“It’s Good To Have a Plan!”

We finally have a plan. As Jim always says, “It’s good to have a plan!”

We brought the bus back to the park and it is a couple sites down from us so loading up should be fairly easy. We plan to take off from here around June 1 and make our way north. We will check in on friends in Texas and Oklahoma before making our way to the Columbia and Kansas City areas. Then on to Colorado maybe before heading for the Valley again.

We passed on the big river party this year due to flooding and lots of wet ground on the river where our friends Marni and Eric live. We have gotten stuck enough lately. I’m trying to get the garden established so it can go a few months with just occasional watering. We’ll see how that works out…

Some garden progress in the front:

Cannas and elephant ears are coming along nicely and the cannas are already blooming! In early May! Of course, it is going to get up to 100 degrees next week. I cut sections of the rubber trees on the porch, stuck them in the ground, and they are starting to grow. I saw a neighbor’s ten year old rubber tree and it was huge! Better space them out better.

Black-eyed-Susans and fire wheels are the showcase flowers now.

The chicks are getting big! They are big enough now that we can let Carmella out into the garden without her string. She is very interested in them and watches from the recess of a camouflaging plant. We don’t feed the chickens but I do put out water for them. We have two hens, a rooster and nine chicks. There is another hen in the park with 13 chicks but she hasn’t made an appearance in the garden yet, which is fine with me.

IMG_8815Red castor beans in front have finally sprouted while the large ones in the back are twice as tall as me. Celebrating World Naked Gardening Day…

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The park is emptying out and it is nice and quiet. I swim laps an hour a day and Jim has been using the new workout room. We have enjoyed many afternoons of music on the screened-in porch. It is a real pleasure to garden or read while listening to a live jam session! Often neighbors stop in to listen awhile and visit. Music brings people together. I feel lucky. The chickens like it too.
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Spring Updates

How did it get to be late March already? Spring has pretty much arrived in the Rio Grande Valley. We are supposed to have some cooler weather this week with highs in the 60s! Brrr!

Meanwhile, things are growing in the garden. We were fortunate enough to have a visit from the previous owners of the house and Stanley took me through to identify plants before they flowered. His descriptions are great. When I ask, “Stanley, what is this?” He’ll say “That’s that purple weed.” Or “That’s a tolerable weed.” And this from a forester. Some of the progress after the clearout was finished and the four yards of dirt spread…

The day before Christmas we needed to move the bus to our storage site, right behind the house. The only problem? It is a grass site and the ground was still wet from the flooding. I knew it was too wet just from walking around in the garden and sinking down. And I don’t weigh nearly as much as the bus.

Jim did all the plywood prep, buying 3/4 inch sheets, cutting them to size and screwing them together. We got them positioned on the site and the minute he started to back up I knew it wasn’t going to work. Sure enough, the back tires sunk, started to spin and we were stuck.

We called Coachnet and they came right out and pulled us out even though they had said we may have to wait until after the holiday.

Once we got out, the owner of the park said we would be OK on our spot for another month. Then why did we have to move? After another few weeks they found us another grass site and said we had to move again since they needed the site for new arrivals. I still thought it was too wet and so did Jim. We told them we were not calling our roadside service again and the park would be responsible if we got stuck again, which we would. And it would cost $550.

We reconnoitered and decided to move to a storage lot in town where several other people had their rigs stirred. The good thing? It was cheaper? The bad thing? In town. And after we had been there about a month, somebody broke into a bunch of the rigs in the lot, smashing windows and stealing TVs. Jim hustled over to the lot and the bus was fine, no attempts to break in, no broken windows or locks. Whew! Stormy really did put the Klingon Cloaking Device on the bus when he painted it. We are still nervous about having it there and will have to find another spot for next winter since they said “No storage next year.” All good for now. Jim took inventory before we moved it.

No winter in the RGV is complete without some animal sagas. Fortunately it is not like last year when the couple next door to the garden’s Dalmatian started attacking smaller dogs. Five in all, plus one human. We were a little worried about buying the house next door to them with the cats and all. They decided to sell their house and now we have a wonderful neighbor with a cute little Dachshund, Sammy.

At some point a small grey male stray kitty began coming around. He was very friendly and vocal. He made stops at all the places that have cats and begged and begged for somebody to adopt him. We were afraid that the owner’s husband, who is known for disappearing the animals, would get hold of him so one lady took it upon herself to collect money so he could be rescued. Texas is the only place I have heard of where you have to pay to surrender an animal. She collected the money and took him to the shelter. Hopefully, he is fixed and in a new home by now. He is a really sweet cat.

And then there’s the chickens. We have had a resident troupe of six free range chickens since last fall and they delighted many of us in the park. They came to the garden every day and the big rooster would hop up on the statue in the garden and crow. The group split up when the younger roosters started to mature and they divvied up the hens.

Then we learned that one of the Canadians, a self proclaimed animal hater, started trapping the roosters since they were crowing and disturbing his and his wife’s peace. People who described the scene said the rooster was trapped and the poor hen was distraught, circling the trap with her rooster in it. The Canadian said he “found them new homes.” The Canadians are only here for another few weeks and the chickens were born and raised here, although free-range. At this writing, we still have one rooster and two hens, one of whom is sitting on seven eggs. They are understandably skittish but they still come to the garden every day. They are welcome here. Sometimes I hate people.

We spread Tikita’s ashes in the garden near the stones for two of our past kitties, Percy and Orange Kitty. They’re not here but we got the stones when we went back to Kansas last fall. RIP Tikita…

Another night: dinner for 10!
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Second bouquet from the garden. Happy Spring! It will be here for you all soon.


2018: The Year in Headers

Here we are almost a month into 2019. How did that happen? Just recapping a few things from the year. This post features blog headers from 2018 in order of appearance. The last wrap-up will be the bike trails we rode this year. First, the headers:

01-04-18 header01-29-18 header02-26-18 header04-19-18 header05-07-18 header06-11-18 header07-01-18 header07-20-18 header09-04-18 header09-26-18 header12-06-18 header

2018 Travel Season Wrap-Up

Can you tell it’s cool and rainy here today?

I normally do an end of season post on where we stayed and how things shook out. I do this mostly so we can remember ourselves. This year we hit the ground running to prepare to move into our little house.  How hard can it be to move from one small place to another? Especially when they are right next door? Ha!

Anyway, we are in a pretty good spot with that, so that we don’t have to work and organize every minute anymore. Still stuff to do of course.

We knew this would be a shortened season because we had to be back in Texas by mid October instead of mid November. The season also got shortened when we sat in Minnesota for over two weeks trying to find Astrid.

This year we went north and west, first to Missouri and Kansas, then on to Colorado, Utah, Montana and beyond. We traveled to 15 states, some twice.

A fairground in Osceola, Iowa

Elks Park in Jamestown, North Dakota

We try to avoid RV parks and prefer Elks Lodges, Corps of Engineer campsites and county fairgrounds as well as city parks.
pine river camp
We only stayed at one city park this year but it was right in the town of Pine River, Minnesota along the bike trail. And $5 a night.

Elks Lodge in Grandview, Missouri:

We only rode eight bike trails this year. This was the summer of the two cats

This year we moved 43 times. Last year was 55.

Elks Lodges/Parks: 17
Friends: 2
Corps of Engineers: 5
Walmart: 5
RV Parks: 4
Fairgrounds: 6
State Parks: 3
City Parks: 1
BLM Land: 1
Diesel Shop: 1

One smart thing we did was get the bus washed at a truck wash before we parked it here in Texas. When we wash it ourselves it takes a whole day and we are exhausted at the end of it.
Best $45 we ever spent!

Radio Silence Ending…

Where did we leave off? Oh yeah…

We got to our winter destination in the Rio Grande Valley on October 12 and closed on our new little house on October 17. We have been really busy ever since then. It’s a good thing it’s a very small house and the bus is parked right next door for now.
In February, before the floods.

Before we arrived it started raining again and our little 5 x 8 foot trailer was parked in front of the house. There had been flooding and it looked like it would flood some more. Jim was concerned that the trailer could be flooded from the bottom so we called Doc and asked it he could move it to higher ground. Doc and Jare the ones who dragged it to Texas for us. Turned out it was so flooded he couldn’t get to it with his truck! What to do?

Doc gathered up help in the form of Richie and Ed and they emptied the entire contents of the trailer into the house. In the pouring rain with the water over their rain boots. In the dark. What a great bunch of guys! When we finally got around to unpacking, everything was A-OK and intact with absolutely NO water damage. Talk about gratitude!

We decided right then that that group would be our first dinner party. Entertaining is one of the reasons we got the house in the first place. And now we have space, furniture and dishes we need. We have had two so far, including Thanksgiving, my favorite.

We planned on leaving a lot of stuff in the bus but needed some of the essentials; clothes, pots and pans, computers, cameras, quite a few things actually. So we spent a lot of time schlepping stuff back and forth.

We wanted to do some work on the house and the garden needed lots of attention after the floods wiped out a bunch of stuff. We have our new (to us) little car and the timing couldn’t have been better with that so we started going shopping. For paint, furniture, supplies and garden tools. We ordered a new toaster oven and coffeepot and I bought a food processor. We did move over our cookware from the bus. Jim wanted to get all new stuff, but I figured if it made the cut from our house in Kansas to the bus, it was worthwhile and besides, we both hate shopping. We ordered everything online that we could and blitzkrieg shopped for the rest.

One of the first (and biggest) projects was to raise up the washer and dryer and make room for the kitty litter box below. They have a great setup in the bus where they just push through a cat door into the box under the pantry. The clearance was going to be lower than what they have in the bus too. Some cat people friends were skeptical….

Again, Doc to the rescue. He loaned Jim his Skilsaw and helped with the heavy lifting and delicate balance of the removal and replacement. Jim was practically doing yoga in the box space to get all the electrical, venting and gas readjusted. When he first looked at it, he saw it was all crimped up and askew with no way to reach up into the cabinet. Then someone suggested that he cut an access panel in the closet wall into the washer closet. Brilliant! That’s what he did and he got it all smoothed out and working. And I am happy to report that the cats are using their box just fine.

The day we went furniture shopping, it was like a military mission. We made a list of all the stores, figured out a route and went for it. I think we hit twelve stores that day and found what worked at about the third one. We actually just looked in books at DGM, where we bought it and it was delivered before Thanksgiving. We scoped out and measured everything and decided on two love seat recliners.
One came first and when we got it in the house we discovered that a second would not fit where we planned. We thought about different arrangements and finally decided to just keep the one and bring our dining chairs over from the bus. The large screened in porch has lots of chairs that can be brought inside. So far, so good.

We painted the whole inside of the house. Well, Jim did. I’m a pretty messy painter. While Jim did the painting, I tackled the garden. The ground was very wet (still is) and things I wanted to pull out came easily. I made several very large brush piles that the owner of the park had hauled away. That is a big help. I got everything cleared out and the trees trimmed up before I planted anything.

We also have resident chickens! A group of six chickens visits daily and they chicken scratch everything. I also discovered that they snip of emerging plants so all the upcoming stuff now has wire cages around to keep the chickens at bay. Carmella is very curious about the chickens and tried to rush them once. What a squawk that was! They are bigger than she is and they have those claws…

At the end of each day we would examine each other’s progress before collapsing. It’s a lot of work even with the bus next door.  Good thing it’s not any bigger.

A month after we closed, we slept in the house for the first time. Carmella had been going back and forth from the bus to the house but I had to carry Astrid over and deposit her in the house. She quickly found a secure hiding place under the bed drawers which we now call Astrid’s Apartment. She is getting more acclimated and goes into the garden daily. The chickens chase her back onto the porch but Carmella hunkers down and watches them carefully. No eggs yet.

Oh. Another result of the flooding… We bit the bullet and put in a split air conditioning system. The old system had duct work under the house which got flooded twice this summer and the previous owners had to replace it. We worked out a deal on the second flood and went for the split which has no duct work on the ground. The only problem: it was going to take up a whole closet inside. And we only have the one besides cabinets and the bedroom. Again, cutting through the wall and adding an access panel in the bathroom saved most of the hall closet.

And the outside unit is raised up to avoid any future flooding. Adolpho and Sonny got it done in two days and it works great. When we told them that a tattoo artist painted our bus, Adolpho showed us his tattoos.

Random scenes from around the house:

We still have several projects to complete and there are plenty of unhung pictures and loose ends to be tied up. Come on over anyway! It’s starting to feel like home. We are also making time for music on the porch, happy hours, lap swimming, visiting and just enjoying life. We are grateful.

And one of the high points of the year? Getting Astrid back.
She says Merry Christmas.

Digital Paintings

I have been fooling around with iPad art for a while now. Ever since I’ve had one, actually. When I had to replace my old iPad a few months ago I got the Apple Pencil to draw and sketch with. I have two other styluses, a Paper 53 Pencil and a Wacom Stylus. Both of them have squishy tips that don’t work real well for line drawings or watercolor. I have been getting used to the Apple Pencil and experimenting with it.

I offered people in a group I’m in on Facebook digital paintings and have completed a few for them. I told the first girl when she asked my hourly rate that it was “Free. I don’t work for money anymore.” She had me do this one for their next door neighbors who are moving.
When I posted that, a few more people wanted one too. I usually do a few different versions so they can choose the one they like.
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This person is moving from this house. She liked the first one, I like the second.
This lady’s pet died last year and she wanted something to commemorate him. I have had fun completing these paintings and thought I would show some more here.

The Apple Pencil was perfect for the fire hydrant.

Pets are a favorite.
KERRI-1And a few from past years…

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And one from today in Lockhart, Texas. Guess where we are parked!

Every single time we have been to this part of Texas it has alternated between pouring down rain and sunshine. This time is no exception. We came here for the barbecue and ended up staying an extra day so Jim could replace his failing iPad. I already had to replace mine in Kansas City this year. We are as close to an Apple Store as we will be for many months before we get to the Rio Grande Valley.

Need/want a digital painting? They make great gifts. Hit me up.

More Friends… More Texas

Once we left the Okies in Oklahoma we weren’t in any big hurry to get back to our winter park because they are experiencing heavy flooding. Great.

We decided to head for Lake Mineral Wells where there is a bike trail we have ridden before and we have friends in Weatherford. Time for some sightseeing and visiting.

Viv and Gary were some of the first people we met in our south Texas park when we first went there. It was time to catch up. We settled into our spot at Lake Mineral Wells State Park where they have really nice big sites right on the lake with very few people there. Kitty country.

Our first full day we headed to Viv and Gary’s place where they landed after downsizing from their place in Possum Kingdom. Really.

We settled on a plan to have lunch then go to Fort Worth for some touring around. We had been to the stockyards many years ago. Viv likes to shop but we can’t really buy much being in the bus and all. We did decide to hit some thrift stores next time, both of our favorites.

We ate at Carshorn’s a real Jewish deli in the heart of Fort Worth near the TCU campus. Had to fortify ourselves before we hit the two main art museums in the Cultural District. Fort Worth has everything grouped together, the Hospital District, Cultural District… As it turned out it was Free Friday at both of them!

The first one, the Modern Art Museum is mostly modern art. Duh. Even though parts of it were undergoing renovation they still have an impressive collection. Touring both, I felt transported back to my art history days in college with so many artists I recognized from my studies. Picasso, Mondrian, Pisarro, Corbet, Pollock, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Pouissin, Manet, Monet, Edvard Munch, Liechtenstein, Bracque, Joan Miro, Paul Klee; the list goes on.

There was the normal mix of older stuff too. So many museums have so much of this stuff. Some pieces date back to 25 AD.

The Kimbells…

After the art fix, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and a drive through some of other districts, we were thirsty! Gary steered us to Eddie V’s nearby and we had happy hour.
Of course we did…
Then of course it was time to eat again. We enjoyed dinner at a steakhouse near Weatherford. We always treasure our one-on-one or two-on-two visits when we meet up with friends while we travel. It’s the best way to get to know people better and we look forward to these times.

Gary was volunteering at a 5K the next day and Viv was flea marketing, so we rode the Lake Mineral Wells Trailway for the third or fourth time. It is a fairly well maintained small gravel trail. A few rough sections but they didn’t last long.  Along the trail. Gorgeous day to ride. And nice to be back on the bikes.

When we got back to the bus deer roamed by our campsite and the cats wandered about. We were right on the water so they had their own private dock in the form of a pallet raised above the water. And they’re getting really good about sticking around the bus or under it. They are senior citizen cats, after all.

We decided to stay a couple of extra nights so we could watch the Chiefs play on Monday Night Football. We lucked out by getting satellite positioning on our shady site.

There had been a bunch of Boy Scouts tent camping on Saturday night. We had a fire ring and a ton of nearby kindling and a couple logs. Jim went into his scour-the-campground mode and got quite an unused stash from the Boy Scout leavings. So we built a fire which we forgot to light that night so it was Monday night or never.

We made the fire and burned up all the wood. We watched the Chiefs eke out a close one. We ate homemade hamburgers on ciabatta rolls with tomato and avocado. We got to ride our bikes. We shared a day with friends, art, good food and drink.We are healthy. We are high and dry with our kitties safe and well.  We are BIG BIG lucky.

We are delaying our arrival in the RGV till things dry out down south and flooding gets under control. Apprehensive about the whole situation but, ever optimistic, we remind ourselves constantly how much we have to be grateful for.

Friends are right at the top of the list.

Dos Okies Otra Vez…

After three thankfully uneventful days of travel, we pulled into the fairgrounds in Norman to catch up with Bill and Janelle, Dos Okies. We always stop on our way south, a little earlier this year. As usual, we had a fine time. Taylor has grown and is a very smart and exuberant dog. He loves treats though so he’s pretty easy to win over.

We were lucky to be in Norman during Bill’s regular music group and Jim sat in. They meet every week and play and sing together. It was nice to experience it after hearing about it for years. A fine tradition.

The rain has been following us and one day it rained hard all day and night. Glad we were parked on pavement, snug and dry and plugged in. As Jim says, in our little spaceship.

The rest of the time we ate and drank and watched OU beat Army in overtime while chowing down on Janelle’s sister Fran’s delicious lasagna. We actually extended our stay to partake in that.  And it was well worth it. They live about four blocks from the OU stadium and we could see the parachute guys drop into the stadium from their front porch. Sometimes they have a flyover. We ate sushi one night and Janelle cooked beef stew one night and grilled salmon and sausage another. Her table always a delight.

Salmon serving dish made by Janelle when they lived in Alaska. It has served many a salmon. We so enjoyed falling back into conversation with good friends. We also got to see Carol and John but we were too busy talking to take a pic of all of us. Such gracious and easy hospitality that comes naturally. A treasure indeed. Before we knew it our time together had flown by. Time to start heading south where our winter park flooded for the second time since June!

Jim found a Corps of Engineers Lake in Waurika, Oklahoma, a short travel day. We have a large site but it has been raining so much the grass is like two feet tall! They mowed our site though and we extended our stay because it’s a quiet spot right on the lake. Kitties like it too.

An iPad drawing of Taylor and the fire hydrant across the street from Bill and Janelle’s. I’ve been doing alot of iPad art with all the rain lately.

And now it’s raining again. Of course it is…

Columbia and Beyond

Once we got the bus squared away in Odessa, we proceeded to Hartsburg, one of our favorite places to park. Marni and Eric live right on the Katy Trail and we needed to get some downtime and biking in. And visiting with friends. And music and art. This is a great place for all of those things.

As it happened the Missouri River Relief Eco Art Fest was going on with music and art at Cooper’s Landing on the river. Eric was scheduled to play Saturday night and the pouring rain stopped and it cleared up enough so we could hear his awesome set. Cooper’s music policy is that musicians only play their own original music, no covers. It really makes for an enjoyable experience. Eric’s set with Rob Lampe was original and exciting as usual.

Click here to see some video.

Since we got stuck in their lower parking area last time we were here we backed into their driveway this time to avoid ruts. Of course we brought the rain with us after they had been in a drought for months. Want it to rain? Call us!

We cause ruts every time we’re here! These smoothed out when it dried up.

The next day we went back to Eco Fest and I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen for about 25 years, Alyce. At least. She was celebrating her birthday and we all ate cake! None of us have changed a bit! Ha!

Astrid and Carmella love it here and they explored the garden, climbed trees and ran around like crazy kitties. Which they are.

We ate from the garden, rode bikes and started to get our lives back after the whole Astrid Affair. Their place is always a welcome relief from the road and we really did get to relax by the river.

We met up with our friends Joe and Kathy a couple of times and had dinner with them. Jim and Joe have been friends forever and we always enjoy catching up with them. Just fall back into conversation with old friends. Joe was Jim’s Best man at our wedding and a few years later I got to photograph theirs.

Another blast from the path, Chuck. We go way back. See the castor beans? I haz seeds!

Some of his art. When I asked him if OK to put on the blog, he texted “Finally my ART will be given to a grieving nation so the healing can begin…blah blah blah.”

On Sunday we packed it up and headed for the Elks Lodge in Springfield along the Dead Animal and Blown Tire Memorial Highway. Thankfully, we had an uneventful trip in both the bus and the car and arrived without incident. It continues to be very hot here so the Elks 30 amp was welcome.

We are working our way back to Texas but the park has been flooded since heavy rain and other factors. Sigh. More on that later. We want things to be dried out when we get there and it’s looking better now.

A night at the Elks in Tulsa and on to Norman, Oklahoma to visit Janelle and Bill, Dos Okies. We always have fun with them. Food, wine, good conversation; what’s not to like?

Third Vet Is The Charm

Today is a month since we got Astrid back.

The past month and a half has been a roller coaster of high hopes, emotional letdowns and very slow healing for Astrid.  Once we got to Kansas City, Jim called a friend of his from high school who is a veterinarian here and Jim told him the whole long story on the phone. Her eating was erratic; it got to the point where she wouldn’t even eat shrimp! That’s serious. She acted like her mouth was very tender and sensitive and of course she wouldn’t let us look at it. The chin abscess was healing but her foot was tender and she yeowed big time when we tried to apply the antibiotic ointment to her messed up claw.


Astrid and Dr. Steve

We took her into his Brookside Animal Clinic the next day and Steve exchanged pleasantries with us before he got down to work. We had told him that both the Minnesota and Iowa vets had given her an antibiotic shot and the Iowa vet sent us home with a two week round of oral antibiotic tablets. We took her bag of medicines with us and he looked them over. He said, “I like to identify the problem first, then figure out how to treat it.”

When he looked in her mouth, he discovered that her teeth were not perfect as the Iowa vet had said. Not at all. On each side she had FORL lesions from her gums growing down between her teeth and the teeth were crumbling and rotten. He said it was very painful and that explained her hesitance to eat and pawing at her mouth. She would walk over to the food bowl, look at the food, try to eat some and drop it from her mouth. Even shrimp.

He did bloodwork again since it may have changed since the Minnesota vet did it and declared it perfect after we got her back on August 8. That came out fine this time too. As Jim told him, besides the not eating, she didn’t act like a sick cat. She was still grooming herself and going outside on leash and supervised. On the first day of the appetite stimulant she even played her favorite game, paper ball. That slacked off after the three day window was closing.

His recommendation? Do oral surgery, extract the bad teeth and clean the rest, remove the lesions and put her on a liquid antibiotic, much easier to administer to cats.

And her claw needed to be surgically removed. He said it would grow back and that “Kitty will take care of it.” We brought her in the next morning at 7:30 AM and picked her up at 5:00. We were worried about the anesthetic especially since a friend in Texas took her little dog in to have his teeth cleaned and he died on the table from the anesthesia. Steve texted when she was out of surgery so we could enjoy the day with our friends during trailer pickup, which was the same day.

When we picked her up he showed us BEFORE and AFTER pictures they took during the surgery on his iPad. He showed Jim how to administer the liquid antibiotic and we took her back to the bus.

Her eating improved a little but she was still lethargic. Except for that, again, she didn’t act like a sick cat. Jim and Steve texted back and forth about her continued lethargy and Jim thought it might be a reaction to the antibiotic, which Steve said could be likely but we needed to give it to her for at least five days, twice a day.


We were still exhausted and very nervous. What cruel irony it would be to get her back from the woods after 13 days and then have her go downhill after that. We were determined to see things through to the end. No more Xanex either. We made an appointment for Tuesday in case she needed it and took her back to the bus for the weekend. Steve texted us and we let him know that she was still lethargic. He said the next thing he wanted to do was to X-ray her abdomen and make sure nothing was going on there.

We wondered if she could have PTSD and when I posted the last cat update, a Canadian friend of mine called almost immediately and said to get her checked for Lyme disease. She had lost her dog to that and was adamant. More research. She was not exhibiting any Lyme disease symptoms but we wrote it on our list of questions. Once we finished up the antibiotic she seemed to be better and her appetite improved. We continued to give her the appetite stimulant and it works. You can pretty much set your watch by it. Steve gave a different type that you can apply to their ear daily, so they continue to eat.

We planned to stay at the Elks through the Labor Day weekend in case she needed to go back to the vet. We had a good spot to park and Astrid was improving, going outside and eating better.
Our view from the bus.
We made an appointment for Tuesday after Labor Day, just in case. We took her back in and he checked out her mouth; it was all healed. Her claw is growing back and is no longer tender.
He took X-rays and everything inside looked good. He saw a little piece of bone in her colon and said it may have come from her food.

Because the Internet needs to see the inside of our cat…

Once she was done with the antibiotic, she continued to improve. Steve said that could be the cause of her lethargy. She was grooming herself, not hiding and her mouth was healed up enough to eat well. He said the dental problem could have been exacerbated by her sojourn into the wilderness. He wanted to make sure “she got back online.” And so did we, of course.

We were planning to leave for Columbia on Wednesday but it was pouring down rain when we got up and it continued all day. I didn’t have a good feeling about taking off in the driving rain so we stayed another night. Astrid continued to act more normal and we passed the day by provisioning, reading and taking it easy. We had already been in Kansas City way longer than we planned but the vet was crucial to the plan.

By this time she was acting pretty normal (for her) and continued to eat without the appetite stimulant. We finally began to relax a little and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It has been a very long and very stressful six weeks but it was worth it to have Astrid back. Thank the Lord! And Dr. Steve Smith. He is thorough, experienced and responsive. And he got results! If you are in Kansas City, we highly recommend Brookside Animal Clinic at 85th and Wornall.

Now she is interested in food again and going outside regularly. Today she even climbed partway up a tree! We are getting our life back.

We moved on toward Columbia on Thursday but not without a hiccup or two.