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As I was going through my pet photos I found this one of Theo from 2013. It was a hot January and he'd just been groomed.

At least i was able to spend the day with him, comforting him as a I could, before he died. When Theo came here 5 years ago his relationship with Bobs was at first problematic, but he found his way into my heart very quickly. Lisa told me that she thought he was 8 years old back then, so that means he was 13 years this year.

He bullied Mystery the cat but really they were friends. He barked at everything that was there, and a lot that wasn't. Even today, panting on the outside front sofa, he still tried to bark at passing dogs! He enjoyed his walks when he was well.

This will be the first time that I'll be without a dog since November 1997. Theo is the fourth pet to have died in the last three years. I might one day get another dog, but think I need to wait and allow myself to grieve first. I am missing him terribly.

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My lovely little boy dog passed on last Sunday. I shall miss him terribly. He had a series of heart attacks starting late Saturday night. Sunday morning he hadn't improved. Almost everything was shut and I had no way of getting him to a vets even if it was open. Then a friend of Facebook arranged to have her sister give me a lift to a vets in Mt Hutton, which was open. The lift I got to go to Mt. Hutton was too late, so we went to the Vet Hospital in West Wallsend instead (which my next door neighbor, who only just got home, told me about).

But we were too late anyway - Theo died in my arms on the way to the vet. This photo was taken earlier Sunday in the backyard. I shall miss my little bundle of joy greatly.

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Back from the vets with the pets and medicines.

Xena had a burst abscess (the same thing gabby had last year) and the vet cleaned it. She's getting antibiotics and soggy jelly meat for the next few days.  I just fed her, and if she's hungry that's a good sign. It seems Bobby's issue is with circulation and his heart problems. He's getting a stronger dose of medicine fore the next few days, which I shall probably have to syringe in via his mouth.

So, all good, as much as can be expected. Many thanks to Kylie, who drove us all there, waited, and drove us all home as well.
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Xena now has an appetite (she meowed for food just now) and is moving about. more.  In fact I met her in the hallway last night looking when I was looking for Bobs. Her right eye still has some pus and is looking a bit glassy. She may have been in a fight a few nights back.

Bobby seems to be having some trouble with his rear right leg, as I've seen him gingerly lifting it off the floor. Last night when I went to sleep I left him asleep in the lounge on a cushion with a towel over him for warmth. But about 2am I woke up and could hear his cries. He was in the lino floored kitchen and was falling over on his right side. I uprighted him and he still fell over. Eventually moved him to the bedroom and propped him up on a couple of pillows.

He was OK then, and seemed to be asleep. This morning I heard him whimpering in the lounge and he was on his right side. Maybe Bobs has a bit of arthritis in that leg, and the cold snap brought it on. I uprighted him and then went to prepare food for the pets. When I came back he'd fallen backwards between a fan and a shopping trolley. However, he had an appetite and ate all his food from that position. Later he was able to upright himself. He's outside just now and I don't hear any whimpering so I think he's doing OK.  

But I still have a dilemma here. Should I take Xena to the vets this morning or should I take Bobby? Xena seems to be healing, but Bobby seems to be doing marginally better as well.

Pet issues

Mar. 20th, 2016 10:30 am
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Two pet scares.

Last night Bobby kept falling down, on his side, and on his back legs. He does this occasionally anyway, but last night it happened a LOT. In particular, he fell back into his own poo, and later in the kitchen, he fell back on his bum due to lack of traction. This morning he had a bit of this but has mostly been able to ramble about. He's been outside and back in (via the front steps) several times. But, I dread the time coming when he can't get back up again.

The second scare was with Xena. She's been in the Studio for the last few weeks, but has been eating less and less, for the last two days. This morning I had a good look at her. The fur on her right side of her head below the the mouth seems matted and pressed down, and the eye on that side has pus. Also, she's barely opening her mouth, other than to eat a little bit and drink water.

Both pets are about 16 years old. Bobby seems in better condition than Xena so she's off to the Vets tomorrow first thing in the morning.
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Well that was an epic trip to the vets!!

Theo had a dag that had matted with the hair around his anus, and was causing problems with him passing stools. I took him in a carrier to go on the bus and was told point blank by the bus driver No dogs, cats or birds are allowed on the bus! So, no bus trip to the vets. I walked home with Theo and looked up the regulations (see this page) and provided they are in an appropriate bus, they ARE ALLOWED on the bus. So I mad an official complaint. I got the drivers bus number for that as well. I also phoned the depot and they checked the regulations and were surprised to see that I was correct.

Anyway, next doors gave Theo and I a lift to the vets (I DO have good neighbours, eh?) where I had a very stressful time holding Theo firm while the vet cut away the dags and hair, applied an antiseptic cream and expelled his anal glands for good measure. But Theo howled, cried, and growled all the way through that. I was able to catch a different bus home without incident and carried Theo home in the carrier (he refused to get out). and gave him most of a cocktail frank to make up for his trouble. All better now, but he's still a bit sore.

Last photo

Jan. 24th, 2016 09:29 am
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(16-01-11) Xena by Laura Seabrook, on Flickr

The last photo I took of Xena the cat.

A Mastiff I'd been pet-sitting in 2015 broke a hole through the fly-wire screen, and I hadn't got around to replacing it. Xena and the other cats used to peer out through it.

Xena disappeared the morning of the 21st, and has not been seen since. She was 16 years old at that time.


Oct. 12th, 2015 10:44 am
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ust took Theo to the vets. He's been coughing a lot, resisting exercise and has a bit of bad breath. Sure enough he has tartar buildup (rotten teeth) and fluid on the lungs due to heart disease (which I already knew). Another round of medication. This time I'm trying a daily dose of chewies for him. He also got an injection.

But what was really nice is that a friend down the road gave me a lift there and back 45 minutes later. Theo made a commotion - doesn't like traveling in a carrier on a car or bus - but it was quick. He's getting groomed tomorrow, which should make things more comfy as well.
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February 2001 - May 2015.
alias Gabbles, Marzipan Puss, Bung-Eyed Cat, Tree Puss, and Alarm Cat

Gabby, like Xena, was named after a character from the Xena TV show,, and lived up to her namesake, being talkative as only a cat can be. She was a gift from my friend Robin who'd accompanied me to Phuket in 2000. She became immediate friends with Xena and Pegasus, who she often slept with and on.

She was never exactly a sensible puss, especially after an accident with a basket ball, but she was inquisitive, playful and affectionate. If I slept in, Gabby would would jump on my chest and then then either lick my hair, or gently bite me on the nose. Gabby was also in the wars, surviving a claw to her left eye, a couple of abscesses, and sensitivity to certain foods. Her general health declined slowly over the last 18 months, first with her coat, and then losing weight.

When I completed my "Trans Tarot Deck" for my Hons in Fine Arts in 2006, she appeared on card #21, as one symbol of a happy household and synthesis with the World. I hope she meows her way across the rainbow bridge.

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140704-Peggy's bush
This seems to be coming along this year. Look at the mandarins on it! That Bobby at front right, Theo behind the bush, and Xena the cat waiting behind.
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Theo looking out the Studio window into the backyard. If he's not barking at birds he's checking out what's happening - lazy dog! ;)

Mystery Cat has become a lot friendlier - to Theo. It's still a bit scared of me, but has got to the point where it doesn't run off if Theo's around. Even a bit of barking doesn't scare Mystery off.

Still don't know if Mystery's a male or female, but this cat gets fed to the left of the steps in the above photo. On Sunday I cleared out the weeds there and replaced a dying sofa with a better on. Much more convenient for both of us.
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Mystery Kitten turned up last night. I believe it's been hiding behind the sofa in the Studio all this time. It was trying to sneak out of that when Theo noticed it. A few hijinks last night when, apparently he chased it into the kitchen. Eventually I took him into the bedroom where I was watching a film and shut the door, allowing kitty to go where ever it wants.

This morning I put a board down as a partition to block of an area near the sofa where it could eat and drink. The fact that it's still here is reassuring. It may have lost its way, but it seems comfy in my home, regardless of Theo and possibly Xena (Bobby and Gabby seem indifferent to it). So, if it wants to be here I might, after all, adopt it. We'll see. I bought some dry kitten food today, just in case.

If it's a boy I'll call it Buster, and a girl I'll call it Misty.

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Am so very very tempted to keep this critter, but we'll see. Am about to go out the back and feed my existing pets. I expect it to be hidden when I get back. What I need to do is check the notices at the shot - someone may be missing this little furry thing.

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...was a bit slow and unwieldy, since Theo and Bobby have different walking paces. I walked them down a bush track and back up a gravel road like I usually do with Bobby on a Sunday. Fed the cats before we left and Gabby kept her distance, and though Xena was weary, she tucked into her food regardless. Good signs if she doesn't see Theo as a threat.

121216-Theo and Bobby

Fed both of them when I got back. It's a start.
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Theo the 8 year old Maltese is arriving tonight. His owner's just gone into hospice and her niece is driving him up Sydney, and may even bring his "manual". He's an intelligent animal and knows quite a few commands. I've been told he knows cats, tends to be dominant and has a real personality.

Earlier this year I somehow "knew" that I would be getting another dog this year, and that it was OK - I wouldn't be disloyal top Pegasus's memory if I did. When I looked after Sam a few months ago I asked his owner for a favour - driving me to pick up a new dog in early December (that felt like the right time). Anyway a couple of weeks ago she phoned and mentioned Theo, and was prepared to drive me down and back to pick him up. As is she didn't need to because Pam will be driving him here.

I'm not silly - Theo's going to be on a week's probation first, but I have a good feeling about this one. Not a huge dog like Bently, not a Cockerspaniel pup like Sam, but more like a younger version of Bobby. I suspect they'll fight briefly and one will come out dominant pretty quickly - I was told that he became the dominant dog in one household of three Alsations, so I don't think it'll be difficult here. And Bobs is an adapter. Not going to love him (or the cats) any less when Theo's here.

Because he'll get here some time between 6-8pm (and because it's Summer it'll still be light) I've decided to make this "Housework day" and clean up a bit. I was intending on rearranging furniture anyway and it makes sense to do that before Theo gets here.
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Lisa left a ridiculously short least for me to walk Sam with. With Gastro I was too sick to try (though I have been walking Bobby) but today I found a luggage strap and extended it and tried walking them both together.

Mixed results, but not too bad. Bobby was hold back so he could keep an eye on Sam. And I do mean an eye because he has a cataract in he right eye so that makes sense. But when I tried to swap them around it made no difference. But - no upsets or disasters. When I'm fully recovered I will buy a cheap lead from the Reject Shop as a "spare" for visiting pets. Anyway, it was OK for a first walk.

When it came to feeding the pets I fed Sam first, by putting his feed in my Studio and locking him in. Then I fed Bobby and then the cats. Xena had disappeared after yesterday morning when she saw Sam running around the backyard. However, when I grabbed Gabby and took her out the back Xena was there waiting to be fed. I probably won't see much of her while Sam is here, but at least I won't lose her. She's a smart cat but I guess the memories of Bently are still fresh in her!

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I drifted off to sleep about 8:30pm, sort of.

Had to go to the toilet several times and once surprised Gabby the cat who was coming in to squat on my bed for the night. She ran off into the spare bedroom (probably because Sam was following me)  but I managed to get off the dressing table and deposited her on the the headboard of my bed. She stayed up there a while and then went to a spot, presumably convinced that Sam wouldn't rush her with Bobby and myself on the bed. She was almost right.

In fact Sam would come in regularly next to my side of the bed for reassurance. Fair enough as there was plenty of thunder, lightning and rain last night. He'd done this the previous night as well. Mostly it was sad eyes, waggy tail and then he'd settle done and go back into the lounge after I gave him a pat. Once though I was woken up by Gabby hissing and squealing. Sam had come in, spotted her and tried to cuddle up to her. He was in submission pose so I don't think he was much of a threat, but Gabby thought otherwise.

On another occasion I was woken up by Bobby barking at Sam. Once again Sam submitted to him. Things might settle down once Bobby realises that he IS the dominant dog. However I also found through-up on the floor which must have been Sam's by the volume. Like cat fur balls it looked horrible but was easy enough to remove. Poor bugger - hopefully that'll settle down while he's here.


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This is Sam, who's staying at my household for a couple of weeks while his owners are away. He's mostly a pup and very loveable and (mostly) gentle.

Of course Bobby's yet to establish his domination, though Sam's "surrendered" to him twice. The cats aren't sure what to make of him - yet, so they are keeping their distance for now.

It doesn't help that I have some sort of gastro condition just now either, or that thunderstorms are rolling in tonight.

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I slept in a bit and decided to take Bobby for a short bush walk out the back gate. However, Xena decided to come with us. She followed Bobby and me for 20 minutes down the tracks and trails! The only other cat I've had that did that was Rorschach (in the 90s), who followed me and my partner across a busy road into a park where we had breakfast


Feb. 12th, 2012 11:45 am
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I sorta crashed emotionally yesterday. I think there were two main "causes' of this:
  • Earlier in the week I applied for a new dog with a rescue pet group. I know that someone else did (a family) and the big issue when Jerry came out was fighting fleas in the house, and making the fences dog proof (Bobby mostly doesn't bother). But I know that I'll hear nothing for a while. Why another dog? Bobby won't last forever and a younger dog would be good company for him. Also, when all said an done I am lonely here, and having pets on the whole alleviates that.

    But the waiting's been getting to me.

  • I have been so frustrated with the lack of progress on the graphic novel. I've chosen to do the story framework via Second Life and it feels right to do so. But Everything on the sets needs to be "right" before I shoot anything. And I spent some time tracking down the right bits of furniture and emphemera and props for that. But I bought a whole slew in bulk via the SL Market place, and only afterwards logged in to have them delivered. Out of the 80 items I bought (using Linden dollars, the in-world currency) about 12 turned up. I'm missing the rest even though I've paid about $L 460 for them (about $US 1.86 in the real world). The cost isn't the point. The annoying thing is that to remedy this I have to contact the vendors for each of those items and request a re-delivery!
  • That means I can't effectively do the shoots until that's all done, which mostly means I'm getting further and further behind with it all.

All came to a head yesterday. I feel the loneliness and sadness extremely, and  was very very angry with myself. Today, I've already got the housework done for the day and plan on working through that list of undelivered stuff. I'll automate it as much as possible and probably only use a text browser (rather than a fully fledged viewer). And then it will be done. And tomorrow, regardless, I might just put some "place marker" pages up on the website and replace them when I get all that done, and in the meantime draw the first chapter.

As I so often say, we'll see.


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