Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 110 Fish Oil Study ~Where have all the cats gone and gold toilets!

How many days will I number for the fish oil study?  I'm giving it 6 months of a daily update and then I'll do it when ever we see changes.

Today the nurse and I took Selah to see our regular pediatrician.  He is a wonderful doctor and has been a great help to me over the years.  Dr W has common sense, which seems to be lacking in the medical field and he has no ego.  Amazing right?  We think the world of him as do many of my friends who go to him also.  It was quite emotional for me.  I just started crying from the moment I signed in up at the front desk.  Everyone is so kind and I know they care and are rooting for us.  I managed to hold myself together after awhile and we got some good things done and decided on.  I've always been thankful for his help with Sam and the other kids but I think this journey will be easier by having him working with us.  She has had a good day, and has remained stable.  Her pre-op is next Friday and then she will have surgery on March 5th.

We rushed home to interview a nurse to take the two open night shifts.  It didn't work out but we have another one coming to meet us tonight. 

Then Jon and I took the other kids out to eat a late lunch.  It's the first time we've been out just us since we've been home.  We go out with folks from our church on Sundays but this was just us.  I had ran into an old friend at the doctor's who had somehow not heard of what had happened to us.  Then all through the day wherever I went I ran into folks who told me they'd been thinking and praying for us.  It really meant alot to hear that!

Steve actually used his gift cards he had gotten for Christmas today!  All I can say is life has been busy!  But he got some good stuff and was a happy boy:)

We've had an unusual problem the last 9 months....  It started right after we came home from Ukraine.  I have taken care of about 20-25 cats that lived at the church.  Most of them I had gotten fixed but occasionally a new one would pop up, usually pregnant of course.  When we moved here 7 years ago, there were about 20 and the number stayed pretty consistent for years.  Some I"d find homes for, some would disappear or get killed on the road, some would get sick or hurt and I'd have to have them put to sleep....but some had been here for a decade or so.   Then they started disappearing sometimes two or three a week.  That just didn't happen!  Cats seldom left here!  Since last June we have "lost" 21 cats and are down to just 6 (we were up to 27)  We have few neighbors and the ones we have are great, they are all wondering what has happened too.  They are all animal lovers and we know they did nothing to hurt them.  We are thinking either a panther or maybe someone let loose a python in the woods/swamp behind our house.   We have NO idea!  Obviously we lived here for years and I know we have bobcats (seen a few) and foxes in the woods.  But we don't hear anything nor do we find any evidence whatsoever!   So of the cats left only one is a really tame one.  He is what we call an original church cat, he was a kitten when we moved here.  So tonight Smokey  left with our day nurse who loves cats!  We hope this will give him a good chance!   I'm down to one dog, our friends kept our inside dog Sweety. And I'm down to 5 stray cats, only one that I can pet.  This is very different for me, the animal rescuer!  But with our life like it is, I don't want to deal with an animal in the house and we certainly don't want any new ones outside, since we've had all these odd disappearances.  When the disappearances first started in June I had the boys sleep on the floor of the little kids' room for a few nights.  I really got it in my mind that it was a python, and all I could think is it would come in our house and try and get one of the little ones! 

So that's our big mystery.....

Tomorrow is going to be a "fun" day....the guys will be digging out the church's old septic tank....We have redone just about everything here at our church.  To be nice, let's just say it was put together with various ideas of what was proper and at various times by various people.....LOL   We have spent the past 7 years WORKING or raising money to redo things.  Our goal was to get it up to code....and we did remodel it which was badly needed.  We knew the septic was going to be an issue.  Thankfully it seems that sand has gotten in the tank and it just needs to be taken out.  It's not nasty or anything thank God!  We will put in a new system but we like to raise the money FIRST so we are going to fix it tomorrow and then work on raising the money and hopefully have it done in the next few months.   Knowing when we came here that there was a lot of physical work to be done on the buildings was daunting as my husband is not a mechanical man nor do we believe in being extravagant in our remodeling as there are so many needs in the world, you won't find a gold toilet here!  One time I was at a conference and another pastor's wife was showing pictures of their remodel of the parsonage (that's the house the pastor lives in )  bathroom.  She said it "only" cost $10,000!!!!   I was looking for some gold toilets and I quite sarcastically said that we'd just finished remodeling the WHOLE parsonage and it only cost about $7,000!!!   I don't have a "poverty mindset" BUT I do think ALOT of pastors need to rethink their priorities!   I think the Catholics have it right when they talk about taking "vows of poverty"   I'm not saying that you can't have a decent house or car but....we should be careful where we spend money especially if it is God's money!!!!!   Somehow on that day we stand before God, I don't know if he will be too impressed abut a chandelier in the church foyer that cost  $20,000!   I think he'd want the money spent to reach people!   I cringe sometimes when I go in churches.....Just being honest!   So this is our next to the last big project....we think we will have to work on the A/C system one day......  Our church was started in the 1940's and many things had not been changed since then!   There are MANY things that you do not learn in Bible school...I could really teach an interesting class or two now LOL

Please keep praying for Selah....I'm really struggling with sadness right now.  During the course of a day, it comes over me like a wave......  The memories are everywhere.....from her little pink car to going somewhere that we last went together to, like the doctor ~ we went there as a family for Sam and Sarah's pre op right before we left for NY.  .  I feel cheated as a mom!  Cheated out of seeing her develop in many ways.  Even cheated from getting to dress her up....she loved her clothes and I loved dressing her cute.  I knew being home would make me feel this so profoundly.  And God does it ever......


  1. Yvonne, I'm continuing to pray especially for you, in addition to prayers for Selah and the family in general. Any time that you feel like chatting, and have some time (!!!!), please feel free to give me a call.

  2. You are having a grief reaction. It's good that you are able to let the tears flow when they come and that you are at home so that you can confront the things that cause the pain of grief so that you can be healed of the grief and come through on the other side.
    I completely agree with you concerning how we as individuals and as we as local churches use God's money. We should hear Him on how to always steward it to His glory which mostly is about being ambassadors of His grace to the world, not about material things.
    I continue to pray for Selah with faith, believing.

  3. Hi Yvonne!
    I wanted to comment on the disappearing cats. I too am a feral/stray caretaker. I live in the Cape Coral area; it's fairly rural where I'm at, so it's the place where people come to dump their pets. :-(

    When we came here 4 years ago, there were 19 at our high point. We've adopted 8 and the less tame cats were cared for outside.
    We did a spay/neuter effort to prevent kittens and we did FIV testing. Out of 19 who were tested, 15 were FIV+ (much higher than the 2-3% nationwide average.) That reduces their lifespan significantly, which is only about 5-8 years with a caretaker and 2-3 without.
    I also work with a couple rescue groups and I've come to learn that this is not uncommon; a majority of feral colonies in Florida are FIV+.

    Sadly, with FIV, they get very sick, very quickly. And they're more prone to sudden death. I've had 3 cats who literally showed up to eat and dropped dead while they were hanging out grooming afterwards. They show no symptoms and they all felt good enough to eat; they just died. I've also seen this in another indoor cat who was FIV+.

    I had to euthanize 5 others when they got super sick. FIV is like HIV/AIDS, so they get to a point where they're just infected terribly -- respiratory infections, gut infections, eye infections, skin infections. Just a mess that can't be solved even with the most potent antibiotics. Since they're super prone to illness due to the FIV, it takes one opportunistic bug to wipe out the lot. Even with antibiotics and supportive care, they don't make it and by the time one is symptomatic, all of them are sick. They succumb quickly, so while they may appear for dinner one night, they're often dead by the time you notice they're missing the next night.

    And of the 19, 2 just disappeared, which happens on occasion.

    From the colony of 19, none are in our care outside. We still have 7 of the 8 (one died of FIV a few months after we adopted her.) And the others who remained outside have all died or disappeared. We lost 7 within a span of 2 months.

    We only have 2 outdoor kitties at the moment, both newcomers; the only ones from the original 19 are now indoor cats.

    I think it's very unlikely they got got by a cougar, python or dog (we have lots of wild dog packs in the nearby woods.) I've seen cats' reactions to all of these potential predators; they're super on-guard and street wise. I think it would be very unlikely, unless they were very young or sick and a bit "out of it."
    Same with cars. Ferals and strays who have been on their own for a while are very car-smart.I can't envision one getting hit.

    Did anyone feed them consistently while you were gone?
    If not, it's likely they simply moved to new locations and dispersed. The natural environment cannot support such a large colony; so the colony disperses if the human feeders become inconsistent.

    Hope that provides you with some insight!
    Mia C.

    1. We had some wonderful crazy friends who stopped by twice a day to feed them while we were gone and everyone looked like they had gained weight LOL

      Some of them had been tested for the FIV and some were not. None of the tested ones were positive. None of them showed any problems and our indoor cat who like to go out some, was one of the first ones to be "taken" and I know he had all his shots up to date and was negative for everything.

      The odd thins is we have found no bodies, no bones no nothing! They are just gone... It's kinda freaked us out some!

  4. This is the last day I follow your blog. You have no right to judge others like you have frequently here. Maybe you are so sad because you focus on judgement of everyone else rather than yourself. If you retread your blog you will see a negative side of yourself emerge. Be very careful because others could judge you just as harshly even though you pat yourself on the back sooooo many times. Like ambulance rides for a gtube. What did that cost the taxpayer. Or your trip to St Augustine but you can't find time to renew your license and you chide people for following the law. I am not saying these are wrong just want you to realize that you are so judge mental of others in your blogging. Please remember the story is not is Gods. Can't read this anymore.praying healing for your little one and healing for you.Sorry if this is harsh but it needed to be said.

  5. Well this is my blog and my thoughts and guess what sometimes folks need some judgement!

    I'm sad because my daughter is injured....

    If you don't understand why you have to call an amblulance to take a child to the hospital if their gtue comes out, you obviously don't understand anything! If a gtube comes out, you only have a short window of time to get it inserted back in or the hole will close up, usually only an hour or so depending on the the newness of the tube and the size of it. Don't wory about it costing taxpayers....we have private insurance that pays the great marjority of our medical bills.

    I am all about following the law LOL that is my career background but my point is I had not be able to go home to even get the bill for it and I had not thought about it since I had a child in the hospital for months. And then I learned that that particular hospital was targeted by the traffic cops which I felt was very unfair to the families there who come from all over the state and from Georgia also. When you are living in crisses mode, not everything gets done perfectly!

    As far as the trip to St Aug, we stopped there on our way home for our kids. Believe me I was in no mood to do that but having 4 other children causes me to have to do things when I don't want to. When you have a child who is sick and ou have other children, there is a delicant balence to be had. It's not always easy for me to even sit down with everyone for supper, but I make myself do things to keep like normal as possible for all of them.

    I definely have opinions of what I think is right and wrong I also have thoughts I share on here. I write the blog for myself and have been for many years. People are more than welcomed to read what I write but I hope I make folks think about things....And I can truly say I've never been called Postitve Polly LOL!

    I really get tired of people saying NOT to judge....they love to throw out the "judge not" scripture WITHOUT adding all the scriptures in where the bible does call us to judge things. The bible is quite clear that we should have discernment and if you read Paul's writing, he actually called people out by name that were in sin or causing issues in the church.

    I can truly say I don't mean to pat myself on my back at all. I think I'm a perfect MESS most of the time to say the least.... I always want to focus if there is anything good in me it is God...certainly NOT me! I try to be REAL in my writing and believe me I hold soooo much back! You have NO idea:)

    1. And BTW you are judging judging that I am judging others LOL!