The Snotty-Nosed Cat

“I didn’t know dogs and cats could get colds…” said a co-worker to me the other day in response to my comment about Lexington having a bad snotty nose.

His nose started to run again in this photo–don’t worry I didn’t take photos of the really gross nose runs.

Yes, indeed, cats get colds as evidenced by Lexington’s snot-crusted right nostril and cheek, and runny right eye, and his dodging the nose wipes like a stubborn little boy who would rather endure a runny nose than have his mother clean it for him.  “Seriously, Lex, you want to have snot on your face?” I said while struggling to wipe.  If only he understood the words “blow into the tissue”. After a weekend of this it was time for a vet visit.

He jumped off the sofa after enough of the nose wiping.

Ten days after being diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and receiving a long-acting antibiotic shot, Lexington finally recovered from the cold.  While he was fighting the infection, I switched from using a tissue to a warm-watered washcloth, which he tolerated much better—he actually held still as I gently pressed the warm cloth on his cheek and wiped his little nose.  A few times after I’d gotten him nice and clean with the washcloth, he “kissed” my hand then looked at me straight in the eye as he let out a soft “meow”, his way of thanking me for helping him feel better.


Animals get many of the sicknesses that we humans get, including cancer, which Lexington is also fighting and for the moment, winning.


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Beach Cats and Sawdust Summers

Labor Day has come and gone, tourists left town and kids are back in school. That’s it—summer is officially over despite what the calendar says. And despite living two blocks from the beach, this cat lady spent more time in Laguna Canyon (or just “the canyon” as locals call it) over these past couple months. When it comes to my favorite outdoor place to be, I used to think of myself as only a beach person. I spent many childhood summers hanging out at the beaches of Newport and Huntington.  I eventually made the beach my home, landing an apartment on Lido Isle in Newport Beach.  It was a charming little place built in 1941 and was part of a triplex situated on the small strand of beach facing the harbor.

This is where my crazy cat lady identity manifested, as I became known by the kids in the neighborhood as “the-lady-who-walks-her-cats”.  On several occasions these kids watched with marked curiosity, my former feline compadres, Punkie and Frankie walk with me on the sidewalk running parallel to the shore, which lead to a boat dock.  Frankie would follow me onto the dock where we would sit together and watch the boats go by.  Punkie would either stroll back home, or take a seat in the sand and wait for us. These adventurous cats also accompanied me on the beach, sitting next to me while I read or took in the view.  I was fondly called “crazy cat lady” by the couple next door; only the “crazy” part wasn’t about having too many cats.  You just don’t see too many gals strolling along the shore with cats dutifully trailing behind them.

Frankie and Punkie
Cat Lady sans cats but you get the idea. This is where they would sit with me, and in the background is the walkway leading to the dock in the far upper right corner.

Early morning at the dock. If only I had a photo of me and Frankie on it.

But after I moved to a neighborhood bordering Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, a preservation area of Laguna Canyon, I found myself going for hikes more than walks along the shore.  I was captivated by the canyon’s ancient rock formations, lush foliage and the scent of sage scrub and soon became enamored with my new earthy environment—and I’m still struck by its beauty.  

View of the canyon from Nix Nature Center after attending a presentation on birds of prey, where I met a couple of owls and a redtail hawk.

I also find beauty in the canyon off the hiking trails.   During the summer months I commune in the canyon while browsing through mini art galleries and listening to live music at an enchanted place called the Sawdust Festival.  The Sawdust, or “The Dust” as they called it back in the day came to be in the late 1960s by a group of artists who rebelled against the traditional juried art show in town and created their own distinctive and funky haven to show and sell their artistic wares.  The Sawdust’s rustic venue and flower child vibe that still lingers makes this place truly magical.  

Cat Lady and artist Shamus

Woodstock Day at Sawdust, singer/songwriters Kurtis Gentile and Alisa Eisenberg revive popular tunes from 1969.

The Heretics bringing back favorite songs from the ’60s through ’90s

Missiles of October rock the Sawdust

Blue grass melodies by The Salty Sweets

And the crowd goes wild on closing day of Sawdust.

I still love watching waves crash onto the shore and feel of sand under my feet, but to hike among sycamore trees and escape to a place where canyon walls harbor timeless creativity completely feeds my soul and keeps calling me back.

If only I could bring the cats.


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What About Bob…cat?

Although I’ve been preoccupied with Lexington while being the best palliative care provider I can be, Bobcat, my other love-bug still gets plenty of attention from me, especially because he knows how to get my attention.

He always seems to be where I want to be…

I was about to catch-up on local news, but I guess Bobcat will have to apprise me of the goings-on in town.

Cats are known for their curiosity, but I’m amazed at Bobcat’s curious behavior.  How the base of my coffee table or a rock on the walkway can serve as comfortable pillows is beyond my comprehension.

His entrance and exit strategies are so complex.  He’d rather go boldly down the rocky garden retaining wall than use the porch steps.  He prefers to depart through the windows and only wants to use the front door when it’s shut despite the open French doors in the bedroom.

He laughs at my birthday cards, thinks he’s a boudoir model, and has become Lexington’s personal bodyguard.

The Universe is conspiring with Bobcat. The other day I got a reminder about him on the way to work.

That’s my boy!

Love ya, man!


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