When Cats Exercise

The cats have been getting on the treadmill after Laurie to show her how it’s supposed to be used. Laurie got a shot of Stretch taking a breather between sets. Melody Parfumée, while not in perfect form, had a nice lavender color tonight.

Melody Parfumée

Bring Me Rain

Last night we were sitting on the deck talking, when Laurie got up and said what’s this? I pulled out my flashlight and it was a wolf spider with a bunch of baby wolf spiders clinging to her back. I gave Laurie the flashlight and grabbed my camera, which I had on the table. The spider seemed to be attracted to the light and posed while I photographed her.

Our weeping lavender red bud was nicely backlit against the gazing ball for a moment when the sun peeked out between the clouds. Otherwise, the light was pretty dull tonight as dry thunderheads blew in from the west.

Whatcha Lookin’ At?

One for Sam!

This is the neighbor’s rooster who is getting slowly better at crowing. After I turned off the irrigation water I was walking by the fence and saw him eyeing me through the crack between the posts.

As pesky as dandelions are, they are beautiful in the morning sun. Our America roses are doing about the best they’ve ever done, producing lots of really nice blooms. Laurie pointed this one out that was staring at her with its perfect pinwheel center this morning.

Stretch was lounging on the deck this morning with the other cats. The water still surrounded the deck, so they all laid around the edge of the deck waiting for the water to soak in. I had put some new mulch by one of the steps a couple of weeks ago, so it looked like dry ground floating on the water. Stretch got a couple of wet paws when he started to walk on the new, floating mulch.

The echinaceas are starting to bloom, which means lots of insects will be flocking to them, giving me lots of work with my macro lens.

Stretch On Deck



I worked out in the yard this morning, and it did a great job of wearing me out. The road back to health is long and slow.

Stretch’s water boarding went well today, but he’s getting pretty wary and starting to hide from us. That is a good sign that he is feeling better, but a problem when it’s time to give him meds (twice a day) and water board him (once a day).

The raccoons have been going back and forth between rustling around in the shed and chirping in the bamboo tonight, but I haven’t seen them. There are lots of dogs barking for some reason tonight. Otherwise, things are pretty quiet.

Rainbow Sorbet

We Live Among the Creatures of the Night

The mama coon had five babies under the deck tonight. I get the feeling she was babysitting, since they normally don’t all of a sudden have another litter the same age. Laurie heard her growling under the deck and Puck came out from under it and wanted in. He must have been under the deck pestering them.

The mama growled at us a couple of times and then decided to take off. The babies started to follow, but when they saw us, they came back and acted cute. The runt started to get up on the deck to check us out, but we told him follow his mama. and Laurie reminded them they would be in trouble with their mama if they didn’t move along.

I went in and got my camera, and pulled out my flashlight to get some extra light on them. That was enough for them to skeedaddle off toward the shed in search of their mama. I’m not sure if they found her, but they’ve been banging around in the shed ever since.

I heard a thump and something rubbed against my leg, but I didn’t see anything. Then another rub against my leg, I looked around a little harder and found Lola, our neighbor’s little black cat, under my chair. We can hear the coons messing around, so she’s sticking close to me, looking warily out towards the shed. I don’t see any lights on at the neighbor’s house, so she may be stuck outside for the night.

Guildenstern posed on a stump for me tonight; Peace was protected by thorny surroundings, while a dragonfly basked in the late afternoon sunshine.

Laurie took Stretch into the vet this morning and all his values are going back up, so now we have to water board him every day. Water boarding and giving him all his meds are a real ordeal for all of us.

Guildenstern on a Stump

Stretch in the Catio

Beetle Bailey

We “water boarded” Stretch tonight. Water boarding involves wrapping him in a towel to restrain him, sticking an IV just under the skin between his shoulder blades, then holding him until 150 ml of solution drips under his skin. He ends up with a big bump of water under his skin that soaks in and helps flush his kidneys. It’s torture for poor Stretch, but necessary.

He’s doing pretty well but probably has an inner ear infection which is causing him to be unbalanced, hold his head funny and not want to eat as much. Laurie’s taking him in tomorrow morning to get his ears checked. Since he’s already on an antibiotic, the Vet said she may just give him medicine to  make him not feel dizzy so he can eat.

I got a beetle to pose for me tonight. It seemed kind of lazy so it reminded me of Beetle Bailey. Believe it or not, I think it was a little cold. The cool air was rolling in about 8:00 pm when I found it while out looking at the garden. Even though it was 100º F this afternoon, it’s already down to about 60º F in the garden.

Gemini is a very photogenic rose, and it almost always looks better in a photo than in person. Some of our fancy day lilies are starting to bloom, and Honey Perfume had some interesting scalloping on one of its blooms tonight.


Honey Perfume

In the Summertime

In the summertime there are too many things to do, and even though the sun goes to bed late and gets up early, there never seems to be enough time to get everything done within the sun’s schedule.

Laurie said Stretch spent most of the day happily convalescing in the catio.


Damn Paparazzi

The previous owners of Tristan’s and David’s house put a bird box right next to the front door. It’s a pretty safe place for baby birds, except when the paparazzi come around.   The other problem with having the box above the front door is that the mama bird gets all upset and attacks people as they go in and out the front door. I held up my camera and did a couple of blind photos of the babies while under attack by the mama bird.

Tristan and David had a solstice party tonight. I went out on the lava flow and looked for critters, but didn’t find too many; however, I did find a cactus blooming.

When we were leaving to go get Stretch from the kitty hospital, there was a baby bull snake on the door step when Laurie opened the door. It crawled inside, I picked it up, and handed it to Tristan. It would not hold still long enough to get a clear photo, but as you can see, it was a really cute snake. Tristan put in the back yard where it will find lots of food to grow on.

We brought Stretch home tonight. His BUN was down to 41, the same as it was three years ago when we went through the same thing with him. He’s really happy to be home, and one of the first things he did was stick his paw in his water dish on the table and get a drink. Pretty normal behavior for Stretch!

Almost Home Stretch

Stretch in Hospital Today. The pink and blue on his leg are the wrappings that secure his IV catheters.

I visited Stretch at lunch and then on the way home from work tonight.  Stretch is making progress. His BUN (blood urea nitrogen) was down from 70 to 55, but it needs to be 32 or lower, so we are leaving him at the kitty hospital for one more day to see if the fluids and medications will get him closer to normal by tomorrow night.

Stretch was much perkier today. He was exploring the exam room and trying to get into things this evening. He didn’t have anything to rub against on the exam table except for me and my camera, so he got me to put him on the floor. He looked around, then jumped up on the instrument cart and rubbed on the machine, which allowed me to back off enough to get a photo of him.

The tech told me everyone loves Stretch. She said he was really cranky the first night and on Sunday morning. He didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone, but after I went to visit him yesterday, she said he totally changed and became much more social.

We are planning to bring him home tomorrow night if his BUN is low enough.

Chicago Peace
Chestnut Rose in Full Bloom