One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Feline Friday – #64 – using up the roll

Friday

Looking through boxes of old photos I found these two images of Friday and Pharoah.

By this time (June 2005) I had a very early Olympus point & shoot 1.5 pixel digital camera. But I took my trusty Olympus point & shoot film camera on my trip to Italy.

When I got home I still had two frames left on my last roll of film. So I took photos of my two cats at the time, my naughty Tuxedo Friday (pictured above, since deceased) and my sweet Champagne Tabby Pharoah (below, still with us), who I had just adopted a couple of months previously to my trip. Friday was NOT happy that I had left him for two weeks with Pharoah. But that’s a whole other story!

pharoah

In the days of film I didn’t want to waste a frame! I then sent the roll of film off to make prints and to be digitized on a CD.

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 – #17 – spring break

frankie-freddie-pharoah

Breaking up is soooooo hard to doooooooooo… but I am taking a blogging break until the end of April. There are things I have to do so I can move on. Procrastination is my middle name… but it should be my first! I have about a week to accomplish projects I have had all year to get around to. So I have to concentrate all my effort and not allow any distractions. We’ll see how that works out. All will be revealed later on!

In the meantime I hope you enjoy my offering for Feline Friday.

The above photo was taken on Tuesday afternoon. How many cats do you see?

Frankie curled up on top of his condo. Pharoah spread out on the arm of the loveseat. Freddie tucked into his tower.

frankie-freddie-pharoah

How many cats do you see now? The second photo was taken on Wednesday afternoon. Well, at least Pharoah has changed it up some. While Frankie and Freddie don’t have too many options in their favorite spaces, Pharoah has the freedom to pick and choose his spot on the loveseat. Sometimes he curls up in the middle of the pillows. (And I need to tidy those up!)

Frankie never tries to climb into Freddie’s tower. Freddie is not interested in Frankie’s condo. And long before Freddie or Frankie were on the scene, Pharoah claimed the loveseat for his own.

I could take this photo every afternoon for the next year and it wouldn’t look much different. Siesta time is sacred!

I may be checking in once in a while to see how everybody is doing but I won’t be posting anything myself for a while…that includes Feline Friday. See you all at the other end…

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 – #16 – location location location

frankie

In the real estate world we know it’s all about location, location, location… and that seems to be true in the feline world too.

I bought this cat condo (you can see there’s an entrance to it on the right hand side) a couple of years ago… even before Frankie arrived on the scene. I originally bought it for Pharoah to sit out on the front balcony where he likes to meditate in the evenings… but he sat everywhere except on this.

I moved it around the house. The top deck, bedroom, office, living room… and I tried several locations within all those places. After both Frankie and Freddie arrived I continued to move it around hoping to generate some interest. After a few begrudging attempts by Frankie… he would jump on it for a few seconds then jump off… absolutely nobody wanted to have anything to do with it.

So I put it by the front door to move it out to the garage. But a friend was coming over and I wanted to tidy up so I stuck the condo temporarily in an out of the way corner where I keep some of my art supplies.

Hey presto! That was the magic trick. That evening I decided to put it back by the front door but who was curled up in it fast asleep… that’s right… Frankie! Since then Frankie has appropriated the condo as his perch. It’s a great location as he can see everything that’s going on in the living room, dining area, entranceway, stairs and outside the front window… and he can also see when one of his pals is walking along the loft wall as they often do.

Yup, it’s all about the right location!

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 – #15 – in the nick of time

Been a little busy taking care of stuff. Was afraid I wasn’t going to make Feline Friday today but it is 9:20 pm and it’s still Friday so I made it!

I painted these two heart-shaped tiles in 2006 in honor of Pharoah, my Champagne Tabby and Friday, my late Tuxedo Cat.

These kiln-fired glazed tiles measure 7 inches across and still hang in my living room.

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 – #14 – Trees, termites and time

pharoah cat

The past week I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time researching termite treatment companies and tree trimmers on Yelp. After narrowing the search down to three of each I set up appointments to get estimates.

I presented all the estimates for the tree trimmers to the other members of my Homeowners Association. We made our choice and now the guy is not returning my calls to set up an appointment to actually trim the trees! Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating!

But enough of my rant… cats are the subject here… the photo above is of Pharoah in his hiding place under the rocking chair in the bedroom. I took this photo two hours after the termite inspector left this morning with Pharoah still under the chair. This is where he goes when anybody comes into the house. It’s his secure place.

Many times I’ve thought about getting rid of this chair as it is decrepit and I never sit in it. But when Pharoah first came to live here he stayed under the chair for three weeks. So it’s his refuge and I’ll have to keep it for as long as he is on the planet. At least it’s out of the way in the bedroom and it’s useful for dumping clothes straight out of the dryer!

Freddie cat

I just vacuumed the rug in the bedroom so it was free of cat hair for about two minutes. Freddie came dashing in and rolled around all over it to show me how pleased he was that he had a clean rug to deposit his fur all over again.

Frankie cat

Meanwhile, Frankie was trying to take a nap out on the front balcony, thank you very much, when I came along and disturbed him.

It’s tough being a Feline, especially on a Friday!

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 – #13 – Frankie’s disease with the long name

frankie

As the whole world knows by now (!) Frankie chose to come live at our house in December, 2013. From the beginning he has been a spunky little cat causing as much trouble as is felinely possible.

From day one I discovered he had really bad breath. And as time went on it got to the point where his breath could kill a skunk. This was not so cool as he has always liked sleeping with his head under my chin and I was getting a good whiff every time I breathed in!

He was also drooling and smacking his lips loudly all the time.

In August of last year I took him to his regular vet as his worms had returned. At the same time I asked the vet about the halitosis and drooling. He took one look in Frankie’s mouth and said everything looked okay.

I wondered if it had something to do with the worms returning so I figured I would let it go and see what happened.

The bad breath got so bad I was really thinking a mouse had died in his tummy! And the lip smacking and drooling also had not gone away.

I called a friend who recommended another vet so I could get a second opinion.

When I called and described the symptoms over the phone to the receptionist she said it sounded like something to do with his teeth. I thought, how could she know that when she hasn’t even seen the cat?

Well, the vet took one look inside his mouth and said, this is the problem! (Warning! Do not read any further if you are squeamish.)

Oh my goodness. I was not ready for what I saw. She had pulled down his lower lip to show me his gums that were bright red, raw, bleeding and covered in ulcers. Poor baby!

The condition is known as lymphocytic plasmacytic gingivitis stomatitis… the words rolled right off her tongue like she said them every half hour! She said this was the most severe case she had ever seen… and certainly never in a cat so young. Usually they don’t develop this until they are much older. And Frankie is only eighteen months.

Apparently it’s caused by a cat being allergic to the plaque build-up on their teeth. It can either be an auto-immune syndrome or leukemia. In serious cases like Frankie, ultimately all the cat’s teeth have to be removed.

frankie

If you really have a strong stomach and want to see what this looks like, Google the words “lymphocytic plasmacytic gingivitis stomatitis photos”… and I assure you the worst of these is not as bad as what Frankie’s mouth looks like.

The vet gave him a steroid and anti-biotic shot. I made an appointment right away with the dental surgeon to have the plaque removed from his teeth and the removal of three teeth that couldn’t be saved. While he was anesthetized I authorized a biopsy. The good news on the biopsy, if anything about this can be good, is that his disease is an immune problem, not cancer.

After I adopted Frankie from the animal shelter, I read the pages and pages of his medical history and realized he had been one really sick cat rescued from wandering the streets. So it isn’t a huge surprise that he has this disease. My feral cat Pharoah also has an auto-immune disease that affects his left eye in which he has very little vision, if any. I did a lot of research on the topic and found that administering L-lysene to Pharoah in the form of treats and powder mixed in his food has helped him greatly and saved him from having the eye removed.

So I’m now starting Frankie on low doses. He will still have to be given more antibiotic and steroid shots and probably have to undergo more plaque removal. At least now his bad breath has abated and he is no longer drooling and smacking his lips. So I am hoping we can avoid the removal of all his teeth.

If I had know about Frankie’s medical history before he adopted me, and had I seen all this coming, would that have changed my mind about him being part of the family? I doubt it. Frankie is the sweetest, if naughtiest, cat on the planet and without him there would be a big hole in my life. I am sure Freddie and Pharoah would tell you the same thing.

At this point we are all crossing our fingers, toes and paws that Frankie will have a good long life.

But the question remains, given the obvious symptoms, even without seeing the gums, why didn’t the original vet catch it last year?

Photos: The first photo was taken a few months ago. The second photo I just took five minutes ago showing his leg shaved for the IV.

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 – #11 – Pets by the numbers

FrankieI hope to get back to regular blogging very soon but in the meantime I found this information on the Humane Society of the United States website. The figures that stood out for me are that almost as many cats and dogs that are adopted from shelters every year (3 to 4 million) are euthanized in shelters every year (2.7 million) in the US. These figures are from a couple of years ago but I doubt they have changed that much.

Every time I hear about somebody’s dog or cat having a litter of cute babies I shudder. Puppies and kittens are discarded every day in trash cans and dump sites or left to wander the streets fending for themselves. There is nothing cute about that.

The photo above is of my shelter cat Frankie. He was one of the fortunate ones found on the street with a life-threatening disease and looking for food. Fortunately, the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter was able to get him ready for adoption just in time for lucky me to come along!

Pets by the Numbers

Pet ownership survey data and The HSUS’s estimates on pets adopted from or euthanized in U.S. shelters in 2012 and 2013

The number of dogs and cats euthanized every year has gone down, but annually there are about 2.7 million healthy shelter dogs and cats who aren’t adopted.

Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled from the 1970s, when approximately 67 million households had pets, to 2012, when there were 164 million owned pets.

In other words, in 2012, 62 percent of American households included at least one pet.

That same year, according to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent more than $50 billion on their beloved cats, dogs, and other animal companions.

U.S. pet-ownership estimates from the APPA for 2012

Dogs

  • 83.3 million—Number of owned dogs
  • 47 percent—Percentage of households that own at least one dog
  • 70 percent—Percentage of owners with one dog
  • 20 percent—Percentage of owners with two dogs
  • 10 percent—Percentage of owners with three or more dogs
  • 1.47—Average number of owned dogs per household
  • 20 percent—Percentage of owned dogs who were adopted from animal shelters
  • $231—Average annual amount spent by dog owners on routine veterinary visits
  • 83 percent—Percentage of owned dogs who are spayed or neutered
  • Even—Proportion of male to female owned dogs

Cats

    • 95.6 million—Number of owned cats
    • 46 percent—Percentage of owners with one cat
    • 31 percent—Percentage of owners with two cats
    • 24 percent—Percentage of owners with three or more cats
    • 2.11—Average number of owned cats per household
    • 26 percent—Percentage of owned cats who were adopted from an animal shelter
    • $193—Average annual amount spent by cat owners on routine veterinary visits
    • 91 percent—Percentage of owned cats who are spayed or neutered
    • 73 percent vs. 62 percent—The difference in number of owned female cats and owned male cats, respectively

U.S. shelter and adoption estimates for 2012-13

There is no central data reporting system for U.S. animal shelters and rescues. These estimates are based on information provided by the (former) National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.

Just as the U.S. has come a long way over the last few decades in terms of increased pet ownership, it’s also progressed in terms of euthanasia. The number of dogs and cats euthanized each year in shelters has decreased, from 12–20 million to an estimated 3–4 million. However, there’s still work to do: An estimated 2.7 million healthy shelter pets are not adopted each year, and only about 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters or rescues.

  • 3,500—Number of animal shelters
  • 6 to 8 million—Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year
  • 25 percent—Percentage of purebred dogs in shelters
  • 3 to 4 million—Number cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year
  • 2.7 million—Number of adoptable cats and dogs euthanized in shelters each year
  • 30 percent—Percentage of shelter dogs reclaimed by their owners
  • 2 to 5 percent—Percentage of shelter cats reclaimed by owners

You can help the Humane Society of the United States celebrate 60 years of helping animals by donating here.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. 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 – #10 – Catalina Cats

I didn’t want to miss a Feline Friday but, as you may imagine, my life is a little hectic right now. So until I can get back to some kind of regular schedule with my blogging activities (and my life) I decided to copy and paste a post of mine over at my archived Art, Tiles & Mosaics blogspot from September 15, 2008. Gee, that is more than six years ago… hard to believe!

As you will note, my cats Friday and Pharoah show up in this tile… I often painted them into my designs to make them more personal for me. Friday, of course, has since passed away, but Pharoah is still going strong! The other tile mentioned in this post came out pretty well too but I don’t have time right now to track it down. So, in the meantime I wish you a happy Feline Friday!

Catalina Cats

From September 15, 2008

As a self-proclaimed tile addict, my favorite thing to do when I visit Catalina Island (just a short boat ride from Los Angeles) is to hunt down all the beautiful tiles that adorn the buildings and walkways in Avalon. (And I highly recommend the Jewels of Avalon Tile Walking Tour.) But just as ubiquitous, and beautiful, are the feral cats of Catalina. T-shirts and other souvenirs of the cats are easily found in the shops. So for me to paint a tile of a Catalina scene was well overdue. I just retrieved this one from the kiln this morning. I have a companion tile that I’m starting to work on now but for the first one I decided on the most famous landmark, the Casino Ballroom. Inviting you into the scene are my two friends, Friday and Pharoah!
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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Thanks for the memories and rest in peace – Friday – 1995 to 2013

friday cat painting

This is the hardest blog post I have ever had to write. But I also feel privileged to be writing it.

My beloved Tuxedo Cat, Friday, passed away yesterday, on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at eighteen years of age. Above is one of the paintings I did of him.

Friday, as I knew him, had stopped being Friday some weeks before. And about five days ago he stopped eating. Going from about 10 ounces of canned food a day (because of his hyperthyroidism) to nothing, I knew he was telling me it was the end. He also started walking around in circles and pacing up and down yowling his head off.

friday cat painting

For some time now I have been caught between not wanting to end his life too soon and not wanting to prolong it, only for my benefit. So I decided by not eating, his message was clear. I am grateful for that. Another of my paintings of him. He was a great model!

I adopted Friday at eight months old in November, 1995. I was interested in another cat at the animal shelter. But a gentleman who was hanging around there pointed out this big, muscular cat who was waving his paw out of the cage. “What about this one,” he asked. I don’t know why I didn’t notice him before but it was love at first sight.

The cat had to be transported to the vet to be fixed and I picked him up there the next day. It was a Friday. And so he was named.

friday cat painting

This is a hand-painted ceramic tile I fired in my kiln.

At first he wasn’t that friendly and hated to be picked up. I nicknamed him Mr. Wriggly as all four legs, head and tail wriggled around whenever I picked him up to give him a hug. And he was such a strong cat I couldn’t hold him for more than a few seconds. Ugh, that was not his thing at all.

But after a couple of months of this he was waiting for me at the front door every night when I came home, meowing to be be picked up and hugged. Hugging became his favorite thing in life. Claws digging into my skin as if he couldn’t get close enough.

I believe he must have been raised with a dog and thought that was what he was. His tail wagged all the time and he followed me around like a puppy. I was constantly tripping over him. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, up and down the stairs, it didn’t matter. Wherever I was, there was Friday, usually ahead of me!

If I talked on the phone he would be annoyed and try to climb up my legs. Working on the computer he would lie across the keyboard or in front of the monitor so I couldn’t see what I was doing.

I have to take my blood pressure every morning and keep very still and calm. This didn’t phase Friday as he would jump in my lap or get tangled up in the cable. No wonder my blood pressure readings were always so high!

friday cat painting

Another ceramic piece I painted.

When anybody came to the house he would be at the front door greeting them. Whenever I gave a party he would go from guest to guest making sure everybody knew he was the star of the show. Of course, he did have his favorites! And once I could not find Friday anywhere. One of my guests told me he was standing out on the sidewalk welcoming everybody to the party!

I had to be very careful opening the front door as he would shoot out down the stairs at lightning speed. He had a lovely roof deck and front balcony to enjoy the outdoors. But he rarely took advantage of that. Nothing was as fun as escaping out the front door. Even when he got out of the building he wouldn’t go very far. He was not an adventurous outdoor cat. Given a choice between being outside or inside, he preferred to be indoors.

He had some unusual habits. Every morning he liked to jump up on the washbasin in the bathroom and take a drink out of the faucet. But he wasn’t happy until I put down a line of jojoba oil for him to lick up. I researched this on the internet to make sure it was okay and it seemed the only side effect was a very shiny coat!

And when I turned on the hair dryer he had to have his turn under it. Oh, he would get really mad if he didn’t get his turn. Those nasty claws would be digging into my leg. The closer the hair dryer was to his skin, the more he liked it. Once or twice I could smell his fur singeing but he only begged for more!

At night he loved to sleep behind my pillow. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning unable to turn my neck, only to discover that he had wrapped his body around my head. Some days he would wake me up by licking and tugging at my hair. Yuck. I had to pull the sheet up around my head and at that point he would crawl under the covers.

friday cat painting

Well, he didn’t exactly come to Mykonos, Greece with me but I painted him into this tile anyway!

When he first came to live with me I realized he could be very aggressive. One minute he was overly lovey dovey. The next he would be biting my arm. It became such a problem that at night when I was sleeping he was biting my cheeks and nose and drawing blood. I had so many bruises and wounds on my face that my co-workers even believed I was being abused by my boyfriend…. yes, my four-legged one!

My vet put him on a very low dose of amitriptyline. I was desperate and decided I didn’t care if it shortened his life (obviously it didn’t) or changed his personality. I just couldn’t live with this cat any longer, so it was drugs or back to the animal shelter. It was a miracle. Not only did it halt his aggressive tendencies but he still maintained all his wonderful Friday characteristics.

And, whereas before I could not have another cat because Friday had tried to kill three other cats when they were introduced into the household, he was now docile enough to try again. I adopted Pharoah and although there was one horrible fight in the beginning when Friday proved his dominance once and for all, after that peace reigned. (And, fortunately Pharoah, who had moved from home to home in his short six months of life, was so happy to have a permanent place to live he didn’t mind playing second fiddle.)

friday-and-pharoah

Friday and Pharoah trying to share the sofa.

I could tell so many stories about Friday. He was a one-of-a-kind cat. I have had cats all my life but he will always stand out.

A friend of mine wrote to me today to say that as Friday had died yesterday, his passing had made room for another spirit to enter the world in the form of a baby prince. That was the kind of cat he was. So as I watch the latest heir to the British throne grow up, I will think of Friday. Watch out world! He will be very outgoing. A meeter and greeter, always demanding attention, if that is the case! That was a beautiful thing for my friend to say, and I am willing to accept it as true.

cat friday

So, farewell, my good pal, and I’ll be looking for you next time I open the laundry basket!

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 One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 


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Southern California cats making the most of the sunshine

 

As much as I enjoy lurching out into Los Angeles with the sole purpose of exploring neighborhoods and taking photos, I do have other areas of my life that need attention. So right now I have to restrain myself until I get caught up with some other business and personal matters.

my cat friday

In the meantime, here is a photo of my 18 1/2 year old Tuxedo cat Friday. He is an indoor cat by choice and rarely takes the opportunity to sit out on the deck or balcony. But he likes to follow the sun around the house and sometimes it’s hard to tell where the sun ends and the cat begins!

my cat pharoah

On the other hand, my eight year old champagne tabby cat Pharoah lives out on the roof deck most of the day and on the front balcony in the evening. But as a southern California cat, if the temperature dips much below 70F (21C) he prefers to stretch out on the day bed in my office. I know the feeling.

Pharoah has the uncanny ability to take naps standing up. I have seen him do this for up to an hour without moving a muscle.

So, as my cats’ lifestyles are so different, not to mention their temperaments, they pretty much stay out of each others’ way.

Please click on all the photos for a larger view.

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, please check with us first for proper usage. Thanks!