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Category: Cats

A Big, Significant Loss {RIP Phoenix}

A Big, Significant Loss {RIP Phoenix}

The past week has been a sad one around our house.  Our beloved cat, Phoenix, passed away on Saturday after a steep decline in his health over the past months.  He went from being a big, healthy 16 lbs to 6 lbs in two years.  He was always hungry but his body stopped absorbing food.  We had him on medicine for the past year but it stopped being effective recently and Phoenix took a turn for the worse. It was so sad to watch and reminiscent of how we lost Pharaoh and Dusty just two years ago.  Imagine having 3/4 of your feline family wiped out in two years.  I cried every day for two months after Pharaoh and Dusty died.  Having the baby here is the only thing helping us keep it together this time, otherwise we would be overcome with sadness.

Phoenix was such an incredible cat.  Whoever said abysinnians weren’t lap caps would never believe how much of a baby Phoenix was.  He was so friendly and always welcomed guests to our home by sniffing them like a dog.  We always joked that he was a dog trapped in a cat’s body because he had so many characteristics of man’s best friend.   He was Erick’s best bud for the past 12 years, since we raised him as a young kitten.  Phoenix (along with Romeo) was our first fur baby and will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

We love you, Phoenix.  Say hi to Dusty and Pharaoh for us…

Missing My Furry Babies {Pharaoh & Dusty}

Missing My Furry Babies {Pharaoh & Dusty}

It has been several months now since our beloved Pharaoh and Dusty each passed away and not a day goes by that I don’t think about and miss them.  They were incredibly special to me and I have suffered a deep loss in my heart.  I try not to think about it too much because I still get choked up.  Today especially.  I often see their ghosts…. or I mistake Phoenix for Pharaoh or Isis for Dusty.  I don’t think I will ever stop missing them yet a new kitten is not in my future anytime soon.  These two were irreplaceable.

Thanks for listening to my sob story 😉

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On this date in the past I have blogged about….

Top 10: Things I miss about Dusty

Top 10: Things I miss about Dusty

I have quite a few more cat/animal posts that I will be writing about in the next few weeks, hopefully you’ll stick around and not be too bored 😉

It has been almost a week since My Dusty died and although I am feeling more at peace with it, there are many things about him that I will always miss

1.  He was my shadow, always following me around

2.  He was a great cuddler and loved to sit in my lap or on my chest

3.  Purring in my ear at night and wanting to sleep as close to me as possible (if not ON me)

4. Hanging out with me in the bathroom while I took a bath

5. Dusty kisses (even if he did have stinky breath)

6. He was extremely passive and non-aggressive

7. He was great around all kids and animals, very gentle

8. He could sense when I was coming home and was always there to greet me

9. He would come when I called him, no matter where he was in the house or if he was sound asleep

10. The days when he was a very fat gray cuddly koala bear

11. He always hung out with me on the deck while I sat in the sun or read a book

Yep, I really miss him 🙁

The Saddest Goodbye {R.I.P. Dusty}

The Saddest Goodbye {R.I.P. Dusty}

A few days ago I lost my best friend.

Warning: This might be hard to read.  It is very hard for me to write.

My sweet, sweet Dusty cat. I have never felt more unconditional love and no one has absorbed more of my tears than my Dusty.  Our bond was truly unique as far as cats go.

He was 17 and had lived a wonderful, long life.

A year ago Dusty was a fat 13 lb kitty.  In the last six months he dropped to a bony 6 lbs. The past two months have been especially hard as we watched his decline. He had become blind, nearly deaf, clumsy and uncoordinated. We knew he was living on borrowed time but had sincerely hoped that he would hang on as long as possible.

The past week was especially painful to watch the old guy as he walked in circles, into walls, etc, not having a clue where he was going.  He couldn’t find any of the litter boxes and was having accidents.  He would get stuck in places he shouldn’t be.  He was having trouble walking up/down stairs and could no longer jump even just a foot onto the sofa.  It was heart-wrenching to watch.

Tuesday night was the true beginning of the end when something terrible happened.  Dusty walked through the bannister of the stairs and fell six feet straight down to the foyer, then fell through the next bannister to the basement another five feet.  E heard the crash and discovered Dusty, nearly lifeless.  Poor cat hadn’t been able to express his urine in at least a day and everything let loose at this time.  I have never felt so helpless as I did to see him lying there like that.  He looked so much like Pharaoh did on his last night, it was almost more than we could bear.  That was one of the hardest, saddest nights of my life as I lay on the floor next to him so that he would be comforted to know his best friend was there with him when it was time for him to go.  I got very little sleep if any that night as I cried and said my goodbyes.

We spent as much time with him that next morning as we made the decision that was unavoidable at that point.  Dusty was in pain and was suffering.  I think he was still holding on just for me but I couldn’t bear to see him suffer any longer.  With pain and suffering like I never knew possible, we brought Dusty to the vet. We were with him, holding him and kissing him as he died.  It was the saddest goodbye, I can’t even think about it without bawling like a baby.  My best friend is gone.

The hole in my heart that appeared after Pharaoh’s death exactly a month ago has now ripped in half.  I don’t think a day has gone by in the past six weeks that I haven’t broken down in tears at some point, this is one very sad period in my life.   Thank God my guy and I have each other to get through this, I don’t know what I would do without him. I pray to God that he doesn’t take my Gramps next or anyone else that is close to me, I don’t think I could handle it.

I have many special memories of Dusty and will be posting a tribute to him soon.

Sweet Memories of Pharaoh

Sweet Memories of Pharaoh

Pharaoh.

Well, Hello Handsome Pharaoh

Baby Boy
Little Turkey
Monkey Boy
Little Shit
Stinker.
Lover Boy
Little Buddy
Little White Lion
Forever Kitten

He had a lot of names and they all fit him, depending on his mood.

It has been two weeks since Pharaoh died, and not a day goes by that I haven’t thought of him and missed him like crazy.

I want to do something special to honor his memory, so after a three-year hiatus, I plan to start scrapping again.  I will be making a special mini album of Pharaoh and wanted to share my memories of him here as well.

Pharaoh joined our family in November of 2002.  We had gotten his older brothers Phoenix and Romeo a year earlier, in the summer of 2001.  We had been talking about getting another abyssinian kitten for some time but then in October 2002 an older Russian Blue named Dusty came into our lives unexpectedly.  We had plenty of love to give to our furry family and just a few short weeks after we adopted Dusty, we decided to also buy the abyssinian kitten we had been desiring.

He was just ten weeks old when we got him from the breeder in central MN.  He was just a little runt and oh so stinkin cute.  Here he is eating with Phoenix, Dusty and Romeo.

Four cats eating (baby Pharaoh)

I’ll never forget the night we brought Baby Boy home.  He was so small compared to our other cats and we were not sure how they were going to react to him, so we kept him in the room that at that time was our office.  In there he had food, water, a bed and a litter box.  At one point in the night I went in to check on him….except I couldn’t find him…..anywhere!! Where could this tiny cat be? I checked in the vents, I checked in the closet…. he was nowhere to be found! Panic set in and there was only one other place to check…. the big wooden desk.  I pulled out the filing cabin drawer and sure enough….. there he was!!??  After inspection I come to find a small 4″ round hole in the back of the drawer that was meant for computer cords, etc.  That little stinker had crawled right through the hole from the back of the desk!! Abyssinians are notorious for their inquisitive and highly energetic nature, so we knew we were going to have our hands full.

Almost instantly after meeting Phoenix, Pharaoh recognized his own kind and the two of them bonded very strongly…

Phoenix Pharaoh Snuggling Phoenix & Baby Pharaoh Pharaoh Phoenix

Pharaoh also loved his brother Romeo (who was with us until he died unexpectedly in Aug 2003)

Pharaoh & Romeo

Pharaoh was also Dusty’s little buddy

Pharaoh Dusty Pharaoh Dusty Pharaoh Dusty Pharaoh Dusty

Pharaoh never really grew out of that kitten phase.  In fact, we called him our “Forever Kitten”.  He never got bigger than 8 lbs at his heaviest and was always a runt.  He was such a cute little shit.

One day in 2003 when he was just a year old I caught him taking a nap with all the stuffed animals in our guest room

Pharaoh in the Stuffed Animals Pharaoh Tongue

Here he is lounging next to Bagheera from The Jungle Book

Pharaoh & Bagheera

He always had an obsession with the sink.  How cute is he??!!

Pharaoh in Sink 1

He could cuddle up and sleep anywhere.  He had many favorite sleeping spots

Pharaoh Sleeping Day 13 ~ Sleepy Pharaoh

Pharaoh was a dreamer.  Confined to a life indoors, he spent a lot of time in one of our many windows, watching the world outside.  **Make sure to keep reading and you will find a story about his escape one hot April day!**

Pharaoh

Like I’ve mentioned, Pharaoh was a freeze baby.  He loved to sit on the heating vent in the dining room when the furnace kicked on.

Pharaoh ~ a new perspective Pharaoh

My camera caught him in mid-yawn (atop that heating vent again!)

Pharaoh Yawning

Every morning since Pharaoh was just a kitten, he used to hang out with me in the bathroom.  He would sit in the toilet or counter while I showered and then run off with my hair binder. Little shit! He would come back and hang out while I put on my makeup and did my hair, etc.  He would always give me kisses at this time too, and more often than not he would jump into my arms so I would snuggle him.

We joke that each of our cats is another species of animal.  Pharaoh is a monkey.  With his long, lean body and extra long tail and the tendency to jump around from high places, that is who he was.  He also loved to sit on our shoulders.

He loved to be held close to the heart.  He was a lap cat and always wanted to snuggle.  Part of this is because he was a perma-freeze baby, part because he just truly liked to be around us.  Since he was a kitten he had the habit of jumping up into your arms, even if you were standing!  I could never read a book or work on my laptop without Pharaoh being part of the mix.  I admit it was kind of annoying some of the time and Pharaoh got shooed away quite a bit 🙁  He was always into everything!!  Even though he had a million toys, he could entertain himself with just about anything.  I smile thinking about that little stinker in all my ribbons and supplies when I was an avid scrapper.  At the time it drove me crazy!!  One famous line in our house was “You’re lucky you’re so cute, Pharaoh”

As sweet as Pharaoh was, he was also naughty at times.  I’ll never forget one unseasonably hot day in April, 2004.  I found the following story in an e-mail that I sent to friends and family on 4/29/04

So, you know how it was really nice out yesterday? Before I left for work I opened a window on the 2nd story of our house just slightly. At 3:30 pm while I was in training at work the vibrate on my phone started going nuts for about 5 minutes. I snuck out into the hallway to check my voicemail and it’s E saying, “Pharaoh broke through the window screen and jumped ship.” This is when panic set in. Anyone who knows anything about abyssinians knows that they are one of the smartest, most highly energetic and curious cat breeds. Apparently once Pharaoh got outside he didn’t know what to do…my cats have never been outside other than supervised visits on the deck…he sat outside the window on the lower level while his brothers sat on the other side of the window keeping him company. So when E discovers the broken window screen, he sticks his head out the window, sees Pharaoh, and pharaoh takes off, knowing that he was in trouble. So where does an indoor cat go when he discovers freedom for the first time?? THATS WHAT I’D LIKE TO KNOW! I rushed home from work, grabbed some pictures and paper, and started putting “Lost Cat” signs all over the entire neighborhood. The community in which I live has many townhouse developments surrounded by wilderness in every direction. I literally walked around every space within a one mile radius over and over, calling for Pharaoh and jingling his favorite cat toy, posting posters, handing out fliers, having the neighborhood on the look-out, knocking on neighbors’ doors, and filing police reports in Washington and Anoka Co until 9:45 last night. I was exhausted all day before this from getting less than 5 hours of sleep to stay up and watch my T-Wolves and had a bad case of allergies, so you can imagine how I felt after pounding the pavement for nearly 6 hours in 90 degree weather, with my emotions on high. We had many fears that someone had found him and would keep him, he would get hit by a car, he was totally lost and would never find his way back to our house when every other house looks exactly like ours, or he had been eaten by a large bird or something. The worst part was our other cat Phoenix, frantically searching the house for his missing brother. Phoenix already lost his best friend when Romy died last summer, I couldn’t bear the thought of him losing his brother as well.
I came home, put some tuna outside the lower window and laid down to think. I was thinking about the upcoming storm that was predicted for last night and just prayed he would find his way home or someone would call with information. I knew the little shit was terrified, but also afraid that he might like this newly discovered freedom in the wilderness of Hugo and not come home.
Well a little after 10’o’clock, the phone rings. My neighbor’s dog was going nuts and when he went to check to see what it was, he saw Pharaoh!! We all quickly went out with our flashlights and tried to catch the scared little guy. He ran into the open garage of some neighbor I had never met, so I knocked on the door, asked the guy to shut his garage and let me come in to get my cat!! Poor Pharaoh was cowering under the car and didn’t want to come out! I eventually got him out and brought him home. What a reunion! Phoenix was so relieved he practically licked all the fur off him (LOL!) and chased each other around the house. I think Pharaoh was very happy to be back home and we were all able to get a good-night’s sleep!
Ahhh, if only I could re-live this adventure through Pharaoh’s eyes so I could really know what he was up to or thinking about!  – Kristi

Yes, Pharaoh was a little stinker.  I am glad I had that story saved in my work e-mail archives 😉

Remember a few months back when that little Turkey ate through this bag and box of chow mein?! I LMAO every time I think of it.  Apparently he found chow mein irresistible. lol

Speaking of food, he always had something to say and he said it persistently in his high pitched little cry….. especially if food was involved.  Or if he wanted food to be involved! He wasn’t shy if he thought he was going to get something out of it.  He would try to be nonchalant and affectionate if food was around, but we could always see right through him because we knew what he really wanted!

There is so  much I could say about this very special kitty, so I will take the liberty of adding to this post as more memories come to mind.  I also hope to start working on his scrapbook…. possibly even this week!

I miss that little stinker

An Incredible Gift {Statue of Pharaoh}

An Incredible Gift {Statue of Pharaoh}

Last week, just two days after Pharaoh died, one of my besties returned home from a trip abroad.  Although she was gone during the week Pharaoh got sick and died, her husband had somehow gotten word to her about our sad news (unbeknownst to me).  With less than 24 hrs until her flight to return home, she made it her mission to find a kitty figurine of some kind to give to us in remembrance of Pharaoh.

I truly believe something was guiding her in the right direction because she couldn’t have found a better gift.  I had not been expecting her to bring me anything and I did not even know that she knew about Pharaoh before she came home so I was speechless when I opened what she brought for us.

A statue that truly looks just like Pharaoh!!!!!

Statue of Pharaoh 2

I seriously can’t get over how much it looks like him!!!! Same color, same size, same body shape….. wow!!

He used to look just like this from behind….

Statue of Pharaoh (back)

Did I mention I love Calla Lilies and have a faux bouquet in a vase in my living room? Love that this statue was painted with calla lilies 😉

Statue of Pharaoh (side 2) Statue of Pharaoh (close up)

My friend was worried that it was too soon after his death and didn’t know what our reaction would be to this statue that looked so much like him.  My response was “I think it is one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received.  If  by chance I ever came across this statue on my own some time in the future, I wouldn’t be able to leave it there.  It looks so much like Pharaoh, I would for sure buy it for myself as a wonderful tribute to our Baby Boy!”

Thanks so much NiNi, we love it!

 

Gone to Kitty Heaven {Pharaoh}

Gone to Kitty Heaven {Pharaoh}

My heart is broken in a million little pieces and I am more sad than I have been on a very long time.

Yesterday morning we said goodbye to our little abyssinian, Pharaoh, who became sick over the weekend and went into a coma after complete organ failure (specifically liver and kidneys).  It was a rapid, unexpected decline that we were not prepared for.  We were with him when he died which is somewhat comforting, although it was devastating and horrible to watch.

It has been a very difficult couple of days with Pharaoh following a difficult couple of weeks dealing with both my Gramps and my other beloved kitty, Dusty, who were both on their death beds last week.  Never did I expect it to be Pharaoh that we would be saying goodbye to this soon.  He was only 8 years old.

I will be back with many fun and naughty stories and photos of this incredibly sweet, one-of-a-kind kitty when I can type about it without getting a flood of tears all over my computer.

There is a huge void in our home and a hole in our hearts as we mourn our loss.

I just can’t believe he isn’t around anymore, he was such a noticeable and vocal part of our household.  Everywhere we turn there are reminders of our sweet boy…..
Pharaoh ~ a new perspective

Pharaoh Portrait

Day 13 ~ Sleepy Pharaoh

Pharaoh Kitty Paws

 

Pharaoh, I hope you have found peace in Kitty Heaven.
We will forever miss you.

You were more than “just a cat”, you were our pride and joy.

Good Thing Pharaoh is so Cute {Naughty Kitty!}

Good Thing Pharaoh is so Cute {Naughty Kitty!}

Good thing Pharaoh is so cute and sweet….

Pharaoh ~ a new perspective

….. because he can be a very, very naughty kitty at times.

One night last week I had to work late so I stopped at the pet store to get cat food, then swung by Tai Pan to pick up some take-out for dinner.  As soon as I got home, the first thing I did was feed the cats (expensive, premium low-carb cat food by EVO).  I set my bag of Chinese food on the counter and ran downstairs for a few minutes.  When I came back upstairs, I see Pharaoh jump off the counter that the Chinese food was on and see this…..

That little #%%&#%# not only ate through the bag, but right into the container of chow mein!!! Literally minutes after I gave them their $50/bag food.

I was dumbfounded.  Phoenix and Pharaoh are both known as thieves, but I never in a million years would have believed that he would chew through this bag and the cartons of Chinese!!!

Nothing is safe from these cats at my house!

Sunny Saturday Kitty Portraits

Sunny Saturday Kitty Portraits

I have been really wanting to try out my new lens but came down with a bad cold the day after it came in the mail.  I was feeling slightly better this morning and since the sun was out, I was itching to give it a whirl.  Guess who I got to pose for me? All four cats: Phoenix, Pharaoh, Isis and Dusty!

SIDENOTE: I have blogged about the cool stuff you can do with Flickr before, but Flickr is my new absolute favorite website.  I plan to blog more about Flickr again very soon, but one example of the amazingness is that the following photos I was able to pull into my blog directly from my Flickr photostream…. with all of the photo EXIF information stored to them.  That way you can always see what settings I used without me having to do a single thing (Sorry if that annoys you but I like it and think it is helpful to other photographers so deal with it!).  You can also click on any photo and it will take you to my Flickr Photostream where you can leave me a comment on any photo if you have a Flickr acct.  I love it! (Just another example of the amazing capabilites of using a WordPress installed blog.  FYI- the Plugin I am using is called Flickpress. If you use Flickr and have a WordPress installed blog…….I highly recommend!!

Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/160
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 250
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/2500
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 400
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/1000
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 250
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/2500
Aperture: f/1.6
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 400
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/250
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 400
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/320
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 400
Flash: No Flash
Camera: NIKON D5000
Exposure: 1/2000
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: +2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 250
Flash: No Flash
Isis the Ice Princess

Isis the Ice Princess

This is Isis, our female Manx.  Her icy-personality has earned her the name “Ice Princess”.  It isn’t often that she’ll pose for me like this, but I’ll take it!

F5.6   1/50  ISO400

F5.6 1/50  ISO 800

PS You can also check out recent photos of two of my other cats, Dusty and Pharaoh

Dusty Boy Blue

Dusty Boy Blue

I think I have introduced you to my shadow before, Dusty the Russian Blue.

I tried to catch him sleeping but of course he woke up when I started to take the photos.  The blue is very pronounced in these pics….. I had my camera set for Tungsten lighting and this is what I got??

f/5.6  1/20 ISO 800 Tungsten

DSC_0339
DSC_0341
DSC_0347 

I kept my aperture and shutter speed settings exactly the same but switched the light source to flash mode (but did not use flash) and this is what I got:

DSC_0346 

What would be a better light source setting to use inside with low lighting when you don't want to use flash??

Pharaoh the White Lion

Pharaoh the White Lion

My little kitty, Pharaoh (aka Baby Boy), is such a little stinker.  Of course he is the sweetest, most affectionate little turkey I know.  He is also a freeze baby (Abyssinians are native to Africa) and loves to sun himself every chance he gets.  The other day I caught him sunning himself in the window and snapped a few pics (with the Canon G10)

IMG_0139 

IMG_0143 

IMG_0147 

PS I think I need to blog about my kitties more often, it has been awhile!

Day 101 ~ Mr. Green Eyes

Day 101 ~ Mr. Green Eyes

My cats are indoor cats but on occasion they are allowed supervised visits on the deck.  Since the natural light is so good, I wanted to try to take advantage of it.  Here is my 14-year old Russian Blue, Dusty, posing for me.  He is such a handsome old guy!
Dailyphoto-dustygreeneyes1000