Posts Tagged ‘cats’

She is kind of functional. Nice and warm.

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

My cat has recently taken to trying to sleep around my neck like a scarf. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem, except that she also has a tendency to forget that she possesses legs when she tries to get up. She just thrashes herself around like a salmon until she ends up upright.

In related news, if ever you’re planning to curl up with a salmon, you might want to protect your larynx.

Tearing Down Walls

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

We’re going to go through some photos and videos today. I’m scared to, but I think it will be good for us. I was surprised last week when we looked at a couple of things how much it helped. It was hard, don’t get me wrong, and we both cried, but it felt better afterward, and helped us to remember all the good, and the love, and how lucky we were to know him while we did. And provided the fodder, apparently, for a sentence with no less than six commas in it. And then one that starts with a conjunction. And then another one.

I am starting to feel slightly more like myself. Sometimes I will read a random Facebook comment, and feel the urge to post a random response, like I normally would. Sometimes it all still seems too trivial. A lot of the time in the last couple of days, I’ve been feeling less down on the surface, like I’ve trapped all the pain behind thick walls and refuse to go in there. Makes me more capable. But I don’t think it’s actually a good thing overall. When something manages to get my mind behind those walls for a second, tears start flowing again. And I’m not actually at peace. I am desperate, and afraid, and consequently irritable and stressed-out and a little bit fierce. It’s an effective defense mechanism in its way, but not without cost.

And another part of me still feels guilty every time I realize I’m not actively mourning.

So we’re striving for balance today. We’ll be brave, and remember how much we loved him, and then we’ll get out of the house and do…I don’t know what, but something mindless or distracting. And we’ll feel how much we miss him, probably both more and less than the last few days, and we’ll try to be okay with both.

Cat-Shaped Holes

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

First off, thank you all for your messages of support and understanding. I know I’m not always ready to say much in return, but every word from you guys is helping to make this easier. Knowing you’re out there means a lot to me, and there is also something really special in feeling like other people are moved by Morning, and that in some small way I’m able to share how special he was.

I have heard a lot of repeated, cliche stories about human grief. About how people who have lost someone close to them will wake up in the morning, and for one brief moment everything is happy, and then they remember and it all closes in on them again. About how they will go about their daily activities as if that person will be coming home, and then are suddenly reminded that they won’t. About how it all feels impossible, and part of them keeps expecting that their loved one will be walking back through the door at any minute. About how they have a brief glimmer of happiness about something, and then feel guilty that they are capable of it. About how everything that everyone else talks about seems so trite and frivolous and unimportant.

And they’re all true.

And the loved one doesn’t have to be human.

We got up on our own yesterday. There was nobody waiting patiently until the alarm clock went so that he could purr all over us to wake us up.

I put our leftovers on the kitchen island yesterday. I just left them there for a while. Right in on the edge. Because I knew no curious little furball be coming to investigate them. We could leave them there forever if we wanted to. No one wants to sniff them.

I threw out the eye drops on the counter. Nobody here needs them anymore.

I made tea, and nobody came running. No one thought it was the most exciting thing in the world to get to sniff the tea bag. Nobody wanted to stretch up and put his paws up on the counter to help me. I didn’t have to be careful pouring the water. There was no one there to splash.

I walked into our office yesterday to check the calendar. I didn’t need to close the door quickly behind me, but I did anyway. I didn’t need to feel guilty for not giving somebody some time to explore in there, in what was often our special place. I haven’t been in there much since getting my laptop. Somebody used to miss spending time on my desk. Nobody is missing it now. And when I came out, I didn’t need to keep one foot held out at the ready to discourage anyone from making a quick slip inside. But I did anyway.

I didn’t need to leave room on the couch last night so that someone could climb up there with me. I didn’t need to be careful when I shifted positions because there was nobody there to poke or prod. And because there wasn’t, I kept looking to the ottoman, where usually there would be a little brown furry body, making questioning eye contact with me and giving the special little murp that was a question whether I wanted to shift over a little and make room so that he could join me. The answer was always yes. Always.

A little pile of electronics out of the corner of my eye looked like my sweet boy, and I was going to reach over to pet him. I wondered why he was lying so far away. But it was only electronics. And I was forcefully reminded of that.

I keep calling our girl-cat a “good boy” by accident, and having to correct myself. And I keep comparing them. And feeling guilty that she can’t be what he was.

Nobody startled awake and turned an inquisitive eye on me when I turned on the sound on my laptop. Likewise there was nobody there to keep sleeping blissfully upon being petted, or snuggled, or kissed unexpectedly.

I took some melatonin last night to try to shut down my thinking and let me get some sleep, and I was so careful, like I always am with pills. But I realized it wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t. No one is curious about what they are, or likely is to accidentally sample one if I dropped it.

When I went to bed, I tried to sleep closer to the edge. We don’t need to leave a third of the bed empty anymore. But I moved back to the centre. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be in his spot in case he wanted to climb up.

When I get up and move around the house to do anything, things keep catching my attention out of the corner of my eye. I keep waiting for the curious little inquiry into where I am going and what I am doing, and for somebody small and brown to come and join me in wherever and whatever it is. But I don’t hear anything.

When I go out today, there will be nobody to say goodbye to me, or to watch out the window as I leave. When I get home, no one will be waiting. Nobody will sit on the stairs until I get my shoes off, or want to sniff my face to say hello.

When I leave the shower, nobody is waiting on the toilet seat for me.

When I leave the bathroom, nobody is lounging on the floor just outside, waiting to see where we’ll go next.

I could wear a sweatshirt today without tucking up the hood strings. I could let them just dangle there. Even shake them around a little. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to play with them, or thinks they’d be great for a good chew. And nobody will be happy to be presented with a toy instead, or decide that a cuddle would be just as much fun.

I sobbed cleaning up the little patch of vomit he left on our floor. It was like wiping away the last traces of him from our home. My husband had to help me. I couldn’t see through the tears.

I can’t believe he’s really gone. That he is really never coming back. I had thought that first night was pretty awful, but it was actually easier than the days since. That night was so full of adrenaline, and shock, and exhaustion, that it was still all very surreal. Without that protection, there is just weight, and pain, and the occasional bout of numbness, and as much distraction as we can manage. At least my husband and I have each other to lean on, and are both going through the same loss. That’s a rare occurrence, I guess. Often when you lose somebody, other people can sympathize but they aren’t going through the same thing at the same time as you. We will get through it. This is only day three. And I recognize this feeling. My old friend depression. I have been here before, and will face it intelligently. I am actually still better off in this moment than I was when my medications were messing with me.

But still, if I could say one thing, I would wish that the image that came to mind when I think of him didn’t have to always be his unnatural still face, lying on that table, once he was dead.

He looked like road kill.

And that isn’t right.

Murr-y Christmas

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Why is it “Merry” Christmas anyway? No other events are merry. You don’t wish someone a Merry Birthday or a Merry New Year. Come to think of it, pretty much everything is happy except for Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’ll start changing it up a little. I think Arbor Day deserves to be merry.

Our Christmas schedule is a little off the norm this year. My sister has a seasonal job this holiday season, and not in town, so we’re having our Christmas Eve on the 29th and Christmas Day on the 30th. We did something similar last year, and it actually worked out well. In the mean time, the husband is off on holidays and we have the chance at some quality time together, which it kind of a delightful way to gear up for the more intensive social holiday stuff. Our holiday schedule looks something like this:

Dec 24th – Take care of any remaining holiday-related errands and chores; play games; chat; take walk
Dec 25th – Dinner with the husband’s sister (who is nominally Jewish);
Dec 26th – 28th – Days dedicated to fun, bonding activities, enjoying each other’s company, and purchasing and playing an RPG video game together (it’s sort of tradition now). These are the sweet days, with lots of great stuff for both of us. They’ve been closely guarded and protected from other social commitments. :)
Dec. 29th and 30th – Hosting Christmas with my little sister. There may be cheese involved.
Dec. 31st – Hosting New Year’s for a few friends (mostly pretty low key)

…And somewhere in there we’re also supposed to see a friend of mine who is in town only every few years or so. Probably also at our place. I like hosting much better than driving, though, so it’s okay. :)

It’s a different Christmas tradition than I was used to, but it’s a nice one, and something I look forward to. This is definitely the best part of the Christmas season, when I can forget about any overtones of obligation and stress and planning and decision-making, and just enjoy a time of relaxation and indulgence.

And oh yes, there will be indulgence.

Boy-cat is loving the Christmas season. I mean, to start with, we imported a real live pine tree JUST FOR HIM. And then we strung it up with sparkly bits and things that look fun to bat around. Because we’re good owners like that. Plus, board games mean lots of box lids to attempt to cram himself into (as a side note, 16 long pounds of cat does not fit well into a typically-sized game box. Just sayin’. He sort of lies there curled up with a fur-filled muffin top hanging over the edge). It occurred to me yesterday to wonder if it’s weird to him that when the game is over we pick him up out of the box so that we can pack it up. I mean, imagine you were sleeping in bed, and some giant came over and picked you up out of it. And they didn’t even really want anything from you. They just sort of deposited you on the carpet and went about their business. He must think we’re totally bizarre.

The health of our girl-cat seems to be continuing to improve as well. She’s still feeling vulnerable, and consequently still a little testy with the boy-cat (who looks hurt and confused and heartbreakingly innocent every time he comes over to say hello and she hisses at him), but the rest of the time she’s making her normal murring noises and very slowly getting back to a more normal state of things. She’s even been released from our Intensive-Care-Ward/Isolation-Chamber/The-Place-Where-We-Poop and back into the rest of the house. Progress indeed.

So from everyone here, with and without fur, currently using computer monitors or trying with a raging lack of success to hide behind them with their nose, tail, and a multitude of fur hanging out (*cough* girl-cat *cough*), we wish you a safe and happy winter holiday of your choice.

cat standing by table

owl ornament

We purchased this ornament this year because it reminded us so much of our girl-cat. Something about the expression, I think.

cat face


cat looking at Christmas tree

cat by Christmas tree

cats lying under Christmas tree

Being cute is hard work

cat under Christmas tree
cat hiding in Christmas tree

cat with face in camera

Christmas in 3-D

Welcome home, little one

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Kitty is coming home this evening. There was a lot of guilt, and stress, and indecision in there in the mean time, but I’ll spare you most of it. The phone call from the vet to say that she was absolutely miserable and wouldn’t eat, drink, pee, or stop shaking didn’t help. …and our kitty had a rough time with the interaction too. ;) .

They did x-rays and what not. They are still not entirely sure what’s wrong with her, but it seems to definitely be a kidney issue, and we’ll be treating her for the most likely culprit. I feel better just having some direction to go on. Apparently she is likely to be an invalid for some time longer. Poor thing. I think she was already bored out of her little grey mind.

I am still extra-stressed over the number of unexpected large sums of cash we’ve had to drop in the last month or so, but I know that in the long run things will work themselves out (sorry for the angst last post – the news was recent and difficult). Since the additional $750 this morning, I’m sort of numb about it. We do okay most of the time, but we’ve been on an ultra-tight budget the last while already. If ever there is a good time for unexpected $1800 charges, this was not it.

But we will recover.

And in the mean time, we get our girl back. Welcome home, sweet girl. Your family loves you.

cat lying on back

*shake shake* Smells like urine, sounds like “Mrrrrrrrrrrrrr.” …What could it be??

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Kitty is at the vet’s office now. They decided to keep her for one or two days to get some extra iv fluids into her and run some tests. Hopefully they can get her back on track and feeling better. The woman we saw today said it seemed to be either a kidney or bowel issue. Poor thing (…the kitty, not the vet). She’s such an extremely nervous kitty around strangers or strange places at the best of times. I may or may not have taken off my shirt in the vet’s office to leave it with her.

It also looks like we’re going to have an extra $850 plus tax riding on the credit card just in time for Christmas, more if they discover anything seriously wrong. Sigh. Now I am wishing I had been a little more lax this year and hadn’t finished most of my Christmas shopping early for the first time ever. Feck. I don’t know. Maybe I would have bought most of it anyway. As mentioned, I host Christmas for my sister now, and I know it’s tough enough on her not having my mom there. I’m not all that good at putting budget before sentiment when it comes to stuff like that.

I hope that doesn’t come across in a way that suggests that I in any way begrudge our sweet kitty the care. I don’t at all. …It’s just going to make things a little extra stressful at an already financially stressful time. Blah.

Cat Update. …For Inquiring Minds who Want to Know

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Doused the cat tree in Nature’s Miracle, but wasn’t able to get the stench out. We’re going to try taking the top level off, or at least taking the carpeting off it and having a go at the wood underneath.

Kitty has definitely injured herself somehow. We had taken her to the vet, and she was gently poked and prodded a little but it didn’t turn up anything (I’m a little bitter about the lack of thoroughness from the guy we saw, to be honest, but I’m glad we took her anyway). I came home with a urine collection container and lab litter to check for a bladder infection just in case.

It’s clear now that the pain has something to do with her walking. While she’s stationary, she’s okay. When I check over her paws, she’s fine. Twice now when my husband and I (before coming to this conclusion) have tried to encourage her to walk out from her hiding place a little, she has taken her first step and yoweled in pain (and immediately curled in on herself again). …Which I now feel horribly guilty about. Poor thing was hurting, and we kept trying to get her to walk around, walk to her food bowl, etc. And to please us, she tried. She peed in the tree because it hurt too much and she couldn’t bring herself to walk to the litter box. When I bring the litter box right into her bed, she goes and then I can take it away again.

So for now, we’ve isolated her in the bathroom so the other cat won’t bug her. She has everything she would need in there, but won’t budge from between the toilet and tub (which, it seems, is a very smart decision on her part). I bring her food right up to her or she won’t eat. I bring her water or she won’t drink. I bring her litter or she will hold it in until she can’t anymore. She has another vet appointment tomorrow with a different vet. …But she will purr when I pet her, and seems eager for attention, and is doing generally okay as long as we don’t move her and don’t require her to move from her spot. …Provided that I spend a lot of time and energy coaxing her to relax.

So I am relieved, though also stressed.

…And man, does my back hurt.  Bathrooms are not comfortable places!

The current hidey-hole (I know snuggling up with the toilet is the first thing I'd do if I was seeking comfort)

cat lying on back

Feeling more like herself after a heavy petting session

cat playing with blanket

cat stretching out on back/side

angry-looking cat drinking

...Though still not entirely impressed by the whole situation.

We have an enzyme spray. …Any other tips? Please? Save us.

Monday, December 6th, 2010

We had our first real solid snowfall yesterday. And I got terrible sleep so I’m exhausted. My course also finished on Friday, so this is the first day with nothing additional hanging over my head. Somehow the combination feels like Christmas.

Except that Christmas generally has less to do with cat urine than today.

Our girl-cat is a bit high-anxiety much of the time. I’m not sure what’s up with her the last several days. She’s taken to hiding in the corner where their cat tree is, and has been scared to even come out for food and water (we’ve been carrying her over to the food bowl twice a day to make sure that she gets at least a little to eat). She doesn’t seem ill, and she will still perk up and purr if we come over to her, so we’re hoping it’s nothing serious. Something must have freaked her out, but for the life of us we can’t figure out what it might have been. Our best guess was that maybe the two cats are having some kind of territorial issues because if we thought the boy-cat was sickeningly snuggly and affectionate before, he’s breaking all records the last couple of weeks…but she doesn’t seem particularly bothered by him specifically. Anyway, it’s been concerning but manageable. And she was good about sneaking over to the litter box and then making a run back to her hidey-hole.

Was. Notice that word there. Was.

I sat there painstakingly dabbing up little droplets of yellow for about an hour with very little progress before I realized that there was a whole tub of silica crystal cat litter sitting across the room that was made for just that purpose.

I put some plastic wrap, a hardcover book, and a 25 pound free weight on the pile. I’m enjoying their working on the problem much more than when I was. I make a good supervisor. Suck up that stuff, crystals. You can do it. Performance review next month.

(I think I’ve set things up so that the book should be okay.)

(but I won’t pretend I didn’t choose an author I don’t care for, just in case)

This is the first time they’ve strayed from the litter box at all in the almost five years we’ve had them. I guess we were due.

In happenings (as far as I know) unrelated to cat urine, my new computer has been exhibiting some disturbingly random behaviour. In the last week or so, I’ve discovered several different files in which the content has reverted to some previous save. Sometimes many saves ago. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s all back the next time I open the file. Sometimes not. Disturbing (I mean, think of the funny search engine hits that I had collected and will probably never go back to re-find. The lost hilarity alone is painful). It’s almost reassuring in its way, though. The first file this happened with (which was the very-important final course project, incidentally. Um….panic!) I half thought I was going crazy. I checked for any reasonable explanation and couldn’t find one. Not saved elsewhere. And I’m a compulsive saver, so it’s not like I had imagined saving it. Plus, I knew that I had worked on the file several times since the point it was stuck at, so…I hadn’t saved once through several writing sessions in a row? I was seriously starting to wonder if I had imagined doing the assignment at all. Anyway, bad news – my computer may or may not have Alzheimer’s. Good news – I probably don’t.

(And that particular large and frustrating file did mysteriously come back for no explained reason. Which saved me having to hurt the computer. Or myself. Or both.)

So all I have to do today are the multitude of things that I haven’t been able to get done while I was coursework crazy. But it’s almost nice to have the freedom to do that. Crazy busy does have the benefit that just busy starts to seem great. And it feels like Christmas. And not the stress-crazy kind of Christmas that last week felt like when gifts were still unselected, and unpurchased, and needed to be mailed on a deadline. This week there are gifts sitting in our office, and Christmas can be fun and exciting and magical again.

…Except for the urine.

But I’m working on that.


Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Defective Yeti’s author took a bit of a hiatus for a while there, but he is back and writing again. And producing characteristically amusing things like this, which just made me laugh out loud in my living room.

In other news, I think I can safely say that our boy-cat has kicked the bout of nightmares he was having for a while there.  Went on for more than a couple weeks, I think, but seems consistently gone now.  Poor thing would be doing that random body part twitch thing that dreaming cats do, and then growl, and startle, and instantly launch his whole body at least a good solid six inches straight into the air.  …Which is made more impressive by the fact that he generally sleeps on his side.

Of course, being the good cat mommy that I am, I was trying to figure out what might have been causing him extra stress or remembered fear.  Being human, it is really hard not to stare incredulously at a cat that propels itself straight up vertically with seemingly no preparation.

Because it’s also freaking cool.

A Tail of Two Kitties

Monday, November 1st, 2010

I just realized it was a new month, so tried to write down September. Apparently I am living backwards now. Apparently I can look forward to a long and sort of tedious life in which I meet a really old Brad Pitt at the end.

We recently invested in a laser pointer for the cats (look how I say “invested” like it cost more than a couple bucks). Lord knows they have a giant toy collection already, and I have naturally shied away from them due to potential situations in which we could accidentally shine it in their eyes (because my brain is like that), but our girl is beginning to get…how to say this politely…slightly more than big boned, and she’s crazy for the light circles my watch makes in the sunlight, so it was a pretty reliable bet she’d like the laser.

Here she is playing with my watch reflection when she was “little.” She’s only one year old here, I swear.

…And yes, that is a broken bed frame and mattress she is playing on. And yes, kid you not, we actually broke it that way.

She is not a small girl. She will never be a small girl, and that is as it should be for her breed. But she is beginning to get a little bit of extra around the middle and she’s sedentary enough that that’s probably a poor road to go down for her.

And yes. She likes the laser. Oh BOY does she like the laser.

Unfortunately, the laser did not like me. The first time, it turned on perfect. The next time I had to fiddle with it for a minute and then it went on. The third time took a lot of finagling. And it just got worse from there. Until I had two pairs of giant baleful eyes looking up at me, wondering why I would get their hopes up and then not make the laser go.

I bought a replacement laser pointer.

So our new routine has resumed again. Amaya makes her laps every morning, back and forth, up and down the hallway. …Which is entirely more hilarious if you have any idea how little she runs on a regular basis. This is a cat who on more than one occasion would be curled up somewhere when I left for work in the morning, and in the exact same place when I got home at the end of the day. And not like she had been roaming in the meantime. You could put chalk marks on this cat’s tires with no problems. You could set a hair on her and I guarantee you it wouldn’t have been disturbed. She is nothing if not consistent. When we’re home, she follows us from place to place, but only to find a new place to sleep that’s nearby.

And she doesn’t play often these days. When she does it generally involves either lying on her back and batting at a toy for a couple of seconds, or making ungodly yowling noises while the rest of us are trying to sleep (you have NO IDEA). I think she’s got performance anxiety. So when the rest of us are safely in the bedroom, she really cuts loose. I don’t have the heart to give her the embarrassment of letting her know we can all hear her anyway. But even then, there is no running involved.

Anyway, she runs after that thing with a heart-warming amount of reckless abandon and innocent enthusiasm. Buh-WUMP, buh-WUMP, buh-WUMP, buh-WUMP, buh-WUMP. Cute. The jointly more sad and more amusing statement is that she is not the only one who now comes running frantically when they hear the tell-tale tinkle of the key chain on the laser pointer. He comes tearing over as well. Not because he gives a crap about the little red laser (he couldn’t care less), but because he is SO innocently excited about an upcoming game of Make Amaya Run. It’s like playing fetch except we’ve got a real live kitty just for him. Poor little guy was very disappointed when we started taking him to the other room during our exercise sessions. He thought we were the most generous owners ever for a while.

And he wonders why he thinks they’re super friends and she gets irritated when we take him to the vet and have the gall to bring him back again.

In which I discover that maneuvering a laser pointer in an enticing manner while simultaneously holding a video camera is a talent that I apparently do not possess