Sunday, August 27, 2017

gone and back again

An exciting thing happened Monday.
No, not the eclipse.
The reappearance of this character:

Zebra Mouse.

Last Autumn, Della found it. All by herself. I had never seen it before - I can only guess it was in the bottom of the little bag of treats sent along by the shelter. It became Della's very own special toy. Moxie played with lots of things; Della played with Zebra Mouse. It was very little - as was Della - and it was fuzzy with bright white stripes and a tail made of curly feathers. By November, when the picture above was taken, Zebra Mouse had clearly been through the wars. I was rather touched when Della surprised me by placing it on my keyboard, inviting me into the game.
(I'm not much good at sports, but it is true that I can throw a stuffed mouse farther than anyone else in this house.)

Then - cue dramatic music - one day last Winter, Zebra Mouse disappeared.
Della didn't know where it was. Moxie didn't either.
Sweeping and vacuuming were futile - I tried! And I asked my Occasional Helper to please keep an eye out for a small, ratty-looking, greyish lump.

But months and months went by...

...and Monday, Zebra Mouse was back. On the carpet in the middle of the parlor floor. A couple of feet away from Moxie, who was not playing with it. She never had.
I think Moxie found it for Della.

Mox is very talented at finding things. In this picture, she has found a tiny frog*:

Moxie has been eating a little better, and being a little bit more active for short periods of time. I think she devoted one burst of energy to fishing Zebra Mouse out of whatever crack in the universe it had fallen into.

And oh my gosh, the excitement level around here has skyrocketed! These pictures are blurry because Della is in constant motion. Constant, happy motion.

 Thanks, Moxie!

Now, the other disappearance/reappearance of Monday.
I had no special plans for watching the eclipse, but about five minutes before it began to be visible in my neck of the woods, I made a little camera obscura with a cardboard box, and went out to the garden by the south paddock. Here's what the sun looked like in the box, just before the eclipse:

The sky clouded up just as the actual eclipse was beginning. So I stopped stumbling around with my face stuck in a box, and turned to see this:

Fern, watching my performance.
Unimpressed by eclipse.
Wondering if there's something good to eat in that box.

We've had some really nice weather this past week, so I've been mostly off the computer and outdoors: taking Piper to the woods, catching up on a few outdoor chores, and painting a little. Trying to cram as much "Summer" as possible into every non-raining day. Still plenty of mosquitoes, so it feels authentic.

I hope you all had a great week - here's to the one ahead!

*I rescued the frog.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

flashback friday

It's been raining all day today.
So here is a photograph taken yesterday.

Once again, it all comes back to Leighton.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

another week

I've been waiting for a positive moment for a Moxie update, and I think I'd better take this one: breakfast this morning. With plenty of time, and quiet coaxing (she is a Cat, and none of your upbeat, dog-encouragement tactics are of any use here) plus a timely mid-meal addition of meat from a jar of baby food, Moxie ate more than half her pre-illness amount of breakfast. This is the most she has eaten at one time in more than two weeks, so huzzah for that! I've learned not to see this as a turning point, though, because this illness doesn't seem to work that way; there has been no clear progression of improvement. With the odd and fluctuating symptoms, I begin to wonder if it might be Lyme disease or some such ailment. I hope not. In fact, I've been afraid to even think it.

When I saw Della and Moxie napping together the other day, I hoped it meant we were getting back to normal. But Moxie soon went back to sleeping inside the carrier or on top of the tower, by herself.

Looking back at the past week (this began very suddenly, three long weeks ago), Moxie is doing better: to some extent, in some ways, most of the time.

I am grateful for that, and am trying to keep some perspective - things could be so much worse. But beneath the genuine gratitude and optimism, it is breaking my heart that a one-year-old kitty is feeling anything other than fit and fine and full of beans.

Thanks so much for all your comments, which are very much appreciated. And thanks to those of you who contacted me to ask how Moxie is doing. Sorry I've been out of touch, but I really was waiting for a positive moment to hang a blog-post on.

Not sure I've made this a very positive post though, have I?
Would you like to have just photographs in the coming week?
I can do that!
Here's one to start:

The hyssop is humming with bees these days, any time it isn't raining.
It's so nice to have something normal happening in the waterlogged gardens of this rainy, rainy year!

Friday, August 4, 2017


You know how sometimes - like on a Friday afternoon when you are waiting for a call from your vet who is consulting remotely with a radiologist and will get back to you within the hour - well, you know how in such times you may find yourself somehow trying to make a deal with fate?

The call just came. Moxie does not have to be rushed straight back to the vet's office where she spent a harrowing two hours this morning. Because Moxie does not have to have major surgery this afternoon.


She will be on a new, anti-inflammatory medication, right here at home, while I continue to try to keep her eating and hydrated and in good spirits. Monday, we will see how she is doing. We're still at sea as far as identifying the source of the problem, but - at least for today - the news is so much better than it might have been. For now, supportive care, not major surgery.

And I will be spending every possible hour this weekend cleaning the house. I can't overstate how happy and grateful I am for this opportunity. I have never approached housework with such genuine joy in my entire life.

Thank you so much for your good thoughts and prayers - this week has been difficult, hour by hour, day by day, and it helped me very much to know you were thinking of Moxie.

Please have a wonderful weekend, and tell me all about it!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Moxie has been having mysterious symptoms for the past week, and the vet's treatment has not yet had the anticipated results. I'm hoping so much that Mox will not have to go back to the vet tomorrow - the recent visit was very hard on her, and I fear a next visit would be worse.

I'd be grateful if you would please keep a good thought or prayer for Moxie - it's awfully hard when a joyful, active creature is feeling poorly, especially when you don't know how to help.