Friday, March 05, 2010

Marching to the gym


OK. I finally did it. I joined a gym last month that's only 3 miles from work, and 4 miles from home. Right in between them. I have been going in about 5:30 AM or so, every other morning since joining. The other mornings I just ride my stationary bike at home. This morning was quite a workout. First thing, I did the Stair master for 15 minutes. I'm still in awe. Previously I had never done the Stair Master for more than 5 minutes. This morning I set a goal of 10 minutes, but when I reached that, I kept going. Then it was on to working arms / upper body. I am using higher weights than I was on the machines, so that's a positive improvement. So now I have a gym in town I belong to, as well as one at the lake, and I use one in Gunnison when I visit Crested Butte that is a pay by the day setup. I should look like Jack LaLanne, right ?

Well, I'm not quite there. After the huge weight loss years ago, I was at my lowest weight in summer 2007, the same summer I floated over to England on the QE2. I was able to cross "visit Liverpool - home of The Beatles" off of my "Bucket List". Anyway, since then I have gained, as I have posted here previously. I had a regular Doctor appointment with blood work a month ago, with a check up at the Cardiologist the following day. Everything was fine, no problems at either one. Except, the weight gain. During the visit with the Doc about my stress level, I am tackling that as it contributes to my eating. I then had a long talk with the PA at the Cardio office, and set up a challenge with him for me to lose a set amount of weight before my next visit in October. Sometimes that type of accountability helps me. I've lost 5 pounds in the last month.

I'm looking in again to the process of a full body lift, once I lose some more weight. There is a local doctor that does it that I've not yet seen, but have a call in to set up a consulation appointment. I almost did the full body lift Winter of 2007 / 2008, and in many ways wish I had done it then. However, in working through issues from the past, which have added to the weight gain, in counseling, I still may have regained much of this, and then wished I had waited. Either way, I'm considering it again. With the massive weight loss, I had a lot of lose skin, and it was not pretty. Part of the problem I had in my head, was that I looked better with the larger weight I used to have, because it was filled out more, somewhat more solid in appearance. I am sure that is part of what led to my recent weight gain as well.

However, I have come to the point that if I am going to do it, I want to get it over and done. I am not getting any younger, and I've never had a "average" body size, so this is the time to do it, if at all. I do dread the recovery time, as it is lengthy, and the stitches / staples, etc. It will probably be done in several visits, as they may well tackle one or two areas at a time. That's the way it would have been done if I had already done it, by the Doctors I visited in Los Angeles that I wanted to use. However, the long distance from relatives / friends, etc. kept me from having it done out there, as I would have spent 4 - 7 weeks at a time in a hotel in recovery, as there would be an initial time where it would be impossible to travel without endangering the staples or risking infection. Then as recovery progressed, there would be numerous checkups, and some physical therapy. I still may opt for out there, but being closer to home makes sense in many ways, so I'm looking yet again in Tulsa. I was not happy with the two I visited years ago, so I will see about this Doctor.

Business is slow, as 2009 was horrible. We had our busiest ever December (2008) and January (2009), and then it just dropped off the cliff. June 2009 was the worst. After that it crept up a bit for a few months, and then there were ups and downs. This December (2009) and January (2010) were slow, with a nice increase though in February. So far it appears March will also be a decent month, though we are still far behind business levels of 2004 thru 2008. Those were the Glory Days, at this point. Can we get back to that ? We certainly hope so, though we do realize it may take years to get there again. Our backlog for production is about 1/2 of what it was running in 2008, so we have some room for improvement.

I have put the house in Sapulpa ont the market. 8 months ago. Some activity, though not recently due to Winter, weather and Holidays. It should pick up with Spring about to burst open. Once it sells, my lake home will definitely be my primary residence, and I will just get a smaller condo or apartment in the Tulsa area to spend a night or two a week, and especially in inclement weather. I will have to find a cat sitter for up at the lake though, or haul them back and forth when I head out of town for vacation or business.

Last vacation was a week in Crested Butte in December. Before that, I week in Crested Butte in August. Notice a pattern here ?? Oh wait. May of 2009, a week in Hawaii, on Oahu. I had not been there since I was about 10 years old, so a lot had changed. I got to visit with my long time friend Nancy and her husband that live in Honolulu, and did much of the sightseeing touristy things, of course. We stayed in a house on the beach out away from Honolulu, and it was very nice and relaxing. I was not ready to come home at all. Someday I hope to repeat that trip, but it may be awhile, as it was not a cheap one. It was well worth it though.

I really did enjoy watching the Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada. I've never been there, but I did get to attend some of the Winter Olympic events in Calgary / Banff in Canada in 1988. While there, I stayed with Kati and Steve. Kati I'd known since college at OSU. She met Steve in Tulsa, though he was from the Toronto area. When he was offered a job in Calgary, she followed not far behind. Two kids later, and now a new dog, they are visiting Kati's Mom this week here in the Tulsa area. I will see them tonight, as we are going to dinner, and then the Norah Jones concert at the Brady Theater. I did not know until the newspaper this week that Norah is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, the sitarist from India that made connections with The Beatles back in the day. Small world. I like anything I've heard by Norah, though the favorite is "Don't Know Why", her huge hit from years ago. On her newest release, "The Fall", take a listen to "Man Of The Hour". It's not about what you may think, without really listening to the words.

In two weeks I will get to see David Gray in Kansas City. I don't go to many concerts these days, so I pick only ones I really want to see. I've enjoyed his music ever since "Babylon", his radio hit, that is not even his best song on his "White Ladder" album (in my opinion). "Sail Away" does take me away when I hear it. That's my favorite of his songs. "Please Forgive Me" is great, also. Great music and lyrics. I'm looking forward to seeing him. Even have a chance to see him 2 nights later in St. Louis with my friend Robert, if I'm not worn out from one night in KC.

Tomorrow my Oklahoma State University Cowboys basketball team end their regular season at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It's a game OSU should win, but in the Big 12, one cannot overlook anyone. Just ask the Kansas Jayhawks, as OSU upset them in Stillwater last Saturday, and it was not really as close as the score ended up. OSU will then play in the Big 12 Conference Tournament next week in KC, and then should receive an invitation to the March Madness NCAA Tournament. Coach Travis Ford is in his second year at OSU, and both years has the team outperforming expectations. OSU had the youngest, and the shortest team in the Big 12 this year, yet will finish in the middle of the pack. Go Cowboys !!

That's it for this installment. If I get on here and write more often, the entries will not be so long !!


Sunday, December 20, 2009



I have been Unfaithful to my Blog. I cannot believe it's been over 1 year (441 days ??) since I posted here. Of course, the last time, was not my finest hour. I'd lost 2 more cats (of 3 that year).

However, I never got around to posting about the cat that adopted me last December !

I was in Crested Butte, Colorado, when my cat sitter called and asked if I knew I had a cat living in my garage. No, I said, I had no clue. She fed it, gave it water, and put it inside my house in a cage, since we did not know if it was litter box trained, etc.

When I arrived home, I sought the cat's owner. I ran a newspaper ad, put "do you know me?" ads with a picture around the neighborhoods mailboxes. I even took it to the Vet to see if it had a chip embedded. No luck.

In time, of course, he worked his way into my life. Quickly. The Vet estimated he was 18 months to 2 years., so quite a bit younger than the one remaining cat I had, Aggie, who was 17 years. She hissed and spat at him, as she was used to being Daddy's Girl, and having me to herself. He never gave up though, as he's never met a stranger. Now they are somewhat buddies, though they still have their moments.

I named him Linc. I was in Lincoln, Nebraska on part of that trip, plus two of my favorite shows over time had characters named Linc. "Prison Break" which ended this past year. And "Mod Squad", which was on when I was young. I just liked the name. It fit. And he quickly took to it.
I had no idea what his name (if any) had been, but then, he now knows it's Linc.

I just returned again from a week in Crested Butte. No calls this time from my cat sitter about any cat in my garage. However, before leaving for CO, I had made arrangements to adopt a 2 year old cat, Chrissie, upon my return. She has a name, shots, already front claws removed, etc. The only thing I had them do additionally was to implant a micro chip. My cats stay inside, but just in case. I did not want to drop her off at my home on the way out the door for 10 days, so I left her at the Vet, but will pick her up this evening upon my return to Sapulpa.

I made it to the lake house last night, after being in Lincoln a few nights back, and in KC for lunch yesterday (actually in Independence). This house seems so empty with the cats not here. They were moved up here mid July, and stayed up here until early December, while I was driving back and forth most days to work. I would still stay in Sapulpa a night or two a week, but my "home" was at the lake. If I had found a cat sitter for up here, I would have left them at the lake, but that did not happen.

So now I have a cat named after a character in "Three's Company", Chrissie.

Christmas is around the corner, and I think I'm ready. I mailed cards when leaving Crested Butte. This year I was instructed to only buy presents for the little kids (is that little by age, or little by how they act ?). So with less shopping (?) to do, I think I'm done. That just leaves putting together the food items I will take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

But now, back to one of the main reasons I decided to start blogging again. Weight. I've let it slip this past year or more. Oh yeah, I can blame it on many things. Work, and going from our 5 best years ever to such a crashing decline this year, forcing us to cut costs and employees. Personal, having to refinance bank loans on the homes, in order to reduce costs and move banks.
The stress of losing the 3 cats in 3 months in 2008. It's all there for me to blame, and I do it so well.

I started using a personal trainer up here at the lake, and that was going quite well, building up some muscle, etc. He then changed jobs, and now works in Tulsa, still living in the lake area. However, that changed his schedule enormously, as he now works most evenings, which is when we were meeting for the training. I still go in the gym, even in Colorado, and do work out on my own, so that's something I have added to my accomplishments, as I never used to do that much.

While I am still far, far below my highest weight, before the gastric bypass surgery, I have regained some of what I had lost. At my lowest, I was told by some others that I am sure meant well, that I had lost too much. Talk about a license to gaining again. Oh, I am sure that is not what they intended, and that they meant well, but it's all about how one perceives it, and does with it from there. So I've gone from mostly XL sizes, to now sometimes finding that 2XL works better for me. That's still better than 5XL though.

I did, somehow, come back from vacation at about the same weight I was when I left town. That in itself was nice, as I know I ate often, though still mostly "good foods". I only ate out once in Crested Butte, as I did smartly go to the grocery store before I even went to the house, and therefore had food I *had* to eat or let go to waste. Now I will make it through the upcoming Holidays with hopefully no weight gain, and then get back into the groove of working it off a bit at a time.

I did start Nutri Systems last year, though it only works when you eat the foods, and do not add a lot of other food to the routine. I have plenty of it right now, as I did not stick to it all the time, and found myself eating my favorite items, and not always getting around to the ones I did not care for as much, or that took more time or effort to prepare. If I were snowed in at the lake, I would not go hungry, unless I chose to do so. I have plenty of the breakfast and lunch items, though not so many of the dinner items.

I found myself getting way too dependent on Energy Bars and SlimFast. Well, with the recent recall of SlimFast, that cured that habit. I have on occasion replaced it with Muscle Milk however. The problem with the Energy Bars is that they do contain some sugars, and more fats, than I really need or want. But, they are so convenient, especially driving down the highway and munching on them, as though they were candy bars. Recently the 2 brands I prefer both happened to change their formulas, and now have slightly different tastes to them than before.
One is for the better, but to me, the other brand is not for the better. So that will help me quit buying it as often. I've also noticed that with this change, both downsized. Same price as before, but smaller bars. The economy strikes again.

OK, I must admit, Facebook got some of my posting during my absence here, but recent changes there have made it less appealing, etc. The novelty is wearing off of it.

Enough for now. Not sure anyone will read this anyways, since it's been so long since I last posted. Hopefully I will not wait another 441 days to post again. I'm going to try to use this blog to keep myself more accountable on the eating and exercising. Time will tell if it works that way.

Happy Holidays !!


Sunday, October 05, 2008

the toughest love of all...... 2 cats


Tough love...... now I really know the meaning
of it.

Yesterday my cat Tootsie got to the point where
she could no longer walk. She may have been
that way even on Friday, as I'd not seen her move
around since Friday morning, but that was not
unusual. She always had one or two places that
were "her places", and rarely moved from them
once she warmed them up as her territory.

Last night, she crawled to get to the litter box.
That's when I knew it was time.

My cat Travis, was not eating. His tumor was
larger now in his lower jaw, and he still refused
moist cat food. He kept trying to crunch the
dry food in his mouth, but had too much trouble
cracking it, since the tumor took up more room
in his mouth than previously.

In the past 2 months, he had lost 4 of his 17
pounds, and was not eating well. I knew it was

This morning, I took both of them to the Vet.
It was obvious it was time for Tootsie, as she
was barely even responsive by this time, and
gave no resistance even to being put in one of
the carriers. She felt that bad.

Travis was having a better day today than he
did yesterday, so I almost felt like I was rushing
him a bit. However, tomorrow may have ended
up being one of his worst days, it was that sort
of up and down anymore.

The Vet was so empathetic and re-assuring. It
was the right time. It was the right thing to do.
For both of them. Though Tootsie was beyond
having any quality of life at that point, so was
Travis in reality. He just still acted more "normal"
than her. However, he had known something
was not right for a long time, as he kept trying to
rub up against stationary hard items, to move
that growth out of his mouth. That of course,
did nothing. He'd then look at me as if to ask,
"help me, Dad". There was nothing I could do
but be there for him, and love on him. There
was nothing to do for him medically, as it was a
cancer that has no cure, and is quite invasive and

Both of them had a wonderful life. 17 years each.
They had moved numerous times with me, and
each had been to the lake house as well. Travis
had been going with me most of the time the last
several months, just as Tamara had done before
she went to cat heaven in July.

Some of the readers here knew Tootsie. She was
my 6 toed Hemingway psycho crossed eyed kitty.
She was not the most sociable, with humans or
with other cats. However, as she aged, she did
indeed mellow. After Tamara passed away, Tootsie
took over as Travis's buddy. Another reason for
it being appropriate for them to go together.

Travis, was the first of these last 5 that I had gotten.
I adopted him for Tess to have a playmate. However,
she was already a mature cat, and he was a kitten.
That's what prompted me to get "one more" kitten
so Travis could have a same aged playmate. That
led to "several more" instead of one.

I know as a "parent", one should not have favorites.
Each cat has been a favorite in some way, so it is
spread around. However ,with Travis being the
eldest, the first acquired, of these 5, he was just a
little more special. His nickname was "Bubba",
and he was the only male of the group, yet the most
easily scared of the group. It's going to be difficult
to watch TV at night, as he will no longer be there
on my lap, or snuggled right up next to me. He was
my OSU orange cat. At least OSU won their football
game the night before against Texas A & M.

When I first got Tess, 26 years ago (?) or so, I had
also adopted her brother, Danya. He however, had
Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Upon the Vet's
recommendation, I took him to Texas A & M, where
they kept him, and did all they could do, but it was
not enough. He never had much chance, and died
still very young.

Travis went to OSU's Vet Learning School back in
July, after the tumor had been discovered by my
local Vet. The only alternatives were to do nothing,
and let him enjoy what time he had left, or to do
surgery to remove his jaw and then do chemo, but
without any guarantee it would prolong his time
very long. Plus, being already 17, the surgery itself
could have been too much for him. So I made the
choice then, to take him home, and just enjoy his
time of a few weeks to a few months. He made it
2 months after that, and I spent a lot of time with
him knowing time was precious.

I really though Tootsie would outlast Travis. We
knew she had the degenerative hip, and that it
was 20% of what it should be. However, she had
been on pain medication for so long for the hip
and arthritis, that it just seemed it would go on
forever. She really had some of her best days just
a few weeks back, when a change in her medication
seemed to really perk her energy level up. That
lasted a few weeks, until the last several days.

10 years ago I had 6 cats.

Tess passed away about 10 years ago at age 16.
I lost Allie November 2006 when she was 16,
and then Tamara in July when she was 17.
this year, and now Travis and Tootsie today,
both at 17.

I do still have Aggie, who is now 17. As of today,
she is in perfect health. She had a checkup early
summer when the others did. She's already
lived longer than her mom Allie did. Aggie does
not have diabetes like Allie did, so that may allow
her a few more years, or many more years.

The decision to take these cats in this morning,
was the first time I'd had to make such a decision.
The others had died naturally, always though in
the Vet's care at the time.

It's not an easy decision to make that choice. To
decide it's time to end the life of a living, breathing,
warm blooded, loving companion.

However, given the choice of doing that, or watching
them suffer, the choice I made, was indeed the one
I can live with. They passed on with dignity, and
much less suffering than could have been the case.

My house, already seeming more empty without
the earlier cats leaving me, will be even more so
now. Once I left the Vet's this morning, I drove
directly to the lake house. Seemed like it took three
times as long as usual. I just could not go back home
right away, though I will be back home tonight, as
Aggie is still there, of course.

Loving and losing is such a tough process to go
through. However, it still beats the prospect of not
loving at all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

cat updates


Travis is losing some weight, though not as fast as
I feared. Several months ago he was 17 pounds.
Now he is 15, and has held that a few weeks now.
He manages to still eat enough on his own, and the
tumor on his jaw is larger, but not as large as I was
afraid it would be by now.

Travis does seem to be losing some hearing, and
have some other odd actions. He does not seem to
always hear me, or when he does, he has trouble
locating which direction the noise came from. When
I rub under his chin, one of his all time favorite things,
his back leg will start scratching that area, which it
never used to do. Other odd reactions also.

Tootsie seems better on the new medication, at
least in socializing and attitude. However, turning
around on the couch last night, she was wobbly and
fell over onto the cushion (not the floor). However,
later it appeared her walking was good, so I'm not
sure what was going on there.

Both cats go back in for check-ups mid October,
though I may well push that up to October 8th or so,
as I'm concerned. It is just a matter of time on both
before I will have to decide their fate. Just how long
though, I do not know. The further out, the better,
as long as they are not suffering.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tootsie's arthritis is worse


Tootsie, my cat, now 16, has had arthritis for a few
years now. However, it's now quite worse than before.

I'd noticed she was not getting up on the chair she
had always claimed as hers. She also rarely moves
from the dining room, even less than previously. So
I took her to the new Vet I've started using since my
move last year. He took X-rays, which show her
hips are about 20% of what they should be. In other
words, as this progresses further, she will lose the
ability to walk.

The Vet took blood and urine samples, and will
know those results tomorrow hopefully. He is
trying to determine whether or not to leave her
on the medication she is now on (similar to
morphine), or switch her to a non-steroidal pain
medication, the same one Travis is now on for his
cancer growth. It seems to be controlling his
pain very well. It's also easier on both of us, as
it's given for 6 days, tapering off, then not again
until every 5 - 6 days. Less traumatic than an
everyday medicine on the cat and me.

Tootsie now only moves from her dining room
spot into the kitchen to eat (about 6 feet away),
and to come to the couch when I am there
watching TV (just about another 8 feet), in order
to get her meds. She's long been my cross-eyed,
6 toed, psycho kitty. Now she can add junkie to
that title. She's hooked, but the problem with
that is, that she's been on it so long, her
system is used to it, and it's probably not
providing her with enough pain relief anymore.
Something new will be helpful.

All these cats being the same ages, 16 - 17, is
rough at this point. I lost Allie 22 months ago,
Tamara 2 months ago, and now face having to
make the decision on the lives of Travis and
Tootsie at some point in the future, when they
no longer have a quality of life. It will be
better for them at that point, and I know that.
However, that will not make it any easier.

Cats are wonderful companions. They can be
so much fun, inquisitive, playful, loving, shy,
odd, spooked, demanding, relaxing, and the
purrfect companion.

My home was once full of 6 cats, some 10
years ago. Then it was 5 for years, and now it's
down to 3. Odds are it could well be down to
one by year's end. Aggie is doing quite well
at this point, with no signs of health problems.
That's a positive. Not sure if I'll get any more
cats at this point, but if I do, their ages will be
spread out more, so that I am less likely to
have this domino effect, or at least that what
it is seeming to be like. I know it's all not
really related, just coincidental, and their


Friday, August 29, 2008

my cat Travis has cancer


My cat Travis is not doing well.

He was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with Squamous
Cell Carcinoma.........

I then was referred to take him to OSU for a
CT Scan, which confirmed the diagnosis, and
also that he has limited time. Could be days,
could be weeks. Could be months, but at some
point along the way, subject to progression,
his quality of life will deteriorate significantly.

I've been reading other people's experience
with this online (reading too much of it, as it's
really depressing), and they all struggle with the
"proper time" to let their cat go humanely.
Some had 4 - 6 months with their cat after
diagnosis. Many had 2 weeks tops. It's been
17 days since his diagnosis.

The biggest problem at this point, is that he
has not acted sick. He looks and acts mostly
normal, except that he does have trouble
chewing the hard cat food. But he refuses to
eat the canned soft food.

He's been in and out of my Vet severak times,
as well as to OSU (Oklahoma State University),
so he's a bit skittish, as he is afraid he's going
to be hauled off somewhere else for a few
days when I approach him. He's on a good
painkiller. He had started some howling he
did not do before in the middle of the night,
and has been drooling a bit, which are both
classic signs.

They did say there were a few options. One
would be to remove his whole right jaw. This
would then lead to needing a feeding tube, his
drooling all the time, and problems with
drinking water. It does not leave him in a good
quality of life.

Another would be to have that same surgery,
but then also have radiation treatment up at the
University Of Missouri, since OSU does not have
the proper facilities for that. Again, no guarantee
it would prolong him very long, and the surgery
would leave him with the need for a feeding
tube, etc. I can not see putting him through that
at this point.

If Travis were very young, decisions would be
easier. But he is 17, and that's getting up there
for a cat. I read recently that many house cats live
to be 15, so he's exceeded that already. However,
that same cat magazine, had a photo contest of
cats over the age of 20, with one even being 30 !
But I'm sure a lot of that is genetic.

I do have 2 other cats along with Travis. They
are doing well, but are also in the 16 - 17 age
range. They could still live years, but only time
will tell. I had Travis before I got them, though
only by several months, so therefore he's more
of the elder cat of the household. He's been
the only boy out of what was once 6 cats in the
house, so he's always stood out as special.

I do not want to lose him, but it is inevitable.
I do not want him to suffer, yet I don't want to
let go too early. That is the worst part of all of
this. When is the "correct time" ?? The last 3
cats I've had pass away, did so naturally, and
somewhat quicker, with no choice, etc. I've not
had to make this decision.

Travis has never been much of a purring cat.
However, recently, as he lay up against me
watching TV, he was purring. Perhaps that's
a sign to tell me, "Dad, it's been a great life, and
I know you'll do what's right, when it's time.
It's OK."


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

life is short..........


Tonight at 11:11 PM, my cat Tamara passed away.
She's now purring up in cat heaven, finding the rays
of sun to lay in, and a warm lap to curl up in.

Tamara was a rescue cat I got 15 years ago. She
lived a full life to age 16, even after having been
diagnosed with diabetes about 3 years ago. She was
my second diabetic cat, and both passed away at age

I still have 3 cats left, all are age 16, though none of
them are diabetic.

Tamara had been steady on her insulin requirement
for several years. However earlier late last year, that
changed. Thanksgiving night she had seizures, and I
rushed her to the Emergency Animal Clinic. They got
her under control, and my regular vet then changed
her insulin level. About 6 week ago, virtually the same
scenario played out yet again. Cats are notorious for
being hard to regulate on insulin. Tamara had been so
good about it for so long, I knew it was not a good
sign that her dosage kept changing recently.

She was doing good though these last few months,
and had gotten to take numerous trips with me up to
the lake home. On occasion my cat Travis got to go as
well, but they others stayed home. This last weekend
however, I took a trip to Nebraska. My cat sitter
had just had some surgery, and was unable to cat
sit, I took Tamara to the Vet for boarding. She had
been there before several times over the years, but
the last few times seemed to really create more stress
in her than ever before. Stress of course, can alter the
glucose in their system.

I picked her up Monday, as planned. I was told she
had been sick at her stomach that morning and day
before, but she was eating again a bit. I noticed when
I got her home she seemed a bit out of it, but she was
walking around, etc. However, when I got home that
night from dinner, she seemed more lethagic and was
avoiding me. She did not seem bad enough though to
take to the emergency vet then, however I knew
to keep an eye on her.

The next morning, I could not find her to give her the
insulin shot. When I did find her, already running
late for work, she was upstairs. My first thought was,
she made it upstairs, so she's feeling better. In my
haste, I picked her up, and carried her downstairs,
and gave her the insulin shot. I then put her down
by the water bowl, and set down her canned food.
She shunned both, which she never does. Her
"meow" was not a normal one, and she was walking
like she was drunk. I realized then her
glucose was probably off kilter, so I tried to give her
some Karo syrup, but she would not even lick it.

At that point, I knew to take her to the Vet. Sure
enough, her glucose level was quite low. However,
they felt there were other complications, and wanted
to take some x-rays. Of course, I told them to do
whatever it takes. The x-rays showed some potential
problems - some unidentifiable mass areas, and some
possible liquid in the lungs. They had me take her to
a Vet Specialist not far away, and he took more
x-rays and ultrasound. He also withdrew some
of the fluid from in her lung to test it overnight, to
know tomorrow if it was some type of fungus,
or just regular fluid, or what. Obviously, that will not
help her now, but it still may tell me more.

After that testing, I took her back to the Vet, so they
could board her tonight, and give her fluids, keeping
a watch to make sure not to give her too much, due
to her heart murmur, etc. They wanted to be able
to keep her warm, as she had been noticeably cold to
the touch.

About 10:50 PM the Vet called, and said that Tamara
was having great difficulty breathing, and they were
not sure if she would make it through the night. I
told them I wanted to come up and see her, just in
case. Not even 10 minutes later, they called back,
just before I finished getting dressed and to the car.
She had passed away already.

I still did go up to tell her "goodbye". She was the
most loving cat. Just a few stokes on her back, or a
really good cuddle, and she would be purring like a
tractor. I know she knew she was sick, and had some
setbacks along the way, and due to all that, I know
she appreciated each day of hers a bit more than the
other cats.

Some of you had met Tamara, but not all of you. She
was a calico (white, black & butterscotch) blotches of
fur. She loved to greet visitors, and was not shy at all.
She knew how to get attention. She was also a hair
licker. Sitting on the couch, it was not unusual to
suddenly realize she was behind me, licking my hair.
Guests had this happen as well. I suspect it started
with someone that had a great smelling shampoo, or
perhaps hair spray or gel.

Not sure I'll sleep well tonight, as I'm used to Tamara
curling up along my left side. Just this year, she had
developed a new habit, of making sure she laid on top
of my hand, so that my hand was under her stomach.
She would rather have that, even with my hand then
laying still, than for it to be petting her at that time of

Mornings she would also wait patiently as I took my
shower, etc., and got dressed. She would lead me
into the kitchen. I prepared her insulin shot , and
give it to her. She then knew, that it was OK to eat.
She would first hit the water bowl that I, of course,
freshened up for her. I'd then put down her moist
food, and it would be swallowed up quickly. At that
point, she would find Aggie's moist food plate, and
if there was still some left on it, and Aggie was not
around, it would disappear.

Travis will miss her the most of the other cats. He
and Tamara slept together most of the time, except
at night. Then I had one of them on each side of me.
Tonight, whatever sleep I do get, will be unguarded
on my left side.