Sunday, April 13, 2014


He a came to live with us in May 1996 as a graduation gift to Jen from the boyfriend whom no one really liked-- to say it kindly. The charcoal grey baby was thin and smelled awful because he had diarrhea; he was a pathetic little creature. Jen named him Country because she was into country western music at the time. He had aliases, too, depending on what he done. We called him Stinky early on until his health improved and Killer because he left dead sparrows and mice at the front door. He won our hearts as he grew older with his affectionate and loving nature. For a short time, he moved away when Jen took a job at IBM in Boulder. He was good apartment cat, but that job didn't last for Jen, so the pair moved back home. When Jen moved out again, Country stayed with us. Our home was his home now. Jasmine joined the family that same summer and couple of years later Max the dog arrived. The two cats and dog lived in peaceful co existence  more less tolerating each other for nearly two decades. Mo, the feral cat, joined us about 8 years ago.

We moved to the Garden Spot with the now aging pets and young Mo five years ago. We kept them in the house for several weeks before we would let them roam free outside. Country loved it here. He spent his days, even in his advanced age, at the neighbors hunting voles, bringing them home and leaving them at the front door.

He fell ill several days ago, making a loud noise as he breathed. The vet gave him an antibiotic, cautioning us that instead of a sinus infection, he could have a sinus tumor. If it were merely an infection, we would see signs of improvement. Didn't happen. His breathing was still noisy. He stopped eating, only drinking water. On Thursday it was apparent that he was not responding to the medication, only getting weaker. The appointment was made, and yesterday Country left us. He was 18 years old.

His passing was the end an era. The pets we had as the girls grew up are now all gone in the space of about 18 months, along with their grandmother who passed way a year ago: two cats, the cockatiel, and Max the dog. The house is quieter now. Lonely. We still have Mo, the ungrateful recluse who comes in only to sleep in the garage and eat. He bullied Jasmine and Country, but loved Max. Now he has to figure out how to deal with Boone who really does not understand cats.

I have been asked if I would get another cat. No. I guess not. Nor will I get another bird. I have had cats and birds since I was little girl. Somehow I always managed to keep the cats from eating the parakeets. I dare not go into a pet store where I might see a cute little budgie and or a lovely cat that needs a home. Mo is enough, cool and distant cat that he is. Boone keeps things lively enough. We will miss our sweet Country.

And Spring. . . Really? 

I suppose you are enjoying yourself, dear Lady. Of course this bad temperament of yours is typical. You bate us in with some 70 degree weather, sunny days, you let the daffodils just get a good start, then you rip the rug right out from under our feet. Shame on you.

I planted these yellow and peachy tulips two years ago. Last year you froze them to ground before they could bloom. Is this a repeat of last year's cruelty?

The Gnomes are always happy. I guess they are just thankful that they found a nice place to live. 

Newly planted last fall, these daffodils had a very sad awakening this season. 

The red bud is just beginning to  blossom. I hope it is hardy.

Ever cheerful, the robin pokes around the the mulch for bugs and grubs. Glad to see someone enjoys Spring's sick sense of humor.

Yeah, Spring. Proud of yourself? You killed off the hyacinths  last year, and the remaining one will probably freeze.

The Head Gardener kindly covered the tender perennials in the back garden. My first successful bleeding heart looks so strong and healthy and other plants are just waking up. 

This really is not the post I had planned for today, but I needed to write a little tribute to Country and vent on Spring's poor sense of humor.

Hope you have a great week. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I am so sorry about the loss of Country :(
    They get so in our hearts. I understand the passing of a era, I felt that way when my Mom's cat whom I bought for her last birthday died.
    I hope spring come soon to you.

  2. Oh Ann, I'm so sorry to hear you've lost your sweet cat, Country. It is the end of an era when we lose a beloved pet, isn't it? We got MacDuff when our son was still a child, only ten years old, and MacDuff died when Will was a young man, already moved out on his own. Yes, the end of an era.

    We used to have a really sweet cat too, named Tucker. He died shortly after our first Scottie, and when we got MacDuff, we decided not to get another cat. Sometimes I still miss Tucker; he was a sweet cat and good at varmint control.

    I'm sorry Madamoiselle Spring has been so fickle in your area. That's bound to be so frustrating. Someone told us last night that we're predicted to have another cold snap, too. Go figure. I hope your "Bleeding Heart" flowers survive, they're some of my favorite flowers. Hang in there; Spring will surely be here for real soon.

    Warm Hugs,


  3. Always a very sad time to lose a beloved pet the place does seem empty without them I know. And as for your Spring - it should be ashamed of itself.

  4. The loss of a loved animal does leave such a hole in the heart.
    Spring!! Is that what you call it!

  5. So sad Country died it is always difficult to lose an animal which was so long a cozy roommate. Our last cat Willemien died 4 years ago also at the age of 18 and we decided for the time being no cats anymore, enough liveliness with Snarf.......
    Spring is indeed joking with you over there, but I am sure sun and flowers will also appear at your side..

  6. I know! Can you believe this wacky weather?
    I'm sorry about your sweet cat.
    My husbands says no more cats, too. Weep.

  7. I am so sorry about Country's passing. I had chives coming up but did not expect any snow so I did not cover them, I hope they will make it. Nothing else was really popping out of the ground yet so I think I'm okay on my other plants, your Head Gardener was smart to cover up things.

  8. Ann, so sorry to hear of Country's' passing. I too have older cats and two buggies. My heart goes out to you with the loss of so many dear ones in the last year for you. I hope soon that the sun will continually shine so you can get out to the garden and enjoy those beautiful flowers.

  9. aww so sorry to read about Country - he may not have made much of a first impression but he'll never be forgotten and I'm sure you've loads of memories that you'll cherish. Shame on Spring! I can't believe that winter is still not letting go. I hope Spring arrives soon and that you'll get those spring flowers flowering rather than freezing.

  10. I've had quite a few pets die and it never gets easier. I am so sorry you're having to endure this. But any animal that ends up on your farm is lucky indeed. We've dropped below freezing at night but have warmer temps on the way. Winter can fight back but spring will win!

  11. Better late than never to leave a comment. I feel sad for the passing of your cat as they, and the other critters we love and give a home to are family.
    Mother Nature did throw a surprise our way with two nights of snow and freezing temperatures after I had started the spring garden clean up. Now, it's supposed to warm up again by tomorrow and I can get back out doing what I love.
    Happy Easter.

  12. I'm so sorry, too. We all know how you's never easy to lose a pet. I sure hope it warms up there for the weekend my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

  13. Ann, I'm so sorry, it doesn't seem to matter how long we get to spend with them, it still hurts, and it leaves a hole in our hearts...he sounds like a wonderful cat.


  14. Ann I'm sorry I have only just read this post and what a beautiful tribute to Country. It is always so sad when we lose a pet, they are such part of a family. Xxx

  15. That little snowfall was a cruel joke, wasn't it? Luckily, we didn't get much damage here. The blossoms were still closed up pretty tight, except the magnolias. And those always get hit by frost, and that's why I don't grow them myself. Today it was nearly 80, so it's hard to believe it snowed just a few days ago.

  16. Sorry to hear about your cat, and the colder weather. That's quite a nice rabbit statue in the garden. You've always lots of interesting things around the house and garden.