Category Archives: Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her?

May I go see mom, please?

Most mornings I’m up no later than 4 AM. I make my coffee, put fresh food down for the cats and let Pepper out of her crate … everybody settles down and goes back to sleep while I have my coffee and read the days papers.

And then about 5:30, Pepper grabs Grok and comes over to me to repeatedly butt me with Grok – her way of saying, “Can I go see mom now?”


Pep’s surgery went well and she’s doing great!

Thank you very much 🙂

Pep went in to Kirkwood Animal and Dr. Ueno’s on Friday morning and had two fatty cysts removed from her chest & belly. One was under a muscle, so removing that resulted in a painful area / suture. Pep was pretty near comatose and very sensitive on Friday night, yesterday was out and about a bit and today is racked out on “their” couch in the den. She seems to be doing well and we are very relieved the cysts were not the worrying kind.

Tell me you don’t see the resemblance…

In my haste to keep you updated on our search for a new feline family member, I forgot to mention one of the brothers of Ayame and Eliza: Rex

When I saw Rex’s photo, I thought to myself, “Good looking Maine. Nice long tufts on his ears, great head shape, eyes are **bright blue**… good sized feet… yeah, that’s a Maine, alright.” So here he is – you can judge for yourself:

Good looking cat, huh? Pretty wide-eyed, blue-eyed loverboy, right? Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too. But the more I looked at his pretty blue eyes I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I KNOW that look… now where have I seen it before?”

Ah, I know. So I attached the picture of you-know-who as a puppy (below) and Rex’s pic to an email and sent it to Joanne with the subject line, “Tell me you don’t see the resemblance.

All joking aside, Rex is a good looking Maine, that’s for sure… and Pep, well, we love Pep as much as we have loved all of our other creatures… maybe even a little more because of the, er, “spark” she’s put in our lives.

Speaking of Pep, on Friday she goes in to Dr. Ueno to have a couple of cysts surgically removed from her chest and belly. They’ll biopsy everything and we’re hoping she’s in the clear, but we won’t know until we know. Please do keep your fingers crossed for her 🙂

I have a bit more to write, but will do that in a separate post.

He’ll never know…

Ahem. Sometimes ya just gotta let Sleeping Dogs lie.

The story behind this is after Joanne left for the office this morning, I heard Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her? clipping along through the house, then in to our bedroom suite. I was working on something and didn’t really pay attention to when she left the area to go back out front with Penny.

Turns out that’s because she didn’t leave the area to go back out with Penny: she climbed up on my side of the bed, apparently adjusted the Sleep Comfort bed to her needs and then conked out… she only opened her eyes when the camera flash popped up.

She stayed there for a few more hours then ambled off to sleep in the den w/Penny. (And then STEVE – oh, it’s S-T-E-V-E, Penny’s love interest – came over for lunch and they both joined us in the noon sun… I think Penny was drooling over Steve. sheesh.)

Skunk be gone!

One night last week, Pan and I were slipping in to our “going to bed” groove… making sure coffee things were ready for the next morning, reading glasses were in their “can’t see a damn thing, where’d I put my glasses” place. As I was walking in our suite to run a hot bath, Pan leading me by a few steps, I heard the dogs “alarm” in the den, barking very loud and aggressively. It being 9:30 and all, I thought, “That’s strange” and heard Joanne talking to them as she went to open the door.

Just as she was opening the door I realized what was probably happening – a skunk was walking near the back door. uh oh.


Too late.

Pep bolted out the door and apparently met the skunk head, er, tail-on, and got blasted directly in the face. (Penny being a bit wiser, let Pep take the lead and the hit. Old age and wisdom beats youth and enthusiasm almost every time – never forget that.)

I don’t know if you’ve ever been at ground-zero of a skunk blast, but it’s nothing like what you smell after the fluid has been atomized in the air – it reeks of what smells like coffee and something horrible… like propane at the source. It’s terrible.

Well, Pep took the hit and was on her haunches, not able to see and reeling on the deck… scratching at her face, eyes, muzzle… very painful to watch so it must have been terrible for her to experience. Since we’ve done the dog-got-skunked dance before, we did what we always do: grabbed the skunk-scent-remover recipe from the internet, mixed the solution and in 10 minutes, Pep was as fresh as a daisy (well, for Pep, anyway 😉 and Penny was next up for her bath. An hour after the incident, everyone was bright and shiny and I got my bath with Pan serving as lifeguard as she does every night.

Note to self: When opening the back door at night with the dogs barking loudly, always knock on the door and say the magic words, “Skunk be gone” before letting loose the pack.

“She (still) misses her cat”…

(This is a follow-up to my earlier post this month about Pepper’s obvious grieving & loneliness after the passing of Delilah. For that post, visit

Today about noon as I was heading out the door to have lunch with Los Gatos Steve, Joanne popped out of her office, put her conference call phone on mute and said, “I found Pepper in the guest room closet. She’d found the large bag with Delilah and Pan’s (saved for prep for knitting) fur and had begun to tear the bag open to “get to” Delilah.”

As much as we tried not to, in seconds we were both in free-flowing tears. Sad for Pepper and sad for ourselves, at the loss of Little One and her much-larger-than-life role in our household and lives.

It’s ironic this happened today because just last night, for the first time since her passing, we were laughing outloud at Delilah’s in my face approach to dealing with me when it came to food: as long as we both drew breath, Dee knew my sole purpose in life was to ensure she was fed and watered to the gills, 24 x 7 x 365.

If I am to take anything positive out of Pep’s actions today, I suppose they just confirm what we felt we witnessed over the years: That Pepper and Dee were great companions and Dee’s passing hasn’t diminished that feeling of friendship and loyalty in Pepper one iota.

“She misses her cat…”

After a full day of working the gardens and around the house, we were beginning to prepare for a late-afternoon bbq with Al, Ellen and the Brady’s out on the patio when I came across Pandora and Pepper laying on the rug in front of our bedroom French doors… both enjoying the fresh air and warmth of the sunshine streaming through the doors.

I said to Joanne, “Check out cat-girl and Pep by the doors…”. Joanne peeked around the corner and said, “She misses her cat.”, meaning Pepper misses “her cat”, Delilah. I’m not an animal behaviorist, but I do think Joanne’s right.

Over the years, Pepper and Delilah developed a very close relationship. In her puppy years, Pepper bounded through the house with what seemed to be endless reserves of energy, ending up nose-to-nose with Dee as if to say, “Hey, let’s tear this place up!”

Dee would sit up on her hind legs (she always looked like a furry booze-bottle carrying bag to me when she was in that position), stand up just a bit, feint a left jab to Pep’s head and when Pep leaned to the left to escape the jab, Dee would reach out ever-so-gently and touch the left side of Pep’s face with a quick “pop”. Pep would always act surprised and when she pulled her head back away from Dee, Dee would lean forward and gently “box” her ears with both paws… no claws, just paws… but enough to remind Pep who really owned the house. I think I’ve mentioned here before that early-on when I saw these reactions, I’d tell Pepper to leave Dee alone and Joanne would tell me to stay out of it, that Pepper liked Dee and they had a good relationship.

And so I did… stay out of their relationship, that is. But I watched it develop over time and was always grateful that the two of them had someone to hang out with. Penny is kind of a loner and Pan has always been a human-oriented cat, so spent more time with us than with Delilah. So, over time, Dee and Pepper became quite close… often tucked away on a shared blankie, sleeping together during the day or evening before we closed the place down and went to bed.

When Dee had surgery for cancer and spent even more time sleeping, whenever possible, Pepper spent much of her time by Delilah’s side, often leaning in to sniff and make sure that Dee was doing ok. As Dee began her recovery and moved around the house under her own power, Pep would often “shadow” her.

Watching Pepper’s devotion to Dee was very touching.

In the time since Dee’s passing, Pepper has adapted to her absence but, like a lot of us, has discovered that she really likes those cat-things… they’re kinda warm and snuggly and when they slip in to the purr-mode, very relaxing to be around.

So it looks like Pan’s been chosen as Pepper’s new best friend… which has been a funny process to watch unfold. In Pep’s initial efforts, she’d walk up and stick her nose in Pan’s face as if to say, “Ok, now you fake a jab with your left, then when I lean left, you pop me on the side of the head and then we’ll go take a nap on the couch-blankie.”

And until yesterday afternoon, it looked to me as though Pan had the “Jab-the-dog” moves down pat but wasn’t much in to having “man’s best friend” become her best friend.

But – if this picture is an indicator – there appears to be a crack in her “don’t need no stinkin’ dog” thinking.

I’m sure Joanne’s right, that Pepper “she misses her cat”, but hopefully she and Pan can develop their relationship to where they’ll both miss their cat a little less.

Thx for stopping by, write when you get work.

So how is “the pack” doing, you ask?

Several of you have asked how our “pack” is holding up with Dee’s multiple illnesses and, sadly, loss.

Grandma Cat is struggling – Dee and Joanne had a wonderfully close relationship, usually ending most evenings with Dee laying in Joanne’s lap, having her ears scritched and shoulders deeply rubbed. It was Joanne and Scott who got to know Dee when she was just six weeks old and eventually chose her to come home. Though I’m the house-dude and spent far more time with Dee on a day-to-day basis, Joanne and Dee were very, very close. Dee’s loss easily impacts Joanne as much – or more – as it does me.

As for the animals, Penny continues to sleep on her own blanket in the den (as always) so “moping” would be hard to detect in any event 😉 Pandora is somewhat lower-key than normal. Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her seems lethargic and (we believe) misses Dee the most of the animal population of our house. Pep and Dee had a very close relationship… and I will post pictures that prove it 😉