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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A glorious day and a feline treasure

K and I started our day with a glorious mountain bike ride. It was warm enough for me to wear short sleeves and shorts. Ah, what a treat!
K romped through an aspen grove, seeming only slightly subdued despite her infection. We've learned that the bacteria infecting her is actually called MRSI, and it is resistant to all but the most harsh antibiotics. MRSI is closely related to MRSA but is the form that appears more often in dogs. Because of the potentially dangerous side effects of the strong antibiotics that can kill this bacteria, we're doing another culture to make absolutely certain that K has MRSI. In the meantime, we're doing some more benign things to try to keep the infection from growing.

You can tell in this photo that K has no idea that vets and other people are stewing over her health.
Before I dropped K at home, we took some goofy photos. It was the kind of day when neither of us really wanted to go indoors for an instant so we played in the aspens.

After riding with K, I headed out on a ride of my own. I felt fabulous. It was one of the best rides that I've had in months, as I felt a surge of energy and optimism that has been absent since my back became so painful early in September. The docs are continuing to do tests but I think that the more powerful anti-inflammatory drugs are doing their job.

Near the end of my ride, I found a treasure. A large, very territorial, mountain lion had passed two of my trail cameras. I say that he was "very territorial" based on how many times he scraped the ground with his hind paws as he walked the animal trail. He left his calling card all over the trail. I think that we've seen this lion before, and he rules the territory.
He didn't have a radio collar, and his stomach looked full based on the bulge at his waistline in the next photo.
He walked briskly onward past that camera, clearly a cat on a mission.
To give you an idea of how big a mountain lion is compared to a bobcat, here's a photo of an almost full grown bobcat kitten taken by the same camera with the same perspective.
I also have a video of a bear in this exact spot for comparison. You can view it here.

Another of my cameras captured the lion's image a short time later as he walked past a bear whammy tree.
This time, however, he stopped briefly, perhaps sniffing the tree that has been scent marked by a bear recently. I find it surprising that the cats, both lions and bobcats, are so interested in bear whammy trees. While the lion stood still, the scars on his left thigh and flank became apparent. Being a predator of large mammals is dangerous business.
After reading the bear's pee-mail, the lion continued his march through the forest. I wonder if he had a successful hunt last night? I saw no further signs of him beyond this point.
It is amazing how the sight of a mountain lion photo taken by my trail camera infuses me with pure liquid energy. I felt like I could fly for the rest of my ride.


  1. Hi Y'all,

    Loved the cat pictures.

    K looks so happy romping along the trail and so funny with her eyes rolled up like a kid's to look at the leaf.

    Glad the vets are stewing how to best treat K. My prayers are with y'all as you both battle with your health.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. Gorgeous lion......with no collar, and fat!
    Glad to hear the anti-inflammatories are helping!
    K must have had a UA culture. I have seen MRSI many times, but only on extremities, from a wound or infection, can be a bugger. Glad you're on top of it!

  3. Knowin' dat you had a great day today made mine even better! :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  4. You know I always enjoy your posts and stunning pictures! But I have to admit I'm a bit distracted because when you mentioned about K's infection being MRSI, I was taken back to our boy Hamlet who had the same infection. I am recalling that the antibiotics were very expensive and giving them to him had risks, just as you've found. I know there is so much to consider as you decide on a direction--Just know that I'm sending good thoughts to help you and K find your way!! Take care!!

  5. Your words about yourself and how you are feeling made our day!!!! We are smiling bigtime here. Hope you continue to do better. And we will be thinking only the best of thoughts for K - we know that between you and your excellent vet she will get the very best of care.

    Great kitty pics:)

  6. Absolutely adore the picture with the leaf of K's head!!!

    Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack

  7. I love your "goofy" K photo with the leaf on her head. Yellow really pops with her chocolate fur. I'm glad your medication adjustment is helping your back, and the lion photos gave you a surge. Your wildlife cameras give us amazing insight to a world I know I would never experience. Thanks for sharing!! Keeping positive thoughts here for Miss K. xo

  8. Hi KB
    It makes me feel so happy to know that you feel like "flying" today!
    It just makes my day.
    K looks like she does not have a care in the world.. and I love the golden leaf on her head.
    That big kitty is the "king " I think,,, so beautiful.
    Enjoy your autumn sunshine,and I hope you and K feel like flying tomorrow too.

  9. glad you had a good dang darn scare uswith the mountain lions
    Benny & Lily

  10. It's good to hear you sounding like you feel better! I certainly hope you get some good news for poor K. At least they're finally on the right track for her! I love that picture with the leaf on her head!

  11. SO glad that you are feeling better :-)

  12. Hoorah for the new medication !

  13. I LOVE the picture with the aspen leaf on K's head! So, so cute!! :-)


  14. KB's camera wings. And pee-mail. What a delight to view this post today! And how much of that enthusiasm and vigor have you infected me with?!? Hoping to get in some shorts and short sleeve rides this final long weekend for me until Thanksgiving...

  15. PS: I don't mean to gloss over K's health. I don't know very much about the infection, but I do hope everything turns out better than it's looking right now. I hope by some miracle she will not have to do the drugs with dangerous side effects. And she certainly does look joyful! LOVE the shot of her with the aspen leaf!

  16. Hi Everybuddy, those cat pictures are to wonderful. We are glad you are feeling better (even though we didin't know you were sick). Sending healing wishes to K too. P.S. Mum says are there many instances where a mountain lion attacks a person or do they keep their distance? Just curious. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  17. Hi Stella and Rory,

    Yes, on very rare occasions, a mountain lion will attack a human. But, a person is more likely to get struck by lightning than be attacked by a lion.

    I do carry pepper spray, a huge can designed for warding off grizzly bears, when I am alone in the forest. I am scared sometimes... but, in more than a decade of spending many many hours in the forest, lions have always run away from me... not toward me. Thank goodness!!


  18. That photo of K with the aspen leaf is special! Catching up with you and glad to hear you're feeling less pain. Sorry about K's medical problems, though. That's a huge lion!


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