Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.
He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect tail and endearing behind.
Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.
He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.
Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap and breakfast was on.
He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.
Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed. Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.
Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top of the progression of his heart disease.
Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously. His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.
Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring down I went outside.
He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.
His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always persevered.
An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry. Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make anguished yelps.
We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.
He wanted to be left alone.
Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo was two feet from the door.
We let him be.
An hour later Clara checked on Petey.
His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.
But Petey had passed.
He never made it to the igloo.
Moti has been missing since Sept 2014. On Jan 23, 2015 while walking in McClaren Park a cat resembling Moti emerged on a tree branch above a thicket of bushes. This brightened our hearts as Clara and I imagine Moti as a feline Tarzan. Clara wrote the below poem before we confirmed the cat was not Moti.
by Clara Hsu
Who sits on a branch
above a field of thorns?
My cat. My cat.
Who listens to his names
and twitches his ears?
My cat. My cat.
His looks have changed since autumn
from living wild and eating mice.
We’re trespassing his kingdom
that can’t be bought
Catnip on the hills.
October 2017 Tangents
Greece Music Tour
(click to learn more and be in loop
for Oct 2018 Greece music tour)
On a scouting trip to Greece, Dore was entertained by Cretan cats in Chania, Crete - one of the stops on the Oct 2017 Tangents Greece Music Tour.
Photo by Donna Ludlow
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Gaza Corner 9/23/17
Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro is the most high profile victim of the recently enacted censorship law put forth by Presidential Decree by the increasingly unpopualr Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Issa Amro: “They’re destroying us with this censorship law. We are using human rights and freedom of expression as a tool to attack the occupation, to destroy the false image Israel has created–we are using our voices to show that Israel is an occupying country, and by making these kind[s] of arrests against activists, journalists and other groups they are taking away that tool from us, because the people will have both governments coming after them...They are attacking one of the only tools we still have to use against Israel–which is our voice.”(Sheren Khalel, Mondoweiss, 9/20/17)
The passage of the Electronic Crimes Law and the PA’s subsequent actions, make clear that neither Israel nor the PA will tolerate dissent; their respective actions do not simply target the press but also those who speak out, as in the case of Amro. As part of Israel’s tactics to quash dissent, it has arrested Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, for writing poems, for criticising Israel on Facebook and for broadcasting stories critical of Israel, its occupation or leadership. To this end, Israel recently announced it would ban al-Jazeera from operating.(Diana Buttu, Opinion, Guardian UK, 9/20/17)
The Electronic Crimes Law, a new PA law put into place by decree by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.... aims to criminalize a broad swath of critical commentary on social media sites like Facebook under the pretext of disrupting social harmony or similar allegations.(Samidoun.net, 9/10/17)
The law and associated repressive arrests of journalists and activists by the PA come amid the targeting of hundreds of Palestinians for arrest and imprisonment by the Israeli occupation for their social media posts. It also highlights the issue of PA security coordination with Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people, especially activists and human rights defenders.
Responding to Amro’s detention, Amnesty International said: “It is outrageous that a prominent human rights defender has been arrested simply for voicing his opinion online. Criticising the authorities should not be a criminal offence. Issa Amro’s arrest is the latest evidence that the Palestinian authorities are determined to continue with their repressive campaign against free speech.(Peter Beaumont, Guardian UK, 9/5/17)