Mark and I had a great night the other night. He found packets upon packets of actual photographs from years ago that had been stashed in the garage, and we spent the night in bed looking through them. The puppy pictures of Spenser are amazing! I can’t believe how teeny Kip used to be! There are even a few baby photos of Pacey too. And I’m so grateful that we found even more pictures of Becca, though some were before we fattened her up. I absolutely cannot wait until Mark scans them so I can get them on Flickr and post them here. Wow, wow, wow!

Last month my PMS was crazy, and I was trying to push Mark into going back into debt so we could move now, now, now. He, for the most part, takes great care of me and the furbabies, and I know it’s not easy or fun. And he has goals for us so I need to fight against my natural bitch instincts and stop giving him such a hard time about why we aren’t doing what I want when I want. Because I think after my bout of PMS, he went crazy on me too. He went back to yelling at me, to being disappointed in my health, to hating his life, and so on. And he went back to saying that he’d trade places with me and would prefer to be in pain than to have to do things around here which I find to be so demeaning, rude, hateful, and hurtful. I’ve talked to him about the fact that we’ve gone downhill in our communication skills which causes my pain to hit the roof, so I’m hopeful that things will improve again. Ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and so on.

Also, I think I mentioned that I was interested in getting a Maine Coon kitten in my last “a day in the life” post. Well, I’m putting the Maine Coon seeking aside for now. Lulu has her thyroid stuff that we need to deal with first, and four cats is a nice, manageable number. And now that I’ve calmed down and found my head again, I know that I’d never go to a breeder because I support shelters. This means that I’ll more than likely end up getting one that’s only 1/2 Maine Coon, and that’s okay.

So my pain management doctor decided that she isn’t going to try to put me on any other long-acting opiates since none have worked for me. We are now going to try other things, and currently we have increased my Topirimate. She had said that I didn’t need to go in for an appointment while she was on vacation if nothing had changed and that she’d just write me my scrips, but things weren’t going that way at first. She had no intention of calling me back after my first two calls to the office and had only made notations in my chart. I’m glad I called a third time because that promoted the return call. Then and only then were my scrips written and I didn’t need to see someone new in her absence. Actually, my scrips were written incorrectly. I got my good stuff, but after telling me she wasn’t going to be giving me any more opiates and more Topirimate, she wrote a scrip for opiates and forgot the Topirimate. Luckily I have enough of the second to get me through until I see her again next week.

Mark went back home to visit his family, to see a baseball game with his dad, and to attend a fantasy draft with his old friends instead of doing it online as usual. My cleaner was on-call to come over in case I needed her to help me out in his absence. I actually was going to use her once, but her older kid had to go to the gym and that meant that she was going to have to bring her younger three with her. That would have just stressed me and the pets out and really not helped, so I passed and struggled through. The air conditioning needed repaired during Mark’s absence which pissed me off too. The repair guy came at 8am and the unit was frozen, so he had to come back and was here for freaking hours and hours! He did do a lot of stuff and was pleasant enough. He talked about cats and said he came back the same day because I was in pain and he didn’t want me to be hot too which was very nice of him. It just took forever, and I was so, so happy to see my bed and heating pad afterwards!

The vet has been here twice. I think I’ve mentioned the first time. That was when Lulu was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and she’s currently taking her medication twice a day until it’s time for her retest. She has been the easiest of any of our cats to pill! And Pacey and Basia both got very good news in regards to their kidney disease! They are doing very, very well, and everything is looking good! The acupuncture and Chinese herbs are helping! They have their next acupuncture appointment in four months, and that’s when they will get tested again. Then after that, Pacey started sneezing like once or twice a day, which was new for him. One day he even had a sneezing fit that woke him out of a sleep. I asked the vet to come check him out, and apparently a lot of people and pets are suffering from allergies right now. We gave him Benadryl for a few days, and now the sneezing is all gone! Yay! I’m just glad it wasn’t anything more serious like my google searching indicated it could be.

And years ago I was in love with the show Relativity, and I’ve been waiting forever for it to come out on DVD. Well, I finally found the entire series on YouTube, and the quality is fantastic. So that’s what I’ve been doing lately, kissing my kitties and watching those seventeen episodes again.

another old man whisker

September 16, 2014 | View Comments

Pacey has an old man whisker on his face!

Pacey has another old man whisker, and I am just obsessed with it! This time this one is on his face, under his ear, across from his right eye, above all his regular everyday whiskers. I know it should probably make me sad because it’s a sign that he’s getting older, but the places these are sprouting up in are just beyond adorable!

Eva’s death was so sudden and tragic, and I still struggle with her being gone quite often. She was so vibrant, full of life, and crazy that it was like there were two of her here. I wanted to check in on her to see how her spirit was doing now that it’s a few months later because of what happened and because I still miss her so terribly. I wanted to see how she’s doing, see what she’s been up to, and find out if she’s visiting us in the ways that I think she is. And I wanted her to be told that we miss her, that we watch videos of her all the time, and that she’ll always be our BB (one of her nicknames). To find out how at peace she is did wonders for my heart.

Given all that, this was her reading:

Eva appears as a golden, floating spirit. She looks like a golden beam, but she’s floating and moving like a feather. It’s very beautiful, and the feeling is vibrant and brilliant, strong and warm, and at the same time very peaceful and as floaty and free as vapour. She wraps around you sometimes, she says.

She’s especially close with Spenser at this time. I didn’t see this closeness via Spenser, but Eva is feeling it.

She enjoys when you watch videos of her. She likes how it warms your heart and it makes her happy. She says she watches them with you.

Her signs – Trust what you feel or see, because she’s not limiting herself to one sign. Things that suggest floating, flying and feathers are from her. I also feel a recurring technology ‘hiccup’. Something like your computer keeps closing pages on you. Spirits try as many things as they can until they get through to us! Please trust the signs that you’ve been getting and don’t limit Eva’s possibilities to make herself known.

She’s quite different to Spenser right now in that she’s vibrant and interested in interacting with the physical realm. She likes when you talk about her and she likes to try to touch you, so next time you’re brushing a hair off your face or waving an invisible bug off your arm, it’s her tickle. I think she’s also walking on your bed, which is a very popular ‘move’ with the passed pets. They love to get us when we’re dreamy and not mentally alert!

Eva is radiating a joyful, chirpy vibration and she’s kept her golden hue.

She’s reached peace around her passing. She hasn’t forgotten her life but she’s sort of forgotten what happened at the end. It reads as a blurry bit, and then into the light. She appears to have liberated herself from the details, discomfort, and death, and remembers a good life…and then being in glorious light. This is a very positive thing for the wellness and peace of her soul.

She’s showing me a bee now, and it’s not buzzing, rather it is humming a very sweet sound. I feel she’ll remain close to Spenser for as long as it is for the highest good of all the souls involved. Eva says ‘We all love you just the same. One by one we say your name as a way to send you our love.’

Though I’ve been back and forth with how I feel about these and the fact that I haven’t agreed with them 100% of the time, I still sometimes ask for readings with my pet psychic/communicator. I finally felt like enough time had gone by since Spenser’s death in that I could handle his reading, so I sent this to her regarding what to talk to him about:

Please ask him if he’s upset that we had him sent to Furbaby Heaven and if he was going to be able to pull thru this health crisis too, since he had been such a champ at doing so twice before. Tell him that his crying out scared us so much and was new, and we were worried he didn’t know where he was or that we were even there. Tell him the vet said he wasn’t doing well, and we definitely didn’t want him to suffer. Also, he was having trouble eating, this was his third time this summer, and we didn’t want him to be in pain. Tell him we loved him so, so much and miss him so, so much. Tell him it’s very quiet here without him and that we watch his videos all the time. Can you see what he’s doing and what he’s up to? Is he with his beagle sister Becca or more with Kip and Eva or with all three equally? I always wondered how that would go.

And this was her reply:

Spenser tells you that the reason for his crying out in pain was that he experienced a rigid feeling through his entire being. He shows it to me like it was a rod of pain spearing him, but it was energy not physical and he felt all his insides tighten, and sort of draw inwards as though to squeeze him out of his body. It was a feeling that he had never experienced previously. He says it was a one time thing, telling him, and you, that he was ready.

He says that he never wanted to die until then. In that pain, he knew he was ready to let go. He says that prior to that moment, it was always okay because he knew he had more life to live, and that gave him courage and strength. This is how he got through before, an inner knowing that he wasn’t ready to die. But this pain was ‘other worldly’ to him, and it made him know for certain that his time had come.

For me, and hopefully for you as well, this helps to explain why I picked up from Spenser that he felt some hope and optimism that he could again pull through.

When he cried out, he lifted out of himself, he wasn’t really there. It doesn’t feel like unconsciousness, it feels more out of body. He felt loved and was grateful that you knew his time had come. If you had not let him go, he would have gone very soon after, and he says ‘it would have been more painful for me and more traumatic for you.’

I ask him if he knew you were there. He says that he felt your love surrounding him, and he felt your presence, but details had become unclear.

Out of love for you and your husband, all the animals are together. Their union has a ‘tribute’ feeling.

He likes when you watch his videos, especially when they make you giggle. However he does not want you to feel that not watching them will disconnect your souls, or that if you need a break he won’t feel any less loved. He doesn’t need or expect you to watch them, this is what he’s saying.

‘I know how much you miss me and love me. It’s in every single breath you breathe. I am always with you. I do miss being your dog though.’

Spenser understands that you always provided for him and always wanted him to be healthy and happy. Your intentions for him on his final day are clear and he received what he needed and asked for.

I see him in two ways – one is just resting, snug on a pillow. Very peaceful. The other is as a puppy and with Becca, in grass that is not so long but it is long for puppy legs. This depiction of wading through soft grass is to show that he is rejuvenated and free. It’s a very simple image of the two puppies walking in dewy grass. I recall that he mentioned dewy grass in the last reading.

He’s glad to be out of pain now, and he is hovering between feeling like a puppy enjoying just being, and resting his older self on a soft pillow. He’s at peace and comfortable with his situation. He has reconciled his passing due to his gratitude to you for his great life, and that you helped him reach his peace when he had no alternative. He says about his life and all his fursiblings ‘There was always entertainment around. I always had something to do, or something to observe, or something to be a part of. It was a full life and it was plenty. I’m glad for those years. I’m watching over you, but I’m also taking time to be as I need. Sleeping in the pillow is very good and I feel I need the rest.’

When I first saw Katris, I fell in love! So just imagine how excited I was when I found out that I was going to be able to product review an entire set from them! Katris was developed by Papercut Lab, a cutting–edge research institution that is solely focused on paper-made products with a team full of dedicated individuals who work with paper every day. Their goal is to improve our quality of living with anything paper, and they believe the possibility of paper can be endless. Given that, they designed Katris, which are different blocks of paper, each containing 204 sheets of paper, that are designed into different shapes, and turned into the letters I, L, O, Z, or T. They can then be configured into a cat scratcher, a cat tree, a piece of furniture, home decor, and more. It’s really all up to your imagination what you do with the pieces! The idea is to build a strong base, design your own (cat) playground, secure your blocks with the provided clips, and have fun! The greatest part is that you can always change it up if you or your kitty furbaby get bored with a current configuration, and you can always buy more shapes to add onto your design too! Katris sells on Amazon.com. At the time I got my samples, they were sold out. Now they are on sale once again, so be sure to give them a look after reading the rest of my review!

Here are some photos of what Katris sent us:

Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review

And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received:

Included in the package:
- 1 I-shape, 32″ x 8″ x 8″, 9.2 lbs
- 1 L-shape, 24″ x 16″ x 8″, 8.9 lbs
- 1 O-shape, 16″ x 16″ x 8″, 7.2 lbs
- 1 Z-shape, 24″ x 16″ x 8″, 8.9 lbs
- 1 T-shape, 24″ x 16″ x 8″, 9.2 lbs

Here is some more information about Katris from its website:

Why buy Katris?

Modular
- Every shape is well designed for easy assembling experience.
- It’s a cat scratcher, a cat tree, a piece of furniture, home decor, and more.
- Clips are provided to build and secure your creative ideas.

Durable
- Handcrafted to ensure precision in every piece.
- Top grade B flute material makes Katris construct strong.
- Each piece assembled by 204 sheets of paper.

Non-toxic
- SGS certified non-toxic glue used on all assembling process.
- No ink were used, keeping it original & organic.
- 100% organic catnip comes with every Katris as a gift.

Eco-friendly
- Katris is made with 100% recyclable materials.
- 90% post consumers recycle content for the paper we used.
- FSC certified paper from responsible source.

Here are some pictures of Mark putting our Katris together in its first and second configurations:

Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review

And here are tons of fun photos of my four kitty furbabies playing in & on their new toys:

Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review
Papercutlab's Katris product review

In this video, we introduce both Sam and Pacey to it with the help of some of the catnip that Katris includes in their packaging:

In this video, our big boy Sam explores our first configuration, and we then determine it to be a little too unstable and decide that it should be redone:

We did a new configuration with a wider base and think it to be much sturdier, and Lulu thinks so too:

And, lastly, in this video, Lulu continues to show her love for it:

The verdict? I really like the way that Katris is designed. It’s great that pieces can be moved around if/when your furbabies get bored with a certain layout and that there’s the possibility to purchase even more pieces to add to it and to build it out! That’s fantastic! I like that they even include their own catnip so that it can be sprinkled onto the pieces to tempt the kitty over to their new toy so they can familiarize themselves with it. As an FYI, they include informative tips and cautions at their site, such as while a cat’s fur may get stuck in between the cardboard, use a dry brush, broom, or vacuum to clean the fur; do not use anything wet since Katris is made from paper, after all – and so on. I do have two wishes, though. My first wish is that all sections were wider so that cats of all sizes could crawl through and around more of it, and my second wish is that I had another set so I could build it out taller and longer! If you purchase this product, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – Papercut Lab provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

Do your cats wake you at night? Mine rarely do anymore, thankfully, but sometimes they will still get that burst of energy and get the crazies. At bedtime, I now make a huge deal out of it being actually bedtime. I give them treats, turn out the light, tell them it’s bedtime, pat the bed, tell them it’s time to go to sleep, wish them sweet dreams, wish them a good night’s sleep, tell them I love them more than anything, and say that I’ll see them in the morning. Usually I’ll have three cats snuggled around me before I even start wishing them sweet dreams. The fourth is with Mark, in his man cave or in the guest room, whichever room he ends up in. She can deal with his nighttime twitching because I’m certainly not going to.

So according to an article on petcentric.com, by nature, cats are nocturnal and traditionally spend the hours between dawn and dusk hunting. In fact, their sense of sight has been fine-tuned specifically for this purpose. Though they can’t see in complete darkness, they can detect movements and objects in semidarkness that humans wouldn’t notice.

They state that we can calm cats with a few simple tricks that will help us both sleep peacefully at night.

Here are their easy-to-follow tips to calm a restless cat:

Keep Your Cat Occupied During the Day

Even if you’re at work all day, you can still keep your cat busy so she’ll be sleepier at night. Give her plenty of toys to play with on her own. Most cats love to play with feather toys and stuffed mice hung from elastic strings. She can bat at these, and they will bounce right back for more fun. You can also set up a few crinkly toys scattered around the house in surprising places.

Whatever toys you use, make sure to rotate them often to keep her interested. You can also keep things fresh by placing a bird feeder outside your window and stocking it with fresh seed daily. The birds at your window can keep your kitty entertained for hours.

Play with Her When You Get Home

As soon as you get home, feed your kitty a meal. Cats typically get a burst of energy shortly after eating. Then, make sure to play with your cat for at least a half hour. You may be tired, but it’s worth it to wear out your kitty before you hit the pillows. Plus, it gives you a little time each day to bond with your furry friend.

Tease with feather toys, play some games, or just chase her around the house until she’s exhausted. Then, tell her it’s time for sleep and give her a signal, such as dimming the lights. You can also calm cats by stroking them gently until they get sleepy.

Don’t Entertain Her During the Night

If your cat wakes you at night, don’t feed her or play with her. This will only reinforce the behavior. Make sure she has a clear path to her water dish and her litter box so she won’t need to wake you to take a drink or use the bathroom. If she still doesn’t give you peace and quiet, she may need separate sleeping quarters.

It doesn’t take long for most cats to catch on to the fact that nighttime is for sleeping. Remember, it may take patience to train your cat, but all the love she gives you in return is more than worth it in the end.

Lulu reads for International Literacy Day!
Pacey reads for International Literacy Day!

Lulu and Pacey wanted to celebrate International Literacy Day! I won’t tell them the book is upside down if you won’t!

I’m a little late in participating in the Mice Bucket Challenge, but better late than never, right? I guess I’m late to the party with a lot of online things, and it’s just something else I blame my chronic pain on. I’m either sleeping or drugged up when the world is taking part in stuff, but here I am now!

For those of you who may not know, the Mice Bucket Challenge is a twist on the Ice Bucket Challenge. Here you fill up a bucket with some of your cat’s toy mice and then you gently dump them over your cat! Of course, you pray that your cat won’t hold it against you for very long or pee on something you hold dear to your heart. For every mouse in the bucket, you are supposed to donate $1 to a pet shelter of your own choosing! Since Pacey was our participant, we are donating $25 to the shelter we got him from, the Cumberland County SPCA. Also, you can nominate other people to participate, and I nominate anyone who would like to give it a whirl, anyone who has a cat who won’t hate them in return for very long, and anyone who can afford to donate to a pet shelter. If you do partake, please post the link here, or to me in a YouTube comment, or on Facebook, or via email. I’d love to see your videos too!

And, without further ado, here’s my Pacey doing the Mice Bucket Challenge:

Wow, this was a hard product review to write! There certainly isn’t anything wrong with the product itself, but this is the very last one to feature Spenser. In fact, this one was done last Spring. I never posted it back then because Eva died, so I was sitting on it. Just as I was getting ready to write it, Spenser died. So, obviously, it’s been kind of hard to do. Spenser is so very cute in the videos, and Eva even makes a brief appearance in the second video, which we believe to be her very last video appearance at all. This company has been very, very patient with me, which is obviously very, very appreciated. In fact, they didn’t even care if I did the review in the end. But not posting Spenser and Eva’s faces would certainly be an injustice! So, okay, let’s get started!

The Safespot Locking Leash is the third solution-based product from Pawz Dog Boots that we’ve had the good fortune to product review! Did you know that about 2 million dogs are stolen each year? That’s a very scary number, isn’t it? This Safespot Locking Leash goes a long way in preventing that from happening to your dog. The Safespot Locking Leash is an integrated collar, lead, and handle in one elegant locking design! It has a steel cabled core, comes with two keys, has a one button adjust, is fully adjustable, and is one size fits all. This Safespot Locking Leash has a patented design that can securely lock your dog to an immovable object when necessary or it can be used as a daily walking leash without using the lock feature at all. Either way, it will offer you more time with your dog with a greater peace of mind.

Here are two photos of the Safespot Locking Leash, in and out of the box:

Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review

And here’s a video where we take a closer look at the Safespot Locking Leash:

Included in the package:
- 1 Safespot Locking Leash

Here is some information about the Safespot Locking Leash from its website:

The steel cable reinforced Safespot Locking Leash is the perfect everyday leash. Safespot is a fully adjustable collar and lead in one. With a steel cabled core, you will have peace-of-mind on those short occasions you need to leave your dog unattended. The patented design securely locks your dog to an immovable object when necessary or can be used as a daily walking leash without using the lock feature. Approximately 2 million dogs are stolen each year. Don’t let this happen to you!

Here are some photos and a video where Mark demonstrates how to adjust the collar and how to lock and unlock it – and our Eva even makes a cameo:

Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review

And, in these photos and video, Mark shows how to lock Spenser to a fire hydrant so you guys can see how easy it is if you have to briefly stash your pet somewhere:

Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review

Lastly, here are some pictures of Spenser being walked on the leash and just using the leash as a leash:

Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review
Safespot Locking Leash product review

The verdict? The Safespot Locking Leash is definitely a neat concept and has been really well-designed. It is no secret that I love products that keep pets safe, and this one definitely does that! Mark was really impressed with all of its features too as the videos can attest to. Though just the thought of leaving pets unattended outside freaks me out, I get that people in the city do that kind of thing all the time. I even see people doing that around here as they dash into the supermarket for a few quick items. This Safespot Locking Leash makes it ridiculously reliable and safe to do so! The only issue I have with it is how bulky that one piece was around Spenser’s neck. Perhaps that’s something size-wise that could be modified down the road? If you purchase this product, please let me know what you think!

(Full disclosure – Safespot Locking Leash provided this item to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)

my cat has hyperthyroidism

September 3, 2014 | Comments Off

Lulu goes where her chair goes

I think we’re now taking the mini-me to an extreme! My little Lulu now has her own thyroid issues to contend with, just like her mama. Ugh. I’m pretty sure this was a possibility before and then it was ruled out, but this time the test came back positive – she has hyperthyroidism. In the next couple of days she’s getting enough meds to last her two weeks (she’ll take them twice a day), and these meds will end up determining if she’s a contender for the Radioiodine treatment. Most cats respond well to them, and her blood, urine, and such will show if she has too. I am crossing my fingers that she will because my vet said this can be quite problematic if not. If so, and this is the sad part, she has to go away for three days to get the treatment and can’t come home until her urine tests clean. I remember all this from my own treatment and from having to keep myself isolated away from Mark and the pets for like two weeks. I’m worried she won’t eat or drink if she’s not near me because of the fact that we are so close, and that scares me. I’m going to have my pet psychic/communicator talk to her before she goes and each day she’s away and hope that helps comfort her. I’m told the setting she’s going to is pretty awesome, and I’ll be able to send comforts of home with her (they just won’t be able to come back which is no big deal). I can’t even imagine being without her for three days after all this loss I’ve already gone through these past two years, but I absolutely want her to be healthy longer, so it’s definitely just a small price to pay. So step one: I’m going to cross my fingers that her sweet little body responds well to the next two weeks of medicine!


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