Juicy Comes Back to Comfort! Zack in good company with Tony Bennett – Zack Bounced Back(for awhile) – TRIBUTE TO ZACK: Why Older Pets (or any pets) Can Bring Such Joy sometimes at the expense of ‘normal’ life activities

NEW! Warm up to famous Zack jump and high five smart pet tricks below

Zack goes out with his own musical accomplishments like/Same day as Tony Bennett!

Burt

extra later notes 7-28:
Ever since Orange julius passed rather suddenly earlier this year (or was it late year)  I was very confident that Zach wasn’t too far behind with those 3 diseases and I figured it might be summer -he’d be lucky to get through this summer after 2 years with lymphoma,  diabetes and  

Kidney disease.  I made a point to be with him as much as possible to enjoy every day and try to keep it as well as possible and see if we can get some extra days and that’s what we did and maybe it paid off and I think that’s one reason I I’m not as distressed as I might.

More Zack sidelites 7-27:

Zack-‘the gentle giant’ was at one time 28 lbs after we over compensated for his near death experience when he had lost a lot of weight as a ‘foreclusure’ cat.

That was the biggest cat our vets had ever seen , they told us. YET, Zack was a lovable mild-mannered cat-until he went to the vet. He knew right away when he was at the vet and let them knownit so both vets offices demanded that we give Zack a Double dose of GAbapentin before coming in. Smart cat . but around me I could do anything with him. his previous owner used to often throw him up in the air

NEW! One of most recent videos of Zack with Pinky in catio

UPDATE 7-22-23-Thanks to Zack for all you’ve given me the past decade and hopefully I returned the favor.

So much for good news. Well, we had to try but chemo not working, apparently . Zack is trying. But Don’t want Zack to struggle more. Breathing with sound of congestion. Better take him in this morning as suggested by vet now believing chemo not working. Zack still getting around and drinking water and bathroom but I know it’s a struggle and not wanting to eat much second day in row. It’s like he’s doing it for me. What a guy but I think it’s probably the time to say goodbye. At least there’s no more questions even though still not sure if it’s infection or lymphoma (note: justblearned from vet it IS lymphoma worsening) but probably the latter….we know its something thats infringing on quality of life.  thanks for cares and prayers😻 hopefully won’t get worse by  morn around 8 am when ill take him in, hopefully with someone in support if someone available. If hes still not too bad may give him one more round of meds (Dex- for lymphoma and  veralox for poss infection and miraz for appetite. Maybe insulin)… that’s about it. 😭😻Thx Zack for 10 years of wonderful times together . Youre a special cat/friend who i really connect and communicate with unlike any other. This will be hard but thats what we go thru with our fave furry friends  in  love and loss. God bless 😻 PS Pinky next to me seems sad too as i think she is trying to comfort me

7-22 12 pm -ZACK IS NOW RESTING COMFORTBLY JUST NORTH OF THE RAINBOW BRIDGE WHERE I HOPE TO JOIN HIM ONE DAY.

that’s Juicy , second from right on car hood of our old ’63 Chrysler Imperial, who apparently came back after 20 years to comfort(!) In a rare dream the night before Zack passed -as if to say ‘everything will be ok’. How great was that?

On a final note I did get a surprise visit from one of my prior ( orange ) cats. Perhaps it was Juicy, my first, in a dream 7-21 – 7-22 during a near sleepless night before taking Zack to final rest. I rarely dream or remember them but Perhaps it was a significant one as a way of my previous cats still working their magic in a comforting way . I feel blessed. And thanks to all the nice pet- friendly Next Door folks who really came thru and friends and the many doctors and staff at Encina and Four Corners who helped Zack live a quality life right up to his last days.

Thank you all. And I’m sure Zack would thank you. May similar positive ‘lemonade’ experiences come to you- and I would love to hear them. -GRATEFULLY, Burt (Dad) for Zack and Pinky

ZACK with Orange Julius enjoying morning sun in catio a few years back

***********

7-21 ZACK BOUNCES BACK (For while)

Just after we chronicled some of Zack’s amazing life with us, Below, Zack turned ill after over Two solid years living well despite having diabetes, CKD and lymphoma. We almost lost him but we never gave up, especially Zack. READ ON.. (Will fill in details of r ecent events, shortly)

7-20
Not good news but GREAT news! The stars seemed to line up this time for Zack , now 17, and me. After nearly losing Zack he was able to successfully complete a round of chemo and I just gotta call from oncologist, just back from Eurpope, to come pick up Zack! (Last night prior to chemo when i visited Zack at hospital wasn’t even walking and barely eating but he is now! Zack is a fighter just like Hershey dog and my Dad were. If you have a very sick pet or person don’t give up too early. This is our second little ‘miracle’ in recent years. Whatever happens, each extra day is a blessing! God bless!

HIGH FIVE– Another of Zack’s classics. NO PHOTO SHOP here. This was a 28 pounder shortly after we adopted Zack In 2013 after we over-compensated for his near-death weight loss. Still he was able to jump up in the window and contort himself to offer this greeting


I’ve been wanting to write this story for a long time Mainly to celebrate my 2 remaining Senior cats Zack,17 and Pinky, 15, while us seniors are all still around ( we lost Orange Julius,20, and Zippy,16, in the last year and i will do anything reasonable to make remaining days for Zack and Pinky good and hopefully long ones- and always enjoyable for me). Also; I’m writing this for friends and strangers so as to ,hopefully, better understand us ‘crazy’ people who may spend more time with their pets than friends and family). THIS After another friend questioned my friendship today I felt it time to finally write this.


Zack, aka Jackie , 11-10-15 , supervising my feet in exchange for treats, after a two -year touch-and-go comeback battle when ‘foreclosed’ on and left for dead by old owners and neighbors on doorstep in Concord CA. Formerly 18 pounds, Zack dropped to 11 pounds when emeegency vet told us that night in 2013 that he had a 50/50 chance of surviving his ‘fatty liver disease’ brought on by being left outside for weeks of cold fall nights. Here, Zack is back up to 25 in pounds in 2015 after having made a full recovery -so much so he’s now on a diet…

TRIBUTE TO ZACK: Why Older Pets (or any pets) Can Bring So Much Joy sometimes at the expense of ‘normal’ life’s activities.

Zacko-lantern was a holiday hit that first year whaT with the strange photo lighting

Call me crazy. I haven’t traveled for 10 years or seen some friends and family for more than that. (it’s not that I dont care to travel or see old friends .   Just the opposite. NEITHER do i go out to restaurants as much as I used to.)


  However, I have traveled a fair amount in my earlier life and I still travel , but within the Bay Area confines. I’m not normally gone more than an hour or two so i can get back to give shots and pills and enjoy my remaining two cats, Zack and Pinky, as they hopefully do me. I still like to go to restaurants,too, but  also have learned to cook better than some of the restaurants and save on exhorbitant prices but mostly to give me more quality time with my buddies during the last chapters of our lives- hopefully long ones.

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Zack’s been with me now 10 years ( since 2013 ) . He’s already survived four other cats. I remember like yesterday how he had to stay at my office the first night with me that late Autumn nite in 2013 after I picked him up from vet since I hadn’t had time to set up a room for him at the house away from the other two cats at the time (Weepy and April).

Pinky cat , back in the day in her old home of Red Bluff, CA.

By the way, I think most all pets are great- they seem to always give back in spades in proportion to what one puts into their lives. Pinky, who I acquired from a friend only a couple years ago after her human passed, is a completely different cat than when i acquired her-no longer the proverbial ‘scaredy’ cat, now warm and even affectionate, who comes nightly to gingerly sit on my lazyboy arm rest to be petted for 5 minutes..

Special Zack

But there’s something extra special about Zack. I had known Zack for several years when a neighbor of Mindy’s acquired him from a shelter and I fell in love with this hunk who reminded me more of a dog the way he would ‘take’ anything from anybody.. I love the way he would go from house-to-house and come up to me. (Especially because he knew I would give him a treat. ) Thrn he woul just plop down as if tonsay ‘rub my belly.’ He was a big guy. And many thought he might be a Maine Coon Cat.

First off, he’s The first and only cat who comes to me when I call. Secondly, he’s a truly cool cat– Nothing seems to phase him unlike Pinky and Most cats (I must say Pinky Is growing out of her scarity cat ways). And Zack will/would even do some fun tricks! As you can see in the ‘Famous Corona King’ video

Zack as ‘Carona King‘ during pandemic years as a 28-pounder who could jump and do tricks! But tricks aren’t everything and he’s probably better off now in some ways as a 14 pounder with ‘hock feet’ albeit with three diseases.

As you can read elsewhere; much like aforementioned Hershey dog, Zack has survived despite diabetes, kidney disease and lymphoma- and continues to thrive per his daily schedule , below. He may not be able to run or jump like he once did. Diabetes has turned his feet into stumps (or hock feet ) causing him to walk like an old man. But he’s still the same handsome buddy I’ve always known and ,fortunately , has maintained a good appetite after my exhaustive research finding foods that he enjoys that would also meet his medical limitations. See story elsewhere

wWth Zack I get a cat and dog in one body. He has the mellow disposition of a dog -and he actually weighs more than my previous dogs.

ZACK’S DAILY TIMELINE

4-5 am Early wakeup call when Zack gently wakes me after coming down the hall from his night perch -sometimes I’m up and ready for him for bedroom ‘churro’ treat (Pinky now joins in, too as I switch back-and-forth alternating one lick per cat three times and then healthy snack for Zack (I’m prepared with our new custom-made healthy, ‘Just for Cats’ tilapia- based diet (continued below)

‘Miracle food’ tilapia-based with Icelandic omega oils and other good stuff -custom made now, no less, shipped monthly directly to us from JFC kitchens in Irvine,CA

continued from above

(after the diet discovery we learned of that was a big contributing factor in keeping Hershey dog alive almost a year after vet ‘expert’ suggested we put him down .)
We only recently started this diet that is made custom for us through the headquarters of just for dogs and shipped to us- and it’s been remarkable in the first three months-and its lower in carbs than the generic Just.for Cats food bought in stores- and Zack likes it better. Next , I carry Zack back up the hall for his liquid ‘Tiki Topper ‘snack of water with minced chicken’ at his early morning bed near the front door where he goes back to sleep – and I go back to t he bedroom for a few more hours of sleep after making sure Pinky, now also awake, gets her morning special renal diet – she doesn’t like Just for Cats yet though I’m working on her ).

MORE OF The assorted foods that have kept Zack happy and well now about two years since his multiple diagnosis’. Whatever it takes, within reason, I say

TIMELINE continued….

7 am -(see ‘Feeding Times’ below for full detail)

Zack is back right on cue for main breakfast. This time he gets a full portion of JFC , hand -fed aFter he is carried back down hall and onto his cat tree-which serves two purposes:
1) he can’t get away, and
2) he likes being half way up sitting on cat tree, onto which he can no longer jump. There he gets an early morning brushing and another churro lick or two before being let down to eat the second stage of his breakfast (usually a CHOICE of Fancy Feast naturals and Royal Canin renal support pate, which is split with Pinky , on special double -wide raised platform for older, arthritic pets, under dining room table. When finished Zack will walk over to the patio- catio where I open door for him to go out for a few early morn smells (hopefully no racoon or rat damage) before coming back in and then retiring to his late morning siesta/bed In front of the TV. Pinky is still In her bedroom round bed.

9 am (see ‘Feeding /Quality Times’ below for full detail)

Well, usually it’s right at 9 am that Zack comes back down the hall and into the bedroom to check-in and use the litter box in the adjoining bathroom. (For some reason he rather come all the way down the hall than use any of several litter boxes along the way. (I figure its good exercise). Today, however, its Sunday morn and he came in earlier to late sleep in his bedroom bed, as it were (see picture below).

Zack in bedroom bed next to Pinky’s (empty) bed.

Was able to finish my email before Zack indicated he wanted to go outside in the catio. So now at 9:30 am I will know that he wants to eat a little bit more from our bedroom bathroom stash and I will hand feed him a little bit on the newspaper spread and he will be happy as usual and I will the. carry him out down the hall and out to the cadio -That’s ‘catio’(The auto-typer finally learned how to spell it!). What a nice morning it is july second, 2023, With no gardeners or leaf blowers yet and a special guest has just joined us in the catio, (aside)’”ready for some treats?- OK just a minute, what you doing Jackie? Jackie ready for some treats?’ ) I just happened to have some the treats and some healthy kibbles I locked away here on the porch and for the first time in a few days the raccoons haven’t found them….


So much for Lack of leaf blowers-One just started up across the way. Anyway, Zach got his treats and it’s still pretty relaxing out here despite one distant leaf blower or some kind of noise machine .oh boy , it’s so hot already the suit -Auto typer that’s SU et-is melting . I just saw some drop (I feed the birds suet.)


Getting back to Zack… So, its like clockwork. At 5 am, 7 am, 9 am, 11 am zack usually gets a few licks from the ‘churro sticks ‘ , hand feeding from the JFC ‘magic diet’, brushing and a few kib bles chased with another quality food, either Nulo and/ or Royal Canin renal support nuggets and /or Fancy Feast naturals wet food each sitting with 7 am and 11 am usually the main ones with Zack sitting ½ way up on the cat tree. Zack will usually get his

The cat tree can serve other purposes that for a young cat to climb and ‘trim’ his nails. It’s one of Zacks favorite places now even though inhave to help hum up. It’s where he gets groomed, where he gets his special meal and treats, not to mention meds (where he can’t wander off.)

300 ml Basoglar insulin injection depending when he got the shot the night before ( must be 24 hours apart ). He also gets a Budesonide .8 mg mouth injection for lymphoma then or can be later, once a day. He also gets a chloramphenicol pill buried in a soft trest; upnuntilnlast week when he suddenly stopped liking those. I try now drop the little pill on top of his wet food , making sure he swallows said pill. If not I sometimes have to ram it down his throat chased by the bunesonode injection, which we don’t relish. La t ely I’ve also been giving Zack ½ B enedril pill for allergies at the same time. Good luck getting both pills down at once- always a challenge but we manage.

11am (see ‘Feeding /Quality Times’ below for full detail)
As noted the 11:00 AM feeding is similar to the 9:00 AM feeding although usually with less food – and without the ‘miracle JFC’. Like the adventurous cat he is, Zack doesn’t want the same food at every feeding. I know there are some who will eat the same thing all the time but that’s not Zack-or me. I forgot to give credit to Nutro and even Iams for theirblow carb ‘perfect portion’ offerings that often comes into play at these times when he tires of other foods

Feeding/Quality Times 9, 11am for sure

Since Zach can no longer jump up on the cat tree where he likes to get groomed and his initial feeding. I carry him back down from the cat tree after the 9 am feeding to our little other feeding area by the dining room table where he gets his second course of NULO and-or usually a fancy feast natural Again fed mostly by hand with a few added kibbles to extend the meal. The cat tree is also the perfect place for Zack to get his shots and pills without pulling away (but he doesn’t know thst)

Next, Zach will usually walk over to the patio sliding door which I will happily open for him to go out into the cadio which connects directly. He will usually stay there off and on several hours. He loves the warm westher were currently having whereas he would barely stick his neck outside during the recent cold snap.

I will try to join Zack not in the catio but on the deck right NExt to it. It’s often an hour or more until I get out there after doing dishes, cleaning litter boxes ‘,etc, but at least I can keep my eye on him from a distance. And lately Pinky has been venturing out there, too-today for almost an hour , which is nice , where she will also help clean up food scraps and share some quality time with Zack and me when i finally finish chores and get out there. It’s a nice time for me to visit and also be able to do a little reading or music or whatever and even TRYING to finish this article which just seems to keep getting interrupted by too many other fun things like feeding the wild birds, watering the garden, as it were… and before I can get ANYTHING done outside Zack I’ll go back inside for a pitstop and snack, which brings me back inside to meet Zack’s every need, enabler that I am.

If Zack hasn’t had all his shots/pills by now this is a good time between major meals when it won’t be such a distraction that might keep him from otherwise eating when he should.

If the weather is warm as it has been, Zack is usually back out in the catio and on his favorite cat lounger(took me a long time to find this one he seems well fitted for the bulk of the afternoon.

Zack in his favorite equivalent ‘laz-y-boy’ lounger aka cat bird seat. (Lots of birds come to the nearby bird feeder and every now and again will somehow get inside the catio to steal some occasional cats’ kibble treat. That’s PINKY , in the back Shaded area of the catio, who has recently been coming out more to visit-and steal Zack’s food (i sometimes bring outside when he doesn’t finish his food inside.) When it starts heating up, around noon, Zack will move to that shaded area, as Pinky is forced out. That’s cats for you. But Zack and Pinky have really been bonding of late, partly over the churro licksnwe rotate between them. You can tell Pinky likes Zack especially as she creeps up to sniff him of late and he no longer lashes out a t her.

Pinky s daily,steal-stealing Zacks food

1 pm

so it’s 1 pm and I haven’t hardly done a damn or darn thing , except, Hopefully, help keep these two guys happy and healthy. In the old days I would have been out by now exercising or having lunch with friends. Some days I haven’t even had breakfast by 1 pm. But thsts ok. We’re having fun . You can’t do this when youre younger, doing the 9 to 5, so its kind of nice- one of the perks of being ‘old.’ (Did i say that?) Yeah here we are three seniors living the good life . Forgot the Spanish word for that per Ricky Martin I believe- or was it Desi Arnaz?

Zack usually comes back inside around 1 p. for a refresher (Tiki ‘Compliments’- which is just chicken shreds and water- which ive tried to duplicate with no luck. ) though ive been out on the deck with him sneaking him some kibble treats along with the rest of his breakfast/lunch encouraging him to finish.

Then it’s back outside usually until at least 3 pm with good weather. I can now think about taking a shower and out of the house by 4 pm. MAYBE. So, friends, if you noontime see orntslkbto me as much h as before I think you now have better understanding

It’s also interesting to me how Zack moves around during the day between his three beds and cat lounger. I’m telling you… right on schedule…Bedroom bed in morning, cat lounger outside by day, fromtnfoor area bed by afternoon and TV bed late night. I can almost give you the exact times.xz

I’m sure there are many cats and even some dogs who prefer to be left alone but then that’s not Zack. He’s special And has special needs space and very human like (the good qualities) and wants to be around me and get my attention and take care of his senior needs. And I’m more than happy to do it even if it means cutting way back in my own needs- time needs that is. And with my being around him on a regular basis we can get his needs taken care of. it’s become more like an expected and accepted thing That he’s willing to accede to. The few times that I’m not able to be here and take care of all his needs right on time makes a difference and things don’t always go so well.
Pet sitter, one asks? Good luck. I wouldn’t dare do that to Zack . With all his Meds and food requirements and TLC needs ans desires I wouldn’t think of bailing on him. I’m sure for the very high PRICE there are VIP concierge pet sitters out there who might ’get it right’ but why bother. It’s not just the money. Why have pets if you’re not going to be there for them, especially special needs pets? Cats especially- and just think all they have given to me and never deserting me!

I do have another friend who is in a very similar position as I with more pets than I have and willing to stay home and not travel and be a good mom to her pets. This helps me feel that I’m not crazy and maybe even doing the right thing those sacrificing time perhaps with friends but then and friends will be there longer than these cats maybe around here

Maybe it’s a special appreciation for life and nature and loving creatures especially after losing my entire family including vrother Don atr 46 and sister Joan at 50 prematurely (except for Dad who made it to 97)- and barely escaping death myself (cancer undiagnosed by my doctor . Losing my first 4 cats in their first years (due to inherent diseases ) may have also contributed to my special appreciation of the ‘little things’ in life including little furry friends, wild birds and the bigger ones, like deer and horses( i help care for one (Snowy) every day. it’s about not taking life for granted as I guess it’s easy to do when you’re young and innocent. So Today it’s about savoring each day as if it were the last. Though I try not to dwell on numbers and age, I believe Zach has already had lymphoma for 2 years so now we’re on bonus time, not to mention the Diabetes and kidney disease…

Fortunately I was able to travel when I was younger. And do other things I don’t do Now due to PET AND cconstraints.

But whatever constraints
Now the good things that pets will do for you if you take good care of they will teach you to live Well. Such as going to bed on time and And eating a proper diet (sometimes the same as they’re eating) To help live a long life and be able to care for them. After all I dare say if something happened to me. I can’t think we’re easy to find somebody to fill my shoes -not that I have the biggest shoes to fill

Maybe it’s a special appreciation for life and nature and loving creatures especially after losing my entire family including vrother Don atr 46 and sister Joan at 50 prematurely (except for Dad who made it to 97)- and barely escaping death myself (cancer undiagnosed by my doctor . Losing my first 4 cats in their first years (due to inherent diseases ) may have also contributed to my special appreciation of the ‘little things’ in life including little furry friends, wild birds and the bigger ones, like deer and horses( i help care for one (Snowy) every day. it’s about not taking life for granted as I guess it’s easy to do when you’re young and innocent. So Today it’s about savoring each day as if it were the last. Though I try not to dwell on numbers and age, I believe Zach has already had lymphoma for 2 years so now we’re on bonus time, not to mention the Diabetes and kidney disease…

Fortunately I was able to travel when I was younger. And do other things I don’t do Now due to PET AND cconstraints.

But whatever constraints
Now the good things that pets will do for you if you take good care of they will teach you to live Well. Such as going to bed on time and And eating a proper diet (sometimes the same as they’re eating) To help live a long life and be able to care for them. After all I dare say if something happened to me. I can’t think we’re easy to find somebody to fill my shoes -not that I have the biggest shoes to fill


so As one can see the schedule doesn’t allow much for getting out longer than an hour or 2 as I do need to be around  for the cats except in the Late afternoon when I go to care for Snowy H orse in Briones. .but i enjoy it all. Nothing like coming home to cat kisses, as it were and love. Zack, by the way, is almost more dog than cat who comes when you call him and is personality plus thst first attracted me to him.

So Today it’s about savoring each day as if it were the last. Though I try not to dwell on numbers and age, I believe Zach has already had lymphoma for 2 years so now we’re on bonus time, not to mention the Diabetes and kidney disease…

Fortunately I was able to travel when I was younger And do other things I don’t do now due to the pet constraints.
Now the good things that pets will do for you if you take good care of them …they will teach you to live Well. Such as going to bed on time and And eating a proper diet (sometimes the same as they’re eating) To help (hopefully) live a long life (or longer than without them) and be able to care for them. After all , I dare say if something happened to me, I can’t think it would be easy to find somebody to fill my shoes -not that I have the biggest shoes to fill in what has become , gladly, a  near
full-time job with a lot of detailed intracacies.

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