Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Christmas was coming, but I was slow to get ready.  I loved decorating my little trees; I loved wrapping presents and I loved sending cards to all my friends--both e-cards and the old fashioned paper kind. And yet...

November came and went and I did nothing to prepare for my favorite time of the year.  Molly didn't feel well.  She was scratching and biting herself until she bled.  The poor cat looked forlorn.  

And I didn't feel so well myself.  My joints ached and I had no energy.  And my skin was even more broken out than usual.  Murphy was hiding so well that I could not find him; he seemed withdrawn.  Only Maks was his usual lively self.

Finally I realized that Murphy, Molly and I were missing Monty.  Maks had only known him for a brief time, but I had loved him for seventeen years.  The vet could find no physical reason for Molly to be hurting herself, but I think I understand.

Molly is better now and Murphy is not hiding as much.  And I finally decorated my cottage, wrapped the gifts and sent out my cards.  I had a beautiful Christmas with both my daughters, their families and their dogs and cats.  I went to Christmas Eve services at Christ Church and its sister, the Center for Spirituality at San Pablo.  I was surrounded by love and felt at peace.  But I think of Monty often and hope he is waiting for the time we can be together                           again.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Monty's portrait

Monty came into my life when he was a kitten, having been left at the door of my animal hospital along with his brothers and sisters, all of whom were adopted until Monty was alone in the big cage, probably wondering why no one had chosen him.  He looked up at me with those big golden eyes and I couldn't resist.  I took him home immediately and he stayed for seventeen years.  Monty was not a friendly feline; I was the only one he ever loved.  His will was so strong he could have ruled the world, but he chose a quiet life.

Monty hated his carrier and he hated the car.  He really hated going to the Vet where sharp things were frequently stuck in his hip.  So any trip to my sweet, kind Vet, Melissa, was met with constant yowling and crying and screeching as soon as we began walking to the car.  He was able to keep up this unholy noise all the way to the animal hospital and my nerves were shot.  But as soon as Melissa entered the room, he became quiet and docile, hoping for the best.  The very worst vet experience we ever had came when Monty became constipated.  Very constipated.  The dreaded Enema was suggested.  Poor Monty had no idea what he was in for until the enema was inserted; then his golden eyes became huge round moons and he looked at me with shock and acute distress.  How could I have done this to him?

Our kindly Vet warned that the Enema would work almost immediately and preparations were made to handle the explosion of Dark Matter.  But nothing happened.  Monty's iron will refused to let go.  He looked at me with a sly expression; he would triumph in the end.  Alas, another Enema was prepared and inserted--Monty was outraged!  But he would win; he would hold it forever if he had to.  At last, poor Melissa left to care for a sick dog and I kept watch over my angry cat who felt completely betrayed.  I begged him to poop, but he turned from me and stared into the distance, his whole body....clenched.  Melissa returned expecting to find evidence of a massive explosion.  Nothing.

After filling his carrier with newspaper and paper towels, Monty was sent home, still victorious, with a dire warning from my frustrated Vet that Monty would no doubt explode in the car.  As we left Melissa was muttering, "This has never happened before.  I can't imagine....why won't he go?"
We were both silent on the way home as I waited for the nuclear blast which would no doubt be heard in Palatka.
But silence reigned.

When he was let out of his carrier at home, Monty calmly walked to the water bowl and drank, then he nibbled a little food.  He shot me a look, letting me know who was in charge and then settled down for his afternoon nap.  I was defeated and I knew it.  Downhearted, I went to get the mail.

When I returned, a pungent odor filled my home.  Monty was strolling down the hallway from the litter box.  His golden eyes met mine and he made a small sound.  I knew what he was 
saying.  "I poop when I want to poop."

I trudged to the litter box, knowing what lay ahead for me.  We shall draw the curtain of charity over the sight
that met my eyes--a war zone of gigantic proportions.


Friday, June 2, 2017


When I moved into my imaginary cottage three years ago, there was no garden--nothing but the big tree pictured above.  The side garden had several ugly dying plants and big metal things for power and cable.  I was not encouraged.

I'm very good at scavenging so be careful when you put something out for the garbage, guys, because if you decide you want it back, I will have taken it. The big ceramic pot on the rusty (I love rust) holder was a major find.  Most of my pots were "found" objects, as were the rusty wrought iron chairs, the trellis, the bird bath and some of the plants.  Why would anyone throw out a live plant?  Well, they do so I revive it, give it a little Miracle Grow and put the plant in a bigger container (which I found by the side of the road.)

 All the ground cover plants that you see simply grew down the side of their pot and across the garden  The pot of flowers on the left came from a gift card from Home Depot. I bought soil and flowers; I had a pot! 

The lacy tree in
the back of the picture began its life in my garden as a puny sprout which grew and grew until I had to remove it from its pot and plant it. 

But the loveliest thing in my garden appeared of its own accord last night--a fawn. I saw him in the glow of a street lamp placidly 
          eating the shining leaves.

My own little Bambi will not be repurposed; his reason for being is to bring beauty into
                   the world.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Maks wonders if he can get away with finishing the other cats' food

Apparently, Maks is very grateful that I rescued him because he tries to "help" me on a daily basis.  If I am mopping, Maks stares intently at the mop and then taps it with his paw.  Then he looks up at me and hopes for a compliment on his hard work.

Maks show off his now furry nub.

If I am changing the bed linens, Maks contributes by leaping into the air many times and then rolling around in the very sheets I am trying to remove.  So I remove Maks from the bed, but he leaps onto the bed yet again, rolls over on his back and waves all four legs in the air.  He is sooooo happy!  AND he's helping Mommy!

Maks wonders if he can steal Molly's food.
Molly stares at Maks, then enumerates all the dreadful things she will do to him,
if he so much as touches the remains of her food.
Maks slinks away.

But Maks' very favorite way to help Mommy is to watch the toilet flush!  He stands on the toilet seat with his head in the bowl and closely watches the blue cleaner swirling down to the dark nether regions.  What a wonderful time Maks is having!

However, Mommy is exhausted and retires to her big, comfy chair with her iced tea and the paper.  Oh, good, now Maks can shred the newspaper while Mommy is reading it!

But old, wise Monty passes by  and says, "Kid, don't even think about it."  Maks recognizes the wisdom of this and decides to take a nap.  Right next to Monty.

Sunday, April 2, 2017



My sweet little Maks has completely recovered.  He eats like a large horse and has filled out nicely.  Maks has also gained confidence now that he feels secure in his new home.  Molly (another feral cat I adopted), is STILL mean to him because she is jealous.  She hisses and baps him with her paw, but he is still hoping she will come around and love him as their Mommy Linda does.
The only thing Maks is not good at is being a cat model as these pictures will show.  By the time the flash goes off, he has moved.

The other day Maks was having a serious conversation with Monty who is 16 and wise in the ways of the world.  He mentioned that he would like to get married and father kittens.  Maks and his wife and children would all live with their Mommy Linda!
But Monty said, "You will never father kittens, dopey Maks.  Someone took your manhood!"
Maks was astounded.  What was his manhood?  Why would someone take it?
"Probably some TNR program," Monty said and promptly fell asleep.
What in the world was TNR? Maks would have kittens; he WOULD!  But first he needed a wife and where would he find one since he wasn't allowed outside?

Thursday, February 23, 2017



I was walking by the azalea hedge when I heard a very faint meow.  I looked down into the bush and there sat a black kitten and he didn't look well.  I bent down and called to him in a low voice and he came right out.  I petted him and talked softly to him as I was assessing his injuries.  His tail was limp and broken and he had several injuries on his body.  And the poor little kitten was extremely skinny.  I could tell his tail was infected and I was pretty sure that without treatment he would die.  I took him inside and fed him some soft food and gave him a bowl of water while I called the vet.  The poor little guy was not thrilled when I placed him in a carrier and put him in the car.  There was no yowling, just soft tiny sounds that continued until we arrived at the vet's.

His tail had to be amputated immediately before the infection spread throughout his painfully thin body.  I hated to leave him but I knew the surgery had to be done.  When I picked him up the next morning, he was so glad to see me that I almost cried.  I was given pain medication, instructions and a plastic cone to prevent him from pulling out the stitches.  As we placed him in the carrier, the vet tech asked if I was keeping him.

"Of course, I'm keeping him.  We've bonded.
His name is Maks."

And Maks was quiet all the way home.