Thursday, May 30, 2013


You have to guess to figure out which child has that nickname.

Further, I will be so sad when our little Snidge stops using these words.  You must guess their meaning

  • Ponycorn
  • Spinwheel
  • Pookpack or pookpag 
  • Doodles (one eats them with red sauce, on occasion)
  • Kiss and Kisstopher.  (He calls her Bridgie)
She is my little Squirrelicious.  She's is exactly the daughter I always wanted to have.  Although, cutting her verbiage by about 20% could prevent my ears from bleeding from overuse most days.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Of Mice and Jane Eyre

So one of the things about having new members of the family, in this case, kittens, is learning more about yourself.

One important thing we have learned in the last few weeks is that, apparently, all of us wiggle our toes in our sleep.  We know this now because of the sequential screams of OWWWWW from around the house in the middle of the night as Fred attacks these "mice" he perceives under the covers with us.  It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have long ass claws and very sharp teeth.

I am afraid that Fred, should he attack Dave's mice again, is going to learn the meaning of "Flying Kitty."

Jane Eyre comes into play with Scarlett.  She is locked in the tower of our master bathroom, howling day and night at the shower.  She scared the bejeesus out of the kittens when they first moved in.  Considering that we do actually have lit candles in the master bath on occasion, and wanting to avoid the complete foreshadowing of that book, I have let that kittens in to see Berth Mason***, I mean, Scarlett, to establish some relationship with her.  She still scares the crap out of them (old gray cat that looks like them with no fur, wobbly stance, and howly meows), but I think we've reduced the chances of her burning down the house.

***And just so you don't think too highly of my literary abilities, I totally looked up Jane Eyre on Wikipedia to make sure I had the story right and also, there is no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks I would have known the insane wife's name on my own.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Lovin'

School is out for me.  And for the first time in 5 years, I am not teaching summer school nor birthing babies.


It is nice.  I'm still working on my research daily, and actually making a lot of progress.  But I've also got some breathing room and I'm not sorry about that.

So a few thoughts.  Regarding the dying cat:  she is doing SO. MUCH. BETTER.  I thought last Friday was going to be her last day on earth, or at least, last day outside of college.  We even called up the vet to schedule her appointment.  Then I cancelled it because it was too much for me to consider.  Then she got better!  She's still terminally ill, but she's walking around, eating and drinking, pooping and peeing, and purring a great deal.  We spend a good amount of time cuddling and I hope that provides some comfort to her.  (It does as indicated by the kitty biscuits she made on my collarbone today)

I did decide that I don't want to wait until she is miserable and in a great deal of pain.  I'd rather her go when she has a level of comfort about her.  But she's doing so well now, I'm not ready to let her go.

As for the kittens, I have had a serious lesson in errors of anthropomorphism.  When we rescued the kittens, we knew that  another family wanted Fred and George likely would have been put to sleep.  In addition, George is gimpy with a badly healed broken paw.  And finally, George is much smaller than Fred and not nearly as friendly.  One could easily pity George and think that he is the runt of his litter.

Do you want to guess who the new alpha animal is around our house?

Yeah, George!!  He eats first.  He discovered how to get through the doggie door first.  He explores and chases and conquers.  He "marks" Patches by rubbing up against him with his face and tail.  (Patches is very confused and really only cares if they do something wrong)  George is absolutely the alpha animal in our house now.

Who woudda thunk?

It's very similar to how Scarlett was always the prettiest and sweetest cat we had.  But every single animal who ever entered our house knew she was NOT alpha and was treated as the opposite of alpha.  I mean, within minutes, any animal would respond positively to the other cats and then go after Scarlett.

HA!  She showed them.  She's the longest living cat we'll ever have and it's going to take Dave 11 more years before he's lived with me longer than she has.  That's crazy.  I think that's typical for us.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Going to College

Apparently, and unbeknownst to us, Scarlett has recently been reviewing college brochures and filling out college applications. Although, we have been joking about this for quite a while, when we found this out, my first thought was "It's not time yet.  She should be with us a few more years at least."

So yes, why have we been joking about our elderly 21 year old cat dying or "going to college" as we call it?  What sort of horrible person does that?  Well, let me explain.

When we moved back in our house after the remodel about 3 1/2 years ago, Scarlett's, um, house-keeping habits took a severe turn for the worse.  She peed on everything that was on the floor.  We couldn't leave clothes on the floor, shoes on the floor, purses or book bags on the floor.  We couldn't even leave *rugs* on the floor.  We had to move our papasan chair and our wicker chairs out of the house and into the garage because they had cushions on them and they were close enough to the floor that, well, they served a particular purpose.  I argued on behalf of Scarlett that she was old and cranky and the move probably stressed her out so much that she was mad at us that she had to pee on  everything.

Then she peed on the twins while they were sleeping.  And that's when I decided maybe it was time to put her in a more enclosed space, the master bathroom.  About that time I was whining about Scarlett on Facebook and one of my FB friends suggested that she had dementia, even giving me a checklist of signs.  I am ever grateful to that person for giving me that information.  Our whole attitude changed from being perturbed with her to being protective of her and making sure she was safe and healthy for her final days.  Months.  YEARS. We turned the master bathroom into Cat Assisted Living, with food, water, toys, and several beds she could sleep in.  Every visit in there includes quite a bit of kitten loving.

Did I mention that all happened about 3 1/2 years ago? And she is still doing very well?  Both Dave and I agree that we want her to live the fullest life she should and we will do absolutely nothing to hasten her demise.  And until recently, it has looked like she had quite a few more years left in her:  she is still spry (hopping in and out of a basket to sleep), she eats like a pig, she always goes in the litter box now that she knows where it is.  (Apparently, the peeing on everything before was because she was lost).  She may be deaf and she may be blind, but actually not really too bad of either.  She still PLAYS WITH YARN!  What 21 year old still plays with yarn?  Our sweet little grandma, Scarly-scar-scar.

So what has happened.  We had her groomed/shaved a couple of weeks ago, which was only the first time in her life she needed it.  I love it because she seems so much happier and can move around easier and her fur is so fun to scratch now!  But around the same time (and not related to the grooming), we noticed a bloody discharge coming from her nose.  I felt guilty because I was afraid she had caught a bad sinus infection from Fred (who had one when he arrived).  However, our vet suggests that it is more likely a polyp or a tumor.  And it's not likely something that is going to go away on its own.  And even she agrees that with a 21 year old cat, the options for treatment are limited to hospice.

Fortunately, our vet clinic has a "dean of admissions" who makes house calls for the college interviews, and can help in Scarlett's transition to dorm living.  (That's what we're calling heaven now--the dorm.)  I am not ready in way or shape for her to go.  We are having the best cuddles we've had in years over these last few weeks.  She is even snuggling under my chin and resting her paw on my face.  But her breathing is getting noticeably worse. She's still eating well with a good appetite.  And she's still spry and happy.

But as much as I have joked about it, I am not happy to see this ending.  I'm not ready for her to go to college yet.