The Cat Connection

With the exception of two or three, the cats we have owned over the years fit the description of barn cats. Adventure eventually caused their demise as they wandered into the farm fields to be picked up by hawks or coyote; or climbed into visitors open car windows to get a ride to a far-off place.

The two young cats we acquired last August have managed to live through both scenarious. We were very careful with these little kittens as they were the offspring of feral cats and were susceptible to illness.

And get sick they did. One of the early days I let them out of their carrier into our living room. They proceeded to excrete a foul liquid from both the front and the back end of their thin kitten bodies. I reached for one of the kittens before it could climb up the couch. In doing so I tripped on a lamp cord pulling the lamp to a crashing thump on the floor. The momentum of everything falling caught me and I was pulled on top of the cord, and down to the floor on the lamp glass and right into the poop from the kitten’s back end.

The kittens were taken to the veterinarian who prescribed an antibiotic and special kitten food. They continued to hang-out in the house when we were home during the day. Then they retreated to their garage bed and snuggled with our dog Lillie at night.

I have become very interested in animals as pets and as support to ill or disabled people. My interested peeked when I had the opportunity to apply for a service dog and was accepted. Joy of Living Support Dogs of Salem Oregon is looking for just the right animal for my needs. When the dog is paid for, I will meet him, and our training together will begin.

Until then, there are two very astute young cats at our house. Today I was working on my laptop and a sudden severe headache came on. Charlie was gone to volunteer with the Lions club. I grabbed my phone and hit the speed dial so I could talk with him about the situation. Charlie’s phone rang back from the kitchen downstairs. With phone in hand, I lowered myself to the floor and laid out on my belly, covering my aching head with my hands.

The cat named Walnut came from her perch by the window and meowed at me. Then she snuggled in close to my body. She worked her way up to my head and started purring loudly and licking the side of my head where the pain was the greatest. She stayed there until we heard Charlie enter the house. When he called my name the cat ran to the top of the stairs and meowed loudly. The meowing got Charlie’s attention and he came upstairs to where I was sacked out on the floor.

A hot washcloth, two extra strength Tylenol, a benadryl, and a cup of coffee was my initial attack for sinus headaches. Two more Tylenol, a cold coke, and the application of an ice pack had me asleep on my bed. Two more Tylenol, a heating pad and a hot toddy allowed me enough relief from pain to get up and eat dinner. This has been my sinus headache fighting strategy for years.

Add in the watchful eyes and loud meow of a young cat. I am glad she was there to keep me company today. Her assessment of the situation and supervison of me while we waited for help was “magnificat“.

My headache is entirely gone. The cats who watched basketball from Charlie’s chest tonight are asleep in their bed in the garage. Another beautiful winter sun set viewed from the patio at the Clupny house brings us the possibility of a cold clear night and frosty morning.

If you are interested in helping with the purchase cost of the service dog, you may follow this link:

Purchase Price: $10,800.00

And there will be cats meowing at the door, demanding their breakfast,

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 (541) 720-4256

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