look like paintings, they are all textiles.

There is a permanent exhibit upstairs including machinery from days of yore.

I know ... too many photos for one post, but sometimes I am a bit ...


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Odds and Ends

Posting has been slowing down recently, and since this pace, or lack of same, will likely continue for much of the next week, I'll try to put a little something together. At times like this, I sometimes just make a list, but I never know what I'll include when I begin. 😀 So, here we go.

  • The weather has mostly been cloudier, rainier and cooler than is the summer standard, but it has been more summery than previously for the past two weeks or so. However, right now, I am thinking of switching from shorts to light track pants as the breezes float in through the open windows.
  • That doesn't mean that it's cold exactly, but due to nerve damage in my back, I have sensitive, cold spots on my lower legs, which feel better when wind is not blowing directly on them. Weird, I know; I am nothing if not weird.
  • We are getting ready for some company next week. The forecast seems positive at present. We are also due to care for our own grands, so it should be a full week.
  • We have been doing some cat-sitting for the past week. Shauna was called away for a week-long conference, so we've been dropping by for an hour or so to feed and cuddle the kitties. Sid, especially, likes to snuggle and be petted.
  • Speaking of cats, Bella is still with us and halfway into her fifth month. I was going to write a four-month report but didn't get around to it. maybe I'll manage for the end of the fifth month. Basically, I am a little worried about her health these days.
  • I am going to pre-cook bacon this weekend. With company coming, we may do a big breakfast/brunch one day, and I find it easier to have the bacon pre-cooked. It nukes easily and well, and we can concentrate on getting other dishes such as eggs, pancakes, or french toast ready.
  • Speaking of weird, once again, I shaved around midnight the other night. Yup! I shaved to go to bed. Being bearded but trimly bearded, I generally shave every second day. This is mostly to get if off my neck where it gets very scratchy. The scratchiness was driving me crazy when I was reading, so I got up, shaved, and read a bit more before trundling off to me repose.
  • I have been reading a fair bit lately, mainly Ann Cleeves: not Anne of Cleves, I hasten to add. She has a few mystery series: Vera, set in Northumbria, and Shetland, set in um ... Shetland, the Scottish islands to the north of the mainland. I am quite enjoying both series, which have also been adapted for TV. They're on Netflix, I think (or maybe we saw them on Acorn) and are both worth watching if you haven't chanced upon them yet.
  • Having watched the series, I hadn't realized that they had been adapted from novels by Cleeves. But when a favourite author, Louise Penny, recommended her on Facebook wall, I was keen to look them up and was delighted to find that our town library carries them.
  • And speaking of Louise Penny, her newest novel comes out shortly. Sue will get the audio version, and I'll probably read it that way.  I can get into audible versions although, in general, I prefer to read books tin the time-honoured way.
  • Last point: we needed to check out something at the textile museum in Almonte this past week and saw this gigantic quilt that was made my ladies from all across the country for Canada's 125th anniversary. Now, 25 years later it is being shown for our 150th anniversary. Each square comes with a story, and there is an accompanying book also on display.

I took the first shot through the doorway to try to capture a sense of the scale.

The next two shots are closer, in order to see the detail a bit better.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Blakeney Conservation Area

On Friday, after viewing the sunflowers, we headed over to Blakeney where there are rapids and a nice, little conservation area. It was only a mile or so from the sunflower field, and it is one of our goto spots for a quick, little outing.

Just in from the parking lot there is a bench, and this is where we sat for awhile as the kids wandered here and there around the riverbank. JJ would usually climb this tree and has in the past, but not on this day.

There was a fisherman within our view from the bench where Sue and I sat.

Eventually I wandered around and took some different shots of the fisherman.

I used the milkweed as a foreground element in this one and focused on it, leaving the man out of focus.

Later, I used some loosestrife as a foreground element but included the kids in the frame.

The ladies weren't in the mood for trekking into the woodland part, so JJ and I went off together. There are a number of footbridges to get over the branches of the river as it splits apart for a short time in this area, and JJ being JJ did some climbing and posing. They often tell me when to take photos now.

It's been a wet summer, and we came to a low-lying muddy patch that I didn't want to try to navigate with my poor and untrustworthy lower limbs, but JJ was all up for it and then did some more posing.

It was time to head back, but I took this shot on my way. It is an amalgam of 4 photos to make it a faux long exposure with a bit of blur on the water.

We have a week off before we get the kids for another week, but I hope to get around to showing some of the crafting of slime before then.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

More Sunflowers

Please forgive me, but I can't resist. I've done a little more with some of my other sunflower photos, and I might as well post them.

It's so nice that the property owners actually encourage people to visit and photograph (see sign).

More family photos amongst the flowers.

JJ is almost lost in there.

And a few more of the flowers themselves.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunflowers Galore

We were babysitting the grands this past week or at least three days of it. While the making of slime became the main focus of the week, we got out to a sunflower field on our final afternoon. I've never been close to one before, so it was quite a treat.

The field was quite extensive. It would have been nice to see it from a stepladder to catch more of the farther plants, but the thoughtless owners did not provide one.

The kids wandered along the edge.

And then we went in.

I tried many shots, but this one came out best IMO.

I like this one too but not quite as much, partly because the sky was more blown out with only the gray parts remaining. Perhaps I should have replaced the sky or at least eliminate the gray parts, and perhaps I will still do that but not now.

There was a bit more wandering, but the clan walked back towards me before we headed off.

A nice half hour it was.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Bridge Street Summer Fest

They do this every year on the first weekend of August — close off Main Street for displays and vendors. Usually the temperature is rather torrid, but this year, it was cool enough for long pants and heavier shorts. Until later in the morning that is; by then I was getting a little too warm.

Up until this year, it was called the Bridge Street Bazaar, but it's the same by any name. On one hand I don't get the attraction of setting up a half mile of vendors booths, but it is well attended, and, darn it all, I go too.

There were some interesting costumes.

And various musicians.

More costumes.