Monday, December 30, 2013

And Then There Were Four...

I was planning on writing this several months ago. You know...directly after the events I plan on discussing. However, my computer had different plans and decided to die on me. Several times. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of pictures and was unable to blog for awhile...which may have been a good thing. Then my phone died and I lost more pictures!

So here we are several months behind schedule and I am on a new laptop with pain medication in my system.

Two posts ago I went into detail about our latest foster kittens. At first our favorite was the one name Barack. He was a little orange tabby with the cuddliest personality you could possibly imagine. I think I was the first one to comment on a new favorite; a black and white named Percy.
Look at that face!

Jessica soon started saying Percy was her favorite as well.We noticed a few of the kittens were having trouble swallowing their food. For whatever reason they could cough and hack even though we were feeding them wet food. Percy was the worst of the bunch. He would cough, meow and struggle for breath.His gurgling plea for help was heart-breaking. After a few instances of his choking, Jessica called a made an appointment for him at Mountain View in Providence.

(This is where I would post a video of one of his choking episodes if my computer hadn't died)

The day of his appointment he started choking worse than ever before. In a panic we scooped him up and drove as quickly as possible to the Providence Mountain View. Upon arrival we found the place locked up tight since everyone was on a lunch break. Jessica held wheezing, choking Percy in her arms while I checked the side of the building for another entrance. I found a door and started pounding on it. Through the glass I could see a woman grooming a dog. She looked up at me with an annoyed look on her face. I kept knocking until she finally came over.

She informed me the other door was the entrance (duh) and to come back later. I explained my kitten was choking to death and we needed help. Just then I saw one of the vets walk around the side of the building. We took Percy over to her and begged for help. After looking at him for a moment she said the needed equipment to help him was at the North Logan location.

Percy had been choking for 20 minutes by now and we felt time was running out. We jumped back into the car and took off on the back roads. I wasn't about to watch him die while on the road and decided to drive through stop signs and stop lights. Unfortunately, I didn't pull any Hollywood stunts and cause people to swerve out of the way. 

We arrived and they rushed him back while Jessica and I sat in the waiting section trying to decide what to do. We could hear him crying back there. Ugh. Heart wrenching. The vet told us he might have a hole in his esophagus. Wow. I didn't know what to think. At what point do I be the though guy and say we can't afford it?

He eventually stopped crying. The vet came out and said they could run a test to see how his esophagus was doing. The test would take a few hours so we went back home. And worried.

And worried some more.

Keep in mind this guy wasn't even ours at this point.

The phone rang and we picked up, expecting the worst. Thankfully, she told us he came up clean. No holes. Yay!

So we picked up Percy and our lives changed.

He has grown so much since then. We still have to feed him in a special way or he will choke (which is painful to watch). Wet food is bad for cats as it sticks to their teeth more readily than dry food. And dry food require more crunching which in turn removes plaque. We bought a treat toy for the cats before we got Percy and decided to use it for his feeding time. He has become accustomed to it over time and whines and whines until we give it to him.

tl;dr - Percy was a foster cat who won us over because of sickness and money and now we own him. Or he owns us depending on who you talk to :P

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Voices Podcast

Give it a listen.
Jessica and I go into details about how we met, our missions, our marriage and our leaving Mormonism. We had a blast recording it and we are quite happy to have our "story" out there for friends and family to learn from.

Oh, and feel free to donate to Mormon Expression!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Foster Parents

I've been meaning to update this for MONTHS! I wanted to post pictures from baby animal days and never got around to it. I don't know why I have such a hard time updating this thing. Maybe if it weren't for the facebooks I would update daily. So maybe you should be thankful for facebook!

We successfully fostered our Nintendo kitties - Mario, Luigi, Peach and Daisy. Luigi was adopted at the Super Adoption and Mario went a few days later. Peach was last to go about a week after Mario. Daisy, the mama, is still at CHS waiting for her forever home. The person who adopts her will have to be a special person. Daisy is very timid and not very friendly. She has come a long ways since I first met her, hissing and snarling in her carrier.

Letting that family go was quite difficult. We had them a few days after birth and watched them grow from helpless, sightless kittens to rambunctious furballs.

Awww, so tiny! Mario is on the left, Peach is on the right.

We never had to worry about their health since Daisy was there to take care of them. It's amazing how much a mama cat does for her kittens. Without her, survival is very we found out earlier this year. I'm so happy these guys were able to find forever homes!


Luigi (we called him Weegee)

Mario aka Bruiser!

A few days after we said good-bye to these babies we welcomed seven more cats into our house! One was a mama who had just weaned her kittens, two were siblings and the rest were from separate litters.Unfortunately, one of them died the day we brought him home. Jessica roused him out of death enough to keep him alive for another half a day. I received a text that night while at work saying he had died. She left him wrapped up in a cloth which she then placed inside a plastic sack. I came home and held the little guy on the bench outside our apartment. I wished for an afterlife for him, a place free from sickness that he could roam and play and be loved. It was an odd moment, one where reality and the unknown met face to face and exchanged awkward pleasantries. 

It takes a lot out of you, watching these helpless animals die. Sometimes I am at the shelter and know a kitten is going to die and I just pet them and acknowledge them. I let them know that their death means something to someone, to one individual in this world. 

We had a huge scare with this new batch. The foster mama (she let these kittens nurse even though they weren't hers!) because severely ill and had to be put down. We were worried the babies weren't going to make it. Thankfully, after many doses of medication they are doing much, much better.

Jessica and I agree that the first litter we fostered were cute and adorable but these guys (they are all male) are a million times cuter. They haven't really had a mom and are completely dependent on us. They purr like crazy and nuzzle our faces when we hold them. Right now I have two of them purring in my lap. It's amazing. These guys would most likely be dead had we not opened our home to them.

And that's why we do it. That's why we are crazy cat people - to save lives of worthless, insignificant animals that most people write off. Loving them and then giving them away is the most painful yet rewarding thing I have done in my life. This coming from the guy who yelled "I hate you!" to the people who adopted one of his cats when he was in the 5th grade!

These are our babies. We don't need children, we have them. They are our lives, our future. Jessica and I couldn't do this if we had children of our own and we are fine with that. We are young! We have plenty of time to adopt or procreate. Right now we are focused on helping our four legged friends! It's the most rewarding volunteering I have ever done.

Thank you for saving us! (The black and white one has stolen our hearts!)

Our apartment might stink, I might post a lot of pictures on facebook and talk about kittens at work...but it's worth it. Saving a life, ANY life, is worth it.

I sort of laugh inside whenever someone asks me if we have and children. I always say, "Nope, but we have animals!" and I'm sure people think it isn't the same...and I'm okay with that. It's what we want, it's what we need and it makes us happy.

And isn't that all that matters?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bath Time at the Zoo

Wow, I meant to do this update back in December! Let's just pretend I did and that I've been keeping this thing updated.

There comes a time at the zoo when Jessica or myself says to the other, "I think we need to give (one of the animals) a bath." Usually this is after Diesel has spent a lot of time outside in the rain or snow or, heaven forbid, has found a standing body of water. Now, this body of water can be a small puddle or a patch of mud that contains .000001% of water. It doesn't matter to Diesel. Add this all up and you have one stinky Poop!

Then there's Kaylee, our beautiful medium-haired cat. We know it's bath time when her hair starts to look a little greasy and feels like...greasy hair? Shyla's short-haired so we don't worry too much about her. Sometimes, after bathing Kaylee we dunk Shyla just to keep her humble and on her toes.

Now, legend has it, once every great while there comes a time when the stars align and a sort of other-world idea finds its way into Jessica's brain as well as my own - bathe them all! With this thought comes the primal strength and patience needed to complete such a task. It is no small feat to scrub, rinse and repeat four uncooperative animals.

Such a night occurred on a cold evening in December of 2011. Before any of them could get any whiffs of what was about to happen, Jessica started up the bath and I grabbed the easiest of them all - Jade. She'd never really had a bath before. Jessica doused her once shortly after we adopted her to remove the layers of food, litter and poop off her fur.

 She was so small, so innocent... not amused. This is the face that keeps me up at night, the face that haunts my dreams.

 Diesel, our next victim, pleaded with us to stop the torture, to end the madness. This is the most difficult one because of his size and ability to cover us in hair and water within .32 seconds. His bath takes the longest to clear the evidence; soapy water prohibited by a black hair clogged drain.

 Next up, Kaylee puss. Her gentle meows fell on deaf ears. We had passed the half way mark. She flashed her vicious looking hind claws at us in warning. We finished before she had an opportunity to spill our blood.

Last but not least - Shyla. Her angry growls echoed through the bathroom as she pawed at us, desperately wishing her removed claws would suddenly regrow and free her from this nightmare. She, who usually escaped bath time, is counted among the victims.

 A silence followed the event. Jessica and I came to our senses and looked around in utter dismay at the piles of towels strewn about, clumps of fur and various scratches upon our arms. Jade, thinking she had just experienced a ritual of sorts, a once in a lifetime experience, forgot the whole thing and tried to cheer up Shyla. But Shyla had noticed Jade's long fur and knew the day, the Perfect Storm if you will, would strike again.


Sunday, November 20, 2011


'Beta' the Betta is still alive!
I'm not sure if switching to bottled "Spring" water did the trick in keeping him alive or if the other fish was sick. Either way I'm not complaining. Put a thermometer on the bowl to keep track of the temperature. Whenever it dips to low 70s I put a heating pad between the bowl and the wall. Seems to do the trick!

A few weeks ago I couldn't ignore the feeling that it was time to add to our little furry family besides a rat or a fish. Volunteering at the shelter was supposed to keep the desire to own a kitten at bay and it was working. I don't know how to explain it! I wanted a kitten!

There were other reasons as well. Kaylee was being a pest and terrorizing Shyla. Jessica and I wondered if Kaylee needed a playmate (so blame Jessica, too!) Not to mention November happened to be free adoptions on cats! As if I would be able to turn down a free kitten :D

First day at home!         

Her name is Jade. I held her a lot on the day I volunteered and decided to give her a chance to be adopted by someone else over the weekend. I mulled over the pros and cons of bringing another fluff ball into our apartment.

Well, Monday came and she was still we adopted her! The name Jade seemed to fit her quite well so we kept it. We did the same with Shyla. Kaylee's name was Petunia....blech...that had to change.

As you can see in the picture Jade was very dirty! Her diet consisted of wet food mixed with a milk substitute. She always seemed to manage to get it all over her face and whiskers.

Cuddling on Jessica

Unfortunately, a few days after we adopted Jade she began to sneeze quite often. Jessica and I knew exactly what that meant - Jade had caught the upper respiratory infection that is ever present at the Humane Society. I took her to the vet who seemed more concerned with the diarrhea than the sneezing. Jade became more and more sick. She wasn't running around any longer and her eyes were constantly running.

We took her back to the Humane Society for her second round of dewormer medication. While there the technician gave us some drugs to take care of the infection. The next day Jade couldn't breathe through her nose. She would sleep by tilting her head all the way back in order to open up her airway as much as possible. I stayed up with her all night and held her head so she could relax enough to sleep a little bit.

Fingers are delicious!
The days following were very stressful as I wondered if Jade was going to make it. After losing our five kittens several months ago I didn't think I could handle another death. We fed her with a syringe in order to keep her hydrated. Gradually, she started eating more and seemed to have more energy. She moved around the house on her own and I started to call her "Wheezy/Wheezer" because of her raspy breathing.

She has been running and pouncing all over the place the past two days. She is such a little pest! Shyla still hates her while Kaylee is being very tolerant. I hope they can be wrestling buddies soon!

The biggest surprise is how Jade is lacking any fear towards Diesel. She loves to pounce on his feet and chase his tail. Diesel seems very confused. I don't think he realized cats came in that size!


 And now our zoo consists of - 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 rats and a fish. Whew! Taking care of them sure keeps us busy and happy!

Jade says - Leave a comment or I will find you and NOM your nose!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fish Drama

Most people know that I am, to put it mildly, a cat person. I have a few theories as to why I am this way:

1 - When I was very young we babysat my neighbor's dog, Sparky. Said dog nipped me on the thumb and scarred me for life. The only reasonable response would be to love Sparky's natural enemy.

2 - I ate cat food as a kid. What do you expect? It was on the floor and I am a creature of opportunity.

3 - My parents took me to a museum and a genetically altered cat bit me and I became a cat man.

4 - Because cats are better than dogs (yeah, I said it!)

I also am a fish person. Aquariums are cost money and take up room - two things that are not in abundance 'round these parts. This past summer I found a nifty hanging fish bowl on amazon and before I knew what was happening my subconscious took over and the rest is history. That can be said for a lot of my amazon purchases!
Alpha - July 2011

We named the Betta fish Alpha, har har har. He was a good fish until about two weeks ago when he decided to die. The next day we replaced him with another Betta fish (Beta/Bravo...we never got that far) who also took the cowards way out and died within three hours.

Now, I'm not a fish n00b. I've had many aquariums in my life - 20 gallon, 10 gallon, 5 gallon...odd. They appear to get smaller as time passed. Regardless, I know what I am doing when it comes to fish. Therefore, my only conclusion was the water where I am currently residing is dumb.

I took the unnamed carcass back to Wal-Mart for a refund. Have you noticed how small the North Logan Wal-Mart's fish section has become? Probably because it was a joke and Petsmart was dominating them on sales. After getting our money back we went to Petsmart and picked out a new Beta/Bravo (still haven't decided). He has been hanging out in the cup we purchased him in because I am none too eager to place him into the bowl and watch the poor thing die.

Tomorrow will be the day of days for our little fishy. Be strong, future Beta/Bravo!

PS - Cast your vote to the right and influence what I will be blogging about next :D

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A part of me hates changes. I like routine. I like knowing exactly what is going to happen. I have a set idea of what I'd like to do on a given day and if someone wants me to alter that schedule - watch out!

Yet, a part of me loves changes. New places, new people, new experiences. Just give me time to warm up to the idea of making a change, please!

Jessica has a new job.
I'm attending school.
We moved back to Logan.

These are the big changes that have occurred within the past few months. I haven't the time to go into detail about them right now. I am currently in the computer lab on campus (I should be in Ballam's class) and we haven't hooked up the internet at our place yet. Therefore, my time is limited.

I plan on writing here more often and updating the way this blog looks!