“Where is Emmy?”

Usually when our Emmy hears the sound of a door knob turning around 5 o’clock, she scampers down the hallway and rounds the corner into the entranceway.  Three days ago, my husband returned home like any other day.

“Hi!”, I yelled from the kitchen.  “Did Emmy greet you?”

“I don’t see her.”

“Hmmm…that’s funny.  The last time I saw her was around 4 o’clock and she was out on the deck standing on the other side of the railing.”

We have a deck that was built off our kitchen, which is on the second floor of a two family apartment; one family upstairs, one family downstairs.  My husband and I live upstairs.  When the weather is nice, I open the door and let our two kitties Nigel and Emmy enjoy the outdoors, or as close as they can get to it, and all its’ ambiance.  There are a lot of maple leaves on the ground below right now and the squirrels just love to chase each other through the crunchy leaves, up the trees, down the trees and again through the leaves.  It’s perfect “kitty tv.”

Nigel and Emmy are strictly indoor cats.  The closest they’ve gotten to exploring the outdoors, at least while living with my husband and me,  is observing from a distance on the deck.  This is a privilege that Nigel enjoys, but at the same time doesn’t make any attempts to observe any closer.  Whenever there is a patch of sunlight on the deck floor you can find Nigel curled up in it basking in its’ warmth and that’s enough for him.  Emmy’s reaction to this privilege is a different story.  She’ll step out onto the deck and after a minute walks back into the kitchen.  Apparently, the sunshine and the squirrels aren’t enough to tempt her.  This reaction has been the same since we moved here in January.  Although, I couldn’t really let the kitties go out onto the deck in the freezing cold.  They had to wait until spring.

You can imagine my surprise when my husband came home and there was no Emmy there to greet his arrival.  We looked under beds, the sofa, chairs, the dining room table, the bathroom and I checked the deck…twice.

There was no doubt that Emmy was gone.  She must have jumped from our second story deck and landed in those crunchy maple leaves.  My heart sunk.   Whether Emmy had experience outdoors before we adopted her, we don’t know.  All I knew was she was gone.

My husband walked outside and called her name.  I shook the treat bag hoping she’d come running for her treat of crunchy goodness.  We drove around our neighborhood hoping to spot her in a neighbor’s lawn or on the sidewalk.  No Emmy.

I signed into Facebook and uploaded a photo and a plea for any information on Emmy’s whereabouts.  I asked my friends to share that post and then I shared that post on the local animal sanctuary’s Facebook page.

My husband called our neighbors downstairs and explained what happened.  They promised to keep on the lookout for her as they are animal lovers themselves.

About two hours later, my husband received a phone call.  “Your cat is looking in my back door right now.”

I didn’t even put on my shoes.  I just walked downstairs and outside in my slippers.  There she was.  Emmy was tentatively looking in the window of the storm door while Murphy the Pomeranian was looking out.  I immediately scooped her up in my arms and held on tight.  I could tell she wasn’t completely confident spending time on the ground outdoors.  Her claws were immersed in my fleece jacket just enough to let me know she wasn’t going anywhere far away again.  My husband was just as happy to see Emmy.  I only held her for a few seconds when he took  her out of my arms and carried her upstairs and into our apartment.  He wasn’t taking any chances.

I was so relieved.  The worst part about the whole ordeal was not knowing if Emmy was okay.  I’m just so glad I have her back and I couldn’t thank my neighbors enough.

Needless to say, Emmy is banned from the back deck and we’re looking into purchasing a high cat tower for her amusement instead.

“Are you going to tell me of your adventures outside Emmy?” This picture was taken shortly after Emmy arrived back home safely. I hope she realized how good she has it here. 🙂

Emmy (left) and Nigel on the observation deck

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Tea and a Tale with a Tabby

an interview with Erica Yeager

Who is in this photo?

Gussy and Gabby

How were you and your kitties united?

After losing my Luna cat I found myself very sad.  So, I started looking on the internet at www.petfinder.com.  I came across these four beautiful kittens.  They wanted them to be adopted in twos.  Gabby really caught my eye because she was a beautiful Siamese.  So, I adopted Gabby and Gussy, but Gussy chose me. 

How did they get their names?  Any nicknames?

The girls, as I like to call them, were given their names by the foster mom that took care of them.  She liked “G” names because she named my two “Gussy” and “Gabby” and the other two were “Guppy” and “Gibby”.  We call them “Gussy Girl” and “Gabby Girl” and “the girls”.

Do they have a favorite place to nap?

Gabby loves to lay in my dresser drawer and the back of Alan’s chair and Rebekah’s bed.  Gussy loves to sit beside me at night on the couch.  She also likes the back of Alan’s chair and the glider rocker stool. 

Which do they prefer: ball, feather wand, toy mice, cat nip…?

Gussy loves the crinkle balls.  She carries them in her mouth and drops them in her cube and attacks them.  She also likes the feather on her scratching post.  Gabby loves the crinkle balls, too.  She loves cat nip that Grammy gives her. 

What is their best quality?

I love when Gussy comes up to me after work and rubs all over me.  She talks a little, which I love.  Gabby is very quiet, which is nice.

If they could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Gussy would like me to get up earlier so she can eat.  Gabby doesn’t really know me.

If they could answer one question in English, what would you ask them?

Gussy- Why are you so scared for me to pick you up?

Gabby- Are you pregnant?

What’s steeping?

Good Earth Original Sweet Cinnamon Fruit Tea

What are you currently reading?

The Watchtower

Where is your favorite place to read and where is your kitties’ favorite place to be while you’re reading?

I like reading in bed or on the couch.  Luna would always sit on my lap.  Gussy will sometimes come up beside me.

If you wrote a novel about your kitties, what would be the title?

The Two Girls Who Found Their Forever Home

What is one feature you love most about their looks?

I love Gussy’s dark face.  I love Gabby’s face shape and coloring.

What hobby/craft project are you currently working on?

knitting a blanket for a friend who is having a baby

Any additional comments about the girls?

They rock!  Getting friendlier by the day.  Currently 7 1/2 months old.  Really hoping Gabby isn’t pregnant.  Only time will tell.

Bunny Business

…continued from “From Nature to Nurture

We decided to adopt “Pumpkin”, a black and white male lop-eared bunny.  Before we could take Pumpkin home and begin a new phase of our married lives, he had to be neutered.  That meant waiting another two weeks before we could actually bring him home.  I had already waited this long to have a pet in our apartment.  I figured I could wait two more weeks.  Besides, that gave me time to double-check and make sure all was in order for Pumpkin’s arrival.  Also, I could research even more, although I had read so much information that I felt I had exhausted all available resources on caring for pet rabbits.

the "Pumpkinater"

Within a week of bringing Pumpkin home, we took him to a local vet that practices exotic pet medicine, as rabbits are considered to be exotic pets.  We had to treat him for ear mites by giving him ear drops in the morning and at night for one week.  Administering refrigerated liquid into the ears of a squirmy rabbit with powerful legs is definitely a two man job.

Rabbits love to eat while going to the bathroom. Leaving hay in their litterbox actually encourages them to use the box.

Pumpkin had been completely and perfectly litter box trained prior to his arrival.  The advantage of this was that we could let him explore the apartment.  At night, he spent his time in the bunny room, with a baby gate blocking his exit.  In the morning, I’d let him out to roam.  I soon learned that confining him to his room during our absence was a must.  The day I learned this important lesson, we had given him free roam of the apartment while we went out for a few hours that morning.  When we returned, I couldn’t find Pumpkin anywhere!  Frantically searching, I feared something bad had happened.  Finally, I found him.  I had left my bottom dresser drawer open and he must have hopped up into it and back out on the other side so that he was actually inside the dresser.  Fortunately, he was rescued unscathed.

Pumpkin found out that laying on top of the vent was a good place to rest. He also liked hiding inside the propped up pizza box. I love how you can see his feet in this photo.

For me, there was one major drawback to having Pumpkin as a pet.  It was an issue that even with all my extensive research, I had foolishly overlooked.  First, before doing any research, I should have sat down and written a list of things that I wanted in a pet.  The first bullet point would have been “cuddle ability”.  I had a lot of love to give to a pet.  One way that I wanted to demonstrate this love was by holding and snuggling my pet.  Pumpkin, however, did not like to be picked up.  And I didn’t want to force the issue, because a rabbit’s kick is so powerful, that in trying to escape it could break it’s spine.  Therefore, I could not hold him.  To someone else, this could be considered a minor issue.  For me, however, it was a deal-breaker.

To be continued…

From Nature to Nurture

…continued from “Country Girl

I was living alone for the first time in my life.  At home, on the farm, we had a large house.  I had to climb two full flights of steps just to reach my bedroom.  Also, I lived at home with six other people- my parents, two of my sisters, and my two brothers.  There was always someone going in and out of the house throughout the entire day.

Night was the worst part of everyday until Paul and I married and he moved into the apartment with me.  I remember returning from eating dinner with Paul and his mother.  It would be dark outside, and I’d be rushing to turn the key and unlock the bottom door as fast as possible.  I slept in the spare bedroom.  It’s much smaller and therefore not as scary as our huge master bedroom.  Having said that, I’d still shove something up against the door to hinder the entrance of an intruder into my room.  It would also serve as an alert to me as I am an extremely light sleeper and will awaken by the faintest sound.  Yes, a pet would have been a most welcome roommate for me in those days of living alone.

Paul and I married on June 30, 2007.  After that, we were adjusting to married life.  I was morphing into a capable house wife.  Like my mother, I enjoy cooking, and I could finally put my skills to use creating home cooked meals for my new husband.  This was my way of showing Paul that I appreciated his hard work in providing for our family of two.

Paul and me

By January 2009, however, I realized that something was missing from my life.  There was a large void that I could no longer bear.   I knew that our apartment lease stated that no pets were permitted.  However, I also thought that our prompt payment of the monthly rent for two years could work in my favor.  I thought, “The worst thing he can do is say ‘no’”.  At this point, I didn’t think a dog would be the most practical pet for our living situation.  Our apartment sits in an alley, and we have no yard.  After weeks of thorough research on the internet and in books, Paul called our landlord and asked if we could get a rabbit.

What’d he say?”  I asked Paul with guarded anticipation.

He said ‘sure, that it was no problem’”.

I couldn’t believe it!  After almost two years of living in a home with not so much as a goldfish, I was getting a pet rabbit, and all it took was a phone call!  Like any responsible and anxious mother-to-be, I began making plans for the “nursery”, or in this case, the bunny room.  As I am an accomplished “list-maker”, a detailed and itemized list for bunny things was carefully thought out and neatly written, and I was glowing.  Paul and I made several shopping trips to pet supply stores to purchase only the best for our soon-to-arrive fur-baby.  By this time, the realization that we would be adopting a type of pet that I had never had in my care before was starting to make me a little nervous.  Would I be able to meet any and every unplanned situation with success?

I’m a huge advocate for adopting pets.  As such, my husband and I set the example by contacting BunnyPeople, a non-profit, all volunteer, rabbit organization in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  After all the research, prepping the bunny room, and bunny-proofing our apartment, the day had finally arrived for us to travel an hour to the bunny shelter and choose our first pet as a couple.  For my husband, though, this furry bundle of binkies was to be his first pet, ever.

*Note*- A binky is a jump and a twist at the same time when a bunny is being playful.

To be continued…