Remembering Our ‘Old Soldier’ OJ- from Mean Streets to Happy Home to Never Long Enough

Ukraine Animal Rescue

Rationalizing-Maybe Our ‘Old Soldier’ Orange Julius Just Ran Out of Time…. Home Dynamics Now Changing with 3 Remaining Cats

**Be sure to scroll all the way down for all the recent updates including RV adventure and fire**

Orange Julius in back, ‘big’ Zack in foreground circa 2019 before he lost half his body weight….but that’s another story we’ll get to.

Still trying to rationalize the rather sudden passing of OJ, just after he had gotten seemingly better with all his maladies (diabetes, kidneys, heart, etc) under control enough  to the point he could finally have his dental work done after years waiting. And then only a couple months later he’s gone. 

I guess we must factor in that OJ lived to around 19 even with all those setbacks, which is a full life  ,longer than the average cat by several years. OJ lived on the street for years, braving the elements, going from house to house to eat whatever he could get which has to compromise one’s system. No doubt it had an affect on his kidneys and perhaps heart and Diabetes and hyperthyroidism before that. From what I gather anything can happen at this point with three conditions working against each other plus ‘old age,’ i.e. organs shutting down. I really think we must have gotten as much life from OJ as possible at this point. It was almost like we were ‘propping him up’ but i did still see quality of life in OJ until the second to last day, however…

OJ was no longer able to clean himself- this had been for a long time due to his arthritis- And cats really have a cleaning instinct which must be tough to have taken away. Though he was able to walk and eat His movements had slowed significantly. I also noticed in recent months that his right leg seemed to turn out- and looked uncomfortable when he stood. While he didn’t display pain it must have been there even with the adequan and limited gabapentin we gave him. But, he was able to climb on the bed and jump a bit onto the Lazy boy ottoman. I’ve seen cats with much worse endings. Maybe it’s like General MacArthur said, ‘Old soldiers don’t die, they just Fade away. ‘And Orange Julius was definitely an old soldier-our old soldier- who’d been through his wars and fought until it was his time, I guess.  Unlike our other past cats who passed away from obvious diseases or illnesses, it wasn’t  clear that OJ passed from any one thing. He just faded away like the old soldier he was… 

So, it gets back to ‘cherish each day.’ They go so fast. I remember it used to bug me a bit at first how OJ would climb up on the bed a d greet me for food , of course, but also to greet me . He would always give that ‘Hello’ smile some cats do. So, I quickly took his early wake up calls as special  greetings for me – and that changed my entire mental outlook what a great thing to have this nice,, cute little creature come into say hello and get us going for the  day . And the same at night. What a great  treat!

Looking Ahead: New Cat Hierarchy
I never was quite sure who had been ‘the boss’ when OJ was around. There seemed to be a fair anoint of give and take with few real fights. But, even u his weakened condition Orange Julius would stand up to the others if it meant encroaching inhis territory, food or something else…

But, now with OJ no longer here, in physical presence anyway, it’s apparent now that Zack had been waiting I the wings as now he’s the one who wakes me up at 5 am and even gets on the bed for awhile (but via a Different route – not OJs stairs but a stool he jumps up on inine jump and the onto the bed. I’ve left the stairs tobsee if the other cats ever try them or will it. E one of OJ’s legacies ? Haven’t changed the litter boxes or the dripping faucet yet- may be never will, just like we never repaired the scratch marks on upholstery and food around the house from previous cats…

So, the newer cats, Pinky and Zippy are coming out of their shells perhaps for the fist time in their lives.
Prior to coming here and until OJs departure,  they Had been also relegated to living mostly under a house in an igloo (Zippy) or locked away in a single room away from a house cat who would terrorize her (Pinky). They seem to be enjoying their freedom,  now staying out of their rooms for long periods but then always going back to their secure hideaways.
Now my extra attention turns to Zack. Zack is only a little younger than OJ was and is also beset with multiple maladies including diabetes , lymphoma and early kidney disease . 

Zack, like OJ, Is a special cat (aren’t they all) But Zack is the ultimate survivor,  as I will recount. But Two years ago it just struck me how lucky I was to still have Zack and at the time, devoid of illness. Rather than let the days pass too quickly we celebrated Zack – all 25 pounds of him – with a video tribute. Zack not only was able to jump up to the second story of the cat tree but he could do a high five – or six- once up there. A year later he would no longer be able after taking ill. Fortunately, we have this video to continue to celebrate Zack. Zack is half (the size) today as what you will see in the video due to lymphoma and he has ‘hock’ flat feet brought on by diabetes below but, otherwise, he is doing well with his diabetes and lymphoma controlled. So, we have Zack, along with Zippy and Pinky to be thankful for along with the five great years that OJ gave us

VIDEO Celebrating Zack, the Carona King, then a full 25 pounds. See full Zack story HERE

So i decided to take time I didn’t have at the time to do a fun, sort-of tribute to Zack in song and video, playing up his endearing qualities. It was during the beginning of the Covid Era when people and pets, especially Zack, were fat and lazy from staying home – but In a good way. . Zack became ‘ The Corona King’
. We will share that in the video, above. But my point is that after we made the song and video, Zack was diagnosed with not only diabetes but lymphoma. His life would quickly change , unable to do some of the things in the video anymore. So, in sharing this video of Zack The Corona King we just want to say how greatful we are to zack and that we were able to have and even chronicle these special moments with him and continue to love him today

Its all about ‘Sieze the day’. Just like when Neil Diamond-a favorite of ours- who i hadn’t seen in concert for a long time- came to townin 2020 , instead of putting it off I jumped at the chance.. well, it was perhaps th bEst concert I had ever seen , especially when we learned a short time later that Diamond had Parkinsons and would stop performing. So, it’s taken me years to learn but now it’s ‘Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today!’…

Orange Julius – from Mean Streets to Happy Home – UPDATE

We keep finding more history on Orange Julius, can’t NOT post it… For those who arent’ familiar with ‘the Orange Julius Story,’ let’s first go back to the beginning, five years ago when we acquired the ‘skinny, little orange cat’ from the streets of Walnut Creek via concerned Next Door neighbors . And , we’ll follow that in chronological order. It’s been quite a ‘ride’ and OJ seemed to really touch some hearts out there, besides our own- maybe yours, too. Plus, you may pick up a tip or two for your own cat courtesy of OJ, if from our ‘adventures’ with OJ and ‘Katz’ family.

Back to early days with OJ in 2017 during the transition from Walnut Creek neighborhood street cat to Lafayette homed cat, below… Well, let’s let the folks of Next Door tell the story as they did so well back then. By the way, I believe it was Joseph’s house where I first picked up Julius…WILL PICK UP ON THE MORE RECENT STUFF FOLLOWING ‘LOOKING BACK’….


The Julius Story – More On the Travels and Eventual HAPPY ENDING for a Wonderful Homeless Cat – Part 2

  Orange Julius enjoying his ‘indoor outdoor extension’ ala Ornji, cage connected to patio door so cats can enjoy the outdoors from the safety of indoors! We will help  YOU set one of these up , too, by calling us (925-788-3316)[/caption]


The Julius Story – More On the Travels and  HAPPY ENDING for a  Wonderful Homeless Cat – Part 2

See for more

   ‘Orange’ Julius enjoying the Hi-Life 8-8-17 


SOME still ask  about Julius, the ‘skinny orange cat’ happy ending who we adopted last month. I didn’t want to over-do it on Next Door, but ‘Orange ‘    Julius is doing great. WE HAVE a daily morning routine that keeps him happy and healthy   HE is eating his special hyperthyroid diet and even gaining some weight (not surprising some described him as the ‘skinny’ orange cat… He plays a lot , running my other cat Zack ragged but good as he needs to lose weight and even gets on the bed and on my chest for brief periods, goes outside in our ‘indoor -outdoor extension’… so everything is working out well including our followup appt at the vet who said he is doing well and gaining weight. Julius’ thyroid level is almost back down to normal now. (Julius has the opposite problem of Zack- I barely give Zack any food and he doesn’t seem to lose weight whereas with Julius, he eats way more than Zack and barely puts on any weight (he’s now 12.5 lbs, up from 12 pounds last month when I first brought him to in).
(Much like the old days with Ornji…)

5-6 am – Julius usually the first one up and comes on the bed and sits on my chest until I , very willingly , get some food for him.  Zack generally joins in about the same time, looking for food. We then all run down the hall, chasing the laser to the kitchen where we have our first breakfast (consisting of Julius special thyroid diet, both wet and dry mixed and Zack with his special weight loss diet (wet and dry mixed).  Then it’s back to bed for awhile
6-7 am We play with laser and snake charmers before going into ‘new’ clean garage to hang out for awhile where cats play with their toys and catnip bananas in loungers while I work on my garage organizing.

Oj and Zack liked the garage- perhaps smelled the rats

Then it’s out into the outdoor ‘extension’ with the rising sun where one or both of the cats hang out for a short time. Then, it’s brunch time  ( Usually, the cats have several smaller meals rather than two bigger ones. I pick up the food when they stop eating so that one doesn’t get the other’s food. ) We also feed the birds just outside the window so the cats enjoy WASHING themselves as they WATCH the birds feed.

7-8 am Back to finish sleeping with Julius and Zack joining me (one or the other, on the bed – though the two get along they’re not at the point where they’ll jet be on the bet together.

9-10 Julius will usually take his first siesta , in the shower or bathtup , of all places, while Zack will usually get on the bed or cat bed in living room

SIESTA TIME (See picture below) The rest of the day isn’t a whole lot different with much of the above repeated with some naps in between though Julius keeps on the go more than your average cat

Julius and Zack becoming fast friends – when they can nap together 8-8-17
Forgot how OJ earlier would somehow climb up on desk to get my attention. He would still try in later days but it became too difficult for him although I would help him up on occasion. I guess he wanted to supervise me up close.

PS  In honor of ‘Orange Julius’ I learned to make the old orange drink (with milk andContinued from previous post –




MAY 24 2017F W , Saranap

Orange Tabby Cat Searching for Home

There is an orange tabby cat in our neighborhood (near Boulevard Way and 24 in the Saranap) that is trying very hard to find its home. It is hungry, but looks like it was recently well cared for. It is very much a people cat and wants to come into our house. We thought it might be Robin May’s cat but she paid us a visit and it is not hers. Someone is missing this cat very much and we would like to help reunite the cat with its home. If you can help, give me a call at 925-285-9092 – Fred Warren   (EDITOR’S (burt) NOTE: THAT’S DEFINITELY JULIUS LEFT OUT ON HIS OWN OVER AMONTH BEFORE WE GOT HIM

24 May · 46 neighborhoods in Lost & FoundThankReplyReply

10 Thanks · 22 Replies

SW Saranap·24 May
See if he answers to Harley. Then call Robyn May at 925-395-1390. Their cat went missing the other say Thank1 Thank

Lynn Lyons

Lynn Lyons, Saranap·24 May
Are you near Clover Lane?there was a large tabby that used to come on our porch. I a worried that he might have belonged to neighbors who moved recently. Thank  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, we are connecting the dots perhaps several months or years after that family moved away)

Kt, Saranap·24 May
Fred ~ this is Julius! His family has moved and a few neighbors on Clover Ln are taking care of him, me being one of them! He is very very sweet and just wants a home. Problem is he doesn’t really get along with other cats. He is about 15 years old. So please feed him, love him & keep an eye on him!! And if anyone close by wants to give him a forever home, please let us know as I look for him when I haven’t seen him in a few days! Edtior’s note: confirmed by KT – JULIUS!  Thank1 Thank

Fred Warren, Saranap·24 May
Thank you Lynn and Julius! Clover Ln. is just behind our house, so this is certainly the same cat. We have four cats so he cannot come to live with us, but I can try to give him food when he comes by. He is a wonderful cat and deserves better than being abandoned. I hope someone can find a place for him. EDITOR: Thanks FW –
Wed did take him in!  Thank2 Thanks

Anne Staunton, Saranap·24 May
Karen, I’m confused, are you saying that this sweet senior cat aged 15 was abandoned by his family?! And he was left to fend for himself on the streets? This makes me very angry. (Editor note: Yes, we agree, but, thankfully, we were able to adopt him) Thank2 Thanks

K T Saranap·24 May
Hi Fred ~ sorry, I wasn’t really clear….Julius is the name of the cat! He is a love!! Thank You for watching out for him!! Thank1 Thank

Kt  Saranap·24 May
Hi Anne ~ well yes and no. I took in their other cat so they asked my neighbor across the street if they would keep an eye out for him. Kay said she would but he can’t be inside because she has a cat. I have 6 cats myself. But he hadn’t lived at their house in years…he didn’t like their dogs. So we’ve been taking care of him for years. He is very comfortable in the neighborhood and it sounds like there are at least 3 of us that are for sure watching out for him. Yes, it is very disheartening when people don’t take care of their animals…Julius is a very sweet kitty and very independent. But trust me, we are taking care of him <3 Thank7 Thanks

Cindy Humphrey, Trails Area·24 May
That’s great news. So he doesn’t need a home correct? Thank

Karen Trestrail

Karen Trestrail, Saranap·24 May
Well Cindy ~ it’s a tough question. He is very comfortable in our neighborhood ~ all the people that are caring for him LOVE animals and we would never just let him wander around without food, water & love. I have 2 cat beds in my yard for him and my neighbor had one on her front porch but he quit using it. He is 15 years old and does not get along well with other animals. We’ve been taking care of him for years! Even when the owners lived here he never went to their house. So far he is doing ok! Thank2 Thanks

Anne Staunton

Anne Staunton, Saranap·24 May
Karen and others helping this kitty, well done! But older cats get confused and cold and more in need of indoor protection. Hopefully all will work out well! Thank2 Thanks

Karen Trestrail

Karen Trestrail, Saranap·24 May
Very true Anne ~ if he needs vet care we will take him. I do worry about the evenings and last winter for sure, but he did fine. My neighbors who feed him has kids that just love him!! As long as it’s working out for Julius, I think it’s ok. When that changes we will make the right decision for him <3 We just want him to be loved, fed and happy!! Thank4 Thanks

Karen Trestrail

Karen Trestrail, Saranap·25 May
I would like to add that if there is a neighbor who would want to give him a “forever” loving home, where he could sleep inside when he wanted, I think that would be great! Please contact me if…

BACK TO 2022:

Thanks to all the above who cared about Julius and allowed us to take over for the Saranap neighbors who looked after him. It was a pleasure and treat for us to have another Orange cat after recently losing Ornji cat- who had originally walked up to our house asking to live with us – to liver cancer (we only had Ornji for a short time – and nearly lost him even earlier to a house fire (more on that: initially couldn’t remember if it was Ornji cat or Orange Julius in the fire as it happened about at the transition)…


We include this information not only for ‘fans’ of OJ but for others with cats that may benefit from what OJ went through. So, if your cat has any of these maladies maybe OJ’s experiences can be of help. They seemed to work with for OJ

  1. Hyperthyroidism

FYI – When Julius came to us we quickly learned he was HYPER-THYROID, and unable to take the little white pills. The only option for him was to have the new ‘Radio-Cat’ radiology treatment where he stays at a special hospital for a week getting infusions that would, hopefully, totally wipe out the hyperthyroidism. It took about 3-6 months to get an appointment to see if OJ would qualify for the $1,500 Radiocat treatment. When we finally went for the interview at VIP hospital in downtown Oakland, we were given the green light and I left OJ for almost a full week there where he was well cared for and came back a ‘new’ cat!…no longer the HYPER, SKINNY, RAVENOUS kittY that the Saranapers may remember but a ‘normal’ cat who more or less acted his age, of 15 or so, according to Karen of Saranap. It was amazing to see the transition, seeing OJ go from acting more like a kitten to a senior, but it was certainly better for his health – and his knew buddies who could now co-exist with a cat acting more their age.

Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Well, the Radiocat therapy was necessary and a good thing, however, it exposed two more OJ illnesses that had been ‘masked’ by the hyperthyroidism. Those were kidney disease and diabetes. LIving on the streets eating not always the healthiest food can exacerbate that. So, not much later ‘we’ began treatment for kidney disease and diabetes.

2. Kidney Disease

Stage 3 Kidney disease involves hanging a bag of ‘sub q’ fluids from a ‘drip’ bag and putting the needle end of the tubing into the fatty area near OJ’s shoulder blades. I had done this 20 years earlier for my dear late sister’s doggie, Pucky, so I was familiar with the procedure, that usually requires two people. But I was able to hang the bag on the towel rack in the bathroom and at once put the needle in his neck to start the drip after opening the spigot . The trick here is to have some good food on the floor to distract OJ while the drip continues for several minutes. At first I hadn’t figured out the addition of food and OJ would NOT let me stick him very long, so we had to do it two times a day. After figuring out OJ’s favorite food, kibbles with water -normally we didn’t give him the higher carb kibbles but rather wet food – but for this treatment we did whatever we could. We were able to go to every other day with .75 ml which gave us all a much needed day in between. And, after awhile it became part of the daily routine – yes, daily, as OJ was switched from every other day to .5 ml every day. So, like clockwork, OJ came to NOT ONLY accept but expect his now sodium chloride drip every morning at 11 am WITH FAVORITE FOOD.

3. Diabetes

The concurrent diabetes treatment for OJ involved two daily shots of insulin 12 hours apart with food . We tried to stay around 7 am wakeup breakfast and 7 pm dinner.

Fortunately these shots are small doses that only take seconds. Again, the trick is to have them eating, and OJ was a usually a GREAT eater.

To monitor the ‘blood glucose’ was the biggest issue. This had to be done several times a day to avoid, primarily, having low blood sugar. Monitoring is either a matter of going to the vet OFTEN or doing it yourself. Probably 90% of people do it themselves with either test strips or, now, Freestyle Libre app or ‘reader’. It took awhile to get the hang of it but this libre – made really for humans but works for cats , too, as long as they don’t knock of the sensor. Once every two weeks, OJ, and later Zack (who also developed diabetes) would go in to the vet to have the FL sensor installed on their back. With the phone app I’d scan the sensor every couple hours to be sure the blood glucose remained in ‘normal’ range between 50 and 300. Actually, we learned that it was best to stay between 150 and 350 so as not to go to low. Just as important was to see that they were drinking and peeing enough but not too much. OJ was real good at this, only having to take 1-1.5 ml glucose, whereas Zack is still taking 3.0 twice a day and wants to knock off his sensor whereas OJ wasn’t flexible enough to knock off his. {We have to put a sweater cover on Zack, so he doesn’t knock it off). Only a few times did OJ drop into the danger zone below 50 on the blood glucose scale. In that case we gave him some high carb food like Friskies with gravy , baby food or karo syrup, which are recommended. Someitmes it takes awhile for the blood glucose to re-regulate itself: just be sure not to panick and give more than one dose every 12 hours’ if you’re not sure if it all went in, just don’t compensate. Meanwhile, we noticed OJ and Zack’s water consumption and ‘pee clumps’ were getting smaller, which was also a good sign. So, as noted elsewhere, we got OJ regulated pretty well, with the help of the Kidney and diabetes support groups and kept charts to show the vets for possible needed changes. ( The Freestyle LIbre has great charts that show the daily fluctuations one can email their vets.)


For food, we tried to get OJ wet food that was low carb . However, the problem would be with the protein . For diabetes, protein is not so much an issue as it is for kidneys, however, we learned that this too, has been relaxed in recent years. Just search for kidney or diabetes food databases and you can find foods listed that are low in carbs – and phosphoros is imporant, too, that it is low- and protein levels. You usually want to stay away from heavy gravies, which are usually higher in carbs. Simple meat or fish dishes are usually lowest in carbs (sugar) , such as many of the Weruva or Tiki foods and ‘Just for Cats,’ which is probably the healthiest if not the tastiest. We were surprized to learn that even Fancy Feast pates are generally low in carbs – and of course ALL cats LOVE Fancy Feast. We hadn’t given it much until we recently learned of this – and, also, Fancy Feast came our recently with a ‘naturals’ line and also [seniors 7-plus) which are better quality and still very palatable and liked by all of our cats.

The big no-no is dry food. Dry food is much higher in carbs, however not to say you can’t give occasionally as treats or rewards. Crave is one of the few lower carb dry foods that our cats like, but maybe a bit high in protein – or Science Diet Senior 11+ is a healthier bet.

4.) Heart Disease

On top of everything else, we learned along the way that a hard life on the road is also not good for the heart . Yes, OJ had also developed some heart disease, too, particularly ‘thickening of heart’ muscle in the lower ventricle, I believe. So, poor OJ didn’t miss a beat. Fortunately, the heart disease was still controllable where it was – just needed to be monitored with a ultra sound every 3-6 months.

Amazingly, OJ was not regressing with all these diseases. Kidney values had stayed about the same the last year or more. Glucose, likewise with only 1.5 ml needed in later stages, and of course the heart atrophy hadn’t advanced. We’re big believers in ‘pro-active’ treatment, to keep ahead of problems as much as possible – and OJ was able to do that.

5. Dental

Then, there’s the dental issue, that can’t be ignored since it relates to other body issues and bad teeth can affect the rest of the system. However, because of all the other stuff going on we were never really able to address his dental issues other than an initial consultation and basic cleaning. But, after four years and finally regulating all his other problems, wonderful vet, Dr B, who recently retired, said it’s time to give it a go. Problem now is that , with covid, and other issues, there were few, if any dental specialists with anesthesia around with overnight capabilities in the event that issues develop. The vet in San Carlos who took out ALL of Zack’s teeth had to turn down OJ for this reason. We did finally get on UC Davis’ 6 month waiting list and similar with SAGE, Redwood City. However, we got lucky with SAGE, after a phone call between Dr B and them and we had an appointment early January of this year for a consultation – and the work done a week later! OJ did have to stay overnight, not that there were any complications, but because they got a late start after forgetting to give him one of the drugs or something not too serious but delaying. It was a great adventure down to Redwood City, with OJ behaving like a good boy and then the ride home with eight less teeth and a better smile.


So, we thought that ‘ageless’ OJ was all set to really start living, with the dental work finally behind him and everything else seeming to going ‘swimmingly,’ as they say.

That was January. And not even a month later, OJ started leaving some presents on the rug, pee on the carpet but nothing that seemed to serious. But, by late February he seemed to definitly be slowing down. HIs food intake wasn’t quite as good . For a cat with multiple issues including major arthritis, he seemed realtively happy. He still would come in to wake me up every morning for food and brushing; in fact it became even earlier. Only the last week, mid-March did I start having some concern and made an appointment. That’s when we found out OJ had dropped two pounds, which is a lot for a 13 lb cat to drop. Dr C also noticed a lesion on his cheek she thought could be cancerous.

Never did find out about the cheek nor what else could have caused OJ’s rather rapid decline the last days of March. Two days after that checkup with Dr C OJ wasn’t doing well at all. I took him back to the sub vet, who was very worried , after just looking at OJ. There was talk of an infection from the dental work so she gave him a general antibiotic and a sedative, Thursday the sub vet called that blood work showed an elevated white blood count, indicative of an infection. So, I broought OJ back Friday and the sub-vet told me OJ ‘did not look good at all..’ that she could see ‘the end’ in his eyes. I was in shock and had trouble believing it at first. Why now? I though OJ had been getting better overall, until the last week or so. OJ did eat some Friday afternoon and I was thinking the antibiotic was kicking in. But That Friday night, April 1, I only got him to eat a little -and then only a lick of his little churro pate. I decided if he wasn’t doing better by the next morning, Sat., April 2, 2022 I would take him in. 7 am rather that wait for our regular vet to open, I thought I’d take him to the specialist.

Saturday morning the ‘second opinion’ from the specialist was the same as the first opinion. OJ’s body temp was dropping and it didn’t look good at all. Even if I did ‘vote’ against the consensus I would lose so I went with the professionals and around 9 am April 2, Orange Julius , with me by his side, was taken to a ‘better place.’ I sat with him for awhile. He looked the same, like he was sleeping. My lady friend came by to support me as we said our goodbyes to OJ, my buddy.

It seemed like the almost five years with Orange Julius had gone by much too fast. So much of the time it was just trying to keep him well. But OJ never got real sick. Illness became his middle name, at age 19 or so, and he handled it well. Most cats don’t live to 19. So, OJ, who seemed not to miss a disease, somehow survived this long, was perhaps more than can be expected.

While I still don’t know exactly what was the main reason for his passing, I will tlry to accept it. ‘Old age’ was never in our lexicon. Perhaps it was the tumor found in his cheek or the perhaps the combination of the diabetes, kidneys and heart spiking at once, as Dr F noted was likely.


I Didn’t Think It would be this difficult to go on

OJ In action coming  out of catio



Orange Julius In his new home in Lafayette 2017

Almost five years ago, July 2017, – seems like yesterday-we adopted Orange Julius, who had been wandering the streets of Walnut Creek and folks on Next Door begged for someone to adopt this sickly, skinny but friendly cat.

Having just lost Ornji cat, after a long tough battle with
Lymphoma, I thought JULIUS, as he was well known and popular in Walnut Creek, would be the perfect new friend for big Zack, then our 28-pounder, who had barely survived fatty liver disease one cold fall after being left on the doorstep by his foreclosed owner some 10 years ago. He would soon shrink to less than 15 pounds before we over compensated for his illness.

Julius, as he was then known, had been passed around and fed by various neighbors at different times. But, as much loved as he was , nobody adopted him. When I said that I would come take him, I had to go thru an interview by one of those neighbors who looked after Julius. I had to plead my caSe for adoption to a doubting Thomas who quickly came around to realizing our St. MARYS RD. he would be a good place for Julius to finally have a permanent home with a doting Dad and ‘brother’ Zack.

ORANGE JULIUS ( as In the 1960s blender drink) -as he was now called with his new presence- initially got his own room until blending in with his new brother and becoming amicable if not good friends whike taking over the whole 1600 sq ft house.. Zack was a big tough guy but Orange Julius , or OJ, was a wise street-smart cat , but the two would soon get along after an occasional fight.

As mentioned, OJ was said to be 15 but he acted more like 10, running g around the house, sometimes terrorizing the slightly younger Zack. (The same person who said he was 15 also said he was deaf, which he wasn’t at all, so I’d figure him 15 maybe 12 or 13 at the time.
We would soon find out one key reason for OJs hyper-activiy was because
He was hyper-thyroid.

Right off we had a predicament wit OJ. He wasn’t aware to tolerate those little white thyroid pills at all. The only othef option to regulate his thyroid and live a normal life was to have rhe newish ‘Radio-cat’ treatment where he goes to a special hospital foe a week to be. Radiated and have his thyroid basically removed, as I recall. But, first he had to be strong enough and pass a battery of tests, which he would.

A week and well spent $1500. -which In surance wouldn’t cover due to his pre-existing condition- later, OJ was a ‘normal cat,’ not running around like a hungry kitten all the time but now moving rather slowly like the 12 or 13 year old, senior cat he was meant to be. I know Zack was glad about this.

As the now ‘mature ‘ cat , OJ would sometimes still run up and down the hall like a crazed cat, often chasing ‘fat cat’ Zack and making him get off his butt.

It was nice to see OJ settle down iba real home and not on the streets, though I often wonder what kind of bad things he might have had to endure tha could have taken a toll (average outdoor cats only live four to five years, they say).

Two years ago, OJ and Zack got two new roomates, Zippy and Pinky, from No CA after their caregiver passed away and we saved our friends from going to the pound and potential early demise. Though cats can be pretty stoic, I think OJ and Zack liked having new friends- as long as they would spend most of their time in their respective rooms so Zack And OJ could remain ‘masters’ of the house.

I don’t think it was the stress of their new friends who were mostly in their room, but about the time of the new cats’ arrival both OJ and Zack each developed not one but two serious illneases.

With OJ , first, it was diabetes, which we are told haD been ‘masked’ by the hereto fore hyperthyroidism. So, just as we thought OJ was free and clear of disease there was this. But with expert assistance from our vet(s) and diabetes support group, and the new and revolutionary ‘Freestyle Libre ‘ sensor/app , we’ve been able to control OJ’s diabetes. And, he has been able to maintain a low level dose of glucose, which h e gets I n the form of shots morning and night with the help of a low-carb diet, not unlike the one his guardian is on.

With Zack also developing diabetes, Zack and OJ became the ‘libre’ twins, both sporting Libre sensors – not really
Intended for cats but rather, humans, but about which they were good sports. They sometimes went together for their bi-weekly sensor installation appointments.

When it rains it pours

As we were just getting the diabetes controlled, what happens but both OJ and Zack showed signs of kidney disease, with OJs stage 3 . Perhaps with OJ it was from all that high-carb, high protein, high phosphoros junk food he ate on the streets before coming to is. In fact, it was bad enough for OJ he’s had to take sug-q fluids daily through a syringe.

Add yet a third malady for each cat…. Somewhere along the line OJ developed heart issues with a murmur and thickening of lower Heart area. We were told the last two 4 month checkups that the issue had not advanced and OJ’s heart was not a big issue if it maintained. With Zack it was Lymphoma which requires a weekly B12 shot. Both cats also got a weekly adequan shot for pain and comfort.

With all this Zack and OJ, now the equivalent of 100 years old human years, at least 16 or 17 and with OJ likely 18 or 19, both were doing really well
….up until last week when OJ seemed to be slowing down. He wasn’t eating quite as well and we made an appointment just in case for last Wednesday and it’s good we did because that morning of March 30
OJ made it up his little stairs to the bed but plopped down, no longer able to stand. As noted, we were only a few hours from Our vet appointment . I had no idea if OJ would be able to walk- but he was when we got to the vet and they tested him. I was afraid to give him more gabapentin, which I thought had caused some of his wobbliness (in retrospect, probably not), so he was pretty ornery with the techs but they were still able to take OJs blood sample.

Proceed 24 hours and we hear from sub vet that OJ did have elevated white blood count which could mean an infection or…. So we came back the next day, April 1, and took one look at him and said saw that look I his eyes that cats have when they’re at the end of life. Well, this caught me by surprise, to say the least. I didn’t see it. At least an antibiotics was worth a try, if not a culture, which comes back Monday, and maybe even an ultrasound if OJ makes it to that point, (hard to say these words).
More on that and OJ NOW in a bit.. but first

Looking Back
Once OJ stabilized after coming to me
and going through his hyperthyroidism removal and and then working out his diabetes and kidney regimen,
He managed to have a good quality of life and up to last week or even last couple days, I’d say.

Zack and Orange Julius would enjoy going outside in their new patio ‘catio,’ among other activities . There Julius would play with his catnip bananas for hours. The last year saw OJ spend more time indoors and Zack would be the one to stay almost all day- in spring and summer, anyway- in the catio, where he is right bow.

Down to a Science
With almost five years and several since initiating his DIABETES and kidney therapy, we seemed to really get to know each others wants and needs. As of last month I got to thinking how nice it is that OJ seems to maintain a real predictable scheduke:

5 am early wake up call with OJ climbing on the bed to greet me and ask for so.e kibble. I usually would give him a handful and roll over and, begrudgingly, he’d let me go back to sleep , until
7 am check his glucose reading,, breakfast and shots.
Both OJ and sometimes Zack would greet me on my bed and the I’d proceed to carry each I one arm To the kit hen for breakfast and diabetes shots. It was then a question of pi ki g the right food, which c I yld be tricky

11 am snack time and kidney shot

For OJ I would bring him to the hall bathroom where I had the sub q fluids bag Hung just as I had done 20 years ago with Pucky dog. The trick here was to have some good food OJ would like, to distract him from the needle. I got good at this and su cceeded about 29 of 30 times getting him eating, inserting the neadle in his neck fur and keeping him eating the 2 to 3 minutss to get all .5 ml in him. After that he would usI ally get up on ottoman where I’d let him fi ish the food

2 pm lunch

I always insisted that OJ walk to the kitchen for his lunch for exercise, rather than carry him or take the food to him
Oj was always right o schedule

4 pm optional snack for both if they weren’t heavily into afternoon naps or in the catio (Zack, who would usually come in at the mention of food)

7-8 pm dinner and glucose shots and readi gs

11pm OJ would come I to rhe living room fro the edroom like clockwork to tell me to go to sleep . He was good for me, especilly recently , keeping me from staying up too late

And so it went.. with lots of fun In between…brushing , ‘churro’ finger snacks, special water with spscial kibble for OJ and and kibble for Zack…

IT’s been a bad month . BESIDES the disheartening stuff going on in our society and culture today we also lost our good feline friend, Jasper, rather suddenly last week. (> )
Still in some shock from that , now we may lose our favorite Orange cat any moment.

While we hope for the best, we’ve learned to expect the worst but always do whatever we can. So , as we write this as therapy, OJ lays on the carpet in thr corner of living room, presumably in no pain after treatment given him this morning, now as far away as he can get from reality. Sometimes I wish I could do the same.

Early Sat morning, April 2,
OJ hasn’t moved all night, trying to hide under the piano but still showing some attentiveness as if not wanting to say goodbye. Took a lick of the churro paste off my finger thks morn but that was it. Making a few sad sounds but doesn’t seem in real pain. Zack got what would have been OJs Friskie gravy breakfast OJ was eating yesterday. OJ was quiet on car ride over here to vet but let me pet him.


So we’re now here at Encina Vet Sat morning 7:45 am. They’re  checking his vitals and if stable will wait half hour for docs to finish their Rounds to give one more conclusive evaluation before making any big decisions .

Tech just reported OJs vitals were NOT stable (not surprised). Body temp was low so they’re keeping him in rathsr than letting him stay In Car with me.

I was thinking how OJ had actually improved overall health by Jan when he was able to finally be well enough to have major dental work.but as Dr R said here it’s hard to control three competing illnesses at once and they caught up with Oj

As I waited in the car , they called to say OJ was rapidly declining so I came in to be with OJ his final moments.

When he came in the room he gave me a few big purrs and tried to get up. OJ passed at 8:20 am

Gonna miss OJs early wake up calls, jumping on the bed and on me ….and everything else about Orange Julius, my buddy

OJ In action coming  out of catio

Finally, thanks to those who made OJs life better, like Mindy who gave us those wonderful little doggie stairs so OJ could climb up on the bed, which was his favorite daytime napping place. No other stairs worked but those.. but thanks especially to OJ for his unique persona and sharing it with us lo these last fast-moving five(!) Years!  ,

There were times during these past years I didn’t think OJ would even be around this long, but then after all the great vet care and TLC and OJs will to live- right up until the day before he passed I got to rethink that he’d keep going at least another year. But 19 is pretty good and I loved helping him out when things got rough- but OJ made it pretty easy for us , overall, (just like Hershey dog -seen elsewhere on this sight- a few years earlier, who lived a full extra year of quality life after it was suggested we put him down!

Did I say, the hard part of losing OJ is that this final ending came pretty much without warning- just after he improved enough to get his teeth done? I already miss him but now at least Zippy and Pinky will get more than OJ’s  leftovers (kidding) and more attention and I think I’ll let them have the run of the house so Zack can have full time buddies around. Hopefully, this lump in my throat will go away…thanks for your support. 

After Hershey, I have no thoughts to ‘put him down early’ but I like to praise when we’re still alive and
OJ has had a good long life, surviving an additional five years than he might have on the ‘mean streets’ of Walnut Creek.
Its never long enough but 19 or so is a good long life for a cat- same as our previous two ‘adult cats,’ Weepy and April. But, if we lose OJ he’ll be the first one to pass of no real illness -or many illnesses- or maybe they do pass from ‘old age,’ which I never quite understood.

Afternoon today after getting back from vet, OJ went to hiding In His litter box again -not a good sign- but then came out and wasn’t able to climb on bed but let me put him there, where he was willing to take bites of fave foods and a lot of sips from the kibble- water tray, which had become a favorite.

As I was writing this Friday afternoon,, March 30, OJ gave me brief hope by eating more so I ran out AND spent $150 on every possible food he might eat…like special ‘slurpy’ (gravy) foods I knew or thought he would eat . (He had been a very good eater until last few days so I didn’t normally buy the high-carb gravies, not so good for diabetes and kidneys). But when I got home an hour later he was back in hiding but did eat very little from my vast smogasboard.

And here we stand or sit. Not expecting too much but will try to get through the day.

Will try to call the regular vet first thing
In morning if there’s anything that can be done now or hope OJ hangs on to Monday when the culture comes back from lab. But, of course, in retrospect that would never happen – and we never even bothered to learn of the results of the culture (maybe we should

Didn’t think this would hit me so hard but,…. with everything else compounding it.

So, OJ made it through the night, as noted earlier not moving much. He didn’t vomit or have diahrea, ,or the usual things that often happen to cats in last days. It was a little early for regular vet so I thought It a good idea to go to special emergency vet , who had seen OJ before, for a second opinion, which as we know, pretty much c h confirmed the first opinion so there’s be no later questions.

We spent many minutes together when they brought back OJ in the room for our sad goodbyes. .it was nice to get once last loud purr, whether from pain or to say hello one last time- andgoodbye to my buddy. .sometimes, with all the difficult times I had briefly overlooked what a sweet cat that was Orange Julius- and he will always be so in our hearts.

Goodby OJ for now but see you again one day at the Rainbow Bridge

Orange Julius, Our Buddy- from Mean Streets to Happy Home- I didn’t think it would be this difficult to say goodbye

MORE THOUGHTs of Orange JuIlius

OJ’s Lessons:

One of many things OJ helped me with was to go to bed on time- and to wake up (as we know). I used to stay up past midnight watching TV. He’d come In the living room while I was watching TV at exactly 11 pm every night and get me to go to bed and give him his ch-ch-churro and kibbles in water, his favorites


I may always have lingering questions. What did OJ pass away from or was it really just ‘ old age’, whatever that is.? I’m trying hard to prevent surprises , as we had his diabetes and kidney and heart under control to the point he was able to have aneasthetic ,with major dental work just in Jan.  I guess they could get cancer anytime like OJs predecessor Ornji did not long after he came to me… but it’s a little disconcerting when one is doing ‘all the right things’ and it still happens. Now, I’m overly concerned about Zack and his Lymphoma and other issues

OJ In action coming out of catio

Finally, thanks to those who made OJs life better, like Mindy and those wonderful little doggie stairs so OJ could climb up on the bed, whichbwas his favorite daytime napping place. No other stairs worked but those.. but thanks especially to OJ for his unique persona and sharing it with us lo these last fast-moving 5(!) Years! ,

There were times during these past years I didn’t think OJ would even be around this long, but then after all the great vet care and TLC and OJs will to live- right up until the day before he passed I got to rethink that he’d keep going at least another year. But 18 or 19 is pretty good and I loved helping him out when things got rough- but OJ made it pretty easy overall.

Did I say, the hard part of losing OJ is that this final ending came pretty much without warning, just after improving enough to get his teeth surgery? I already miss him but now at least Zippy and Pinky will get more than OJ’s leftovers (kidding) and more attention and I think I’ll let them have the run of rhe house so Zack can have full time buddies around. Hopefully, this lump in my throat will go away…thanks for your support.

Continuing thoughts:

,- Tues, April 5- my todays therapy session

Thanks to the many of you kind folks who have responded to our loss of Orange Julius. Whether ‘pet people’ yourselves, you understand what it’s like to lose one’s beloved cat or pet-no different or maybe harder than losing a human as you’re with them so much and they give back.

I’m still pretty numb but managed to get out a little And do some things like car repair and new tires- can’t bear to work on my taxes yet. … but mostly thinking and reminiscing, whether that’s good or bad…

When OJ first came t o me he would only drink out of the bathtub faucet, which has been dripping now for five years. He wouldn’t drink the bottled water at first. He did finally drink for awhile from one of those cat water fountains and even bowls. But I’ve never turned off the bathtub faucet because that was his favorite – and I can’t yet find myself turning it off.

Orange Julius was , by far , the most ‘needy’ cat of the four due to his age and medical issues, but he was willing to accept the (three) daily shots and pills and other things we had figured out together-how OJ could best handle them, usually with food.

I admired OJ’s tenacity and fight to get thru, first , his days living on the streets and then all these medical issues . He persevered with very bad arthritis but he kept up his daily routine, discussed earlier >

Today, for the first time, ‘newcomers’ Pinky and Zippy and of course Zack got the early morning royal treatment OJ used to get after waking me up. Now it was Zack ‘s turn to wake me up at 6am-at least I got an extra hour.
Now Pinky and Zippy will get the extra attention they didnt get while OJ was around, like having the run of the whole house we couldn’t always do caring for OJ. And, Zack will have ,hopefully, enjoy their company as he did OJ’s .

Now, we move on to this next phase of life with the Katz, with three instead of four. I now have developed a fear that something could happen rather suddenly to Zack- call it ‘old age’ or whatever. Until OJ I’ve been fortunate in recent years to have warning and time to enjoy and say goodbye to pets . Even though I should have maybe been more ‘prepared’with OJ, noting his three illnesses, I thought they were controlled. As noted , I still have lingering questions exactly what OJ passed from rather than just old age,’ I failed to mention, i think, that Dr C found a mouth tumor at our exam three days before she passed that she warned could be cancer, perhaps having to do a possible indicated infection fro. The recent dental work. We may never know for sure but it’s weighing on my mind now.

II will just stay on top of things with Zack and his lymphoma and diabetes. We have a followup next week. Please no more quick surprises. Zack is probably a few years younger tha. OJ was and ,other than his flat ‘hock feet ‘ from Diabetes (OJ never got, interedtingly) Zack is doing really well, moving a lot ,eating well. He even jumped up on the bed twice this morn he rarely did when OJ was ‘king.’

Thanks for sharing my today’s ‘therapy’ session

4-6 Orange Julius – more personal therapy. It’s getting a little better

I was thinking how we had just even done more ‘down to a science.’ When it came to the once difficult task of giving OJ sub q fluids for diabetes by hanging t he sodium chloride bag from the towel rack in middle bathroom at exactly 11 am (seconds feeding) with fave kibbles in water and one other dish on the bathroom floor-julius is rhe only cat that got two different bowls of food to make sure he’d eat aT least one of them , we added on to that… since OJ didn’t like to stay in The bathroom any longer tha he had to, he would walk away when I told him we were done with sub q shot and Zack would be right there to finish OJs a ND begin his second meal of the day. When Zack was done a few minutes later(fast eater) I would bring remaining food (double wide metal ) to the papered ottoman ext to easy chair where OJ preferred to stay and eat near, where OJ could finish the 11 am meal he originally started. So that got the major meals and shots and mess out of the way for the day in one big ‘ fell swoop ‘ (whatever that means).

I was thinking again about what could have been and realized that I’ve been worried about OJ slowing down for some time now. The last week was worst but last summer and spring he would go out in the catio but not this year. Even though he didn’t seem in pain and kept his schedule, bonding with me on the bed mornings and nights he really didn’t move much . The last month he started leaving g me a lot of ‘prwsents’ on the carpets bed. He had to be shampooed since he couldn’t groom himself due to arthritis, so maybe he DIDNT really have the best quality of life, but that was for some time…just thinking.

Anyway, beneficiaries of OJs a sense have been Zippy and Pinky, who have never had a real home, being stuck in rooms with me and even living under a house in Redding, CA when I got them. So, today they seemed pretty happy being out for hours roaming the house and catio. And, while they were out of their rooms , Zack got to go in what was once his room up in the window!
This should be interesting… .and do inform two more therapy sessions and report back how the three are dealing. Zack has noticeably been missing his buddy OJ and comi.g to me more for attention. But he’s enjoying outside in the catio right now and had a full day pretty much as normal.

By the way, I will to away tomorrow ,April 7 , on a rare road trip-for my birthday, as I do every year possible- just a few hours to Fresno and back in the afternoon and early evenjng when they’re usually sleeping, so hopefully they won’t miss me. I do t like to be gonelo.g but once I a while I have to get away…
Which reminds me….a few years back shortly after I got Julius and before Zippy and Pimky we tried to take an RV trip- OJ, Zack and I. After barely getting two reluctant cats inlarge pens that barely fit in the RV , we only got a mike or two after a lot of wailing that quickly told me it was going to work. I think since then they’ve become more accuatomed to car rides to the vet and might be abke to do it today, but ,no, I think the RV idea was shorti-lived bad adventure ideA.


Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special, someone who was left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.    His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers.    Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass, faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.    The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Author unknown

NEXTDOOR Summaries and Comments 4-2-22 plus (Thanks to all those commenters, some who knew him when he was Julius back in 2017):

Burt Kaufman
 • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorThanks very much.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Erin K.

Erin K. • Saranap IIBurt I also take c/o a “Street Cat from Saranap”. I call him Outside Kitty. Your story tugged at my heartstrings.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


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Stephanie Harriman

Stephanie Harriman • Trails AreaThank you for sharing and caring for little OJ!6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorStephanie that means a lot. It was a real adventure but there always come this sad time. Fortunately I have 3 other cats to help me get thru6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorTwo loving Doves brighten my day just out my kitchen window..Sunday 530 pm . I think they’re residents now. They haven’t left in a long time

0:456 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorBurt it was like a caring message from above to bring this display of love to our home on such a sad day after losing Orange Julius6 days agoLikeReplyShare


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Mary Mohler

Mary Mohler • Lafayette Valley EstatesThank you for being OJ’s furever family…..I am sure he will be waiting at the rainbow bridge when the time comes. 🌈😢💕6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorHope so. Thanks Mary. I think you remember when I got him. Really appreciate your integral participation6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Mary Mohler

Mary Mohler • Lafayette Valley EstatesBurt Kaufman I do indeed.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorMeans a lot. Hope you’re hanging in there. All our best6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Mary Mohler

Mary Mohler • Lafayette Valley EstatesBurt Kaufman You are a special family. I am so glad you are such kind people….makes all the difference in this world! We need more people like you. Hugs. … See more6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Susan Lockyer

Susan Lockyer • Rossmoor – Tice CreekSorry for your lost. JULIUS had a good home and sounds like the best remaining years with a very loving family.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorSusan thanks much, Susan. Your cari g helps ease the pain. Best to you and your furry friends, if any6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Chet Paulinellie

Chet Paulinellie • Contra Costa CentreWhat a nice story you told. I had a cat that was diagnosed with diabetes that I gave insulin to twice a day for 8 years. I even learned how to test her blood/glucose level at home … See more6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorChet Thanks so much.. read your story about Carlton,, not unlike my own experience with Orange Julius.. the good outcomes and eventual sadness.. they don’t live… See more6 days agoLikeReplyShare


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Elena Hillman

Elena Hillman • Burton ValleyThank you for giving him such a loving home for his last five years.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorElena thanks much. It was my pleasure.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell • RheemSweet boy. Sorry for your loss. ❤️6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorAmy thanks very much. Your caring helps alot6 days agoLikeReplyShare

Stuart Creque

Stuart Creque • Carroll DriveMy deepest condolences on the loss of your boon companion.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorStuart thank you for your kind, helpful thoughts6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Jenn Keohane

Jenn Keohane • Trails AreaHe lived a long life! ❤️ Thank you for caring for him over the last five years. My condolences for your loss.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorJenn thanks very much. It really helps knowing others care . Best to you and your furry friends, if any6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Madeline Salocks

Madeline Salocks • Acalanes RidgeWhat a sweet and wonderful kitty. So so sorry for your loss.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorMadeline thanks so much. yes he was. And he showed his appreciation.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Cindy Humphrey

Cindy Humphrey • Trails AreaThank you for taking in that wonderful fur baby. Orange cats are special. You ARE wonderful people for doing that. It’s all about love, keep sharing. ❤️❤️❤️6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorCindy thanks. You’re so right about Orange cats. They certainly give back as much or more. Your kind thoughts really help6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Lynn Lyons

Lynn Lyons • Saranap IIWhat a great and loving story. I think it was Karen who told you about Orange Julius.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorLynn yes, I believe it was. Thanks. And here she is so I can thank her again. It was really an adventure. … we went thru a lot together…thanks again6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Karen Trestrail

Karen Trestrail • Saranap IIAhhhh ~ sweet Julius💕 Thank You Burt for sharing OJ’s story! I’m so glad you and he and your other furry friends had 5 nice years together❣️So sweet❣️(edited)6dLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorKaren it’s so great to talk again, as you were the one who was most instrumental in our getting Orange Julius and even interviewing me to make sure OJ had a goo… See more6 days agoLikeReplyShare


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Craig M.

Craig M. • St. Mary’s EstatesGrateful for your story & sorry for your loss. May your fond recollections of OJ carry you through this bittersweet transition. 🙏🐯6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorCraig yes, this really helps along with your caring . Thanks so much.6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Juliet Montagnon

Juliet Montagnon • SaranapI remember your posts about adopting Orange Julius and photos of him in your catio. Love your story of his saga with you and what great care you gave him. From one cat lover to an… See more6 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorJuliet How great to hear from you almost 5 years later on this bittersweet occasion. I especially enjoy hearing from those – you and Karen and Mary- who remembe… See more6dLikeReplyShare


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Steve Reed

Steve Reed • Rudgear EstatesRainbow Bridge Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. … See more5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorSteve I love this . It’s been a long time since I read it. Thanks for the inspiration4 days agoLikeReplyShare

Vickie Botsford

Vickie Botsford • Alhambra ValleyRip sweet Julius 🐾🌈✨5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Barbara Britton

Barbara Britton • Gregory GardensI am sorry for the loss of your kitty, what a long life he had, and how fortuanate to have been adopted by you at such an advanced age.5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Barbara Jerabek

Barbara Jerabek • Lafayette Valley EstatesHe had a great run of it! Time to adopt another in his memory…5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorBarbara thanks. I still have 3 but wouldn’t mknd d another Orange3 days agoLikeReplyShare

Rae Ecklund

Rae Ecklund • Trails AreaAnd it’s people like you and your family that make Lafayette the caring and wonderful city that it is. (I prefer to think of it as a town💕.5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorRae Rae thanks. Yes, a pet friendly town3 days agoLikeReplyShare

Sandy Cooley

Sandy Cooley • BoydThank you for adopting and caring for OJ – sounds like he had a great life with you.5 days agoLikeReplyShare

Barbara Idso

Barbara Idso • Bolero Adagio HeatherYou must have the most amazing heart to adopt elderly street cats. Thank you for sharing and admire you. OJ was loved and you gave him 5 years of extreme happiness. rip little fe… See more5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Shanta Farley

Shanta Farley • Alamo East sideSo sorry for your loss. Thank you for giving him a second chance ❤️5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Roger Bergen

Roger Bergen • St. Mary’s EstatesThanks for giving this wayward kitty a loving home for so many years. The world needs more kind folks like you!5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorRoger you’re very kind- and folks like you. We’re lucky were able to have these furry friends in our lives and happy to do for them all we can. Thanks4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Cheri Mezzapelle

Cheri Mezzapelle • ParkmeadI’m so sorry for your loss and so happy for the years you had together. I’ve learned to cherish every day I have with my three. They really do make our lives better.5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorCheri thanks much. You got it- cherish every moment. I don’t travel so I can. Best to you all4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Barbara Idso

Barbara Idso • Bolero Adagio HeatherIf anyone is interested Kim’s Nurturing Nest in Danville does a lot of amazing rescues. Her current adoption is a blind and deaf abandoned cat who was left to fend for himself. He … See more5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Yolanda Torres

Yolanda Torres • Wesley Ct NeighborhoodBarbara my senior gal is not interested in having a roommate again, but later I intend on adopting an older or special needs kitty. I’ve noted your organization… See more5 days agoLikeReplyShare

Ukraine Animals Rescue


Yolanda Torres

Yolanda Torres • Wesley Ct NeighborhoodI’m so sorry for your recent loss, but it sounds like you gave him the best kitty retirement ever! No wonder he hung out with you for so long! You are wonderful for adopting an old… See more5dLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorYolanda Boy, you nailed it. Vet techs, yes! IV 2-3x a day ! How do you do it4 days agoLikeReplyShare

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Lisa Filipelli

Lisa Filipelli • Rossmoor – Tice CreekWhat a lovely tribute…thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you lost him…sounds like a really good cat.5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorLisa He really was. Even in illness OJ knew how to survive and still enjoy life up to the end. What a dventures we had Thanks so much4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Deb H.

Deb H. • MurwoodThank you for sharing. My heart aches for your loss of OJ but wow- he won the Kitty Lottery when he found your family. What a wonderful 5 years you gave him. Thank you for opening… See more5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorDeb thank you! What adventures we had and miss now but …. your thoughts help.4 days agoLikeReplyShare

michele Rogers

michele Rogers • Pleasant Hill ElementaryBless you heart5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthormichele v ery kind. Bless you too.4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Amy Kahn

Amy Kahn • Rossmoor Golden RainSo sorry for your loss 💕5 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorAmy that means. Alot. Thanks 😊4 days agoLikeReplyShare

Robert Agustina

Robert Agustina • Virginia HillsSo sorry for your loss but OJ was living his best life with you and he is yours forever4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorRobert that warms my heart. 😊thanks4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Cathy Keyes

Cathy Keyes • CrestmontFly free OJ4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorCathy like that! 😊 thanks4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Kathleen Delanty

Kathleen Delanty • Parkmead III’ll be thinking of you as you feel the loss of OJ. My cat Boo is has been with me for 18 years… even the thought of being without me makes my heart sink.4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

Burt Kaufman • St. Mary’s EstatesAuthorKathleen congrats. I guess you have to just live each day as a bonus because, as I found out, they don’t live forever. Of course OJ had multiple issues. I appre… See m

ore3 days agoLikeReplyShare

Cheryl Vaders

Cheryl Vaders • Norris Canyon EstatesBless you and thank u for giving him a good life4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Robert Agustina

Robert Agustina • Virginia HillsCats have a way into our hearts people don’t realize at first They are precious My wife puts fresh roses out on the porch for our beloved Norwegian and it’s been two years Ro… See more4 days agoLikeReplyShare


Allison Golde

Allison Golde • San Ramon Crow CanyonSo sorry 😞3 days agoLikeReplyShare

Ron Grincewicz

Ron Grincewicz • Franklin CanyonWow!!! What a heartwarming story!!!! Thank you for what you did for him!!! I am sure he knows how much you loved him,,🥰 It is always SO difficult to lose a pet, but please take he… See more3 days agoLikeReplyShare


Burt Kaufman

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Burt KaufmanSt. Mary’s Estates6 days ago  


Zack checking out OJs grooming stuff, now Zack is benefiary. Also OJs doggie stairs that allowed him quality time on the bed. Without these steps, from ,mindy, OJs life would have missed a lot as this wa the only way he could get on bed. Other cats have other ways. Steps also gave OJ some good exersize

…pictured That’s Zack checking out OJs assorted grooming implements since OJ wasn’t able to groom himself much, in front of OJs doggie stairs It’s amazing what’s available-thank you Chewy and vendors. Maybe TMI  but  there’s even ‘tushie wipes’, if you will , for those nasty tangles . Sure helped out OJ and I think he even appreciated once we had him cleaned up and smelling good. Now Zack gets to use some of it… but nobody else uses OJs little ‘doggie’ stairs. …Thanks to our Next Door neighbors…have a good week. -Burt for Orange Julius,Zack, Pinky and Zippy


OJ’s favorite spot in catio – looking out at all the birds, trees, wildlife. Maybe it was a sign when OJ didn’t want to stay out there much this year.

OJ’s Short-lived RV Adventure

Zack looks out in distress during short-lived, ill-fated RV trip with OJ cowering in carrier behind Zack. Perhaps the biggest mistake we made was trying to take these two senior cats on Bay Area Backroads adventure in an RV. Don’t worry, it didn’t last more than a mile or two. So much yelping and howling – I wasn’t about to put them thru it so we turned around and came home – and I traveled alone for the day before having a couple disasters driving the thing.

OJ’s predecessor survived a fire

We made the headlines this day in late 2016. I couldn’t remember at first if it was Orange Julius or his predecessor , Ornji, in the house , along with Zack, but after looking back it was poor Ornji, near the end of his ‘reign.’ . Miraculously, the fire sprinklers worked and put out the blaze that caused overo $30,000 in damages, but only after my heart sunk so low after the fire raged for about 10 minutes with no fire fighters in sight – even though the alarms and calls had come 15 minutes earlier. No, the classic 1963 Chrysler Imerial was NOT totally destroyed, contrary to erroneous reporting here. It would require a $10,000 repair job, however. The main thing is that the ‘boys’ survived or I would have never forgiven myself. Also, another erroneous reporting was the cause of the fire – a defective ‘drip’ charger (my fault all the way). But the fire trucks, with the fire station less than a mile away, could have gotten there a lot sooner. Even the police came within minutes but with a tiny extinguisher, which was a joke. FULL STORY
ORNJI Rides Again after surviving house fire 12-6-16. Ornji came to us,  walking up to me 9-11-12 HIV positive, looking for a home and immediately leading me to the basement door where he would live at night. He was an especially welcome addition, doing his best to fill the void left by April and Weepy (as well as Dad) who would all pass in the following two months. Ornji began sharing the indoor ‘watchcat’ duties with Zack early this year after he was diagnosed with liver cancer for which he was operated. He began chemotherapy in November after a return of (inoperable ) liver cancer . Since then (and until early 2017) we enjoyed memorable ‘bonus days’ savoring  ‘borrowed time.’ Gone now but never forgotten – Ornji and Orange Julius will always be ‘with us.’

Meticore is a fat burning weight loss supplement that works by raising the core body temperature in order to speed up metabolic rate.

cat humor to leave you with:

‘I’m on the fence’ not quite sure what to make of the situation

Rationalizing 2
The other thing  is that when one pours his entire self into an almost full time thing and it’s working and suddenly taken away it leaves  a big void. Plus I was doing it alone with nobody to share it with. It hardly affected me with my dad. At 98 I knew he was on the way out. Perhaps I should have known with OJ, too.  After getting his teeth done, finally, I assumed he would be in good zape to live at least another year


not animal related but I thought rather funny in a macabre way for another over 60.

Not goodbye OJ and friends, just so-long for now…

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