My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #627: Coco's Big Adventure

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-28-2012 12:18 PM 2183 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 626: Working on Pattern Packets Part 627 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 628: The Extra Day »

Since yesterday revolved around little more than taking care of my dear cat Coco, that is what today’s blog is going to be about. I know it isn’t woodworking or wood related, but since it occupied most of my day in one way or another, the page here would otherwise be blank. I hope you all understand.

I value my pets very highly. They are companions who offer friendship, comfort and blind devotion. I have had pets all of my life – both cats and dogs – and learned at a very young age how much of a positive influence they are to life. Through our pets we learn to care for other creatures, and also become the recipients of unconditional love. I have learned by nurturing and caring for our pets, we are rewarded with their undying devotion. It doesn’t matter what we look like or if we have money or power or position. They take us at face value. Our kindness and care toward them is returned by trust and loyalty that is complete and lasts a lifetime. It is very rewarding, I think.

Knowing that Coco was in distress was quite a drain on me. While I hoped it was nothing serious, seeing her in pain and the change in her behaviour was quite unnerving. While she is definitely the quietest of my three cats, she was always visible (unless we had company.) It was so unlike her to hide away and be so reclusive. Often we hear of sick animals wandering off to die in peace and of course these terrible thoughts went through my mind. While I didn’t quite think that she was dying, I knew that something was terribly wrong. It seemed that she wanted to come out of her corner, but every time she tried to stand she cried out in pain and sat down again. I was really worried.

As soon as the office was open, I phoned the vet to see if I could bring her in. Unfortunately, the vet was not to be in the office for the day, and I would need to make the trip to either Plympton, Digby or Yarmouth. I had had some negative experiences before with the Digby office, as they seemed to like to tack on charges and take advantage of people’s attachment to their pets. I had heard stories from others, too with the same experiences from that office. Besides, it was just as far to Yarmouth and I understood the vet from our area worked out of that office too. So Yarmouth it was.

I called and was able to book an appointment for the early afternoon. That was good because it would allow us to go to Keith’s parents and retrieve the carrier in the morning on the way home from the gym, which we did. We were able to hide it until it was time to go so Coco was none the wiser. We were able to scoop her up before she knew what was happening and get her secured and out the door. (It’s funny how much pride we felt outsmarting a cat!)

On the ride there, she was very vocal. She obviously was not liking the thought of being in the car. I think that cats don’t like anything that moves them besides their own feet. Wheels are something that cats have little or no use for. Feet are for moving, not wheels. I have never known a cat in my life that likes riding in a wagon, buggy, cart, stroller or any other object on wheels. To them, cars are just a bigger box on wheels and are just as useless as the other items mentioned. Only they are worse because they are faster.

I sat in the back seat I was able to open the top of the carrier and pet her as we rode, which seemed to calm her down quite a bit. By talking soothingly to her I believe she felt safer. I could feel her trust in me.

When we got to the vet, the office was full. There were probably six or so dogs – some very large ones, and it was then she remained completely quiet. I am sure she was happy at that moment that she was in a box and it helped her feel safe. She peered out the holes of the carrier and watched the activity with great interest, as if she was stalking something.

When our turn came, she was an A+ patient for the vet. I was also happy that the vet herself was a very quiet and soft spoken person, and I think it helped to sooth Coco. She went through the full exam like a trooper, and sat very quietly and allowed the vet to check all her limbs and gently prod her.

The final diagnosis was that she had a soft tissue injury to her one rear leg (a pulled muscle). She was given an injection to relax the muscles and I was given about a week’s worth of pills for her to take. No follow up was necessary and the doc thought she should improve in a day or two.

It amazed me that on the ride home, Coco seemed to know that the worst of it was over. This time there was no crying in the car. I sat in the back seat once again with her, and had the carrier open, but this time she relaxed and put her head on her paws as if to sleep. She was content that she had been through the worst of it and it struck me as uncanny that she seemed to know she was heading home. Could the shot have taken effect that quickly?

When we arrived home, “Inspector 12” (Richard) and “Inspector 13” (Pancakes) had to check out the carrier and figure out what was up. They were quite comical in their evaluation of the carrier, and each took turns trying it on for size.

Of course, ultimately Richard won out. Even though he is the smallest of the group, he is still the one in charge:

Pancakes had no choice but to sit and wait his turn until Richard was bored with sitting in the carrier. After a few attempts (and swats to the head from Rich!) he gave up and just had to watch Rich have all the fun.

Most importantly, Coco seemed to be much better. While she still is limping a bit, she is no longer hiding in a corner and seems to be much more comfortable:

She stayed out the remainder of the day, and everything is pretty much back to normal. I must say though that it drained me a lot, and I was pretty much useless for the remainder of the day. A nap would have been in order, but we arrived home a bit late for that so I took an easy night and didn’t accomplish much.

Today will be a day to catch up on things. I did have good news that the magazine accepted my kitty chalkboard project so I need to box that up so I can send it out to them tomorrow. I also need to finish up on the instructions for my pumpkin candle tray (the painted one) and matching ornament pattern, as well as get to some new designing.

I am very relieved and happy that things turned out alright. Since Coco and Rich are only eight years old and Pancakes is only five, I hope to have many, many more years of happiness with them. I am so glad that this was nothing serious and we are on the road to recovery. They are a huge part of my life.

Thanks to you all too for your kind wishes and emails. I received many of them yesterday and I am happy to have so many friends who realize the value of our wonderful pets. I truly enjoy seeing all of the pictures you sent and posted, too. They are all such special friends for us.

Have a great day today!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

12 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 02-28-2012 12:28 PM

I am SO glad that this story ended well! We have three calico cats about the same age as Coco and can empathize at how important they are to one’s life.

I don’t care if you are a “Dog Person” or a “Cat Person” – having a pet of ANY type just makes one’s life better!

A few years ago our miniature pincher passed away – prior to that we were actually criticized by a few of our friends for spending close to two thousand dollars on an operation so he could live without pain for four to five more years. To us it wasn’t even a choice – it just had to be done.

I think we all should take time to spend a few extra minutes with our pets!

Sheila, I hope yours and Coco’s day goes very well!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 02-28-2012 12:36 PM

I had a miniature doberman pinscher too, Bob! We got her when I was 13 and she had a good long life with us. We called her ‘Cleo’. I remember I cried when we got her because of their mean reputation. My dad had picked her up as a stray. She was one of the nicest dogs that I have known. She loved everyone and used to get out and run to the park two doors down and the kids there taught her to go down the (double wide) slide! Everyone loved her. She did go after squirrels though. I had many a pocket of my winter coat ripped out when walking her and she would see a squirrel and try to take off after it. I finally learned to wear gloves when I walked her and not put my hands in my pocket! She was a great dog!

Yes, they are certainly wonderful friends! I wish you a great day, too! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2832 days

#3 posted 02-28-2012 01:39 PM

sounds like a happy ending. good deal. they luv boxes, and such. gotta be there to scope things over. :) These guys n gals become our 4-legged family, after our 2-legged ones move out on their own… haha

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 02-28-2012 01:44 PM

Isn’t that the truth, Roger! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3064 days

#5 posted 02-28-2012 02:06 PM

Good news all around then, Sheila. Cats do worry you though, don’t they.

A short while back Porgy was sneezing and generally hiding away. The vet reassured me there was nothing really serious wrong with him (his cat flu and hiv shots were up to date). Bess is similarly in good health. They’re both 16 in a couple of months with no sign of quiting yet. I’m sure your three have many good years ahead of them.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#6 posted 02-28-2012 02:19 PM

great news sheila

glad you are all feeling better

now back to your main duties

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 02-28-2012 02:26 PM

Thanks for the smile, David! When I brought it up on the screen, my three started to cheer!

Martyn – I am happy your two are doing so well. I always keep my kitties inside and read somewhere that their life expectancy is far longer than ‘outdoor’ cats. Growing up in Chicago, I witnessed some bad things that happened to outside animals and even here in the country, I hear of may instances of them being struck by cars (damn wheels again!) I hope you have many, many more happy years with Porgy and Bess, too!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View w8n4simplertimes's profile


37 posts in 3419 days

#8 posted 02-28-2012 02:32 PM

Glad all is well at home !

Just wanted to thank you publicly for your help and guidance as I ponder my entry into the scroll saw world.

Folks like you may Lumberjocks a great place.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2864 days

#9 posted 02-28-2012 04:43 PM

Thanks for the post. I came home from work with the flu. I dont have cats anymore, but remembering them makes me happy.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#10 posted 02-28-2012 04:51 PM

Well, flu isn’t good! Take care of yourself and rest. I am glad you took some time off.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4052 days

#11 posted 02-29-2012 05:09 AM

Sheila as always I enjoy your posts. You have a great way of bringing us all into what you are doing. I was very happy to hear that Coco was fine after the visit to the Vet.

Just got notice of the Woodworkers Showcase in Saratoga Springs. I really enjoyed your class there last year. I was dissapointed to see you would not be back. I’m going to go and take a bunch of pics like last year and will post when I return.

I’m absolutely thrilled that John Wilson (Shaker Oval Box) will be giving two classes and I signed up immediately. While I have experience in building Shaker Oval Boxes, John is the master and I’ve always promissed myself that if I was close enough to one of his I would definately take it. Besides we can always learn from someone else even if it is only something small or subtle.

Thanks for all of your posts they are very interesting and certainly we have learned a lot from you.


-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#12 posted 02-29-2012 11:00 AM

Hi, Ken:
Yes, it is just too much to make the trip this year. We would have loved to go, but both Keith and I feel that we need to keep the momentum going in the business from here at our home base. The show was wonderful, but they don’t allow the same people to demonstrate in consecutive years and it kind of tipped the scales for us to stay home. Besides the cost of actually going there, the amount of time for preparation, being gone and recovery was a bit too much for us. Perhaps we will get there next year.

Making shaker boxes really sounds like it will be fun though. I, for one will enjoy seeing your pictures and hearing about the show. Be sure to blog about it.

I am glad you enjoy the blog here. Some days are more exciting than others but that is how life is, isn’t it? I do my best to share what I learn along the way so that others can benefit from it too.

Have a great day and thanks for the nice comment. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics