A Purrito Burrito Baby

All cats search out a warm place in which to rest if the opportunity arises and Callie is no different than most cats. This morning when we woke up to a cold, dank, marine layer slowly rolling onto shore, I found her curled up in a compact little ball right next to our dinette set. She looked absolutely miserable but was determined to ignore the discomfort just as long as she could be close to us. When I saw how cold she was, I rolled her up into a tight burrito by wrapping her snug and cozy in a blanket with just her head sticking out. It did the trick for a little while; that is until she noticed that Michael was napping on the couch directly in front of her. With cat-like ease and with zero concern whatsoever of being rejected, she quickly sprung into action and jumped down without further ado, or an open invitation for that matter, and made a beeline for his inert body. After circling several times directly on his chest to find just the right spot, Callie plonked herself down with a grateful sigh, and with her bottom and tail twitching spasmodically, she cuddled herself up directly under his nose. He hardly noticed her though and opened his eyes up only briefly before falling right back to sleep again. A warm chest to rest on is far better than being a roasty, toasty, purrito, burrito, baby. Score one for Callie, she sure knows how to get her way.

The Bonds of Friendship are Strong!

Callie has become so bonded to me, that when we are separated, she gets very agitated. I in return feel lost without her. Most creatures experience similar emotions as we humans do, and I am convinced of that without a shadow of a doubt. Animals that have to eat other animals may express less empathy as an emotion, but that is only due to the fact that they have to kill in order to eat. If they stopped to comprehend the act of murder they are committing and feel bad about it, they would starve to death. We, humans, have become so distanced from raising our own animals on a farm to butcher in order to eat, that we hardly recognize our packaged meat, chicken and fish as having once upon a time been a living, breathing, sentient being before it is unceremoniously served as a meal.

I am not a vegetarian and this isn’t about preaching the horrors of how cruel many farm animals are raised and the health risks of eating meat. I love to eat fish and chicken, but it does make sense for the overall health of our planet to stop raising cattle, chickens, sheep, and pigs on a massive scale for human consumption. And to get back to Callie, she wouldn’t think twice about killing a lizard, mouse or bird, but boy does she feel separation anxiety when I am not with her. She developed cystitis a month ago when we went skiing up in Big Bear with my sister from anxiety, and it now appears that she is prone to more and more stress-related illnesses as she ages. As a matter of fact, so am I!

Because we adopted Callie as a stray, we don’t really know for sure her exact age, but we do think it is somewhere around 11 years old. And because she is getting older, she is much more dependent on me than ever before to get through her day. I have had to train her to walk on a leash in the desert due to all of the dangers outside, and she does seem to understand that I am her protector when we are staying in this wild and arid place. When we are camped at the beach in the RV and Mobile Home Park, she is allowed to run free, but because cats are so territorial and love nothing more than to get into a catfight, I have watched her being chased back into the RV at a fast run with her neighbor in close pursuit!

The trade-off is that she is much more affectionate and certainly a lot sweeter than she used to be. I would also have to admit that Callie was quite a handful in her youth and has mellowed out a lot as she has grown older. The same might be true of me, at least the becoming more mellow part of it, I am not exactly sure about being sweeter though.

Today, Michael and I have taken the RV into Temecula Valley RV Service and Sales to have it worked on before our next summer travels. We had to travel from the beach to Temecula in separate vehicles, hence the topic of this particular blog post. Callie had hidden in the upper loft when we were ready to pull out because she loves life on the road and didn’t want to leave the RV. I had to abandon her then and follow behind in the car. When she discovered that I wasn’t in the passenger seat when she finally came down once the engine started, Michael told me she was visibly upset that I wasn’t there. She has to park herself on the dash when we hit the road.

Once we got there, I put her in the car with me and I hung out with her while Michael checked the Rv in for service. I can’t express enough the importance of maintaining your vehicle so that when you are out on the road you can have fun instead of experiencing a breakdown. Blowouts and engine failure are the opposite of fun to go through. It is best to be safe than to be sorry. We have learned the hard way. The three of us, Callie, Michael and I have been doing this for 3 years now, and the learning curve is getting easier, and familiarity, of course, makes it less stressful. But still, there is a lot to RVing that can’t be taught. You just have to get out there yourself and experience it firsthand.

I am now waiting in the car while Michael goes over the estimate of repairs that need to be done on the RV. Callie is resting comfortably on the front seat of the car while I write, and now that we have once again been reunited, we can both enjoy this beautiful day in Temecula. All is well and living once again is easy; at least for the moment it is. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Cystitis in Cats

We took Callie on a 5-day ski trip up to Big Bear Mountain and had the good fortune to stay with my sister, Gayle and her husband, David, and two dogs, Murphy and Mazey. Murphy is a handsome black and white, Collie and Mazey is a crazy, but adorable, Jack Russel. Callie did very well upstairs in a loft bedroom but started to develop cystitis after a couple of days and we needed to take her to the vet when we came back down the mountain.

She was examined at the same veterinary clinic that I first brought her to as a stray 8 years ago and it was determined that she might have a urinary tract infection, bladder stone, or something else. She was so polite at the doctor’s office and sat quietly on my lap for at least 2 hours because we were a walk-in and couldn’t make an appointment. I was very proud of her, to say the least. Not many kitties come into the office on a leash and harness and behave so well.

In order to collect urine, they have to put the cat on their back and take a sample by inserting a needle into the bladder. Fortunately for me, I didn’t watch while they attempted this procedure because the assistant took her from me and went into the back. I was told that she was a very good girl when they returned and handed her back to me smelling of isopropyl alcohol. Callie quickly licked my face when I hugged her and held her tight and she was obviously relieved that it was all over.

Cystitis is common among cats and is similar to having diarrhea in humans. Stress is usually the culprit. The vet sent me home with an antibiotic which she promptly threw up and we decided to wait until the lab results came in before we gave her any more. Fortunately, the diagnosis was inflammation and not a urinary tract infection.

Callie is resting comfortably now at home and back to her old self. Having two dogs bark and stare at her and beg to play, was apparently just a little too much for even her, badd ass catt that she is.

BTW- We all had a fabulous time and because I hadn’t gone skiing in many years, my sister made it fun and exciting in order to not make it stressful!

Travels with Callie

I am documenting my life on the road with a beautiful calico cat named Callie. My husband and I are sharing this experience with her in a 24 ft Class C Icon RV. It has been a rich and extraordinary several years on and off the road and I look forward to many more to come.

And because I am an avid photographer, and due to the obvious fact that Callie is so photogenic, I have upgraded my site to business so that I can have unlimited storage. I was recently given a Nikon D850 from my husband of 41 years for my birthday, and I am now shooting in RAW. This means that my images will be in a much larger format and they will take up a lot more room.

I want to once again personally thank all of my viewers past and present for following me on this unique adventure. I propose a toast to good health and another fun year of travel and adventure with Callie the cat!

Peeping Thomasina

Callie is very averse to meeting new cats! She does not like them but also doesn’t wish to fight if at all possible. She is bold though and if I am hanging around outside to back her up, she will run the neighborhood beach kitties off of her property. She also screams at full volume if a cat dares to come up to introduce itself. The boys are always smitten by her good looks, and the girls seem puzzled by her anti-social attitude. Shouldn’t girls stick together, they say?

So I have devised a fabulous plan where she can feel safe in the RV, but also check out the goings on of her small town neighborhood by hanging herself out the kitchen table window and spying. Just call her,” Peeping Thomasina” It is a win-win for all!

Badd Ass Catt

Callie is doing really well and has adjusted to a life in the desert that only allows her to be walked outside with a leash. There are just too many predators in this wilderness area that could harm her. She seems to know it and has accepted her loss of freedom and not to be able to climb her beloved olive trees. When we take her to the beach where we have the RV parked, Callie will be allowed to explore outside once again. In the meantime, I am taking lots of photographs and appreciating the abundant wildlife that either call Anza- Borrego Desert State Park home, or are just passing through.

Another Year has PASSED!

Yikes, the time is flying by so quickly. All is good with Callie and us. We finished a wonderful trip to Vegas to meet our daughter and to camp at Valley of Fire and Death Valley. Callie got a spooky, bright red, furry tarantula for Christmas and we are back home in the desert once again. It is a big, beautiful world out there in spite of the government shutdown. We hauled all of our trash out of Death Valley when we left and most people were doing the same. Happy New Year to all of you and may this year be filled with peace, joy, and happiness.

Joan and Callie

Peace and Joy be with You!

It has been a long time since I have posted an update on Callie. She is doing really well and loves this desert house with a view of a pond. She spends hours in the evening watching bats swoop back and forth and in the morning she has hummingbirds and a beautiful male Vermilion Flycatcher that is absolutely gorgeous. Coyotes head out in the evening to hunt and return when the sun starts to climb in the sky. We are planning on hitting the road again during Christmas and may go to Death Valley again. Thank you all for checking in and may the holidays be joyous and full of peace and joy. Happy New Year too!

Upstairs Downstairs

We have moved into our rental property at Ram’s Hill because we haven’t been able to sell it and we want to simplify. Our house with the incredible sunrises at De Anza is now up for sale instead. We have the RV at the Riviera Mobile Home and RV Park stored in Encinitas and the goal is to once again go back and forth from desert to beach. When the heat is too much here, we will pack up and go to the coolness of the beach. And when the beach feels too cold and damp, we will pack up and head back to the sunny desert. I feel so fortunate and grateful for how everything has worked out. It hasn’t been an easy three years for me.

Callie under no circumstances can ever be outdoors without a leash snapped on here at Ram’s Hill. At De Anza, she could at least climb her beloved olive trees under supervision and after her playtime, she would come back inside willingly. Here, the coyotes and predators are so numerous, that she would be in grave danger if I left her alone for even a few minutes! A neighbor told us last night that a mountain lion was captured on his webcam being chased by a bobcat several years ago. There are huge owls, rattlesnakes, scorpions, black widows and the list of dangerous animals to Callie goes on and on.

Michael and I had the brainy idea this morning to move upstairs to the master bedroom since the heat has dissipated. We were trying to keep the utility costs low by staying downstairs. So I have been working all day today getting the upstairs ready for tonight. In the mean time, I am allowing Callie to hang out on the top balcony while I clean. She has an uninterrupted view of the pond, and tomorrow morning at dawn, I am hoping to watch the coyotes hunting from a different vantage point. She is safe in her element and I doubt owls could swoop down and get her because of the angle of the roof line and the rod iron fence.

The downstairs bedroom is going to be turned into Michael’s music room because he is an audiophile and it does his heart and soul good to take time off and have music blasting. That drives me nuts because I am basically an introvert and like peace and quiet. So Callie and I get to be upstairs with a fan blowing air for white noise, and he is downstairs with the stereo playing at full volume. I can feel the thump and vibration of the music through the floor but only hear muffled booms. After 41 years of being together, it is imperative that solutions be found and implemented in order to keep the peace. That way, the call for a divorce is kept at a safe distance and harmony can once agin be restored.