Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

A hopeful return

Timmy's nose


My absence from the blogosphere wasn’t planned…it was just a need to pull back, I suppose. I’ll call it taking care of myself, preventing a big burn out by indulging in a small one. I suspect some of the burn-out was actually grief. We lost what felt like a lot of animals over the course of a few months; it is an aging population, so while it is expected, it is no less heartbreaking.

In the three months since my last post, Patches has continued to do well. Well for a 13 year old pig, anyway! She now lives in the horse barn – she doesn’t have the strength to walk up to the pig barn, but she seems really happy in her own private stall in the horse barn anyway.

Patches, enjoying the heatlamp and a hay blanket

She scoots herself around when she wants, seems to be very comfortable.


Patsy The Adorable

The new piglets arrived; Patsy and Timmy. They are the cutest little pigs! They arrived with an older pig, Truffles. They’re a breed called Duroc, which accounts for their distinctive color. I think it also makes them sound like they just arrived on the Starship Enterprise, from some far-off galaxy.



They’ve all done really well, and all four young pigs (Patsy, Timmy, Izzy and Morty) tend to hang around near each other. It’s sweet to see.

One gorgeous afternoon when we had a little potluck after chores, Terry showed us a copy she’d been sent of Ninety-Five by a publisher called No Voice Unheard. It is a wonderful book. I promptly ordered myself a copy, and a copy of their other two books.

It’s the kind of book that, with pictures and stories, will appeal to people’s hearts, and hopefully get them to act on the compassion we know they have deep down.

Here’s the cover (and a pie):


The pictures and stories are from several different sanctuaries, including Poplar Spring.

In a more personal rescue, I adopted a little deaf kitten. He’s about 6-8 months old, and I started looking for someone to adopt because my older kitten (Tristan, now almost a year old) really wanted a buddy. Once my older cat, Tempest, adapts fully I think it will work out great. Tristan won’t be as interested in hanging out with Tempest, and that will suit her to a T.

They were buddies almost from the start.

We had a really rough time of it for almost a week though. The new kitten stressed Tempest out so much that she actually stopped eating. This was so out of character for her, it really freaked me out. After 48 hours of no food, I took her to the vet. Not everyone knows this, but a cat not eating can cause serious health issues, especially a cat like Tempest who is carrying a few extra pounds. The body mobilizes the fat stores, and it can cause fatty liver disease.

We were lucky – she didn’t show any clinical sign of illness, and she took some nibbles of food periodically over the next few days. She still wasn’t eating enough, though, so I got a mini-chemistry blood test done to see how her liver was doing and to get an appetite stimulant for her. Liver function was normal, and the meds got her eating again.

Treatment for fatty liver disease would have been to get her to eat, so the initial treatment would have been the same in any case, but if her liver function hadn’t been good it would have pointed towards more aggressive methods for getting her to eat, if the meds hadn’t gotten her going on her own.

It took just a couple days for her eating to return to normal. She’s now waking me up in the mornings (early) for her breakfast. All is well in Tempest’s world.

Well, except for that darn kitten! She seems to be handling him better these days. They are only out together when I’m around to supervise at this point, and when I hear her getting agitated I intervene quickly. That little princess doesn’t need the stress, apparently!


10 responses to “A hopeful return

  1. Kristen May 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Glad to see you are back on the blogosphere…we all need a break sometime though, completely understand, I had to stop reading all my vegan blogs because I was getting too angry and it was affecting my relationships with friends and family…now I do lots of yoga and it helps…

    I just got a book written by Dr. Pitcairn, it’s a holistic book for animals and it’s really really good…and I acutally just read a chapter on how to care for a cat/dog that won’t eat…good advice on how to administer food…

    Love the pic of timmy’s nose, who knew a pig’s nose was so pretty and colorful!

  2. Deb May 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I stopped reading a lot of blogs too, for a similar reason. It’s good and bad. Certainly leaves more room for thinking about gardening, which doesn’t leave much room for thinking about posts! πŸ˜€

    I’ll have to take a look at that book. Thanks!

  3. b May 8, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Am so happy to see you here! (though I understand respect the much-needed break and glad you took it/will continue to take it slow) Such a cute new buddy in your house! I hope Tempest will adapt soon. My last cat before Malcolm had stopped eating and we didn’t know in time how serious that was (and she was a very big girl). New pig friends are gorgeous, and I’m glad Patches in comfortable, all things considered. Hugs to you! xb

  4. Deb May 8, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Thanks b! I owe some emails too, it wasn’t just the blogosphere I disappeared from. πŸ™‚

    Tempest already seems to be adapting well. I think it helps that he and Tristan play a lot, so much of his kitten energy gets directed in that direction. He’s starting to pay attention to Tempest’s “get away” signs, and I think his being deaf and not hearing her hissing was part of what stressed her out so much about him.

    Very sorry to hear that you had a cat stop eating without Tempest’s happy ending. I realized in tweeting with a friend (who, granted, only has had dogs) that it might not be common enough knowledge, and that was part of why I told the story.

  5. The Voracious Vegan May 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I am really, really, REALLY glad you are back. Your blog has always been one of my favorites and it is so nice to read your words and see your beautiful photos again. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand and respect your need to take a break, but I’m thrilled you’ve come back!

    I LOVE those sweet pig pictures! You capture their personalities and I just can’t help but smile.

    And YAY for your new family member! I’m glad Tempest is okay now and is getting used to the change. That picture of the sweet kitties looking at the window together is just adorable!

  6. nothoney May 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Nice post, Deb. Lovely pics, as always.

  7. Deb May 11, 2010 at 4:41 am

    @TVV – thanks! It always helps to hear from people who are happy to see me post again. It helps the motivation! I have never posted as often as many do – as you do! – and I’m pretty much in awe of the way you and others can post so regularly.

    @nothoney – thanks!

  8. Kay May 11, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Deb, So glad to see you are back. For certain, everybody needs a break to re-group and re-charge. I understand about the grief. Our vet came our just about one month ago to euthanize Timmy, the last of the three turkeys. We sure did cry and we sure have missed him.

    I’m happy that you adopted the kitten; he is very fortunate. I love your photos and your writing; they give me a sense of peace.

  9. Pingback: White Privilege, Vegan Feminists, Respectful Butchering, Etc.: A Roundup « Animal Rights & AntiOppression

  10. Pingback: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, Open House 2010 « Invisible Voices

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