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Communicating With Animals

Job 35:11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?  (KJV)

 

One of God’s greatest blessings is animals.  I’ve always loved & appreciated animals, but the older I get, the more I love & appreciate them.  Animals love deeply & unconditionally, they are fun, they are very intuitive & intelligent.  What’s not to love?!

 

In 2001, my husband & I lost Bubba, a very gentle, sweet, special orange tabby cat I’d had since he was only 4 weeks old.  I was absolutely convinced losing Bubba was going to kill me, my grief was so strong.  In spite of the pain though, God showed me something interesting at that time- I could communicate with animals.

 

The day after Bubba died, I let the cats out into the backyard for some supervised fun.  I went to Bubba’s freshly dug grave for a moment of grief.  I told him how much I loved him & missed him, & always would.  A small voice spoke to my heart saying, “It’s OK, Mommy.  I feel much better now!” (Bubba suffered with feline AIDS & emphysema for about 4 months before he died)  I wasn’t sure I heard this right at all, & quickly came back to the part of the yard where the cats were.  Spitfire, the queen of the castle, looked at me with great concern as I came near her & I heard, “Something is wrong with Mommy.”  I told my husband what happened, & he said he could believe I could hear them.  After all, I was extremely close to all of our cats.

 

The following day, I turned on some music while I was doing housework.  When Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Freebird” came on, I heard what I’d thought was Bubba’s voice again, as I heard it the previous day.  “Mommy, this song fits me.  Listen to the lyrics.”  By this time, I doubted my sanity.  Once I was done my chores,  I prayed, asking God what was going on.  I felt no answer coming, so I opened up my Bible.  It came open to the book of Job, & my eyes fell on this Scripture:  Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:  (KJV)  Immediately, I knew I heard Bubba & Spitfire.  I wasn’t crazy!

 

Since that time, I’ve gotten better at communicating with animals.  I don’t often hear them as clearly as I did Bubba & Spitfire, but I still communicate with them constantly.  What’s so interesting is the more I wanted to communicate with them, the more they wanted to communicate with me.  Our late chow chow mix, Bear, taught me that when he barked once it meant yes, twice meant no & three times meant I love you.  Vincent, my granddad’s cat that we ended up adopting in 2008, told me one day his great great great great grandfather was a purebred Abyssinian cat.   He was very proud of his heritage apparently.  Minnie Rose, our dilute tortoise shell cat, actually tries to form words with her meows, so there is never much trouble figuring out what message she is trying to get across, especially when she says, “Yea” or, “NOOOO!!”.  Punkin is our orange tabby with feline PTSD.  He is very vocal & very clear at communicating whatever he wants me to know with certain facial expressions as well as meows.

 

I’m always impressed by how if you just pay attention to them, animals will make sure you know what they want you to know.  You just need to be observant.

 

Also, not all animals are overly interested in communication with people, so if you try to communicate with some animals, they may have absolutely no interest, no matter how hard you try.  Some seem to put up a mental wall.

 

Be careful reading about communicating with animals.  Some who discuss animal communication claim it is some sort of psychic ability instead of a gift from God.  They make it sound almost occult in nature.   I have asked God to help me to communicate with animals His way, & with whatever animals He wants me to communicate with.  I believe keeping God involved keeps anything bad out of what really should be God’s gift to His children.

 

Several years ago, I wrote my first book on the topic of animals.  I even included some about things my animals & I have discussed.   If you would like to check out this book, it is called, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”, & is available at this page on my website, simply scroll down  : http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Books-For-Sale.php

 

 

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Humans & Animals Have Equal Value

Ecclesiastes 3:19 “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)

 

I realize many Christians will disagree with me, stating that humans are much more valuable than animals.  I respectfully disagree though.  God loves the animals He created.  Reread the Scripture I opened this post with: Ecclesiastes 3:19 “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)  The Scripture states. “that a man hath no preeminence above a beast,”  so obviously God believes humans & animals to be equal.

 

Other Scriptures speak of the value of animals:

  • Genesis 3:20 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (KJV)
  • Job 12:7 “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (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 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (KJV)
  • Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (KJV)
  • Mark 16:15  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (KJV)

 

Animals are a wonderful blessing to people!  They offer us companionship, unconditional love, help us with chores (such as on a farm), & if we pay attention, teach us a great deal.  I’ve had pets since shortly after moving out of my parents’ home at age 19, & pray there never will come a time I don’t have any!  Mine have blessed me in more ways than I can count!  They have made me laugh or comforted me when I was upset, defended me to people who were nasty to me, & taught me many things, including how to be a good mom.

 

I hope you, Dear Reader, aren’t one who thinks animals are “just dumb animals” like many people do.  If so, though, I pray you’ll consider what I’ve written, & reconsider your position!

 

And, if you’re an animal lover like me, but never thought about such Scriptures, then please, also consider this post.  Maybe pay a bit more attention to your furkids- they are wonderful teachers, & you can learn so much from them.  Don’t forget to let them know how much you love & appreciate them, too!  They appreciate hearing such things just as much as you do!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exciting News!!

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!!!

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Animals & Post Traumatic Stress Disoder

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.

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Tomorrow Is Black Cat Appreciation Day!

Did you know that there is a specific day of the year devoted to loving our adorable feline friends?  Well there is!  Although in my home, every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day…lol

 

Black animals, cats especially, are the most overlooked in shelters & the least likely to be adopted followed closely by solid white cats.  Silly superstitions are probably behind this as well as misguided beliefs that black cats are always the familiars of witches, therefore evil.

 

I call b.s. on this.  Sorry to be crude, but the sentiment fits very well!

 

I have had 6 solid black cats & 3 solid white cats in my life as a cat parent.  They have been some of the most amazing, fun, silly cats I’ve had the privilege of parenting.  Magic was my first cat, & I have written about him before.  He was something special.  Loving, devoted, extremely intelligent & very opinionated.  He knew my moods better than any human ever has & responded to me well.  He protected me once when an argument with a former boyfriend not long after adopting Magic almost got physical (interestingly, the man’s dog did nothing- only Magic protected me).  He scared my mother in-law away from me once & another time pooped on her carpet to show he disliked her.  Magic was a handful & an extremely interesting way to start life as a cat parent, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He has been gone since 2007, & I still think of that precious guy daily.

 

Magic was just one example of the wonder that is black cats.  They are sleek & beautiful, often strongly resembling a black panther.  They are highly intelligent & intuitive.  They are creative, dignified yet can be silly sometimes.  All cats are wonderful, but I have found there is something special about black cats.

 

If you’re a cat lover but never adopted one, then I strongly suggest opening your home to one.  You won’t regret it!  It will be an experience you’ll never forget or regret  🙂  Just look at these beautiful babies of mine… don’t you want to have your own mini house panther now too??  🙂

 

Magic

Magic

Squeaky

Squeaky

georgie

Georgie

pretty boy on towel rack

Pretty Boy (Georgie’s brother)

zippy & sabrina snuggling

Zippy (front) & Sabrina at 3.5 weeks when we first adopted them

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Some Thoughts On Pets

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..

 

pretty boy on towel rack

Pretty Boy

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Animals Are People Too!

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.

 

Chester in Weeble's spot, May 26, 2016

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Happening In My World

April 30, my husband’s mother died suddenly.  Well, sorta suddenly.  She’s been sick for quite some time but no one expected her to pass in her sleep early that morning.

 

That same day, one of our cats stopped eating.  May 2, Weeble passed away suddenly & unexpectedly at 16 years old.

 

It’s been a rough week around here!  As a result, I’m taking time to myself.  My blog posts will continue posting as normal, thank you WordPress for allowing me to schedule posts in advance, but I need some time to myself to grieve my precious kitty. Since getting sick last year, I haven’t been able to handle negative emotions as well as I once did.  Weeble is my first big loss since then, & I’m not doing so well emotionally.  I need some time to grieve & recover.

 

Sadly, I am not grieving the death of my mother in-law at all.  Our relationship was so toxic that I stopped speaking to her in 2002.  I feel somewhat bad for not feeling anything, but sadly, I believe this is normal.  Narcissistic abuse is horrible.  Aside from the fact it causes so much pain & suffering, it also destroys your love for the narcissist.  That is how I felt about my mother in-law.  I felt nothing for her for a long time.

 

I do feel for my husband, though, & need to be able to help him if he needs anything from me.  And, I can’t help him if I’m not able to replenish myself.  So, I’ll be taking a little time to myself to do just that & grieve my sweet Weeble.  If you comment or try to contact me & get no response, please be patient- I will respond to you as soon as I’m able.  Thank you for your understanding.  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Animals Grieve Too

On this day in 2014, my husband & I lost one of our special cats, Georgie.  We adopted him & his brother, Pretty Boy, when they were only about 4 weeks old.  They were adorable tiny, fluffy black powder puffs, born to a stray living in a local lady’s yard.  She said she was going to have animal control take all of the cats later in the week.  Rather than let them take their chances at the shelter, we decided to adopt the brothers.  After all, we had lost 2 cats in a short time prior, & another one was dying from cancer- we knew she had very little time left.  Kittens always help to cheer us up (they’re so fun & silly!), these two were in need, black cats are the least likely to be adopted & also my personal favorites.  It seemed like everything was saying we needed to adopt these two precious little boys.

 

That was in 2002, & in the 12 years we had both boys, we had a lot of laughs, mostly because of Georgie.  He was mischievous & ornery, where his brother is much more serious.  In spite of their very different personalities, they were inseparable.  Georgie was always Pretty Boy’s protector- if another cat went to mess with Pretty Boy, Georgie intervened, even if the other cat only wanted to play.  When Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Georgie was always there to comfort his brother, especially when he came home smelling like the world’s most horrible place, the vet’s office.

 

Then on April 16, 2014, I realized around 10:00 that I hadn’t seen Georgie since the previous night.  I texted my husband who said he hadn’t either.  I thought maybe Georgie sneaked outside (as he had a couple of times before), or was hiding somewhere napping. I searched the house & couldn’t find him.  He didn’t come when I called, which was very unusual.  In a panic, I asked my husband to come home & help me find him.  He found Georgie in our bedroom closet.  Apparently he passed away in his sleep, why we don’t know.

 

 

Pretty Boy was devastated, & as you may know, stress & emotions can play havoc with one’s blood glucose levels.  For a month, Pretty Boy’s already sensitive levels could jump 600 points or sink 600 points in a 12 hour period.  Thankfully, his glucose levels started to level out after about a month.  Pretty Boy has not been the same since losing his brother.  He became even more serious, but at least he has developed closer friendships with the other cats.

 

Losing a furbaby is excruciating for people, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer.  Their furry family suffers too.  Blood related or not, if you have more than one pet, chances are good that they are bonded to some degree.  Maybe they don’t show their love as openly as Georgie & Pretty Boy, but there is a bond there.   I have had 27 cats in my adult life, & have lost 17 to date, plus had 3 dogs & lost 2 of them.  I can tell you that the survivors always grieve.  Not all grieve as hard as my Pretty Boy did for his brother, but there was still a great deal of pain when others passed on.  I have seen it over & over

 

If you have lost a furbaby, please remember this!  I know you are suffering, but so are your surviving furbabies.  You need to help each other through the grief process.  It will help you both to get through & bond you even closer.

 

How do you help when you feel like you’re falling apart?  First, pray.  Ask God to help you to help your furbaby.  Pray for your furbaby- lay your hands on him or her & pray out loud.  I have yet to have one pet not like this.  They understand what you are doing, & they do appreciate it!  Mine certainly have.

 

Offer your surviving furbaby extra love.  Lots of snuggles & saying “I love you” truly help you both a great deal.  Don’t think animals don’t know what you’re saying, only the tone of voice- they understand exactly what you’re saying!  And, like humans, hearing a heart felt “I love you” is always welcomed, but especially when they are hurting.  This helps you too- when you receive snuggles in return, it helps to lift your spirits.

 

You can take your baby for a walk- not only dogs enjoy walks, but some cats do as well.  In fact, some cats enjoy walking with a harness & leash, believe it or not.  If your kitty isn’t a fan, they make pet strollers that safely protect your cat in a netted cage of sorts, allowing her to enjoy the fresh air & remain protected at the same time.

 

Playing is always a good bonding experience with your pet, & it helps to elevate both your moods.  I have yet to meet a dog who didn’t love a good game of fetch or tug of war.  Most cats enjoy cat nip, chasing a piece of string or rope & some even enjoy jingle bells or small crinkle balls.  The experience also helps to cheer you up because it’s such fun watching your furbaby have fun.

 

Losing a pet is a painful, horrible experience, but never forget, it also hurts your other pets.  They need you now more than ever, & you need them.

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For My Fellow Animal Lovers Who Have Lost Furbabies

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!

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One Of God’s Most Precious Gifts- Animals

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!

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Meet The Newest Member Of The Bailey/Rug Family!

This beautiful little lady is Minnie Rose…

Minnie Rose

Is she not the prettiest little diva kitty?

I thought that I’d share her cuteness with those of you who follow my blog since so many of you are also die-hard animal lovers like myself.

Minnie Rose is about 1 year old (I think a little under a year) & a dilute tortoiseshell.  True to the tortie nature, she’s very quirky & talkative, & has the sweetest, softest little meow!  She’s a real purr machine too- a little rub on the head & she’s purring happily.  She’s never been around other cats aside from her birth family, so she’s had a little trouble getting used to having a big family.  I’m proud of her though, as it only took her about a week to come out of her shell.  She’s a little skittish around the other cats still, but it’s improving drastically by the day.

She is so funny- she chose her name!  She hid for her first few days, so I didn’t really get to know her well enough to name her yet.  I could see the inner diva, & was thinking of possibly calling her Aretha, after Aretha Franklin.  As I got to know her better though, I thought she seemed more like a Minnie.  She wasn’t impressed.  On a whim, I called her Minnie Rose- my great grandmother’s name.  Immediately her entire demeanor changed!  She became relaxed & more confident.  Since then, Miss Minnie Rose has been coming out of her shell more with each passing moment.  It’s a beautiful thing to see!

The other cats & dog love her already.  Luke, one of my Norwegian forest cat mix boys, is quite protective of her.  Punkin, my young orange tabby, has quite a crush on her- he howls that tom cat howl when he’s around her.  Chester, my 8 year old tuxedo, flirted with her when she hissed at him until she relaxed completely.  Sabrina, my 3 year old black medium hair girl, & Valentine, a 5 year old tortie, are on very friendly terms with Minnie Rose.  The other cats are giving her space until  she is more comfortable, I think.  Dixie, my 11 year old American eskimo dog was playing with her a couple of days ago.  It’s been so awesome to see everyone welcoming Minnie Rose into the family so lovingly.  *shameless furmom brag moment*

Minnie’s former owners said she hid a lot under the bed.  I think she was hit too, because if I move too quickly or she hears an angry tone of voice, she flinches.  She is flinching less though, & I think it’s because she is realizing she’s in a safe, happy, loving home now.  That’s making her more confident

I’m looking forward to many happy, fun years with little Minnie Rose.  She is already a blessing to our little family.  🙂

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Narcissists & Animals

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!

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God Wants To Bless You!

I want to share this story to encourage you today, Dear Readers.  God does care about infinitely about you, & what you care about!  He also still does miracles today- miracles weren’t reserved only for Biblical times!  I know it can be hard to believe such things, especially when you’re dealing with a narcissistic mother, but they’re very true!

As I mentioned in this post, hubby & I had to take one of our cats into the vet for his annual checkup on Monday.  I was to call the vet yesterday for the results of his bloodwork, & wow, did I get a surprise!  The vet’s exact words were, “His bloodwork was PERFECT.”  I was stunned, & even asked the vet if he was sure.  He was!  I asked about the liver carcinoma that Pretty Boy had been diagnosed with in October, 2013.  The vet was obviously confused, & said there’s no sign of it- maybe the other vet who saw him mistook a benign mass for carcinoma.  Normally, I respect anything this man says- he’s been our vet for 20 years, & is among the best in the Baltimore area.  However, the other vet who diagnosed Pretty Boy with the liver carcinoma didn’t make a mistake.  She was almost as good as he is, plus she did a blood test & an ultrasound, so there was no doubt as to her diagnosis.  It obviously also difficult for her to tell me there was nothing that could be done for him, & she didn’t expect him to be around much longer.  I began to pray for him regularly as soon as we got this news, & God truly answered my prayers!

God truly hears our prayers, even when we feel like He doesn’t.  He also truly cares about what we care about.  When you pray, please be encouraged that God is listening!  He may not answer your prayer as you think He should, but still trust Him!  He knows best, & is worthy of your faith!

And, for those of you pet parents reading this, please never doubt that God loves your furkids even more than you do.  I know, many in the Christian community doubt this, believing animals have no souls, or are only here for people to use (or eat) as they see fit.  I must disagree with this however!  Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, “For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even [in the end] one thing befalls them both. As the one dies, so dies the other. Yes, they all have one breath and spirit, so that a [a]man has no preeminence over a beast; for all is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!” (AMP)  Here it is in the Message translation, too “19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?”  This tells me that God loves animals just as much as people.  So, I encourage you to pray for your pets!  They are entrusted to us to care for them, to feed & shelter them, to love them.. what better way to care for them than to pray for them?

For further information about what the Bible says about animals, I have written a book on the topic.  You can find it at this link: Pawprints On Our Hearts paperback or Pawprints On Our Hearts ebook

Also, here is a picture of my handsome little miracle kitty, Pretty Boy…

pretty boy's best diabetes day ever 01272014

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Feline Stroke

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.
Cold limbs.
Seizures.

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.

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Update For April 18, 2014

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..

image

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

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

Pets Can Help C-PTSD

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.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

December 22, 2013

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! 

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November 10, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

While I was lying in bed unable to sleep yet again last night, I realized something.. I haven’t given any updates on Pretty Boy since I asked for prayer for him.  I did on my personal fb page but not here.  I forgot.  I am sorry!  Thank you so much to those who have been praying for him!  I pray God will bless you abundantly in return for the favor you have done for me!  

Pretty Boy’s maintaining pretty well.. lost a little more weight I think, but is in good spirits & about as active as he ever was (which isn’t very..he’s always been the couch potato type.  lol).  Evidence says that the problems with his liver are indeed a carcinoma, as the vet suspected.  She doesn’t expect him to have much time left.  However, he is going to enjoy every possible moment of whatever time he has left, & he is getting the best care possible to help him be as healthy as possible until the end.  He is surrounded by love, especially from his brother who is constantly close to him these days.  He seems quite happy, frequently looking for snuggles from the other animals or my husband or I.

Logically I know my vet knows what she is talking about with our situation.  She is an amazing vet, & full of love, compassion & insight.  She also knows Pretty Boy really well.  However, I also know God is capable of miracles.  And, when this type of situation arises, which sadly is inevitable when you have pets, I have learned to lean on Him more than usual, expecting those miracles.  I have been asking Him to give Pretty Boy the best possible days, & to help him not to suffer.  I also ask God for a complete healing, but if that is not His will, then when Pretty Boy’s time comes, please make it quick for his sake.  I have prayed like this for every animal I’ve had, & every single one has not suffered.  Even the ones with long standing illnesses were able to take less medications & lived longer than the doctors expected with a good quality of life.  God has truly honored my prayers, & I am truly grateful for that.  

I never have been comfortable with euthanasia, & do not want to be put in the position again of having to decide whether or not my pet lives or dies.  I have been there only one time, & it was horrifying.  When my beautiful snowshoe kitty Jasmine had her first stroke, we took her to the vet.  He said she had either cancer or pancreatic issues, & wouldn’t live much longer.  I should “just put her down.”  As I looked into her lovely blue eyes, I just knew in my heart not only was that not right for her, but she didn’t want it.  I told the vet no, & he scolded me for being “selfish & inhumane.”   I have never seen that vet again, & he left the practice shortly after.  I took her home, & within a couple of days, saw Jasmine was recovering rather than getting worse.  I then met a friend who is a vet tech who diagnosed Jasmine has having had a stroke, NOT cancer or pancreatic problems!  She lived almost exactly 2 more years, healthy & happy, with only a slight sway to her hips the sign of having had a stroke.  If I had listened to the vet, she would have died prematurely!  We would’ve missed out on 2 years with one of the most amazing cats God’s ever made, & she would’ve missed out on 2 years of love & fun with her family.  Also, during that 2 years, Jasmine had 3 more strokes, only her final one 2 days before she passed away being quite severe.  The other ones, as soon as possible after the stroke, she would walk the house over & over.  That may have saved her life- it made the blood clot move through her body rather than staying in one spot.  She was so smart, strong & an inspiration.

I know I’m kinda all over the place with this post..so sorry!  Please bear with me- not much sleep has been happening the last couple of nights!  Worrying about Pretty Boy & difficult conversations with my mother 2 days in a row have affected my sleep habits. 

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November 5, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I thought I’d keep things light, & share some pictures today.. 🙂

First, it was 3 years ago today my handsome Norwegian forest cat mixes, Bo & Luke came into my life.  

This is how teeny they were when we first adopted them.. Luke is the one with the orange on his face, Bo has a white face.

 

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& here they are today, all grown up..

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And secondly, I love autumn.  This is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love the cool days, the peacefulness of the earth settling in for a winter’s rest, the roaring fire in the fireplace, snuggly blankets & sweaters & most of all, the beautiful colors of the changing leaves.   This morning, I took a bunch of pictures around my house.. here they are… enjoy!!ImageImageImageImage!!Image!

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Wednesday October 23, 2013

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!

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October 20, 2013

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.  🙂

 

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October 17, 2013

Good afternoon, Dear Readers…

I’d like to ask you for a favor today.  Please pray for my wonderful 11 year old kitty, Pretty Boy.  He’s been battling diabetes for the last 2 years, & recently his glucose levels went absolutely haywire.  Today I took him to the vet.  His liver is enlarged & malfunctioning.  It may be due to his glucose levels going crazy, or it may be due to a carcinoma (cancer) in the liver.  Neither is a good scenario, but I am hoping & praying it is related to the diabetes & we can fix this.  The vet says she thinks it may be carcinoma, but I believe God can heal Pretty Boy no matter her diagnosis.  She is a wonderful & knowledgeable vet, but God knows even more.

Here’s a picture of my handsome little guy… thank you so much for your prayers!

 

pretty boy on towel rack

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October 12, 2013

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.

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September 10, 2013

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..

 

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February 23, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!

This won’t be a long post today- I am still not feeling so well after losing my sweet Bear the other day.  Thank you to everyone who has offered condolences & prayers.  They are so appreciated!  Everyone is deeply sad & missing our special Chow Chow.  I’ve also heard a few things I wish I hadn’t since we lost Bear.  I wanted to share so in case anyone who is reading this knows someone who has lost a pet, please do NOT say the following…

  • You should be glad he’s in a better place/not suffering/out of pain.
  • We can’t be selfish & want a pet to stay with us when they’re suffering.
  • You should have put him down.

Please remember- when someone loses a pet, it is very much like losing a child.  This person has lost someone they love, nurture, care for, medicate, feed, nurse when sick, & everything else a parent does for a child.  This person didn’t lose “just an animal.”  This person lost someone they loved deeply, & it is going to take time to learn to live without him/her.  I can’t say pet parents ever “get over” losing their beloved pet- we simply learn to adapt the best we can without that special furkid.  

This is my Bear with Bo as a kitten…he LOVED being the proud parent.  When my husband & I adopted Bo & Luke in 2010, Bear was thrilled.  He loved cats, but seemed to have an especially soft spot for kittens.  Notice the “proud mama” smile.. 🙂  

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I wanted to pop in to say thank you, as well as to post a very interesting link I read this morning.  It’s about discovering your “apology language.”  Remember Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” that was popular probably 15 years ago or so??  It was a really good book!  Well, he’s created this quiz to help you determine your apology language, too, in other words, the type of apology that you need.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/apology/

It’s very interesting- take a few minutes to check it out!

Wishing everyone a very good Saturday!

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December 27, 2012

Hello, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well!  I also hope your Christmas holiday was a good one.

Ours was nice & peaceful.  We played board games, & watched “A Christmas Story’ on tv.  I fixed us a nice German style dinner.  Exactly the kind of day I like.  I have lost my love of the more traditional Christmases after many, many bad Christmases over the last 20+ years, so the more non-traditional things suit me fine.  

I’ve been working on the new book.  It’s going pretty well- about 70 pages so far.  Today for some reason, I hit a writing block, so I’m going to ignore the book for a day or two.  I think it’s just stress- I’m not good at handling stress anymore.  Anyway, distance can be very beneficial to alleviating writer’s block.  When you do go back to writing, it’s like you have a fresh view of your work, & creativity can flow easier.  Most times, anyway.  

So I’ve been using this free time to read a wonderful book- “Homer’s Odyssey” by Gwen Cooper.  Homer is a blind kitty, & he is utterly amazing.  If you love animals, at least cats, it’s a great read!!  Homer reminds me of a smaller, blind version of my first cat, Magic.  Highly intelligent, devoted, protective, loving, playful.  Quite a special guy!

Hope everyone has a great day, & in case I don’t get back here in the next few days, a very blessed new year!!!

 

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October 21, 2012

Happy Sunday, Dear Readers!

Last night was a tough one.  Our 4 month old kitten, Sabrina, was sick, & we had to run her to the emergency vet.  Thankfully, it turned out not to be anything terribly serious- she has a very nasty ear infection, & may be deaf in her right ear from it.  It’s also given her a nasty case of vertigo.  Since she’s so young, if that happens, she’ll adapt- cats are so flexible!  Also thankfully, today she is doing better already.  Still not up to par, of course, but improving fast.  I am so grateful to God for taking care of my baby girl!!

While we were at the vet last night, a lady brought in her small dog who had been attacked.  The dog died almost immediately.  This poor lady wandered the hospital, holding her dead dog, wailing in her grief.  My heart just broke for her.  I’m telling you this for a couple of reasons..

First, please pray for this lady.  Her heart was obviously broken.  She needs comfort & to know God’s comfort & love.  Thank you!

Secondly, if you don’t have pets, then please remember- the connection between a human & their pets can be as strong as a parent/child bond.  If someone you know loses their pet, please be gentle & sensitive with them.  I have been on the receiving end of insensitivity when I’ve lost one of my furkids, & it really hurts!  Already being in pain from my loss seemed to magnify the hurt from the insensitivity.

Take care, Dear Readers, & have a blessed Sunday!

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October 21, 2012 · 12:07 PM

August 2, 2012

Good morniing, Dear Readers!  I hope this post finds you well!

So I was talking with a good friend of mine yesterday, & had a new book idea.  Maybe not overly original, but I was thinking of writing about cat ownership.  If you know me personally or are familiar with my work (especially “Pawprints On Our Hearts”), you know I love cats, & understand them well.  It would include all kinds of information, such a how to choose a cat or kitten, nutritional needs, emotional needs, general car, health information & more.  I’m thinking of doing this partly to help other cat parents out there, as well as get me back to writing since I haven’t been able to do much in a few months.  If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

Have a great day, everyone!  God bless you!

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July 19, 2012

Well, Dear Readers, it’s a boy!  And a girl!  We now have 2 tiny kittens.  A good friend of mine knew of a litter of kittens in need, with no mother.  Eric & I have adopted 2 of them, although I wish we could have adopted the entire litter..  Beautiful little angels that they are.  Zippy is a shorthair, & his sister, Sabrina will be a medium hair.  Both are that lovely dark sable color (dark brown, almost black) which is my favorite color for a kitty.  These babies are already fitting in well- the others are watching out for them, like good big brothers & sisters. 

So, chances are I won’t be on much for a while.. such young kittens need the attention of their mama often.  I’ll post a picture as soon as possible.

Take care, Dear Readers, & God bless you!

 

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