Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Grass is indeed greener...than sand. Life in South Carolina

We love it, the dogs love it (see their blog for a review) and I am certain our home will be much cleaner because of it! Finally after almost a year we were able to get some sod laid. No plants or flowers yet but that can wait. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but the grass acts like a giant door mat by keeping the sand off the dogs before they come inside. No more rolling around in the sand and dirt, they are enjoying the grass and so are we. Of course our water bill will be through the roof but remember my earlier blog about creature comforts, well this is one of them.

Of course there were trials and tribulations along with it but that's normal isn't it? The guy unloading the sod ran over the water line out front after Sam and our builder Josh warned him where not to drive! So Josh and Sam spent a couple very hot hours repairing it. That is the fourth, yes FOURTH time it has been run over and broken. We high tailed it to Lowe's and Sam found some ornate wrought iron fence about 4ft high by 4 ft wide, we bought two pieces and angled it over the water pipe so the next person to run over it will have to drive right into the fencing to do it! We also put a rather ugly "Welcome" sign we had left over from the store beside it, it has a picture of a big red poinsettia on it, no one should be able to miss it now.

Gnats seem to have come with the sod so they are very thick out there, plus they are attracted to water which we have to do regularly. It's been in for four days now and I can already see a difference in the house. I sweep it and it actually stays clean. We can walk around in our bare feet and not walk on sand indoors. It's wonderful. It makes the yard look so much better so we have lots of blessings from putting it down and are grateful to be able to finally have it.

We did get one good day of rain thanks to Tropical Storm Fay and the Lord, thank you very much!

We have two hummingbirds visiting the feeder and the sprinklers. The birds love it because of all the watering. Everybody is happy!

It also cooled down from the upper ninety's to the mid 80's which helps. It's been quite pleasant and we are sitting out on the back porch much more often. I hope the worst of the heat is finally ending.

Happy Birthday to Tim and Ma this month. Pa sent us a picture of himself in front of his Hall of Fame photo that is really nice. Talked to Ma on the phone today.

That's it for now, we hope everyone is doing fine and in good health. Hugs to you all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

For Just One Day

We saw a sad soul laying under the pickup truck. This cat, actually still a kitten, extremely emaciated, with ants swarming on it's back leg. It was timid at first, then immediately friendly, not feral at all. It's back leg had no fur left, it was just a large open wound, along most of the leg all the way up to the thigh. We dreaded the thought of introducing a cat into our lives with the two dogs but we also knew we were both suckers for animals. The least we could do was to care for it until we could get it to the vet in the morning.

We were stingy with food for fear of harming the young cat, reminding ourselves of what we new about the history of concentration camp victims. We gave it just a little milk and a teaspoon of tuna. We did not want to bring it into the house, not knowing what other problems it might have and worried the dogs would upset it.

We took Scarlett's cage outside, put in a sheet and a towel and a container with water. It was going to be in the upper 60's and dry. We set it by the front door, facing the door. We were concerned that other critters not bother it. Sam would go out periodically during the night to check on it. It was resting fine.

The vet would open at 8 this morning and we transferred the cat into a box and headed out. It seemed to enjoy the ride, looking all around, crying occasionally.

There is only one vet in this rural town, very good people and they are always busy. Saturday is first come first serve. We pulled up at 7:45 and found 5 or 6 people already waiting. At triage we found out it was a girl. I said we should name it Sally. I don't know why except that it began with an S and sounded southern.

We finally got in to an examining room at about 10 o'clock. Sally weighed in at under 4.5 pounds. They guessed she was about six months old. The vet was puzzled some by the wound and how Sally may have gotten it. She asked us if we were going to keep the cat. We couldn't imagine what else we could do. The vet suggested before we put a lot of money into all that would need done that they do a feline leukemia test there in the office. It would cost 45 dollars. We said of course knowing full well the list of shots and care she would need would be great.

While they took her away for the test Sam and I discussed what would be the best way to introduce Sally to the dogs, how would we keep her away from them while she healed, should we keep her separate anytime we were away, how would the dogs behave and so on.

The vet came in and told us the bad news. Sally in fact tested positive for feline leukemia. Our hearts fell to the floor. We had barely cared for this cat for 12 hours and yet it broke our hearts. There is no cure. To best describe the condition is to compare it to AIDS. It is an autoimmune deficiency. Now the vet understood the way her leg was, it was not healing because of her low immunity.

I had a cat die of this 30 years ago before the vaccine was discovered. It was too late for my cat 30 years ago and because this cat never had been vaccinated, it was too late for her. I know what it is like to watch a cat die from this and I didn't want to do it again. It's not fair to them and I honestly don't have the time needed for the commitment. We sadly made the decision to have her put down. It was an awful day for all of us.

Reassured by the vet we had done the right thing and that she at least wouldn't have to die alone or in the wild we could at least find comfort in that. We cried and we drove home in silence. God sent us a cat to send home to him. We did what we could.

We gave each other a little love for just one day.