Jake and Bathsheba

A blog by two cats who used to live in the same house in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, they are both no longer with us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Emerson's Blog

Please visit me on my blog.


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

She Did It Her Way

My dear Bathsheba died last week.

She was getting progressively weaker and ate next to nothing, but she still enjoyed drinking water out of the bathroom sink, petting, and going out and around the deck in the mornings. Perhaps she was remembering her glory days when she spent a lot of time outside and was a very successful squirrel hunter.

She didn’t wait for euthanasia; she died in the garden on a bed of leaves.

Some of you may remember Bathsheba’s story. I had lost my six-year-old black cat Gus to stomach cancer in August of 1991, and by October of that year I was ready to add a kitten to my household. I was seeking a male to join my 13-year-old Maine coon named Precious. I had a friend in my office who always seemed to be in the know when cats or kittens needed a good home. A friend of a friend of hers had a cat with kittens. They were barn cats that were born under the back porch of a farmhouse that was enveloped by creeping suburbia. All were polydactyl—having extra toes.

The males of the litter were already spoken for, but I chose feisty Bathsheba at 8 weeks from the females. She and Precious got along from the start. When Jake was added to the mix two and a half years later (through that same friend), she became the odd girl out because she barely tolerated him.

For a while, I kept Bathsheba inside and would only let her out under strict supervision. Of course, she loved the outdoors. When my ex-boyfriend moved in with me and worked from home, he allowed the cats much more outdoor freedom. Bathsheba became a masterful hunter and was remarkably successful with our abundant squirrel population. She once nabbed a squirrel as I hosted a public garden tour. Some guests were appalled, but others asked if I would rent her out to them!

Unfortunately, Bathsheba’s love of the outdoors caused me considerable consternation on several occasions. Sometimes she would spend the night outside, but on two separate occasions, when she was about five and six years of age, respectively, she disappeared for more than a week. Both times she simply reappeared from the woods calling me with her baby meow as if nothing was wrong. Never mind that I had scoured the neighborhood, put up signs, and called the local animal shelters. She also managed to lose the collars I would put on her back in those days.

Bathsheba was never what you would term a “cuddly cat,” but she did have a special connection with me. Whereas Jake would flee from me when I would cry, Bathsheba always came to me and offered a head to scratch and a soft purr. She did not like to sleep up close to me, but she would sleep down by my feet. When I worked in the garden, she liked to watch me, staying just out of reach.

As she aged, Shebie became more of a homebody, knowing that she was safe inside. She lost her hearing and, near the end, became blind in one eye with limited vision in the other. She did still enjoy sniffing the air on the deck, but she no longer ventured beyond the fenced yard that had never confined her in her youth.

Eighteen years is a good, long life for a cat, and she enjoyed good health for nearly all of them. I will miss my dear Bathsheba and love her always. She will never be forgotten.

Thank you all for being such good friends to Jake, Bathsheba, and now Emerson. I'm not sure whether I will continue to blog now that both Jake and Bathsheba are gone, but maybe I will start a new blog or post occasionally with Emerson.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Sad News

Hi, Emerson here with some sad news. My big sister Bathsheba is not well. She has a tumor in her mouth and it is something called squamous cell carcinoma. That's a fancy way of saying she has the dreaded cancer. She is hardly eating. Mommie is very sad about this turn of events. Only something called palliative care is really an option for Sheba now. I will try my best not to be a pest to her.

Love & purrs,

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Meet Mr. RW Emerson

Hi! I'm Emerson, the new kitten here.

Finally, I get to tell you my story.

I was born in June, and when I was a tiny kitten, someone brought my sister and me to the animal shelter. I don't really remember that time, but we were fostered for a while. My sister found a forever home, but I had to wait longer because I had a virus. I was finally given a clean bill of health by the doctor, and on Friday, September 11, my mommie visited the animal shelter after work and she saw me all alone in my cage. That's me in my cage in the photos in the previous post.
I played with my mommie through the little holes in the glass. She had to wait until almost closing time before she got to play with me in the play room because the staff was busy with some other people and their adoptions.

She filled out the paperwork to adopt me and learned that she could not take me home until I was "fixed." She was surprised that 12-week old kittens could be neutered because her previous kitties had the operation at six months. The shelter staff made the appointment for Monday, September 14 and the plan was for Mommie to pick me up the next day.

Mommie got a call from the veterinarian on Monday.
I was very sick with a high fever and viral infection--much too sick for my operation. The animal shelter director even called my mommie and asked her if she wanted a different kitty since I was so sick. Thank goodness she said no.
I was hospitalized for several days, but on Thursday, September 17 my mommie paid lots of green papers and got to bring me home.

I was so excited, but she was told that I had to stay in a confined place and remain relatively quiet. I had three different medicines. I wasn't allowed to meet the big kitty that already lived here. Mommie put me in the room she calls the library because it has many books and bookcases. She named me Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think she has high literary hopes of me and expects me to be a great writer or something. But I'm just a little kitten and I want to PLAY.

I had a checkup on Monday, September 28 and I was finally well! Except that I had a clogged tear duct in my right eye which might be chronic. Sigh. Mommie made an appointment for my neutering operation which some of you call a hooha-ectomy. That was done on September 30 and I got to go home that evening. The vet staff told Mommie that I was to remain confined and quiet for another TWO WEEKS. NO! I wanted to play and meet the other kitty.

I was fine after my operation and my mommie decided that I could assimilate into the family sooner rather than later. I got to meet Bathsheba. She greeted me with a hiss--and more hisses, but she has never hit me. In fact, she usually walks away from me and I just want to get to know her. I follow her around sometimes; she is my idol. I don't know why she doesn't seem to want to be my friend.
Here we are together on the deck. My orange coat makes me almost invisible.

Here I am with Bathsheba while she sleeps in her favorite spot in the kitchen. I love the bay window.

I know that I cannot fill the hole in Mommie's heart that Jake left, but I intend to bring joy to her life because I am very happy to have a forever home. Here I am posed next to a photo of Jake in a frame that Jeter's mom made for Mommie.
Thank you for reading my story.
Love and purrs,


Friday, September 11, 2009

Uh-Oh: Coming Soon


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm 18 Today!

Yes, I'm 18 today! Mom is late with this post, and I see that many friends have already sent well wishes in my previous post. Thank you! Maybe I'll even register to vote now; Virginia has an election for governor this fall.

For my birthday, Mom found a purple zoom groom for me. I love being scritched along my spine and now Mom can do it with this new tool. Who knew that a tool could feel as good as Mom's fingers?

And look at all the fur it stole from me!

I had a nice, quiet birthday--the way I like it. And my servants let me go IN and OUT many times.

Mom will be going on vacation soon to Nova Scotia and she says that when she returns, we may get an addition to the family. That sounds ominous, but I'll worry about that when the time comes. Stay cool, everyone.

Love, ~Bathsheba

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Enjoying the New Deck Furniture

Yes, I'm still alive! Just a few more weeks and I'll be celebrating the big one-eight like Rocky the Gutter Cat and Calvin.
Mom finally bought some new deck furniture and I decided to try out the chaise lounge.
Yes, I think that it passes the "Sheba test." I was a lucky girl today. Mom teleworked and I got to spend time out on the deck with her. This new wireless FIOS we have is great!

It was getting near dinner time when Mom snapped this photo. I was licking my chops at the thought of some great kibbles. (Or Mom just caught me at the end of a wash session.)
Have a great summer, and I hope you enjoy the outdoors safely like I do now.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mom Met Rosie and Cheeto in Chicago

Hi Everyone -
Sorry I rarely blog or visit any more. Things are going well with Mom and me. Mom recently went to a conference in Chicago and visited my first blogging friends, Rosie and Cheeto. I was disappointed not to get to visit them myself, but I'm not too keen on the idea of an airplane ride, and Kathy the catsitter took good care of my needs while Mom was away.
Here is Mom giving a good scritchin' to Cheeto as he lies in the sunshine.
Rosie gave Mom a nose kiss!
Here is Mom with Rosie and Cheeto's lady just minutes after they met. Jake and I had been friends with R&C since August of 2006. R&C's Lady is the first blogging cats' person that she has ever met. Too bad Mom isn't in Chicago now; a group of cat bloggers are getting together there to meet for the first time.
Mom and I send our condolences to Chey and family upon the recent loss of dear Georgia.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden Cat

Hi! It has been forever since my last post, and the mood has changed dramatically around here.

Spring is here, and Mom LOVES spring. She also has a very loving man in her life. We still miss Jake very much, but Mom no longer bursts into tears at the mere mention of him.

Our garden was one of three featured for a local wildflower garden tour on April 19. Our Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) were in full glory that day.

Mom asked me if I wanted to participate in the tour by being outside,

but I told her that I would rather nap. We had 117 guests visit our garden that Sunday afternoon. Refreshments were served on our deck and the guests had a good time. The non-floral stars of the tour were a pair of flickers who were busy carving out a nesting cavity high in our dead ash tree.

It has been very warm (HOT) lately. Mom had to work late last night, but she came home tonight and took me outside with her. Can you find me in this photo amidst the wild geraniums?

She stalked me with the camera.

I showed my displeasure by slipping under the shed. A groundhog and an oppossum lived here at different times.
Mom continues to be busy with work and her activities. She is co-chair of a native plant sale that will take place the morning of May 9. I continue to conserve energy and nap.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almost Spring

Hi! Today is Mom's birthday (I'm not the only geezer in this household!) so I thought that I'd let her post some flower photos on my blog. These are crocus in the flower bed next to the driveway.

And this is a photo of our first daffodils. As you can see from the date, they bloomed March 10. These ones are on the sunny side of the house.
Here are some mixed flowers: snowdrops, crocus, hellebores, and winter aconite. In the warmer parts of the yard, the snowdrops have already gone by. Mom is exasperated by the squirrels. They keep tearing up the crocus flowers. Too bad I'm retired from squirrel hunting.

Mom decided that she'd better get busy cleaning out bird houses. This is the "chickadee condo" that Dad built in 2001.

Mom cleaned out all three apartments.

These are the three nests that were removed.

This was built as a winter shelter for the birdies.

Guess who took up residence in it instead?

Over the weekend Mom noticed that a wren with nesting materials in its mouth kept flying into the yew bush out front. Mom checked it out and found a neat little nest yesterday afternoon.

I refused to pose in the posies as Jake used to do. I decided to hide in the shrubbery by the house.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I'm sorry that you have been so sad lately. I'm not very good at cheering you up.

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