Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Oliver!


Happy Birthday to you Oliver.  You bring such joy to my life and I love your quirky personality.  I never know what to expect with you!  I am so glad you are part of the family.  Now you are the oldest and have a big role to play as big brother.  I know you are up to the challenge!

Purrs and Hugs to my favorite 4 year old!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Travels

On our last day we traveled back to Nairobi and visited one of the maternity homes of the Mercy House.  They have two homes in undisclosed locations so I don't have but one photo.  The girls need to remain protected.
Mercy House rescues girls from the slums around Kenya that are pregnant and gives them a chance for transformation and healing.  The bedrooms are super cute and practical as each mother has a crib above her bed for the baby.  There are four girls and babies to a room.

We had an amazing time of worship with the girls as they sang and gave praise to our Lord.  These girls show us that God still works miracles and is a loving God.

All too soon, it was time to be heading to the airport for two long flights home.  We certainly had a lot to think about and process.
Our plane in London getting ready to take us home!  This flight was practically empty so Auntie moved to her own row and I had mine!  We loved all the extra space and attention by the attendants!

Well, that sums up our trip.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing a different part of the world.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mancat Monday

The panthers are all sick at the moment with colds and various things.  They are just lying around the house or hiding.  It is quite pitiful!
Flynn and Harrison resting by the "fire" trying to stay warm :)  They both have a cold and are sneezing a lot.

Harrison has moved to a new bed. He is eating well but doesn't feel like playing or anything.

Flynn hoping the sun will help him.  He still eats fine and is starting to perk up a bit now.  He and Harry have been sneezing for at least 5 days now.  We should be getting to the end of the cold.

This is Oliver's tail sticking out from under the couch.  He is having a worse time than the others and has ulcers in his mouth and throat.  He is growling a lot because he is uncomfortable.  He is on pain meds and something to help coat the ulcers.  That medicine is obviously of the devil because he flings his head around and I end up wearing more than he gets I feel!  He started by flicking his mouth funny on Wednesday night, so he went in on Thursday. 

He continued to eat, if you would put his favorite hard food in a pile under the couch.  Canned food hurt his mouth too much.
Last night (Sunday) he came out for a bit to drink.  This morning he was out more as well and asking for snuggles.  I think he is on the mend, finally!

Purrs that the panthers feel better soon...they are true mancats in how they handle feeling poorly!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Foster Friday

The kittens are all doing well this week!!
Regina and Monte are exploring more and more...

Madeline just loves to snuggle!  She wants to sit with you all the time and will scream until you pick her up.

Rusty loves to have a nest to sleep in, although he wont seek it out, but will stay if you put him there.

Josie is already spoken for...we are just not sure which other kitten will be going with her yet.

Another cute one of Rusty...he was nursing away with his mouth while he slept!

Harrison and Rusty...thankfully the panthers don't mind the kittens.

Received preliminary report from the state lab, but it doesn't really shed any light on the problem.  I'm waiting for my vet to call so we can talk it over.  Maybe the full report will be back next week.  Everyone seems healthy though and they all eat well and are playing more and more.  Fingers crossed we are out of the woods!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday Travels - Kiria Day Two

Day two in Kiria started with us dividing into teams and visiting homes.  We were going to learn how to make a few Kenyan dishes and see what life is like on a daily basis.
This is the kitchen in the home I visited.  It is a separate building from the house.  The building is pretty small and the smell of smoke and heat from the fire can be a bit overwhelming at times.  Thankfully, they didn't get offended if we needed to step out and get some fresh air! 
Peeling potatoes for Mukimo.  I got a bit sunburned the first day in the village!

Members of the team...Ariel, Auntie and Amy

Mercy, the village coordinator for 410 Bridge is showing us around the property.  Each person has a wonderful garden and therefore the village is not hungry.

Amy and Ariel making Chapati...a flat dough like Naan or pita.

The men and C from our team are all talking...you can see the wood C tried to chop in the yard.  It looks more like a tornado came through!

We ended up back at the school for a closing ceremony where we were each given a Leso, which is a piece of fabric you wear as a wrap when cooking.  The women showed us how to tie them on.  This fabric could then be taken off and used as a blanket, or you could make it into a bundle for carrying groceries, etc...very useful to have.

Our trip is coming to an end...we have one more place to visit next week...Mercy House.  I have posted about this organization before and was very excited to see it in action and meet the residents.



Friday, September 08, 2017

Foster Friday

We have been doing some better in the foster world this week, but still had a sad moment...
Sweet Charlie passed away Sunday morning.  He has been the weakest of the crew, but still eating well and walking around to seek out snuggles.  Auntie and I dropped him off at the State Vet Lab to have a full necropsy done so we can hopefully get some answers as to what is going on with this group.  For those that have lost count, that is three cats (1 adult, 2 kittens) that have passed away from our house this week!  Needless to say, its been a rough one.

This little stinker, Rusty, has made himself at home.  He is the first one to come downstairs and prefers to hang out with us over the other kittens.  I wonder if Tanner is telling him something?


He loves to snuggle and sleep in your arms...

What a cutie pie...wish they could stay this size!

Checking out all the hiding places...we can still see you Rusty!

The other kittens are all doing well.  Josie has a potential adopter once she gets big enough.  She and Regina and Rusty are from the same litter as the ones that have died, so I'd like to be able to tell adopters what happened to their brothers.

Madeline and Zoe each weigh one pound and a half!!  They look so good these days and play hard.  Monte is almost at two pounds and is looking more like a cat these days.  He shouldn't have any trouble finding a home.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Thursday Travels - Kiria Kenya - Day One

After visiting the coffee plantation, we continued driving through the rift valley and ended up at Lake Naivasha, Kenya.  We spent the night at a fabulous hotel and traveled the next morning to Kiria.  The drive is about 1-1/2 hours.  Auntie and I were super excited because today we will get to see our sponsor girls again!
The morning started off with a welcoming ceremony and then it was time to get to work.  We were helping the village start the foundation for the schools administrative building.  Many of the villagers were out and ready to help. 
I also jumped in and helped...we all like to take part in each task for the day.

Our trip leader helping...

Auntie working hard!

Finally it was time to see the kids some more and hang out with Eunice.  I was super excited because Eunice sought me out this time and was not shy in the least!  Here she is (left) with her older sister Millie, and younger sister Christine. 
Auntie with Margaret and me with Eunice.

Me with Christine and Eunice again.  It was starting to rain... 
Our whole crew...we didn't get to see our other sponsor girl Evelyne this time because she was in boarding school.
We visited with Eunice and Margaret for a couple of hours.  We played Memory and Go Fish.  I think they had a great time!  Eunice won both rounds of Go Fish.  When we were walking the kids home, she just leaned into me and said "I've never won at anything".  She was so happy!

Next week I'll talk about day two in the village, where we did "The Day in the Life".

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Tanner Tuesday

April 7, 2002 - September 1, 2017

Many of you saw this news on Facebook, but Tanner passed away on Friday evening.

He had been at the vet since Thursday around noon receiving IV fluids and a different antibiotic.  We hoped that if he were to get re-hydrated that he would be interested in eating.  Unfortunately this didn't happen.  He still seemed relatively perky but for him to continue to not eat was a concern.  

We discussed a feeding tube, but didn't think that was the best option for Tanner.  He has been through enough and seemed to be saying he was ready to go.  His joy was gone, food and playing.  He was alert but just sitting there.  The vet believes strongly that his cancer had returned, and the best thing for him was euthanasia.

I went to the vet, with Auntie, around 5:20 to spend some time with him before his vet arrived at 6.  He was out of town at another location that day and was traveling back.  He ended up stuck in traffic and horrible rain storms, and wasn't going to be back until closer to 7pm.  We decided to let the vet on duty do it and it was all very peaceful.  

We were able to snuggle with Tanner while we waited and he was purring up a storm for us.  He didn't seem uncomfortable, other than still being congested.  I was able to tell him what a good cat he had been and that he could send us someone when the time was right.  I don't know that I'll ever have a cat that is as tolerant as Tanner...he was a special boy!

Tanner is now at the bridge, completing the original Four Crazy Cats.  I'm sure he is eating at the buffet every chance he gets!

I want to thank you all for the purrs and cheers over the years for my boy.  You encouraged him when he was trying to lose weight and then supported him when fighting cancer.  You gave me three extra years with my orange boy, with your thoughts and purrs.  Thank you!



Friday, September 01, 2017

Foster Friday and a Tanner Update

It's been another busy and crazy week at our house, so hang on...
Monday morning we woke up to find Caleb had passed away in the night.  We are not sure what happened, as he was eating and playing before going to bed.  No reason to think something was wrong with him! 
Remember Mom Bella?  She had been at the shelter for over two months, but was adopted this past weekend!  Woo Hoo for her!!
The roundworms have gone, but we started seeing some tapeworms...remember the fleas from the other week? 
Everyone had to go to the shelter on Tuesday for vaccines and a new dewormer.  We also took in a poop sample to make sure Caleb didn't have panleukapenia...negative thank goodness!  The shelter has seen a lot of kittens with the deadly disease this year unfortunately.  Because we were "suspect" the kittens had their exams in the parking lot!  Better safe than sorry.
The kittens took their dewormer and vaccines like champs and have been more perky since then.

They are all starting to play more and eat like piggies!

Regina is our most rambunctious one and loves to try and escape from her room!

Now on to Tanner.  I'm writing this on Thursday and he is currently at the vet and will be spending the night.  He is so dehydrated that we all felt some IV fluids would be beneficial to him.  The vet took some x-rays as well and noticed he has a kidney stone..which seems to be new.  He also peed blood while there, but no infection was present, so not real sure why so much blood.  He is starting on a different antibiotic to try and help the cold and also now a possible kidney infection.  This has me concerned because before his lymphoma last time, he had unexplained blood in his urine then too.  Wonder if it is a stone or a tumor?  Will ask the vet today when I talk with him.

His blood values looked good still.

We discussed a feeding tube, but that would require a trip to the vet school.  We also have to be mindful of sedating him at this point.

The vet is impressed with how "well" he is acting given all that is going on.  Now, if only he would eat!!

I hope my boy can pull out another miracle, but he definitely has me worried.  We appreciate all the purrs for healing and comfort!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Travels - Coffee Plantation

Wednesday was a travel day for us and we started late.  A couple of team members started the morning by meeting with their Compassion child.  The rest of us slept in, walked around the hotel property, shopped and ate.  It was finally time to pack up and head out to our next location.  On the way, we stopped at the Fairview Estate Coffee Plantation.
The grounds were just beautiful.

Me and Auntie with team member Autumn...

We toured the coffee fields and learned about the different varieties...the dark red beans are the ones ready to be picked.

Our guide was amazing and so knowledgeable!   Coffee plants can grow and produce for 300 years!  Some of the ones on the plantation were over 100 years old.  They are also working on some hybrid varieties that are more adapted to the current environment.

The coffee plants are trimmed by hand, to keep them a certain height that is easier for harvesting.  The trimmings can be collected by local neighbors for firewood.

The coffee berries are picked and sorted by hand. 

They go through a process and series of machines to wash them and help remove the outer hull to get down to the bean. 
Berries getting a bath!

After the tour we were allowed to taste the coffee!  There were several different roast levels for us to try...light, medium and dark.  Of course, we could purchase coffee to take home as well.  Our bus smelled wonderful!

It was a very welcoming and well run plantation.  The workers are paid a living wage, and day care is provided for the children, so the women can continue to work.  The wood scraps are made available to the locals for free.  There were linen gift bags for the coffee that were made by some local women as well to give them a job.  It was nice to see an organization that cared about its surrounding community. 

After our tour, we were on our way to the Panorama Hotel, which would be our home for the next couple of nights.  Next week, we will be in the village of Kiria, where my sponsor girl lives!