A-Z: The Queen

Oddibe came first. He watched me from across the road, as he sat beneath the old cedar trees. Our eyes met; we bonded. It didn’t matter that I already had two indoor cats and two dogs. I became Oddibe’s human.


He was already an old tomcat, and obviously not neutered. He was King of the Road. I called him “Oddibe”, because he “ought to be” somewhere else. He would come to my window at night. Sitting on the porch rail, he would tap on my window screen. He knew I would then get up and go outside to feed him. Our midnight rendezvous began right after we bought our rural lake house. Neighbors swore they had never seen him before.

Soon, Oddibe brought his Queen with him. She was a petite little thing, and very young. Quite feral, she trusted only Oddibe, following him everywhere. She quickly learned that food was found at our house. She became “Echo”, because she kept coming back.

Young Echo

By Spring, Oddibe and Echo had a little grey kitten. She would blend into the shadows of the cedar trees, so she was called “Shade”. Echo would bring her shrews and chipmunks. She tried to teach Shade to hunt. They were entertaining to watch. By now Echo trusted me. She taught Shade to come to our porch and eat from the bowls, too.

Oddibe & Shade

During the day, Oddibe would go off to do his tomcat business. At night, he would still come to my window. He also watched over his family. Elusive, existing in the shadows, for the most part, they lived this way for a couple of years. Survival was their mindset; I was their safe haven.

Then, there came a time when Oddibe was missing. The girls came alone for several weeks. When Oddibe finally appeared on my porch, he was emaciated and very weak. I quickly put him in a crate, which was never a possibility before. I knew it was serious when I took him to the vet that Saturday night.

The vet grimly told me that Oddibe was probably close to twenty years old. He then gave me the diagnosis that I feared. Oddibe had cancer. At his advanced age, surgery was not a realistic option. He would not survive even the anesthesia, but the cancer was obviously too advanced. Late that night, in the vet’s treatment room, I lost a very special friend.

I cried all the way home, and throughout the funeral we held for him. I missed him. Echo and Shade surely did, too. They would sit under the cedar trees as if waiting for Oddibe to join them. They looked somehow lost and lonely, their little faces questioning me.

For years, they came together, alone, and sometimes with kittens. We rescued many of those kittens, finding forever homes, and keeping some. But, others would just disappear. After a few years, Shade disappeared, too. It broke my heart.

Echo would stay away when in heat or when she had kittens hidden. We were never able to trap her. Her sense of survival and dedication to her family was acute. Tomcats came and went, though none were like Oddibe. Most were haggard, mean, very wild, and entirely feral.

Queen Echo
When Echo was about 12, she went missing for about a week. I knew she did not have kittens and became very worried. Then, one morning quite early, she appeared. She was as happy to see me as I was her! I quickly filled her bowls with food and water. Watching her eat, I assessed her health. I noticed her rear left leg hanging at an odd angle. It seemed to be very loose. I knew something was very wrong.

I scooped her into a crate. Though her first time, she did not fuss. We went right to the vet, where Echo was overwhelmed by the entire experience. However, she was the regal Queen. An exam and x-rays showed that there was nothing but bone chips between Echo’s hip and foot. Her foot was intact, and her hip was fractured. But, the entire leg had been shattered by a hollow point bullet.

Hollow Point bullet:
Note the mushrooming effect


Hollow point bullets are used by law enforcement and military personnel. Their purpose is to kill in a drastic, surefire manner. A hollow point bullet increases its size once it enters its target, and it remains there. It expands inside and does not pass through, creating extensive damage. This usually results in blood loss and/or shock, and thus death. Echo was a six-pound cat. She was also a miracle.

I had a choice to make. Echo had to be put to sleep or have her leg amputated. She had lived outside her entire life, free, doing whatever she wanted to do, wherever she wanted to do it. I saw her living the life of a wild thing, and happy to be that way.

If Echo’s leg was removed, she would become our indoor cat. She hated other cats. We would have to make her a home in the secure basement. She would be safe under our supervision. Could she be happy this way? Could we put her down, let her go because of someone else’s cruelty? We had loved her and being trusted by her for over 12 years!

There was no choice, really. She had the surgery and came home to live out her last five golden years inside our warm house. Echo had her favourite pillow and blanket. She took over the sofa in the basement. She flew up and down the basement stairs. She maintained immaculate litter manners. She appreciated it all.

We promised her she would be safe and secure for the rest of her life. She was special. We were amazed that she made the transitions so easily. From outdoor to indoor cat, and four legs to three legs, she never changed. She was the same little, petite, sweet, gentle Echo that she had always been.

When Echo passed over the Rainbow Bridge, she was well over 17 years old. She developed cancer but went quickly and without pain. We were left with the pain of her absence. Her loss was felt deeply.

Aging Echo

Echo’s life had been full. We had kept our promise to Oddibe, by keeping watch over Echo. Her golden years were also safe and secure; we kept our promise to her. And, The Queen’s memory still echoes in our hearts.

~McGuffy Ann Morris


“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number
O= Ozark
P= Peabody


For the Love of Chloe Jo


Chloe Jo is having a rough time. Her last vet visit did not go well. The exam revealed some problems that needed immediate attention. She had to stay in the hospital for treatment and monitoring. One of her vet techs took this picture of her seeking refuge under the cage paper. Chemo has been increased. Thankfully, she is home, now.


Chloe Jo’s prognosis is very limited. If we can stabilize her, she may have up to two years. Our main concern is her quality of life. She deserves to be happy every day of her life. That is what we will be working on. It is all about her. It is all for the love of Chloe Jo. Always.

Chloe Jo’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


From her very first days of life, Chloe Jo has had serious health issues. She had respiratory problems as early as two days old. It was necessary for me to do chest thumps on her to keep her lungs clear. Her lungs and sinuses suffered serious infection and permanent scarring.

All of her life, unusual health issues have plagued her. She has consistently fought kidney issues, including stones. Her kidneys are too small, while her bladder is oddly shaped. Gastrointestinal issues have also been a battle for Chloe Jo. Digestion and constipation have wreaked havoc on her.

When she is stabilized, Chloe Jo feels good and is happy. When she becomes restless and irritable, we know something is wrong. Often, it is not clear-cut. Sometimes, it takes a little detective work. But, it is all about making Chloe Jo happy!

Recently, we noted that Chloe Jo was restless, grouchy, and not her usual sunny self. Then, she began having some abdominal pain. We knew the intestinal issues were flaring up. It seemed this situation was worsening, though.

For the past two days, Chloe Jo has been in the hospital.  A complete work-up and more in-depth studies were done. In an effort to find what is causing her such distress, she was thoroughly examined. The results are not good. In fact, these results break our hearts. Chloe Jo has been diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Lymphoma. She will begin chemotherapy today, but she will be allowed to come home. The prognosis will be determined by her response to chemotherapy.

I cannot tell you how this has shaken us. Chloe Jo is the BabyCat. Her illness as a newborn caused her to remain emotionally preserved as a kitten. She loves being held, on her back, in the crook of your left arm. She will stay like that as she watches TV or listens to music. Music calms and soothes her, especially if it is Dad playing guitar.

Please offer up a prayer for Chloe Jo. And, thank you for your patience.This has taken an obvious toll on my visiting for the past couple of weeks. I will be working on that, as I also get ready for the A-Z Challenge. Positive distractions can be a good and healthy thing. We will make sure to keep Chloe Jo entertained, too.

We thank you for your prayers and support, and Chloe Jo thanks you, too. Hugs.


Friendly Fill-ins: Week 97

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at 15andmeowing.com each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the link for sharing. Please link your post as directed. Don’t forget to visit other blogs. You will be glad that you did.

After missing a couple of Tuesday Teasers, I was happy to get to school…no, I was determined. I woke up very early and decided that I would just start my day, anyway. While I did my morning routine, I kept refreshing the home page of Two Spoiled Cats. It paid off! I was one of three First Commenters. And I was first Right Guesser. I was pretty sure of my answer, so went with my gut. I am glad that I did. Thank you, Sammy, Teddy, and Mom Pam. You put a lot of work into The Teaser to make it fun, and we appreciate it. Hugs! I have added these to my Badges page.

Chloe Jo is still having health concerns. We are having some trouble getting her pain stabilized. She has a good few days, and then she is miserable. The minions learned very early to not poke the bear. I think Bee is a bit afraid when Chloe Jo has a bad day, so avoids her. Clyde tries very hard to cheer her up. Bee and Clyde are very animated, chatty minions. They also both play fetch and are formidable opponents.

The Pelican came to our area right on schedule. They have been hanging out around the lake and neighboring channels, and adjoining waterways. They upset the seagulls, but that is Spring business as usual. They always work it out.

I have seen a pair of my beloved Sandhill Crane, too. They were in a cleared field off the backroads. It is a bit earlier than usual for the Crane. I tried not to worry, as we got more ice and snow. If God sees the tiny sparrow, then surely, He sees the Sandhill Crane!

May St. Patrick of Ireland and Irish eyes smile upon you! And, may St. Gertrude of Nivelles smile upon your cats! March 17 is the feast day for both saints. Celebrations are in order.

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe, warm, and healthy. I will see you very soon! 

1. When I am nervous, I  immediately evaluate my situation. I am not prone to feeling nervous. I meditate, listen to music, and write. These always help me stay on track. If I can take a brief timeout, I can maintain calm and inner peace.


2. When I am angry, I cry. I am always surprised, too. It really takes a lot to anger me. When I reach that point, it is inevitably an injustice against someone and I want to see it righted for them. I fight my own battles much more quietly.


3. Today, I know for sure that things happen for reasons throughout our lives. We do not have to know what the reasons are. We do need to learn from each experience, trust our instincts, and keep going. As Granny said, it usually comes out in the wash.


4. For St. Patrick’s Day, I always cook up a big pot of corned beef and cabbage. I also wear green. I have even been known to drink green tea.

KermieTeaWell, close enough!

~Beware of people that dislike cats.~
cutest-irish-saint-patricks-day-kitten-greetings-gifIrish proverb

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Friendly Fill-ins: Week 96

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at 15andmeowing.com each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the link for sharing. Please link your post as directed. You can answer in the comments if you need to. Remember to visit other blogs. It takes a while, I know. But, there is no rush, and it is very much worthwhile.

Stella turned eight years old yesterday. We will share a birthday post when Dad is home to help us celebrate with us.

I am still working on a couple of writing projects. I am also preparing for the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Theme Reveal is March 19. If you are doing the A-Z Challenge, let us know so we can visit and support you.

I still have trouble commenting on Blogger. Occasionally, it lets me comment, only to then eat my words. Some days, it is an exercise in futility. I would like to invite those still on Blogger to make the move to WordPress. I completely moved my blog and all of its nine years of content. I exported everything from Blogger to WordPress seamlessly. The entire move and set up took about four hours.

Everything is easier to use at WordPress. The security is far better. Images have nicer options for posting. Tech Support is right there, 24/7, by email or chat. I am really surprised at how much I enjoy blogging, again. I would be happy to help those who move. I know others would help, too.

Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy your loved ones. I will see you soon!

1. Before you speak,you need to think. Choose your words carefully. And, always remember, please never forget: some things are better left unsaid.


2. After all is said and done, love is what matters. I believe it is of the utmost importance to show our love, now…while you can. No regrets later, when it is too late. It is sad to feel you did not ever get it right with someone. It is also sad to wonder if you were loved by them.


3. Winter is necessary to nature. Without it, there would be no Spring.


4. Spring breathes hope into every living thing, with fulfilled promises of renewal.


~Show your love!~
show it

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Friendly Fill-ins: Week 95

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at 15andmeowing.com each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the link for sharing. Please link your post as directed. You can answer in the comments, if you need to. Remember to visit other blogs. You will be glad that you did!

Well, we made it to March! Spring will begin very soon. I noticed daylight lingers, even though it will be another month before we gain another hour on the official clock. Winter is starting to lose its grip on us. Spring knows its time is near. The Pelicans will soon be here, passing through on their way to Summer. I could swear I heard a lone Sandhill Crane this week. I saw a baby skunk, too. Nature is waking up, slowly but surely.

Lent is coming along, too. I am a work in progress, as we all are. Lent always gives me pause to reflect on the work I need to do within my spirit. Sometimes, people present a situation that gives us the chance to actually do that work. This was one of those weeks. Okay, God, I’m listening.

I would like to take a moment to celebrate the wonderful Dr. Seuss! He will forever be a measure of imagination and a conductor of creativity. I am thankful.

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe, warm, and healthy. I will see you soon!

1. My favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Lorax. Without question, this is my very favourite. The plight of the environment and all who rely upon it is real. Dr. Seuss brought that message to all ages in a simple, heartfelt story. Though essentially timeless, this book is even more important today than when it was written in 1972. The original animated TV-movie from 1972 was more authentic to the book than the 2012 movie, I believe.


2. The most interesting person I have ever met is Sister Mary Juliana. She was a nun at the Catholic retirement home where I worked when I was a teen. She was instrumental in my conversion to Catholicism but passed before I finished my Catechism. A beautiful soul, Sister Juliana was a rare human being. She had spent over sixty years in the convent. Before that, she worked to pay for her brother’s education for the priesthood. In all of her time on earth, according to all who knew her for all of those years, no one ever said a bad word about her. Not one bad word. Yes, there are others who are cut from the same cloth as Mother Teresa. I was blessed to be close to Sister Juliana, even for a short time. 

STJULIANASt. Juliana Falconieri, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican

3. Besides books by Dr. Seuss, my favourite book as a child was A Child’s Garden of Verse, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was blue, hardcover, and very worn and tattered, even then. I carried it with me everywhere and even slept with that book. I memorized parts of it, and I loved all of it. I later passed it along to someone, and have always regretted that. I wish I still had that old book.


4. Lately, I have been working on my writing. I am seriously sorting, editing, and reworking pieces into other pieces. I have been heartily encouraged by some of you. I cannot thank you enough for your support and friendship. You know who you are. HUGS.


In honour of The Great Dr. Seuss and his wise Lorax, I give you this… 

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