Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Special License Plate

When we first started blogging a year ago, there were a couple of cute kittens who caught our eye.  The first one was Mahoney.  We remember Marg finding her after finding her mom, Maggie, and the sad story of Mahoney's litter mates.

The other kitten was Kizzie at Kizzie Cat.  Kizzie had an adorable little face that could melt stone.  One day not too long ago the mom was driving home from work and saw a car with a license plate that read "Kizzie"!  She was so excited, she had to take a picture.  Good thing no cops were around!

You may need to biggify to see the license plate.

There are some new kittens this year of course, and we love and enjoy them all, but Mahoney and Kizzie are special to us because they were the first.

Purrs to everyone and enjoy your weekend!  To our US furriends, have a great Labor Day!  To the ones in the South & Midwest, we hope Isaac is kind to you and doesn't cause too many problems.  We are a little jealous of the rain you are getting (not the wind though) and hope some of it comes this way.  Maybe on Monday or Tuesday they are saying.  Just about this time last year we were dealing with a different hurricane, Irene . . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gardening Thursday

Today we are posting our very first flower pictures.  Naturally, they are the very same high quality you have come to expect from Twinkletoes!

Our mom certainly has no green thumb!  Between her and her cats, she has killed every house plant she's ever owned.  A trip through our front door is an automatic death sentence, and frequently its a painful and lingering one.  The mom's embarrassed to say she has a BS in Botany!

This year has been particularly rough on the flowers outside since part of the garden was dug up when the water line to the house had to be replaced, and some of the garden is new.  The extended drought and extreme heat all summer hasn't helped either.

So, here we go!

 Springtime tulips, daffodils and bleeding heart.

Tulips with azaleas that have never bloomed.

 Spiderwort The Girl gave the mom for Mother's Day one year.  
Abby's mom at Manx Mnews need not fear our mom's skills!

Above, one of the 4 different kinds of lilies the mom planted this year.  She must have forgotten to photograph the other kinds.  What a loss!

Some purple cone flowers, or Rudbeckia.  The mom loves these.  They attract butterflies and gold finches.  Its impossible to kill them and they're weed free!

That's it!  Pretty sad considering these are the photos for an entire growing season!  Well, we hope you enjoyed them anyway.  Better luck next year!

BTW, the mom did find a new way of killing plants this week.  She was mulching the garden and noticed some coral bells had caterpillars on them which were eating all the leaves, so she sprayed the plants with Off! and now, 4 days later, all the plants are dead.  Who knew!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day, Julie & Carl!

Happy Gotcha Day Julie & Carl!
Its been 15 short years since the mom went to the vets
with 1 kitty and came home with 3!

Yes, the vet knew the mom was a sucker for the words "cute" "homeless" and "kittens" because she had used them successfully on the mom before.

15 years of Carl singing arias and Julie demanding her fair share of all mom's treats, especially ice cream.  Best of all are the purr-fests and soft-as-angel-kisses plush furs that feel so good the mom can't keep her fingers out of them.  But who would have it any other way?  Time for Gotcha Day treats!  Join us, ok?  Purrs!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


What did you cats do while I was gone?

Well, I hope you and your little furriends had fun!


Sunday, August 19, 2012



If you want to stop by and help trash the place, come on over!  There's plenty of foods out and lots of TP in the bathrooms for chewing, unrolling or what ever your heart desires.  If there is something else you'd love to trash, we're sure we have it!

The mom's going to be gone a just few days and a neighbor is going to look in, but we figured everyone could hide UTB when she pokes her nose in.

Let the trashing commence!  Let's see if the neighbors call the police!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Perch

Oui Oui finds the bestest places.  Then afore you know it, the rest of us kitties are copying her.

 For a long time, this was Oui Oui's spot.
No one else used it.

 Then MMM (sans eyebrows) discovered it.
She's really nervous.  See how her hackles are raised?
They were continually up for the first 9 months she lived here, 
even while she slept and ate.
We can't imagine what she would be like in a house with a bunch
of kids and dogs running around.

 Then Julie was up there, showing off her whiskers and toes.

Finally Carl, who never jumps up on anything but the bed and 
sometimes the kitty TV perch.
We're betting next the mom will be up there.

Next week the mom is going out of town for a couple days. Do you think we should have a house trashing party?  It is a little soon after our sad events, but we don't want to get too lonely either.  No hoopla.  Maybe just a few intimate friends?  What do you think?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I am happy to say my sisfur MMM came home from the VETs very woozy today.  She had to lose her tooth and got a shot of a long term antibiotic cause it was affected.  She is still sleepy but I am sure she will be hungry when she wakes up.

MMM's Affected Tooth

Our mom used to take us all to the VETs at the same time.  She'd load 4 of us into 2 big carriers and whine about carrying 100 Lbs of cat all the way there and back.  Those were the good old days when we could teach each other bad tricks and try to escape when she was trying to get our carrier-mate out.  The serenade in the car was, um, lively with 4 cats screeching.  Now in her old age she loads a cat in each carrier then makes 2 trips.  {{Sigh}}

Meantime, we off on the Meezer's Chick-hen Caper!  We hope to see you there.  It looks like MMM is in Car 1, Julie & Carl in Car 2 with Sammy driving and Oui Oui is in Car 3.  Good times!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Payback

Here was our payback for the thoughtful gifts we gave the mom for her birthday:

We're sure our faithful readers will recognize Iager's Farm and know this abodes evil for us kitties!  That's right!  We all went to the Vishus Evil Torcherer!  And we all got 2 shots except for lucky Mica Moo who got 3. She growled at the VET, so we applaud her!

 Looking cute won't get you out of this, Julie!
Julie is the smallest, but she rules the roost.

 The good news is everyone lost weight this year.
The mom changed our food to Taste of the Wild
but lets us eat as much as we like.
That's the kind of diet we like!
She thought we were overeating because of fillers in our old food.
She assumed the old food didn't have fillers 
because it was expensive, but other CB'ers mentioned 
to check the ingredients.
She didn't like what she saw.

 MMM has removed her eye brows again, so
she got an extra shot and has tuna favored medicine.
We hope it works.  If not, she's going to be an alien
for Howl-O-Ween.

Well, everyone lost weight except one!
How can that be?  
I drive the mom crazy I'm such a fussy eater.

MMM is going back in the morning to have her teeth cleaned.  Her gums are inflamed in one area, so we are purring she doesn't have to lose that tooth.

We were shocked our mom could be so coldhearted to take us to the place of medieval torchering, especially after such nice birthday gifts.  Next year its a cold, squishy hairball for her!

Monday, August 13, 2012


We kitties thoughtfully got together to decide what we were going to do for our mom's birthday.  We wanted something she would appreciate and showed our love. We voted, and this is what we gave her

 Carl left a little of himself behind after she ran the sucky monster all over the rug.
We knew she would feel more at home if there was some fur on the floor.

I left some artistic loops in the curtains.
It gives them a textured, rich look I think.

We hope you like our presents, mom!

Just wait til you see what she gave us back in return!  Also, she says she hopes to start commenting Tuesday.  It has just been so crazypants busy, and she worries about her dad. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I wanted to thank all our wonderful blogging friends for their sweet and heart felt condolences.  Everyone has just been amazing.  And I appreciate the prayers, words of comfort and time everyone shared with us.  Ann's graphic and Gracie's tribute and the kind remembrances of friends have been truly touching.  Thank you, dear friends.

Yesterday we laid my mother to rest.  Now we begin the difficult part of living our lives without her.  I try not to think that she will never again turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one through a generous or thoughtful gesture.  Or be there with wise advice, or pull another practical joke.

On a brighter note, August 13th is our First Blogoversary.  I can't believe all the kind and wonderful people I've met this past year.  I had no idea there was a community of cat bloggers with events they shared and celebrated.  What a wonderful surprise!

I love reading about the daily antics of your cats, and love that its truly global.  I worry about your cats when they are sick and cry when they pass on.  And of course, I worry and cry about their humans too.  I don't know too many people (in person) who would never tire of hearing about my cats, or who would not roll their eyes over having to look at more pictures.

Here is our first post.  Since that time we have had over 21,500 page views, 4500 comments, visitors from 90 countries and 74 followers.  This is our 271st post.  Who would have thought!  Certainly, not I.  I never really gave any thought to where this blog would go.  I've never taken a writing class, and knowing I'm not a gifted writer by any means, I work hard so its passable.  If you are mildly entertained or find it somewhat amusing, I am happy.

August 13th is also my birthday.  I love that both my blog and I are Leos.  It seems apropos.  My little lions are here purring their assent and contentment.  I was going to do a "mom" drawing with mom goodies to celebrate but, unfortunately, that will have to wait.

Again, thanks for all your support!  God bless you.  I'll be visiting everyone, but it might take a couple days, there were so many condolences!  The kitties are sending kitty kisses and purrs your way.  Are your windows rattling?  That's their purrs.

Hugs & kisses,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Mom is at Peace

Today my mom gave me one last powerful and awesome gift.  I was there to participate in her passing.  I was able to tell her how I loved her, what a great mother she had been and how we couldn't have asked for a better one, how sorry I was to see her like she was and how I would suffer it for her, as I know she would have suffered it for me.

I told her I was going to start praying, and as I started, her breathing was heavy and rough.  She had just been bathed and it was very painful for her.  But as I prayed, her breathing became more regular.  My sister was there and prayed with me in the beginning, but she had some things to do and my mom's medicine to get ready.  As I continued, my mom's breath again became very heavy, almost a moan, and I almost called out to my sister to come, but after a minute or so her breathing became very calm and peaceful.

My sister came in with the medicine and remarked how peaceful my mom was.  My mom swallowed the medicine and I told her I was almost done, just another couple prayers.  When I was done, we noticed my mom was no longer breathing.  We were just awed at the timing.

I am absolutely sure this is the kind of death my mother would have liked.  I am so grateful to have been a part of it.  She was in her own home, listening to the prayers she loved the most.  She had no pain or lingering suffering.  She was lucid to the end.  She was so peaceful, we thought perhaps she had fallen asleep.  I feel good about my part, about arranging for her to see her beloved sister one more time and for praying with her.

Thank you all for the great suggestions for reading.  I was going to start reading next, but we never got that far.  Thanks for caring, and being there, for your kind words and thoughts.  And most of all, for the gift of yourself.  God bless you all.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thank You Everyone!

I am awed by the outpouring of support and good wishes!  Thank you all who took the time to make my day a little better by leaving words of encouragement, support and love.  I'm not sure who designed the graphic for me, but thank you, its lovely.  Eventually I plan on visiting and thanking all of you personally.

Today the hospice workers brought the hospital bed so my mom would be more comfortable.  There will be a helper who will come in for 5 hours a day.  What a big help that will be!  My boss has been wonderful, telling me just to do what I need to do.  How lucky I am to be surrounded by so many supportive people!  And who knew I'd find so many online!

My mom is much the same as she was yesterday.  I thought I'd start praying with her.  She has always been very religious and I thought prayers would comfort her.  Meanwhile, my sister thought of bible readings.  I am excited and anxious to get started, I know Mom will enjoy this.  I can't remember ever being so excited at the prospect of praying for an extended period of time!  Do any of you have any suggestions that you think my mom might like?

Again, thank you everyone!  I am so blessed to know so many kind people.  Take care, and God bless you.

From the bottom of my heart,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Purrs & Prayers Needed

Hello Kitties & Friends!

This is Paula, the mom here are Twinkletoes.  Marg very kindly told you of our troubles, and I wanted to let you know what is happening because its likely we will stop posting soon for a little while, and also because people weren't quite sure who was sick.

Just before last Christmas, my mom was diagnosed with AML, or Acute Myeloid (or Myelogenous) Leukemia.  Early last January my mom, dad and I went up to Johns Hopkins to figure out the best game plan for her.  What we learned was because of her age (79), the very high white blood cell count and a previous diagnosis of MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of pre-leukemia), her prognosis was very poor.  They said she had a very advanced and aggressive cancer that grows extremely rapidly from which there would be no chance of remission.  They also thought she had 2 lines of cancer.

The best chance of beating her type of leukemia is a bone marrow transplant, but because of her age, that wasn't an option.  Not only did the doctors feel she wouldn't be able to handle the usual regiment of chemo, her type of leukemia doesn't respond well to chemo.  She would only have a 20-30% chance of responding.  If she chose to do nothing or if she didn't respond, she would have another 2 or 3 months.  With chemo, her life expectancy would double to 4 to 6 months.

Her best chance, the doctors felt was a new clinical trial drug, Vidaza.  She had a 50% chance of responding, and it could extend her life as long as a couple years.  They had one 81 year old lady who lived until she was 88.  The side effects are minimal compared to regular chemo, too.  It works by killing cancer cells and forcing immature cells to mature.  (In leukemia, the blood system is overwhelmed by immature white blood cells.)  Vidaza seemed like a no brainer.

So she started chemo.  After a rough start and most of February in the hospital, she started to respond and did really well on it until a couple weeks ago.  They even changed her schedule from 5 days every 4 weeks to 4 days every 6 weeks.  Then she caught a cold and the cold turned into pneumonia.  Her white blood cell count went way up.  Thursday they did another bone marrow test and discovered she had developed another leukemic clone (another line of cancer).  The Vidaza had stopped working.  Her white blood cell count went from 28 to over 100 (normal is 4.5-10).

Three oncologists conferred and agreed if she continued with chemo, she had less than a 5% chance of responding and if she did respond, it would buy her only minimal time.  They didn't think changing the chemo would make any difference.  They have given her a couple weeks to live.  So she came home from the hospital Saturday and today, Sunday, the hospice workers set her up on oxygen and started their care.

I called my aunt, my mom's older sister who lives about 5 hours from my parents and asked her if she wanted to visit.  I offered to come get her and take her back home whenever she wanted.  I am so grateful to one of my cousins who drove my aunt down today (I'll be taking her home).  My mom was so happy she cried when she saw my aunt.  I knew the one thing I could do to comfort my mom was to arrange for her to see her sister.

Yesterday my mom could carry on a conversation, but today it was such a effort and we could barely make out what she was saying.  She's very restless, but I hope she will be more comfortable when they set up a hospital bed for her tomorrow.  There wasn't much we could do, rub her legs, talk to her, be there with her.  I did some shopping, baking and cooking, and got my aunt's room ready.

Its been a busy time.  I'll post as I can, but I am going to beg off commenting for tonight.  Its been a tiring weekend.  Please just pray my mom doesn't suffer, that she will slip peacefully away.  Thank you so much for your support.  It means more than I can say.  I didn't mean for this post to be this long!  God bless you all.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flashback Friday

First, we have some exciting news!  Mario awarded us the "Thinking of You" Award, and we are so grateful!  It became too late to really do justice to the award today, so we will post about this early next week.  Mario, you are such a sweetie and thanks for thinking of us.

Instead, we are posting some pix of those who came before.

 Above is the mom's dad with Attila, the mom's second cat.  His mother, Leia, was pregnant when the mom took her in.  Attila was all white with blue eyes, but he wasn't deaf because he had meezer blue eyes, as you can see from his siblings below.  Attila was the sweetest, most loving kitty ever.  Maybe it was because he was never separated from his mom?
 From left to right, there is Shadow, Figaro and Attila.  Attila was the Potty Box Policeman.  He checked to make sure everyone covered up properly after themselves.  If they didn't, he took care of the problem himself.
 Here is Kimba (in a popular box).  He had a congenital heart problem and didn't live past 3 years.  His fur was as soft and long as Julie's.
Kimba with Ninny.  Ok, her name was Ginny, but Ninny was more appropriate.  Ninny hunted in the garden and ate bees.  When she'd catch one she'd shake her head after being stung then hunt the next one.  She drove the mom crazy with those bees, but they didn't seem to do any harm.

This is sweet Minnie Pumpkin.  She loved putting her paws in the mom's face when she was happy. When she wanted to be petted, she would pull the mom's hair, but she would pull away, not towards herself.
Minnie Pumpkin showing her tortie attitude!  She's playing with Toby, who was about a year older than her.  They were instant friends.
 Both Toby & MP were Former Ferals.  Toby was born in a barn, and MP under a porch.
The Girl, the dad and Lumpy.  Lumpy knew his place in the world and insisted on occupying it.  Having been tortured and thrown from a moving car, Lumpy crawled out of a Louisiana  bayou.
 Lumpy was named for what he looked like when those ignorant people got done with him.  He was missing fur, teeth and his paw pads were disfigured permanently.  He lived to 18, and was 15 before the mom could pick him up.
Lumpy was possibly the mom's favorite cat of all time.  Maybe it was his quirks?  He was Toby's mentor and adopted Toby the day Toby became part of the family.  Lumpy didn't have anything to do with the other cats.
Toby showing off some of his extra toes.
He had 22 toes in all.

Have fun and enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Indulging

Today we are just indulging ourselves.  We love to look at our beautiful Julie.  She is a dream to pet, her furs are as soft as an angel's kiss.  The mom never tires of stroking her, and Julie loves it too.  She has a nice loud purr. The mom loves to listen to her purr as she falls asleep.  When the purrs start to drift off, Julie gets "stirred up" so she will purr loudly again.