And Then There Was One

My cat died today.

I don’t know what to write.

I’ve been trying for weeks to compose an appropriate goodbye post for the cat we lost in September, and now this.  I am overwhelmed.

I can’t think about either of them without a huge lump in my throat and water in my eyes.

It’s hard to type.

Rusty and Poupon.

My babies.

Dear Rusty,

A few months ago, you walked out into the yard as a seemingly healthy cat.  When you came back inside, you started sneezing and you really never stopped.

You got sick.  Maybe there was cancer growing inside you for years.  We will never know for sure.  All those diagnostic tests, and we never got an answer.

None of the medicine worked.  You couldn’t keep the liquids in your stomach.  The pills made you gag.  The shots had no effect.

You got i.v. fluids and oxygen too, but nothing helped.  You declined quickly.

In mid-September, we took you to the vet to have you euthanized.

It was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever made, but your breathing was labored, you had lost four pounds, and your energy was sapped.  It was time and we knew it.

Today, I feel relieved that you aren’t suffering, but watching you in those last few minutes was a heartbreak I can barely stand to think of, much less communicate here.

You were a big cat – tall, muscular, imposing – over sixteen pounds in your prime.  You were once a graceful and merciless hunter, catching birds in our small backyard whenever we let you out for a minute.

As you aged, you were still keen on the low slink through the grass to get a butterfly or lizard, but you generally did a lazy flop in the sun just short of your target.  Too much trouble when there’s a plate of Friskie’s just inside the door, I guess.

We got you and your brother over ten years ago, when I was pregnant with our son.  You were my faithful companion then.  We spent hours together, curled into the corner of our fat blue couch, waiting for the baby.  You seemed to know that I felt sick to my stomach and a little bit sad most of the time.  You fit perfectly in the crook of my arm.

You were such a comfort to me then – more than I was to you those last few weeks, I’m afraid.  I am sorry for that.  You should have had a fat blue couch and a fat blue mama to comfort your weary body around the clock.  I sat with you as much as I could, but life interrupted a lot.

Your brother and Poupon seemed to know you had something scary.  They really wouldn’t get too close to you in the final days.  Just typing that makes me so incredibly sad.  You deserved more from all three of us.  You really did.

I loved you, Rusty.  I hope you are healthy and happy somewhere now.

Dear Poupon,

Today was difficult.  I took you to the vet and got confirmation of what I already knew.  I had to let you go.  I held you for a while and I said goodbye.  I cried and I watched as the doctor administered the overdose of medication that would end your life.

I had no husband or friend beside me this time, but it seemed appropriate that I didn’t.  You were a gracious, independent lady of great strength, and I know I am meant to carry that legacy on your behalf.

I was just thirty when you tumbled into my life.  You were a fluffy, flea-covered kitten, abandoned and crying in a nearby yard.  My neighbor came around with you in her arms and asked us all if we knew where you belonged.  She even posted signs and placed an ad, but no one claimed you.  I was smitten.

For a few years, you played second fiddle to a smart Russian Blue named Shadow.  When she passed away, you moved elegantly into her place.

You were a funny girl, my Fairy Princess.  You used to wait outside the shower door to rub your flyaway fur all over our wet legs when we emerged.  You used to chase things that weren’t there and occasionally, you walked into a room and flopped your Rubenesque figure right upside down with your feet in the air.  You stayed like that for long minutes, daring the boys to come anywhere near you.  And you chortled.

I’ve grown up with you, my friend.  What will I do without the sound of your sweet voice and the clicking of your silly toenails on the tile floor?  You were a ballerina.  A big, fat, beautiful gray ballerina and I will miss you so very much.  I love you, Pou.

 

♥♥

Just Emptying The Brain

I got a $135 rebate on my new washing machine.

I got a $133 delinquent registration fine on my van.

I want to go back to Pasadena and stay for a long time.  And while I’m away, I want a team of cleaning specialists, carpenters, painters, electricians, and pretty people from HGTV to attack my house.

It’s so depressing to return to an unorganized, inefficient, stressful mess.  I am back to the ever-burning questions – have there really been faded sheets hanging over my windows for the last ten years and why do we have so many wires everywhere?

My fattest boy cat is snoring soooo loud from his perch across the room,

that I keep checking the sweet girl next to me to see if it’s her.  It isn’t.

The little boy slobbered and slurped, then abandoned his Lula Mae spiral sucker on the desk last night.

I have already gotten stuck to it once.

I am sweating.

There is a five dollar Denny’s coupon on my printer.

The cat stopped snoring.  Is he dead?

Last month, the little boy taped a pencil to the wall in our hallway.  It stayed there for almost two weeks and a couple of times, when I threw my dirty laundry down from the landing above, my undies got stuck on the pencil and hung on the wall for over an hour.

While I was gone this weekend, husband blew up every balloon we had.

The child wrote words and drew faces on most of them.

And on this yellow one, he wrote the word “clear.”  Backwards.

We don’t know why.

But for some reason, it’s beautiful to us.  🙂

Meeting a friend soon, so I gotta go.

Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Hodge Podge

The little boy…

got to go to the principal’s office and choose an excellent behavior reward from the goodie box yesterday.  Woohoo!

And this morning, he made it through all of the red traffic lights between our home and the school without one tantrum.  No kicking.  No yelling.  No screaming.  No “water out the eyes.”

I made a deal with him last night.  If he could wait nicely at the lights this morning, I would buy him the brand new twisty light he admires at the store everyday.

Well, kiss my Blarney Stone, he was an angel!  Now his room will be lit with soft green before bedtime.  So appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day!

Traffic School…

I put my certificate of completion in the mail to the court this morning.  Finally!

I sent it certified, return receipt, and signature requested.  I didn’t say “please.”

Aaaah.

Can you hear my deep sigh of relief?

Over.  Done.  Yippee!

Things on the desk in front of me:

empty M&Ms wrapper

advertisement from Cheez-It urging me to vote on their new flavors (The boy likes the Colby cheese variety and says the Romano and Asiago taste like butter.)

half of a broken nail file

a box of Super Mario fruit snacks

Andy, the cast iron Black Sheep (Scroll down to the bottom of the Rose Bowl post to see his picture.)

a large black screw (It looks important, but I don’t know what it came from.  I will probably find out by having a chair break under me or a cupboard door fall off its frame when I open it.)

Gourdy

the bottom half of an old bicycle bell (Husband, do you know where the top half went?)

Smucker’s coupon with recipe for Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

germ-x

crossword puzzle book

Bustani Plant Farm catalog (Husband LOVES this place.)

a business card for jordan grace owens

lip gloss

a peppermint (No, wait, now there’s just the wrapper. 😀 )

husband’s headset  (When I’m trying to watch “my stories,” he spares me the sounds of combat from Starcrapcraft II.)

a lego man

an aqua lava lamp (husband’s – from college)

J.R. Watkins Shea Butter Lemon Cream (So lovely, lemony and luxurious for hands, elbows & tired tootsies.  They’re not paying me to say that, but I figure if I can get you to like it too, then they’ll keep making it.  Please buy some now.  😀  Thank you.  Oh, and by the way, Leighann, I was wrong.  😳  They just re-named it to “Body Cream” instead of “Hand Cream.”  Thank God and Watkins.)

Cats…

Two of my cats are snoring.

I take that back.

One of my cats is snoring.  But he’s so fat and ill-constructed that he’s making two different noises at the same time.

And fyi – he’s also the one who passes gas.

Easter…

I am obsessed with the $1.49 ceramic egg cups at the grocery store.  No one buys them.  Except for me.  🙂

I hate eggs, but I love those little cups in all their pastel hues.  I have six.  I want more.

They have some with polka dots too, but I haven’t brought home any of those.  Yet.

I don’t know why I like them so.  Or maybe I do…

They’re little.  That’s a plus.

They’re sweet.  Double Plus.

They’re whimsical.  Major plus.

They’re affordable.  Well, they are, until you start buying them in bulk.  Truly I haven’t.  Yet.

This is really just an occasional indulgence.  I started getting them last year.

But remember, I’m in the store everyday with the boy.

He likes light bulbs.  I like egg cups.

The obsessive compulsive-ish-osity-ness never falls far from the tree?

Oh, and thank you to Carol, who long ago gave me the Easter Chick tea light candles.  ♥  I love them!

Okay, that’s it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

♣♣

Home Again

I ate cereal for dinner.  And I might have dessert.

My back is achy, my eyes are tired and I need to color my hair.

The little boy stayed home from school again today.

Don’t know why.

I asked, but as you know, his answers don’t always help me.

I gave him the start of a sentence:  “I want to stay home because…?”

He finished it with “I want to sit on the couch.”

So I said “I want to sit on the couch because…?”

And he finished it with “I want to stay home.”

This conversation happened after an impossible ten minutes of agitated, shaking, teary meltdown.

And it was the high point, the most effective part, of our communication about school.

The relief on his body when I finally gave in and told him he didn’t have to go?  It was visibly  heavy, deeply physical, and kind of heartbreaking.

He’s not missing calculus.  I can’t feel guilty.

Sigh.  Harumph.  Snort.

Honestly, I don’t mind having him home with me most days.  He’s a sweet companion.  It’s just that he needs constant attention and I get tired.

I do nothing active.  I do nothing overtly taxing to my intellect.  I do nothing another person might consider particularly difficult.

And yet, an unexpected day with the eight-year-old ball of energy and will, and I am whooped.  Done.  Pickled.  Over.  And.  Out.

Today, we went for pancakes with Grandpa Lou.  He’s flying solo this week while my mom is in Indiana for my uncle’s funeral.

The little boy was pretty good at Aunt Emma’s.  He was pretty good when I took him to grocery store a few hours later.  And he was pretty good all the time in between and after.

It was the little battles over the hose and the water table, his snacks and a milkshake, the computer, a bunch of cardboard building blocks, and a long list of other teeny little nothings that drained me of my will to remain upright today.

He’s asleep now.  Little angel.  I think he understands he has to go to school tomorrow.  I think he’ll go.

Maybe I can get him to wear a sweatshirt.  Maybe that will help.  I think he’s just cold, you know?

Jackets are another battle.

It’s always something.

Happy Wednesday.

P.S.  I let Rusty hang out in the back yard with us today.

He is one of the three most annoying life forms in our home, but sometimes he cracks me up.

He attacked the sprinkler water…

and reveled in a cool concrete sensory session.

P. P.S.  I still haven’t finished my book and it’s killing me that I never have time for it.

It’s the first thing I’ve read since The Firm that makes me feel like the characters are pacing in the room asking each other when I’m going to pick up the book again!

I’ve read a lot of great novels in my life, but this one is compelling in a familiar, agreeable way for me.  I know I’ll want more from this author when I finally finish.

I also have a huge stack of other books waiting and I feel anxious about getting to them too.

When I was a teenager and reading every minute, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t actually have time to read every book I wanted to before I passed away.

Isn’t that a sobering thought?  Even if I live to be a very old woman, I still might die before I get to finish reading everything.

Of all the zillion things I might ever put on a bucket list, maybe half of them are books.

♥♥

My Preferences

A. The cat doesn’t barf.

B: If the cat is going to barf, then he warns me first.

C: If the cat is going to barf and isn’t going to warn me, then he does it out in the open, on the tile, where I can see it.

D: If the cat is going to barf somewhere obscured from my view, then he at least has the courtesy not to do it under my favorite dining chair.

E. If the cat is going to barf under my favorite chair, then he angles it toward the front instead of behind the back leg where it will smear all over the floor when I pull my chair out to sit down for dinner.  😦

F. If the cat is going to barf behind the back leg of my favorite chair, then he has a dry barf instead of a liquidy puddle that travels under the giant bookcase thing that I can’t move.

G. If the cat is going to barf a big runny river under the giant bookcase thing, then he at least waits until after I finish my dinner so that I don’t gag on my pasta because everything around me smells like old tuna and why the hell is that?!?  😯

H. If the cat is going to barf  under my chair and ruin my dinner, then he meows or something before I walk through the slimy, liquidy, chair-leggity pile and track it all over the kitchen floor.

I. If the cat is going to barf a pile for me to step in every time he freaking eats, then he doesn’t he eat so much so fast.

I. If the cat is going to barf up my evening so violently, then husband is home to witness my despair.  😦

J. If the cat is going to barf when husband isn’t home, then at least I remember to get my camera so husband can suffer it again with me later.

K. If the cat is going to barf, then he goes to a friend’s house to do it!

I’m just sayin’.

Evil dirty kitty!

Grrrrr.  😡

Happy Saturday!

♥♥

Done With This

I’m sick of being sick.

I want to get back to my routine.

Illness has overlapped with holiday and together they spell lazy, couch hugging, inactive lump.  L-u-m-p.  Lump.  LUMP.

You know what I mean – too much computer time, tv and cheese products.

Oh, and did I mention gut splitting sneezes?

Ibuprofen.

Yes, my side muscles have exercised even though the rest of me hasn’t.

Fun.

Will have to get the most I can from tomorrow’s walk.

This view is part of my reward:

This is my trusty companion:

He’s on loan each day from a good friend.

Sometimes, I contemplate kidnapping him permanently.  🙂

Not sure the felines at home would appreciate him as much as I do.

Ha!

I let them outside for a little fresh air this morning.

Can there be anything happier than a very fat house cat lying outside on warm concrete?

Maybe only his big brother…lying on cool concrete:

The Fairy Princess took advantage of the Beastie Boys’ outing to relax inside:

They’re not always pleasant housemates.  She has to be crafty and quick.

There were a few other things in the yard today too.

Like this guy:

And his very large friend, who hid himself a bit before I could snap this picture:

The “predators” were oblivious:

Thank goodness for that, right?

The yard seems a little more interesting with live lizards in it than it does with dead lizards in it.

Our geraniums have decided to live too.  They popped back up this week to pull me out of my sicky misery.

I have veered off course.

Sick of being sick.  That’s right.

Ah, whatever.  Talk to you tomorrow.

Husband has the day off from work too.  He is watching The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.  Do you remember that movie?  Totally preposterous.  I remember very little about it actually.  Little, except for one scene where all of the characters are running through a laboratory and Jeff Goldblum, who is dressed like a cowboy, stops to say “Why Is There A Watermelon There?”  I don’t think  that question is ever answered in the film, but it was my inspiration for the title of this post.  Enjoy.  🙂

♥♥