What We Did On Our Summer VaCATion and Black Cat Appreciation Day by Layla Morgan Wilde
We’re back after a three month hiatus and boy do we we have news and lots of new photos. Settle back and let’s catch up shall we? Before we do, it looks like with the new look, the comments aren’t posting. Sorry about that. Please leave comment or say hello on Instagram, fb messenger or email info @catwisdom101.com.
August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Scroll down or join our celebration at our black cat community on Instagram @BlackCatsofIG
WE MOVED! We’re still in Westchester County, NY but in slightly more rural Pleasantville. Moving sucks at the best of times but we downsized with a massive accumulation of stuff over 18 years. It was very emotional doing a Marie Kondo style purge but liberating. Mind you we rented a big storage unit just in case. Neither my husband and I are minimalists but our new home has a better flow and most importantly, the CATS LOVE IT!
It was sad leaving the cat memorial garden with Merlin, Coco, Gris Gris and Radish but we’ll always have photos and memories.
Moving with cats is stressful and the goal was to minimize stress for all by moving the cats to our new home before the movers arrived. After breakfast, all four cats were placed in carriers. Everyone cooperated except Nou Nou who played Houdini among the boxes. Chasing a cat under furniture again and again in circles, five minutes before the movers arrived is not for the feint of heart. The rumble of the large truck in the driveway scared her and we managed to grab her and loaded the rest of the gang into back seat of a pickup truck. Hubby drove while I tried to calm the chorus of caterwauling. (sorry, no photos).
The laundry room served as the kitty safety zone with beds, scratching posts, hidey holes, toys, food, water and litter boxes. I stayed with them until the movers had come and gone. It’s impossible to predict how any cat will respond in a new environment but what happened with our gang surprised me. We brought familiar cat beds, scratching posts and toys which helped them de-stress.
Odin adjusted instantly and quite frankly is happier than ever enjoying an indoor/outdoor life.
Domino, our former feral adventurer hid under the bed for part of the day for weeks. He didn’t venture downstairs or outdoors for two months. He goes now goes out briefly and stays very close to home. He has not fully explored the very safe and private grounds. Of all our cat products, you’ll find him most days on a tiny cardboard scratcher. Go figure. He remains a devoted daddy’s boy.
Nou Nou has not adjusted well thus far. She refuses to go downstairs and spends most of her days in bed. Given her history as a hoarder rescue with emotional issues, we accept her as she is. She has bonded more with Domino and sleeps on hubby’s head.
Domino loves Clyde’s fountain in the living room we so much we had get another one for the bedroom. They aren’t close friends but Clyde doesn’t mind him hanging out by his hideaway. It’s a bookcase shelf he selected as his special place on day one. We added cushions and a cooling mat. Old cats often have arthritis making jumping difficult. We added more cushions for a “leg up”.
YES, Clyde is still ALIVE. When last we blogged, it was touch and go whether he would be well enough to move to the new house. At 19.5 years with diabetes, CKD, arthritis and deafness he is enjoying a remarkable second or third act. He underwent an overnight personality change becoming more confident and calmer. He didn’t want to sleep with me anymore but we remain close. The most surprising change was an instant desire to go outside.
CLYDE has never expressed any desire to go outdoors. For the first time in 19 years he experienced going outside! Closely supervised in our safe garden, he enjoys fresh botanical scents and tasting grass for the first time. Of all the possible vegetation, he zoomed in on grass. Must be in his cat DNA. We follow him around or he sits with us for a bit and he decides when to go back. He likes to go out several times a day but only for 5 minutes or so.
As a very old cat he no longer plays and had lost his curiosity about the world around him. He now responds to the rich variety of scents and earthy sensations.
We celebrated three birthdays. Odin and Nou Nou are both June babies and Geminis and Layla is a Leo. Odin clearly knows he’s a Gemini.
Layla’s news. I’m not big on birthdays especially this year when I received a diagnosis of Lyme disease. I’ve been dealing with chronic illness for a long time but the news added a new layer of challenges and insights. I’m getting treatment and undergoing lifestyle changes. It’s also been a very painful summer of neck pain, and sciatica punctuated with visits to a doctor, chiropractor, dentist, acupuncturist and loads of self-care. On a positive note, I’m really happy in our new home and have relished not having to work and stepping away from social media. So much so I forgot about our Cat Wisdom 101 8th blog anniversary in May!
Clyde hates his daily blood sugar testing which means pricking the ear for blood. He’s much more amenable when tested out in the garden, a healing Zen place full of butterflies and dragonflies.
We explored new territory. It’s very pastoral up on hill with woods and a 1/4 mile driveway far from traffic. Odin met new feline and canine neighbors. There are two Devon Rex sisters who promptly put Odin in his place. Invisible boundaries were drawn and Odin scans his and enemy territory daily from numerous vantage points. An ancient Shibu Inu dog chased Odin once. As retaliation, Odin taunts him whenever possible crossing the invisible line.
Life is good. It’s a hunter’s paradise for Odin. Thankfully, he hasn’t caught much more than a mouse. After hunting outdoors, he continues his vigilance indoors on mouse patrol. Since turning 9 this summer, he’s napping more in the afternoon and hasn’t climbed a tree since we moved here.
A new home means new trees and Odin had to find a favorite tree to scratch. So far he favors this old maple and the roots of beech wood tree. Clyde has no interest in trees but loves the hot stone “massage” on his old bones.
Some of us did yoga and some did not.
We enjoyed bonfires.
We napped and napped and napped. Some things never change.
We helped fertilize the herb garden and flower beds.
We hid in the bushes when the someone mentioned the VET.
We visited the vet and a vet made a house call. We drove to Clyde to Connecticut for a check-up. He’s much adored by the staff at PAWS and everyone remarked how well he looked. That said, his blood work indicated stage 3 CKD and he continues with daily insulin shots and sub-q fluids every second day.
We found a new local vet who makes house calls. It’s pricier but well worth the convenience with very different cats including two famous for hiding when it’s time to go to the vet. Odin is the healthiest of the bunch and Domino is now CKD too. He’s liking his new kidney diet. There’s much more to report but we’re on vacation and want to keep this light.
We tried the new SKOON cat litter made from chunks of diatomaceous earth. It was a big hit with zero dust or tracking, amazing absorption and odor control. Down side: one bag is supposed to last one month per but Clyde pees like a racehorse and it lasted two weeks. All the cats liked it but we found it pricey for multiple cats.
We got a huge litter box with low sides for Clyde to make it easier to climb in but it’s still not big enough. We place puppy pads outside the box for misses. Clyde enjoys taking a luxurious and expansive whiz in the garden some days.
It’s heartening to see huge inroads towards black cat awareness and Black Cat Appreciation Day grow in the media. Clyde says, “If you belong to a mini-panther, lucky you and if you don’t, perhaps there is one in your future.”
Another purrfect way to celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day is by appreciating the dozens of amazing black cats in our nonprofit book. Buy a copy of Black Cats Tell All: True Tales and Incredible Images for yourself or a friend. Warm thanks to everyone who has supported us and for being a dear friend and reader. Hopefully we’ll be back again before summer ends but only if you really, really want us to. If so tell, us your favorite topics or suggestions.
Peace, love and purrs,
Layla, Clyde, Domino, Odin, Nou Nou and the Angels