Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

well rosie’s good news is she is walking, using her litter pan, and even sneaking into my arms in bed at night:)


that’s rosie and young dandelion.

whew, i lost the month of february folks. sending you all love and apologize for missing out on so much you all did in blogland! i spend about 8 hours a day at dylan’s house during the week, and when i was home and had chores done, i spent alot of time in this closet with rose marie. when she was still so crippled she drug her legs, i shut the door during the day (its louvered), just because i was so afraid she would get hurt worse if dande decided to play chase with her again. when i was home, i would leave it open and was able to  monitor. at first, she was totally incontinent both ways and that was an around the clock effort to keep her both clean and bathed and the laundry done! as she seemed stronger, did gentle little exercises with her legs and feet, and nice whole body massages. when she made those first overtures at trying to stand a bit, i put a small shallow box with the side out in the far corner of the cleaned out closet for her litter tray. what a celebration it was when she first went poop in it:) and then when i found her bathing her own nether regions… i was over the moon.  than i started gently holding her up with my hands under her weak rear end and gently putting the lame leg in the proper stance, while supporting it, thinking to help train those muscles and nerves. with rosie being older i figured she probably had a bit of what some older people get with an injury. those times when she would move without thinking and the times when she still acted like she did when it first happened. slowly, slowly she improved. then suddenly… she disappeared! yup folk, just up and disappeared on me! well….. last week i woke up at 4 in the morning ( i tried to get up every two hours to turn the heating pad back on in her little bedroom closet), stumbled into my den and no rosie. the basement door was cracked open as the cats can run around down there also and apparantly she decided to take a walk! i hunted for 45 minutes down there and up here and never did find her. she just suddenly came tearing ass up the basement stairs kind of running on the bum leg and kind of dragging it! wow, did i feel more grey hairs. i am trying to keep that door closed unless i am right here in the kitchen till she gets a bit better. well now she is walking around a bit steadier and kind of jumping clawing her way in bed with me and i am feeling better about her recovery. she still has a little bit of urinary incontinence (hope that doesn’t happen in my bed!) i stopped giving her comfrey when she first started to walk a bit and have eased off her couch grass/cleavers and am going to explore something to help tone her bladder/urinary tract now that we have forestalled a uti(still being watchful of that though). will keep you all posted on how she does and might even be able to catch up a bit with you all now that i am not constantly in the closet!lol i guess the kind of herbalist i am is like graham greene’s character, leonard, in the series northern exposure! lol i gotta keep close to my patients;)

on to plants…. the gardens aren’t doing much yet. still alot of snow. but i did find…fern




several kinds of mint


…and some lambs ear (natures bandaids)

lambs ear

we had our second herb club meeting and it was great. several more people showed up and everyone showed genuine enthusiasm for herbal medicine and wildforaging:) we each chose an herb to talk on next month and i chose dandelion and violets as most folks knew a bit about dandelions and really nothing about violets, and both should be going good by then.

i have been rearranging things around here for my convenience on my herbal studying also. i have moved my puter right onto the kitchen table from my den. that way it is right here when i need to look up something while doing my chores, or to listen to one of the many herb videos available on the net. convenient to be able to listen to the herbmentor videos and lessons, also moved some of my books onto a shelf that used to have knick knacks on it





i already had managed to squeeze a few book shelf spots into the kitchen before



my den is right next to my kitchen, but my kitchen is where i hang and any steps i can save, is more time to be either cooking or studying;-) anyway, i was running out of shelf space on the den bookshelves, lol. need to get in that room and do some more stuff before i post pics of it. i have taken so many book and put them in boxes in the basement. alot of my nature story books and others i can’t bare to part with, but need the space for my bee and herb/wildforaging books in there now.

speaking of heather, got a lovely delivery of very fresh herbs from her this last month also. was running out of dandelion, angelica, and burdock and got some hyssop herb and oil from her also. beautiful, beautiful herbs folks and i highly recommend ordering from heather. so fresh i could smell them through the ups box. earl was in love with the scent also





got to see my first 3D movie this weekend. my husband knew i loved the movie avatar when i saw it, so took me to see it in 3D! totally cool! got about 12 inches cut off my hair the day before so here is me in my 3D glasses and with a new hairdo!


little things can brighten a day this time of year. we are just now starting to have a few sunny days and a bit of melt. this little dust pan i found at the goodwill made me smile ( i needed it too!)


spring is coming! there are so many reassuring signs. one being the snow geese migration


well, i must go make our supper now. i am having squash with hickory syrup:) making my hubby some wild caught salmon. sent him shopping at the river for cottonwood bark and willow branches. i haven’t even had time to the herbal recipes and projects from february’s issue of herbal roots zine yet! love and hugs to all of you who visit comfrey cottages








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(Rose on her cushion in my den overlooking the back gardens. This is her special spot and I discourage the other kitties from taking over here.)

Well my apologies again for being so absent. Another kitty cat drama:( Rose Marie, my oldest kitty, is lame in the back end. I woke up Saturday the sixth, about 4 A.M., with a hot flash. On to the couch I went to cool down a moment and was immediately joined by Violet Joy and some other kitty I couldn’t see in the dark, on my feet. Suddenly, my companions shot off toward the kitchen, and I could hear a commotion under my kitchen table chairs. I dashed in and found Rose surrounded by the other cats. When I got her untangled from the chairs and shoved the other kitties back, I could see Rose was wild eyed and her back end was dragging uselessly! I first thought, oh no, she has had a stroke! I whisked her carefully in to the bathroom and closed the door so not to add to her fright by having such an audience surrounding her. I spoke softly and caressed her and started to make a careful assessment. Her eyes, while looking uncustomarily wild, did not have any bulging, or obvious differences in her pupils, and while her back end was lame, everything else looked fine! No blood anywhere, a gentle feel everywhere and I could feel no broken bones and she really didn’t act in pain! Carefully I felt for her pulses in her different arteries and felt her pads for warmth. Hmmm her circulation seemed fine. Well, I had seen this sort of thing before with two other cats. I was suspecting a broken pelvic. The first kitty, Lola, I ever had who had a broken pelvic, happened to be pregnant also. This was back in the day when I allowed my kitties to go in and out. I never knew what happened, but suspected she was sideswiped by a car. Here she came, dragging her back legs, and off I dashed 45 minute drive to the vet. I watched him carefully assess her and could understand how he came to the diagnosis of broken pelvic without doing  xrays. He said just bring her home and time should heal her, and it did rather quickly with her giving successful birth to her kittens within a few weeks. The second time I saw a cat with these symptoms was with our Rumbley cat. This is how my husband ended up adopting Rumbley, he came dragging up to the door lame. Well, with Rumbley I assessed him as my vet did and was confident that he had also had a mishap and broke his pelvic. Again, he made a good recovery although he always had a slight weakness on one of his hind sides and a bit of droop to one eye, no doubt a car mishap again. Now Lola was a fairly young cat and Rumbley, mature but not old. Now Rosie…. I don’t know but when I first found her and adopted her 4 years ago, my vet said she was an old cat, probably over 10 then, so things are going slower for Rose. She is requiring alot of bodily care as she hasn’t been able to use her litter box, but she has at no time acted in pain or done anything but act overjoyed to see me. I am keeping her contained to a closet I emptied for her. I have the floor first covered with plastic and then with towels for easy clean up. And I daily have been giving her gentle baths by just pouring the water over her privates and gently washing and rinsing before giving her clean plastic and towels. Yesterday she actually tried to stand up! Only for a moment, but that was encouraging so I have put a small box with one side cut out and a bit of litter in case she gets froggy. We have had to fight constipation and I am uncertain if it is because it hurts to have a bowl movement, or she just doesn’t want to mess herself so holds it.  Either way, she did have a bm the day after her accident,( I suspect she was being chased by young Dandelion and either slid into or fell off the kitchen table or one of its chairs). But then she didn’t have another for 3 days so I did run her to the vet probably for more her sake than mine, and she suggested adding a bit of pumpkin to her diet. Well, I had just added wet food to her diet that day and the very next day she had a HUGE bm so I felt pretty confident maybe just the wet food would help in that dept, but she hasn’t gone again for a few days so I am adding some pureed pumpkin I had in the freezer to tonights meal.  I have a heating pad covered in a soft cloth up against the side of the closet that Rose seems to favor sleeping in as she is my cold blooded kitty and was usually found sleeping on the floor directly over our furnace in the basement. This additional warmth seems to keep her cozy and as comfy as can be. I am helping to forestall any urinary tract disorders with couch grass and cleavers and comfrey for the broken bone. I am making an infusion of all three and giving her about two teaspoons in a dropper once a day. I don’t have children to mind tomorrow (maybe!) so am hoping to get out and see if I can find her any fresh grass in between the snow piles. Cats appear sturdy but their inside working are really quite delicate so trusting in Mother Nature and Father time also. So hoping Rose will be able to make a full recovery and will simply dwell on the fact she could have an undetectable tumor pressing on things. She and I are doing daily physical therapy whenever I get a chance. Just gently stroking her pads to make her flex her toes and gently massaging and flexing her back legs. Her right back leg seems to be doing very good and the left one has had some improvement, but is def the dodgy one. I will keep you all posted on how she does. So….. between kids and cats I haven’t been around the internet world much lately, but will visit with you all as I can! Thank you, as always, for visiting Comfrey Cottages:) And just to make things clear, I AM NOT a VET and don’t claim to be. I am just sharing with you all what has been going on in my household and how I am choosing to deal with it:)

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Last Friday was a very emotional day for my husband and I. Our oldest male cat Rumbley passed away. Rumbley was a very special member of our family for many reasons. He is the cat that enticed my husband into becoming a totally Pussy (cat) whipped kind of guy! 🙂


I have always had an affinity for cats. When I was a child growing up on a farm outside Lewistown, IL, we frequently had cats dumped on our road, and my folks were always cool about letting me adopt them. I remember finding a solid black kitty once that after my dad and I bathed it, (getting thoroughly shredded in the process), ended up being a white cat. We had one mama cat who came inside alot, but most of our cats lived in our barn and gardens and were just part of how I grew up. So loving cats is just part of my makeup and throughout my entire life I have co habitated with many wonderful cats.

My husband on the other hand… not so fond of them and never had lived with one. Now this created problems for my future husband and I’s romance as far as ever getting married and living together and this is where Rumbley is actually a catalyst on getting us married. I had been divorced for about ten years, and Gerald had been divorced about 18 years when we met. And whereas we enjoyed each others company and dated exclusively, I just never really wanted to get married again, and a big part of that is because I would never give up my cats, ( I had several older cats living with me at the time), and Gerald, well he really just never wanted to live with one! Well, we dated around three years, maintaining seperate residences and that was cool with me and then entered Rumbley into our lives.

Gerald has some neighbors that moved back in 2002, and when they moved, they abandoned their two full grown male cats. So here comes these two cats roaming around Gerald’s yard and I convinced him to let me put one of the dog boxes he uses to transport his hunting dogs, onto the front porch to at least give these two kitties shelter while I tried to find them homes. I was able to place the one but was having trouble placing Rumbley. Seems there must be alot of ginger tommy cats roaming this world as the black fluffy one was easily placed, but poor Rumbley, being rather a common place color, full grown and unneutered, just wasn’t as attractive to prospective adoptive folks.

Life is funny though and the longer Rumbley stuck around the yard and followed Gerald around, well, I could see them starting to bond. Gerald had a ladder propped up against the house outside the kitchen window and Rumbley took to climbing up it daily and watching what Gerald was doing, and in my journeys in and out of the house, I could just see that the tides were changing in Gerald’s attitude.

Time passed and one day I stopped over for lunch, and as we were leaving the house, me for back to work, and Gerald to go in on second shift, here comes Rumbley. But this time, he is hurt! Something had happened to his back end and we didn’t know if he had been side swiped by a car, kicked or what, but he was seriously injured. I wrapped him up to bring him to my apartment to tend while Gerald went to work. When I got him to my home I could tell, from seeing it happen to kitties before who had run ins with vehicles, that he had a broken pelvis. Not much that can be done for that generally, just time, so I made him comfortable in the spare bedroom and figured I had another cat! Not to be though. That night when Gerald got off work here came a phone call,”How is MY cat? When are you going to bring him HOME?” LOL Yup, Rumbley had won Gerald’s heart and soul and that night moved in with him and they were thoroughly bonded for the next 8 years.

Rumbley was not a particularly loving cat to anyone but Gerald when he was younger and my first grandchild Evan, got many of side swipe scratches those first years if he got too near or tried to get to friendly. Hell, when Gerald and I got married about 6 months later, when I was alone in the house with Rumbley he would attack my ankles periodically and I had stragically placed water bottles throughout the house!


I got back at him though, the week after I got married I took him and had him neutered and he started mellowing out a bit after that!lol

So for quite a few years our Rumbley has been our alpha male kitty, ruling the roost from a basket right on our kitchen table. He always was a benign surrogate to the assorted kittens that have found their way here to Comfrey Cottages and he and I became comfortable with each other and he and my husbands bond grew.

This last year I could see time catching up with him. He seemed to lay in his basket more and get a bit thinner, but we all slow down over time. He still was always the first to investigate when I brought in a new harvest, and we never suspected he was sick


In December we noticed some changes that we felt needed checked by the vet. Well, the long in the short of it was our Rumbley had cancer. He will be sorely missed and my heart is just too raw to go into details, but I felt a need to share with all of you, my dear Comfrey Cottages visitors and friends, why I have been a bit absent lately. And to write a bit of a tribute to one hell of a cat who I will miss. I have no idea when he was born but I will always remember the time I did share this lifes journey with him.


We buried him between our white pine and my native wildflower garden and before we closed his little grave, I sprinkled rosemary for remembrance and catnip on his little coffin. I will never forget you Rumbley!


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