RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Feline Friday – #68 – farewell to Pharoah

pharoah cat

It never gets easier to say goodbye to beloved companions. Pharoah came to live with us in 2005 at six months old. He was a feral cat born at a truck stop in Fresno. The truck driver brought him to Los Angeles in the hope he would find a good home. I was told that at that young age he had already been fostered, adopted and rejected several times.

He was born with an autoimmune disease quite common with feral cats. It affected his entire body but manifested itself in his right eye. I won’t go into all the gory details but he had health problems all his life. I knew he wouldn’t live to a ripe old age.

But he made it to thirteen years old.

pharoah cat

He was named Pharoah because at the time I was studying Egyptian history and his favorite pose was an Egyptian sphinx. He was also the color of the Sahara Desert sand. So it all fit.

pharoah cat

As a frightened feral feline he more or less lived under the rocking chair in the bedroom for the first three weeks.

pharoah

But as he became more secure and ventured out into the vast realm of the house, he soon found some favorite places to rest and nap. He seemed to have an affinity for flowers and plants and would often pose next to them.

pharoah

pharoah

pharoah

Can you find the cat in the photo above? Look carefully! That’s Pharoah peeking over the planter. That was a favorite spot for watching the neighborhood to make sure all was well.

pharoah

Pharoah was a master of disguise. In the above photo he is blending into the planters on the deck. Do you see him?

pharoah

pharoah

Pharoah was able to nap in the strangest places. I would often find him sleeping with his head hanging down or a leg straddling the furniture… but I guess he was comfortable!

pharoah

pharoah

pharoah

But his favorite place of all was on the pillows on the loveseat by the living room window. I could always count on him to be there in the afternoon.

pharoah

Although Pharoah loved breakfast and dinner, his favorite snack in between meals was wheat and barley grass. I grow it for my own green drink. But don’t worry, I don’t share… the cats get the second growth.

pharoah

Like all my cats it was in his contract that he had to help out in the office. Turned out his talent was filing despite not being able to read.

pharaoh

And now, sweet Pharoah has ridden off into his final sunset. He passed away peacefully at home under the rocking chair, his safe place, on Sunday morning.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #34 – the good news and the good news

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I’ve posted about Pharoah’s condition previously. He was and remains a feral cat. He was born with an auto-immune virus common to feral cats that affects his right eye. I’ve been able to keep it under control with Lysene treats and granules that I mix in his wet food. But from time to time he has a flare-up that impacts his general well-being.

Two different vets have told me the only resolution is to remove the eye. But as a feral cat he won’t let me get near him with any medication that would be required after the surgery so that is out of the question.

A month or so ago he disappeared for a couple of days and I began to wonder if he had gone somewhere to die quietly, as cats will do.

I discovered he was living under the daybed in my office. It is pitch black under there and even with a flashlight I can’t get in far enough to see anything.

The only way I found out was because, being the good boy he is, he was coming out to use the litter box upstairs then disappearing under the bed again. I put his wet food under the bed and he was gobbling it up, so I knew he was not planning on leaving us any time soon.

After a couple of weeks of this he came out from under to nap on top of the bed. His eye was really scary looking… I won’t go into details. It seemed as if all the crud that was making him ill had come out through the eye. Then it cleared up.

As you can see from the photo above, which was taken just a few days ago, not only is he back to “normal” but his eye is looking better than it has in a long, long time. I have my fingers crossed that this is the last bout with the virus.

frankie

The other news is that on Saturday we will be celebrating the second anniversary of our bad boy Frankie’s adoption. Doesn’t he look like a little angel in the photo above? Only when he’s sleeping. The rest of the time he terrorizes the household.

I knew what I was getting into when I first adopted him. I went back to the shelter three times to make sure there wasn’t a more suitable cat, but there he was jumping up and down in his cage making sure he attracted my attention each time. So what could I do?

The attendant, I am sure anxious to get rid of that trouble maker, assured me he would settle down in time. TIME? Like the end of the world, maybe?

Unfortunately, the lotto ticket under Frankie’s ear did not turn out to be a winner. I keep trying.

pharoah, frankie, freddie

I cannot ignore Freddie. After I took the photo of Pharoah, Freddie came running over and stuck his face in the lens. Really, I can see this portrait hanging in a museum of contemporary art, what do you think?

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #27 – Pharoah’s turn

pharoah

Can you find the cat in the photo above?

One of Pharoah’s favorite things to do is to camouflage himself as a pillow.

These are four of my favorite photos of the “P” from recent years.

If you have been following Feline Friday, you may know by now that my champagne tabby Pharoah is a feral cat. He loves to have his back scratched but only on his terms. If he decides I am sitting in a non-threatening position he will walk up along side my chair and present his backside to be stroked.

Or sometimes he waits for me on the stairs leading out to the deck. He will poke his head through the railings and allow me to pet him on the head. But if I attempt to come around to the other side of the railings he will usually take off. So I have to brush him with my arm through the railings… not an easy task!

Phaoroh

Here he is helping me with my filing. The problem is everything is filed under “C” for cat.

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Before I remodeled the roof deck Pharoah would often sleep like this. That fence is now gone and replaced with a metal cap. He is not able to jump on to the metal, I suppose because he needed his claws in the wood to help lift him up. I’m happy about that, although his pal Freddie has no problem prancing along that wall and scaring the heck out of me!

pharoah

And Pharoah’s Number One treat… ta da… pots of juicy green grass! There can never be enough and as soon as I put out a new pot, guess who is the first one to get a bite!

Pharoah has a birthday coming up. On September 4 he will be eleven years old which means we have lived together for ten and a half years. I may have mis-stated his age in another post… I’m bad at keeping track of birthdays. To me he will always be a kitten.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #26 – never a dull moment

frankie-freddie

My three cats, Pharoah, Freddie and Frankie are a constant source of amusement. So here are some recent photos of their hijinks.

As soon as I am out of bed in the morning, Freddie (black and white) and Frankie (grey and white) race into the bathroom to see who can jump into the bathtub first. I have to turn on a trickle of water so they can get their early morning drink. Because of the drought in California they only get a couple of minutes of this activity. Also because I don’t drink water straight out of the tap and don’t think they should either.

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Pharoah (at top) and Freddie taking advantage of the cool tile floor and the breezes wafting in from the front patio door.

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Pharoah posing for his close-up. His funky eye is doing really well lately. Hope I haven’t spoken too soon.

He is a feral cat and if I got within three feet of him he would take off in a nanosecond. At this point he is deciding if I am too close.

frankie-freddie

Frankie and Freddie are checking out the cat carrier that Frankie took a trip in yesterday when we had a big scare.

In the morning I couldn’t find Frankie anywhere in the house. Usually he sleeps on the bed and gets up when I do. After twenty minutes of searching in every nook and cranny in the house and calling his name he still didn’t make an appearance. Then he came out of nowhere, sniffed at his dish in the kitchen and ran off upstairs.

I located him squeezed into the space between a file cabinet and the day bed in my office. What the heck was he doing there? Usually in the mornings is when he is charging up and down the stairs, careening around the living room chasing his toys, jumping on Freddie and generally being a big nuisance while I am trying to make my coffee.

I managed to turn his head up so he was looking at me. The pupil in his right eye was completely dilated… a big black saucer… while his left eye was just a tiny slit.

I looked up the symptoms on the internet and found the term “anisocoria.” There are various causes but the one thing that kept jumping out at me as I read about it on various sites was the advice to take the cat to the vet immediately. So out came the cat carrier and off we went.

The vet spewed out a bunch of technical terms explaining to me why all the reasons for his anisocoria could not be any of the normal causes. She basically looked at me and said she didn’t know what was wrong. Great. All I knew was that Frankie was not himself. Even at the vet he was trying to stay curled up in his carrier when normally he would be jumping all over the room exploring everything.

While we were there anyway I asked her to look at his gums to see how his gingivitis stomatitis was doing. Oh my. I could see his gums were red, raw and bleeding all over again just like his last bout with the disease back in March. Click here to read a post about it.  I asked her if this could be the cause of the anisocoria but she didn’t see a correlation. However, it was probably the reason for his odd behavior.

I decided to have a blood panel run anyway, just in case there was some other mysterious illness lurking in his body. She also gave him two follow-up shots for the gingivitis.

In the evening Frankie ate a little dinner then slept the night away on the bed. This morning he ate breakfast and was back to his perky, nuisance self. His right eye is still dilated a little more than the right one but nothing like yesterday.

So I’m thinking the inflammation from the gingivitis did indeed have something to do with the dilation of his eye.

I’m waiting to hear the result of his blood panel today. But at this point it’s a matter of watching him. And as the vet said yesterday, the best decision is probably to have all his teeth removed so he doesn’t have to suffer through this for the rest of his life. So I have to think about that.

frankie

This morning he was back helping me with my art project. Maybe you can see from the photo, his right pupil is a teensy bit bigger than the left. But at this moment in time, Frankie is giving everything thumbs up!

frankie screen door

And for all you film buffs out there, this last photo is Freddie’s tribute to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, Through a Screen Door Darkly.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!