Animals grieve

I wanted to write a post about Cowboy Joe’s death July 15, but this is the first time I can type with some decency. I’m writing more now that a splint is on the hand with the thumb fracture (Bennett’s fracture if you are a medicine geek like me.)

I’ve posted about C.J.’s euthanasia. I always euthanize my own pets, even my horses. All I could do this time with my casted arms was have Dr. Thomas insert the needle into the catheter in my anesthetized Joe’s vein, and I pushed the plunger, delivering the solution into his body. It is my way of honoring my pets to do it myself. In my book, Drinking from the Trough, I discuss this more.

Between the time Cowboy was anesthetized, and being given the last shot, I was given time alone with him. Of course, the waterfall of tears fell. I talked to him the entire time, alive and dead.

Nancy was with me to drive, carry the carrier, 11 # lighter than before CJ got sick. She was in the room when he went to the Rainbow Bridge.

As is my nature, I worried about Franklin, CJ’s littermate. They were close brothers. Not one to anthropomophize animals, I do know the horror of losing a sister. Frank has cuddled close for the last month; I leave the bed unmade so he can sleep against the pillow; he talks more; and most interesting to me, started lying on the table in the TV loft where his brother hung out with the rest of us. Frank even kicked off the table one of the Longhorn cattle coasters I bought at Texas Tech just as Joe used to do.

Frank has Ivy, whom he loves, and vice versa. Ivy gives him kisses. Frank, almost 16, looks good, but has a significant heart murmur. I was going to put Joe to sleep when I go to Arizona this coming December, but he didn’t stay comfortable that long. I wonder about Franklin, but all things considered, he’s doing fine, stealing my pens and yelling about this, prompting Ivy to run and get it. Ivy used to chew them to oblivion, but now she brings them to me.

Will Frank be able to be driven to Arizona at the end of the year with a stop in NM to visit Ivy’s sister, Cali, and her family? I can’t predict, but I’ll do right by him, count on it. My squishy, cuddling, purring Frank will get all the attention I can give him to get him through his grief all the way to his own end run.

Frank blogging
Frank blogging

Cowboy Joe Carlson

December 2003-July 15, 2019

May your memory be a blessing



Well, things are settling down from arm fracture. I just can’t hold heavy objects or have it pulled, like if I am not thinking, and have Ivy’s leash in my hand.

Ivy got her first puppy cut Friday, and Frank his usual grooming.

One morning, after the dog park, I stopped at Pier One to get Cowboy Joe a papasan footstool. He uses it as a way up onto the bed. The first night Ivy used her big dog sleeping crate, Joe wasn’t on the bed. But all is well, now. I don’t really know how a veterinary ophthalmologist could evaluate depth perception, but CJ has had it all his life.

Fort Fun was in the 80s yesterday, and is going to be warm but windy today. Ivy went to the front door indicating she wanted to have a walk. I told her to come back and carry her leash to the door. How cute is a puppy carrying her leash to the door because she wants a walk?

Poor Cowboy Joe

Cowboy Joe, Franklin’s brother, has some sort of depth perception problem. He cannot jump up on high places. He just bobs his head up and down and gives up.

On my bed here in Colorado, I’ve kept a chair next to the bed. He jumps on the chair, then walks onto the bed to sleep. In Arizona, it’s a Pier 1 papasan footstool.

Yesterday, Ivy’s big dog sleeping crate came, and the chair had to be removed to the wall. Poor Joe, he didn’t sleep on the bed. So, I think a trip to Pier 1 after physical therapy today is in order. Can’t sleep without one of my best buds!

Where’s Dr. Mary been?

Where has Dr. Mary been since the last post months ago? I’ve been trying to pass law school. Don’t ask!

I am going quiet for awhile more to focus on my studies.

I will say that Cowboy Joe had to be seen by a vet yesterday. I found a wonderful clinic close to home. Cowboy is scheduled for a dental, and to look at a nasty canine tooth. I noticed it the other day. Of course, clients say, “I just noticed this.” Really, it has probably been going on for awhile.

One thing that leads me to believe this may not be true, and it is recent, is that Matthew was on the attack big time a few days ago. Don’t know what the fracas was about, but here is Cowboy, ready for kitty dentures, I guess.

Thanks to Dr. Hegi at Animal Care Clinic. It’s a little embarrassing to say I had to take my cat to the vet, being a specialist and all, but truth to tell, I still haven’t organized my vet materials, the meds I have are out of date, and I haven’t established contact with vendors. Also, the American Bar Association does not allow 1Ls to work. I don’t think that includes my own pets, but it’s a good excuse.

Cowboy Joe, and later Matthew and Franklin, will be under good care. I did bring home rabies shots and certificates for Matt and Frank. That I can handle right now.

Apologies for my absence.

Suspensory movement, hanging cats

During my first semester as an undergraduate physical education major, a required course was entitled, “Basic Body Movement and Rhythms,” or “Basic Bod” as we called it. My father, the doctor, sneered at the content of my courses. It was a wonderful course that included Newton’s three laws of motion allowing me to understand how my field hockey cleats helped me, and a principle called the angle of rebound and spin, which forever improved my pool game.
One lesson was about suspensory motion. It applies to gymnasts, ballet dancers, or anyone or object which is lofted into outer space. In between the upward motion and the downward motion (both related to Sir Isaac Newton, may he rest in peace,) when one gets to the height of the movement, there is a moment in time where the body/object is suspended in the air. That is, for a nanosecond or so, it hangs motionless in air until gravity overcomes the upward force of the movement to pull it back down to earth. In football terms, a punt is supposed to have a long hang time. I always thought that was really cool.
When I play with the boys and their kitty tease, Franklin, who is a very large cat as is his brother Cowboy Joe, is monstrously strong. He has the ability to get his body so high in his maniacal jumps, that when suspended in air somewhat like a furry football, it seems like forever for gravity to overtake his jump. Frank has a long hang time. Joe does too, and both of them do some marvelous gymnastic moves that I never achieved as a gymnast way back when. Matthew just powers through his jumps.
Earl always commented on Frank’s forelimbs, about how buff they were. Frank does work out his guns. His personal workout is repetitiously pawing on closed doors, which are white, thanks, dude, and pulling the full water dish around the cat room.
Matthew goes ape sh*& by running around the house, eventually focusing on one of the twins to beat up. In the former home, he would ask me to go to his room when he was overstimulated, and I would put him in the cat room with the door closed. It worked out well, unless I forgot about him and went about my day. Then I’d have to hear all about it at great length and with much authority.
Cowboy’s personal regime is chasing kitty toy balls, pens and pencils around the house. He runs after the little balls I got the other day as if he can actually catch them, not knowing when he bats the balls, they careen in another direction. The angle of rebound and spin.
Cats and Newtonian physics: the ultimate corollary for the science-nerd vet.