June, 2005 Page 2
More June Pics

Well, Almost ...

This was actually Memorial Day weekend, but who's counting? It was our first "warm" weekend, the unofficial start of summer, after a miserably cold, wet May. Rejoice, rejoice, can I put the winter coat away now?

Kurt, Tina, Erin, Kelsey & Joe made their first trip to Mendon of the year, as is the custom, on this weekend. The kayaks and canoe were dusted off, the deck furniture put out and the grill was fired up. I'm always surprised by how much the kids have grown ... this time it had been too long since we'd last seen them (February!). Joe was sporting a new, longer haircut (a Caesar look), and it took some getting used to after so many years of Kurt's brushcuts. Erin and Kelsey are beauties ... look out, Kurt & Tina.

The group spent the night ... we did the lake, the park, the stores (Ocean State Job Lot and AJ Wright, woo hoo) and Lookout Rock. Bring on summer.

On Lookout Rock in Northbridge.

Kelsey & Joe, our house in distance

Kurt & team

Joe's got an arm!

Lacrosse is a tough game, as Kelsey & I found out.

The Usual Suspects are Back ...

I love our ducks and look forward to the new 'lings each year. The Canada geese are OK, too ... though many people put out deterrents because they make a mess. But I can't resist their cute younguns, and heck, they have to hang out somewhere. So I'm on weekly poop pickup duty (it's an art).

Same duck, strutting her stuff.

Yeah, that  works.

So cute (mom is above).

The squirrels are constant pests on our deck ... the squirrel-proof bird feeders keep them pretty much at bay, but they keep hoping. Recently I put out my hummingbird feeder — the same one I'd used last year without incident. This was the scene a few days later ... after chug-a-lugging for several minutes this guy staggered off with a sugar high.


Cat Tales

So, Tony had worms — again — or still. In spite of three previous rounds of medication. This time, as a bonus, he also had coccidia, another parasite. And again, the deal is when one cat is treated, all the cats need to be treated (five total).

Now, when Tony was younger/smaller it was fairly easy to squirt a vial full of medication in his mouth. No more. He's morphed into a squirmy, eel-like creature, very strong and very determined NOT to swallow the gooey stuff (that we had to give him 7 days in a row!). On our first attempt (it took both of us), the sticky liquid dripped and sprayed all over me, Peter and Tony as he clamped his mouth shut, twisted and shook his head, and wriggled like Houdini getting out of a straightjacket.

On subsequent evenings, Tony quickly figured out what it meant when Peter & I started towards him ... and ran and hid in his inimitable way. Luckily for us, his friendly nature would eventually bring him out where we grabbed him and did the dreaded deed. We (finally) got smart towards the end of the week and wrapped him in a towel which seemed to calm him (and us). We figured he had observed his mentor Stinky, whose remain-cool-with-clamped-mouth technique is very effective. Now we need to get another sample checked in a couple weeks to see if he's worm-free. Not easy, as he's a stealth pooper (as is Vinny, whom we haven't been able to check — with five cats we don't know who does what unless we happen to witness the event). The other three are clean, hallelujah.

Squirrel, in a command performance

Stink enjoys some supervised outdoor time.

Sara, cat of mystery.

Speaking of Stinky ... a few months earlier the vet needed a urine sample from him before he was to undergo anesthesia. OK ... uh, how do I do that? After some miscommunication on methodology, and having to deal with the 5-cat house situation, I saw an opportunity one afternoon. Stink was ambling down the basement stairs after dinner, heading towards the litter boxes. I grabbed him up, along with one of the boxes and headed for the upstairs bathroom. This operation required privacy, concentration, determination and resourcefulness. As he perched in the pee position, I awkwardly slipped a plastic bag under him ... planning to catch some precious liquid.

Well, the pee trickled off the bag and down onto the tile floor. So, there's my sample ... now what? Ah, a squeegee for the shower was at hand. So there I was, on my knees, squeegeeing puddles of pee into a cup as best I could. It worked pretty well actually, I was proud.

Turns out Stinky needed medication and then another urine sample after that. This time, I followed the cat manual suggestion: fill a litter box with aquarium gravel (non-absorbing), isolate Stinky after dinner, he pees, I suction up the liquid with a dropper — MUCH easier.

A Good Day ...

Liz came down to visit the shelter one day — she was immediately welcomed by the most affectionate cats in the world .. the Special Needs gang. They love to be combed and will nudge, touch and lick you to get your attention. Afterwards we went to downtown Uxbridge ... I wanted Liz to see the funky, artsy shops. We had fun looking at used books, risque cards, handmade jewelry, spiritual gemstones and preserved insects. Yes, Uxbridge has it all.

Also on that day, I noticed a new shelter arrival, Peek-a-boo, a pretty calico who was a home surrender. Hmmm, she reminded me of Snowball, my in laws' cat who had recently died. They were still mourning her loss and weren't ready for another cat yet. Or were they? I took a couple pics of Peek, sent them off, and a few days later, Peek had herself new parents!

Liz with Puffy
Peek before finding home.

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