Monday, March 30, 2009


Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth last week. Things are starting to heat up at work and my home laptop is still not working.

Had a very fun time at the annual Pasta for Pets about a week ago. I received an urgent email from the rescue league a day before the event stating that even though I had purchased tickets beforehand, there would be no guarantee that I would get a seat!! With doors opening at 6:00 pm, I picked up my friend, Ms. Melody, at the subway at 5:30 and we were off and running. We arrived at the church around 5:45-5:50 and there was already a line to get in. I was not too happy when we got through the doors and saw all the filled and saved seats but we did manage to find a couple of free tables where we parked our coats. The spaghetti was good, not great (I’m a sauce snob. I don’t want my sauce to be the least bit sweet—and theirs was.) The salad was okay and the buttery garlic bread was pretty darn good. They then had homemade cakes and cookies for dessert.

Next it was time for BINGO. Good lord, I haven’t played in so long. It was a little more difficult then I remember. I mean, you want to chat, socialize and have a good time, then all of a sudden “what?!, what number did he call?! Are we still playing the red card?!”

Even with all the distractions, I actually won a game!! I was so excited, and just look at what I won…a package of five different kinds of garden gloves and a bag of spring bulbs! Woo Hoo!!


Then, early last week while Woody was sitting in my lap I decided to take a look at his teeth. I noticed last Fall that he was missing an upper canine. See, Woody is my mini black lab of a cat. Big and goofy and gregarious, never meeting a humine, feline, or canine he didn't like, and always banging or running into something/someone. So when I noticed the missing tooth, I wasn't too shocked and after I made sure the surrounding gum tissue looked fine I didn’t think anything of it. When I looked at the same area last week the surrounding gum tissue was swollen, hard, and white. Oh, this didn’t look good. Since my first cat, Mr. Bill, died of oral cancer that is always the first thing that pops into my head. I then googled oral cancer in cats and it said something like…Although it is typically found under the tongue, tumors can also appear at the gum line. It is usually caught too late when what you see are angry red nodules, but it starts out as swollen, hard and white…Okay, well that did NOTHING to ease my mind, thank you VERY much. I called my vet last Tuesday and he didn’t have an opening until today! The rest of the week and weekend was spent on a rollercoaster of emotions. “Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing. He is just too big and healthy” “Okay, he probably does have cancer. How much are you willing to do and spend” “Oh, poor Woody, now I feel so guilty for all the times I pushed you off of my lap and told you to leave me alone” “Waaaaahhh!” “Woody, even if you are sick, would you pu-leeze get off me!”

The good news is that he does NOT have cancer. The area is just swollen where the root of his canine still is. But, he does have gum disease and has sores/ulcers in the back of his mouth so he is on a course of antibiotics for 10 days. He was also given a prednisone shot and will be taking some new meds that might help his allergies. Woody has only known one vet that made house calls the first few years after I took him in as a stray. Since 2007, that vet retired and I started seeing my current vet. Woody never had an issue before and with so many cats, my budget does not allow for yearly check ups for all of them. So, I had yet to make an appointment for him. I was curious (nervous) to see how he would react in the carrier and at the vet. He was an absolute sweetheart. Did not utter a peep in the carrier and when he was placed on the metal examine table he walked over and headbutted the vet. My vet still remembering Butterball commented “you have the most calm cats of anyone I know”. I just smiled and thought “just wait until I have to bring Apu in--get the dart gun ready!”

Woody: HEY, wanna be my friend?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taking a Forced Break

My laptop crashed last weekend and I haven't had the time or money to deal with it yet. So, I've done the last two posts from work---ssshhh, don't tell my boss! Oh, and I guess this one too--double ssshhh!!

As next week starts the grueling task of gearing up for our April board meeting, I decided to take tomorrow off. I will not have access to a computer for three days. I'm actually not too freaked out about it. I didn't turn on my home laptop at all this week, which is a ritual for me as soon as I get up in the morning and during the evening hours. You know what, the morning was a bit hard, but having no access in the evening was most freeing.

I plan to spend tomorrow putzing around in my yard trying to clean up those d*mn seed pods from the gazillion catalpa trees that line my property. Oh I remember when I first moved into my little home, I honestly had never seen a catalpa tree before with their huge elephant ear leaves and they were blooming and I thought they were sooo cool. Now, to quote Jerry Seinfeld's sitcom mom, "I hate them like poison".

Saturday, I'll be going to the Pasta for Pets event for my local animal shelter. I'll make sure to take a lot of photos!

I'll end this on a happy note and a photo of Ned. Remember Ned? He was the bag-o-bones elephant that The Elephant Sanctuary rescued in November of last year. Ned has had his ups and downs at the sanctuary. He just wasn't gaining any weight and had a lot of stomach problems. Nothing stood out in all the blood and fecal tests they ran so it was a trial and error of testing what foods would work best with his system. Guess what finally worked---plain old cooked oatmeal! It took a while for Ned to figure out how to eat it, and like it, but he now scarfs it down a number of times daily and his digestive system has finally settled down.

Another thing that saddened me were the posts about Ned just standing in his yard, not knowing what to do with himself all day. I guess it takes a while to get used to being free and being able to chose when you want to go outside, or come back inside, or eat and drink when you want, when all you've known were chains and sharp bullhooks leading you around every day. He has a wide variety of elephant "toys" both inside and outside that he really had no clue what to do with them.

Well, that has changed. This is his favorite toy and he takes it with him everywhere! The problem (for the staff) is that he loves to stomp on it and deflates it several times a day. Wouldn't that be a great job? Yes, I inflate elephant toys for a living and I love it!!!

Have a wonderful few days and do something nice for an animal this weekend...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Still Missing You

Can it possibly be an entire year since I last scratched the top of your head…your big round belly…or tickled your little rumpy riser tail? If it’s St. Patrick’s Day, then it must be true. My big Irish boy-o of a manx, Butterball, left this world a year ago today. I sat on the couch this morning looking at his favorite chair and had a good cry with Apu sitting in my lap.

B-man, you would be proud of your little brother Apu. He has really grown in the year you have been gone. Folks are still surprised when they come over to the house and Apu comes out of the bedroom to greet them. And, while I still watch him having a silent paw whapping skirmish with Sweet Pea and Woody, I also watch him as he shares my lap with Woody and will tenderly wash Woody’s face and head. Butterball, you taught him well.

Has anyone read the novel that came out a few years ago, The Lovely Bones?

Spoiler Alert!
It is a story about a young teenage girl (Susie) who gets brutally murdered very early in the book. Susie then narrates the rest of the book from heaven while she watches over her family and friends. It was a fascinating book (although the ending was a little over the top for me). The part though that made me cry and put down the book for a moment was while Susie was looking on from heaven, she watched as her dog grew older and more infirmed after each passing year. Then one day in heaven, something came rushing over to Susie. It was her dog. He was in perfect health again and so happy to see her.

One can only hope that is how heaven will be. If so, I’ll have quite the animal menagerie around me!!

So tonight I will raise a glass of beer in honor of Butterball. I hope his Irish eyes are smiling down on me today and every day.

You are still deeply loved and greatly missed by everyone here at Possumlady Place. You are still my main man.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pasta for Pets

The Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) is one of the local shelters that I support. This coming Saturday, March 21, WARL will be hosting their annual Pasta for Pets (a spaghetti dinner and game night)!
Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
3401 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington DC 20016 (across from American University)

Tickets are $15 each ($50 for a four-pack)and be will available for purchase at the door or [ buy tickets online ]. Space is limited. Bring your big appetite and game face!This event is sponsored by our friends at ProFeed, Alexandria Animal Hospital, Ledo Pizza, San Vito Ristorante, and Filomena Ristorante. All proceeds will benefit the League's Love Fund that provides funding support for emergency care for seriously injured animals who are abandoned or live with low-income residents in our community who cannot afford the costs of major surgery.
I'll be going with a friend. Any readers out there in the DC area come on out for a fun evening!!
Pasta and Bingo--it's a winning combination!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Funnies

Just a couple of funnies to start your weekend....

Every Thursday in the Washington Post they have an "Animal Watch" that lists cases where authorities had to be called for some reason or another. I've held on to this little gem for a while now. It still makes me laugh...

Snake Report Shrivels Up

QUARLES ST. NE, 4400 block, Jan. 11. A woman asked animal control to have a black snake removed from her kitchen cabinet. When an officer arrived, he discovered that the snake was a dried banana.

I emailed this to a couple of friends. One wrote back that this sounds like something she would find under a bunch of papers on her dining room table. That jogged my memory thinking do I actually have some old bananas under a pile of papers on my kitchen table and went to investigate. Here is what I found

Well, not quite the shriveled snake look yet. Not quite enough for banana bread either. Looks like the grapes will be going to the birds.

Then, my good friend and former blogger Cat59 sent this photo to me thinking Possumlady would appreciate it. Now, I don't know if this is true or not but I don't care. It makes me laugh and that's all that counts!

Have a safe and relaxing weekend everyone! Don't forget to laugh.

Monday, March 2, 2009

SNOW Update

Yes, we do have snow!!! Yipee Skipee!!! Woke up around 5:45 this morning. Heard one lone cardinal singing his spring song so I ran out in my bathrobe and boots to clear off the bird feeders and throw out more peanuts but they have all disappeared in the snow already. So, so pretty. It really does make everything look fresh and clean.

See for yourself...

I'll update throughout the day.

Update at 7:50 pm
Oh it was a windy and snowy and sunshiney day today. I loved it. I can understand how people can get tired of it (being from Minnesota, believe me, I remember). But seeing as it is going to get up to around 60 by the end of the week this is just pure fun.
Hard to believe this will all be gone in a few days.

Had to make sure the suet cakes were out for Mr. and Ms. Red-Bellied and the Downy twins.
Since all the seed was covered with snow and throwing out more just sank, I put out this little birdy buffet with safflower seeds and shelled and unshelled peanuts. By late afternoon it brought in a flock of about 50 grackles--scurreech!! My first impulse was to shoo them away but then I thought, hey, they gots to eat too. I let them go nuts and then just refilled the buffet after the flock moved on.
Back to reality and work tomorrow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Winter Storm Warning!? Be Still My Heart...

It's frustrating being a snow-lover and living in the DC area. Oh yes we've had some serious snowfalls but nothing to speak of in the last seven years. Our average winter snowfall is between 10-13 inches. This year we have had less then 2! It seems like every major snow storm this year has stopped just short of the DC area.
Last week the weather folks started the usually cautious forecasts of the possibility of some "accumulation" this weekend. Like a scorned lover, I had heard it all before. I was not going to be fooled again into the hope of some real snow.
But it does look like we might actually get some serious snow tonight and tomorrow! Have I now jinxed it by putting my hopes in writing? We started with some sleet and a dusting last night.

I also was feeling like I was jinxing the whole thing by gassing up my car and stocking up on a healthy supply of bird food. But we shall see. I'll say I'm cautiously optimistic!

Figaro, on the other hand, is quite nonplussed by the whole snow thing and thinks his mom is quite strange bopping around the house doing something she calls a "snow dance".

I'll keep you all posted on the events as they unfold.