Sunday, January 27, 2013


Like many artists I am drawn to patterns in nature. I particularly love the regular and seemingly random spots, stripes and myriad combinations of the furred and feathered.  Appaloosa horses, tabby cats, black and white spotted Jacob Sheep, giraffe splotches, leopard spots and tiger stripes - all give me a frisson of pleasure.

While browsing a local thrift shop recently, I came upon a wonderful leopard faux fur vest.  The perfect gift for the kitties!  Sure enough, as soon as it was splayed on the couch, kitties claimed it one by one - with a few hissy quarrels over possession.  Generally though, possession rules even in the cat world and nearly every feline has had a turn mushing and posing on the best $2.00 cat accessory ever.
Pattern upon pattern - Garfy on The Vest
Snoochie if full mush mode. More pattern upon pattern.
I once had a harlequin Great Dane and I once had a brindle Great Dane, so when I thought of getting another dog to keep Freda company, I wanted another Dane.  Came up a bit short though, when I spotted Carrie up for adoption.  She's a year old brindle American Bull Terrier (not a pit type) weighing about 45 lbs. nearly the same size as Freda.  I figured it was meant to be as she purportedly got along with cats (very important), other dogs and liked everyone - even toddlers.  (Geez - I don't even like toddlers...)  And she would eat less than another giant dog which was better for my budget.

I met the owner, brought Carrie home and she and Freda hit it off immediately.  By the third evening she was deathly ill.  What started as a bit of coughing the second night became obvious difficulty breathing and a temp of 106.2!  I'd just gotten home from work and saw her trembling and with her eyes all squinted up like she was in pain.  I rushed her to the Vet Saturday night where she was given fluids and meds I.V.  Several tests were done - none conclusive at that point.  I was able to pick her up on Sunday with a tentative diagnosis of pneumonia and oral antibiotics but she went downhill again and had to go back in on Monday for more intravenous treatments - and they kept her for 24 hours before sending her home with I.V.'s and three antibiotics!  (I was once a vet tech so I know how to give I.V. meds and shots.)

I was puzzled when the Vet asked me to find out whether anyone in the previous owner's household had had flu or especially strep throat recently.  He said no - but sounded unsure about recent illnesses.  The Vet said dogs can pick up strep type infections from humans and visa-verse, which was new to me.  I'll never know for sure where it came from - but get this:  I'm sick now.  Within 24 hours of Carrie's onset, I had terrible bronchitis, sore throat, headache, fever, chills and loss of appetite, rather like my new doggie.  Unlike Carrie, at the first sign I hit the Emergen-C, got out my inhaler and prepared for the worst.  I'm coughing so hard I had to buy protection.... (no I'm not explaining this...)

Sympathy illness?  Perhaps.  I could have pick it up anywhere, but a pattern is a pattern - and this looks like a pattern to me.  That frisson I spoke of?  In this case, it must have been the first onset of the chilblains.

We are both doing better - though that vet bill is likely to kill me.  Better photos when we both stop coughing.
Here's Carrie - See her shaved legs and her bandage?  Poor baby.  Apologies for the cacophony of patterns here.  She's a real sweet tiger of a dog.


  1. The patterns are really quite wonderful, the stripe on the leopard, the stripe on the plaid. Your pets are so well-loved!

    Carrie is a lucky creature.
    Take care.

    1. Thank you. Today I am still pretty rough, but will go to my job today partly 'cause I need groceries and pet food...

      Carrie is well enough to be playful and she's eating everything she can.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that the Creeping Crud got both you AND your new housemate. I had no idea illness could be contagious between pets and their humans. Get well soon, and land a great painting commission to pay for the vet bills!

    1. Ah yes, the Creeping Crud... My Dad used to call it The Grip because it would get a hold and not let up till you caved

      I think the inter-species contagions are increasing, perhaps due to natural selection in microbes and viruses, perhaps due to very un-natural misuse of antibiotics, overcrowding and stresses in general.

      Next thing you know I'll have Distemper... or hoof and mouth... or ICK!.

  3. Hi! I've come from Roy's blog. All of your talk about birds made me want to come and meet you! If you love art, birds, cats and thrift stores, I'm going to enjoy your blog a lot! :)

  4. Hope you are both better soon!