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Fare Thee Well

Sunlight on Sweet Stripey

I love this picture of my sweet Stripey Boy. He has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge and I’ve been missing him for 6 months now. He was my buddy for 19 years and will always be in my heart.

This was the very first photo I ever posted for the Daily Post weekly photo challenge going on four years ago. Bringing me full circle, I think it is a fitting entry for the last Daily Post challenge. I’m sorry to see it end. It has been a great way to get motivated and stay connected.

Posted for the last daily post weekly photo challenge: All-Time Favorites

Be at Peace, Stripey Boy

My Stripey Boy

I’m heartbroken that my sweet Stripey Boy passed on yesterday. I really misss his 19 year old soul. I don’t think I realized how often I thought of him, reached out to him, and spoke to him every day. He was a good boy, very affectionate and playful. I was lucky to care for him for 19 years. I believe his strength and well-being have been returned to him on the other side. I know I will one day meet him again, look at him eye to eye, hear his purr, and hug him close. Until we meet again, Stripey Boy, be at peace.

Resilient Tabby



Look at my sweet Stripey’s eyes!

Not too long ago, I noticed that my cat didn’t seem to be able to see the way he usually did. I wondered if he had suddenly lost his sight because of a kitty stroke. I hoped it would get better, but soon he couldn’t see at all and I called his vet.

Poor little Stripey was resilient. He just walked slowly and close to the walls and found his way around my house. He could find his food, water and litter box from memory. I made sure not to move anything around so as not to confuse him. It was hard to guide him because, at 18 years old, Stripey’s hearing was already diminished. If I pounded on the floor and called his name, he would sometimes turn toward the vibration. I tried not to startle him, but still tried to comfort him by sitting near. He would sit close and even sit on my lap. The saddest thing was that he couldn’t look at me! I really missed the eye contact. His pupils stayed dark and large. My heart was breaking for him, but he just carried on and adapted.

By the time of Stripey’s vet appointment, I had been already been trying to find answers by googling his symptoms. Turns out that a cat can go blind from detached retinas if his blood pressure is too high. I read that there was a possibility of restored vision if blood pressure medication was started soon enough.

The mobile vet confirmed that my cat’s blood pressure was too high. He was started on blood pressure medicine. But, I wondered, was it in time? Another week later, he still couldn’t see, and while his blood pressure was better, it was still too high. So, the vet increased his medicine dosage, which did improve his vital measurements. I was cautiously hopeful.

I prayed and prayed for a miracle. I thought he seemed to be seeing a little, but wondered if it was my imagination. I kept praying. I gave him his medicine every day by applying a compounded cream on the tip of his inner ear. I prayed that with lowered blood pressure, the fluid behind his eyes would go away so that his retinas could reattach. I worried that it was too late. I prayed some more.

One day, I was holding Stripey on my lap and I noticed his eyes. The pupils were constricting in the light! I excitedly took this picture to document the moment I knew he could see light.

I started to notice that Stripey wasn’t hugging the walls when he walked through my rooms. He moved a little faster. And, one day, he looked up into my eyes and I knew he saw me! My prayers were answered! I was so happy! After five weeks, my beloved Stripey could see again.

So, keep this in mind, especially if your cat has a sudden change in vision, and make sure to see your vet. I had no idea that a cat could have high blood pressure and need blood pressure medicine. Did you?

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge: resilient

Jarring Perspective

Perspective One

Perspective One

I can’t wait to scoop some tasty Peach Jalapeño Jam from this big jar!

Perspective Two

Perspective Two

So, the jar isn’t quite as big as I thought. Maybe I better use a smaller spoon. Is that Apple Butter in the background?

Perspective Three

Perspective Three

Now, I just want them both! The jam jar holds about half of what the apple butter jar holds, but there is still plenty to sample. Lucky me!

This week, photo blogger Cee has encouraged us to experiment with photographic perspective. It has become clear that distance makes a big difference in the way subject size and pertinence is perceived.

My final photo raises a question of pet perspective. Is this how my dog and cat really perceive each other? No wonder my cat always keeps an eye out for the Basset Hound. And, no wonder my dog seems to think the tabby cat belongs to him! Good thing they do get along!

Pet Perspective

Pet Perspective

Check out Cee’s blog for more info about perspective and the Compose Yourself Photo Challenge.

Eye of the Tiger

eye of the tiger

eye of the tiger

Eye spy: the eye of the tiger cat.

Stripey Boy is my seventeen year old striped tabby cat. I think his sweet soul shows in his eyes. He brings joy and softness to my life.

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
Eye Spy

Sweet Seventeen

Happy Birthday to Stripey Boy! He is seventeen today!

I love this sweet cat. He is cuddly and loving. The older he gets, the more he wants to sit on your lap or on your chest, resting upon your shoulder. He is gentle but loves to play. He loves to chase catnip mice. Once, he caught a real field mouse in his mouth but promptly let it go without harm. Yes, that mouse was an uninvited visitor in my house, but that’s a story for another day!

Stripey gets along with my basset hound Pal and will sit right by him on the couch. Pal wouldn’t hurt a fly and Stripey seems to know this. Still, Stripey doesn’t always appreciate being slobbered on. He is fast and can run away into rooms where Pal can’t reach him when he wants to be alone.

I have known Stripey Boy his whole life. Here is a previous post, Stripey’s Story, about how he became mine. I have always cared for him. Now that he is older, I need to put a cream medicine in his ears twice a day to help with his hyperthyroidism. And, he gets cans of wet cat food (he mostly likes the gravy) along with his dry cat food. I love giving him his favorite Friskies Party Mix treats. He deserves to be a pampered house kitty!

Extra birthday treats and hugs for Stripey today!

Eye of the Tabby-Refraction Photo Challenge

Sunlight on Sweet Stripey

Sunlight on Sweet Stripey

Weekly Photo Challenge:Refraction

The Object of My Affection-Stripey’s Story

Stripey Boy at 16

Stripey Boy at 16

Our final Writing 101 challenge is to write about an object that is our most prized possession.

Stripey Boy is my 16 year old cat. He is more prized to me than any object I possess. His value cannot be measured in price or sentiment. I’m not sure if I own him or if he owns me. He certainly owns my heart.

I have always known Stripey Boy was my cat, even when he didn’t technically belong to me. 16 years ago, my next door neighbor (let’s call her Anna-I really don’t remember her name) moved in with two cats. Before long, those cats started having kittens.

I first saw Stripey when he was only several weeks old. His mother, Little Abbie, came from her secret birthing place with one of her tiny kittens in tow. She was carrying this silver gray tabby kitten by his back leg instead of by the scruff of his neck. She was doing her best to move him to safety. My neighbor, Anna, actually kept the small litter inside for a few weeks before returning them to their outdoor status.

I wasn’t sure if another cat would fit in with my two beloved indoor kitties, Cimba and Patch. So, I kept an eye on Stripey in the great outdoors.

One day, I noticed an older neighbor (let’s call him Mr. Brown) placing a bowl of cat food on his back porch for Stripey. Anna later confirmed that Mr. Brown, with whom she had gotten quite close, had offered to take care of the cat.

Stripey took his meals from Mr. Brown but he stayed around my house looking for attention.

He greeted me each day as I returned home from work, prancing down my sidewalk with his tail straight up in the air. He bumped up against my legs and followed me to the porch. We sat outside together, his whiskers brushing against my hand in request for a scratch of his head, his grey and black striped fur soft to the touch. His bright eyes tracked my every move. He talked to me with meows, squeaks and purrs. I spoke back with words of praise and assurance.

Stripey especially liked to rest in a big flower barrel, empty except for dirt, that was on my front porch. I placed newspapers on top so he wouldn’t get dusty or muddy if rain blew in.

One night, poor Stripey hobbled up my steps and into his barrel. He was holding up his back left leg. His face was puffy and his eyes were distressed with pain. He knew where to come for help.

Since Stripey didn’t technically belong to me, I needed to approach my neighbor to see if I could help take the injured cat to the vet. I didn’t know Mr. Brown very well, really not at all. I hoped he would let me help.

I walked up his front steps, carrying Stripey. “He’s hurt,” I said. “I would be glad to take him to the vet. Would that be okay with you?”

Mr. Brown nodded his head. “That would be good. It’s hard for me to get out and he does need help.” Mr. Brown seemed concerned and relieved. “Go ahead and take him,” he said.

When the vet asked me the name of my cat, I uttered “Stripey Boy, his name is Stripey Boy.” Only later did I learn that the old man had called him TC, which stood for Tiger Cat.

The vet wasn’t certain, but she thought Stripey may have gotten his paw caught in a fence. She needed to keep him several nights for testing and medical care procedures. I kissed him on the top of his head, told him he was loved and promised him I’d be back.

When Stripey was able to leave the animal hospital, he eased back to his normal routine of traveling between the houses. I gave him all his medicine and all the extra attention he craved.

Not long after, Anna decided to move from the neighborhood. She decided she would either find homes for her expanded cat population (spay and neuter had never been on her need to do list, despite my urging and offer of assistance) or take them to the pound.

My mother lives with me and she was sitting on our front porch when Mr. Brown yelled down to her. “I know your daughter likes TC. I can’t take care of him any more and she might want to keep him. Anna needs to know because she is leaving soon.”

My phone rang as I was out shopping with a friend. “Hurry home!” my mother said and she explained the situation.

I arrived home as Anna was putting Little Abbie into her car.

“Stop!” I cried, rushing over. “Where is she going?”

Anna said she was keeping Abbie (which still breaks my heart; my shopping friend was ready to give her a good home.) Stripey Boy was crouched in a crate on the sidewalk, mewing. “Do you want him?” she asked. “I was told you might want him.”

“Yes!” I cried out, releasing my cat from his imprisonment. “Stripey Boy, you are mine. I always knew you were mine.”

Stripey, my pampered indoor house kitty, is a treasured part of my life. He is family. He chose me when he needed help and attention. Circumstances ensured that he would be mine.

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