Ferdinand in the Snow

We got about 4 to 5 inches of snow yesterday, so I took Ferdinand out to play in it. The snow went up to his chest. He hates rain but loves snow. I attached a GoPro to his harness just to see what kind of video I could get. Below are photos and video I took of him as well as the video he took.

Ferdinand with a GoPro on his harness

Ferdinand with a GoPro on his harness

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Running through the snow

Digging head first into the snow

Digging head first into the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow

Rolling in the snow leads to being covered in snow

Rolling in the snow leads to being covered in snow

The video I took of Ferdinand playing.

The video Ferdinand took with the GoPro on his harness.

Feste and Orsino

I have had Feste and Orsino for over six weeks now. Last week they got neutered and finished the last of the vaccinations (until next year). They have settled in now. Orsino is still a bit skittish, but Feste is trying to be the cat that curiosity kills. Feste will also one day probably kill me by tripping me as he attaches himself to my ankles and just swarms around while I try to walk. Ferdinand really doesn’t care about the cats, but he does seem to get intimated by them sometimes. To celebrate their neutering, here are some photos of them because the internet needs more cat photos.

Feste and Orsino relaxing

Feste and Orsino relaxing

Ferdinand and Feste demonstrate the double decker couch

Ferdinand and Feste demonstrate the double decker couch

Feste's new favorite toy the rubber drain cover from the kitchen sink. He keeps pulling it out every time I put it back in.

Feste’s new favorite toy the rubber drain cover from the kitchen sink. He keeps pulling it out every time I put it back in.

I assume everyone stores their cats in the kitchen pantry next to the soup.

I assume everyone stores their cats in the kitchen pantry next to the soup.

Orsino keeping Feste under the cushion

Orsino keeping Feste under the cushion

Orsino licking Feste

Orsino licking Feste

Feste and Orsino cuddling

Feste and Orsino cuddling

Orsino watching Feste's tail under the coffee table

Orsino watching Feste’s tail under the coffee table

Introducing Feste and Orsino

Last week I adopted two kittens from a woman who rescues cats from the streets. Both these cats came from the same area, an area where people seem to dump cats. They are both fairly young and thus able to be domesticated. Feste, the gray one is rather adventurous, always trying to get into everything and explore everywhere. He is very friendly and will no doubt trip me one of these days by his constant circling of my feet. Orsino,the brown one is much shyer. He is slowly letting me approach him but is still rather skittish. As to the names I gave them, I name all my pets after Shakespeare characters. Feste and Orsino are from Twelfth Night. Feste the character is a clown or fool, and Feste the cat is a total clown. Orsino the character is a duke, and it just seemed appropriate to name Orsino the cat that.

Feste

Feste

Feste

Feste

Orsino

Orsino

Orsino

Orsino

Orsino and Feste

Orsino and Feste

Ferdinand’s Face

I just bought a macro lens for my camera. [For photography geeks, I have a Canon 6D, and my new macro lens is their EF 100mm 1:28L IS.] I have been wanting one for a while, and my upcoming trip to Iceland seemed the perfect reason to buy one. Once the lens arrived, I decided to test it out on my favorite subject, Ferdinand the basset hound. Thus, here is a Ferdinand’s face, a photographic study.

Ferdinand's face

Ferdinand’s face

Ferdinand looking up

Ferdinand looking up

Ferdinand's eye

Ferdinand’s eye

Ferdinand's nose

Ferdinand’s nose

Ferdinand asleep

Ferdinand asleep

Ferdinand in profile

Ferdinand in profile

Ferdinand licking his paw

Ferdinand licking his paw

Ferdinand's paws (not technically his face)

Ferdinand’s paws (not technically his face)

Ferdinand's snout

Ferdinand’s snout

Ferdinand’s Spot

Ferdinand has a dog door, so he can go into the backyard whenever he likes. He likes to go into the backyard a lot. He sometimes wakes me up at 2 a.m. because he is outside barking at some prey he is hunting. If it is sunny, then he can most likely be found in his favorite spot underneath an azalea bush. The temperature doesn’t matter, even if it is below freezing, he still loves to nap in that spot. I finally managed to get a photo of him sleeping in his spot.

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Ferdinand napping in his spot

With his tricolor fur, he blends in nicely with the leaves.

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Ferdinand napping in his spot

Uh oh, he hears me and wakes up to see if he is needed.

Ferdinand wakes up

Ferdinand wakes up

Realizing that it is just Mama yet again taking photos of him, he goes back to sleep.

Ferdinand goes back to sleep

Ferdinand goes back to sleep

Ferdinand Loves the Snow

Ferdinand sniffing the snow

Ferdinand sniffing the snow

We got a lot a snow here, and Ferdinand couldn’t be happier. He hates the rain, but he loves the snow. The snow is deeper than Ferdinand’s legs are long, which necessitates him leaping through the snow. Ferdinand seems to quite enjoy that though. He also loves digging his head in it rolling around in it.

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

The snow is deeper than Ferdinand's legs are long

The snow is deeper than Ferdinand’s legs are long

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand leaping through the snow

Ferdinand loves rolling in the snow

Ferdinand loves rolling in the snow

RIP Chalmette

Chalmette in bag

Chalmette in a bag

This is Chalmette, my mom’s cat. He was born on my mom’s patio to a feral cat. For years, my mom had been trapping feral cats, getting them spayed or neutered with vets who help with Trap, Neuter, Return programs, and then returning them to the area around her townhouse. Her hard work with TNR worked well to lower the population, but Chalmette’s mother got pregnant before my mom could catch her. My mom started touching Chalmette and his sibling a few days after they were born, so they would get used to a human handling them. Once they were weaned, she took them inside. She found someone else to adopt Chalmette’s sibling, but Mom kept Chalmette. She hadn’t had a cat in a while. Chalmette became a wonderful pet for my mom. He was mischievous and sweet. He had an obsession with flowers. My mom couldn’t have any flowers in the house because Chalmette would eventually get to them, then take a flower, and parade around the house with it in his mouth. He gave my mom years of love, companionship, and sometimes entertainment. Today she had to put him to sleep. He was diagnosed with cancer less than two weeks ago, and the vet did not know how much time he had. While he seemed to be in good shape and was alert, he was bleeding in his mouth. My mom wanted to make sure he was never in pain. Rest in peace Chalmette. Thank you for the love and companionship you gave my mom. Thank you for finding me so fascinating and allowing me to invade your house whenever I came to visit my mom.

Chalmette on refrigerator

Chalmette on the refrigerator

Goodbye Beatrice

It all started with Bestoff. I was in high school, and this cat started showing up at our door. My sister is allergic to cats and dogs, so we had never had pets except for a few hamsters at times. Bestoff decided we were good people. People don’t adopt cats. Cats adopt people. Mom started giving Bestoff a little food, and I named him. [There used to be a drug store called K&B. It started in New Orleans where my mom was from. K&B stood for Katz and Besthoff. We had a cat, so I named it Bestoff, only learning later I spelled it wrong.] Then Mom decided Bestoff could sleep in the laundry room when it was cold. Later Bestoff decided he would just live in the house thank you very much. Years later, when I went to graduate school for my Master’s, I took him with me. He disappeared one day over the patio fence, as he often did, but he never came back. Several weeks later I decided I needed another cat. I adopted two littermate kittens who looked a lot like Bestoff. I adopted both because I couldn’t bear the though of separating them, and I was worried one would be put to sleep. Years later, I took Ariel (the female of the littermates) to the vet for some routine test or something. There was the kitten Beatrice sitting in a cage looking for a home. She had wandered to my vet’s house. My vet said she would have kept her, but she didn’t get along with her own cats. So my vet set her up in her office to find her a home. While I was waiting for my vet to see me, I pulled Beatrice out of the cage, put her in my lap and petted her, and she purred up a storm. My vet came out, saw me with Beatrice, and said “I’ll just take Ariel back. You two are bonding.” Next thing I knew I had a third cat.

Years later, Ariel would die. I would adopt a dog. He would later die after five wonderful years. Then I adopted Ferdinand and then Thisbe, both basset hounds. Thisbe died three years ago after escaping from my fenced in yard and getting him by a car. I had to have Puck (the male of those littermate cats) put to sleep last year after 17 wonderful years. Today it was Beatrice. I wasn’t expecting it. She had been having a recurring cold due to feline herpes virus (it’s rather different from the human version). Not a big thing, but annoying. November during her last physical, she had lost a little bit of weight, and one of her blood test values showed signs of early kidney disease. We were going to monitor her, but the vet and I weren’t real worried about it. She had had a cold on and off for a couple of weeks now, but last night she wouldn’t eat, and she seemed to be having trouble breathing. I thought the cold had led to a more severe respiratory infection, so I brought her to the vet this morning. She was getting worse, but it wasn’t an infection. It was severe and sudden heart failure. We didn’t know how long she had, and even in the best case scenario with aggressive treatment, she still probably didn’t have that long. Her body temperature was 90°F when it should be more like 100°F. She responded to having the fluid around her lungs drained, but she was clearly suffering and was clearly dying. I did the only thing I could. I ended her suffering and had her put to sleep. She went peacefully.

For all the dogs and cats I have had, I have been there for four of them when I had them put to sleep. It doesn’t get easier. I guess it is not supposed to be. I know I made the correct decision in each case, but it still hurts to lose another. Now it is just Ferdinand the basset hound and I. My house seems more empty. I’ll probably get another cat at some point. Please God, keep Ferdinand safe and healthy. I can’t lose another right now.

Rest in peace, Beatrice.

Beatrice

Beatrice

Beatrice with a rock pillow. The rock is a hunk of quartz with mica if you want details.

Beatrice with a rock pillow. The rock is a hunk of quartz with mica if you want details.