Eli the wise old sage (aka Freakboy lol)

Eli's baby blues

He’s the oldest of all the kitties; the Lion King of the household so to speak.  Mellow and a HUGE fan of sleeping, Eli wasn’t always this calm.  As a kitten he tore through the house like a mad ninja shredding anything and everything in the way of his claws-I replaced furniture thanks to him-and he would pic on the other 2 kitties in the household at the time, only to jump on my lap to get a good scratch and a quick nap. 

Adopted from a litter of farm kittens, I chose between him and his brother who was a flame point seal-later I wished that I had taken them both.  On the way home in the car, Eli sat on the seat next to meet nervous an unsure, I’m certain, of what was to come.  I petted him and he suddenly rose up when the caress hit his shoulders…hmmmm…that felt pretty good!  I do believe that from that point on he was mine, or decided I was his as the case may be!!  He was quite the little “varmit critter” at the time, my pet nickname for him, and when I took him to the vet to be neutered he raised heck in the crate and the vet was not looking forward to letting him out! lol

keep your eye on the toy!!

It took me sometime to name him and while I considered Napolean, I wound up settling on Elijah Moses-Eli for short.  (All my pets have middle names).  He would also quickly become a close companion of my dog Keehta and I would even be able to take them on walks together; both leashed as Eli was a strictly indoor kitty.  When I wouldn’t take him with us for a walk, Eli would sit at the sliding door to the porch and hollar his head off which could be heard all over the neighborhood when walking just Keehta! lol

A year later I adopted a little grey kitten named Ashley in an attempts to give Eli a companion to play with so he’d quit bugging the 2 older grand ladies of the household but unfortunately, all he did was teach Ashley all his little tricks of terror for picking on the older cats.  :S

Ashley and Eli cuddling.

In their young years, Ashley and Eli were close, but a cppl of years later I took in a special needs kitten who would turn the close 2some into a close 3some.  Until that time, the 2 of them did a great job of bugging Lizzy and Cinder the old ladies of hte house and pretty much creating their share of accidents, messes, and getting into mischief for the most part. 

In his older years, Eli has mellowed dramatically.  I will say one thing for him tho, he has always openly accepted any and all critters that came through the door to join our family.  I don’t know if this is because he came from a farm or what, but I’ve always found it very endearing about him.  He’s even been known to bathe and cuddle with new kittens-as long as they leave his tail alone and don’t treat it like the greatest new toy in their lives! LOL  Nothing makes him grumpy faster than his tail being messed with. 

magnetic eli. no matter how i moved my leg, he clung!

He’s also become what I call a magnet cat.  In a demand for attention, he will settle himself on one of my legs and refuse to leave until he’s gotten his fill of petting.  He’s also been known to plop himself down on my hands when I’m at the computer keyboard, of even chew on one of the computer cords to get my attention from whatever I may be watching!  He’s a smart little booger! LOL 

Eli is the first to let me know when the food bowl is empty and when the water is running low, and in his  younger days, he and Keehta would even share the dog kibble!

Even in his older years, Eli has proved to be entertaining you might say.  Last winter he won the competition for the most “embarrassing” pet in a contest with the blog I HAVE CAT.  For the details on this “award”, acknowledgement, etc., go to http://ihavecat.wordpress.com/giveaway-winner/.  It’s still too embarrassing for me to go into detail here about it, but this does a GREAT job of explaining why Eli is also nicknamed “FREAKBOY”.  :S lol

An endearing trait of Eli, is his impression of Stevie Wonder that sneaks out when he’s playing.  I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s quite entertaining, however, these days, Eli is usually more likely to be sleeping than playing with kitty toys, alltho string of any kind will get him going for at least a few minutes!!

The absolutely best thing about Eli, is his constant desire to cuddle  especially on a cold winter’s night, and when it’s chilly there’s nothing like Eli curled up against my back or on my feet!  (Interestingly, the new man in my life is quite a good cuddler as well..hmmmmm…anyways back to Eli LOL)

And so I raise a glass to Eli, my constant buddy, friend cuddler, and yes, even freakboy! lol

Eli the snuggle man

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What if??

It’s a dream…a dream that has been on my mind for quite some time.  That dream is to start a rescue.  A place  where  animals can go and feel safe until they find the absolutely perfect home for them.  Something along the lines of what Best Friends does, but of course, not nearly as big as Best Friends. 

I’ve known the name for sometime.  It’s “Greta’s Kingdom” after my greyhound Greta.  Her kindness to ALL animals is what inspired the name. 

All sorts of peeps have said I should do this.  I”ve always dreamed and figured eventually someday it would come to this, but what if it’s sooner than later?  Whenever I go looking at property, I can’t help but look at things that not only accomodate my current zoo, but with space that could help others.  I even spoken to other greyhound rescues about doing fostering for them, and like so many of the other communities in our part of the world, animal control is a continuous problem here in western colorado. 

I’ve looked in the big city when I go there-what I call the moderately sized town up the road from me.  Real Estate is cheaper there and it’s amazing what you can get, and since I already will be commuting there for work, it seems like a natural proggression to relocate there.

Granted my house is here, but that was all up in the air for the longest time what with being out of work and wondering if I would loose home sweet home.  It’s still a possibility thanks to all the politics surrounding my place of work-a huge story in and of ittself-but soon i’ll be able to return and hopefully that will right everything JUST in the nick of time.  yowza!!

The place I saw today was a FANTASTIC place…course the pricetag is unrealistic even for this area!!!  I think it’ll be sitting empty for some time.

Here’s a peak at it

http://www.homesandland.com/Real_Estate/CO/City/Rifle/ListingId/14147290.html

Real Estate for Sale, ListingId:14147290, location: 3879 County Road 346 Rifle 81650

Ok what you don’t see here, are all the outbuildings this place has for all the needs of the animals and ALL the space for the doggies to run!!  The house ittself even has what looks like a sunroom which is IDEAL for kitties….

For some stupid, ok maybe not so stupid, I called the realtor that has this listed who even offered to help me get the ball rolling on getting the 501(c)3 and all that, but just how much would a realtor know about that stuff?  I may check into it more with a friend of mine who’s got a law background.  I think she may be more helpful, but just how close is the reality of achieving this kind of dream in this kind of economy and with the price tag this place has on it??

But u still can’t help but wonder…

Real Estate for Sale, ListingId:14147290, location: 3879 County Road 346 Rifle 81650

all those windows are the sunroom…can u say KITTY sunroom???  WHAT POTENTIAL!!

And even tho it’s rural, it’s right off the highway so easy for people to find!!!  easy to get to!!  I LOVE IT!!  Now if only wishing alone would make it sooo…ugh!

Passing it today it does need some work as things have gotten overgrown but ohhh myyy!!!  what potential!! and it’s got lots of water sources too!  a whole ten acres!!!  MAN!!! 

Now the thing is to figure out where to start.  I guess it’s just by asking questions….

Talk about an uphill climb!!!  I see so many others doing their part and I just wanna see if I can’t do more than I do already!!  So tomorrow I will make a phone call and will let u know I find out.  Maybe some magical fairy will come throw some dust on us and we’ll hit some kinda jackpot!  Well if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it doesn’t hurt to ask questions and learn something, so that’s where I’ll start.  Ok magic fairy!! COME FIND ME!! lol

Two Blogs for the Price of One!! (Value Value Value)

In today’s economy, it’s all about value value value!!  So today’s blog will be “2 for the price of one”!  Ok…I know reading my blog is free, but imagine how much time you’ll save having 2 different subjects discussed in one entry rather than having to come back at a later date to read the second?  🙂  So I give you time effeciency,  VALUE….SAVINGS….DOUBLING OF THE FREE FREE FREE!!  And you can say that Planet Kitty brought it to you! 

Topic #1!! 

I have never really said much about the kitty in my header here at Planet Kitty, and I figured today was the day!  His name is Pannda and he’s close buddies with another kitty named Aslan.  Both cats are special needs.  Aslan moreso than Pannda.  They are about half a year apart and their ages run six and six and half with Aslan being the oldest.  I have had both kitties since they were kittens.  Aslan has been special needs since he came to me as a kitten, in that he’s what I can best describe as developmentally delayed.  His issues include problems with bladder infections and using the litterbox, being developmentally behind other kitties, socially withdrawn and not able to handle much human attention, and spontaneous howling, as in prowling my hall at any given time and yowling his head off basically.  He has come a long ways tho and has made alot of progress.  However, the infections are chronic and part of it is due to stress living in a home with many other pets.  He is on a special diet that helps tremendously, but it was finally recommended to me this spring that he be rehomed in to reduce his stress, resulting in fewer infections.

Pannda is special needs because he’s also had severe bladder problems.  Actually his first infection turned into a major rager where he had to be rushed to the emergency vet to be unblocked, and later to have surgery on his bladder to clean out the crystals that had developed from the infection.  The vet said she was literally scooping out what looked like sand in his bladder.  He is also on the same special diet as Aslan to prevent any future crystal development that could lead to another major blockage.  Pannda also has a bit of an obesity problem, and in a household with multiple cats, it’s hard to manage his special diet without it leading to unwanted weight loss in the other kitties.  But asides from that, it was decided to rehome Pannda WITH Aslan due to the fact that they are so close.  They sleep together and play together, and when Aslan was being put through behavior modification by being seperated from the other kitties, Pannda would lie outside the door of the room Aslan was in. 

Both cats are very shy, and so the transition of being rehomed will be challenging enough without the additional challenge of being seperated.  These two kitties mean alot to me, and I will miss them tremendously, but what’s in the best interests of their own health must come first. 

The cats have been listed for some time with a local rescue group, and we finally have a special person who is very interested in them.  The adoption process will take awhile, but should the interested party turn out to meet all the necessary qualifications, Pannda and Aslan will soon have a great new home where they will be spoiled and loved by someone who will be able to provide fantastically for them and provide a more suitable environment for their needs.  For this, I am really happy!  (Even tho I’ll probably be crying hard when they do go) 😦

Pannda who is full of mischief@

Pannda as a teeny kitten. who knew he'd grow up to tip the scales at almost 19lbs??!!

pannda playing with the green ball he loves!

Aslan who's favorite pastime is sleeping!

one of my few really good pics of Aslan who don't like having his picture taken!

pannda with a close shave/attemptin

pannda with a close cut/attempting to share with Aslan...move over!!

Aslan modeling the latest in santa fashions...i think he was in shock when i put this on and that's why i was able to get this shot! lol

Any potential new owner will thoroughly understand the commitment they need to make to these two kitties; that Pannda loves belly rubs and his green ball, and that Aslan is a unique kitty but that when he shows you affection you will know that it was worth the wait!

Animal Rescue Foundation of the Roaring Fork Valley, in the same county where I live has been awesome in being patient and helping me find the right home for these guys.  They have survived my changes of mind, panic attacks and fears surrounding the rehoming of these guys, and for that I”m truly thankful.  I will keep you updated on their situation!  🙂

Topic #2!

I normally wouldn’t even consider blogging about something like this but the blog I HAVE CAT, www.ihavecat.com by Tamar Arslanian kinda inspires me plus i’m just bursting at the seams over this! LOL  However, I do wanna say that Tamar has been very helpful with giving advice concerning the development of my blog, and it was hers that inspired me to relocate my blog and get really serious about writing.    So anyways..here’s the news.  Tamar I think I’ve met someone!!  😀  This is no easy feat in my neck of the woods, being a single gal in her 40s, (and no I will not be more specific on that number-you’re lucky to get me to even admit the range i’m located in!)  It’s all bright shiny and new altho he and I have been friends for some time.  However, if you’re local to where I’m located and see me walking down the street with a big stupid grin on my face, you will know why, as everything else in my life this year, being employed, my home, animals, etc., have been completely in limbo what with wanting to sell my house, but not being able due to the market, trying to fight off the possibility of forclosure by finding new employment quickly and a whole bunch of other stuff that has been like MAJOR bad luck-the only way I know how to explain it. 

No I won’t reveal more about him here as he has a right to privacy too, altho maybe…maaayyybee i will share some details as things develop down the line but since this blog is about animals and rescue primarily, I intend to keep it minimal.  Maybe someday I’ll start a seperate blog about being a single,  middle aged, colorado mtn girl however it’s very unlikely!  LOL  sorry. 

Anyways… that your double value blog.  Please keep reading!  I love having you!  🙂

Terrible Twos (?)

kittens in a basket!

I could SWEAR that the kittens are going through their terrible twos!!  It’s like they’ve managed to learn all the bad habits from the other kitties and have decided to try them ALL this morning!  First thing was Star trying to climb my dried bamboo grass.  UHUH! 

I climb back into bed and shortly thereafter I hear a HERD, yes a HERD i swear, of kittens running across the top of my upper kitchen cubbards almost knocking off various beautiful members of my vintage pitcher collection… GRRRR…

AND NOW…another CRASH BANG!!  Out in the garage.  YIKES!!!  Little gremlins with whiskers.  What has gotten into my sweet precious little girls??? 

So I go out to the kitchen to check on them again!  (I never have the camera with me when I need it) and Glory has managed to crawl 3/4s into an empty Cheerio box with Star chewing on its cardboard!!   Ok..made the mistake of laughing so now these little whiskered gremlins probably think their entertaining. 

cheerios and mess

Even former kitten Bethany is just watching kinda in shock!  Or maybe she’s just observing and learning new things!  Eeck! 

Ahhaaahhh!  But alas!!  The chaos ends……perhaps this is what they were truly desiring afterall!

KITTEN FOOD!!

And so we have peace!  ahhhhh! 🙂

CRASH!!!

..sigh

Animal Testing and Pet Food (or a HUGE pet peeve of mine!)

It is a well known fact that many companies out there do animal testing of their petfood products in lab settings on other animals and that the lab environment they are kept in encompasses a wide range of cruelty to say the least.  And yet, there are still so many pet owners out there who are DETERMINED to stay ignorant despite the well known fact that pet food companies like IAMS do terrible things in their animal testing labs, all in the name of “better health” for our pets at home. 

The choice to “remain in the dark” made by so many pet owners, is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  The hypocrisy of owning little fifi and wanting the absolute best for them, but refusing to do your research and investigate as to just exactly what’s going on out there, I find highly repugnant.  Especially in this day and age when so many reliable resources are out there to keep us informed of matters concerning our pets. 

I give as an example the issues that have come to the forfront concerning pesticides, such as Hartz, and the damaging effects they have had on a number of cats and dogs.  Turning your back on the latest information out there and continuing to use these products condones animal cruelty in my opinion; something that should be punishable and maybe will be some day down the road. 

The same goes with purchasing puppies and kittens from pet stores.  DO YOU’RE RESEARCH PEOPLE!!  Chances are if you truly do want a purebred, you can find a reputable online rescue group that can set you up with a purebred cat or dog in dire need of a good home! 

The number of cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies that are being euthanized in today’s shelters is absolutely out of control and tremendously heartbreaking.  Alot of those pets come from pet stores where they were purchased only for the people to get fed up with the behavior or health problems that are discovered later due to the fact that their new family member came from a “mill”. 

Pet ownership is a huge responsibility.  It’s not just about doing whatever is best for your pet, but is also  about being responsible enough to be informed so that the choices we make individually as pet owners, on a daily basis,  contributes to the betterment of pets everywhere; a better world for all pets both present and future.

So if you have not become educated, perhaps it’s time to put Fifi down and take a look at the wide variety of information that’s out there:  RELIABLE, well documented information.  I am more than happy to provide some links and information that does just that, here:

iamscruelty.com  (if you have the nerve to feed your pets iams products, then you should have the nerve to watch what goes on in their labs and is a well documented fact)

  http://thewholedog.org/wholedognews/?p=323

http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/avictim.htm

http://www.livingcrueltyfree.com/2007/03/28/the-list-of-cruelty-free-pet-food/

http://www.facebook.com/officiallistkasperay

Planet Kitty goes to the Dogs!

Well for the next post or 2, at least!!  lol  I have to give my doggies due credit for not only patiently living with 7 cats and 2 kittens, but for also putting up with me at times.  Like those times when I’m really busy and I have to go work and leave them home, or have to choose between them which one to take with me and the other 2 get left home.  Or when I’m just really busy period, and can’t spend time with them, walk them, play with them.

As everyone knows, dogs tend to desire alot more interaction with their families than cats do, and sometimes, that can be a challenge when there’s work, school, home improvment, life in general, in the way. 

I share my life with 3 dogs, one which you have already met in this blog, and that’s Greta.  I must give Greta credit as well as she has alot of patience for the other 2 canines in our lives who are young and can be a challenge to her nerves at times.  The other 2 are Shyler and Avé (short for Avé Maria).

My love of dogs started with my first dog who came to me not as  a child but in my early thirties.  Her name was Nakeehta Simone, Keehta for short.  She was a keeshond (pronounce kaaays hond) and of course, holds the place of BEST DOG EVER in my heart.  Like your first love, your first dog is just that; the first and none other can compare.  Here are some pics of Keehta. 

my favorite pic of keehta. you can see greta in the background

keehta in the spirit of halloween

The first pic of Keehta is how I”ll always remember her.  She had this happy go lucky attitude and you could even see it in here “trot” that she would get around with on any given day.  She loved everyone and altho “huge” for her breed standard (which I couldn’t have cared less), she was a looker and received comments everywhere she went.  Everyone loved Keehta, and for the majority of her life, she spent it as the only dog and with 2 other cats; my cat Lizzy and my mom’s cat Cinder (that’s another blog).  It wasn’t until we moved to our own space and after a few years, that Greta joined out family along with a few other cats along the way. 

Keehta and my oldest cat, Eli, were the best of buds.  They would play all the time, or until Eli would try her patience and then she would show him who’s boss.  Keehta got along with everyone.  Dogs and cats alike which made her the “ideal dog” because no matter who came to visit, if they had other pets, she welcomed any and all with open paws.  

About the only person I ever knew that Keehta didn’t like was my sis’s xhusband.  She could not stand him and would have bitten him on a few occassions  had I not been there.  My sis took in a cat I had, and that kitty took up the habit of peeing on my sister’s husbands clothes and belongings.  Unfortunately, despite trying to tell my sister “something” about the character of her new hubby, that kitty wound up being paying for his actions with his life due to my sis’s new hubby’s demands.  If only she had listened to the cat and not the husband!!!  Of course, Keehta’s behavior came later towards him and I was sold!  That was 2 different animals opinions and out the door he would have gone had he been associated with me, but that’s just my opinion.  Needless to say, he eventually became an X.  Call me crazy but I refuse to sacrifice any of my pets for a relationship.   Anyways, back to Keehta…

Keehta not only taught me how to be a dog owner, but she also taught Greta, the retired racing greyhound I rescued, how to be a dog.  Retired racers literally don’t know how to be dogs because they aren’t allowed during their racing “careers.  So Keehta took up the task to teach Greta, about play, how to eat, how to be happy, show excitment, be sad, roll in the grass, be nice to the kitties, and of course, her line in the doggy totem pull.  The amazing thing about Keehta was she never felt threatened by Greta or got jealous and would even share the rawhides with Greta.  Each of them would patiently take turns chewing until the bone was either gone, or they were both worn out!

keehta givin' me a wink...the flash is too bright mom!

last picture taken of Keehta, early spring '06 on the grand mesa

taken the same day as Keehta in spring '06 on the grand mesa

To this day, I see the remants of Keehta’s teachings to Greta in a variety of ways.  For instance, Greta wakes me up by “shaking” the same way Keehta did, or by loudly hitting her nails on the floor (same as Keehta).  Keehta even taught Greta how to “tiptoe” when I was asleep so she wouldn’t get caught when she was doing something I didn’t want her to. (My dog Shyler has picked up on this little trick as well, ty Greta! lol)   Keehta also taught Greta how to drink water in the middle of the night without waking me as well.  (Talk about thoughtful dogs)! 

From the time she was a puppy, Keehta slept at the foot of my bed on the floor, Greta followed this same habit as well.  They also both snore!!!  And have very vivid dreams.  Both Keehta and Greta had their own crates and altho they weren’t class as in cuddling with each other, I still feel that there was a deep bond between them, and altho Greta didn’t exhibit any “mourning” period upon Keehta’s passing, I do believe that she has decided to honor Keehta on a daily basis by “aging with grace” the same way Keehta did. 

Keehta was also extremely smart, talented, and intelligent.  She a way of dog “smiling”, especially when she was in trouble, and also performed a variety of tricks, as well as having a very endearing way of “talking” to you a well.  I really  miss that about her!

In the late fall of 2005, Keehta began exhibitting signs of stomach problems.  The vet that I had at the time, was not willing to do a whole lot to remedy the situation and simply prescribed a diet of “rice and chicken”.  By the new year, Keehta had dropped weight and was not only having trouble controlling her bowels, but seemed very unhappy and so I took her to a different vet for a second opinion.  This turned out to be the best thing as she rebounded and seemed to be doing better on a prescription diet, at least for awhile that is.  By the end of april of 2006, Keehta was a skeleton of her old self.  She had no control over her bladder and bowels whatsoever, and her face and eyes were sunken in.  She had just turned 14 on the 9th, and since hr bday, she had literally been wasting away at almost half a pound every cppl of days.  I knew it was time and couldn’t stand to watch her to continue to deteriorate.  I made an appt with the vet to have her gently put to sleep.

The vet was shocked at the change in her appearance when I brought her in; her head hung low and u could literally “feel” her suffering.  He said another week or two and she probably wouldn’t have been able to continue to walk or stand.  He agree’d with my decision to put her to sleep.  She went peacefully and I truly appreciate the vet’s help with the process. It couldn’t have been a better relief than to know that she was finally at peace and no longer suffered.  He eventually determined that most likely Keehta had a form of cancer that attacked a glandular system that runs in the intestinal tract. 

Keehta loved the mountains and I took her to a beautiful place in them to be buried on April 30th of 2006.  I can return to the spot whenever I wish, and so each spring. 

I now watch as Greta enters her twilight years.  I know that her time will come soon as well.  Her back legs wobble with the increased issues of athritis and every day she strugglles just a wee bit more to get up from lying down.  Amazingly, her vision is still good and well as her appetite.  Maybe she will defy all the odds for her breed and live until 15.  Only time will tell, and meanwhile she will continue to be my best friends, putting up with the cats and teach the new young dogs in my life, not only manners but the legacy of Keehta who was my first!  🙂