Owned by Pugs

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Story of Cupid


So, I think we have inadvertently given Cupid a little bit of a bad rap.Granted, she is a cat which means that she is prone to be a bit demanding and to give a bit of attitude (or as we call it CATTITUDE) if she doesn't get her way. But the reality is, is that for a cat, Cupid really is a pretty good kitty.

I wanted to share a little bit of the back story on her. Before we even had the pugs, we had a cat named Eightball, or 8 for short (named after the billiards ball since she was all black with a smudge of white under her chin). Well, Eight lived about as long as her name indicated. Eight had an abrupt end to her life. Eight was on allergy shots and one day Eight decided that she was not only going to not get another allergy shot. And beyond that, she saw the cues leading up to her next shot and she literally went out of her mind. She attacked every one and every thing in her field of vision. It was a horrible and terrifying experience and for hours on end she behaved like a vicious feral cat that had never known the love of a person. It sadly ended in a call to animal control and euthanasia.

That is how Cupid came in to our lives. It was early February of 2000 when we lost Eight the Great. It was the first time since living in our home (at the time in Maryland) that the house was empty. And if I am being honest, I had a hard time coming home to an empty nest. So, we went to the pound and we were looking around at all the kitties that were awaiting a new forever home. We saw a beautiful stripped kitty with golden eyes and thought she would fill the hole in our hearts that Eight had left us with. She looked so fancy we had even given her a name. Ritz. Well, the process at this Human Society at the time was that you put an application on the pet you are seeking and they review it, have a phone interview then do a home visit and if you passed, you could pick up your new family member. This process generally took about a week to complete. So, we put our application down (and were the first in line to do so) so we knew that it was only a matter of time before we could bring home adorable Ritz.

Well, it had only been a day or two into the process and I decided to go visit Ritz at the pound. It was Valentine's Day and I wanted to share some new parent love with the new addition. I showed up all bright eyed and excited to see her. I bounced happily to the kennel she was in and it was like Ritz had taken over where Eight left off! Now she was a very distressed and angry kitty. I am sure that being stuck in her predicament made matters worse for her but the sad reality is that there was no way I could take home a cat that was being so aggressive. I panicked. I spoke to the staff there and explained my situation. Fortunately, they understood. And they were sympathetic to my needs and concerns. They just wanted me to find the perfect match. (Or purrfect match!)

They pointed me to a few others cats that they had experience with as being really mellow. And one sweetie that had just come in that morning. That one was named Vanilla (that was her pound name) but her previous owners called her Pepper. Pepper/Vanilla was 2. She came to them that day with her 11 year old cat sibling. They both had been brought in because the family had just had a new baby and Pepper would not stay out of the baby's crib. She loved that baby and the baby smell so much that she just could not stay away. Well, cat loving baby did not agree with the family's wishes. So both cats were brought to the kennel to find new homes. However, after a few hours the 11 year old was not doing so hot and the Human Society did not think that they would be able to find her a new home, so the family came back and picked up the 11 year old cat but left 2 year old Pepper/Vanilla there.

Pepper/Vanilla was a calico cat who, as soon as you brought out of the cage, immediately flipped onto her back and exposed her very white underbelly and gently demanded that you to pet her exceptionally soft snow white fur. As soon as you pet her tummy she would drool on you and knead your arm with here soft pink paws. This cat was a joy! (We even jokingly gave her the "Indian" name of "soft bunny fur")

"I'll take her!" I exclaimed. I spoke to the staff there. They agreed that this would be a better match. Instead of the required phone interview and home check, they interviewed me there live and in person and allowed me to forego the home inspection. (I guess I gave good answers.) And I was allowed to bring home the charming and beautiful Pepper/Vanilla on the most memorable of all Valentine's Days! Thus, no other name would be more fitting than Cupid for this most loving and heartwarming kitty. (We did not like the name Pepper nor Vanilla and while we are not really about renaming our pets if they have already come to us with a known name, we knew that neither of those names fit her personality.)

That was about 14 years ago. Cupid, 2 at the time is now 16. Not 100% free of her own medical issues but everything with her is pretty manageable and we are exceptionally grateful that she has been an accepting, resilient, engaging and affectionate girl over the years. She originated as an only child but shortly gained a bunny brother named Lou C. and then the pugs came along (first the boys as puppies then Luna as a teenager). And while she didn't exactly welcome any of them with open arms, she has always maintained her good nature. Sure, she has needed to remind everyone from time to time that she was "here first" and is the "boss cat" over all things furry or not. She is typically very mild mannered and only on rare occasion does she feel the need to exert her cat domination. She may hiss and bap every once in a while but it's rarely, if ever, completely unwarranted. She usually has a pretty good reason and mostly it is justifiable.

Cupid came with 2 notes about her both of which were spot on. One, she needed a hooded litter box and two, it was noted that she "plays with anything." No words have been more truthfully spoken than those two tidbits. It did not also warn, however, that she would enjoy eating 1/2 of a five dollar bill or that she played fetch with a feather duster. Unless I saw it, anyway, I probably would not have even believed it.

So, it's not her birthday or anything special, but after re-reading the post about how she had a hissy fit at Reagan's birthday party (and a couple of other posts where we've somewhat sold her short), I kind of felt like we had been unfair contributors to Cupid getting a bad rap and I kind of wanted to clean that up. She may be a cat but she is also an honorary pug in our book and while not perfect, I am not sure we have done her justice and I want to try to right that ship on her behalf. It's only fair. We have been told by more than a few people (and not even cat people) that they would get a cat only if they could be guaranteed that the turned out to be like Cupid. And that, to me, says it all.

#JusticeForCupid #NoMoreBadCatRaps #Cupid'sAPugToo

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Morphing


We have shared that Henry has been taking on some of the traits of Benny & Luna. Well, we have discovered even more examples.

A recent thing Henry has been doing that is very Looney-like is wanting his PM chewy stick. While Luna used to dance around and then bark at us for her nighttime chewy stick, Henry will simply stare us down with his one eye. Sometimes he will release a little groan if we are not acting quickly enough but mostly just eye us when he is ready for a chewy. It's always about the same time of night when Luna would make her request. So, he must have really liked that pattern that Luna had developed for them. Now it's PM chewy for Henry each night, too.

The thing that Henry has started to do that is Benny-like however, is not as cute (and a little bit sad) and is very UN-Looney-like. He's been having some pee pee accidents. Now, in Henry's defense, he is down a kidney! And the vet says it is probably just a side effect of his prednisone. But Henry has had 3 potty accidents (that he slept through) over the last week. And Benny, towards the end, would simply just start walking and a squirt, squirt, squirt would come a little bit of pee pee. He wouldn't even know it. He'd just be like a basketball player and dribble along the way. We will be getting Henry a little medicinal help with his pee pee troubles, though. We will get meds that counter act the side effect of the pred. It would be great if it counter acted the side effect of "excessive panting" too but we found a work around for that side effect (dosing him half tab in the AM and half tab in the PM instead of all at once in the AM or PM). So, we are working it out.

Henry still is holding strong to his own personality but he has incorporated some of the very noticeable attributes of his dearly departed siblings. Team Henry. Henry Strong. All Day Long.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prepping for Chemo #2


Coming up on September 15th will be Henry's 2nd visit to the oncology vet where he will receive his 2nd chemotherapy treatment. We are trying to get him ready for this visit as best we can. His first round of chemo turned out to be a little tough on him but we tried to take it all in stride. We recognize that he was only one week off losing a kidney, and 2 weeks from his biopsy. He had a special day traveling and while exciting, that was still a type of stress to him. So, this time, we are trying to keep things low key, offer him balance and calm.

Essentially, we have tried to keep it pretty boring and bland. No big events. Short walks, lots of cuddle time and the best balanced diet he will eat His pooper seems to be doing a bit better so his IDB seems to be on the upswing. We are hoping that he gained a pound or so going into this round of chemo. After his first round he started to shrink away a little bit so we are hoping that we added that little extra back on so that we have a bit of a pad going into this upcoming visit. Benjamin & Luna were typical gluttonous pugs. Henry, not so much. We are not even sure anymore if he is really a pug! A pug that doesn't really want to eat? Yikes! We've never met anything like that!

Anyway, we are just trying to do everything we can to go in to his next round of treatment with all his ducks in a row so that he doesn't toss his quackers or lose his tail feathers. wink

Staying low key but positive for Team Henry! #HenryStrong #AllDayLong

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mighty Pug Skies

Double Rainbow

Last week the OBP humans observed a special sight in the sky. It was a double rainbow. This is the second such extraordinary observance since the passing of Baby Benny and Little Luna. When we see this phenomena we know it is our 2 recently passed puggers helping to brighten our day by showing us the rainbow bridge that they have crossed over assuring us that they are at peace and happy, healthy and full of light and love.

Super Luna Moon

Then on Sunday, September 7th into Monday, September 8th was the 3rd Super Moon in as many months. It shined brightly in our neck of the woods even though we had experienced a day of overcast skies. These special moons have been lighting the way for Henry in his treatments and hopeful positive outcomes.

The former trio (and even short live quartet) of pugs always looked out for one another. These unique sightings of Double Rainbows and Super Moons are literally demonstrating how the puggers will forever have each other's paws.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Cupid and Henry

This picture was taken a few days after Henry's first round of chemo when he wasn't feeling so great and might just prove that Cupid has some sympathy for good ole Hank.

Normally, Cupid will begrudgingly lay on the sofa with Henry, but Cupid's number one rule is no touching. But on this occasion, Cupid cut Henry a little slack and happily slept with him, even touching him, in hopes of helping him feel better.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Meeting Reagan

Henry and Reagan

The newest member of our family celebrated her first birthday last weekend and Henry and Cupid finally got a chance to meet her. Henry did a wonderful job and was patient and gentle. When presents were being opened, Henry might have stolen the show a bit looking to see if any presents were from him. Cupid on the other hand, literally had a "hissy fit". Overall she did OK, but she definitely had a few moments where she could have done a bit better.

Cupid and Reagan

It was a wonderful day spent with family and Henry received lots of love and attention. Everyone was happy that he was feeling better and up for the visit.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Henry Update


Yesterday marked Henry's first day back in his normal routine since his sickness after his first round of chemo. And getting back to the routine seemed to do Henry good!

On Tuesday, Henry had the stitches removed from his belly. The incision healed nicely and Henry was a very good and patient boy while having the stitches removed.

Henry started steroids to help with his IBD the same day as his first chemo session. He is still in the high dose stage, and the steroids seem to be having the most effect on him currently. He is a little restless and panty. Oh, yeah, and his appetite is back! It is a little too early to tell, but the steroids do seem to be helping his potty issues.

We were on the fence with whether or not we would continue with the chemo treatments after Henry was so sick. But after talking to our vet and the oncologist, we all agree that we can not say for sure what was the sole cause of Henry getting sick. Yes, the chemo likely played a role, but there were many other factors that definitely could have contributed. We have decided to move forward with round two of chemotherapy. But, this time he will only receive 50-60% of his usual dose. If Henry, gets sick after this treatment then we know this type of chemotherapy is not for him and we will need to come up with a plan b.

Our goal right now is to get Henry as healthy as possible and well rested for his next round of chemotherapy which will come on September 15th.

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