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Tag Archives: animal
I am still working with my parents’ cat to earn her trust & bring her home. (It’s so much more humane than trapping her to bring her home. The last thing that poor girl needs is more trauma!) She is making remarkable progress, I’m happy to say. But, remarkable progress is still somewhat slow since I’ve realized she has feline PTSD. Considering the circumstances surrounding my mother’s passing, it’s very understandable. Luckily for me, I already have a cat with PTSD so I’m pretty familiar with it. I know it takes lots of wisdom, patience, understanding & love to help a cat (or a human) with PTSD.
During the very recent past, Molly has let me get close to her. I’ve taken advantage of that & shot some short videos. She now has her own playlist on YouTube containing those videos. I thought I would share the link here since many of my readers are also animal lovers. Enjoy! xoxo
As I’ve mentioned a few times, I have a wonderful kitty by the name of Punkin who has feline PTSD. Here is his picture.. is he not incredibly handsome!?
A few months after adopting him in 2014, one morning out of the blue, he attacked our little American Eskimo dog, Dixie. She wasn’t even looking at him when he suddenly jumped her. My husband & I both hollered Punkin’s name, which got his attention fast. He looked almost as if he woke up. He looked at us & Dixie, then ran off & hid. We checked on Dixie & thankfully she was fine, just very shaken up. While consoling her, my husband & I talked about what happened, & I told him that the way Punkin looked reminded me of how I felt after a flashback. I knew animals could be traumatized of course, but I was unsure if it could develop into PTSD. I did some research & learned it absolutely can. Since I have C-PTSD, I felt somewhat equipped to deal with the situation. It’s been quite the learning experience to say the least! But, my husband & I have learned & I wanted to share it for you other cat parents out there in case you too have a traumatized furbaby on your hands.
In all fairness, I’m not positive how the symptoms show up in other animals, but I believe they’re rather similar. Our late dog, Bear, had been abused & once in a while he acted quite a bit like Punkin does. I believe he had a milder case of PTSD than Punkin has. That leads me to believe the symptoms are probably quite similar among animals, not just among cats.
PTSD symptoms in cats are quite similar to humans. They have an extremely sensitive startle reflex, so they sometimes react inappropriately to situations. If they get scared, fight or flight instincts may take over. Punkin tends to freeze- his pupils dilate & he won’t move. They can be very anxious too, which means they may be skittish, hide or potty outside the litter box. Separation anxiety can happen too. They’re hyper vigilant, always extremely aware of their surroundings. Getting angry easily can be another symptom. as can being depressed. Signs of depression can mean losing interest in things they normally enjoy such as food, playing or snuggles, They may have nightmares, which you can see by how they sleep. Most cats twitch a bit in their sleep, but a cat with PTSD will do so more often & violently. Another big clue is they avoid things that can be similar to the traumatic event. I believe due to how Punkin attacked Dixie his trauma was related to a dog. She was the only animal or person in our home he ever attacked. And yes, they can have flashbacks. If you haven’t seen someone have a flashback or if you don’t have them, it can be hard to identify. When Punkin has had them, he doesn’t look quite like himself. His eyes get huge & you see fear written all over his face. He also acts completely out of character, like when he attacked Dixie, then suddenly stops. The first time it happened, he hid for quite a while, but after that, he returns to normal in a few hours. They also make him very tired.
There are some ways to cope with feline PTSD that I have found to be pretty successful.
I talk to Punkin. I tell him I understand what he’s going through, & it stinks. It’ll be ok, though, there is no one or nothing here that will hurt him. He’s safe & surrounded by other cats & people who adore him.
I also follow his lead. Punkin is very loving, but not particularly snuggly. Sometimes when the PTSD flares up, he wants to be left alone & other times he wants me to hold him. I do whichever he wants.
When Punkin has bad days, I do my best to remain completely calm in his presence. Cats pick up on the energy of their humans, so if I’m calm, he’ll be calmer. I don’t tell him “calm down”. Instead, my energy says everything is fine, & there is nothing to be upset about.
Catnip is a life saver! I started giving it to him to try to help his anxiety levels. It didn’t take him long to learn that it helps, so he goes to it often & voluntarily when his symptoms flare up. I got some very soft, fuzzy socks from the dollar store for this purpose. I put some catnip in a small rag, tie it up, & put it in the sock. Punkin also likes jingle bells so I have some with bells inside, some without. He picks whatever he likes as he needs his ‘nip. Since it doesn’t work for dogs, I used to give Bear valerian root pills. The smell is very strong & it tastes pretty yukky, so it wasn’t easy to get him to take it at first. It didn’t take him long to realize that it helped though, so he began going to where I stored it to let me know when he needed some valerian.
Some pet parents also get tranquilizers for their pet from the vet or use other calming aids that are readily available.
If you too have a pet with PTSD, following these steps really can help. I’m happy to say that Bear turned into a very loving, gentle dog from an aggressive one & Punkin’s symptoms are managed very well. He rarely has flashbacks anymore, & his anxiety levels are much lower in general.
Something crossed my mind recently, I’m sure it’s due to my father in-law’s recent death: Grief doesn’t end just because the funeral is over.
I think many people act like once your loved one is buried or cremated, you’re done grieving. It’s done now so you should be ready to resume your life as it was, no problem. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Grief has no set time. It doesn’t end just because the funeral is done, because a set amount of time has passed, or because people think you should be “over it” by now.
There’s also the fact that the first year after a loved one dies is incredibly hard. You have their first birthday without them, first anniversary, first holidays… those days can be extremely difficult, but especially the first ones.
In fact, I don’t think grief ever ends completely, it only becomes less intense over time. My great grandmother that I adored died in 1982, & I still miss her a great deal to this day. No, I don’t cry all the time, but I still miss her & think of her often. If you love someone, that is just how things happen.
And if you lost a pet rather than a human, people can be even more insensitive, because after all, “It’s only a cat/dog/bird/etc!” they say. They fail to realize that pets are a big part of our daily lives. We love them, care for them, play with them, nurture them & when they get old &./or sick, we become their caregivers. Such things can form an incredible bond, & when that bond is broken, it hurts just as much if not more than when a human passes away.
If you have lost someone you love recently, please ignore people who try to tell you that you should be over it already, are taking too long to grieve or “It’s just a pet!”. It’s not their business! You take your time & grieve however you need to for as much time as you need to. Honor your loved one’s life, too. Maybe plant a garden they would like, or make or build something creative like they would have made. It really does help!
If you have been actively grieving for a long time (over a year), & it disrupts your life, I really would like to suggest you try grief counseling. Sometimes, people kinda get “stuck” & there is no shame in it. It happens! It just means you need a little help to get unstuck.
Most of the victims of narcissistic abuse I have spoken with are devoted animal lovers. I’m one too. My pets, past & present, mean the world to me. I also love other animals that aren’t my pets.
It won’t be a surprise if you know anything about narcissists, but they aren’t the same way. Even ones that claim to love animals really don’t love them because narcissists don’t know how to genuinely love.
Animals are nothing but potential supply to narcissists. I realized that with my parents. When they would visit my home & if any of my pets paid them attention, they were happy. If one didn’t want their attention, that one was criticized harshly. Not only when the incident happened, but after the incident indefinitely. I adopted Magic, my first cat, just before Halloween, 1990. I took him to my parents’ house shortly after to introduce them to him. My mother decided to pick Magic up, even after I said he only likes me to hold him. Magic scratched her so she would put him down, which she did quickly. Until my mother & I stopped speaking in 2016, she mentioned Magic negatively from time to time even though he died in 2007.
If you have a narcissist in your life & pets, as that pet parent, it’s your job to protect your pet from the narcissist.
If the narcissist in your life is physically abusive to you, chances are good your pet will be abused too. If you can escape, do it! If you can’t just yet, try finding a home for your pet until you can escape. If your pet has been hurt, document everything! Take pictures, have a copy of his or her veterinary record. Documentation of bad behavior is always a good thing. Even if it isn’t illegal (like if your state doesn’t have strict animal abuse laws), document anyway. If your narcissist breaks the law, it can help your case to have proof of bad behavior, even when it’s not illegal.
If the narcissist is verbally & emotionally abusive, remember- animals understand what people say. I have no doubt of this at all. I’ve seen too much evidence proving they do. When my parents would upset me, there were always at least two of my cats there to distract them. Chester & Valentine in particular are very sweet cats, but very protective of me. When my parents came to my home, they would sit by them. Each time they said something upsetting to me, the cats would scratch or bite my parents’ hands. Every. Single. Time.
Also, my parents would say cruel & hurtful things to my pets. It hurt their feelings! Poor Chester was called fat more times than I can count. He’s a muscular cat & very solid, but at first glance he does look kinda chubby. I told my parents no more nasty comments to the pets or they aren’t allowed in my home. My mother wouldn’t visit my home for I think it was almost 2 years after that.
Whatever the narcissist in your life does with your pet, protect him or her! It’s your job as the parent! Proverbs 12:10 says, ” A righteous man has kind regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” (AMP) It can be hard to stand up to a narcissist, I know, but you must protect your pet. As always, when you talk to the narcissist about it, do so calmly & in a simple, matter of fact way. Any emotions you should could be narcissistic supply & something the narcissist would use to hurt you again later. As an example, telling my parents not to insult my pets, I calmly said “I won’t tolerate anyone coming into their home & talking badly to them. If you do it again, you won’t be allowed back here.” My father never said a word back to me on the topic & didn’t insult them again. My mother defended herself vehemently, stayed away for a long time after that conversation & behaved much better when she finally did return to my home.
Not long ago, I shared that my husband & I had lost our second cat in three months. Grieving the losses has been very difficult. However, I realized that in one way it is easier than it used to be- since my parents have stopped speaking to me, that has made it much easier. Typical of narcissists, my parents have no empathy, so when I’m grieving, their calloused words hurt me.
One way they have hurt me regarding my pets is hinting that I’m a hoarder. Yes, I have a lot of cats & a dog, but hoarder? No. And, they aren’t the only people who seem offended by the amount of pets I have. Other people over the years have made snide comments like I have too many pets, I need to get rid of them, no one can care properly for that many pets, etc.
If you too have several pets, I’m writing this for you, Dear Reader. No one has the right to say that you have too many pets, so long as they are well cared for. Ignore the idiocy of people who say these things. Or, come up with creative comebacks for these situations. For example, if someone says they think you have too many pets, you can tell them that you believe they have too many children. When they get offended, let them know that is how you feel when people say the same thing to you about your pets.
Hoarders are very different than pet parents. I have looked into it, because honestly, I was afraid my parents were right about me. I didn’t think many of people have a lot of pets like me, so I did question briefly whether or not I was a hoarder. Thankfully I don’t meet the criteria! Some of the criteria used to determine if someone is a hoarder are:
- A person having a large number of pets.
- This person being unable to maintain basic care for them such as good food, veterinary care, a clean environment.
- This person being in denial about the ability to provide such things for their pets, believing they are helping these animals rather than hurting/neglecting them.
- Often, the person neglects to take proper care of himself or herself as well.
- Many want to rescue & help animals, but severely underestimate their ability to do so.
This behavior is obviously VERY different than a pet parent or even a rescuer. While parents & rescuers may have large numbers of pets, they receive good, quality food, they see vets when necessary, they are spayed or neutered, litterboxes or cages are plentiful & cleaned regularly, homes are clean, & parents & rescuers learn the best ways to care for the animals in their home. We also know our limits- we won’t have 100 cats at once because we can’t provide proper care for that many at a time.
If you are like many of my friends & readers, & you meet the criteria in the above paragraph rather than the criteria for a hoarder, you’re in good company. There are a lot of us out there! So if an ignorant person claims you have too many pets or are a hoarder, rest easy knowing that person truly has no idea what a good person you are! Keep on rescuing those babies! There are so many animals in need, & you can make a difference!
I know, I’ve been posting a lot of animal posts lately, but they have been on my heart a lot too. Partly because I have lost two beautiful cats since May, but also partly because of the two cuties below….
There are two precious new members of hubby’s & my family. Meet Grace O’Malley (named after an Irish pirate queen). She has a heart on her back!!!! How cute is she?! She is extremely feisty & loving at the same time.
And this is Fergus (named after an Irish king), her brother… is he not adorable? I found him in the food bowl his first morning here.. lol Fergus is also extremely feisty, & very protective of Grace. He’s a wonderful brother.
One of my best friends texted me about a week ago, saying she knew someone fostering 4 very young kittens in need of a home. They were about 4 weeks & in need of a home. They were born to a barn cat who had abandoned the litter. She was hesitant to ask me if I’d take them because we have lost 2 kitties in the last 3 months, & honestly, everyone in our household is having a hard time with the losses. After talking to my husband & finding out Grace has a disability, we decided to adopt two of them. I am so incredibly glad we did, too.
Grace & Fergus have been home since about 5 on this past Monday, but already are a very loved part of our family. Punkin is a great big brother, which isn’t surprising. He’s a kind, gentle kitty. Plus since he has feline PTSD, he’s very compassionate.
As I type this, Grace is napping on my chest, so if you see typos in this post, that’s why.. not easy to type with a kitty in your face..lol
After losing two other precious cats in such a short time, I’ve realized that adopting new ones fairly quickly is a good thing. I’m not trying to replace the ones we lost by any stretch, but instead, honor their memory by adopting other babies in need. The bonus is these two being young babies, they are at the super fun, silly stage of kitten development, so they are cheering everyone up just by being their cute selves.
It can be so hard when you lose a beloved furbaby. That being said, adopting a new one in need can really help to heal your broken heart. They can’t replace the one you have lost, but they can bring more love & joy into your life which helps to mend your broken heart. Please consider doing so! There are so many animals in need! If you can save even one, you are doing a wonderful thing!!!
Human beings aren’t the only ones who can suffer from mental illness. Animals can as well.
Contrary to what many people seem to think, animals have emotions like people do, & even process them much the same way as humans. This means that animals can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, following trauma.
Unfortunately for animals, they can’t verbalize their pain. You have to observe your pet to figure out if they have PTSD, & it can be tricky to identify.
My 2 year old cat, Punkin, has Feline PTSD. When he arrived in our home at 3 months old, I had no idea of this fact. All I knew was he showed up on the deck of the neighbor of my friend’s friend, & he was in need of a home. He was immediately friendly with the other cats, & seemed indifferent towards our dog, Dixie. A few months later, Punkin attacked Dixie out of the blue. My husband & I hollered at him immediately. He stopped, looking completely baffled, then ran away & hid. Thankfully Dixie didn’t even have a scratch, but she was visibly shaken, understandably so! My husband was mad at Punkin, but I realized he looked like I felt during a flashback. Once Punkin calmed down & apologized to Dixie (looking sheepishly at her & trying to be nice to her), I did some research & learned that yes, animals can have PTSD. I realized some signs to look for, at least in cats, but probably they are much the same in other animals:
- Kitty has been exposed to trauma. The lady who gave Punkin to me never knew of any trauma, & certainly there hasn’t been any since he’s been living with me. But, his attacking Dixie tells me he’s been through some terrifying experience with a dog before coming to me.
- Kitty avoids things that remind him of the trauma. For quite some time Punkin avoided Dixie. He wouldn’t even walk past her or nap on the bed or sofa if she was napping there.
- Heightened startle reflex. If your cat doesn’t see you’re going to touch him, he may jump drastically when you make contact. He can be very skittish.
- Sudden loud noises (for example, dropping a pan) upset your pet.
- Kitty can appear agitated or uneasy sometimes.
- Flashbacks. These can be harder to spot. Punkin looks different when it happens. He turns vicious (he’s normally very gentle, sweet & loving) for a very short time, then looks confused, & then runs & hides. After, he is skittish for a while.
- Kitty can respond disproportionately to what is happening. For example, someone suddenly picking up the cat startles the cat, who scratches &/or hisses. This behavior may trigger memory of the traumatic event.
After realizing what was going on with Punkin, I had to pray to figure out how to handle this problem. It’s not like I could take Punkin to a therapist, & he could discuss his feelings. As far as I know, veterinary medicine doesn’t even acknowledge PTSD in animals, so even a vet check up wouldn’t help. Thankfully God showed me some things.
- I pray for him. PTSD is nothing to take lightly, whether it’s in a human or animal. Although Punkin is doing very well most days, he has his bad days too. I pray for him on bad days as well as try to make him feel better if he’s open to it by offering extra love, playing or treats.
- I follow Punkin’s lead. If he wants to be left alone after a flashback, I leave him alone while keeping an eye on him from a distance to be sure he is OK. When he’s feeling playful or loving, I go with it. If he doesn’t want snuggles, I don’t snuggle him.
- If Punkin does something that warrants correction, I don’t holler at him, since noise upsets him. Instead, I say his name & tell him to stop it in a slightly louder than normal volume, but using a stern voice. He gets the point without aggravating that startle reflex.
- I try to keep life as consistent as possible. (Since I have Complex PTSD, it benefits me too.) I have a routine that rarely changes much. This helps Punkin know what to expect. It helps him to feel safe & secure.
- I give Punkin a lot of love & reassurance. He has no doubt he is loved & safe.
- We’re very blessed with Dixie- she has been a great help with Punkin learning to trust her. He sniffs her sometimes, as cats do, & she stays perfectly still, allowing him to sniff as much or as little as he likes. She’s never aggressive with him, which has helped him see that not all dogs are mean. She instinctively knows what he needs from her. As a result of efforts on both his & her parts, they are now on civil terms. In fact, sometimes he actually gives her a little love.
This past Thursday, we lost a beloved & very special member of our family. Our cat Pretty Boy passed away suddenly of unknown causes at just over 14 years old.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing because I want to remind you fellow pet parents out there to enjoy every moment you have with your furbabies. The time together can end in an instant, so make it a point to treasure every moment you have with them. Pray for them regularly. You may be surprised how much your furbaby likes it when you pray for them. Pretty Boy had diabetes for 5.5 years, & I regularly prayed for him. When I prayed for him in his presence, he purred & cuddled me. It can be a bonding experience, praying for your furbaby.
Also, I have asked God to help me to understand & communicate with my furkids. As a result, we are all very close. And, I think this also has helped them to become the wonderful little creatures God created them to be. It’s not just me that thinks they are wonderful either. I’ve had several friends over the years who have said almost exactly the same thing- “I’m not normally a cat person, but there is something special about yours. They’re so friendly & loving.” I had one friend who was terrified of cats.. until he met my first cat, Magic. Magic became his buddy in no time. This friend also was no longer afraid of cats after spending time with mine.
Communicating with animals is possible, & God will show you how to do it. It is beneficial for you as well as them, & draws you closer to the furbaby. I wrote some about it in my book, “Pawprints On Our Hearts” & will discuss it in a bit more detail in an upcoming blog post. Job 12:7 says, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV) God will allow us to communicate with animals & be blessed by it. It is truly a glorious gift He has given us, to communicate with these wonderful creatures He has made. By communicating with mine & becoming so close to them, I have been blessed more than I can say. In fact, one of those blessings has come in the form of music. As my cat Weeble, was dying in May, she told me that the song “Angel” by Jon Secada reminded her of me. I still have trouble listening to the song since losing her was so recent, but at the same time, it gives me comfort. Also about a year ago, I was listening to Queen when the song “I Was Born To Love You” came on. Pretty Boy & I were snuggling when he stopped & looked at me, giving me the slow blink cats do when saying they love you as the song came on. Immediately I knew he was saying this was our song.
Just because… here is a picture of Pretty Boy. RIP, my angel boy. I love you with all my heart & will see you again one day soon..
At the time of me writing this post, it’s just over a month since my sweet tabby cat, Weeble passed away suddenly at 16. She was the oldest member of our family, & deeply loved & respected by the other furkids.
Since her passing, I haven’t been able to wash the linens on the guest bed where she & I spent her last 30 hours as she fought so hard for her life. Aside from the obvious fact that grief takes a lot out of you & I haven’t had much energy, the other cats have spent time on that bed quite a bit since her passing. Chester in particular naps often in the very spot where she passed away.
I think it was 2 days after her death that I found him here, & asked him “Are you missing Weeble?” He meowed a soft, mournful meow, & pulled the covers close to him. It broke my heart. Grieving is hard enough but the hardest part is watching the furbabies hurting too & not being able to do anything to help them feel better.
Animals feel deeply. Moreso than many humans I’ve known. Please remember that about your pets. They hurt when another animal in your home dies too, so don’t forget to give them extra love & comfort during this trying time. It will help both of you to feel better.
And, keep their feelings in mind at other times too! They can be hurt just as easily as a human can if someone snaps at them after a bad day or ignores them for the TV. Criticisms hurt them too. Don’t forget, animals understand the words you say, not just the tone of your voice. If you call your dog fat or your cat lazy, they know exactly what you mean, & it makes them feel as badly as it would you if someone called you fat or lazy. (This topic has been the cause of many arguments with my narcissistic mother, as she thinks it’s acceptable to come into my home & tell my pets who is too fat, too skinny, too whatever. It took over 20 years to get her to stop that awful behavior.) Calling your pet beautiful, smart, etc. will have a very positive effect too, just as it would if someone complemented you. I also tell my furkids how proud I am of them, how smart & caring they are. I praise them frequently & they respond to it well. Do the same with your pets, & see if they don’t love the praise!
One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that my furkids love to be prayed for. Pretty Boy was diagnosed with liver carcinoma at the end of 2013. The vet said he only had a short time left. I knew the vet was right- not only was she a very good, but she showed me the bloodwork results. He also had lost 2 pounds- a fair amount of weight for a cat. His side where his liver is also felt somewhat enlarged, which the vet said was his liver. She saw it on an ultrasound. I prayed for him constantly, & every time I did, Pretty Boy would purr the entire time. I even asked him before I prayed if he wanted me to pray for him, & many times, he would rub on me or headbonk me. The best part of this is when he went back to the vet the following year, there was no sign of the liver carcinoma! No swelling, he had gained back the 2 pounds he lost, & his bloodwork was fine. In fact, the vet said “it was perfect.”
Just please remember, your furkids are people too! Treat them with the love & respect they deserve, & talk to them with love. When you must correct them, do so gently & with respect. They will respond very well when you do this!
Tomorrow is a day I can’t forget. On January 21, 2007, I lost my sweet cat, Magic. He died quietly in my arms after over three years of dealing with heart problems, which was twice as long as vets expected him to live.
Magic was very special. Not only was he my first cat, but he was also my soul mate. He was extremely in tune with me. He defended me when people were cruel to me. He comforted me when I was sad & snuggled me when I was happy. He was extremely intuitive, intelligent, fun, caring & a wonderful surrogate daddy to the other cats & dogs. It’s hardly a surprise that after his death, he was still special..
One day not long after losing Magic, I was listening to the soundtrack from the TV show, “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on. God spoke to my heart & said, “This is your & Magic’s song. He wanted you to know that.” Even now, I cry when I hear the song, remembering that precious moment.
That wasn’t even the first time something like this happened. In December 2001, I experienced my first kitty death. My sweet boy, Bubba died from FIV & emphysema at only age 9. God gave me Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” two days later. In 2002 after Sugar died suddenly & completely unexpectedly, God told me the same thing about Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By” There have been other songs too. In December 2010 when Vincent died, on my way back from burying him, the song “Someday We’ll Be Together” started going through my mind. God told me that was Vincent’s & my song. A similar thing happened the following year when Jasmine passed, except the song was Aerosmith’s “Angel” & in 2014 when Georgie passed with Steelheart’s “I’ll Never Let You Go.”
My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is to reassure you. Not only people go to Heaven or Hell. Animals do as well! Mark 16:15 says to preach the Gospel to all creation or to every creature in every single translation I’ve seen. This tells me that animals also can accept Jesus as their savior. This means they can go to Heaven & we will see them again one day!
I also firmly believe that death doesn’t mean that they no longer think of their humans once they are gone. I have no doubt they think of us & miss us as we think of & miss them. Otherwise, why would God have told me they wanted me to know that these songs are ours?
If you have lost lost a precious pet, please be reassured that your baby still loves you & thinks fondly of you. And best of all, you’ll see him or her again one day. I know it hurts more than you can describe when you lose a furbaby, but knowing you’ll see them again one day is very comforting.
The songs I’ve gotten are also quite comforting. Granted, not every single furbaby & I have a song, & I don’t know why that is, but the ones I do share a song with? That song comforts me & helped me to get through the initial, devastating pain of losing them. If you haven’t experienced this, it may be a good idea to ask God about it. He certainly won’t object to it! And, who knows? Maybe you were too caught up in your grief to notice God gently trying to tell you about a song. It’s certainly possible to be grieving so hard, you don’t listen to God. I’ve done that myself.
If you have experienced the pain of losing a furbaby, please know I understand. It’s devastating!
As most of you know, I’m an avid animal lover. I also have a weird knack for remembering dates. So, I naturally remember this day in 1990 when I adopted my first cat, Magic…
Magic was very special, my soul mate. He was extremely intelligent, loving, devoted, protective, a great surrogate daddy to kittens, stubborn, devious & so much more. He was in my life for over 16 years when he passed away quietly in my arms one afternoon. Although he’s been gone since January 17, 2007, I still miss him daily.
I was thinking about Magic when something occurred to me. So many people act like when you lose a pet, it’s no big deal. “It’s just an animal” they say. They fail to realize that animal is like a child to you. You love him, take care of him, provide for him, comfort him when he’s sad or upset & nurse him when he’s sick. How can you not be shaken to your core when you lose your furry child?!
If you’ve lost a precious pet, I would encourage you to honor his memory in some special way. It will bring you comfort when grief threatens to overwhelm you, & remind you of fun memories as well. I have a locket that has a small tuft of Magic’s fur on one side & his picture on the other. You could do something similar. Or, you could get more creative. A photo album or photo display in your home would be nice. A special garden with a memorial plaque in your yard also would be nice. Paint or draw your beloved pet’s picture. When our neighbor’s Akita dog died, our dog, Bear, was devastated.. he loved Mathilda a great deal. I decided to knit him an afghan since he liked to nap on them & a couple of my friends sent me squares to add into it. All squares had two hearts on them in some unique way. It brought him comfort when he was hurting. You could do the same for yourself if you are into the yarn arts. Or, you could sew a quilt. The possibilities are endless.
Losing a pet is a horrible experience, but it has one good part. Grieving hard means you loved hard. As painful as it can be to believe when you first lose your furbaby, one day you will realize that it was worth it, because you had that special little angel in your life. Remember that when you are in pain- it really will comfort you one day.
And, ignore those who try to invalidate your grief. They are foolish or cold hearted. Grieve that precious furbaby however you see fit. You probably never will stop grieving completely, & that is ok! It just means you loved that little one a great deal.
Tell God how you feel- He understands. . In fact, God may bless you in a unique way at this time. After losing Magic, I was listening to a CD one day, the soundtrack from the show “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on & God spoke to my heart saying, “This is from Magic.” I can’t hear the song with it’s moving lyrics without thinking of Magic now. It always brings me joy & reminds me we’ll see each other again one day. This has happened with other cats I’ve lost, too. Bubba’s song is “Freebird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Sugar’s is “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar), Vincent’s is “Someday We’ll Be Together” (The Supremes), Jasmine’s is “Angel” (Aerosmith), Georgie’s is “Angel Eyes” (Steelheart) & Sneezer’s is “Carrying Your Love With Me” (George Straight). If God has blessed me like this, He may do the same for you. Why not ask Him to do so?
Also, if you have other furbabies, then please never take them for granted! As I’m writing, my Pretty Boy is napping on the sofa, snoring loudly, while Zippy is laying across my wrist as I type, purring loudly. Their contentment brings me joy. I love my boys so much, & tell them so all the time, just like I do with the other cats & dog. Animals, like humans, need to know they are loved. And, you need to enjoy the time you have with your little furry angels to the fullest!
I’ve always been an avid animal lover, especially cats. In 2009 after losing my 18 year old tabby cat Sneezer, I thought I’d study what the Bible has to say about animals. It was very eye opening! I learned enough to write a full book on the topic, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”
The Bible has so much to say about God’s love for the wonderful animals that He created. Two verses though really spoke to my heart about how valuable animals are:
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (ESV)
Job 35:11 “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’” (ESV)
I’ve always known that animals can make wonderful companions, but they also are wonderful teachers. After reading those verses, it began to click in my mind just how good they are at teaching.
My first cat, Magic, taught me how to be a good mom to my cats. He was always loving & patient with them, even the neediest young kittens. He knew exactly what they needed & how to meet those needs.
Vincent taught me to appreciate the little things & people. One day I was walking him outside & he stopped to let the cool fall breeze flow through his fur. The look on his face was sheer bliss. When it stopped, he looked at me, then grabbed my hand & kissed it, I believe to thank me for allowing him to enjoy the experience of being outside.
Jasmine inspired me to never give up. She had 4 strokes in just under 2 years, & fought incredibly hard to recover from them, even when a vet told me I should put her down.
If you just pay attention to the animals in your life, you can learn some really amazing things. I have asked God to help me to learn from my furbabies. They are also some amazing teachers, always willing to teach you.
I also talk to them just as I talk to people. Animals are very intelligent, & they truly understand what we say to them, not only the tone of our voices as some wrongly believe. They also find ways to convey their messages to you. I remember one time before my dog, Bear, passed.. he had arthritis really badly, & one day he needed a pain pill. He came into the kitchen as I was washing dishes & looked at me. I could tell he was hurting by how he walked, & asked if he was ok. He looked at the fridge, then me. I asked if he needed a pill & he barked once as if to say “yes!” I gave him his pill, & he gave me a kiss in return.
Animals are truly a blessing & a gift straight from God. If you aren’t enjoying them or enjoying them as much as you could, I urge you to give them a try. Get to know them. Ask them questions. They’ll find a way to answer. Most of all, love them & enjoy their friendship. It will bring you great joy!
I’ve been noticing something disturbing lately. So many Christians openly hate animals. This bothers me terribly, because there are so many Scriptures that show God loves the animals that He created & wants people to care for & appreciate them. Some examples are:
- Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
- Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (KJV)
- Job 35:11 “Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (KJV)
- Psalm 145:9 “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (KJV)
These are only a few examples. There is much more in the Bible on the topic of animals. I found enough for me to write a book on this topic several years ago.
It hurts my heart that so many devoted Christians openly hate animals, hunt only for sport or even think humans are so much better than animals. Ecclesiastes 3:19 clearly shows people are not better than animals. Read that verse again: “19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV) (emphasis added)
How can anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian truly feel this way about animals after reading that Scripture?? Yet, many people do every day & harshly criticize those of us who feel differently.
It’s simply wrong. Obviously, God loves animals. After all, He created them. Hating them is no different than hating other people. Personally, I’m not fond of bossy people, but that doesn’t mean I hate them or wish them harm. If I did, I would be criticized for it. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” people might say. However, if I hated animals, hunted them only for sport, called them “just dumb animals”, etc. most Christians wouldn’t bat an eye. Do you see how wrong this is?
If you are one of these people, I urge you to reconsider your position. I’m not saying you need to become a vet or stop eating all meat. Instead I’m suggesting you give animals a chance. They are intelligent, caring, empathetic companions. Get to know some animals, maybe friends’ or relatives’ pets. I have 10 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch, all of whom make my life better each day. This morning, for example, I sat on my bed. I’m having a very bad day, & I just needed a few minutes to refocus. My cat Zippy joined me, showing me a great deal of love while purring loudly. He often is the first one to show he cares if I am upset, sick or even having a flashback. In fact, after becoming very sick in February, he has become my shadow. Once I got home from the hospital, he didn’t leave my side for a good 2 days. Since, he stays close to me at all times, watching me closely.
Animals can teach you so much, too. I learned how to be a good pet parent from my first cat, Magic who was a naturally loving father. Vincent, my granddad’s cat, taught me not to take the little things for granted, but to appreciate them instead. Jasmine, my snowshoe siamese, had 4 strokes in her final 2 years of life, & watching her fight to regain her faculties after each one was an inspiration.
God has blessed humanity with a wonderful gift in animals. I would like to encourage you today not to take that gift for granted. Instead, appreciate it & have fun with it! Animals truly are a gift from God in many ways.
As many of you know, I absolutely love animals. I’m currently the very proud mama to 9 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch. If I can brag a bit, they are all very well behaved (not perfect, but pretty impressive anyway!), happy, affectionate, gentle, sweet & very caring. I think they’re pretty awesome, & am happy to say that people who meet them seem to share my opinion.
Except for my narcissistic mother & mother in-law.
Before my mother in-law met them (& she met them only one time), she told me I had too many cats & needed to get rid of them. She also told my sister in-law the same thing. The one time she met all of the cats I had at the time, she looked at them with such disdain. In fact, when she entered the room, they all gathered close around me very protectively. Magic, the head of our family at the time, sat on my lap, swishing his tail angrily & looking at her with the evil kitty eye until she left us alone. Magic met her one more time, in her home, & promptly pooped on her carpet. Needless to say, Magic was my favorite cat I’ve ever had..lol
As for my mother, the cats don’t like her & with good reason. She insults them. This one is too skinny is she sick, the other one is so rude & too pushy with wanting affection, the cat she used to have weighed 13 pounds & that one over there is obviously way more than 13 so he is way too fat & needs to go on a diet! Although many people think animals don’t understand words, only the tone of voice, mine are proof that is not true. Each time she has insulted them, they give her this look like they’re thinking “Well screw you then, Lady..” & walk off, refusing to give her more attention. It got so bad, I told her repeatedly that if she can’t be civil to my pets, she is no longer welcome in my home. As a result, she didn’t set foot inside my home for over 3 years. I guess insulting my pets is really important to her.
Do these scenarios remind you of your narcissistic mother?
If they do, I want to urge you today to pay close attention to how she is with your furbabies & protect them! The same hurt you feel when she insults you, they feel when she insults them. It’s not fair, especially since they can’t fight back like people can. They are completely innocent victims, & deserve your protection. As the pet parent, it is your job to protect them from any & all dangers, & that includes your narcissistic mother.
Doing this isn’t easy at first, I know. My mother completely ignored me time & time again when I told her to knock it off- don’t talk to them that way. I figured out why though- I was livid with her & didn’t mind showing it. She fed off the fact she upset me, just like any narcissist does. Me being upset only made her mistreat my animals more & more.
The secret to dealing with a narcissist is to stay calm- don’t let them see you’re upset! Remain calm & collected in their presence. (Once they are gone, rant & rage all you want though!) Calmly state to her that you won’t tolerate whatever it is she is doing to your pet. Never admit that it upsets you, however! Just calmly state that you don’t let people talk to your pet that way or you don’t allow your pet to eat that type of food or whatever the situation is. Offer no explanations at all- it is simply something you don’t tolerate. If she continues, remind her of what you said. If she still continues, walk over to her, pull your pet away from her & keep him or her at your side until your mother leaves. If she tries to call your pet to her, tell her no- the pet stays with you. She may at some point say something about you being oversensitive, she was just teasing, she just thought your pet would like that treat, etc. Ignore the innocent act & stick to your guns. Let her know that certain things are not tolerated & if she insists on treating your pet the way she thinks he/she should be treated instead of how you know is best, then she won’t be welcome in your home any longer.
I know this may be hard at first, but do it anyway! Your narcissistic mother is trying to hurt you by using your pet. If she can’t hurt you directly anymore either by beating you or by insulting you (eventually we all develop a pretty thick skin to her insults & become like an insult Navy seal..), she’ll look for new ways to hurt you which is where your pets come into play. Don’t let her get away with hurting you or your pet! It’s not fair to either one of you! Protect your furbaby just as much as you would protect a human baby- they are equally innocent & undeserving of abuse!
This morning, I read an interesting article about the final years of Jim Jones. He was a notorious cult leader who led over 900 of his followers to commit suicide in 1978. Like all cult leaders, Jones was a narcissist. His final years were full of more bizarre & controlling behaviors, & the article I read discussed why he was this way.
For years, I’ve wondered why so many narcissists get meaner as they get older, while your average person becomes gentler & kinder. It began to make some sense to me as I applied what I read in the article to my own narcissistic mother.
As we age, we lose some qualities of youth, such as good looks, health & physical strength. While most people accept this, narcissists don’t. At the root of narcissism is an extreme insecurity. They count on such things to always be there for them, yet those things aren’t. When they aren’t, this makes the narcissist more insecure & they will lash out at those around them out. Anything that makes a narcissist feel more insecure or that threatens their illusion of their perfect, false self angers them, & the aging process is no different.
Also, losing such qualities can mean losing control over those the narcissist once controlled easily. A narcissist who was big, strong & healthy could physically intimidate another person when young, but once that person is older, not so strong or healthy, that ability is gone. The narcissist must change how she controls her victim. I have seen the changes with my mother. When I was a child, it didn’t take much effort for her to control me- the vicious looks & cruel words always scared me easily. In my late teens, I wasn’t so easily controlled, however. She began screaming at me, sometimes inches from my face, calling me terrible names & saying horribly cruel things. Once I moved out of my parents’ home at 19, my mother often said cruel things, but without screaming at me. She also did other nasty little things. For example, after she threw me into a wall & hurt my back when I was 19, she would constantly hand me something heavy or slap me on the back where it was injured when I saw her. Now that she is older & frailer than she once was, her method of attack has changed yet again. She loves to say cruel things to me quietly while we’re in a public place, such as a restaurant. That way, either I have to take it quietly, or if I speak up, I’ll draw attention to my “awful” behavior & look like the crazy one.
If they continue to feel they are losing control, narcissistic tactics will get more vicious, as I have shown with my mother’s behavior. I personally don’t believe this means you have to cater to the narcissist or tolerate the abuse. Instead, I believe there are 2 options- either sever ties with the narcissist, or if you can’t or are unwilling to do so, strengthen yourself to withstand the abuse. There are several ways to do this…
First, pray. A strong relationship with God is vital. You need to be secure in knowing He loves you, supports you & will show you ways to cope.
Second, you also will need to have strong boundaries. You need to know what you can & can’t tolerate. You’ll need to have good, effective ways to enforce those boundaries. If a topic comes up that you don’t want to discuss with your narcissistic mother, then change the subject, for example. Change it over & over as necessary- eventually she will get tired of this.
Third, keep your conversations superficial. Don’t divulge information about your personal life to your narcissistic mother. That information only becomes ammunition for her to use to hurt you later.
Fourth, remember- you do NOT have to be available 24/7. Don’t answer the phone every time she calls Don’t spend a lot of time with her. Keeping some distance will help you to preserve your mental health.
Lastly, don’t neglect yourself. Spend time with God & with empathic, caring people who understand what you are going through & won’t judge or criticize you when you get angry. Get good at being good to yourself. Get yourself little gifts periodically, treat yourself to bubble baths or manicures regularly, or whatever nourishes your soul. Taking good care of yourself will help to strengthen you when you have to deal with your narcissistic mother.
Below is a link to the article I read about Jim Jones that inspired this blog post.
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
Although I usually write about narcissism & its traumatic effect on others, today I want to take a break from that topic. Since many of my fans love animals as much as me, I’m sure you won’t object.
Last night, I watched the show, “My Cat From Hell.”. It’s a great show! The cat behaviorist on there, Jackson Galaxy, is very wise & helps many cats. Sadly, sometimes the cat parents or vets he deals with aren’t so wise…
I became livid last night while watching this show, because although the cat parents tried, their vets failed them miserably!
A couple had a 14 year old cat who would fling himself around in his sleep! They were afraid, & rightly so that he could hurt himself! Their vets said he was fine. Yet, a feline sleep specialist immediately realized kitty had a stroke, & his brain was damaged in the area that affected his sleep. At this point, kitty was shown walking away, & I recognized that wobbly walk as my own kitty Jasmine had the same walk after her first stroke!
How did vets not recognize that distinctive walk?? How didn’t they recognize his eyes acting oddly either? It broke my heart!
For some reason many vets don’t recognize or properly treat strokes in cats!
My Jasmine had 4 strokes before she passed away. After her first, the vet told me to ” just put her down. It was the only humane thing to do.”. I knew he was wrong in spite of his fervor, so I walked away from him. My girl lived 2 more happy years with only a sway to her back legs a clue to her strokes.
Thank God for His wisdom! He showed me how to treat Jas at home, & introduced me to a good friend who is an amazing vet technician.
Feline strokes are often similar to human strokes. Symptoms can include:
Lethargy. Loss of interest in things once enjoyed, like special toys or foods.
Eye issues. Jasmine’s eyes darted side to side. Some cats also experience uneven pupil dilation.
Facial paralysis on one side.
Inability to move.
If your cat experiences these symptoms, get her to the vet immediately! If you feel her diagnosis is wrong, listen to your gut feeling!! I did & am forever grateful I had 2 more wonderful years with my Jasmine!!
As far as treatment, many cats recover completely a few weeks from a stroke with no known cause. Others may have kidney disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism or another cause for the stroke. Those cats need medication to properly treat those serious illnesses.
No vet told me this but after Jasmine’s second stoke, I put her on one 81mg baby asprin twice a week (more can be toxic to cats) & massaged her often to keep blood flowing. I believe God showed me she needed this the day of her second stroke. She had trouble walking & her left rear leg was cold until I did these things. She recovered quickly from that stroke.
Feline strokes are terrifying of course, but often they can be managed. Keep a close watch on your kitty if he has a stroke. Exercise wisdom. Talk to several vets if need be. Try not to panic, as hard as it can be! Pray & pray often! Remember that your baby needs you to care for him, & God entrusted you with his care.
I’m sorry for vanishing.. it’s been a very painful few days for me, & I haven’t been up to writing in here or in the new book. On Wednesday, my mother’s birthday, we suddenly lost one of our beloved kitties, Georgie. I’m honestly not sure what happened. I am guessing his heart. He passed away quietly in his sleep. Here’s a picture of my sweet little guy..
Since his death, all of us are grieving a great deal, but perhaps no one more than his brother, Pretty Boy. They were extremely close. Since there is no way to eliminate grief, all I know to do is comfort the little guy as much as I can. I came up with an idea that I think is offering him some comfort. I made him a new collar, & put a tiny vial with some of his brother’s cremated ashes in it on the collar. He showed his appreciation immediately by offering me lots of purrs & snuggles. One thing I have learned about animals is they do truly appreciate when we make them a gift. I think it’s sweet. 🙂 If you think of it, please pray for our little family. Every one of us is hurting tremendously right now from our loss. Thank you. I’m hoping to get back to blogging & working on the new book within a few days. As if grieving isn’t hard enough, it’s even ore difficult with C-PTSD. It’s making the usual depression, anxiety & muddied thinking even worse than usual. Thank you for your patience & understanding! xoxo
Any of you who have read much of my writing or know me in real life know I love animals. Especially cats. Most especially black cats.
Animals are truly a gift from God, of this I have no doubt. They are constant companions, they don’t judge, they offer unconditional love & support, they make us laugh & so much more. I currently have 9 cats, 1 dog & 1 finch, all of whom I love dearly. Every morning, one of my two youngest cats, Zippy, likes to snuggle me before I get up for the day. He is almost 20 pounds, so when he lays on me & demands snuggles, it’s impossible to ignore him! He is a special cat- not only because he is strikingly handsome (think black panther- that is what he looks like), but because he is very in tune with me. When the C-PTSD flares up, he is the first to attend to me. He has grounded me during flashbacks by jumping up in my face, demanding I focus on him. When I was battling agoraphobia more than usual one day & my husband wanted me to go out anyway, Zippy knocked the truck keys out of his hands, got under my feet as I walked near the door & more. I went out anyway, then wished I had stayed home as soon as I was off my property. When I came home, Zippy was there, offering lots of love & comfort. When I am sad, he is there purring loudly & providing snuggles. Zippy is a natural born service cat! I have seriously considered training & certifying him as a psychiatric service cat. He has a natural gift for it.
However, even my pets that aren’t quite as gifted as Zippy is are awesome. They are so helpful with the nasty symptoms of C-PTSD. They give me something to focus on, which helps my sketchy concentration. I have to make sure they all have food, water & a clean litter pan. If someone is sick, I have to be sure he gets medicine on time, that I keep an eye on his symptoms & take him to the vet as needed. (Amazingly, as bad as the agoraphobia is, it is almost entirely gone when I go to the vet’s office. I think because I have one of the furbabies with me.) Most of the time when I write, Pretty Boy (my handsome, almost 12 year old black Turkish Angora mix) sits on my chest. His presence somehow helps me focus when I write. It is truly needed- as much as I love to write, sometimes it can be a challenge, organizing my thoughts. Also, one of the furkids is almost always looking for love from me, but especially if I’m upset or the C-PTSD is flaring up. They help me to relax when anxiety is bad, & cheer me up when depression kicks in.
If you are battling some type of mental illness, I would like to encourage you to get a pet. Pray first, seeking God’s wisdom on what type of pet would be best for you. God won’t guide you wrong! I have had a LOT of cats over the years, & I somehow just knew in my heart each time I met them which cat I should adopt. That “knowing” feeling has yet to disappoint me! I have been blessed with pets very well suited to my personality, & mine is suited well to theirs. We always share a deep, loving connection. God can do the same with you! Just ask for His help!
I have written some about animals on my website. What God has to say about them, & some advice on choosing a pet. Check it out here: Animals- God’s Gifts
Also, if you are interested, there are organizations who train psychiatric service animals out there. A search for “psychiatric service animal” or “ptsd service animal” can yield many results. I have seen a couple of books on amazon too, about training your own psychiatric service dog.
Good morning, Dear Readers!
December is a rather challenging month for me. I have lost 5 kitties during the month of December since 2001, & my kitty Jasmine had a stroke on Christmas day, 2009. Naturally, they’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Not only missing them, but thinking about the good times, & the things they taught me. I’d like to share some valuable lessons they taught me before their passing.
December 11, 2001- I lost Bubba to feline AIDS & emphysema.
Bubba was a very laid back, gentle soul. We met when he was only about 4 weeks old. From that moment we met, he purred loudly every time he saw me. Needless to say, he had my heart immediately.. 🙂
During Bubba’s short 9 years of life, he taught me the value of being patient & understanding with others. Even when he was sick during his last few months of life, he showed patience with me giving him his medicine (which he hated!), & with his best buddy, Squeaky, who still wanted to be by his side every moment. He understood we loved him deeply, & wanted to do what we believed was in his best interest. His sweetness was very inspiring to try to understand why people do what they do, even when it isn’t what I would like. It helps me not to be angry or frustrated, but instead appreciate that they are trying.
December 13, 2003- I lost Bob to cancer.
Ahh, Bob.. named after Bob Dylan the singer, due to his odd meows. He was truly a character- loved to play fetch with tiny jingle bells, would put his paw on your mouth if you blew on him, & was always a chatterbox. Such a sweet, fun boy!
Bob taught me to fully enjoy comfort. Granted, most cats love to be comfortable, but Bob seemed to take comfort to a new level. Once comfy, you could NOT get that boy to move! It made sense to me, so I’ve learned to appreciate comfort more. A comfy pair of jammmies, my cozy, warm bed on a cold winter’s night, an afghan made from especially soft yarn- these little things are heaven to me! They help me feel good & relax.
December 16, 2009- I lost Doofus to causes unknown.
Doofus was such a fun kitty. A very big, loving, gentle, laid back tuxedo kitty. He rolled with the punches, never getting upset. He helped me to realize that in life, one thing never changes- change happens! Might as well accept it & go with the flow. I have trouble doing that sometimes, but I try to remember, if Doofus could handle going from the king of the cats in our old neighborhood to a content housecat once we moved into our house, I can handle less drastic changes.
December 21, 2010- I lost Vincent to causes unknown.
Vincent was a very special member of the Bailey family. He was my Granddad’s best friend until he passed in 2003. Vincent even shared his personality. Strong, stubborn, loving, loyal, intelligent & dignified.
I was blessed to have Vincent his last 2 years of life, & in that short time, he stole my heart. He obviously missed Granddad, but in spite of it, he was happy living with me. In the fall before he passed away, I took him outside one brisk day. Since he had been an outdoor/indoor cat with Granddad, I tried to indulge him in outdoor time periodically. (It was too dangerous to allow him to roam unsupervised around my yard, what with the wildlife & living on a major highway.) This one day, Vincent taught me about how to appreciate the little things. He stood perfectly still, allowing the cool autumn breeze to caress his face gently. Once it died down, he grabbed my hand & covered it in kisses. That moment inspired me to write my book, “Lessons From The Heart: What Animals Have Taught Me About Life & Love.”
December 22. 2006- I lost Delta to unknown causes.
Delta was a very special little girl- she was born with only 3 legs. Her left rear leg stopped just below the knee. Upon adopting her, I noticed she did her best to hide that leg, always wrapping her long, fluffy tail around it when she sat, so as to cover up the “stump.” It didn’t take her long to notice that no one in the house thought of her as different. She was just one of the family. She began to make her feelings known with said stump after a while- sitting & tapping it when irritated, or standing then tapping it when she wanted her favorite treat (whipped cream in a can). She taught me that something others see as a handicap doesn’t need to be. It can be used in a positive way.
Last but certainly not least, Jasmine’s story…
Christmas morning, 2009, my husband woke up before I did. He found Jasmine unresponsive, but alive. Being Christmas day, no vets were open, so we had to wait until the following day to take her in. The vet said further testing would reveal for sure, but he believed she had cancer or pancreatic issues. He said she would live 1-2 days, tops, & it would be best “just to put her down.” I don’t believe in euthanasia, however, if I knew that Jasmine would have wanted that, I would have done it for her. However, the look she gave me when the vet said this was one of sheer terror. She obviously did not want that, & besides, my gut feeling said don’t do it!. I told the vet no, I’ll take her home. The vet scolded me, telling me I was doing the wrong thing, putting her down was the only humane thing to do, etc. I walked out on him. I am so glad I did. Jasmine started to improve once we got her home. During her recovery, I was searching online trying to figure out what was going on, & met a vet tech. She correctly diagnosed Jasmine as having had a stroke. Within about a week, Jasmine was walking again, although with a small swagger to her rear half. Until her death 2 years later, Jasmine had a total of 4 strokes, & after each one (except the final one), she fought so hard to regain her faculties. She barely allowed me to help her recover from her strokes, as she wanted to do it all herself! She was a fighter with a never give up attitude. Jasmine was a true inspiration! She was strong & passionate, until her final breath in August, 2011.
God uses animals to teach us humans, if we are only pay attention! Job 12:7 says, “ But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” I encourage you today to pay attention to the animals in your life. You’ll be surprised with what you can learn!
Good morning Dear Readers!
I just thought I’d pop in & say hello! I also want to thank everyone for their prayers & concern with my kitty, Pretty Boy. He seems to be feeling a bit better. I’m not sure his liver is functioning any better- his glucose levels are still all over the place, which goes with the territory for liver problems especially with him already having diabetes. So for now, the vet wants us to keep doing what we’re doing & take it day by day.
Also, I’m working on the new book. I have no clue on a title for it yet, but that will come in time. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a psychological thriller set it Victorian era Annapolis, MD. A man tries to drive his wife insane so he can have full access to her money. He enlists the help of the young housemaid with whom he’s having an affair. The wife learns of his plans, & turns the tables on him. So far, it’s quite a fun book to write, but a bit challenging. I have a ton of experience with people playing head games, so I know how to write about it. However it can be somewhat painful because I remember how it feels to be on the receiving end of them.
Have a blessed day, everyone! I love you & am praying for you!
Good morning, Dear Readers! I hope this post finds you enjoying your Sunday.
I just thought I’d pop in to give an update on Pretty Boy & thank everyone for your prayers. THANK YOU!!!! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers, well-wishes & concern for my little man, as does my husband. 🙂
Today makes the third day since we’ve been to the vet & received his diagnosis. He seems to be doing a bit better. He is a little more active- more cuddly (like his old self) & he even “killed” the ring off a milk jug lid last night & howled proudly to show off his accomplishment. I hope & pray this is a good sign, that the liver problems he’s having are related to the diabetes, because at least that is most likely fixable.
What a journey it is, having a sick pet.. it is like having a sick human baby- they can’t verbalize exactly what they are feeling, so you have to do your best to figure out what the problem is & the best way to treat it. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.. the constant, unconditional love that my pets give me makes any problems worth the while. 🙂
Good afternoon, Dear Readers!
I know my blog topics jump around from subject to subject sometimes, & I am sorry for that. I just write things as I feel God places something on my heart. For a while, I’ve been writing mostly about abuse, but today I want to discuss animals.
Lately I have been reading some very disturbing things regarding our animal companions. So many people are getting rid of their pets for stupid reasons. One story I read was of a 22 year old cat, whose owner had her for her entire life, & surrendered her to a shelter because she said she was having “personal problems.” It breaks my heart so many people act like animals are disposable. You can’t get rid of a child because of “personal problems”- why is it acceptable to do this with a cat or dog? I have cared for my pets during terrible times in my life- through sickness, nervous breakdowns, divorce, losing loved ones & more. Now that I have Complex PTSD, I still take care of them, including my cat with diabetes who requires constant testing, monitoring & insulin shots. I’m not saying this to brag- only saying it because as a pet parent, we have to take proper care of our furbabies, no matter what! If for some reason we are unable, then we need to find someone who can help us until we can resume our duties once more.
I also don’t understand why it’s acceptable to put an animal down when they are an inconvenience or sickly. I never have. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13) It doesn’t say it is acceptable if an animal is sickly or an inconvenience to his owners. I know people argue for euthanasia & some have even called me inhumane because I am not for it. However, since an animal cannot verbalize if they wish to die for whatever reason, I don’t think it is right for a human to play God, & decide when & how the animal should die. I have not once put down any of my pets when they became sick. Instead, I ask God to take them before they suffer much. It has worked out well. Not one of mine has suffered for long after they became sick.
I read something especially disturbing the other day.. Bestiality is on the rise, & becoming more socially acceptable. There are even animal brothels in some countries! Animals are being tortured to death for the sexual gratification of some perverse, sick individuals. Exodus 22:19 clearly states, “Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.” This tells me that God has some very serious, definite opinions on such a thing.
Sadly, I have learned recently too that there are many Christians who believe animals are unworthy of care & love from people. They believe people are so much better than animals. Many are also avid hunters. While I realize the Bible says there is nothing wrong with eating meat (after the great flood- before, people were vegetarians), I don’t understand why so many people don’t care they are taking an animal’s life! There is so little or even no respect or compassion for the animal who is dying to provide them with food! I wonder if these people are reading the same Bible I have read..
God loves animals so much! These things should not be! Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man hath regard for the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” And, Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (emphasis added).
I would like to encourage you today to remember these Scriptures well & to tell others about them. Please help others to understand how wonderful our animal companions are! It is our duty as humans.
Good afternoon! I have a very urgent prayer request for you today.. please pray in agreement with me that my friend’s cat, Magick, will come home soon, safe & sound. He was stolen 1 week ago. (Definitely stolen- he isn’t the running away type…he’s a homebody). Also, please pray God will give her wisdom when dealing with insensitive & cruel people. She has come across many in this past week who make snide comments like, “It’s just a cat.” “Get over it.” Maybe Magick is “just a cat” to them, but he is her heart. He is a very special boy, who my friend lovingly named after my cat, Magic, who passed on in 2007. Both are black shorthairs with very distinct personalities- highly intelligent, loving, devoted, caring & amazing fathers to the other animals in the house. Although my Magic died & her Magick was stolen, I still feel her pain of losing such a special creature. It leaves a huge hole in the heart only a Magic can fill! I’m sure you fellow animal lovers will understand this completely..
Thank you for your prayers, Dear Readers!! I’d love to share a picture of Magick, (I always like to have a face to put with names yanno?), but I didn’t ask my friend if she would mind if I shared his picture. So, instead, here is a picture of my Magic with Georgie in 2002. Both Magic & Magick look identical, so now you know what the kitty you’re praying for looks like..