Snowflake II, The Wonder Kitty

I was a volunteer trainer of fellow volunteers. I went out and purchased a bean bag cat and had his ear “tipped” by the tippers and showed my volunteers how do deal with an anesthetized feral cat, how to carry and transport them safely into their carriers to wake up and go back and not repopulate the feral community. Stats said that two cats can make 420K cats in seven years. Trap, neuter, release is my chosen path. Plus education so people don’t leave their kittens at a rec center or throw them out a car window behind a fast food place.

The bean bag kitty, Snowflake, had about as much muscle control under anesthesia as the cats did, which was good but it took extra care. Think about picking up a newborn and cradling the head. A newborn child, awake, had much more muscle control than an anesthetized cat. When we married and left town to places that shoot feral cats, I left Snowflake The Elder for the Volunteers.

One day the SFSPCA was there filming the large spay/neuter operation (pun intended) and they liked my volunteer speech using Snowflake. They had me do it over while the volunteers went to work, then I ran to Transport where I was needed. I’ve never seen the film however my butt must be in it somewhere!

A few weeks ago I got a pair of toy kitties on sale from Easter. A white Snowflake II for my office bookshelf as a remembrance, and a grey kitty for the baby downstairs. If he doesn’t like it, perhaps he’ll give it to his blind dog. They’re labeled bean bags but have very few beans in them. Zoe would chew them up and make a mess in an instant so she can’t get to them now!

I tried to get you a photo of the new Snowflake II but new computer, monitor, phone it cannot be done right now. All I can say is that if there is a feral cat spay/neuter program it’s worth a contribution, if not check out your local no-kill shelters. Volunteer! Dee






We talked a lot about it late last night, about having great family and friend mentors, but very few and far between business ones. It has been an uphill climb for each of us in the business world.

It was a long conversation that ended before we fell asleep.

We did not get to our abilities to mentor others. I believe that is our next conversation. Cheers! Dee

I’ll Get You, My Pretty

And your little dog, too! Yes that would be the Wicked Witch, Miss Gulch, as Dorothy and Toto, who were sentenced to his demise after he got into Miss Gulch’s flower garden and Dorothy begged Aunty Em and Uncle Henry to save Toto.  Oh, yes, then there was a huge tornado…. spoiler alert! Ok kids, this film was released just a few years ago. Earlier than Star Wars! We used to go to our tech neighbor across the street who had the first color tv in the neighborhood, to see the film turn to color.

Dorothy and Toto journeyed to The Wizard of Oz in 1939. So did Scarlett and Rhett that year in Gone With The Wind. We spent a day watching Gone With The Wind a couple of weeks ago. It was a two-day event. I have seen both several times over the years.

We have a an old little dog, twice the size of Dorothy’s Norwich terrier Toto so we would have to make travel arrangements to Oz by other means than bicycle, balloon or dream, perhaps space travel. Oh, my husband might be with me because as I can get in the Emerald City door by charm, he is the one to quickly decipher the codes to the Emerald City that will let Dorothy, and us, go home.

Puppies, dogs go, ours is old and healthy at over 13 years. She is a treasure to our lives and hearts. She was kind enough to mentor a nearly three month-old pup for a weekend. I call Zoe the Dowager Princess of Dogs. All I can say was that the pup was a handful.

I am exhausted, but she’s a smart gal and given the right direction she will find her own way. This was an unusual case of two professionals getting a young pup and leaving it alone. I tried to help but only had a weekend and couldn’t help with behavior problems as I’ve been ill and have a bit of blood loss from bites and possibly tetanus to deal with. I still love dogs, just had to take care of that little pup who reminded me of my volunteer days with feral cats and my mind may say, today, I’m too old for another pup. That’s sad. Dee

ps Toto was an inspiration to me for how to adopt from a shelter and have a kind companion, so was Dorothy who saved so many people.  We might adopt an older dog later on with {I cannot say the word without) my old girl. With the pup, I dealt with household involuntary or voluntary gastric enterprises. Not me. Angry, scared, unsocialized with other dogs and people (only the young pup, mine is a mascot around here), our pets need help. Not $250 per night to stay with my pet for six hours and then give her two brief walks per day. I want care, and we don’t even spend that much for our hotel and drive half-way throughout the country to see his parents at his childhood home.

I spent years working to establish leash-free areas for dogs in one city and around the nation. I will not let pet-sitters rob us blind. $250 per night? I used to do it for about $35 back in the day and it included an overnight, 24/7 in my home and at least four walks. Two years later Zoe dragged me across the street to look at back of someone, it was the guy who walked her two years before and they just wanted to say hello. Back then, in our current town, it was $85 per night. Now it’s $250.

Right now pet sitter companies are acting like they own the world, but of the cost of service and profits means their walkers only make a small fraction of the proceeds because the boss takes it all without ever handling a leash.

Service is what I do. I am a volunteer that has been lucky to be with our dog Zoe for over 13 years. She is to me what Toto was to Dorothy in 1939, as things don’t change too much except calling them my dog or best friend. Oh, Zoe just said go through shelter adoption interviews, pay the $75 and spend the rest on hip surgery – you’ll find out more about that in a couple of months. Smart gal.

It is interesting that we spent $75 to adopt our dog and now it costs $250 per day to take care of her as she ages and we do not put her on a plane for her health. She is very healthy and takes no medication, only eats good food and has lots of love.

My husband and Zoe and family are stand-up folks. Mother-in-law is upset when our Zoe doesn’t visit for our big Thanksgiving as we make a lot of dishes and dance around her kitchen together knowing timing and our territories. Oh, Zoe eats the crumbs from the floor, leading to less vacuuming. Once welcomed only in a goat pen (I refused to visit) she sleeps on our bed while visiting and stands on the sofa to greet my father-in-law when he returns from feeding cattle.

I did meet Margaret Hamilton on probably her final speaking tour. I was 19. She was not scary at all! I came to greet her as staff, and of course mentioned her as The Wicked Witch of the West and that this is one of my favorite films. We’re off to see the wizard… Dee




The Comey hearing. This is the first instance I ever saw of a Senate investigative committee being on live television.

Here’s my take on it. Chairman, a Republican, says he’s not partisan, and Democrat says he’s not partisan. Then come the feral cats exuding partisanship.

After the initial setup everything is scheduled for a closed session. No information for the people who pay their salaries.

This august institution, the US Senate, with all its’ rules and rhetoric, has created a reality TV show! Tune in next week when the Department of the Interior sells off national monuments so that the lands can be “developed.” Perhaps Congress will give more money to insurance companies and banks and we can pay for that, and watch it, too. Dee


We had folks over the other day and I realized that everything I do  is on the diagonal or odd-numbered. Flowers, plants, art, candles, food. An odd number makes everything, flowers to food, look more lush.

The bakers’ dozen was/is 13. As to odds, the last time I bet was on my husband, (prime #1) and we’ve been together over 15 years. I did bet on our honeymoon in Las Vegas, four dollars in quarters, one or two (quarters on a spin of the wheel if I won) in every casino we walked by to see in hot weather. We ended up with $6, a whopping return on investment. Think of that in hundreds of thousands of dinero. I’ll never do that.

Books, I cannot count as to evens and odds. I have my cookbooks, business books, war books (Machiavelli and Sun Tzu) and novels people give me, my husband has software and business books. They may be even but they definitely are odd.

I bought lemon grass the other day from a great book for a marinade and chicken for a grill event. He is too busy writing a book to see us or come out for dinner. I have made our place a home. People call me their dog’s “Aunt Dee.” The marinade comes from one of my constant and well-read reference books called “Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables.” It’s a good pet to have in your library.

My husband bought me flowers for 15 years. When he was away for work and came home for weekends I chose and learned to put them in vases, for him, always in odd numbers, yes prime. He never noticed the flowers, just the container, so I started ordering vintage chemistry flasks and beakers and making flower arrangements.

Welcome home! Hello, dear. Is that a Florence flask? What are the odds that a right-brained and left-brained get together and have an old dog? Cheers and take your dog for a walk. That’s what I’m going to do, before the Comey hearing when I have a date with the tv. Dee


No, old dog Zoe and I didn’t see it, but we sure smelled it and headed home right away. The “Parking Nazi “saw us and put down the window. So glad we have underground paid parking spots as she tows every vehicle she sees on the street! She said she smelled it and wanted to know where the critter was.

We never saw it. The dog or bunny or whatever it “got” today was gone as well. This was five a.m. We were skunked and everything has gone through a wash. After all, we were skunked!

I told Parking Nazi to have a good day. We’re OK now.

We’ve a pup staying with us over the weekend, mishap with vacation hotel. Perhaps not, as they get to vacation and I get to stay home with our dogs, who get along.  Little one came up on my lap and stayed there, holding my right arm hostage while I petted her with my left. Our old Zoe went nuts showing off her toy skills and embarrassing me throughout the visit.

The couple does not wish to leave their dog but who better than Aunt Dee? Zoe’s beta and would never hurt anything, except perhaps a mouse or baby squirrel or bunny. No, she’s not allowed, and loves dogs and even cats. And people.

My husband is upset today that Zoe is more enthusiastic to see her dog food delivery guy than him, and he’s the “fun guy.” I’m the food wench and disciplinarian. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “tomorrow is another day.”

Husband has been here a week, for a change writing a book, and M only delivers for a few minutes every other week so M takes precedence in Zoe’s mind. Absence makes the heart grow fonder? With husbands, yes. Dogs, no. Our dog wants to be close, observe and herd and monitor without being too close. Not a lap dog. Cheers and pick up after your dog, Dee


Get Dee!

In my younger years I did a lot of volunteering at local animal shelters, and spent one day a month, for six years, helping to spay/neuter 2,500 feral cats.

The transport coordinator was happier with personing the ER van than dealing with volunteers so I set up my systems. After many years they re-named Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List with a better title, finally. We had cleaners of traps, transporters, breathers who learned to use Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List to make sure they were napping and not still under anesthesia, and of course the all-important ER. All shots and fluids came from there. I once had to resuscitate a young kitten for two hours using acupressure. It scared the heck out of me thinking that he could die. He lived. I called out his number and a volunteer ran to get his carrier and he was awake.

I made a few jokes in my volunteer training each month, and SFSPCA asked me for a re-do and filmed it. What do you do if an anesthetized cat starts peeing on you? Reach out your arms! The video was me with Snowflake The Wonder Kitty (a white bean bag kitty that I bought for training that had about as much muscle control as our anesthetized patients, and I had “tipping” do his ear). Snowflake is how I taught them how to load the sleeping patients into their carriers. I’ve still never seen the film.

No-one wants to carry around a 15 lb. feral cat, AWAKE. Heavens, I’ve seen cute feral kittens at eight weeks run around inside a crate like banshees!

Get Dee! Have her take this one to Surgery. It has tapeworms and needs a Dr’s order for Droncit! Another has ringworm. Get Dee! Another has mange. Get Dee! Before he wakes up. As we were in a warm climate I never wore surgical gloves.

I was so worn out after 8-9 hours that at first I let my dog and two cats sniff me. I was told never to do that, to get undressed before coming into the house and wash my clothing immediately. Two problems way back then. I had a carport and neighbors may have had a problem with my stripping outdoors. Second, I had no washer/dryer so just put them in a plastic bag until I could get to the laundromat. I did shower first thing.

Oh well, at least you know I was the “go to” gal. My volunteers loved me and while the organization wasn’t big on thank you’s, I was. Most of our events were in the back parking lot of vet clinics. Our team set up tents and handmade benches, by innovative volunteers, on which to set the carriers, and provided towels for each carrier. Every feral had two identical numbers that needed to be matched. Their caretakers would get up at three in the morning and one regularly caught more than thirty per month!

I would wait until after our setup and before Surgery was ready to go then peruse the strip mall and see if there was any food. “What’s going on back there?” I told them we have 174 cats today. Inevitably they paraded out with free water, donuts, sodas, whatever they had on hand when I told them we were all volunteers. A go-to gal indeed.

No more kitties. I don’t live there anymore and anywhere else I go they shoot feral cats. They do not reduce the population by spay/neuter. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, and fish, so I’ve lost both. Ah, well, no good deed goes unpunished. Volunteer! Dee