Welcome, from sunny Australia!

My four legged friends

Here's my little four legged friends- An Australian Red Healer Cattle dog, a Siamese  cat, and a, um, feral cat of unknown origin ...   You'll meet Miss Ellie McFido,  Cyclone the Non Wonder Cat, and Edward Scissorpaws. (Mr Paws has also been known as Freddy Cougar, The Evil One, Blackie, and "That little #*&#& that just bit me!")

 The very beautiful Miss Ellie!  On the right, Ellie is bringing over a squeaky toy for me to throw, (for about the one squillionth time)  while Mr Cyclone looks on. Ellie is an Australian Red Healer Cattle Dog cross, and so is one of the most affectionate and intelligent dogs you can get.
Ellie anxiously awaits the start of the squeaky tossing game. Yet again ...    Mr Cyclone has a look at the camera, but probably can't see it too well from that distance.  (Anything past about 3" is a bit hard ... ;)   )    Cyclone is a Siamese cat, and so is even more curious than most cats are - We often have to get him out of visitors cars because they've left the window down for a little cooling and so Cyclone sneaks in for a quick snooze.

 Cyclone just getting up and starting to have a stretch.  The black spot on the right is the very scary Mr Edward Scissorpaws!!!  EEK!!!  This poor puss had a bad start to life, as he lived as a feral cat under one of the buildings in my old school. One day the kids had nothing better to do, so they grabbed him and stapled his paws and tail to the table. He was rescued by family friends, who gave him to us because they knew he'd be looked after at my house. He's now about eight years old, and still pretty sensitive about anyone touching his paws, though he doesn't mind me giving him a quick rub every now and then. He was badly abused when he was young, but through years of being good to him he's gradually getting better and is heading towards being a normal cat. He still hardly ever makes a sound, and without any reason will jump up and bite you. He is getting better though!
* Some sad news .... In early September 2001 Mr Cyclone's kidneys finally failed, after years of running at about 30%. He was put to rest peacefully and rests in my Fathers garden. He will be missed by all.
To paraphrase that excellent movie, "The Usual Suspects", I can tell you that Mr Paws is thinking, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince you he never meowed ..."
* More sad news - Mr Paws passed away on the 24th of November 2002, with kidney failure. He had a very good life for the 10+ years he was with us.

Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!!

Have you been chasing that cat again?!?!?

Who? ME???? Nah ..... 

Every year we give Ellie a birthday, and this year she didn't look too happy about it all.
No, what really happened was that I just caught her in mid-lick ...

Ellie when we first got her in November 1993.
Then some years later, resting on the couch.

She's about six weeks old here, and you can already see that she's got that cheeky look.

She sees us sit in a chair like that, so she does it as well.

She's got arthtitis in her hips and it gives her some pain unfortunately. So she chews back legs sometimes. The bucket is to stop her from doing that. She thinks it's funny ...

It's a long story but she's very popular on a Brazilian forum. So here she is saying hello to them.

This was at a friend's party a few years ago. She loves posing for the camera!

The many faces of Ellie on the left! She's very expressive and about the only thing she can't do is actually speak English.
On the right is a great photo taken by a friend of mine. She's getting a quick rub on the chest with my foot, as I look at old photos of her.

As Ellie got around 14 years old - old for a Cattle Dog - I tried to keep her active and heathly by taking her swimming in the local dog pool. The exercise helps them be more flexible and get a bit stronger. She really didn't like it but it seemed to help a bit. She also would just sink without the small jacket on, she wasn't a good swimmer at all.
Another thing I did to try to help her be more comfortable in her latter years was to thin her up a bit, from her usual ~20kg odd down to the 17.5kg you see here. She really liked to eat but I kept her on a good diet and she really benefitted from carrying less weight around as it helped her arthritic legs a lot.
I did the best I could but on 21/03/2009 she finally passed away. A couple of days before her kidneys had failed and she was not eating or drinking, and throwing up. The vet could do nothing so it was just a matter of making her as comfortable as possible in the short time she had left. On the left is the last photo of her, she knew she was about to die and with the last of her strength went outside ot find a place to lay down for good. I carried her back inside and a couple of hours later it was obvious that she wasn't ever going to get up again so I called a vet friend of mine and he came to put her to sleep for me at home.
On the right is how I like to remember her, that's what I call her Mona Lisa smile.

My beautiful beautiful girl has gone, a part of my soul is missing ....

Ellie, 15/10/1993 - 21/03/2009

I only have a few short videos of her and here they are. She's walking around her favourite park and this is in the last few months of her life so she's pretty slow.

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