It’s the cat’s meow

I’m sure I’m the only person who hadn’t already seen the commercials for the nifty new product called The Cat’s Meow.  It’s a simple device designed to give your cats hours of playful exercise.  I first heard about it on someone’s blog (I’m so sorry that I can’t remember the blog) and wondered if my kitties would enjoy it.  Then I forgot about it until we got it in our store as part of the As Seen On TV merchandise we carry.

Anyhow, I ended up buying it at work yesterday.  I came home super tired last night so just sat the box on the counter.  Got up this morning and thought I’d pull it out and put it together for the kitties to play with.  Oh, right…C batteries.  Let’s see, I’ve got AA, AAA, D, 9V…but no C.  Needed to go to the grocery store anyhow, so picked up a 4-pack of batteries (it takes 3).

I put the batteries in and turned it on for them.  They just sat there and watched it at first.  But they finally got brave enough to touch the little wand moving under the layer of fabric.  After a while they seemed to think it was fun.

"Come on, Spook...let's trap it."

“Come on, Spook…let’s trap it.”

 

So I was thinking I’d managed to find something fun for them to do to entertain themselves…$20 for the Cat’s Meow itself, another $4 or so for the batteries.  Then the UPS guy showed up with a couple of boxes on my Subscribe and Save orders from Amazon. One of the boxes was fairly large.  I took everything upstairs and put the things I’d ordered away.  Next thing I knew, both cats were playing in the box and with the packing paper that came wrapped around some of the merchandise.  Why do I always forget that I can just give them an empty cardboard box and some newspaper and they’re purrfectly content?  Head thump!

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Cat on the run

Oh my, I had a scary experience  yesterday.  One of the little neighbor girls (not Clara this time.) stopped by to show me her Halloween costume before she went out trick or treating (the costume was really cute, that’s not the scary part).  She must not have closed the door all the way.  When we went into the kitchen, the wind must have blown the door open.  When I realized there was a draft blowing through the house, I looked into the living room and saw the door standing wide open and Scout out on the front porch.  Yikes!  My cats don’t go outside…ever.

Heidi shouted, “Baby Goat” and started running toward her.  I got her to stop before she scared the cat and I walked outside, talking quietly to little (?) Scout.  I was able to gather her up and get her inside without her making a mad dash for the road, but it sure did scare me.

Then later, I heard that cat making just the most pitiful crying sound (for such a big cat, she has the daintiest meow).  I was worried that she had managed to get into something and was stuck.  But, no.  She was just sitting in front of the door.  I do not want to start this behavior.  Spook never makes a move to go outside and, prior to this, neither had Scout.  I’m going to have to keep an eagle eye on her for a while…and make sure those kids shut the front door!

aka: Baby Goat

aka: Baby Goat

How do parents do it?

alphabet

alphabet (Photo credit: Jim Davies)

Holy moly, I remember watching my nieces and nephews when they were little…and I was much, much younger.  It didn’t seem as difficult then as spending the day with a kid is now.  I’ve spent a big part of the day with my little neighbor, Claire…you’ve probably heard me talk about her before.  Sweet, funny, adorable and exhausting.  I took her and her mom to one of the food pantries here in town (there’s a whole upcoming blog in that experience).  She’s very well-behaved and quiet, that’s not the problem.  She just has so much energy…and, uh…I don’t.

After we got back, we went our separate ways, or so I thought.  Pretty soon there came this hesitant little knock on my door.  When I opened the door, there was Claire…her mommy said she could come over for a while.  She wanted to pet the kitties.  It took a while, but they eventually got to the place where they’d stay in the room with her.  Spook even allowed Claire to rub her head.  Shocking, but true!

Claire wanted me to show her how to write her name.  When I started to write it, I was using all caps.  Well, she informed me, in no uncertain terms, that we didn’t need those in her name.  Then it dawned on me, they use lower case letters…okay, I got it now.  Lower case it is.  And she recognized the letters.  See, I don’t think we did anything like that in kindergarten, but maybe we did…it has been a long, long time ago….in a galaxy far, far away…oh wait…that’s the exhaustion talking.

She had to go through every single cat toy in the house (well, not the ones under the fridge or the washer…but only because she doesn’t yet know about them), asking me which cat liked which toys the best, when they got each of them, what their favorite colors are, and so on.  Then she wanted to know why I leave them by themselves all day when I’m at work.  I mean, how do you tell a 5-year-old that you leave your cats home alone because they’re cats?  Ahh…but then came the clincher.  She said she’d be glad to watch them for me while I’m at work.  Aww…right?  I told her Spooky watches Scout since Spooky is older and that seemed to satisfy her.

Before she left, she asked me if I was working tomorrow.  When I told her I was, she asked, “And you’re going to see if you can find Dora for me?  I’ve never had Dora.”  How can I resist?  I sure hope we have something to do with Dora in the store.  If not, I guess I’ll have to go hunting…

Now…I have to go to bed…I’m worn out!

RA sucks

If you have RA, you already know how much it sucks.  If you don’t have it, or some other condition in which you experience chronic pain (and don’t know someone who does), well…then you really have no idea.  I had the weekend off work.  And, of course, I had all these plans about what I was going to do with my free time.  We all know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

I spent the weekend in some of the worst pain I’ve experienced.  My left ankle froze up….I couldn’t bend it at all and it was pretty darn painful to put any weight on it.  That kind of threw a big monkey wrench in the weekend plans.  I just sat around most of the time.  Well, that and took naps.  Of course, I couldn’t really sleep because anything touching various parts of my body caused some pretty intense pain.  That makes a gravity-free chamber sound like a worthwhile investment…I’m just afraid something like that would probably wipe out my life’s savings and I might just need that money down the road for silly little things like, oh I don’t know, medicine?

I woke up this morning before the alarm went off.  I think the sounds I made when I tried to roll over scared at least one life out of the cats.  They both sat up and stared at me, wondering what language I was speaking and what it meant.  When I finally was able to struggle to the side of the bed, I tried to stand.  I’m thankful I never put full-length mirrors in my bedroom.  I’m pretty sure I was hunched over like a 90-year-old woman.  After hobbling around for a couple of minutes, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere today.  So I made the dreaded call in to work.  Fortunately, there were no threats telling me I better get in there or else.  Seriously, I’m lucky to have a great boss.  He’s understanding…or at least as understanding as someone who knows very little about RA can be.

After placing the call, I used the furniture and walls to support myself as I made my way to the bathroom.  I thought about going downstairs, but gave that thought up and climbed back into bed.  I couldn’t really go back to sleep, but Spooky snuggled up next to me, emitting her warm, healing cat vibes.  Amazing how much it helps to have a pet right there with you when you don’t feel well, isn’t it?

I finally struggled back to the bathroom and took a hot shower.  I really wanted to soak in the tub, but I was afraid I would have to crawl out of it today and that didn’t sound all that appealing to me.  I did finally get dressed…well, sort of…if you consider putting on a clean pair of pajamas getting dressed.  I think that’s as close to getting dressed as I’ll get today.

I made my way downstairs and fed the cats.  I looked at the juicer sitting there on the counter but couldn’t dig up enough energy to make some fresh juice.  I did have tea in the fridge that I’d prepared the night before for work.  What the heck, it’s wet.  It works just fine to wash down that handful of pills I take every morning.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll feel like making some juice later on…it’ll taste just as good later in the day.

When I sat down at my computer, I started reading and replying to the posts of some of my favorite blogs.  That’s when it hit me.  I still have a week and a half before I see the rheumatologist.  I have no idea what to expect.  I do know this first visit won’t be that magic cure we’re all hoping for.  I think, in the back of my mind, I’ve been telling myself that once I see the rheumy, everything will be better.  I’ve read enough of other people’s experiences to know that that’s not likely to be the case.  So I’ve just got to suck it up and accept that this is apt to be a bumpy road. Guess I’d better look around and see if I can find a soft cushion to help me tolerate those big, bad bumps in the road, huh?

 

 

Sweet kitty antics

Aww…you just gotta love it when you have two (or more) cats and they do something sweet…you just want to kiss ’em right on the top of their furry little heads.  Now my cats have had a hate/hate relationship since I brought Scout home a few months ago.  Well, I don’t guess Scout started out hating on Spook.  I mean, she was just a little kitten and, like all kittens, wanted to play.  Spook wanted no part of playing with an interloper.  It pretty much seemed like she wanted to take any opportunity that presented itself to just kill the kitten and put an end to her interference in Spook’s idyllic life.

Fortunately, there have been no kitty murders in the house.  Today I saw a tiny glimmer of hope for kitty harmony in our family.  Scout was napping on the bed.  Spook jumped up to claim her spot on the soft, warm blanket and stopped when she got close to Scout.  Spook lowered her head like she wanted Scout to lick her…aww…how sweet, right?

Well, not quite…the kitten swatted Spook on the head then bit her leg as she was walking away.  Poor Spook…I guess she just learned that what they say about karma is true!

ahh...relaxation after an unexpected bath!

ahh…relaxation after an unexpected bath!

IU Spooky

IU Spooky

How do you decide when it’s time to have your pet put to sleep?

Let me start by saying I’m not talking about Spooky…she’s fine…mean as ever…

Spooky

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m talking about Goldi…poor old Goldi…she showed up a few years back…cold and hungry.  I really didn’t want another cat, but I felt sorry for her.  So I fed her and gave her some water on the back patio, hoping she’d find her way back home. 
 
Who knows what her story is?  Was she abandoned?  Did she escape and couldn’t find her way back home?  I have no idea.  She is so friendly that it’s obvious she was once someone’s pet.  This is why I preach to people to keep their cats inside…bad things happen to them on the outside…
 
Goldi was probably luckier than most stray cats.  I never found out where her people were, but I did take her to the vet and had her checked out.  Other than being old and skinny, there wasn’t anything wrong with her.  So I let her explore the house and try to get used to Spooky.  Funny, Spooky wanted to be friends right away, but Goldi never warmed up to her.  Maybe because she was so old and didn’t want to play…So they never really became friends, but they tolerated one another.
 
A few days ago, I noticed Goldi was becoming lethargic…still eating well, drinking enough…but just not getting around like she had before.  Last night, she just kind of stayed on a chair in the spare bedroom, didn’t come downstairs to eat.  When I took food up to her, she ate it, but I could tell something was wrong.
 
I took her to the vet this morning.  She wasn’t happy about that.  (Is there a cat in the world who enjoys going to the vet?)  They examined her, took some blood, all of those good things.  As far as they could tell, without further tests, she’s just getting really old.
 
I kind of feel guilty for not okaying more extensive tests, but it’s not something I feel like I can afford…then I question myself, if it were Spooky in this situation, would I go ahead and pay for the other tests?  I have to admit, I would be inclined to.  Does that make me uncaring for not doing it for Goldi?  The vet and I discussed putting her to sleep.  She said she didn’t think Goldi was in pain, but that it’s not always easy to tell with cats.
 
I brought her back home and have made her as comfortable as I can upstairs in the spare room where she can be warm and keep away from Spook.  She’s still eating and drinking.  I go in and pet her and talk to her several times a day.  But I don’t know…should I think more seriously about having her put to sleep?  How do you know when it’s time?  She doesn’t seem to be in pain, but she’s also not really doing much…I know it’s only a matter of time now.
 
Would it be better for her to just go ahead and schedule it sooner rather than later?  I just feel so bad for her.  What have you done in these types of situations?

Spooky and Goldi

Feeling kind of guilty this morning.

I haven’t been the best of kitty moms lately.  Oh, don’t get me wrong…Spooky still gets good food, fresh water, treats, and clean litter, but she’s not getting the attention she’s become accustomed to.  She’s used to spending quality time cuddling with me, playing fetch with her little toy mice, and getting her hair brushed.  I’ve been so busy with work lately that I haven’t had the time to love on her.

As I was getting ready to open the front door this morning (at about 4:15 am…boo), Spook jumped up on the couch and kept butting her head against my hand, obviously wanting a little attention.  I gave her a couple of pats and then told her I had to go or I was going to be late (oh come on, don’t pretend you don’t talk to your pets).  So I turned out the light, walked out the door and locked it.  I glanced up at the living room window from inside my car and what do you think I saw?  Little Spooky looking out, watching me leave her again.  I could just hear her little Spooky voice saying, “Don’t leave me, you just got home.” 

Maybe I’m a goof ball, but all day long,  I thought about her looking out the window watching me drive away.  Poor little lonely kitty.  At least we sat down and cuddled for a while this evening.  I’m hoping I have a little time to sit down with her on my lap tomorrow since I don’t have to go to work.  I’ve got to do some cooking for the banquet at work, do a little more shopping and maybe a little house cleaning, but I think I can carve out some time for Spook.  I’m sure she’ll be appreciative.