Sunday, May 30, 2010

My First Camping Trip...

I am home from Camping! (And have met the newest edition to the Family the WAY too cute puppy! I am sure Puppy Training will be getting many a blog coming up...) But yesterday and today was Camping. Yes, a short trip, but one doesn't want to go overboard, what if I'd hated it?

I didn't. Quite liked it really, but I was with some wonderful people, which completely made the difference. Horsetrainer Mel, Bronco Jen, Mr Awesome and his Wee Lad. (Who, at 5 both outrides and outcamps me.)

Here are some important handy Tips for Camping:

1. There ARE Bears out there. Not theoretical Bears, but real Bears. In fact, one half of the Info board is dedicated to Bears. And what to do if you meet one.

Mostly, it seems to say, it will come down to your Luck and the Bears Mood.

The other half of the Info Board is dedicated to a Map of the Trails you will ride on. As you can see, this map has been MAULED BY A BEAR. Which is disturbing in itself, besides making the Map incomplete.

Doesn't matter much as the Trail markers are also incomplete. This means you will get lost, which only adds to the fun. If you could eaily find your way back to camp, why, your ride might be cut short those last several hours, as you try and find the thing again.

And hope the Bears have left it in peace while you were riding blithely thru the woods.

There are a couple things no camping trip should be without. Cell phone reception so you can Twitter pictures and say things like "HEY! We are here, does anyone know where this IS?" which may help you get back to camp. And may inspire responses like "Looks like the woods where that Gingerbread House was"

And Coffee. I don't drink coffee all the time, and when I do it is pretty entertaining, ask anyone who has seen me on it, but you NEED it while camping, mostly in the mornings, because you will not have slept in your tent all night, having forgot the ten pillows you generally sleep with and having woke up every ten minutes to Something Outside the tent Snuffling.

You can't go BUY this coffee, no shops in the woods and all. And you can't plug in the coffee maker, there being no, well, PLUGS. Or coffee maker. You need someone to make a fire, and then BREW it in a pot over the fire.

It will be the Best Coffee You Have Ever had. Trust me on this one.

I had planned on riding Chanel, a bay mare that I have ridden before, but right from the start she was a first class brat. I tried, but something about being in a new woods, on the trail and on a horse who seems intent on bucking me off, wasn't working for me.I needed to show her who was in charge and make her behave.

I failed.

And it was my mind that failed, not my riding. I need to get past this fear of riding, and horses. Oh yes, it's there. I worry about getting hurt all the time, about not being able to manage the horse, about not riding well enough. And it's my mind that is failing, not my riding. Melissa told me this too. And she would know.

My horse friends are Very fun, and the back and forth is hilarious, they can take as good as they give, but when it come to the crunch, when I need them, they are dead serious. And instantly.

Mr Awesome, who owns Chanel got on her, after a few bucks when it became clear I needed help, and rode her off to make her mind. I got back on, but after a few more bucks, sitting, spinning and swearing not withstanding, I couldn't do it. We switched saddles and he gave me his other horse, a grey gelding named Lefty, who is as solid a trail horse as anyone could wish, and I concentrated on going up hills (Fast and leaning forward) and down hills, slower and leaning backwards) and sitting UP and on my butt the rest of the time, and did quite well. These aren't, mind you, pony rides around a ring. Serious trails, and hard riding, for long hours.

I love it.

But I need to get over this fear.

It's all in my head. And I need to win.

Love and Camping,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Camping. I Know, I Don't Believe It Myself....

Nearly two years ago I got two pictures of an F1 Bengal who had been left at a shelter across the state. This was one.

This was the other. All I knew was he was half Leopard. And no one wanted him. Those were not eyes that love. And those were not eyes that trusted. Anyone. Those eyes were very, very alone.

So I went for him.


Big news today: Great Lakes Bengal Rescue is now on Twitter! Our Fearless Leader, Janet, has jumped in enthusiastically (Sounds way better than "Dragged kicking and screaming, eh?)in and is now posting Bengal Rescue Tweets! Follow her at @GLBengal.

Ok. Right again. Big day tomorrow.

1. Sleeping bag, pad for under it and little silky thing to sleep in. Check.

2. Horses and Horse Stuff. (Saddle, bridle, halter, booties, grooming things, hay, carrots. Check.

3. Food. Note: Should be able to be cooked over a fire. Right. Check.

4. Clothes, bug-B-gone, flashlight, sunblock, fiddle. Got 'em.

Yes, I am going CAMPING. Real camping. Not the waiting for room service sort of roughing it I do from time to time, but honest to gosh out in the woods in the middle of nowhere CAMPING, for the first time ever.

No, no punch line coming, I am serious here. I can do this. (STOP LAUGHING!) It could work. What's not to love? What could possibly go wrong?????

I don't think it really hit me until we were debating bringing Doggie Pearl along, and I was pointing out she DOES still smell like a skunk and a several hour drive with her in the car MIGHT not be our best option, when one of my seasoned camping horse friends said: "She'll keep away the bears"

The others nodded, sagely and agreed.

What's a little Eau Du Skunk anyway.....

I don't know if I'm ready for this (That's a lie actually, I KNOW I AM NOT READY FOR THIS) but, I'm going for it. I have two days off and it's time for some Woods. Adventure Camping. Riding thru the wilds of Wisconsin! Leave the indoor, groomed, safe, civilized riding arena and take Horsie Chanel out for, uh, nothing is coming here, Trial By Fire Riding?

My Boss was all for it, go, sayth he! I pointed out I would not have any cell phone reception and would be GONE and out of touch for two days. Fine, fine, he sayth again, I'll be fine. (Not sure the enormity of this really sunk in, this no cell or email bit, I know it hasn't for ME.)

And so I go.

But before I do, here's that F1, two years down the line.

And those eyes are Magic.

Love and Camping,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sad News on Bengal Diesel...

I have sad news indeed this morning. Bengal Diesel, who we saved a few weeks ago, thru the efforts of Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, a Vet in Michigan, the quick thinking of the owner and everyone here and on Twitter, has died.

His illness was simply too advanced, tho EVERYTHING possible was done by each person involved, from the Vet, to everyone who sent gas money...SO many of you helped, for one Bengal you had never met. We were able to give him the best, the only, chance possible, but, he died.

This is why the indiscriminate sale of cats and dogs in pet shops needs to be stopped, except in conjunction with the Humane Society. They are sick, they are not from reputable breeders. They are going to die.

I have a letter from the Vet, Dr Karen in Michigan that I debated printing, and decided, yes, it's sad but I am going to post it here.

If it inspires ONE person to help stop the sale of cats, dogs, Bengals in Pet Shops anywhere in this country, it has done what it needs to.

Thank you, all of you, for helping and caring. What matters is that for Diesel, we tired. He didn't die because no one cared enough to help.

We got together and made a difference.

We'll do it again. As long as it takes.

Diesel was doing good last nite. He was eating & drinking & actually sounded pretty good. This morning he ate & drank too. However, I received a call while on my way to the hospital, that he had fluid coming out of his nose & mouth when he moved from one side to the other. I re-started him on some Lasix to pull the fluid out. When I came in & saw him, I was very upset. He was struggling to breathe & he was in the oxygen cage. I suctioned some of the fluid out of his mouth & then a few minutes later, he stopped breathing.

We did CPR on him, but his heart stopped. I knew we weren't going to get him back with all the fluid he developed on his lungs.

So I let him go...

This is where Email is so impersonal....

I only received back some preliminary culture results. They showed he had at least 2 types of bacteria, although they hadn't been identified yet.I did not receive the FIP test back, but FIP is the only conclusion for why he developed such severe fluid in his lungs. He didn't sound bad yesterday, in fact, his lungs & the rest of his airway sounded good. He was not on a high dose of fluids,so the only conclusion I have is that it must have been FIP.

I know this sounds very medical, but I want to assure you that I did everything I could for Diesel. No cost was spared (probably $1500-2000 worth of veterinary care -I haven't added it up yet). I treated Diesel as I would any of my own critters. He was a very handsome & very special kitty, as everyone knows. I was so hopeful that even
with his problems, that he might find a good, loving home for whatever time he had left.

(Note from Lorraine: He had a home waiting, someone spoke up for him)

Diesel touched a lot of souls in his short life.

I wish there was more that I could have done for him.

I'm sorry to all of us for the loss of this special cat....

Dr. Karen

Love and Thanks,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NOT About Bengals!

And tonight, at long last, yes! A Blog NOT about Bengals! No Bengals anywhere, not about them, or Bees for that matter. Just a few home chores.

So, that wasn't entirely truthful. I'm a writer. Writers lie. All the time. And make things up. The fact that this Blog is based on fact and not fiction, which is entirely made up, makes no difference.

Bengals creep in. If you have one, or especially if like me, you have five, they will enter into EVERYTHING in your home, your life, and your dreams. Real or not.

I bought a new fountain for them tonight. Out on the porch, so they can have water time and not wreck the floors. They all LOVE water. It's smaller than the one I got last year, which the Roylas upstairs have now, in the bathroom. Would have liked a bigger one, but the one I really wanted was $1200, which seemed a bit much. (Actually, it was entirely out of the question, I mean REALLY)

They seem to like it, and are drinking from it, and playing in it. It will get more plants and then I will have a small Jungle out there for them. Couldn't get a picture of Magic in it, but I am sure before the summer is done, we will have little F1 Movies of him splashing about.

I like to be artistic in my Gardens, and this is the Year Of Outside, the year when I actually DO things outside, and don't simply sigh and think it would be nice at some point. Hanging Baskets of Petunia Things are good because if you can remember to water them, and this is a big one, they will just grow, bloom and smell sweetly. It's watering, or lack thereof, that makes the difference.

This is my Artistic patch of Creeping Charlie which will no doubt Take Over at some point, lessening my worries about anything else. I won't let the Mowing People (Hello? I didn't say I was going to do EVERYTHING, I know my limits and skills) mow it down. I like it. It's like a Creeping Lizard out there.

Remember the day I decided to use Lawn-b-Green? Well it worked. Kind of. I sort of didn't have the Spreader theory down, and sort of didn't know it would only GREEN where you tossed it. My Neighbors say it looks like I tried to spell something in my lawn. Which would have been kind of cool, had I thought of it.

And finally: A Wee Stone Path. All homes should have a Wee Stone Path, especially if you can find the stones on sale.

Which I did.

Love and Gardens,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kidnaping Road Crew and Covering Them in Mushrooms, Bengals and Bees...

Mr Drew and Adriene, friends of ours (Mr Drew is in fact ENGAGED to Miss Kitty) are out on the Conan O'brian Tour just now, and as it almost never happens, they had a day OFF as they came thru Minneapolis.

What could I do but kidnap them? Fate, I say, fate.

Much fun was had. By all. We visited Bees, and hunted the wild Morel (successfully I might add, Mr Drew turned out to be good at it) played with Dogs and hung out with the Bengals (Adriene is a Cat Whisperer, kid you NOT)

I got a little nervous at the Bees, wished The Birdchick or Boss had been along. The first hive we went to, I call it the White Hive, as it is, well White, was a nasty hive. Those were some PISSED OFF bees. Didn't want us in there, even tho our only goal was to give them another feeder pail, they buzzed, and bonked and basically told us to get the HELL out of there.

I did. Bees don't have to tell me twice.

They other hives were more mellow, but angry bees un-nerve me.

In the evening we lit off some fireworks Mr Drew had managed to acquire on the way out, including one with an army guy who came down in a parachute. Very fun.

Adriene has a WAY with kitties, and the Bengals SO responded to her. Especially Lear and Mab. Mab was nearly cuddly! Kept coming up and wanting to be petted, Lear ate from her hands. It made me SO happy to watch, to see them loving and interacting. She would make a wonderful home for them, were she not on the road so much. There hasn't been anyone except Miss Kitty, and maybe Spooky Cleaning Teen who have had any luck with him before this.

As much as I love them, especially Lear, if they could have one person who would be exclusively THEIR person, and was the right person for them, I would give them up. Five Bengals is too many and a LOT of work. I try and love and work with them all, but three would be plenty and I can't help thinking Lear and Mab would thrive and become true pets, if they had the kind of one on one, all the time attention that I don't have time to give them, that someone like me, who loved them like me, could.

We also took Venus and Mim out on Leashes, which was fun. Mr Drew said afterwards, it had been a good day because he had done three things he had never done before: Seen Bees up close, hunted Mushrooms, and Walked a Cat on a Leash.

(DO I know how to PARTY with Road Crew or WHAT?)

The next night Woodsman Hans, Non-Birding Bill and I went down to see the Conan Show and visit our friends at work. I had never seen Conan's show, and I didn't know him or what he did exactly, and wasn't sure how a talk show host could turn that into a three hour show.

I'll tell you how he did it: Brilliantly.

Amazing show. Comedy, music, video. Did you know Conan played music? Yup! Sure as heck does. Loved the show, kind of one of those that you really, really didn't want to end. Timing was perfect and spot on, pace was great, acts well written, and he is simply a wonderful performer. His improv is right there and very quick. Loved the way they worked Minneapolis specifically into the show. These people can write, and they can perform.

I am sure there are proper reviews out there is you want to read about who was with him, and who did what ect. I can't recall names to save my life, but go and google it and if you can, go and see this show.

He's great. I love him. I support him in whatever it is he ever wants to do.

I hear tell also, he is not taking the $$'s from this tour. He is doing it for his band, his co-horts, his writer, his crew who otherwise would be unemployed just now until his new TV show starts.

Guy is huge thumbs up in my book.

Fine argument for Rockabilly too.

And at the end, a little movie Adriene took of King Lear the Huge eating.

Love, Friends on the Road, and Conan

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dinner Magic...

I've been battling,(albeit unsuccessfully at times, I keep getting outbid) for Kitty's Watercolours, tonight. Not sure who the Evil Foes are as of yet, keeping me from my art, but I do know this: I will prevail. When I love art. I love it.

Nine days left, Evil Foes. I will win. This is war. Look to your swords and choose your seconds well.

The other high point of the evening was the first dinner a trois. Magic, Venus and Mim, all eating together in the kitchen! I was a bit surprised when Magic hopped up for a bite, but the Leopard IS pretty into food, and he hadn't eaten for a couple hours.

Venus and Mim chase him around horribly (which, if one must speak plainly can only do the lad good) but they all seem to like it. Who knew? House of Leopards. Now if we can get The Royals involved.....

Here's a wee movie. Script could use work, and not sure the angles are right, action could be quicker, and it needs a more dramatic ending, but I really feel I have found my medium and film is really starting to express who I am as an Arteest.

Love and Art,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank You SO Much!

Bengal Diesel has been saved! He will shortly be on his way to Michigan, where a vet there has donated her services and care, which is going to be expensive. He will have a home.

I am in awe of the love and support you have given. For one Bengal you haven't even met. So that he can live.

The vet, the drivers, Janet from GLBR and each of YOU, who sent in the $$, each of you, guess what?

You made a difference.

The world is a better place because you cared enough to DO SOMETHING. Our corner (yes corner, you didn't think that whole "Round world" thing was true did you?) is a better place because of it.

We saved a Bengal. When he needed us, when it was his life on the line.

Without each of you doing something, donating a fiver, RT'ing my pleas, caring in any way for one moment, it wouldn't happen.

The Bengal pictures here today are of Bengals currently in Foster care at GLBR. They are safe because we found them, and got them to safe homes.

But they are waiting for their forever homes, with their special person. If you'd like a Bengal consider contacting Great Lakes Bengal Rescue (Or a rescue group in your area) and adopting one of these kitties, who have lost their homes. Thru no fault of their own.

They're waiting for you.

And never, ever, adopt a Bengal from a pet store.

Love and Thanks,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Diesel Has A Chance, But Needs A Ridee....

I wanted to clarify my remarks on Twitter this morning, about never adopting a Bengal from a Pet Store. They were spoken without detail, and more in frustration. This is Diesel, a really sweet 9 month old Bengal who was bought at a pet store a few months ago. He has some severe upper respiratory problems, and needs about $1000 worth of vet care, and likely more, which his owner doesn't have.

We have a Vet in Michigan, Detroit area who will donate care, and if they suit, and Diesel lives, may adopt him. Diesels owner wants to do everything she can for him, but Diesel is in Evanston, IL. He needs a ride, or a plane ticket.

Anyone out there? We can save him if we can get him to Michigan.

This happens a lot in pets bought from pet stores. They are sick, they are not from a reputable breeder. NO member of the TIBCS (International Bengal Cat Society) would ever sell to a pet shop.

No reputable breeder of ANY animal would.

The exception to this rule about adopting from a pet shop, is places like PetCo (for one) who are holding adoption drives with a local animal shelter. This is a good thing, and should be encouraged.

The animal shelter is the best place to go to when looking for a pet.

If you decide you want a pedigreed pet of a certain kind, find a reputable breeder. I don't mean "Show Quality" , I mean a breeder who breeds and cares responsibly for their animals. Who makes sure they are healthy, spayed and neutered. Do your homework and find someone who is a member of whatever Association is in place for the breed. (Like TIBCS for Bengals)

If you want a Bengal, get this:

I can set you up with a Bengal RIGHT THIS SECOND for $150. We have them in Foster care. THEY NEED HOMES!

Bengals in pet shops were most likely bred from Bengals that were never meant to be bred. They may carry strains of illness, or indeed just be sick FROM being in the pet shop. They will sell for more than the going rate. From a breeder of good standing, that's $600 for a pet kitten. The Pet shop will sell them for $900 each, and will have likely acquired an entire litter for that one price. They will have no papers.

My wistful thinking says I wish we could make a STOP BREEDING ANY ANIMALS rule until everyone that's here has a good home. But we can't. Let's stop the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops tho. Nothing good can come of this.

There are too many animals in need of homes.

We have WAY too many Bengals alone in Rescue right now, and are very close to having to close to any more.

If you can help Diesel get to Michigan, contact me at

If you would like to adopt a Bengal in Rescue go to the Great Lakes Bengal Rescue Webite

If you just want to help: Paypal to:

Love and Thank you,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Strarring Freaky Venus and Madame Mim!

I did it! Took little movies with my camera and even uploaded them! My, I am so proud! My first films, ah, the possibilities are endless. I shall make Bengal Movies, with music! Start an all Bengal all the time cable channel! Move onto 3D! And the big screen!


Mim is loving her Cat Wheel, formerly The Poop Wheel. (Yeah, all the time) It goes slower now tho, and the solid backing helps her from feeling she will fall thru.

The second movie is just a little Venus and Mim on Magics porch, not a lot of action, but perhaps it makes up for it in serious drama. The mood, the feelings, the, well, it's Bengals, what can I say?

I hope you enjoy my little movies..

Love and Film,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yet MORE, Way More From Venus, Magic and Mim...

This, I do know, is complete indulgence on my part. But one must, every so often. I bring you: WAY too many Bengal Pictures!

Four rolls of purple Duck Tape later, Poop Wheel has a new backing! Tomorrow, a slow down device, hopefully, so Bengals can run again.

Mim in the Forest..

And Tas gets between Venus and Magic.

Mim comtemplates getting OUT in front of a Flash Girls CD Cover (By Michael Zulli)

And this is what a Leopard on your dinning room table might look like. No, I don't often have people to dine, tends to weed out the faint of heart.

Venus washes her foot. (hey, I told you this was indulging myself)

And Magic makes his eyes different colours.

Bengals Yoga. One must keep FIT.

And a now completely blue eyed Magic, reposes at the other end of the table.

Thank you, everyone, for allowing me this moment.

Sunday evenings were made for Leopards.

Love and Venus, Magic and Mim,