Monthly Archives: December 2016

Lacey’s World 


Lacey died a week and a half ago. My life has changed in many ways. She was such a part of my life that I noticed immediately, the first morning after her demise, that my world was forever changed. Here is a list of things that are no longer a part of my day.

1) There is no tiny grey cat running to greet me at the bottom of the stairs in the morning, mewing fiercely to be incarcerated in her little blue crate so she could eat her special food made from whitefish. The other cats do not get this food because it would be pricey to provide for the other three cats as well, so she did her dining in the crate. A small bag lasted tiny Lacey for a long time.

2)There is no tiny grey cat scream/mewling repeatedly that she is finished with her “fish flakes”, as I called them, and is now ready to be released from her crate. How such a big voice came from such a slight little thing I do not know.

3) I no longer need to give Lacey her two different antibiotics that she received twice a day. I could not have survived without my trusty pill gun. Lacey lived on these antibiotics for the past year and half. Every time I tried to wean her off them, she grew a massive infection on her face. She had some tumors that kept her in a weakened state and seemed to harbor infection. In the beginning one antibiotic did the trick but later it took two different kinds.

4) No small grey cat shadows me, meowing to follow her and come fill up the water bowl. She said they were all going to die of thirst if the bowl was not filled right NOW!

5) I do not have to change the newspaper and pee pads that lined the woodbin near the wood burning stove. I did this one to two times per day. Lacey was confused by senility and seemed to think this was the place to pee. Oddly enough, she still did all her other business in the litter box. She had found what she thought was a designated place for most of her peeing and I was not going to argue, because at least it was predictable and some place that I could clean. One day my husband said “so we can’t put wood in the wood bin anymore?” My response was simple. No!

6) I no longer have to preplan if it is safe to leave an item on the dining room table in case Lacey became totally disoriented, as happened once or twice a month, and peed on the table, and hence whatever was on it.

7) We can have dog beds on the floor again because they are not considered by the remaining cats, to be in the “pee zone”. Same with blankets that fall on the floor. I don’t have to run to pick them up immediately. 

8) No more need to monitor Lacey’s where abouts to be sure that a dog is not going to sit on her slight body on the couch. Or that I do not jar her as I sit down, causing her to fall off the back of the couch.

In short, my life is an easier but emptier place, for Lacey was a loved part of our world. She was a lover of dogs, my affectionate companion, a compassionate and gentle soul. Easier is not always better. Lacey taught me her lessons and still has an affect on my world.

10,000 Steps

Someone who loves me got me a Fitbit for Christmas. I have to admit, I am having fun with it. I thought I was fairly active and would have no trouble getting my 10,000 steps. The first day I had to charge it and set it up after spending the day away from home so didn’t get far. It logged 45 steps. 

Ok, I thought, tomorrow I’ll reach 10,000 steps, no problem. I made it to 8,454 steps and this included a walk,  albeit one cut short by rain. And I was off work. And the second full day, I got in 8,190 steps. Ok, so I can see the need for this device to make sure you get enough exercise. 

Today though,  I did it! Over 10, 000 steps and I still have two more hours before bedtime. 

Shelby thinks this new contraption is pretty awesome. She got an extra walk out of the deal. Now, to see what tomorrow brings. 

Lacey of The Silvery Paws 

This is Lacey of The Silvery Paws. She was dubbed with this name by one of my daughter’s friends from high school . The name fit her well. Lacey was given to me, at my request, by my sister-in-law and friend. I have had Lacey for about 16 years now.

We always thought that Lacey wasn’t  the world’s smartest cat, although maybe we were wrong. She did have a way of always getting what she wanted . She was the one who let us know if the food bowl or the water bowl were empty. And kept letting us know until they were full.

It didn’t matter if she wasn’t the world’s smartest cat because she was the world’s nicest cat. She loved everyone. Dogs, other cats, people . Above is a photo of her when she was only a couple of years old. She was hanging out with our greyhound Merlin, who joined our clan when he ran by our house one day as a stray.

Dogs were admittedly her favorite. Here she snoozes with our dog Baxter, who was dumped in our yard as a pup. See a pattern here?

But her very favorite were the foster dogs. She seemed to sense that they needed the extra comfort and affection. And here she is sleeping under the Christmas tree with our foster dog Maizie a few years ago. Lacey dearly loved Maizie. Even more than all the others. Lacey could be found sleeping by Maizie ‘ s side no matter where she was. She would snuggle right up next to her. 

Maizie died a couple years ago. She was in renal failure when she was pulled from the shelter. So she lived her last 18 months here with us. I’m sure Lacey was grateful for this.

Lacey died this morning. She gave the good fight but after battling cancer and infection for a year and a half, her time had come. I buried her earlier today with Maizie ‘ s ashes. It seems fitting that they are together again.


Indoor Games


When it has been too cold or rainy for the dogs to go outside and play, we have what we call “The Indoor Games”. This involves a particular toy that is shaped rather like a fire hydrant but is made of a rubbery substance. The dogs love this game. Infact they love it so much that they bark loudly while waiting for the human player to position the toy and kick it through the doorway and to the other end of the house.  Baxter gets so excited waiting for the toy to be kicked that he barks and sometimes in his excitement to nudge you along will poke you on the arm or backside to make you hurry. He always does this with a big smile.

Shelby, Baxter, and Cassius, the three looking at the toy, all give chase and try to grab the toy as it flies by. If no one catches it, they all give chase to see who can be the first to catch it. There is never any animosity or growling, its big smiles all around. You can see Kammie the forever foster dog watching in the foreground. There is too much craziness for her to feel comfortable being part of the chase, but she does enjoy standing on the sidelines and being part of the game by barking at everyone else.

For the humans the noise is so loud that the game generally requires earplugs or headphones. Well worth it though to see such big smiles on everyone in the house, dogs and humans included. (The cats just think we are all insane as they look on, wondering what we could possibly be doing.)

Cassius-Three Months In

Dog, Greyhound, Cassius

We have had Cassius for almost three months now. He’s come a long way since he’s come off the racetrack. For the most part he’s a good dog. He certainly does try.  It’s just that he finds our ways to be confusing sometimes.

For instance, what’s with this waiting for food thing? We feed twice a day. Around 9:00 am and again at 6:00 pm. For about two hours before each feeding he is an excellent herder. When we get in the vicinity of the food can (a 32 gallon plastic garbage can with lid, our house was built in 1830, read-keeps mice out!) he tries his best to herd us in the direction of the can. And he herds us better than any of our shelties do. Of course the shelties are not into herding their pack leaders. Much. Cassius is a large dog, around 70 lbs., so he is pretty effective. You have to push him out of the way to walk any where else. We won’t give in to him because we are afraid that he will want fed earlier and earlier and who knows maybe even more often.

Most of his mishaps do seem to center around food. At first his food drive was so intense that it was scary. I discovered that he had a tape worm and after I treated that his food driven lessened to a more bearable level. Woe to anyone who leaves any form of food substances within reach though. This includes the kitchen counter. One week we were on our third loaf of bread because Cassius took up counter surfing. We discovered on the second loaf that he would even reach all the way to the very back of the counter. Another week we lost a three pound bag of apples from the kitchen counter. He took the apples, still in the bag, removed them from the bag, and rather than eating one, took a bite out of each apple. This reminds me of a story of my daughter when she was a wee tot. Dogs and kids can have a lot in common.

But we can’t complain too much about Cassius. He is a dog with an excellent and very tolerant temperament. He never snaps or growls at the other dogs. Even when they are chasing after toys or running over him. He is very accommodating with the cats as well. One time our old, senile cat Lacey fell off the arm of the couch and landed on Cassius while he was sleeping. He did wake up with a growl, but once he recognized Lacey, he put his head back down and went to sleep. We think he is great, and we are never biased!

Now, rest assured that when no humans are home, Cassius does stay in a crate. This is as much to keep him out of trouble with food and safe from other harm, as it is to make sure there is never an incident with the cats. Cassius may one day earn his freedom while we are away, but not any time soon.