The foster kittens are growing like weeds. Four of them - the three tortie girls and the tuxedo boy - look like they'll be a little coaty. They're also the bravest. Orange boy is a bit shy, and black girl is the most shy. They're about 7 weeks old, and eventually will be available for adoption through Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan. Unless, of course, I get some pre-adoption inquiries!
Tux, sweet boy
The black girl, I call her V
Aphra, the trailblazer
Flan, little Miss Busy
Willa, the snuggler
Orange boy, I tried calling him Sheridan but he insisted he was Richie
Well, on Saturday I had to say goodbye to my Best Cat, Gulliver. He was 17, and he had been living with me for 15 of those years. I rescued him from the horse farm because the other barn cats were constantly picking on him and he kept getting injured, so I figured it was easier for him to come live with me and his brother, my heart-cat Oliver, than to keep making trips to the vet. He was a good friend and companion, so even though his age had finally caught up with him, it was difficult to make the decision to send him on to the Heaven Side. I know he's able to run and jump and climb again, and chase mice, and take long naps in the sun. I hope to see you again, G!
Just before we left for Houston, little Henley had an epic ear fail:
So, he got retaped:
The tape has been removed and he now has perky ears again. And while we were in Houston, he got to go to Canada with his Aunt Margaret and Uncle Marv. While there at the dog show, one little boy said to his mom, "Look, Mom, it's a guinea pig! And it's HUGE!" I wonder if I should show him at guinea pig shows?
So, we got a lot of rain the other day, and I was out in the dog yard, looking for poop. I saw a movement, and thought, oh boy! A frog, or a toad! I took a closer look, and leapt back in horror as a HUGE, slavering BEAST reared out of the puddle of water, waving its dreadful claws at me! April showers bring more than flowers, they bring the annual rise of the terrestrial crawdads. It was GINORMOUS, at least, 3 inches, maybe more! Oh, the horror! As frightening as Lovecraft's Cthulhu, snapping and glaring with malevolent eyes ... I did what any red-blooded, All-American farm girl would do: Ran screaming to the house!
I was introduced to Mary via a good friend, who shared Mary's love of another breed, Rottweilers:
"While I liked Mary on first phone call, I think it was our meeting to pick up Reggie that just bowled me over. She brought you his entire baby book as I recall...a history you might never have been able to compile, certainly not easily, and one that gave you an overview, not just of him, but the whole package of breeding, showing and mentoring that some folks just never experience and may never develop on their own. She was generous to you, from what you've said, for the rest of her life and that is always going to be with you and with your adventures in purebred dogs. Very special."
The world's a little emptier now ... my first mentor, breeder-judge Mary Gretchen Belloff, passed away on April 1.
Mary had pretty firm principles, and I'm sure she was capable of ruffling a few feathers in defense of them. As a breeder and a judge, she was tough-minded yet fair. If you asked her opinion, you got it. As a judge, she didn't play favorites, and would pick what she considered the best dog on that day. As a breeder, she bred great dogs.
I knew her as a gracious, warm and funny person. She wasn't one for making a fuss about herself, particularly as she defied the odds in her battle with cancer. I'm grateful to her for introducing me to the world of Cardigans, and feel very privileged to have a dog from the last litter she bred.
I truly believe that her beloved Viviane was waiting for her, and they are now together again.