Monthly Archives: December 2014

Petey is dying

It’s the holidays and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But Petey, my old polydactyl cat is dying of cancer. He doesn’t have much time left. He’s down to skin and bones and today, he doesn’t want to eat anything I offer him. And I tried everything I could find from the store. So I wanted to write my post now, before he goes.

I got Pete from the Humane Society. I lied and told them I didn’t have any pets, because I didn’t have licenses for my animals. I wanted to save one cat. They had a large multi-caged area with kittens and Pete was just one of many. He kept tapping at the cage, and giving these short little meows. I asked to see him. And I told him that he had no idea what he would be getting into, with multi-animal household. He let me know that he was ready for anything, so I took him home. From what little I know of him, he was found loose on the streets. He is a polydactyl, with six toes on each front foot and seven on each back foot. He has one fused, double claw on his front foot that can’t be retracted. I named him after Pete Townsend, for his jumping ability.

Jeffrey and I used to joke about him being an alien from outer space, sent down to learn about humans. He is a character and really did seem to be studying us. He loved to get on Jeffrey’s shoulder for pets. Lon tells me that Pete will visit him at night, after I’ve gone to bed. Petey has always been a very vocal cat. Even during his illness, when I get up in the morning, he makes sure I know that it’s time for breakfast. He took care of Jack as a kitten, although they have sort of a love/hate relationship now. When I lived in that unheated trailer, Petey would join me under the shawl on top of my covers and stretch out in the warmth. He has always loved to be covered up under a shawl. It’s strange for him to turn his back on that now.

It’s been about a year since he had what I now believe was a stroke. He was circling when he walked. The vet wanted to run tests, but I convinced him that it was an inner ear infection. He got steroids and stuff for his ears. I was not happy with that vet. He acted like I would have a problem giving Petey pills. Petey has never hurt me and I had no problems at all giving him meds. In fact, I shared my prednisone with him and I think that is why he lasted so long. I did decide that he will die at home. I’m not taking him into the vets’ again. And so it has gone, with him getting thinner and thinner. It is painful to watch of course. He truly is a shadow of what he used to be. But he is at home in familiar surroundings. And he will be with me until the end of his life.

Black cats are hard to photograph, so I don’t have any many pictures of him as I’d like. So here are a few attempts to capture the cat that preferred to be in motion.

Pete in 2012

Ready for another snack

His favorite spot on the back of the couch

after the stroke

UPDATE: Petey died Christmas morning. I think I checked him right before he went. He’d manage to make it to the kitchen, ready to ask for food one more time. He’s been buried in the back yard. RIP, Petey. I’ll miss you.


So we had a major wind storm yesterday. We were in Portland when it happened and it was blowing leaves up and down the street in a very impressive way. After many years in the Gorge, I am not usually impressed by wind in Portland.

The house is fine. But things were not so good down at the river. George had some heavy plastic over the top of the Aqua Home and it was acting like a sail. The boat was listing heavily towards the dock, so George managed to cut the plastic loose. The main trailer and the travel trailers were fine.

The old chicken house was not so lucky:


We also had damage to the pump house and something hit the top of the power box. The power was off last night, but we had them shut it down at the river for now. We will need to replace the power box and make sure the electric cable to the trailer is repaired. It will need to be inspected first, of course. George has a small generator to use, so they are managing. I’m just glad no one was hurt.

chicken coop

The other nice thing..George had recovered my old aluminum canoe. It had been stolen, and I was happy to get it back. I had some good memories with Jeffrey in that canoe. The canoe had been in the wire portion of the chicken house, but he’d moved it outside in front of the trailer. It wasn’t damamged, but it would have been in the old spot. We’d planned to rebuild that chicken house, and now I guess we will really need to do that. But first, we need to get the electricity back up.

Field Notes

Field Notes and other notebooks

I used to be a big Moleskine user, but I don’t like the product since they started making them in China. I wanted an alternative and started trying other notebooks. I have mentioned before that I started using Field Notes. I am a fan of old time notebooks and I just like the style of these. But I think I may have found my favorite Field Notes ever. It’s their latest edition, entitled “Ambition”.


There are three notebooks. They all have gilding on the title and edges. The first is a ledger. This is perfect for tracking spending.


The second is a weekly planner. This year, I’d purchased a planner from Word, but found I really didn’t use it. I track most of my appointments on my iPhone, but I like to have a paper version too.

Weekly Planner

The last notebook is a grid style. I use these for reference items. I like to use the plain Field Notes grid notebooks for things I don’t want to keep. I have been tracking things like grocery prices, phone numbers for things we pick up on Craigslist, just any general things that I won’t need to refer to again. I have been carrying four Field Notebooks and that will probably continue this year. I am planning to buy at least two more sets of these. It took them several years to come up with another ledger notebook. I want enough of these to get through the next dry spell.



I’ve been reading about every day carry over on a forum. It seems to be a guy thing, as most men use tools on a regular basis. I liked the idea and thought it would be nice to have a special set of tools. The picture above is my current set. I have an old Boker pocket knife. I bought a key shackle set to clean up my keys. There’s a multi-tool on it now. The lighter is from Ebay and I really like it. The FourSevens flashlight came in this week. I thought I was crazy to spend so much on a flashlight. It’s extremely bright and has six different function levels. When I have light at the highest level and point it to the ceiling, it’s as bright as our regular lights. I like it a lot.

And I forgot the other piece, my new to me watch. It’s a Lady Elgin from the 1940s. I got this on Ebay. It had been belonged her grandmother. It does keep time, although it needs to be wound several times a day. It works fine for me.

Lady Elgin