Posts Tagged ‘cats


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Caturdays are celebratory days for cats and cat guardians (that’s me and my wife). Not that ownership is a derogatory or demeaning terminology, but we’re very appreciative of having our furbabies arounds and quite thankful to have them in our lives while taking good care of them as they take care of us.

January 12, 2013 marks the day that our Copernicus turns one years old. We found him in March of last year a little after his two brothers were adopted as we were arriving at Berkeley Humane. He really has given us a lot of joy, comfort, love, and laughter. And, he’s recently learned (without our training or asking) to jump on our backs and hang out. It’s quite hilarious. Add it to his quirks, I guess.

Happy Birthday, ‘Perni…you are, and forever will be, my buddy guy.


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Written by F&W

January 12, 2013 at 6:30 am

Tuesday Catshow

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Copernicus is like every cat. Lasers are intriguing to them. But I never saw this coming until last night. We usually play laser with them. And just run the laser up and down the floor and in circles, but when I began to go back and forth with the laser THAT quickly, the moment became clear, VIDEO NOW!

We love calling him stupid or stups sometimes because the fact is, he’s too cute to be stupid! Doesn’t make sense, but that’s our buddy guy!


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Written by F&W

October 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thursday Catshow

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We did laundry the other day and this cat just couldn’t stop jumping into the hamper to play. Maybe it’s a sign that he wants to be laundered?

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Written by F&W

September 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Wednesday Catshow

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It’s impossible to say whether or not he’s truly a Dodgers’ fan. However, one thing is certain, he’ll continue to look cuter than anything else in the world!

Written by F&W

August 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Cats

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Heart Disease equals Heart Aches

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Last night (Friday 3/9/12), my wife and I made THE most difficult decision of our lives to put one of our beloved cats, Cafe Con Leche, to rest…

If you’ve seen or read my blog, several times over, I’ve mentioned Cafe or Jhumpa (littermates/sisters), our domestic shorthair fur-babies. Back in June of 2009, We adopted them from Berkeley Humane on the day of Michael Jackson’s death.

The reason we put Cafe to rest was because this last Tuesday morning, she had a blood clot in her hind legs stemming from Hyperthropic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). She had genetic heart disease of the left aorta that was enlarged. From that enlarged area, blood began to settle and wasn’t circulated throughout the body. To skip pass the details of the episode, the local vet (Lakeshore Vetenarian Hospital) sent us to a specialist in San Leandro.

Cafe had to see a cardiologist to get a complete checkup, echocardiogram, and meds. We decided very quickly to give her a chance to fight and recover even with the doctor letting us know that Cafe, if she recovers, will be terminally ill.

We both reacted very passionately and tearfully to 1) seeing our cat in pain 2) knowing that she’s been living with a heart problem, and getting a terrible prognosis of terminal illness 3) knowing that we may have to put her to rest.

The entire day was spent wondering how this could happen to us and to our special cat, what the signs were for HCM, and if there were any preventative measures that we could’ve taken. (Addendum: During the overnight at the vet, we got a call around 11pm re Cafe’s condition. Her condition started to deteriorate a little bit more although the doctor said it wasn’t a significant factor. Cafe started to have bloody diarrhea—stemming from blood clot; her liver factors were high—electrolytes shifting away from legs; but her hind legs were twitching.<—Probably a good reason why we had some optimism for her quick recovery.)

Cafe came back home to us the next day with incremental signs of improvement. The doctor said that the nerves in her hind legs were destroyed and new ones could grow back in the next couple of days. And instead of incurring even more in hospital bills (already in the thousands), I took the opportunity to become a nurse to my cat. Unfortunately for my darling wife, she had to work that day, and the next few days while I spent time force feeding Cafe, turning her over, massaging her body and legs, giving her meds and fluids.

Personally, I’ve never taken that much effort to help any one in need. My mind has never been focused so singularly at one task, and that was to simply look after our baby. Throughout those days, I began preparing for the inevitable. I knew that if she didn’t show great signs of improvements in her hind legs and energy, we needed to find the right step to insure she was not going to be in pain any longer.

And over the course of the next few grueling days, she would look at us with her big brown eyes, unable to purr or wag her tail, and talk like she normally does.

To top this agonizing experience, her sister, Jhumpa (orange tabby), was reacting negatively toward Cafe by hissing, acting aggressive, and dry heaving with a lot of distress. Our home was a mess to say the least.

By Thursday evening, my wife took the opporunity to spend time with her, making her feel comfortable and loved. She even spent the night on the ground with her (during the night, Cafe tried crawling with her front legs pulling her, under our bed).

Friday morning was very tough on both of us. We knew the day had come to put Cafe out of her misery. By this time, she would’ve shown great signs of improvement and some nerve regeneration in her hind legs. Instead, she seemed very lethargic. And we decided that it was the right time to euthanize our beloved Cafe. And by Friday night, we had put her to rest, out of her misery, out of her pain and suffering.

What came directly after, the grieving process, is still tremendously difficult to comprehend. My wife and I have been experiencing a sense of loss that neither of us have ever felt. And since we were the sole guardians of Cafe, our small little family shrunk even smaller. Throughout our time with Cafe, we had talked, dreamed, and imagined that our cats would be old ladies, that our future child would get to love our cats just like we have been able to love them…that we would let them roam around our future backyard and play like any indoor/outdoor cat.

We are now trying to understand this pain, this heartache, and this void that has been left in our lives and in our home. She was the loud, sassy, and extra-verted cat that everyone loved. She let us know when she wanted to be held, when it was time to eat, and when she wanted our attention, which was all the time. Cafe filled our lives with all of this, and now there’s a huge, noticeable space.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
― Jean Cocteau

The good news about Jhumpa, out of this tragic event, is that she’s become more affectionate, has a better appetite, and a much more sweeter and loving cat. She was always the shy one, the one that wouldn’t show up for hours because she was going to spend her time in another room sleeping while Cafe had all of our attention. And as I write this now, my wife and I had a small discussion about how devilish Cafe was when it came to dominating our lives. She was always the first one at the door to greet us and usually would wrestle Jhumpa away when she wanted our attention…and the first to eat anything all the time (she loved to eat). Now, even one day after her sister passed away, Jhumpa is eating more frequently, and generally in a more agreeable mood. We never realized how much attention we directed to Cafe until now.

Putting more strangeness to this event, Cafe and Jhumpa were born in the month of March, and they were going to turn 3 years old very shortly. Last year, we invented “The Day of the Cat” as a celebration to our little babies…we will continue that tradition nonetheless, but with more reflection.

Please, if you read this and have a cat, domestic short hair and Maine Coons are more susceptible to HCM, make sure you get your fur baby checked out.

If you are also grieving and want to understand this period of your life, please read this book, “The Loss of a Pet.” My wife read it over the weekend and I’ve just started it. From anger, guilt, doubt, frustration, and suffering, this book does acknowledge the tough road ahead, but reminds us that there will be a process of healing that we need to face honestly and with an open mind.  And for me, I never thought that bond with an animal would be that strong…and subconsciously, Cafe held a very special and happy place in my heart.  She was my security blanket that was severed too quickly.

Below, you will find a compilation of recent images and videos of our dearly beloved and sorely missed Cafe Con Leche. May she touch your lives for a moment the way she touched our lives for the short, but amazing amount of time…and as my wife said, “the great ones die young.” Cafe was too young to have gone through this tragedy, but we are both very fortunate to have had her in our lives because she was our special one.

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In this below video, we would normally see Cafe do this when we come home from work, but then she started doing this all the time for more attention.

One of my favorite moments of this cat was the video below where she followed the camera and belted out her famous little meow.  So long  Cafe Con Leche, you will always be with us in our heart and home.

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Hipster Cat

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We have another cat named Cafe Con Leche. And to all the new readers, she is the sister of Jhumpa (littermates from Berkeley Humane). Cafe is the more extroverted and gregarious feline and will party like a regular San Francisco hipster. She dons a bandana in this video and proceeds to prance around, follow the camera, shimmy, and give some major ‘tude!

We love both cats…this one happens to act more like a dog at times (comes to us when called, seeks attention) and is very talkative when she wants something.

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Written by F&W

December 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Making Cat Pads from Old Chairs

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Our friends gave us these chairs last year. We thought a reupholster project would be fun to try. As the weeks and months quickly passed by, our desire to turn these things from dollar cushions to mid-century revivals vanished like the Inner Sunset’s sun. And the wife really wanted to take on a different version to convert this into something else. She was inspired by our cats…they love using these things to rest, sleep, get fat, pass the time, and __________ (fill in the blank for cat activities).

So away I went. I sawed one arm of each chair and went around until the base was completely free of the upper portion of the chair…goodbye.

The foam was cut a little bigger than the measurement of the area. Wife says that the extra foam gives more cushion and strength to the pad. But before she began (yes, she did most of the actual making here), the edges of the cut arms needed to be rounded a bit.

Here, the support is reinforced and additional fabric straps were stapled across the top of the springs as well. Once that was completed, wife pulled the fabric over the framework to begin the padding.

As I “supervised” the entire project and documented, my wife went to work and hammered in the stubborn staples. (sidebar: She’s really into D.I.Y. projects…and so am I. Weekends like this, over Labor Day, we decided to take it easy and get into crafts/projects. I love it when we both take the time to work on things and settle into a grove, while listening to music. Moments like these are hard to come by when you don’t notice it…especially when you’re out and about doing things, running errands.)

The white finish to the wood really gives these old chairs a modern appeal, but not shabby-chic. The fabric and patterns we decided on “pops” against the white finish. Seems like we made a great decision not to choose the wizards and fairies pattern (kidding…).

And…the piece de resistance is when we got the cats (Jhumpa & Cafe con Leche) to actually sleep on it. From the image above, we definitely needed to coax their OCD a bit. The pillow is one of Jhumpa’s favorite sleeping pads in the bedroom. Eventually, they gave into the comfort and hipness of the cat pads.

Below is a short video of how easy a circular saw is to handle. Ear plugs and safety goggles were part of my safety gear.

Sawing the Furniture from hodgepodgereel on Vimeo.

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