Category: CATS

Best Workout Buddy

Best Workout Buddy

SimoneLipscombStanley Kubrick is an awesome friend. His charm and devilish good looks would steal any woman’s heart. And to make him an even more wonderful friend is his commitment to working out with me.

SimoneLipscomb (4)One time in the middle of a three minute plank Mr. Stanley decided to jump on my back, lay down and start to clean his whiskers. That was ‘special.’ Just last week I was in the middle of doing a standing pretzel at the barre, which requires leaning over with forearm on said barre, and Stanley decided to jump on my back. I’m not quite sure what his goal was but it elicited a scream from this gal. It wasn’t malicious though. I found him after my workout upset with himself that he had caused me pain. He was only adding weight resistance.

SimoneLipscomb (1)This morning he was especially helpful through my at-home Pure Barre workout. He helped me stretch, he cleaned the sweat off of my hands and arms and participated in numerous trust exercises as he reclined under me as I lifted, toned and burned.

SimoneLipscomb (8)His level of dedication and commitment to my workouts earn him my deepest gratitude. It’s not often that such a good workout buddy comes along to lend his support.

SimoneLipscomb (9)

Motivation to Move

Motivation to Move

photoThe engine of the car idling a few feet from my head brought me back to the present moment. I found myself laying flat on my back with severe pain in my elbow and back looking up at the ceiling of the garage. The cats! Through tears of intense pain I forced myself to get up and shake off the nasty fall so I could take care of my cat friends who were in their carriers inside the car.

Taking cats to the vet for their annual exam and vaccinations isn’t my favorite pastime but they really aren’t difficult to travel with and the vet’s office is a few minutes from my home. But let’s face it–cats are never overly fond of  change…and being crated, put into a vehicle and visiting a place where slobbering, noisy dogs are present is not on the top ten list for felines.

simonelipscomb (8)I loaded two of my cat companions into their crates and into the back of my station wagon. I pushed the garage door opener and the motor operated just fine but the door didn’t move. Drats! The power outage with yesterday’s storm had created a ‘situation’ when I tried to enter the garage so I had used the emergency release to open the door from the inside and closed it manually. I didn’t think about reconnecting the door to the electric pulling device so this morning I had to once again open the door manually.

There was no problem getting it open and backing my car into the driveway. I expected a quick closing operation but left the car running so the kitties would stay cool if I was delayed.

simonelipscomb (10)The wooden doors are very heavy and they are tall so I had to reach to grab the emergency cord to try to get the door moving. It wouldn’t budge. I’m pretty strong so I thought I would simply force the cord to move the door. Little did I know the cord was wimpy and as it broke my feet flew out from under me and I landed flat on my back and right elbow. Thankfully I had a pony tail that cushioned the blow to my head or I might still be laying on the floor.

simonelipscomb (4)What motivated me to get up and move, despite the shock and pain, was my friends in the car. The motor noise is what brought me back to myself and I realized there was a task to do, an appointment to make and so I wiped the blood off my elbow with my other hand, got a short step ladder, climbed it, grabbed the door and pulled the damn thing down. And we were off to the vet’s office.

simonelipscomb (2)Other than being a bit sore and having an elbow that’s complaining, I’m fine. It was scary…but not for me. I kept thinking: What would have happened to my cat kids had I not been able to move? They are what motivated me to get off my back and take care of business.

This afternoon I’ve been pondering the idea of motivation in our lives. What motivates us to take action? The safety of my beloved Stanley and Gracie motivated me today. But with life in general…what motivates me to take action? (5)If I titrate each action taken that has meaning, I’d have to say love is the motivation. Turtle volunteer work at sunrise and those midnight hatchings? Love. Scuba diving with all kinds of beautiful creatures? I LOVE them! Cave diving? I love the Earth and so appreciate being inside Her. Writing about nature? Love of nature. Teaching photography classes? The love of teaching something about which I’m passionate.

Cape Flattery, Washington

And sometimes love motivates us to take action that is most difficult….freeing someone we love to be on his Path….loving ourself enough to follow our Path…leaving a job we enjoy to take care of ourselves…moving geographically to follow a calling.

A kid's book I created to explain the oil spill in a simple, understandable way to all ages.
A kid’s book I created to explain the oil spill in a simple, understandable way to all ages.

Love can motivate us to get up when we have fallen, to push past emotional and physical pain and to follow our heart’s calling even when it’s difficult. What motivates you?

Shama Lama Ding Dong

Shama Lama Ding Dong

photo 8Precious little Willie Fay. Petit, wide-ass open, a ball of energy dressed in multi-colored fur. This is my friend, my companion who entertains me with antics sure to stress the calmest cat mom.

Months ago she leaped on to the railing at the top of the stairs and unlike her more agile orange tabby brother, fell to the hardwood floor below. A fall of 12 feet would probably send me to the ER but Willie Fay just shook her head and trotted off to find more mischief.

They look innocent...but only in rare moments.
They look innocent…but only in rare moments.

Last night I was sitting on my office floor working on a project and WF and her brother Stanley were romping and playing all around me, using my body as part of their crazy hide-and-seek game of chase. Willie progressively escalated to her psychotic bouncing and running and ran out of my office, on to the upstairs landing, up on the large, wooden chest and leaped onto the railing…again. Her forward momentum carried her over as Stanley and I looked at each other while listening to her bounce off of the old church pew below before hitting the floor.

The house got deathly quiet. Gracie, my more civilized gray-with-orange-spots kitty friend, was glued to the floor as I bounded down the steps calling for WF. Stanley quickly followed. It was a kitty emergency. Someone’s fallen and…..

photo 9I found Willie under my dining table holding her right paw up and looking quite surprised. Gently I cradled her as I followed the line of her spine…good. Then carefully traced each leg….okay. Carefully probing her body while she patiently waited for me to finish. She was okay.

I immediately thought of the song Otis Redding did in Animal House. (Gee…I wonder why). Not just a ding dong…but a shama lama ding dong!

photo 5“If I searched this whole wide world, I’d never, never, never find me a girl who’d love me the way that you do. Cuz you’re Shama lama huh in the rama lama ding dong. Baby huh. You put the Ooh my my(oh, oh, oh) back into my smile child. Hey! hey That is why, that is why, You are my shooby dooby doo. And I love this love we share, it’s stronger than the other. No one else can compare. Stronger than the highest mountain and the deepest sea. Shama lama, in the rama lama Ding dong, baby. You put the ooh my my (oh, oh, oh) back into my smile child. That is why. That is why You are my shooby dooby doo.”

Otis Redding  may have been singing about his lady love. I’m singing about my crazy little cat girl whose silly antics make me laugh but take years off my happy life. She is my crazy, shama lama…DING DONG! Who is your shama lama ding dong?

Wille Fay

Wille Fay

photoMeet Willie Fay. Her story touched my heart and I couldn’t help but invite her into my home.

Over three months ago Willie and two other cats were tied together using plastic zip ties and secured to a veterinary clinic’s door. Two survived this strange ordeal. Supposedly the owner’s wife had died and he couldn’t keep the cats. Seemed a drastic way to find help for them but regardless, the vet clinic had them for three months when my mother stopped by to purchase meds for her aging labrador, Sambo.

She told me of meeting the sweetest, cutest cat and related the story. The next day she and I stopped by the clinic. I didn’t need another cat but I felt compelled to meet the little one. She was sweet-natured with colors that were wild and oddly placed…probably the reason she wasn’t already adopted.

I had another appointment that day but asked them to get her ready (shots, check-up, etc) and I’d be back later that afternoon to take her home.

photo 3The cat friends that live with me were not over-joyed at their new sister but then cats rarely like change–especially when it involves sharing with other cats. Stanley warmed up to her very quickly with minimal hissing and now, three weeks later, they are best friends. They create general chaos and mayhem as a team. Gracie has just now realized she doesn’t have to hiss to claim her place on the porch or in the doorway. So things are good in our home now.

Willie got her name from a great super-group of musicians called Willie Sugarcapps. For a couple of days I didn’t know what to call her. She was still very anxious but super-friendly with me. I was working at my desk and listening to the Willie Sugarcapps album and my new buddy climbed up on the recliner and fell asleep…blissfully, soundly asleep. She was so relaxed and so at-peace for the first time since coming to live with me I decided her name was Willie. Her middle name is for my mom, for finding her. It’s my mother’s middle name (don’t tell mom I told you).

photo 4Willie Fay is a wonderful companion. She follows me, talks to me, enjoys time on the screened porch and always appears grateful, sweet, kind…and wild. Please join me in welcoming her to a home of love, a home where she will be treasured and appreciated as a valuable friend.

If you can, please share love today…with an animal, child, adult, elder, place. There is always room for more love to be given.




The Story of Stanley Kubrick….The Cat

The Story of Stanley Kubrick….The Cat

Stanley's first few days with me....he rested and grew into his nick name...Stan the Man
Stanley’s first few days with me….he rested and grew into his nick name…Stan the Man

Stanley Kubrick came into my life on June 22nd, 2011. I visited PetSmart in Asheville as I wanted to give another kitty, in need of a home, a loving home. I first saw him in a crate where he was propped up–aloof, ignoring everyone around him.

But something drew me to him. Perhaps his orange and white tabby stripes or his green eyes or maybe his calm demeanor.

Sarah, his foster mom, brought him to me in a small room to see how we would get along. No issues but he was still aloof. I thought it might be stress so I stated to Sarah, “I’m fine with taking him home but he has to give me some sign he is interested in me being his mom.” Upon hearing that, he turned and walked to me and rubbed my hand.

Stanley wasn't shy at all. He is a lover, a playboy and a ball of fire!
Stanley wasn’t shy at all. He is a lover, a playboy and a ball of fire!

And so the beautiful orange and white tabby boy became my cat boy. There was only one problem–his name. It was Lo Mein. I thought this was the most dishonorable name for a cat, given that many felines end up in human food dishes in certain cultures. On the way home I kept asking him what his real name was and about the third curve down Riceville Road, I heard it loud and clear….Stanley Kubrick: The director of 2001, A Space Oddity…the version my cat boy directed anyway. He’s out there all right!

The shyness that was present at the adoption event never returned once he stepped his white paws into my home. During the couple of days I kept the kitties apart, Stanley protested. The separation from my big gray girl was difficult for him. He wanted to roam the home and play with his new sister.

He was born August 21, 2009. His guardian surrendered him when he was 6 weeks old. He was adopted on December 4, 2009 by a guy  who had a roommate. He lived there until his guardian, the one who named him Lo Mein, abandoned him when he left and his roommate didn’t want to care for him. I adopted him shortly after Brother Wolf Animal Rescue received him.

His story is typical of many abandoned animals.

Stanley's super hero name is The Orange Menace.
Stanley’s super hero name is The Orange Menace.

Stanley adjusted well to his new home but he had a health issue that was very concerning. He had persistent diarrhea. After six weeks of vet visits and tests that added up to over $700 there was still no identified reason he was unable to digest food properly. The tests the vets wanted to administer became more and more invasive and Stanley’s anxiety level at being crated and put in the car grew in intensity so I made the decision to stop all the tests and vet visits. There were no parasites, it wasn’t contagious to my gray girl so I couldn’t see torturing him anymore. The one test I didn’t agree to would have helped rule out a problem for which there was no cure anyway….so why put him through it? I made the decision to stop tormenting him and allow him to live, or die, in peace.

High quality food was slowly added to his diet and he would have slight improvement but the persistent gas, bloating and explosive pooping continued. Over the two years that he has been with me I have consistently administered Reiki treatments and if nothing else the energy work helped him relax. Having a cat with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, is challenging. Mostly because I saw how uncomfortable he was and how embarrassed he would be if he had difficulties.

A few months ago I decided to do one last internet search to see if any information would surface that might help him. I read a woman’s blog about her cat with IBS and how Blue Buffalo Wilderness food had helped her kitty. I visited my local pet store and found the all-meat dry and canned food. No grain at all. No fillers. Slowly I introduced both of my cat kids to this new food. By the time I switched them over, Stanley showed improvement and while it wasn’t consistent, it was the first sign of hope I had seen.

Recently, he met his new vet at Colony Vet Clinic in Fairhope. Dr. Babs Dixon listened to his story as she examined him and suggested we try a couple rounds of probiotic. I had thought that and was going to ask her about it. So I began sprinkling one capsule of Proviable-DC by Nutramax Laboratories in his wet food each morning. Within a week, he had totally normal bowel movements. We finished the first twenty days and then switched to every other day, which I will continue to give him as maintenance since he had such issues.

simonelipscomb (9)It seems obvious that Stanley had a sensitivity to grains. It wasn’t until I eliminated all grain from his diet that he improved. And then the probiotics were the final push his system needed to heal. I feed him a large tablespoon of the canned food each morning and 1/3 cup of the all-meat dry food daily.

To those who have never cared for an animal companion with chronic health issues it may seem odd for me to devote a lengthy blog entry to it. If you have a cat with IBS then you totally understand why this is so important. And you also understand how happy my heart is to see perfectly formed cat poo in his box. No more gas, no more bloating, no more explosive diarrhea. I am a very happy, joyful cat mom!

Feeling 100% now, Stan the Man is enjoying his days...gas-free and grain-free!
Feeling 100% now, Stan the Man is enjoying his days…gas-free and grain-free!

Witnessing the suffering of an innocent is difficult. Helping find a solution to ease their suffering and increase their health is joy-inducing. The real story of Stanley Kubrick, the cat, is one of patience and perseverance. And a good lesson in what a grain-free diet and ‘good’ bacteria can do to aid digestion of a carnivore.

Stanley Kubrick and his sister Gracie Susie
Stanley Kubrick and his sister Gracie Susie