Archive for the ‘Cat Feeling’ Category

Tora The Super Cat

July 13th, 2015

One of a Kind Cats Who Loved Humans, Animals, and Car Rides!

After fighting with a very aggressive cancer for about six weeks, Tora took his last breath while my husband and I were beside him. He was so brave, strong, and courageous, and he never showed any wimpy attitude toward his illness. It was about “living” for him, and not “dying”.


My absolute favorite picture of Tora taken by my friend, Johnny, the cat photographer! Fall 2014

He was able to walk (slowly though) and get wherever he wanted to until the very last week. He has been a very active cat his whole life, so we were so thankful that he had good quality of life right up to a couple of days before his passing. He enjoyed going outside through a cat door, sat on a shelf watching the world go by, and Mikan (his rambunctious sister) literally goes by chasing lizzards, moths, and baby snakes. Even after he partially lost his balance in walking in his last week, he attempted and succeeded to move from where he was to where he wanted to arrive by taking short three steps at a time. He even managed to go upstairs alone to rest up until three days prior. I need to mention this, five hours before he was ready to leave for a cat heaven, he hovered on the floor to get in the litterbox! Although nothing was coming out, he “did” it by lowering his butt briefly. He was such a fastidious and clean kitty. It was so amazing to see his determination and dignity behind these actions!

A mobile vet who offers euthanization had been arranged for Monday, but he completed his life cycle by his own on Sunday. He stayed laying down in his bed as if he was taking an exceptionally long nap. He looked very calm and peaceful.


“Does anyone want to pick me up in the box?” He enjoyed the box-ride daily with a special song along with it.

Tora was my first cat. He taught me so much about cats, inspired me to be the best cat care taker for any cats on earth, having fun with cats in life, and make strong loving connections with cats. His typical day consisted of a regular super-chase with Mikan starting from the backyard through the cat door and the living room up to stairs to the second floor bedrooms, “sharking” walk around the kitchen counter at the feeding time, hide-and-seek play in the kitchen cabinet (he wanted us to call his name to look for him while he’s hiding behind the cabinet door), a couple of daily mutual grooming sessions with Mikan, and at night, a long lap time with Jeffrey, and when we were all ready for bed, he would come up on our bed, flopped down next to my shoulder to tuck me in for the night.


“Give me belly rubs, please!”









“I love sitting in my daddy’s lap while he’s driving. Not to worry, I didn’t attempt to drive.”

He was a very rare cat in that he loved a car ride. When his cat carrier showed up in the living room, he voluntarily went in and waited in there for us to close the door because he knew he would get a fun ride every single time, including a trip to the vet. He was also an official greeter to everybody who came in from the front door. He especially loved the house parties. He would sit down in our conversational circle and enjoyed the company. In fact, our most recent house guest came and stayed for several days before his passing. Despite that I had told her that she might not see Tora much this time since he had difficult time walking, she told us in the next morning that he came to her room to say hello to her by meowing and walking wobbly, let her pet him, and lied down on her computer/electrical cords. He had been always a great host and polite to all the guests over the years. He did his last assignment as a chief cat greeter so beautifully and completely. I am so proud of him.


Tora taught Mikan how to properly play-fight with him, but Tora lost some games… His sister has been grown up!

When Mikan came to our house three years ago as an orphan cat, he LOVED her from the day one – he started licking her as if he was her mother cleaning her. Well, Tora didn’t know Mikan had ringworm (we didn’t know that either!). They were a match made in heaven. They play together, eat together, sleep together, and groom each other for three years! She got lots of lessons from her big brother. I’m sure she has every skills needed by now to take over his role.

We miss terribly not seeing Tora physically because he was always around us, and pretty talkative on top of that, but when I go outside and being open to nature, he comes with the wind – I feel him immediately surrounding my body so gently with love and peace, sometimes, with playfulness.

Tora & Mikan August 2014 together

“Selfie with Mikan and Mom.”


Lots of great memories…










In next blog, I will talk about my learning from taking care of Tora, and share the resources I have used and were very helpful dealing with the challenging time of caring a very sick cat.


“Selfie with Mom and Dad in my favorite car.”



Have You Spoiled Your Cats Lately?

May 6th, 2014


I am not talking about treats or extra toys thrown on the floor.  I am talking about enrichment projects that change cats’ living environment like they wouldn’t even expect in their indoor life!

Attached a carpet to the shelf with a double-sided tape

I finally decided to install shelves on the wall for my cats to climb up to the window up high in the living room.  Technically, I added this project to my husband’s “honey-do list”.  Since this is a very important project for our furry kids’ quality of life, this item went up to the first priority of all other projects, and it was completed last weekend!

We purchased nine heavy-duty 10” x 10” shelves on Amazon and attached a thin carpet from Home Depot with double-sided tape on the shelves’ surfaces for the cats’ “grip-ability”. 

The first cat to try out was Tora.  Most of the time, he always has a casual approach to new things, people, and animals.  He is much more curious than being afraid of them.  A half way done installing the shelves, Tora already tested the upper shelves, and gave my husband further “meow-go”.

"Should I go up or not?!"

"The coast is clear!"

After all the shelves were installed, Mikan was wheeled by her irresistible toy to the shelves, and she made it to the top!  Yay!!  Now, she is the one who uses the shelves everyday when her playmate is not available when she needs him.  Actually, this project was meant for Mikan.  She escaped from our cat-fenced backyard a couple of times recently, and has been looking for something more exciting out there.  While we come up with new idea for a better cat fence, we needed indoor life enrichment for Mikan.

Mikan and Tora are going up and down the shelves everyday so far this week.  To avoid a traffic jam, we might add another long shelf to create an escape route.   They often chase each other going up the shelves. 

"We need more shelves!"

It may become a never-ending project adding another shelf one by one.  Cats are very good at pushing human companion’s creative limit/edge.  Oh well, we love them so much.  We want to do whatever takes for their happiness.  Don’t you?

Yay! Mikan made it to the top!

Easy & Nutritious Chicken Soup for Your Kitty’s Soul

February 18th, 2014


When my little girl kitty, Mikan, was a kitten and was very sick with repeated high fevers, and not eating anything, I made a batch of chicken soup for the first time for the kitties.  When I put it in front of her, she smelled it, and immediately she put her head into the bowl – licked it up every single drop, and wanted more!  I am still ever thankful for the soup because it really saved Mikan’s life.

"Chicken soup gives me lots of energy to play. Yippee!!!"

I started to incorporate the chicken soup to one of our cats’ regular variety of their meals and snacks.  It contains abundance of minerals from bones in an easily digestible liquid form for cats.  Both sick and healthy cats (and dogs) benefit from this broth.  I have given away many jars for my cat friends, and their kitties love it, too!  Here is the recipe to share.  Enjoy!


  • 3-5 lb Chicken bones (any types of bones are good – a whole carcass, thigh bones, drumsticks, etc.)  You can use the bones only or you can buy fresh chicken and cook them with meat on.  5-7 lbs. with meat.  *I used pasture-raised, hormone/antibiotic free a whole chicken carcass from Richardson Farms ($7.50) at Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market this time.  
  • 2 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar *I use Braggs organic, raw, un-filtered apple cider vinegar.


"Let's get cooking!"

  1. Place the chicken bones (and meat) in a soup pot – you need a big pot. 
  2. Add water to cover all the bones and meat completely.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into the pot.
  4. Put a cover on, bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few hours, skimming the foam and extra fat (if too much) coming to the surface.
  5. After meat falls off the bones, separate and reserve the meat in a dish to give to your cats with the soup later.  Make sure there are no bones in the meat.
  6. Add more water if needed and another 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the pot with bones and continue cooking in low heat for another five to up to twenty-four hours.  The longer you cook the bones, more nutritious it gets.  I used to simmer only a few hours, but after I tried ten-hour cooking, I was blown away by the flavor and quality difference, so I cook more than ten hours these days.

    After 12 hours of cooking...

  7. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer to a big bowl to cool it down.  Make sure there is NO COOKED BONES in the soup.  It is dangerous to ingest.
  8. Pour the broth into ice cube trays for easy freezing/defrosting, or pour it into glass jars and keep them in the fridge and the freezer.  It is best to use it up within a week in the fridge (I sometimes let it last for two weeks, but the flavor diminishes some.) It lasts a few months in the freezer. 

I also use this yummy broth for human meals like stir-fry dishes and cooking quinoa and brown rice.   But we all know it is really chicken soup for your kitty’s soul!

Tora’s Visit to a Dental Specialist

April 17th, 2013

After being on the waiting list to see a dental specialist, Dr. C., we got a call from his office that there was an immediate opening on Friday morning! My husband, Tora, and I visited Dr. C. for a consultation right away. We must have been lucky to visit him on that day since it was his “off-surgery” day. He spent 1.75 hrs with us going through Tora’s dental x-rays that we brought over, examining his mouth visually, and discussed how we best proceed from here. Frankly, the information he gave us was so overwhelmingly rich and vast (as in quantity), our heads were spinning so fast by the end.

"The left canine on the screen was the healthy one. It should not have been extracted."

He started out with how the dental professionals are all trained to take X-rays in a specific universal direction, so that anyone can see the image in the “right” direction. Obviously, our previous dental vet (or tech) didn’t seem to be aware of the universal rule that all images should follow a certain orientation. In all Tora’s x-ray images, the marker (which shows only one direction – toward a nose) on each image was random in direction – that indicated that either x-ray discs were faults at the manufacturer when they were made, or the previous dental vet (or tech) was ignorant about this universal rule.

Another finding was that when Lower Right two molars extracted and sutured for the second time, the sutures didn’t hold/last. They seem to be healing over, but without the closure. We’re not sure why the sutures didn’t hold, but likely because when closing them, the skin was too tight and the pull too great. It’s also possible that Tora rubbed them and caused them to open. Thankfully at least today’s vet wasn’t worried about them. He said he would have done them differently (and better), but they seem like they will heal fully.

One of the biggest things we found out was about Tora’s canine tooth – the one wrongly extracted – was not sealed properly, yet. The extraction site is somewhat raw down there to the bone. It is trying to heal itself, but it is taking long time because food bits might have gotten in the hole etc. He suggested that It needs to be cleaned up everyday with peroxide soaked Q-tip (twice a day). In this process, “the hole” gets agitated and tightens the area, so that the healthy healing happens quicker. We are doing this once a day – that’s all Tora can tolerate. For the first run, he screamed so much that we felt so bad. It’s a two-persons job. Tora became burrito kitty. Jeffrey and I will be better team with practice, I hope.

From the x-rays, Dr. C. could tell that there were no bone fragments or root left on any extraction sites. That was a good news. He wants to see Tora’s canine tooth heals properly first. So, we will do peroxide-Qtip regimen for 10 days before next appointment. After that, we will visit him for the “correct” canine extraction. Dr. C. can see Tora has periodontal disease on-going, so he might need more extractions in a couple years – warned us it is up to us to make a decision as to extract one by one as Tora feels pain, or to extract all his teeth at once. Any experiences, opinions, anybody?

"Need more rest, thank you."

"Hey, I'm bored. My brother doesn't want to play with me."









We felt very comfortable with Dr.C. moving forward. We all agreed on our priority – that is Tora recovers fully before next “correct” surgery. As I am typing this update, Tora is sleeping in my office. I wonder what he is dreaming about… Tora is not fully back to himself, “play-boy” yet. Mikan is patiently waiting for him to play with her. Healing takes time…

Learning to Deal with Sympathy Pain – Part II – What? Wrong Tooth?

April 9th, 2013

On Friday afternoon, I was taking a cat nap in the living room – it has been an exhausting week to worry about Tora’s “un-improvement” after the dental surgery.  A telephone call from the dental vet woke me up.  First, he asked how Tora’s been doing, so I told him that the recovery is not fast, and in fact, Tora shows signs of pain and discomfort.  He suggested continuing Buprenex (pain killer).  Then, he said, “I’ve been looking over Tora’s dental radiographs… and I am so sorry that I extracted the wrong tooth.”

I couldn’t find the words to respond to what I just heard.  In my head, I was saying, “NO, no, no, no, no, it cannot be true.”  Then, I heard the vet said, “I just don’t know…I don’t know how it happened.”  I couldn’t bear the news.  My nightmare became real.  I was telling my friend a few days after the surgery that looking over the scanned copy of radiographs myself, it seemed like the wrong tooth (Lower-Right canine) was extracted instead of the correct one (Lower-Left canine).  Jeffrey called the office to help us interpret the particular radiograph because it could be our amateur eyes that making mistakes.  Sometimes radiographs’ angles can be tricky to correctly interpret.

"I don't understand...did I do something wrong?"


The office manager tried explaining that what we were seeing was in such a way that appears confusing, but said that the vet did pull the correct tooth.  At some point in our conversation (I was listening in), she realized that the wrong tooth might have been pulled, but immediately after, her logical mind seemed to over-ride her wisdom in judgment.  She reaffirmed that the vet extracted the correct canine.  As we requested, she promised to send us clearer and more detailed radiographs to us.   We didn’t receive the radiographs or a telephone call for three days until the dental vet call to admit his mistake. 

I felt sick in my gut.  What if this was a right-leg amputation done wrong instead of a left-leg?  The cat will lose both legs because of the mistake.  We are not over the emotional pain.  Tora is still on Buprenex.  He, somehow, still suffers from physical pain.  When we stop the medication, he shows the symptoms of pain (hiding in dark places, not eating, sensitive to touch, etc.)

Our original sympathy pain for Tora seemed to be getting worse.  My sister told me to take it easy because the animal’s physical/emotional healing can be amazing.  We are humans who “remember” and “hold on to” thoughts and emotions.

"Go, T.O.R.A. Toraaaa!! I'm the official cheerleader in this house!"


Our household official cheerleader, Mikan, has been an incredible supporter to us.  She is 100% happy with herself 24/7.  It was so lovely to watch Mikan giving Tora five “soothing licks” on his forehead the other day.  Tora usually glooms her.  Until his tongue gets stronger again, I am brushing Mikan every day.  The good news out of this terrible ordeal is that we (humans) are making intimate connection with Mikan.

Focusing on Quality of Life for Cats

October 22nd, 2012

First of all, thank you so much for many friends who sent me warm support and encouragement via email and on the blog.  Mikan has been appreciating them also, and in return, she has great news to share this time!

"Do you want to join me for fun?"

Mikan is doing wonderfully well.  Since I wrote my last blog, Mikan hasn’t had a high fever at all!  She is “fever-free” for two weeks – this is a world record for her!  Mikan’s energy is much more robust and lively, and her motor skills and muscle coordination are getting coherent like a REAL cat every day.  Yaaaay!

You might wonder what we did differently in these two weeks.  We decided to focus on her wellness and quality of life rather than “treating” whatever happening on her skin (there is still no diagnosis from the vet).  I decided not to use the vet-suggested OTC skin cream (Lotrimin) for ringworm nor the enzymatic shampoo for the skin itchiness.  Instead, we let Mikan out in our cat-fenced backyard to run around for one hour every afternoon.  She LOVES that time.

At first, she was overwhelmed by the different noises of the wind, the leaves, the cars, etc., but she got used to these familiar outside sounds very fast.  I learned that UV light kills ringworm fungi, so this was perfect thing to do!  I could tell that she is taking in everything that the nature offers to heal and boost her immune system.  She is engaging every movement with 100% focus outside.  What a joy to be with her to experience that feeling together!  Although Mikan has sufficient space inside her master bathroom/closet suite, nothing is better than running around on green grass, freely under the warm sunshine.

By the way, we had a new window installed in Mikan’s suite the other day, so that she can have fresh air and natural sounds from outside.  I didn’t like the previous widow which didn’t open, so I am very happy with the new one.  It is little a silly that sometimes the house project on a list gets done quickly because of the cats, not because of our needs.

"I like to be in your lap, too."

The other two things I am doing twice daily are Colloidal Silver topical application for ringworm and also homeopathy.  Somehow, Mikan likes the homeopathy – when I show her a dropper, she would come and starts licking the tip of it!  She may know exactly what she needs.  We will re-start herbal remedy this week.  As I’m observing Mikan’s growth week by week, she is certainly gaining weight and clearly getting longer (should I say, “taller”).  I’d better go and take more pictures of her now, so that I won’t miss out capturing amazing Kodak moments.

"I AM a tiger, grrrr!!"

What Do You Do to Relax Your Cat?

May 24th, 2012

"Don't like!" Paws Down...

As a cat owner, we all know that cats are finicky creatures.  Even in their familiar environment, they might jump up in the air with all fours with a sudden noise, thunder, or even simply a new stuff on the floor!!

I got to say, “Calm down kitty…” just yesterday, when I bought a bunch of crinkly gift tissue papers for Mimi to play with.  She loves tissue paper – I thought she would have more fun with more crisp, better quality papers (in my opinion).  I laid the “super crinkly” new tissue paper on the carpet just in time when she came inside through the cat door.  She immediately stopped and detected a new paper five feet away from her, she lowered her tail down. (Fear degree #1).  Then, she slowly approached the paper (I’m proud of her!)  She sniffed it.  Nothing is happening.  Then, she put her right paw on it.  “CRINK!!”  Mimi FLIPPED OUT, jumping straight up in the air with all fours!!!  What a finicky cat…  Here I have another waste of toys that didn’t work.  Oh, wait, I can still use it for the gift wrapping for humans!   Whew.

I am still learning about how to effectively relax cats in general, but here are some techniques that I know work for many cats (it may not work for ALL cats).

1)    Relax YOURSELF – When you’re anxious, panicky, or anxious, your cat is totally “in-tune” with it.

2)    Communicate with a Cat – Talk gently to your cat about what’s going on, and that it is just a temporary situation (whatever it is happening).  Then, send your cat an image of calm and peace, ensuring that everything will be the same as usual soon.  According to my animal communication teacher, animals communicate with images!  Meow.

3)    Play Sessions – It might sound counter-intuitive, but cats are craving for “intelligent things” to do.  Playing that consists of chasing and hunting something moving is totally stimulating to them, and that’s what they are hard-wired in their biology.  Believe or not, the play relaxes them.  I have seen many shelter cats who were so nervous and fearful they were sitting in back of their cage box; they came out of the box to play within 10-15 min. of our volunteers’ patient encouragement.

4)    Flower Essences – Natural vibrational energy in the flower water soften and re-balance cat’s emotional state.  I will talk more in-depth about it in a future blog!

5)    Lavender Hydrosol Spray – This is a new addition to my practice.  I tested it with a handful of my clients.  Their cats like it.  Spray it on the cat’s bedding, inside of a cat carrier, and any areas that a cat needs calming effect (i.e., inside the car).  Do NOT use essential oils because they are toxic to cats.

6)    Giving Treats – It’s best given when a cat already calmed down.  Please remember to praise them verbally, too!

Every cat I encounter in the shelter, through cat sitting, and consultations teaches me a lot about how he/she wants to be treated.  I do my best to use my abilities to interpret their messages as correctly as possible.  Will I ever learn “purr-fect” techniques?  No cat has given me the answer yet.


February 5th, 2011

SNOOOWWW!!  We had a whopping one inch accumulation of snow this morning in Austin, TX!!  If I remember correctly, last Sunday was a 78F degree day.  All day today, our cats stayed inside and cozily snuggled up with their own favorite blankets – except going to the outside litterbox.  We have another litterbox inside the house, but the both cats still like to use the outside box even in this freezing weather!  Read the rest of this entry »

Second Week in Sedona – Home Is Where the Heart Is!

December 21st, 2010

Tora and Mimi seemed much more relaxed in week two.  Tora and Mimi each found their favorite blanket on their favorite sofas, and they kept those locations every day for their morning and afternoon naps.  We found them sleeping on the exact spots when we returned from a day trip in the late afternoon.  They sometimes swapped their spots for variety. Read the rest of this entry »

Cat Preparation for a Flight Trip

July 12th, 2010

My cat,Tora, did not enjoy the airplane trip from Oregon to Florida that we took several years ago. The airline regulations were different back then: the only option we had for Tora was for him to be in the cargo area with other animals.  After about 8 hours of travel time, including the layover, my husband and I anxiously waited for Tora to come out of the animal receiving area at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Then two animals showed up on the counter.  Read the rest of this entry »