RIP: Pretty Boy Floyd, July 2012 – October 20, 2014

It was best for our boy. Dr. Valeri did everything she could do for him, but she couldn’t solve his problem of not being able to urinate. She called me this morning, I talked it over with Mr. L, and I went out to the clinic to say good-bye.  Floyd wasn’t feeling great, but he walked to the front of his cage to see me, and I picked him up, held him, and cuddled him as long as he was willing to be held, purring the whole time. He began to get restless.  Dr. Valeri and Mary were ready.  We helped our big, brave kitty with a strong heart to the other side. He won’t be in pain any more.

Here are some photos to help remember our sweet boy:

Floyd was always a charmer, even if he didn’t know he was doing it:

Pretty Boy FloydLook at that expression. He had the most beautiful, gentle expressive eyes:

Pretty Boy Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd and his three sisters (Delta, Ruby, and Rossie):

Class PhotoAs the youngest male, he was always striving to get respect:

Floyd and TarzanBut they would cuddle, too:

Tarzan and Floyd GroomingDid I mention he was fascinated with musical instruments?

Cat on a tubaHe and Daphne got along well:

Floyd and DaphneAlways ready to play:

2014-02-06 22.09.35Thank you for brightening our lives for two short years. We’ll miss you, Floyd.

Photo: Which Kitty?

I moved the game camera to a new position to see if I could capture if anyone is using the doghouse as a shelter. But it results in views like this at the feeder:

Cat TailWho is this? Is it Sneaky? Boomer? Walter? Clearly not Sneaky. But is that a silvery or a brown/tan undercoat? Walter is silvery, and Boomer is brown/tan.

I walk back in the photos to catch the cat approaching the feeder, and this is what we see:

BoomerIt looks like Boomer. He appears to have a brown or tan undercoat, and he appears to be an unaltered male (although, when Dr. Val does a neuter, she seems to leave them some vanity, ahem — I haven’t gotten close enough to Walter since his operation to tell how much bragging rights she left him).

Now, this kitty certainly appears to be Walter — a silvery undercoat and slightly different leg striping from the kitty above (I tried to get an image with a similar positioning).

WalterCan you tell the difference?  What clues you in?

MGR: Writing Platform?

Welcome to the October edition of the Merry Go Round Blog Tour.  I’m happy you’ve decided to visit, and I hope you’ll make time to wander around (if you haven’t been a regular visitor to the site already) and make yourself at home.  Our topic for this month is Writing Platform — What have you done or what will you do?

First, what is a writing platform?  Simply, it’s the things a writer does to introduce others to their work. Chuck Sambuchino, author of Create Your Writer Platform, suggests the following building blocks to platform:

A website and/or blog with a large readership
An e-newsletter and/or mailing list with a large number of subscribers/recipients
Article/column writing (or correspondent involvement) for the media—preferably for larger outlets and outlets within the writer’s specialty
Guest contributions to successful websites, blogs, and periodicals
A track record of strong past book sales
Individuals of influence that you know—personal contacts (organizational, media, celebrity, relatives) who can help you market at no cost to yourself, whether through blurbs, promotion, or other means
Public speaking appearances—the bigger, the better
An impressive social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, and the like)
Membership in organizations that support the successes of their own
Recurring media appearances and interviews—in print, on the radio, on TV, or online

I have a website/blog and an email newsletter — large is a nebulous term, but I don’t think it applies for my readership — yet. I’m working on it. Have you signed up for my bi-monthly Fiction Club newsletter yet? If not, just enter your email below, and you’re all set:

I have a presence on social media.  Impressive? I enjoy my time there.  I’m thinking about doing a twice a month podcast — one solo and one interview format to feature my friend’s new book releases. Fellow authors, does this interest you? Are you interested in doing an interview around the time of your book release?

I’d assess my platform as small, but growing.

Cats: Vacation Blues

We’re back from vacation.  I picked most of the cats up this morning.  Dr. Val called me last night with an update on their status.  When I dropped them off, I asked them to check Delta and Floyd for urinary tract infections, and I had a couple of concerns with Natasha I wanted checked.  Floyd and Delta both had infections, and Delta responded well to treatment.  Floyd’s infection, however, was resistant to the treatment. Sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, Floyd developed a blockage and moved from being a boarding guest to a hospital patient.  He’s still in the hospital. Natasha’s eye was worse than we thought, so she’s getting two medications.  Dr. Valeri heard her cough (finally) and treated that aggressively.  Thankfully, the other concerns appear to have been nothing to worry about.

Floyd has not been a completely model patient.  When the vet tech arrived this morning, he’d removed his Elizabethan collar and his catheter.  Poor Dr. Valeri had to catheterize him again (and she says he has the smallest penis she’s ever seen), and that’s troublesome.  When I got there and went back to see him, he was sitting in his litter box and glaring at us.  Poor fellow. He’s miserable, even with the Valium. I don’t see how he’ll be ready to come home on Monday, but we’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow morning. My slot machine winnings from Shreveport have almost covered his medical bills to date, and that was a blessing.

All the other indoor cats appear to be fine. The outdoor cats have been interesting to monitor.  I pulled the chip from the game camera yesterday afternoon and scanned from current time back (to make sure everyone was okay — they were). Almost immediately, I noticed a new cat has shown up. As you’ll recall, right before we left, we discovered there were three cats.  Now there appear to be four.

Beginning October 13, a little after one pm, this kitty appeared on camera numerous times through the 16th:

Fourth kittyFar too much white to be Sneaky, but from the coloration, I’m pretty sure this is a girl kitty. On the 14th at 11:13 am, Sneaky appears to be looking into the doghouse.

Looking into doghouse





M2E83L227-227R385B328At 12:21 pm, look who appears to exit the doghouse.  I think someone is finally using it. Below, we have the not-Walter kitty. Note he isn’t as silvery (and he isn’t neutered).  Mr. L has decided to call him Boomer, and he didn’t appear to object when asked. He’s not as skittish as Walter, but we can’t get closer than about ten feet to him at this point.

BoomerThis is a uniquely Walter stance:

WalterSo, yes, we appear to have four kitties visiting the side porch and the food tower.  I suspect the young dark calico is either pregnant or will be pregnant soon. Nothing I can do about it now besides attempt to befriend her and Boomer and get them fixed and released.  If the girl is expecting, we’ll have to deal with that in due time (so far, I’ve only seen her on the game camera, and she didn’t appear before October 13th).

A pretty exciting couple of week for the kitties.  They seem glad to be home.

October Property Update

Most efforts this month have been focused on getting ready for the trip we’ve just returned from.

We got the grass cut and trimmed everywhere that needed it.

Mr. L got new plastic over the windows that needed it at the shop in preparation for keeping winter breezes from whipping through.

We shaped flashing and nailed it over some rotted wood on the west wall of the Cameron House to keep the area from deteriorating any further.  We need to make boards and replace that whole wall.  Once we get the boards made and primed, the job should go pretty smoothly, but we’ve been taking care of other little “domino things” that need to be done before we can make the boards.

I picked up the game camera from the ranch and turned off the feeder.  We have four distinct bucks feeding at the feeder — I’ve captured that many in the same frame on the camera.  There could be more, but I haven’t reached the point of discerning who is who on the images yet.  I captured no feral hogs or raccoons during this recording session.

That’s the property update for the month. Pretty quiet.