Thursday, June 16, 2022

this is june ~ flowers and cats

June started out beautifully; we had so many perfect late spring days with plenty of sunshine and occasional rain. My peony bush exploded into bloom seemingly overnight and provided the most gorgeous, fragrant blooms. I think they're prettier and smell better than roses! Too bad the blooms are so short-lived.

I kept the house filled with the blooms while I could, even though the fragrance set off my allergies.

At the same time, the clematis also showed off its splendid purple blooms, almost glowing at dusk. 

Our neighbor down the street who graces us with fresh peaches every summer from their peach trees, stopped us one evening on our way home from a walk. He asked if we'd like one of his potted fig trees. In limited English, he told us how to care for it. Kindness is spoken in every language!

The past few days here have been hot. A couple of days ago, the temp with the heat index was 108. Yesterday was 100. Today we're at 90, but it's breezy and the humidity is low (which is rare here) so it actually feels wonderful. The heat is much more tolerable with low humidity, that's for sure. 

On those unbearably hot days, I start my day with a big glass of water, then move on to iced tea or coffee on the porch. I sit in the shade and listen to the birdsong and try not to let the noise of nearby traffic, the screaming children that live in back of us, or the incessant yappy barking of the dog in back of us, get to me. Better yet, we also have a neighbor across the street that loves to sit in his truck on the driveway blasting music early in the morning. Welcome to life in the suburbs, I guess.

I wish we could live in a small house with lots of land, and the closest neighbor maybe half mile away. I would love to have a big garden, roaming cats (all neutered, of course), a horse, and a goat or sheep. When Brian retires, this might be a possibility in another state. We'll see. There's many factors that come into play.

Speaking of roaming cats, my house has attracted several of them this month. I swear we must have a vacancy sign hung out on the house. This beautiful tortoiseshell started showing up in my backyard a few weeks ago. She was timid, but not feral. I started feeding her and one time I saw a few kittens in the bushes, too. 

The only kitten I saw after the initial sighting was this beautiful baby, who looks part-Siamese. Or maybe Ragdoll.

The baby was terrified of me ~ obviously not used to humans.

Look at those blue eyes! I was smitten.

With the guidance of a friend who used to volunteer with our local humane society, I continued leaving food and fresh water out to not only help these kitties, but to get them comfortable and acclimated with my property. I started spending time every day sitting on the ground in the backyard, talking to the kitties, so they'd get used to my voice. One day, instead of leaving a bowl of food under the bushes, I took the can of food outside with me, and held a spoon of the food out to the mama cat. She started to slowly approach me and finally got brave enough to eat the food off the spoon as I was holding it. I then took my other hand and brought it by her body, and she was fine with that. Next step was petting her back and she loved it! Next thing I knew, I had her following me all over the place and meowing at me through my windows. 

I named her Goldie. She made herself right at home.

My friend said that because Goldie was so friendly, that she'd be easily adoptable. Our next plan was to try and humanely trap her and the kitten.

I set up the two humane traps that my friend gave to me and long story short, was able to successfully trap both Goldie and her baby.

Goldie and her baby are now living at my friend's house; she's fostering them until we have them spayed and get them up-to-date on vaccinations through the humane society's vet. My friend has named the kitten, Sparkle. They're both doing great and my friend sends me photos and updates. My heart lurches when I see them, especially Goldie. I became particularly attached to her. But we can't take in any cats with Clementine living here, as it wouldn't be fair to her. She's too old and sick (she has Chronic Kidney Disease, anxiety to where she barbers her fur and skin, and dental disease) to have the stress of strange cats in the house.

There's also this guy (at least he looks like a male cat to us) that is feral and sometimes hangs around our house. Brian's named him Blanco. We only see him a couple of times a week. I haven't seen him in a few days and I'm worried. Not only because of the excessive heat, but when I saw him last, I noticed that he is injured. His right front leg in the back of it, has a huge gaping wound. I'll pass on posting the photo of him where you can see the wound, as it's rather gross and heart wrenching.

But wait, there's more!

I stepped outside yesterday evening to see this thin gray kitty that I've never seen before. As it was running away right after I got this photo, I saw that the area behind its right ear was torn up and bloody.

All I can do now is to keep looking for Blanco as I walk around my yard, sometimes leaving a bowl of dry food in the bushes to entice him. Otherwise, I just have to concentrate my attention on Miss Clementine. She is hanging in there much longer than we expected. When she broke off an upper fang just a week after Monkey died in February, the vet dentist said without major dental work, that she'd only live another few weeks to a few months. It's now four months later and still no signs of infection in her gums from the broken fang. There's some swelling, which our regular vet said is inflammation, but at least it's not infected. She eats all her food, is still very active (to the point of being rather spastic sometimes), and doesn't paw at her face. We also continue to give her subcutaneous fluids every other day for her kidney disease. She's been beating those odds, too. Over 4-1/2 years ago when she was diagnosed, the internal medicine vet said she'd probably only live another couple of years.

We'll see how the rest of the month goes...maybe it won't be all about flowers and cats? Though if it is, I certainly won't mind. 


  1. My you have a lot of kitty friends at your house. I love your peonies and your clematis flowers. I have a peony bush and also a clematis and love those flowers. I also love your little fig tree, I had one that flourished for two years, but then died last winter. I hope you have better luck with yours. We had a few cool days this week, but it is back to being very hot here (100 degrees). I totally understand your frustration with your neighbor who blasts his music. Our next door neighbor has a couple of little dogs who are always outside and bark non-stop. Frustrating. You are right though - that is life in the suburbs. I am wondering what state you are thinking of moving to. I hope you have a good weekend.

  2. Sweet, sweet Clementine. I love how good you are about taking care of her. I was the same with my dog Charlie. The cat and kitten are so cute!

  3. I think you have become the cat whisper. Glad your friend could foster them until they can get good homes. The peonies are gorgeous. I miss mine from the Wheaton House. Happy Friday have a great week. xoxo Kris

  4. You are a kitty whisperer!

  5. You are a kitty whisperer.

  6. I loved the story of Goldie and her kitten. I'm so glad you were able to help them and that they'll have good homes. I'm curious, in the photo of your house plants, what is the one in the very front with the round leaves? It's unusual and really neat! I only had two or three peonies bloom this year, then we got hit with a late snow storm. So disappointing:(

  7. The kitty cats seem to have found the right house. How kind of you to take such good care of them. I'm glad to hear that Clementine is still hanging in there. Your peonies are gorgeous. Good idea to bring them in where you could appreciate them up close. Love the story of your neighbor sharing peaches and a fig tree. How sweet!

  8. Cats and flowers. That would be a fantastic blog. By the way, I picked up a tip from a florist. Clip peonies right before they bloom, when they are soft and marshmallow-like in texture, and place them in newspaper in your fridge. Then you can bring them out all year and have peonies in the fall, winter, and spring. Xoxo

  9. Oh how I miss having a cat!! Those blue eyes on the baby are so beautiful. Your flowers are stunning (I dont have much of a green thumb!)

  10. Your peonies are beautiful! That kitten with the blue eyes, wow!

  11. Sounds like a lovely start to the month...

  12. Melanie, I am so thankful you spent so much time tending to Goldie and her beautiful baby. It is heartwarming, especially knowing that you knew you could not bring them inside. I hope they will be as fortunate in their adopting parent as they were with you finding them. Bless you for being so tenderhearted with all of these that are visiting you. I'm sure that the reason Clementine has surprised all the doctors is because you and Brian love and take care of her so gently and faithfully.
    I'm glad you're getting some of the weather you love. Your peonies are gorgeous and I enjoyed the pictures of them around your house. I always enjoy pictures of your home and garden! And of cats, naturally!


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