Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all...we are so blessed to have friends like you in our lives.  Here's to a marvelous 2016 for us all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mancat Monday - The Opening of our Secret Paws Gifts

The boys wanted to open some presents and so we opened our Secret Paws packages from Cinco and Manna at the Playful Kitty.
Oliver was quite curious about the new octopus on a string.  He loves toys that fly around the air!  The new scratcher/bed was a big hit as well! 
Oliver also loved the catnip mice...the orange tailed one was his favorite. 
Here is a photo showing our gifts.  Even the mom had a chocolate cat in the box. 
In true kitty fashion though, the boys preferred to lie with the paper and packaging once everything was opened!  Oliver is hard to see on the hardwood floor, but he is there.  Auntie and I tease all the time that we should have chosen a lighter colored floor! 
I moved the gifts over to them, since they would not cooperate!   
Tanner came around later and took a nice long smell of everything. 
He finally came over and got comfy in the new scratcher/bed.

Thanks Playful Kitty for everything!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Secret Paws has Arrived!

 We had a nice surprise last night, as our Secret Paws package arrived!!  We were curious to see who it was from, so mom let us start to open it.  Thank you, Cinco, Manna and Mom Robin from  Playful Kitty for all the wonderful and fun looking goodies!
Oliver inspected the box, as it was a rather large box! 
The packages were numerous and all wrapped in such pretty paper.  Oliver immediately started trying to eat the ribbon, so mom had to take it off :)  
Oliver is wondering why Cousin Georgie is coming over...there are no presents for him!  We will share with everyone greedy kitties allowed in this house.
Tanner loved that some were marked specifically for clever! 
I caught Tanner back near the presents later in the evening...does he look "caught" to you?

We will open our gifts a few at a time to spread the joy and celebration out.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

This post will be two-fold.  First we will have a Tanner update, then a Devon Remembrance.

Last Thursday, Tanner had a visit to the vet school.  He repeated his abdominal ultrasound, blood work and they did a urinalysis on him.  Short answer - All Clear - No Evidence of Disease!
Tanner came home with quite a bruise from the urinalysis procedure.  Thankfully, by Sunday, it was all but gone.  I love technology and being able to easily monitor something with a quick snap of a photo with your phone!
Tanner's blood work values all came back better than before.

Phosphorus - Normal
Potassium - Normal (high end)
Sodium - Normal (low end - monitor)
BUN - 52 (stable)
Creatinine - 1.7 (improved/stable)

He is no longer anemic.

His kidneys and spleen look the same as before.

He had some fluid in his abdomen that has resolved itself.

Right now, they are wanting to continue with the every two month monitoring, but I am going to push it to 4 months.  I monitor him closely at home, and have verified with his regular vet that this is a good move.  He agrees that extending the visits is a smart choice.  I expressed my concern about the uncertainty of treating Tanner again, if/when the cancer returns.   I don't know if physically, Tanner could handle another round or treatment. And, I don't know if financially I could handle another round.  Taking some stress and burden off of us both right now, while he is in remission though will give us both a chance to continue to recover.  I pray we don't have to make any of these decisions anytime soon!

Today is another memorable day in our family, as it marks 3 years since Devon danced off to the Bridge.  
Devon, I think about you often and wonder what your favorite things would be now.  I've been going back through your many volumes of scrapbooks and enjoying the moments we shared. Here is a page that tells all about you.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mancat Monday

This post has many photos!
Since a Christmas tree was not going to work this year for a couple of reasons.  One, Auntie and I leave soon after Christmas for Kenya.  And two, a certain black tornado and his cousin destroyed the tree last year!  However, the house didn't feel festive, so we decided on this Christmas garland! 
I like to buy new ornaments each year to represent fun things that happened during the past year.  Oliver saw a balloon for the first time and loved it!  I found this cute orange balloon and will always be reminded of that fun afternoon with him. 
Tanner and Oliver both have enjoyed my popcorn snack in the evenings. 
Oliver is a member of the Cat Scouts, and this year he has taken numerous Botany Quizzes to earn a badge.  We will always remember the struggle! 
Tanner has sounded like a frog since his treatments began... 
Cute frog family ornament this year... 
Oliver's color is orange and let me tell you it is difficult to find orange ornaments!  This acorn is perfect though because it is orange and Oliver is a nut! 
Another Frog for Tanner... 
Another nod to the Cat Scouts for Oliver.  A s'more wearing orange. 
Tanner loves his milk (lactose free or goat).  This ornament is perfect because it is an orange cat, and a green milk bottle...Tanner's color is green 
I like to get new hearts each year.  This is Tanners because he loves to eat the flowers and leaves in the yard. 
This is Oliver's because it is the one he stole while I was getting them ready to hang :)  Smokey, Devon and Mojo each have a new heart as well.

We hope you liked our decorations and hearing the story behind each one.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

We had wonderful weather on Sunday, so Tanner was able to spend some time outside.  Auntie and I put up the garland on the fence and the wreaths on the windows.  Our house is looking a bit more festive now!
Tanner enjoying some time outside...although finding green leaves to eat is becoming a challenge. 
Auntie and I put a few Christmas decorations around in the house as well.  We are not putting up the trees this year, since our Kenya trip is not far afterwards. We don't want to have to rush to take it all down!  When we were done, we sat down to watch some tv...Tanner was pooped!  He loves to be wrapped in a blanket, so I covered him with the down throw and he fell fast asleep.  

Tanner goes to the vet school on Thursday for his abdominal ultrasound and blood work.  We would appreciate healing purrs.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Secret Paws 2015

 This is the mom to the Four Crazy Cats here.  The boys gave me quite a list of items to pick up for our special friends this year.
Oliver was making sure I had picked up everything...did I get it all Oliver? 
Tanner snoopervised the wrapping... 
Oh no Tanner - we are almost out of paper!

All but one gift managed to get wrapped...we hope our friends like their package!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mancat Monday

Oliver has a fascination with the plastic grocery bags in the pantry.  We have come home many times to find them spread all around!  He is one messy Mancat!

No wonder we call him the "Black Tornado"!

Caught in the Act!

Here's a video of him checking out a few bags...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner continues to do well.  He is eating great and is now proud to be the "Big Lug" once again!  He has regained his spot as the largest in the house.  This week, he passed Oliver, and now weights 15 lbs 5 oz.  Now we don't want his weight to keep trending upwards, but I am happy he is eating well, and gaining.  We all know how quickly they can drop when sickness occurs.

Tanner enjoys playing in the floor at night.  He, Oliver and I have a routine now and they both seem to enjoy the time together.

Tanner also enjoys a good catnip toy and can often be found washing one or more of them!
This nip nanner and green catnip pillow are his favorites.  He also has a green pickle he enjoys.

Tanner also does a good job washing his own body, although he does tend to over groom some areas.  Here's a quick video of Tan washing.  I've moved around so you can still see his shaved and saggy belly, and notice on his hips/back legs you can see some thin spots in his fur.

Tanner and I would like to ask for some purrs.  I leave to go back to Kenya in 7 weeks.  Tanner still needs his potassium twice a day, but not everyone can give him these huge pills.  I have ordered some powder to see if he will eat it in his canned food.  Please send good thoughts that he will eat the food with the meds in it!  Otherwise, he may have to be boarded while I am gone.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mancat Monday

I thought about saving this post for a Wacky Wednesday, but couldn't wait.  Oliver has loved to roll or flip since he was a baby.  He still rolls over your legs when he is playing.  Sometimes his rolls are pretty straight, like a flip, and sometimes he goes off to the side.  Auntie and I tried hard to get some video of him and this is best we captured.  We will keep trying because this isn't the best example.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Mancat Monday

Our neighborhood hosted a yardsale on Halloween morning.  The homes that were participating, were marked with a balloon on their mailbox.  I had a few left over, and was curious about how the littles (Cousin Georgie and Oliver) would react...they have never seen a balloon before!

Oliver thought they were fascinating and LOVED the string!  He jumped for the string and tried to eat it.  Cousin Georgie was pretty spooked by these strange floating creatures that made noise!

YouTube video HERE

Oliver was too good at catching the string, and trying to eat it!  I cut it off, so it was a bit shorter, but it went shorter than I wanted.  Oliver still jumped and jumped for it!  Enjoy watching my jumping jelly bean!

YouTube video HERE

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mancat Monday

Good grief have I been bad about blogging lately!  Well, rest assured we are still around and living life to the fullest.
Here is a photo of the 4 mancats in the house...Tanner (orange), Oliver (black), Cousin Pirate (black and white in the middle) and Cousin Georgie (black and white at bottom of photo)

Everyone asks when I tell them how many cats we have in the house (5 total) if everyone gets along.  Well, for the most part they do.  The boys seem to be fine with one another with just a few wrestling matches on occasion.  It is the girl in the house that stirs up trouble :)  She especially doesn't like Cousin Georgie and let's everyone know it!  It keep life interesting, that's for sure!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

Welcome to another addition of Tanner Tuesday.  We are thankful these are less frequent than before, as Tanner's health remains stable, and his medical appointments are slowing down.
Tanner went to the vet school last Thursday for his recheck.  They did blood work and an abdominal ultrasound.  When Tanner got home, he just wanted to walk around with his "girl"...he loves this piece of fleece string and carries it around talking up a storm! 
Tanner's new Halloween costume is perfect for him this is a quick preview of him trying it on..."I'm a Super Hero"

Tanner is still slightly anemic, but not having any side effects from this.
His kidney values remained stable
His Phosphorus and Potassium levels were all normal
His weight was up slightly as well

His kidneys are still abnormal looking on the ultrasound, but remain unchanged from previous imaging, so no evidence of disease progression!

He is cleared for two months and does not have to return until December.  

Tanner continues to defy the odds and for that I am extremely grateful!  Thank you all for your continued prayers and support...this is not a journey to take alone, so I appreciate you all!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Fantastic Friday

This is a quick update on Tanner - He is still in Remission!  He doesn't have to go back for a recheck until December!!
Here he is in the car yesterday on the way home...he refused to look at the phone!

I don't have his official discharge papers yet, they are going to email them, but they were pleased with how he looked.  Should be able to give a more detailed report on our Tanner Tuesday post.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Happy Gotcha Day - Oliver

Today marks two years since I picked you up from a sweet lady in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel.  It was love at first sight!  I was expecting a puny, sickly kitten, but you looked rather healthy from the start.  You had worms like most kittens do and you weren't the best bottle feeder, but you survived and thrived!
Your first night home...playing 
You loved your big brother from the moment you saw him, and he was completely smitten with you.

You grew into a sweet boy and learned to enjoy watching the birds and smelling the fresh air!

You helped with chores around the house...sorting pinto beans was a favorite!

At one year you were as handsome as ever...I can just feel how soft those paws are...

I would say you have settled in nicely in our crazy household.  You have been a blessing.  You bring laughter and comfort when we need it most.  Keep doing your thing Oliver Hughes...I will cherish all the time we have together.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today is a great day to be thankful!  My boys are happy and healthy.  And although it isn't the best of photos, I love being able to get one of them together.  They were trying to decide if they wanted to wash one another or was cute, so I took a short video as well.
These boys mean the world to me and I love getting to spend time with them.  Tanner's health is stable at the moment and he is enjoying life.  Oliver is a nut and finds joy in everything!

Tanner goes back to the vet school on October 8th for a recheck...purrs would be appreciated!

Here is the video of Tanner and Oliver fighting/washing...Enjoy.  You can also click here to see it on YouTube.