Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is almost here! It seems to me that it was just yesterday when we were celebrating Thanksgiving and before that only a day or two since the sunny skies and much warmer temperatures of summer. With all the snow that we have been getting here in Erie I sure do miss the warmer temperatures of summer!

I have my house all decorated for the season. The Christmas tree is up with the presents under it that family is giving to family. I am sure that Santa Claus will add his gifts when he tiptoes in on Christmas Eve.

I have been collecting Hallmark musical snowmen for the past four or five years and they are all lined up in a row across the television stand. With the other holiday decorations my home is looking quite festive. I sometimes get the crazy idea that I will keep my holiday decorations up all year round. I love all the snowmen, Santa Claus', reindeer, nutcrackers, elves, angels, etc that are used to decorate this time of the year. I think houses look so inviting with all the lights and decorations in the yard. Jim and I are going to go out driving on Christmas Eve to look at the houses in the area and see the decorations. It is sad that the economy has caused many people to cut back on their celebrations this year. Many houses that usually light up the neighborhood are dark this year.

Four of my Hallmark singing Snowman
Despite having six cats in the household and four of them kittens that are just six months old the Christmas tree is surviving very well. A few sprays with water and they have learned to avoid the tree like it is going to eat them. I don't want them playing with the tree because all of them had a fascination with the icicles and I do not want to have to run a kitten to the vet that has ingested tinsel and has a bowel obstruction because of it. I prefer to keep the holiday season safe for everyone that lives here. The biggest danger to the tree has been the dogs tails. It seems no matter what is going on the dogs manage to turn their butt towards the tree and wag their tails merrily. It causes a dilemma because I can't yell at the dogs for wagging their tails. So we use distraction and get them away from the tree as soon as possible. Still the bottom third of the tree is looking a little worse for wear. The branches are a bit bent, the icicles pushed into the tree or on the ground. Ornaments have been doing half gainers all over the place. We did think far enough ahead to put all the unbreakable ornaments on the lower half of the tree.

Christmas tree all decorated before the dogs tails started their redecoration efforts!
Here are a couple of my other Christmas decorations. I love giving and getting Christmas decorations. They are something you can use every year to remember the person that gave you the gift. I also buy myself at least one new Christmas decoration every year. It keeps the decoration of the house fresh and new every year and makes every Christmas just a little special. You have the comfort and memories of the older ornaments that have been used every year and you have the new ornaments or decorations that will be in your memories of Christmas in the future.

Close up of the Angel tree topper
The angel is a treasured memento of Cindy Peters, Jims mother, she passed a few years ago. Christmas was her favorite holiday and she really loved this angel.

Dogs Christmas Stockings
The dog's Christmas stockings are definitely not hung by the chimney with care because we have no fireplace. So they are hung up out of reach of snoopy puppy noses which works out just fine.

I want to wish everyone peace and happiness during this Holiday season. May everyone be safe and enjoy this special magical time of the year.
Best wishes everyone! Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trouble is back

Trouble is back! I am not necessarily happy about it but you deal with what you have to deal with. Jim and I were sitting watching television the other evening when there was a knock on the door. The next door neighbor's child was standing at our door. He had a request to make. In the summer months when we had the entire litter of kittens to give away his family had taken the runt of the litter, they named her Trouble. We had heard nothing about her since then although we had seen her occasionally. Now he was on our doorstep stating that his mom told him to throw the kitten outside because she was not litter trained like we claimed. It seemed strange to us because all the kittens used the litter box only making mistakes if we did not keep the litter boxes clean. You could tell that he was upset about his mother's ultimatum. He told us that he did not want to put her outside in the cold so could we please take her back.

Trouble perched on back of chair after arrival back at our house.

I was also very upset for several reasons. One that I considered the neighbors to be responsible animal lovers and I would never consider that they would throw an animal out in the snow because of litter box issues. There are other avenues that you can follow, retraining her to use the litter box, finding her a new home, taking her to the shelter, etc. They have other cats and two dogs, I am wondering which of them will get thrown out for trivial reasons next. There are things that you can do to get a cat to use a litter box when it breaks litter training. Why if this was an ongoing problem had we not heard about it earlier? Something did not smell right about the entire situation but I did not want to see the kitten trying to survive on her own in the middle of winter or worse find out she died so we agreed to take her back. I am sure if they were callous enough to throw her outside they would not bother to take care of her and provide shelter or feed her anymore. I basically felt we had no choice.

This came at a very bad time because we had seriously considered taking the remaining kittens to the no kill shelter in town because having five cats was just a bit too much. Now here we are with six cats! This is not progressing in the correct direction.

Trouble right before she left our house when her name was Squirt!

Now we have Rommel going through cat infatuation again because there is an new cat in the house so he is on high alert to chase and play with any thing that moves. Trouble is hiding and spitting and hissing at the other cats in the house. She does not remember that they are all family. Of course the resident cats are all returning the favor and growling and hissing back at her. I have not ever heard so many sounds of cat discontent in my life. I have had to keep a small dish of cat food next to me so Trouble can get something to eat because the other cats will not let her share their dish yet. She has used the litter box so I guess that the reason for dumping her is a figment of someones imagination.

Now we not only have another mouth to feed and care for, we have chaos in the house that will probably take several days or weeks to resolve itself. We still have to make the hard decision on whether to take the kittens to the shelter where they will hopefully find good homes or keep them here because they have of course worked their little fuzzy selves into our hearts. I am not happy with my neighbors and I am hoping that I will not see them for quite a while so that I have time to calm down before I tell them what I think of their attitudes towards raising kittens.

Oh well, life goes on. I need to take a deep breath and get on with things. Excuse me but I have to go grab a German Shepherd that is flying past me chasing a cat. Life is definitely going to be so bizarre, that is for sure.