Tag Archives: pets

Miss Kitty Fantastico

Ok, that’s only partially her name. She came to live with us about two weeks ago now, and is an absolute sweetie. Doesn’t like the dog much (probably because he keeps wanting to chase her…), but the humans she loooooves. She’s all full of purrs for the littlest bit of attention.

She’s a stray, but obviously had been accustomed to being around people – the nice lady that took her in and found her a new home (ours) said she’d been begging all the neighbors for food. They tried to find her people, and finally decided that she must have belonged with the people down the street who had recently moved out – apparently they just left her. So now she lives with us.

For the first couple of days, we just called her Kitty, as that’s what the lady she had been staying with called her, and she seemed to answer to it. And being a fanatic for all things Buffy (yes, the tv show), I decided that she should be called Miss Kitty Fantastico (though she looks nothing like her Buffy-verse namesake), since having a cat named Kitty is just lame.

Then, after she’d been here for a few days (and after spending those days trying out every single name that I thought might fit her, and rejecting them all), I woke up one morning with a picture of her face in my mind, along with the name Anu.

So, Anu is now her “real” name – it seems to fit her and she seems to respond to it. But most of the time I still call her Miss Kitty Fantastico, ’cause she is.

Welcome to the farm, Daks!

It’s hard to believe that Ceili has been gone for over half a year. We had so many adventures together and she can never be replaced, but having a place like this without a dog just seems wrong.

I’ve been researching the various breeds that are good with livestock. Heelers (Australian cattle dogs) are popular with ranchers around here, but it sounded like their need for exercise and structured activity might be a bit much for our little homestead, so I started thinking I’d like a mix of heeler and a more common “housepet” breed. That idea solidified into a plan on Sunday, and a quick peek at Craigslist brought up an ad for an 11 month old, obedience trained heeler/German shepherd mix named “Daks” (Australian slang for underwear). I sent off a quick email.

Around 6pm last night I was out defending my country from old beer cans practicing my marksmanship in a gravel pit 10 unpaved miles away and the cellphone rang. It was Teri, calling to tell me that Daks was on his way over to meet us. I rushed back down the logging roads and did my best to make myself presentable, and long story short, Daks ended up staying with us.

We’re already falling in love with this sweet, energetic little mutt. He loves running around our fields chasing thrown apples, and is absolutely crazy about the goats (they’ve only met through the fence so far; introducing them will be a long process). He’s still a bit puppyish, but obeys the main voice commands pretty well, and made it through his first night without any inappropriate chewing or puddles =)

Teri shot a few pictures this morning. Here’s Daks waiting for me to throw an apple that fell off the tree:
Daks brought me this fallen apple

Here he is hoping to catch the apple (hasn’t happened yet):
Daks trying to catch an apple

And here he is being VERY excited about the goats:
Daks meeting Drama Queen

My lion, my heart

For those of you haven’t heard, my beautiful furry boy left this world exactly two weeks ago today.

We were together for so long, his absence feels like a big empty hole in my heart.

This is meant to be a tribute to him, or a memorial, but I don’t even know how to write all that I want to say. There’s just these random thoughts and memories…

He was my best friend and soul mate for 17 years – that’s longer than I’ve known most of the people in my life (excepting, of course, my family).

He taught me more about being in the moment than any spiritual teacher. He taught me about devotion and trust. He taught me about lolling about in a patch of sunshine.

He was one of the sweetest beings I’ve ever known.

He had his own unique scent, and just like a mother cat, I’d know his scent anywhere. I used to sniff his head the way most people will sniff a baby’s.

He used to curl up on my pillow with me in the wee hours of the morning, and would still be there when I woke up. If it was cold, he’d wrap himself completely around my head for warmth, and I’d call him my “cat hat”. Every morning, the first thing I would do would be to stick my face in his fur and snuggle him. I miss him most in the mornings.

I called him Fluffernutter, Peanut Butter Cookie, Pumpernickel, Munchkin, Munchmeister, and Rumpelstiltskin, among other things. (In case you don’t know, his real name was Wayne.)

He looked like a little lion, and had the fierce spirit to match.

17 years ago I found this scrappy little yellow kitten, stuck in a bush. He had a bad eye and a crooked tail, and was pretty much skin, bones, and fur. That’s when he won my heart.

He moved with me from the suburbs of Michigan to New York City, through several different apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and finally across the country to rural Oregon.

He definitely used up all nine of his lives, and possibly a few extra.

When he went completely blind a few weeks before his death, Peter and I watched in amazement as he very determinedly mapped out the layout of our house. He would walk until he bumped into a wall or a piece of furniture, turn, walk until he bumped into something else, turn, and repeat the process again. He did this in every room, over and over, until he was able to navigate his way around the house with some confidence.

His last few days here were far from easy, but he still purred when I held him.

He left this world with both Peter and me at his side, holding him and talking to him and loving him.

I know it was his time, and I know he was ready to go. I still miss him like crazy.

Wayne, my beautiful lion, my beautiful heart, thank you. Journey in peace little spirit.