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…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

On Cats and Music

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:  music and cats.

~Albert Schweitzer

During my bout with cancer and its harsh treatments, two lifelines that got me through those painful and scary days and nights were my cat and my radio. I’ve been enamored with the radio since childhood, recalling like yesterday getting a bright blue transistor radio for my 10th birthday, and in my early teens, Grandpa Knudsen introducing me to a disc jockey at KGY radio station in Olympia, Washington, who showed me the intriguing electronics behind the music, and gave me an Elvin Bishop album. And as a young adult, I wanted to get into radio broadcasting, but that dream got lost in life’s demands and obligations.

I mostly turn on my radio to listen to KX FM, Laguna’s very own radio station.  During those dark days of cancer, listening to the station’s shows spanning genres from bluegrass to alternative rock with my adorable cat companion, brawny Bobcat glued to my side was comforting.

Bobcat passed away two weeks before my cancer surgery.  Convalescing without my cat pal brought a new level of misery to my situation.  Listening to songs and behind-the-music stories told by radio hosts helped me to escape, but coping was much more difficult without a cat. After three months of mourning, I adopted Samantha Jo from the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter on   April 2, 2021; just in time see me through my last chemo treatment and seven weeks of radiation. For the past year, we’ve been helping each other heal, as she came to me recovering from bladder stone surgery, which she had to undergo after being relinquished to the shelter.

A lot has changed since April of 2021.  Back then, Samantha was skeptical of me; she was guarded and offered only intermittent affection.  Today, she lounges on my desk as I work, prances along with me when I dance around the house, and snuggles next to me at night while I sleep.

When Samantha is anxious and fearful because of the noises made by blustery wind or crows hopping around on the roof, I ask Alexa to play “Calm my Cat” and the lullaby melodies put Samantha at ease. Music’s calming effects aren’t limited to just the human species.

Last spring it seemed I’d never feel good again. I was wishing for my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes to make their come-back, and I was wondering if I’d ever fit into my skinny jeans again, which were still baggy from so much weight loss.

What a difference time can make. After pulling through the agony of illness and loss with a little help from my radio and a sweet-faced kitty by my side, my long-lost dream came true.  Two weeks ago, with styled short hair and wearing those skinny jeans that I can now barely zip, I co-hosted one of my favorite radio shows on KX FM, The Coast Highway Shuffle.  For two hours, host Steve Reid played songs that I selected as we bantered about the powerful impact that music has on our lives.

And I couldn’t let living my dream slip by without playing a song about a cat.  As “Tomcat”, a ditty about an old ring tailed tomcat who struts around town resounded in my headphones, my heart swelled with joy.

Music and cats. What a purrrfect way to rejoice!

If you missed the radio show, you can listen to the podcast! Listen to “Tomcat” by The Rooftop singers along with my entire playlist on: The Coast Highway Shuffle!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments