Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Monday Photo Shoot #17: Fur Sure

"Life is an endless struggle, full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like."


New Monday Photo Shoot #17: Photograph something furry or fuzzy, whether it's a textured fabric, an animal (real or otherwise), a beard, a piece of fruit, or something else. All I ask is that the photograph concentrate on whatever it is that's furry or fuzzy, and ignore other features (such as eyes and noses) as much as possible.

-Karen Funk Blocker, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

Is it hair? Is it fuzz? Is it fur? Whatever it is on the butterfly, it's very soft when it brushes past you, and I found out quite by accident, that butterflies don't mind very much if you very gently touch their mane, if you do so with the utmost respect. :) Have you ever combed the long, well managed hair of a beautiful woman? Was she a Painted Lady? Could she be described as a Cosmopolitan woman? Was she as sweet and beautiful as this Vanessa?

;) WINK!

Note: Please click on the photo to see it in a larger version.

Vanessa cardui (American Painted Lady Butterfly)
Conservatory Of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
April 23, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Living In The Moments

"Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty."

-Albert Einstein

First of all... thank you. Your emails and comments about Elvis have been a tremendous comfort to Alan and I.

We have an wonderful young man, goofy and smart, silly and kind, determined and stubborn, handsome and charismatic. Besides Alan and I, his great loves are food, slightly slutty women, hats and stuffed animals. His favorite animal is the opossum, and his favorite color is green. He likes long naps, especially if I put on some classical music, and he growls when he sees George Bush on TV! LOL. I have seen this guy do things that are nothing short of astounding. Like the time he sat in the yard watching birds fly in and out of the lemon tree, and after a little while, I saw that he had climbed into the tree, settled down on a particular branch, where he sat with his mouth wide open... apparently reasoning to himself, that if he sat there long enough, a bird would fly into his mouth! LOL. True story.

That is just one of the times we are smiling about, as we get ready to say goodbye. If he were writing this blog, I know he would say to everyone... "don't be sad. Please." Elvis wasn't a sad cat, he loved pulling pranks to make us laugh. Do you remember the time when he convinced Alan that there was some dire need to be let outdoors? Well, Alan and I had just sat down to eat lunch of corned beef sandwiches, when Elvis began to whine, and scratch and claw at the door. Alan took one bit of his lunch and then got up to let him out. Elvis waited for him to get the door open, then bolted under Alan's feet making a b-line to Alan's chair, and up to the table. And I swear... he was laughing! LOL. He got to Alan's sandwich, never took any, but he made his point. He is smarter then us, and many, many times, he has proven it!

Everyone who loves a pet, believes they have the best little friend on earth. The smartest kitty, or the most intelligent dog, and they are probably right, but Elvis is my hero. He has been nothing but sheer joy, making us laugh every single day we have had him. I believe he was made of pure love. To me, it's like he doesn't just know what love is HE IS LOVE!

Alan and I are pet people. I know we will have another friend one day. We will need a little time to heal from losing Elvis, and we have a time frame that seems about right. In truth, we both know that it will never heal completely, but we will be ready for a new friend at some point. I can see a lot of light in that fact alone. For now, there is a lot of life in our house, and we are doing our best to do our normal routines. I will continue to post here, you know me, I have an opinion about everything! LOL. So please keep coming back! Elvis is having a birthday this coming week, and I have already chosen the theme, so, I will be posting a lot of photos of the fun. His life is to be celebrated. So stay tuned! There's much more to come!

"Elvis As Art"
Berkeley, California
April 24, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heart And Soul, I Fell In Love With You Heart And Soul

"If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend."


The worst possible news came to visit us the other day. Elvis has cancer. Feline Lymphoma. There are no good options. Even with treatment his doctor believes that Elvis would only survive about a year. With treatments we can hold things off, and shrink the tumors in his nostrils, but it would not do a lot more then give us a little more time with our boy. He would be comfortable, and then the drugs would stop working and we would be right back here, watching him fight for his life. I have read that some kitties live as long as two years, but there is really no guarantee.

Alan and I want to put his dignity first. That means letting go in a few weeks. Right now he is in the back yard, chasing butterflies. He is in a good mood, he is still cleaning himself, and loving on us, and I look at him, and I think to myself, this can't be right. But at the same time, he has lost weight because he wouldn't eat, and even now we are giving him medicine to stimulate his appetite, without the medicine he wouldn't be eating.

Alan and I are in pieces, after spending a couple days in shock. He and I are going to go back to see the Elvis's doctor tomorrow, and ask some questions again, just so we are sure about what to do. Right now we still have a happy boy. He is such a happy little boy, and we are indulging him like crazy. That's where things are at the moment. I was telling a friend that I think Elvis knows what's going on, on some level. Last night Alan and I were sitting together crying, and Elvis came into the room and sat down between us. He put one paw on Alan and one paw on me, as if to comfort us. That's what he does. He takes care of us.

April 21, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

When Beans Find Their Way Up Your Nose!

"With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?"

-Ferdinand Mery, Her Majesty The Cat

My boy hasn't been feeling well. There is something wrong with the right side of his nose. Last week he stopped eating, and drinking water. I tried everything. I even bought him his very favorite baby food, and gave him a little cut up chicken, something he has never turned down, but he would have none of it. He was interested in the food, but because he couldn't smell it, he wouldn't eat it. That's the thing about cats. You can put food in their mouths and force them, but it will be going against their natural instinct. I know better then to try and force him to eat, all that would accomplish would be stressing him out, which in turn would complicate his diabetes. Sigh.

So, with all else failing, we took him to see Dr. B. Elvis was dehydrated, and his nose was swollen, so tests were done. A chest ex-ray first, then a cardiogram. His heart wasn't sounding right to Dr. B. It was a long wait in the waiting room. When the doctor called us into his office, I didn't see my boy. "We have mostly good news," said the doctor. His heart looked ok, no evidence of heart failure, and all his other vitals were good, but he was quite dehydrated and needed fluids. He was too grumpy for the doctor to do a blood test, so he got a little dose of kitty Valium, and an IV with fluids, and he was all set to spend the night, with tests scheduled for the next day.

My boy was in the hospital from Thursday, until Saturday afternoon. My goodness I missed my friend. I missed his morning kiss and pat on my face, and his goofy little routines, such as his rearrangements of his stuffed animals, and his knocking on the back door when he wants to check on the garden. One of our very favorite routines is the way he asks for dinner, every night at 5:30 when Charlie Gibson appears on ABC World News Tonight. Apparently Elvis likes to stay informed while dining. LOL. On the other hand it might be that Charlie Gibson and Alan sound a little alike. I am not sure which. ;) Last night, he asked for dinner, and he ate a little, which made us very happy, but it wasn't during the news. It's a start.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, he has a follow up appointment, and we will have all the test results by then. Too many scary words are coming up. Cancer is the scariest one. According to the doctor there was significant damage on the inside of his nostril, but a lot of things could have caused that. Sigh. I don't know. Maybe he inhaled a bean or a seed. His little nose is so small... I can't imagine how he could have, but then this is probably the only cat in America who actually has a personal choice in who delivers the news! LOL. It's just one more thing that makes me love him.

Please keep your fingers and paws crossed for my boy!

Berkeley, California
April 20th, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Karen's Weekend Assignment #212: Celebrate Poetry Month

"Poetry is when an emotion has found the thought and the thought has found words."

-Robert Frost

Weekend Assignment #212: It's National Poetry Month in the United States, but poetry itself is a worldwide phenomenon, existing in many styles. Lets celebrate the form. How? By writing a poem of course! It can be silly or serious, haiku, limerick, rhymed verse, blank verse, free verse, two lines long, or fifty, or anything in between. All I ask is that it be a new, original poem, not something you wrote in high school and trot out occasionally.

Extra Credit: Do you have a favorite poet?

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I looked through my archives to find some photographs to go with my poems. I like using the two together when at all possible. I think I like what I came up with. :)

New Hope (Haiku)

Alone With The Sea
The Day Slips Into A Dream
A Night Light Brings Hope

Seaside Flowers (Haiku)

Golden Flowers Bloom
As Painted Watercolors
On My Mind's Canvas

Spice Drops (Haiku)

Leaves Of Autumn Spice
Sweetly Brushes The Cool Earth
Cinnamon And Clove

Four Seasons (Haiku)

She Moves Through Seasons
Winter Spring Summer and Autumn
Now Showing Her Age

Pop! (Haiku)

Big Bubblegum Walls
Different Colors And Tastes
It's Art For Art's Sake

Extra Credit: I really love poetry, but I don't know if I have an absolute favorite. If I had to choose, I suppose I would go with John Keats, but I also enjoy Dr. Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Pescadero, California
October, 2007
Late Afternoon