Tag Archive | cat

My Best from 2013 ~

I found myself watching intently my digital photo frame in the Family Room this morning.  Almost all of the photos on it are mine, and I was noticing that I really do have a few exceptional photos from last year when I was very enthusiastic with my camera.  I thought I’d post a few of my own favorites.


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While these are all not necessarily fantastic photography, some are my favorites simply because of the content, or they’re favorite places or events from last year.  Some are very meaningful, perhaps only to me.  Some are my first endeavor at macro and super macro.  But these are my favorites.  Hope you enjoy!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon!  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Pet Peeves ~

We have two pets now, having lost our beloved cat, Doug, over the winter.  Now we have Jammer, our 9 year old Golden Retriever, and Sumi, our 14 year old Siamese cat.

Jammer is a joy in his simplicity.  He’s been a good dog since the day we brought him home as a 8 wk old puppy.  Easy to crate train, low maintenance, well-disciplined/obedient.  In many ways, a complete wimp.  As good and sweet as he is, he’s huge like a lumbering ox.  Mix that with a fear of just about everything ~ wind, thunder storms, fireworks ~ and you have the potential for serious injuries to your feet as he scrambles to get away from whatever threat he perceives.

Jammer as seen through the lattice panels on our back deck

Jammer as seen through the lattice panels on our back deck

Jammer in the sunlight of our back yard.  Notice the slobber hanging from the left side of his mouth.

Lest I forget to mention the “wet mouth” characteristic of the Golden Retriever breed.  Slobber, slobber EVERYWHERE!  When he shakes his head to relieve whatever itch he thinks he has, the foamy saliva often winds up wrapped around the outside of his muzzle, as well as the walls of the kitchen or anywhere else he might be at the time.  And who could forget that “trail” of water he leaves after drinking water from his dish and coming to see if he can get attention from me or Al.  The wet spot on the jeans or shirt is inevitable!

Did I introduce you to Sumi?  She’s our Siamese “Miss Priss”.  She allows us to live in our home only to service her.  Easily insulted she is.  Demands attention.  Often, if she perceives she’s being ignored, or if her every day routine is disrupted for whatever reason, she’ll make her displeasure known by throwing up … wherever.  Could that be called bulemia?  I think “persnickity” fits better.  If you notice that her brown ears look a little “funny”, it’s because several years ago she had a bout with ear mites that made her ears balloon and swell until they were literally round like balloons with fluid.  Our vet treated her with the caution that her ears might not return to their original look ~ whatever that meant at the time.  Indeed, they look similar to potato chips… crinkled.  But we don’t mind.  That doesn’t dissuade her at all from vomiting at her leisure.  Siamese cats are yowling noisey animals, you say?  Not so!  Sumi doesn’t really even meow.  On occasion she’s muster a kind of “crackling” mew if she can’t get your attention fast enough, but mostly she “coos” ~ you know, the sound mama cats make to their kittens.  It’s a “coo-purr”.

Sumi surveys her back yard from the back deck

Sumi surveys her back yard from the back deck

Closeup of a pretty face with crinkled ears

As much as I love pets, and in particular OUR pets, I understand now when my parents used to say “No more pets!”.   Jammer and Sumi are wonderful additions to our family… no, they aren’t “pets”.  They are one of us, and completely irreplaceable.  We are lucky to have them and we hope they feel the same.

Until next time … TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Textures ~


I must admit I had a little bit of fun with this.  Cee’s Challenge this week is “Textures” ~ anything that would be fun or interesting to touch and feel.  It would’ve been MORE fun if our weather would straighten up and I could get outside for a change… but I managed to pull a few things together.  Enjoy!

(This is my first try at the Gallery option, did I do it right?)  Anyway, this was an interesting challenge:  textures.  Looking forward to the next and the next.  Keep ’em coming, Cee!  I’m learning a lot and seeing the world!   I would love some feedback, feel free to comment!

Until next time, next week, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


In Memoriam: Doug the Slug ~

Doug enjoys the pool.

Doug enjoys the pool.


I never thought I would have to put one of my pets “down”, let alone be writing in the aftermath of seeing him euthanized.  I mean, it’s just a cat after all, right?  C’mon, it’s just a cat.

 We had two cats:  a black cat, Phoebe, that my husband had prior to our marriage.  Then in 1999, one year after our marriage, he got me the Siamese cat, Sumi, that I had wanted.  However, I wanted a “lap cat”.  Phoebe made it well known that she hated me.  I was a usurper of the man she had to herself since she was a kitten.  Sumi, being the persnickety Siamese breed that she is, was too proud and nonchalant to be wasting her time on someone’s lap.  So, we decided to visit the local SPCA to see what they might have to offer in the way of a lap cat.

 The SPCA was quite full with cats who wanted/needed to be adopted.  I had been around cats all my life, but particularly liked Siamese, or other “unusual” breeds (Persian, Burmese, Himalayan, or even calico).  A white, long hair cat immediately caught my eye, but the husband saw this grey tabby that was just sitting quietly amidst all these meowing, milling felines.  We both pleaded our case to each other for the cat we wanted, but the grey tabby won out in the end.

 Going through the adoption process, we found the cat’s name is “Doug”, and that his previous owner was an elderly man in an apartment who said that Doug meowed too much and was too loud for his neighbors.  As calm and unassuming as he looked, we figured Doug would be a good, honest lap cat, so we finished up the paperwork for the adoption.

 That was about 9 years ago.  Doug turned out to be not such a great lap cat for me, as he fell in love with the husband’s lap instead.  When the husband did not want to host Doug on his lap, I got sloppy seconds.  When we brought Doug home, we were concerned and waited to hear this awful meowing that his previous owner gave him up for.  It never happened.  In fact, Doug would look at you when he wanted to be fed, and he’d open his mouth and nothing would come out!  Sometimes he just made a squeak.  He was the quietest cat I think I ever knew!

 He was the most loving cat.  He especially took a liking to our Golden Retriever, Jammer, and would habitually cuddle up with the dog in the dog’s bed and rub himself all over the dog’s face and lick him up and down.  They often slept all night together.  His relationship with our two other cats, however, was less amiable.  However, this low-maintenance feline was endearing, and although I tried not to show it, he had captured my heart.

 When we brought Doug home, he was “hefty”… his belly almost reaching the floor as he walked.  And he was less than ambitious, to put it kindly.  So we nicknamed him “Doug the Slug”, but he seemed happy with it.  Just a year or two ago, Doug started losing weight and having trouble with repeated ear infections, so off to the vet at the Purr-fectPlaceAnimalHospital.  Dr. Fine had been our vet since 1998, and the husband took Phoebe there since she was a kitten.  We trusted him.  He discovered that Doug was obviously unable to eat the hard cat food we’d been feeding our cats because he no longer had any teeth!  At the same visit, Dr. Fine confirmed that Doug was approximately 15-16 years old ~ quite an elderly feline.  The ear infection was treated and we were advised to feed Doug canned food from now on.

 He seemed to regain his weight, but continued to have recurring ear infections that were quite nasty.  Again I took him to Dr. Fine just a couple of months ago, and the diagnosis was a tumor in his ear canal.  The prognosis was not so good, and Dr. Fine said to take him home and make him comfortable for whatever time he has left.  He said we could “talk euthanasia” at some point in the future, if we wanted to.

 Doug’s health began a downward spiral.  He ate canned food, but his weight fell off and he became less and less active.  Finally, he stopped eating and no longer used the litter box (he just didn’t go).  He spent most of his days sleeping in what appeared to be a semi-conscious state, and when he went from room to room to find the warmest spots, he staggered rather than walked.  The past couple of days he just teetered.  It was a hard decision to take him to Dr. Fine for the last time, but I knew he would never recover, and his quality of life was so diminished.  I finally convinced the husband that this was the appropriate route, and made the appointment to take him this afternoon at 4:45 p.m.  I stayed with him while he received the injection, and Doug passed away quietly and peacefully in just a minute or so.  I brought him home, and the husband just buried him outside under a tree ~ even in the hard winter ground.

 Now it hits me just how much a part of our family was Doug.  He will be terribly missed, but at least I know he’s no longer in pain and discomfort waiting for the end to come.  “Just a cat”?  I think not, but so much more.