A Barn Owl and the Shooting Star

Today, November 20th, Samantha Jo turned three-years-old! I never knew the birthdays of any of my other cats, only their approximate ages. So, a few weeks ago I thought, how fun would it be to have a birthday celebration for Samantha? But before I knew it her special day crept up on me and I’d not planned anything. What kind of cat mama am I to let her birthday celebration planning sneak out of sight?

I’d envisioned having her cat daddy and my cat-loving girlfriends over to the cottage, sipping champagne and singing Happy Birthday to Samantha, who would be busy batting her kitty soccer balls around, yet stopping to receive pets and snuggles from her adoring people while weaving in and out of our legs.  She would then melt the crowd by rolling onto her back and wriggling from side to side, inviting tummy rubs.

But seasonal festivities, that day-job thing, my labors of love: working on my children’s book publishing process and participating in Blue Bell Foundation for Cats events stole time away from Samantha’s party planning.

Helped decorate Blue Bell’s Christmas tree at Sawdust Festival’s Winter Fantasy

I found “purrmaid” wrapping paper!

Although, Samantha probably thinks every day is her birthday as I lavish her with random gifts, like the Gibson Flying V catnip guitar (move over Joe Bonamassa!) that I picked-up at Cat Con, made by Crochet Kitty and those wooden balls she loves to bat around the cottage that I recently found at Laguna Art Supply.  Not to mention the “birthday” kisses she gets every day.

Samantha channeling  Jimi Hendrix

The day is still young, and I’ll come up with a little something special for her, but as you all know, every day is a birthday party for our precious furry family members.

* * *

I instigated an impromptu birthday celebration in the late afternoon, with a visit from Cat Daddy and Auntie Marilyn. We made a toast to Queen Sassy Pants and she enjoyed snuggles and our admiration at what a healthy, happy and darling girl she’s become.

The celebration was winding down when I happened to look up into the almost-dark twilight sky. I saw the majestic wingspan of a barn owl as she gracefully flew over the neighborhood towards the hills of the canyon. I walked out into the yard to get a closer look. And as she disappeared into the distance, a shooting star fell slowly from the indigo sky, soring downwards towards the ocean with its tail trailing behind.

I couldn’t have planned a more purrrfect birthday celebration.

Bonus Video!  Watch Samantha play ball on her birthday…

[videopress oMtgwpD4]

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Cat Daddy to the Rescue

So much has happened with me and my girl, Samantha since I last wrote.  We both have experienced an uptick in our healing. The idiopathic cystitis that plagued Samantha for almost a year magically disappeared sometime in June.  And although I experience bouts of extreme fatigue that sometimes cause me to catnap on my lunch break or cut-short an evening out, my life is rich with joyful experiences again! My first book is in the midst of getting published, I’m a regular at The Cliff again, my favorite place in town for live music, and for the past couple of months, The Sawdust Festival, Laguna’s beloved summer art festival, has been my weekend happy place.

Listening to our favorite station, KX FM 104.7 based in Laguna Beach!

Bangle by Sawdust artist, Jamie Bichler of Laughing Raven Design

And Samantha, once again, has the energy of a kitten! Each morning and evening we play toss the pom pom, tag (Samantha runs up to me, swats my ankle then runs around the house as I chase her) and hide ‘n’ go seek. She’s even into wine “sniffing”!

Then last Tuesday Samantha’s right eye became teary and the lid a little swollen, which happens on occasion. It always goes away on its own within one to two days.  But by the following evening, the irritated eye had become quite swollen, which coincided with Samantha loosing her appetite and becoming reclusive.  My heart sank—something was very wrong.  A visit to the vet the following morning resulted in an ulcerated cornea diagnosis. By the time the vet examined Samantha, her pupil and part of the iris were cloudy and red.  The treatment: at least one week of an antibacterial eye drop twice a day and an anti-inflammatory/anti-pain eye drop three times a day.  A morning, afternoon and evening eye drop regimen. The vet said it would be hard and that I would need help.  Okay—well, I live alone…?

Upon explaining this dire situation to my new beau who loves animals and is smitten with Samantha, he replied by saying he’d help. This real life Batman has been assisting this Catwoman with her injured cat child by coming to the cottage morning, afternoon and night to assist with Operation Eye Drop. His IT systems project management job provides some flexibility in his schedule, but he’s a busy guy, yet he’s scheduled time to break away, put on his superhero cape and save the day.

The leather jacket serves to protect from claws!

We created a purrrfect system: I ask Alexa to play “Ambient Radio”, Batman cradles Samantha in his arms and calms her with his baritone feline baby talk, I gently scratch the top of her head and join in with calming vocals, then quickly spread her eyelid open and release a drop. We must wait five minutes in between the two drops. Batman continues to cradle Samantha, we continue with the calming vocalizations then do the second drop.

After a check-up yesterday, the vet determined that Samantha is making good progress in healing, but that the eye drop regimen is needed for at least another week.  Her eye formed a scab, which is a mucus-like tissue that is starting to shed. The vet administered pain-killing numbing eye drops then wiped some of the scab off of her eye itself.  This gave her some relief and allows the eye drops to better penetrate.

I’ve given Batman a break. I conducted Operation Eye Drop by myself yesterday; the afternoon drop was easy as Samantha was still under the influence of gabapentin, which I gave her before the vet visit. The evening dosing was successful, but it didn’t go smoothly.

Batman may have to return.

Stay tuned…

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Stories Without Words

So remember, every picture tells a story, don’t it?”

Lyrics to “Every Picture Tells a Story” by Rod Stewart/Ron Wood

I’ve come to learn to live in the moment much more these days, but sometimes memories overshadow the present, taking me back to where I was a year ago, and sometimes to many years gone by.  It’s fun to reminisce with a good story, but sometimes, sharing photos is all that’s needed. Enjoy…




Piggy, Topper and Mermaid

Lexington and Topper


Bobcat and Lexington, my porch buddies

Lexington and Bobcat

Cat Lady and Bobcat

Samantha Jo and “Bobcat”

April 16, 2021

April 17, 2021

Happy Easter!


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