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Last fall, one of my fur babies, my twelve-year-old little girl Drusilla, went in for her yearly exam and was diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure. Who knew cats could get high blood pressure!

I've learned a lot about high blood pressure in cats over the past few months. Lots of scary things, like if untreated high blood pressure can cause a stroke, heart issues, blindness, kidney failure, and seizures. Terrible! Thank goodness we caught this early enough and it appears Drusilla doesn't have any damage from the high blood pressure. Unfortunately, she will be on medicine for the rest of her life, but that is okay. She has been pretty good taking her pills. God bless the makers of the salmon flavored pill pocket.

According to PetMD.com, the symptoms of high blood pressure or hypertension in cats are:
  • Seizures
  • Circling
  • Disorientation
  • Blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Retinal detachment
  • Hemorrhage of the eye
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Swollen or shrunken kidneys
  • Heart murmur
  • Weakness on one side of body or in the legs
  • Involuntary oscillation (rolling) of the eyeballs
  • Palpable thyroid gland

Drusilla didn't have any of these, but I think that is because we caught it early. What I did notice was that she was extremely lethargic. She would walk down the stairs and immediately sit down. She also slept more than usual. The vet said that could have been due to heart working overtime or a really bad headache, which high blood pressure can also cause.

I am so glad we found out about her condition before it got a lot worse!

If you see any of these warning signs in your cat, or you just don't think they are acting like themselves, take them to the vet immediately. We need to be aware of any changes, even something small. They can't tell us when they aren't feeling well.

Summer Reading Bingo

We are almost halfway through 2016 and I have been seriously neglecting my reading list this year. In January I signed up for the Goodreads Challenge to read 16 books in 2016. I am already 3 books behind schedule, so I feel I need a little kick in the pants. 

My local library is hosting a summer reading program for both kids and adults this year, but the adult reading list is one that I am really not interested in. I like to be able to pick books that I like, so I came up with my own summer reading program. This summer I'll be playing Bingo!

2016 Summer Reading Bingo

I put together a fun little reading bingo card to track my summer reading progress. I took a look on Pinterest for inspiration for my Bingo card. I borrowed some of the book spaces from here and here. I also came up with some of my own that I thought would be fun and a little challenging. 

Bingo Details

Bingo is super simple to play. Your goal is to complete an entire row on your Bingo card. You can do that by working across, up and down, or diagonally. That is it!

My summer reading bingo game will run June 10–August 21. That gives me a little over 3 months to read enough books to win! If I choose them correctly I will need to read 4–5 books to hit Bingo.

I just started reading a cozy mystery with yellow on the cover, so I am looking at six different options:

Option 1
Option 1 is the most doable for me, especially with the free space. I have plenty of YA books to read, several first books of a series, and I'd love to re-read a book from my youth. I have a whole bookshelf full of Nancy Drew books I've been dying to re-read. This might be the one. But, there are five more challenging options.

Option 2
Option 2 is a little more challenging than Option 1, but still pretty simple with the free space. Two of the books are summer related books. If I'm reading cozy mysteries that shouldn't be too hard to do. I'll also have to read a book on one of my friend's favorites list on Goodreads. That might be tough. A lot of my friends read very different books than I do. :)

Option 3
Options 3, 4, 5, & 6 force me to read 5 books, since the free space is out of play. I'm really liking these spaces on Option 3, though. I've got several YA and fairy tale books on my shelves and I love anything having to do with pirates. So, reading these 5 books would be fun!

Option 4
Another fun column is Option 4. I've got a book with pirates, a cozy mystery, a book I found on Goodreads, and a book by an indie author (I've got lots of those). But that crazy book a friend likes might get me. Maybe one of my friends has a mystery or craft book that they like. :) 

Option 5
Option 5 actually looks pretty good too. I get to re-read a book from my youth, read a non-fiction book (I've got bookshelves full of those), and a time-travel book. The debut novel might be tough, but overall this column isn't too shabby. This one could be the winner.

Option 6
Option 6 is probably the hardest of my options. I do have quite a few books about music, but a foreign place and debut novel will be tough. I'm thinking this option might be out, but we'll see. 


This is a pretty big goal for me, especially since I'll be working on so many other projects this summer. So, because this will be such a challenge for me I'm going to award myself a prize if I hit Bingo. 

My prize:

by Shelly Down

I have purchased a couple of Shelly's patterns on Etsy, she sells under Gingermelon, and I love them. I've had this book on my to-read list for awhile. Unfortunately they don't have it at my library, but it looks like one that should be in my craft library anyway. 

Are you taking part in any summer reading programs? You can play along with me or even make your own. Check out Pinterest for some ideas.

Happy Summer Reading!