Monday, July 9, 2012

Metro Monday?

Quick.... picture metro Detroit!  Can you see it?  If you have no working knowledge of Detroit, substitute what you know about other major cities and create a picture in your mind.  Got it?   OK, did it look something like this?

My Detroit... I see this nearly every single day.

The metro area surrounding Detroit is built on a grid of mile-marked roads that run east-west and fan upward in number as you drive north.  These start with 5 Mile Road (don't ask me why), pass the famous 8 Mile Road which is the border between the city and the suburbs, and go all the way north to 34 Mile Road in my area.

My house is just south of 26 Mile Road.  When I was a kid growing up south of 5 Mile Road, this area might as well have been Outer Mongolia or Timbuktu.  As the suburbs creep northward, neighborhoods have been built in the countryside.  My particular area is an interesting mix of rural and urban.  Brand new subdivisions and schools popping up between barns.  If I drive 26 Mile Road to my destination, I pass farms of all shape and sizes.  It's quieter here... a little less traffic, a lot less stress while driving.  We get the best of both worlds, city convenience mixed with bucolic charm.

Leaving my neighborhood.  Looks like any random new-ish subdivision... wide streets, brick houses, young trees.  Check out the red building.
The old barn, complete with Mobil advertising, has been surrounded by our neighborhood.  Complete with farmhouse... they have horses too!
This barn, which you saw in the very first picture of the post, is just a few miles away on the way to my younger daughter's elementary school.

I prefer to drive these country roads and get there a bit more slowly than finding the nearest Interstate to race down... probably a good thing since it takes me at least 25 minutes to reach any of roughly half-dozen freeways to travel through and around the city.  Last week, during an epic heat wave, the kids and I decided we needed fresh ice cream from the dairy.  This is where we ended up:

Wonder which flavor she makes?  ;-)

I had fully intended to get "classic" Detroit photos this week, but life has a crazy way of intervening.  Between 100-degree temperatures, frighteningly intense storms, and a new batch of kittens with health issues, I stayed closer to home.  But I'm working on it for next week!


The Health Report

Penny bounced back quickly after her spay (re-spay? spay attempt?).  She is completely back to normal... snuggling, friendly, playful.  The plan is to introduce her slowly to the permanent residents over the next few days so we can open up our family room and return to life with only one foster room in the house.

The kittens (sigh... the kittens) are hanging in there.  I'm seeing steady improvement in many places:  No fleas!! I haven't heard Henry wheeze in days.  Porter's eyes are clearing up beautifully.

The ringworm has become a bit more challenging.  All three kittens bloomed into ringworm spots Thursday and Friday.  Eloise and Henry healed very quickly with medication.  The sores are gone, their skin is smoothing out.  They act as if nothing happened.  Porter, however, looks like he's going through a war.  It blossomed on his face, around both eyes and his mouth.  He ended up with a spot on each of his front legs too which appears to be the same spot he'd use to wash and dry his face.  Some moments, I swear he's looking better.  Others, I want to cry for him.  He's still playful and a sweet snuggling baby... although he is getting skitterish and shy because of the frequent need for bathing and medication.  All I want to do is kiss him and tell him everything will be okay (and then I worry about the health of my lips if I do).

The good news is that the vet has decided they really only need the baths 2-3 times per week (whew... they weren't all that happy about it).

"Why, Lady? Why??? What did we do to you???"



Porter, also known as Pork Chop, Porter the Porker, and Porter Prince, is approximately 4 weeks older than Henry and Eloise.  He's three months old (roughly 12-13 weeks old right now).  He is noticeably bigger, outweighing Henry by half a pound and Eloise by a full pound-and-a-half.  Because of that, I sometimes refer to him as "Cousin Porter" but he really does fit into this litter beautifully in terms of personality.  He loves Henry and Eloise and they love him.

When I first met Porter, I was shocked at the resemblance to another one of our fosters in terms of markings.

Look at that sweet white marking on his back.  Almost looks like a little heart!
Another beautiful kitty with a white mark in the center of her back.
Nose splotch on a white face.
Nose splotch on a white face.  If I wasn't already acutely aware that she's been spayed, I might think she had a kitten after all.

Porter is the quietest of the three hellions living in my front room.  When I enter the room, I'm greeted by a stampede of kittens telling me all about their day, demanding attention, affection, and food.  Eloise is the opera singer, capable of holding out a note for much longer than you would think possible.  Henry is the consistent peeper.  Porter throws in an occasional squeak if he feels he's being ignored.  

For the past couple days though, Porter has hung back a bit... afraid to have me touch him in case I might have medicine in my hand or a bath on my mind.  But Sunday evening, he started to come back around and we're still working on bringing him out of his shell again.  He has a purr that you can hear across the room and isn't afraid to use it.  He's the Washington kitty that gives kisses.  He likes to sit on my lap and purr until Henry shows up to start a wrestling match between my legs.  He's meeker than wild child Henry, but that's not necessarily a bad thing ;-)  I found a ping pong ball under one of the kids' beds that has quickly become Porter's favorite toy.

I purposefully didn't include many pictures of Porter's face because I don't want you to worry,  He looks worse than it is and (unless I'm putting medication on it or bathing it) he acts like his face is just fine.  You'll see more and more of his beautiful mug as we pass the time here.


  1. yikes - we some how missed the ringworm news - that just sucks!!! poor babies..... (we would send kisses, but we don't want those cooties either)

    BTW - mom loves Detroit. She was born in Jackson and her Dad went to MSU. :)

    1. WooHoo!!! Spartan Nation represent! Class of 93 here. :-)

    2. Poor dog. Our kitty is 1st generation from feral. She's still shy. Hubby forget, then feels bad. I don't wanta talk about my floors....eeech!
      Go Spartans! Class of '82. Magic Johnson was in my freshman class, along with about 9700 other kids. Of course, he didn't graduate, unlike me and look where that got him? Rich & Famous! Lansing boy makes good.
      Enjoying the blog, thanks
      Katie, Big&Monkey.

  2. Awwww, poor babies - hang in there! Mama Kelly is just trying to make the bad wormies go away so you feel better!

    And don't worry about the photos. I'm one of those people who still sees the cute despite the current "rough spots"!

    1. They had a much better day, bath and medication-wise today. I think I've come up with a strategy that works without stressing them out as much (and gets done in less than half the time). We're learning together. Now if only we can get Porter healed... It's coming in time. ((And more pictures of Porter will be on the blog within the next few days))

  3. Kelly-I love reading your blog. Country or city, you have a great style that comes across so wonderfully. The pictures are great and would be still even with a few spots of yuck. Giving virtual kisses and hugs to all of you (safer that way) because you've made my Monday nicer.

    1. Thank you so much. I'm having a great time writing the blog, so I'm ever so glad that you're enjoying reading it. This stressful week with the babies is easier with you all along. Now, when can I pencil you in for bath time? ;-)

  4. I live in Wichita, Kansas, and my area is exactly like yours. My sister's high school has a big cornfield next door.

    1. I love finding those pockets of the country inside the city. Makes city stress melt away!

  5. Sorry that Porter flinches. We have a scaredy cat that spooks when hubby stomps in w/ boots on. He won’t admit it but it hurts his feelings a bit. I know the solution but well …
    Cows in the metro-Detroit? Now that's something I didn’t expect, nice surprise! I know the temps have been awful out there. I’m impressed you left the house at all, frankly. Besides, cows & barns will be a great contrast to the gritty urban landscapes that the city is known for.
    Katie, Big&Monkey

    1. I once had a dog that was scared to death of boots (I'm afraid to think that he was probably kicked by them before he came to live with us). My husband used to take them off outside before coming in... our floors kept cleaner that way, if you know what I mean.

      The high today was only 76! That's a temperature this Michigan girl can get behind. I'll try to find a happy medium between country cows and gritty city for next Monday. I've got something fabulous in mind if I can find the time to get there...