Jossan, a year after

My love Jossan had a great summer, she was healthy and happy and got to go out in our garden, lie in the sun, crawl through the bushes and eat the grass and hunt the flies.

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Jossan outside in our garden, summer 2016

If you remember, we have discovered Jossan’s mammary cancer about a year ago and she underwent a total mastectomy after that. After complications related to the cut not healing well, we have changed the clinic, they revised the cut, got out the material that was irritating her and she healed fast and well after that. All was a total happiness again.

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Jossan, summer 2016

Just about a month ago, her blood values were checked, she was X-rayed and she was considered to be in a remission with no signs of cancer. And then, not even two weeks after the happy news about her being seemingly cancer-free, I was cuddling with her on the sofa before going to sleep, when I felt a little lump in her right front armpit. And one even smaller next to the first one, and one more… there were three of them and they were like a pea, and half a pea and a peppercorn. And so I started getting cold chills and soon a full blown panic attack.

It was back, or we missed it, or it was a microscopic, and grew. Jossan looked at me with her pretty loving eyes wondering why am I worrying. They always feel what we feel.

I called and booked a time at the new clinic the first time next morning. We met a veterinary, and got booked an appointment with an oncologist, for a counseling and deciding what to do.

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Jossan and her daughter Electra, summer 2016

I broke in tears at the oncologist. He was very nice and emphatic, but I was not prepared to talk about feelings and perception of life there. I am tough, I think, when we talk about medicines, studies, possible treatments. Facts and possibilities I can talk about easily, relatively disconnecting my emotions, but I cannot, without being prepared, talk about my love for my cat and what life means for her and how she sees it and why we feel and do the things we do.

Joakim could not join us for our appointment, but we have already talked before about the money issue and other things and decided that we will do whatever it takes, if we can save her, without her suffering (a few days in stitches is fine, that she would forget, and we two are close then, she sleeps on me all the time and cuddles, and that closeness is also good). We will pay for it however much it costs (will probably go over the max sum what insurance covers).

The talk to the oncologist went well, besides that part with me crying a bit (while Jossan was happily jumping around and exploring the oncologist’s office). We have decided to remove what I discovered, look for more and remove what more is found, too, during the surgery. Since she was x-rayed and examined very recently, we knew that the cancer did not spread (visibly at least) yet, so we still could hope for the best after this operation. I am a firm believer in surgery against cancer, that if possible, it is the best treatment. We’ve met before, cancer and my close family, both human and pets (a dog), where surgeries were successful and the cancer was gone after them, for good; in one case after only one operation, in another after an extra surgery. Jossan will also receive Metacam, half a dose, every day, for the rest of her life; it is an anti inflammatory medicine that can inhibit some of the tumor cells.

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My ❤ Jossan

Jossan was operated this morning and the veterinary has called me recently; she is well and the operation went well. they took out those three lumps I found and checked her in detail for more; they found two more 1-3mm big and removed them; one in the middle of her abdomen, another close to the back leg. She has only small cuts and very few stitches. So now I am almost crying from relief that she woke up and she feels well. I cannot wait to see her in a few hours. My heart. ❤

Cold summer

Cold and rainy. It is as warm as it was for Christmas last year in Stockholm. Warm or cold, depends how you look at it. We thought it was warm when it was Christmas.

Looking at pics I took 2 days ago, when we had sun for a couple of hours. The cats enjoyed it!

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Jossan

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Jossan and Eleonora

Jossan is the real Queen, as our fridge magnet says:

Jossan's magnet

Jossan’s magnet

I love Jossan, she is my cat, very loving, always close to me. I feel that we have not only love, but also a deep understanding for each other.
Her daughters are as slim and slender as she is. Not as regal, but I think that they will be. Electra has mom’s contrasts and striking looks. They both have that special ‘something’.

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Claire

Electra

Electra

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Electra

Claire has inherited her mom’s amazing body. Eleonora is a beauty, very similar to Jossan, with better top and ears. Our beauties!
If all is okay, Eleonora will move to Norway this weekend. She has all the papers and today she was checked at the veterinary, we are only waiting for the results of the TF-test. The cats are all good in their tummies after the latest treatment with Tinidazole that we finished two weeks ago.

We will retest them all soon as well, but I sent Eleonoras sample today, still collecting all the others.

Summer on the balcony

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Claire: “Mini pelargoniums! Let’s go for the red one, it looks juicy.”

"No, that is so main stream. I say we go for this one."

Albert: “No, red pelargoniums are so mainstream. I say we go for this one.”

Yes, our Albert is a cat with a discerning palate. Let’s have a close up of what he is trying to eat:

Albert is a gourmet

Albert is a gourmet

A cactus? Yes, a cactus!

Luckily, no cat or plant was hurt during this photo session!

Did Albert learn something today? I hope he did! He did not bleed or seemed hurt, but he looked very surprised after gently trying to taste the little cactus.

On the balcony

The spring is very much here in Stockholm! The weather is lovely and we are planting the flowers and working in the garden and on our balcony when we can.

The cats are helping us (according to them).

Jossan sniffing campanula

Jossan sniffing campanula

But, this is not how it is supposed to be!  Jossan is my angel, she only sniffs at little campanula flowers.

Claire and her salad choice

Claire and her salad choice

Albert eats them as salad! Which is what Claire does with my small pelargonium plants that are ready to be planted in the big pots.

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

But, the worst of all – look where Leroy is sitting!

Leroy, Albert and Claire; all doing the things they are not supposed to.

Leroy, Albert and Claire; doing the things they are not supposed to.

The net must go up soon!

Summer in Stockholm

Our summers are short, and not too warm. When there is sun, they are perfect (although still – short). Maven and Miii are going outside when we wake up (the cats go to sleep and wake up when we do, almost always), and run around on our lot. Leroy joins them a bit later and stays out shorter.

I took this picture yesterday, close to sunset. Leroy in one of the old apple trees behind our house.

Leroy up in the apple tree

Our cats are not outside cats, but they go out during the summer, when it is sunny. Albert never went out, he goes only to the balcony (only recently he started showing some interest for the outside world. I hope to be able to take him out, on a cat-leash when he heals and I can put a little vest on him). Miii and Leroy do not go to strangers and they stay close to us. I did not teach them to do that, that is just how they are. Maven, on the other hand, is flirty and cuddly even with strangers. I am against letting cats go out and roam freely, in principle, there are so many dangers out there, before all – cars, other cats etc, but – under controlled forms, going out is very good for their well being and immune system.

First plants on the balcony

Today we had one sunny day after a lot of rain and cold last week, so we tried to arrange the balcony a bit. We want to grow plants that cats like to eat (like lettuce and Roman salad), also, herbs that we use in cooking and flowers that are not poisonous to cats.

It is a whole summer project, I guess, but the first plants (if I do not count pelargoniums that hang outside of the net, towards the street) have moved to the balcony today.

Albert: “Work fascinates me. I can watch humans work for hours and hours.”

The cats smelled the plants carefully (that is, all cats except Albert; Albert chewed on everything but rosemary). Jossan chewed on some salad as well. The cats seem to appreciate our efforts (or, at least, they do not complain, and they showed a lot of interest in gardening).

“Rosemary, what is that good for?”

“Salad, on the other hand…”

“… yes, salad is tasty!”

Miii: “Hmmm, lavender…”

“… yuck! That is probably not edible (if you are not Albert, that is)! It smells like a hand soap!”

Leroy, The King

Balcony

We are turning our balcony to a kitty jail!

Kitty jail – the net is put! The cats are exploring the new floor.

The balcony is towards the street, on the southern side of the house. It is about 6 x 1.4m in dimensions and has two doors, one from the dining room/kitchen and another from the living room. It is pretty big. We decided to put the net on it and arrange it so that we and cats can enjoy time there without a cat falling over the fence (they would not really fall because they are clumsy, but they may jump if a bird flies too close…)

Balcony – the kitty tree is out

We have a lot also, some 1200 sqm, and Maven, Leroy and Miii go out and run there when we are out. Maven even takes walks with us through our neighborhood, without a leash. Miii and Leroy are pretty disciplined, but Maven is  best in that aspect of all of our cats. Jossan is not too obedient, and Albert never showed any interest (so far) in going out. We took Jossan out on leash since we moved here, when she was not pregnant, (it is not like a dog leash, Jossan has a little vest and a rope attached to it, at her back, it does not go around her neck. It is comfortable for her!). Jossan used to go out without vest before we moved, but she was a bit stubborn and did not come immediately every time I called her.

Leroy – living a fat cat’s dream – you are out without having to go down the stairs! And your bed is out too!

It is good for cats to get fresh air, but under controlled forms; too many cats die in traffic or kill birds and cute small animals. I know they are predators, but I find it very hard to think of our fluffy balls as cold-blooded killers.

Maven knows what I think about her killings; I screamed in horror every time she brought me dead, half dead and even – alive and unharmed ‘presents’. She was very bad when she was younger. She did not kill any bird or a mouse in about two years now. Leroy caught flies a few times, and Miii found a snail once in the garden and was very proud about that. 🙂 She yelled and meawed so that everyone in Stockholm heard about her ‘catching’ a snail. Jossan is a real killer, and Albert would be the same. And I am not sure how obedient he would be. He is like his mom. An independent kitty. Independent cats cannot go out and  do whatever they want. But they should get fresh air.

We bought a plastic black net (black so that birds can see it; then they do not fly into it) and plastic tiles for the balcony. We only started arranging the kitty jail and they seem to like it so far.

Leroy, Miii and Maven still get to go out to the lot as well as to the balcony when it is sunny. Jossan is pregnant, so going out to the balcony is very good for her; she can get some fresh air that way.

Jossan is enjoying the spring weather

Cats really love to feel the wind, sniff all the exciting smells and listen to birds. Happy cats!

We will put more shelves and some plants (the question is – which plants are at the same time not poisonous for cats and taste so bad that Albert would let them grow? Hmmm). It will take time, but we are looking forward to the project!

Gusten

Recently we got a lot of pictures from Gusten’s ‘mom’ Maria, and update about the little dark nose. 🙂 Gusten is a classic seal point, like his sister Bea from B-litter. He was very similar to Albert in temper when they were small. A bit less wild, but as playful.

Like his mom and brother Tjabo (Antoine, who lives up north in Luleå) Gusten grew up to be an excellent hunter of not only toys. He goes out when it’s not cold.

Gusten, 6 weeks

I was not too surprised to hear that he even tried to sneak on a roe deer! The deer noticed him and left, but Gusten continued to follow the deer in the hunting fashion! I’ve seen Jossan do the same thing with a group of five roe deer and it is so funny! Cats are about 50 times smaller than deer. I think that cats are aware of their and their prey size, but instincts are still so strong – a prey is a prey, and cats are predators.

There are some pictures of Gusten playing with a real mouse and also catching a bird, but I won’t post them here, for the faint of heart (as I am. Our cats do not bring me presents anymore. Although Leroy and Miii can cach in the best case an insect. But Maven and Jossan… that is another story. Albert does not go out. If he did, he would probably be the first cat to actually catch a deer!)

Elora and Gusten, 2011

Gusten, 2011

Gusten, 2011

Gusten hunting, 2011

Gusten in front of the fireplace, summer 2011 is over

Ada and Alfred, summer 2011

Ada and Affe who moved together to their new home last year had an exciting summer! Here they are, enjoying lovely Swedish summer (the pictures are taken in July). Ada is blue (darker), Affe is lilac (lighter). It is so nice to see them all grown up and big and so well taken care of.

"Wait for me, Ada!"

On the island

Thank Jenny for these and many more pictures you have sent us. Also, a big thank you to all the kittens’ owners for the pictures and updates, we are so happy when we get them.

Woodpecker

There was a woodpecker on the birch in front of our house this morning and Jocke managed to take a picture of the bird! That woodpecker comes often here. A lot of birds do, we fed them the whole winter and even now when the spring finally came. It was only last week that the trees started getting a bit green.

Please help stop the killing of wolves in Sweden

I love animals so much. My heart is breaking because of killing of wolves in Sweden that started two days ago when 12 000 hunters went out to kill supposedly 27 out of 150-200 wolves we have left in our entire country, where we can house many more of those beautiful and endangered animals.

Please sign the petition here if you think that it may help. I believe it can and I have signed it. I do not know what else I can do; I tweeted the url to the petition and put it on Facebook. I can just go out in the cold and cry, but that won’t help. I am crying inside instead.

Many more than 27 of those wonderful animals (and there is no justification even for those 27 that the Swedish government and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency allowed to be killed) are already killed, and bloodthirsty men won’t stop easily.

Edited on Jan 15, 2010: Enough signatures are collected and the petition is closed. Thank you all that support the cause!

Maven wants Jimmy Choo’s

Maven, our black smoke kitty, is a real snow cat. Her fur is thick and fluffy, yet silky, and she feels no cold even when it is -10°C.

I wanted to get her some little snow boots for cats, but she refuses to have anything that is not made by Jimmy Choo!

Well, dear Jimmy Choo or whoever is behind that brand; luckily for you, my cat does not weigh more than 4 kg and I can carry her easily when her little paws freeze.

Still, if more cats are as picky as our Maven, I would recommend that you better start making some fancy models for our little feline friends, because they are spoiled and they know what they want; they want – Jimmy Choo’s!

Miii

We call Angel “Miii”. That was the sound she makes sometimes (pronounced as “meee” in English), when she wants attention. She is used to be called “Miii” now and we think it suits her well.

Miii did not want to come home when it got dark this evening. I called her, and she did not come.

Usually the Siamese stay out only for a short while, unless we are out with them. They are never out if we are not at home. Maven is allowed more, since she is “street smart”, and also, she likes to stay out longer. The Siamese like to be close to their humans, but it is good for them to run out a bit and eat grass when the weather is warm and it is not raining. They like a lot when we are out gardening, they are always “helping” us.

So, this evening, Leroy and Jossan were inside and Leroy got upset hat Miii did not want to come home.  I let him out and he found Miii and took her home! 

Leroy was totally crazy and wild when he was small, but now he has became a very responsible cat who takes care of the other members of the cat family. Cats mature socially between 2 and 4 years of age. He is about 2,5 years old now.

Nice weather

It is a nice sunny day in Sweden, third or fourth in a row, and I am amazed and happy. I forgot how summer feels. It feels good. The cats have been outside the whole day and we have been gardening for hours.

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This is Leroy, who stopped for a a moment when he heard me calling him from the balcony, while he was running around like crazy. This is the only picture I took that does not look like an unidentifiable white blob in the middle of the field. 

   BumbleBee

 

We always get so happy when we see bumble bees on our balcony or in the garden.

 

 

This is Sweden. We who live here love sun, too, but we do not get to see it as much as we would like to.  But, when we do, it’s a blast.