Monday, July 31, 2017

almost august already ~ and zippo

 I can't believe tomorrow brings the month of August already. This summer has flown by. I know I say that every year, but really and truly - this summer has seemed exceptionally quick. Only seven weeks left of this gorgeous season - boo, hiss! Just this weekend I was out and about by Lake Michigan, enjoying the beautiful (and windy!) weather. Oh, how I'll miss this.

Some of my flowers and perennials are thriving in the heat and overabundance of rain; others have died off or look just plain terrible...pansies, lobelia, bleeding heart, a poppy plant and bishop's cap. 

 I think cone flowers can take pretty much anything.

Same with phlox. In fact, this bunch of it is in the butterfly garden and it's overtaken the butterfly bush. Poor plant's branches are creeping along the ground instead of reaching for the sky. Evening update: Brian was going to dig up some of the phlox but it was too imbedded in-between the branches of the butterfly bush. We ended up using garden clippers to clip a lot of the phlox down as low as we could go. Now the butterfly bush has some breathing room.

The tiger lilies are pretty much done. This is the last of them.

 Russian Sage is another perennial that thrives no matter what the weather. Just like with the purple coneflower and the phlox, I've never watered this plant or done anything else. 

 Prairie Wild Onion in the ditch by our driveway is in full bloom right now. This is a native wildflower that we've divided a few times. 

In other news, I'm really worried about Zippo. He was 18 in May and has been doing well for his age. His right eye started getting cloudy over a year ago and the vet said he had glaucoma. This morning when I got up, I noticed Zippo's right eye was closed. I was hoping he just got a piece of dust in his eye. Then I went to feed the cats and Zippo wouldn't eat. Huge red flag - he's normally a chowhound. I tried sticking his bowl in front of his face several times and he finally ate his food by the front door.

He then jumped up on the blue chair in the living room and promptly went to sleep. Another sign that things weren't well. He's normally pretty active after breakfast. I called the vet and they were booked solid, but the receptionist said she could try to squeeze us in between appointments.

When Zippo woke up from his nap, I gave him his catnip bag to play with. Clementine came over to investigate and Zippo started washing her and continued for a couple of minutes. It was so sweet.

Zippo saw a different vet, as our regular vet (Dr C) wasn't in. They first took his weight and he only weighs 8 lbs. 2 oz. Not good. During his young, more healthy years, he weighed 16 lbs. And at his last vet checkup less than a year ago, he weighed 10 lbs. This vet asked if Zippo was  on any medication for his glaucoma and I said no. I asked, "Should he be?" The vet said, "Yes. Glaucoma is very painful." I said, "Then why didn't Dr. C ever give him anything?" I didn't get an answer. I am heartbroken that Zippo has been in pain this long and I didn't even know it. And I'm also mad Dr C. This isn't the first time that I've had problems with him. Needless to say, I'll be looking for a new vet. 

The tech wasn't able to get blood from Zippo today - he became very agitated and the tech told me his veins were very small and "rolly", which is normal for an elderly cat. They referred me to a veterinary eye specialist, whom Zippo will be seeing on Thursday. I had to make a down payment via credit card of $198 just to keep my appointment spot. This will cover just the general exam. I have a feeling this is going to be very expensive. But when you sign up to be a pet parent, this is the risk you take. Zippo has had other things happen to him in the past - two urinary blockages and injuries - that have also cost a lot of money. We nicknamed him our Million Dollar Kitty years ago.

(Zippo with his "good" eye)

Hope you all have a good week. 
Happy August!


  1. I hope they can help Zippo be more comfortable and happier. I'm sorry about his decline. It's hard to watch pets get sick or feeble. I still cry about my dog sometimes, whom we had to put to sleep almost five years ago. I miss him all the time. Zippo is very important to your family, I can tell. Your plants are looking really good. I didn't know you could grow Russian sage there. I'd never seen it before I moved to the desert, but it really thrives here. I'm looking at mine right now from the window next to my desk. It rained all afternoon and the stalks are drooping to the ground. The flowers are such an intense dark purple when they're wet, it's really pretty.

  2. I'm sorry about Zippo not doing well. It's so disheartening when you have a vet that you put your faith in, and they don't come through when an animal is suffering. We had a similar experience with our dog a few years ago. I found a new vet.

    The gardens are looking well! This time of year mine start to look a bit bedraggled in places. I really like the Prairie Wild Onion. So pretty!

    I noticed you have one of Anne Lamott's books on your sidebar. I read the same one earlier this summer and I liked it.

    Enjoy your week, Melanie.

  3. I feel so bad for's very hard to be a pet owner and not sure of the signs. He's a cutie and I know he means a lot to you. Wishing you much more time with him. You know, Milo is getting on, his eyes are sort of blueish/blurry but the vet said it's normal with age. The difference between cats and dogs, I guess.

    Your garden is outstanding. I just planted phlox here at the lake, it's pretty lame compared to yours!


  4. I hope that Zippo will be alright and that you can get him the help that he needs. All good thoughts to you both! Your garden looks lovely.

  5. Your flowers are gorgeous. Poor Zippo... I hope the eye specialist will be able to help him and make him feel better.

  6. Mike calls Buddy "GNote" because he has cost us a lot due to illness but we do whatever we need to because they are our kids.
    And they never complain.

    Give Zippo a hug from us.

  7. Good Morning Melanie, I am so sorry to hear about Zippo, hopefully they will have something for his pain and then he'll start feeling better and eating again. On another note; I think that your phlox are so pretty. I need to try finding some to plant, they would be good in our hot summer weather. Have a sweet day.
    Connie :)

  8. I'm sending hugs and purrs to Zippo and you. I went through a lot when Charlie got older and it was so hard but to know he is hurting and the vet didn't give him anything? Not acceptable! I know you will do all you can for your sweet boy. My Mom's cat Sam is losing weight and going downhill but he still has some time. It's hard to watch, but as you say when you are a pet parent it's part of the job. Hugs!

  9. Oh no, poor Zippo! I hope he's feeling better soon. We had a kitty that escaped and got hit by a car, lost an eye, big surgery. She was fine, she lived 17 years after the accident, but when people used to ask us if we adopted her that way, we'd say no, that was a $1500 upgrade! ;) And I'm with you about summer, love it, boo, hiss to fall...

  10. Oh gosh. I'm sorry to hear that Zippo is feeling poorly. I'm really happy to hear that you are watching out for him. I'm cross with that vet of yours. Hope he is feeling better soon. Sending purrs to the little guy.
    (I have such a soft spot for senior kitties)

  11. So sad about little Zippo. I hope they can do something positive for him at the specialist's. One of my 4 cats goes for his specialist appt Thursday for a follow up exam for his lymphoma of the intestines. I spent about $5000 on him alone last year. He's on 3 meds that I order from Houston because they compound them into chicken
    flavored treats. Last specialist visit with blood & urine tests was about $344. But he's my baby. I'll eat Ramen noodles to be able to spend money to keep him happy as long as possible. Best of luck. Please let us know asap.

  12. That is just awful that Zippo has been in pain and you didn't know it. Poor kitty. I know you must feel terrible about it and I would be mad at that vet, too. I hope it isn't too expensive and that he can be helped. It is so hard to see our pets suffer-they are like kids to us.

    Your gardens are just lovely- very lush and so pretty this summer. Hard to believe it is August already! sigh....xoDiana

  13. Poor Zippo, he looks so adorable. I hope everything works out well for your dear pet.

  14. I hope you'll be able to find a medicine to help Zippo with the pain. A cat in pain is usually less active and maybe that's the problem with him. Keep us posted.

  15. Oh Melanie, I am so sad that Zippo has been in pain, but you had no way of knowing. Thankful that he has you to love him and care for him!
    I love seeing your gardens here and on IG, they are the gardens that I would like to have if my climate were different.
    Sending hugs to Zippo and you,

  16. I hope all went well at the vet specialist this morning. Poor Zippo.
    We're having downright autumnal weather today and I am loving it. All the windows are open and a cool breeze blowing through. I'll take this as often as possible.

  17. I hope Zippo will be OK and there's a quick fix for his eye. As they get older they do seem to lose weight though. I've often joked that I could have had a thoroughbred horse for what I've spent on my cats. They're part of the family.

    I live where we have the endless summer. I'm counting down the days until October when we'll get to turn off the A/C for a day here and there. This is the time of year we stay inside as much as possible. During the winter when you're stuck inside we'll be out!

  18. Poor little guy! I'm with you, time to get a new vet. Your flowers are gorgeous! My phlox never look as full and lush as that.

  19. The entire year has gone by so fast! Can't hardly believe this is already Aug. I shall pay close attention to the minutes and hours as they evolve into life. Oh, and “write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    Love your garden, and your kitties!



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