Posted tagged ‘cats’

“Nothing is deader than yesterday’s news.”

August 15, 2019

Today is my sloth day. I have actually been busy, out of the house busy, every day this week. Yesterday was the dump. I was taking a chance as it was a cloudy, damp day, but I planned accordingly and wove around the traffic. I’m good at that. Today is sunny and will be warm. Tonight will get down to the 60’s.

Last night I heard Cat2 meowing from upstairs. Cat1 was with me downstairs so I knew. I called and made that come to me cat sound but it didn’t. When I went upstairs, Cat2 was back under the bed. I cleaned the litter, vacuumed, emptied the bowl and filled both bowls. I sat for a while talking hoping Cat2 would come out. Nope, I was just an old lady talking out loud to no one.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, Day 1. I missed it. I was in Ghana. The years, 1969-1971, were filled with events I missed. Some I knew about, most I didn’t as I had no way to keep up with what was happening at home. I was too busy with Peace Corps training, with adapting to a new culture, learning a new language, meeting all sorts of people both American and Ghanaian, eating foods with strange names and getting sick every now and then. I didn’t know I was missing so much. I knew about the moon landing as I heard it on the radio. For that whole summer, that was all I knew about what was happening. I was homesick at times, mostly early in training. I didn’t care a whole lot about what I was missing as I was so excited to be in Africa, to be learning Hausa and trying, unsuccessfully at times, to eat new foods like kontomire stew and tuo zaafi. I never did get to like kontomire, but I liked t-zed. I ate foods from street vendors, at the time I thought it daring.

The Peace Corps sent us The Week in Review from the NY Times. Sometimes I read it, most times I didn’t. Eventually the paper was sold in the market by Thomas, who worked for me. My rice was often wrapped in the latest news. I always thought that was pretty funny.

“The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.”

November 11, 2016

My father graduated from high school in 1944 when he was sixteen. He was so young because his mother had sent him to school when he was only four. She couldn’t take him anymore. He was a bit of a rambunctious child so his mother sent him to school to give her a bit of relief. After he graduated, he asked his parents to sign permission for him to enlist in the military. They refused. He then bided his ime until December when he turned seventeen and didn’t need permission. He enlisted in the navy.I never asked him why he chose the navy. I wish I had. He certainly wasn’t safer as his ship carried supplies back and forth in the North Atlantic, and it was on one of those trips when his ship was sunk. He managed to find a piece of the ship to hold on to, but his legs were still in the cold water. I don’t remember how long he was there, but I do know he passed out, and when he woke up, his captain, who had been holding on to the same piece of ship was gone.

My father was rescued, but all of his mates from that end of the ship were not. He was transported to a hospital in Plymouth, England. The doctors thought he might lose his legs from the exposure to the cold water, but he didn’t. His parents, meanwhile, had no idea where he was or what had happened so they called the Red Cross who located him. He was seventeen. He hadn’t even thought of his parents. To him the war was a huge adventure.

My dad told us stories about his hospital stay. With both legs in casts, he’d borrow a bicycle and roll down the hill to the pub. When he was ready to go back, they’d have to call an ambulance to come get him. He was in the hospital during the Battle of the Bulge, and the wounded kept coming. They said they were getting slaughtered and were losing, but that changed.

He was sent back to the US still in the navy, was granted leave and went home. My mother had heard my dad had lost a leg, but she found it to be a rumor. When he first saw her, he greeted her with, “Hey, Babe.” He was, as always, his rambunctious self.

“They said it was only a ground shark; but I was not wholly reassured. It is as bad to be eaten by a ground shark as by any other.”

August 9, 2016

This is a sort of solitary confinement. I sit behind closed windows and doors. The house is just too comfortable to leave. Today will be in the low 80’s. It will get humid tonight as rain is predicted for tomorrow, but I have become a skeptic. We are in the dry season, no longer in summer.

Where in the world is Fern? That was last night’s game. I was upstairs in the AC when I heard a commotion downstairs. When I went to investigate, neither cat was around. I went looking. I found Fern under one of the guest room beds, her safe place. She wouldn’t come out. I put her treats down and then later checked to see if she had eaten her tidbits. Nope, Maddie was eating them. Fern had moved to the other side of the bed. I left her there.

Last night I checked under the bed, no Fern. I called her and shook the treat bag. She didn’t come. I went to bed but during the night woke up and called Fern again. I turned on the bedroom light to go hunting. Fern was on the bed beside me. I had missed her. She got treats and ate all of them. When I woke up, though, Fern was gone. She has since surfaced and is sleeping on the couch.

I got to cross off one of my trip essentials. I saw the doctor and got anti-malarial pills and pills for my back should it cause problems, or maybe I should say when. My list is getting smaller.

The Great Whites have found a summer home here on Cape Cod. They enjoy the sun and surf. They eat al fresco and usually order seal. The other day, though, a party of six dined on a whale carcass, a minke whale carcass. Three beaches were closed as the sharks were close to shore. Be vigilant was the advice to swimmers. I saw Jaws, vigilance sometimes isn’t enough.

“There are no ordinary cats.”

June 23, 2016

Fern is missing again. I think she is somewhere upstairs, but I haven’t been able to find her. Yesterday she was out early then a bit later. She ate, drank water and had all her medication. She slept on the couch most of the evening, her usual spot. I thought things were looking up but not finding her again has me frantic. Shortly I will go upstairs with my flashlight, call her and hope she appears. She has an appointment at the vets tomorrow. I called and said I’m not sure we could make it and explained why. They said they’d hold the appointment until tomorrow. Cats are tricky hiders.

The weather has been spectacular, but I’ve only been as far as the deck. The spawns of Satan have knocked plants off the deck rail breaking the pots, have broken glass candle holders and knocked stuff to the ground. Usually I am plagued by red so I was surprised when I saw two grey spawns running up the deck rail and knocking stuff off as they ran.

The night I didn’t go to bed I watched The Godfather movies in chronological order of events. The movies were on for seven hours, but I didn’t see the last hour, and now I’m sorry I didn’t think to save it. It has been a long while since I’ve seen any of The Godfather movies, and I’d forgotten how good they are. Al Pachino is amazing. He is also scary. I didn’t keep track of the bodies, but Michael is responsible for most of them. All of them were violent.

Well, I have to go hunting for Fern.

 

 

“I wake up every day and I think, ‘I’m breathing! It’s a good day.”

June 5, 2016

The sun is toying with us. Yesterday it came back in the afternoon, and it was hot. I was delighted to see the sun after three or four days of clouds. Today, however, is sweatshirt cold. I had to close the windows. Bleak is the word which comes to mind.

The morning was leisurely. I woke up early but took my time as it doesn’t feel like a day for haste. I do have chores, always a list. I emptied the litter boxes and put them in the trunk for the dump run later in the week. I have yet to change my bed, do laundry and shower though laundry is a maybe. A nap is not a maybe.

The only occupant of this house not on some sort of medicine is Maddie. She is supposed to have some for her thyroid but she has proved far too elusive. Whatever hiding places she finds are perfect as I can’t find her. If I do happen to grab her, she runs away from me for a few days afterwards. Gracie is the easiest. I just drop a half pill in her food. Fern isn’t happy with her oral medicine, but I give it to her just before we go to bed. I figure she’ll get over it by morning. The ear medicine is just rubbed into the folds of her ear. She doesn’t mind that.

I want to come back as a cat. They are waited on hand and foot though it is really paw and paw. They have great fur to keep them warm, some of it in neat colors. They let you know how content the world is by purring. They sleep a lot in comfy places. They have varied diets of different kinds of canned meat and fish. What they don’t like is never served again. Mine, besides that can food, have dry food and treats. I think the only draw back to being a cat is self-cleaning. All that licking leads to fur balls.

Usually I have something to complain or whine about but I don’t today. I’m liking the day. Despite its bleakness, its coming rain storm and cold, it just feels right somehow.

 

 

 

“I wonder what ants do on rainy days?”

April 26, 2016

We had rain earlier, but I don’t think it was much as I never heard it. The day is cool and dark. Grace and Fern are here with me but Maddie is hiding. I managed to give her some medicine last night and haven’t seen her since. I checked her usual places, but she has found someplace new. She’ll turn up just in time to get medicine again. After that, I expect her to pack her bags and leave without even saying goodbye.

In the dampness of the morning, I walked around the front garden. All sorts of flowers are peeking out of the ground. I haven’t an idea of what any of them are. Some have spread and my burning bush which was cut to the ground last fall has several small branches. I was worried but was reassured by Sebastien, my landscaper and my neighbor. He was right.

It never entered my head that I would care about a garden or flowers. Even when I first moved in, I didn’t care so much. The garden was behind the front fence so nobody could see my neglect. When Sebastien planted the lawn, he suggested I move the fence behind the garden. That’s when I started to buy plants. I bought perennials and a few annuals but the garden was still sparse looking. I still didn’t care all that much until I saw a garden filled with color and flowers, and it was beautiful. I started buying flowers. I think I have an addiction as I buy some every year. This year, I already have a list, but I need to do some refining. I want flowers which bloom at different times during the summer and fall so the garden will always have color. I’m still taken aback by my flower enthusiasm.

It has started raining again. Maddie just showed up from wherever she has been hiding. She is allowing me to pat her. That will last only for a while as soon enough it will be time for her medicine.

I have always found the rain subduing. Even when I was little I wanted to hear the rain and nothing else. School seemed quiet when it rained. I remember the sounds of papers being moved and pages being turned but no conversations. I don’t even remember the nun teaching us. She too must have listened to the rain. I remember seeing her sitting at her desk looking at papers, but I always thought she was really listening to the rain.

“Cats are a mysterious kind of folk.”

October 8, 2015

Yesterday will not go down in the annuals as a good day. First one of the cats avoided the litter box for the floor. I guessed my cleaning of the box did not meet her high standards. When I came downstairs, I found one of the cats had been sick on the dining room floor, a common occurrence with cats. I then noticed Maddie was limping, her front paw was being held in the air. When she got on the table, I check her paw; she howled, bit me and ran. That is the first time in all her nearly 17 years that she has bitten me so I knew her paw was quite painful. I saw why: a nail was growing into a pad. The vets said they could fit us in at 11 so I went looking for Maddie. The last time I had seen her was around ten when she howled, bit and ran. I started a search of the house. By 10:45 I had to give up and cancel the appointment. Maddie didn’t reappear until 5:30. I had made an appointment for this morning so I grabbed her early and put her in the crate. She was really good in the car and let me pat her the whole way. The vet thought she looked healthy for an old cat though sort of skinny at 6 pounds, but I disagreed as she is such a small cat anyway. I decided to have Maddie take the old cat physical at $198.00 which included today’s visit. I wanted to made sure Maddie is nice and healthy inside and out. The vet cut the nail and another one in the exact same place on the other paw. Looks like Maddie will be getting her nails done more often. I also signed Fern up for her old cat physical.

Fish are good to look at. They have that calming effect as they move back and forth through the water.  A bird sings and its song brightens the house. I knew a guy who had a tarantula as a pet. Some people have turtles. Pigs are now in vogue as house pets. I guess I’m just old fashion. I’m sticking with cats and a dog.

We got our first cat when I was a junior in high school. Before that we were a dog family. My father hated cats just because. He gave no reason other than they are cats. He was only home on weekends that year as he had been transferred to Presque Isle Maine, and we would be moving after school had ended. It was while he was gone we got the cat. My mother broke the news, and he said get rid of it before I get home. We didn’t. When my father first saw the cat, it licked his hand and his face. The cat stayed. My father had become a closet cat man.

“The cat wrinkled its nose and managed to look unimpressed. “Calling cats,” it confided, “tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.”

September 24, 2015

A gorgeous day today with temperatures in the mid 70’s, lots of sun and a northern breeze chilly on the back of my neck. Grace and I went to the dump this morning, and it was nearly deserted. I guess Thursday is not a popular dump day.

When the breeze blows, I can hear the rustling sounds of the leaves on the trees and of the few which have fallen on the grass, victims of the wind rather than the season. We are still far away from changing colors and the baring of the trees. Today is more of summer than fall.

My dance card is empty until Sunday. I guess I’m stuck doing the wash, a bit of ironing and changing my bed. The ironing is dinner napkins which tend to get really wrinkly even in the dryer. I have a small board I can fit on the table and iron while I watch TV. I save all the napkins until I get a large enough number to make ironing worth while. At last count I had ten.

Cats are tricky creatures. Yesterday morning Maddie never appeared for our morning greeting. I called her by name and made that lip sound cats seem to like but still no Maddie. I got worried so I checked all her favorite haunts on this floor then went upstairs and looked in the eaves, under beds and in closets in case I had locked her in. All the while I kept making that sound, still no Maddie. Fern, from her perch on the couch, stared at me as if I were crazy. Gracie followed me. I went upstairs again and pulled the guest beds out from the wall in case I had missed her way in the back where under the bed is the darkest. No Maddie. I came back downstairs worried about her and wondering where else I could look. I didn’t have to look anywhere. Maddie was standing on the table in the den. I patted her and scratched by her tail though I really wanted to wring her neck. I swear she was chuckling

“I have cats because they have no artificially imposed, culturally prescribed sense of decorum. They live in the moment. If I had an aneurysm in the brain, and dropped dead, I love knowing that as the paramedics carry me out, my cats are going to be swatting at that little toe tag.”

June 26, 2015

The morning is dark, wet and chilly. It is the sort of weather which dampens energy and enthusiasm. I heard one bird loudly singing and hoping, I think, others would join him in a morning song. None did, and now he is gone and the day is quiet, almost silent. The leaves on the oak tree ruffle a bit but not enough to make any sound. The silence is a bit eerie.

It rained earlier this morning and looks as if it may rain again. The rain must have been more of mist as the deck under the furniture never got wet. It is a good day to stay home.

Fern woke me up this morning. She was meowing over and over. I pretended to be asleep. She jumped on the bed and head butted my arm then licked my hand hoping for a response. I ignored her and she finally fell asleep beside me; however, she is still restless, the only one of my pets not asleep on the couch with me. This is their morning nap time, not to be confused with their afternoon or evening naps, but Fern is now standing in the doorway outside this room and meowing.

We always had pets when I was a kid. We had goldfish which never lasted very long. I always figured they were bored with life in a glass bowl. We had a turtle from Woolworth’s which lived for years. His plastic enclosure had a fake palm tree and a little island. We loved stunning flies to feed him as he preferred them alive. We’d put the fly in the bowl and watch it skimming the water while the turtle was swimming over to dine. We had a parakeet, a green one, and a couple of chameleons, whose color varied based on surroundings. I had two hamsters, both males according to the pet store. They had a litter. Go figure! Duke, our boxer, was around the whole of my childhood. He died when I was in college. Duke is the reason I love boxers. We had cats, Gideon, being the first followed by Luther and Josh. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a pet to love and be loved in return.

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…”

July 8, 2013

I have turned off the AC and opened the doors and windows. The morning is cooler than it has been for days, and there is a slight breeze. Gracie is in heaven. She gets to go out and come in as much as she wants as her dog door is accessible. The temperature is still in the 80’s, but I decided to brave the heat for some fresh air. The forecast is for thunder showers tonight which will be welcomed after all these steamy days with no rain. If the weekly forecast is correct, it will be in the high 70’s by Friday.

Yesterday afternoon the backup was 25 miles long to get off cape over the Sagamore bridge. I can’t imagine how long it took to go those 25 miles, and I can’t imagine sitting in a car going inches at a time. I’d have been crazed.

The open windows have brought the world back. I can hear the sounds of mowers and trimmers but even better I can hear the songs of birds. Yesterday I watered the plants on the deck and filled all the feeders. Even the two suet feeders were empty. Today I’ll sit on the deck for a bit and read. I haven’t had the inclination to read in a while. Usually I read a book or more a week, but since the surgery, for whatever reason, I haven’t be able to focus for too long. Maybe a new book will kick-start my reading.

In the mornings, Maddie is my only companion. She sits on the couch beside me. When I got Fern and Maddie from the shelter, they were both five and had grown up together. Fern right away took to the house and to Maggie, my dog. Maddie, on the other hand, spend at least three weeks under the bed. Part of it was the new house and part of it was Maggie who chased her, not with any malice or intention to do harm but for the fun of it. I used to lie on my stomach and give Maddie treats under the bed and talk to her. She came out but stayed in the guest room on one of the beds. I put a gate up so Maggie wouldn’t bother her and added a hole in the gate so Maddie could go to the food and litter. It took a while but she came downstairs and chose the dining room table as her safety spot. Gracie came only a few months after Maggie died, and she chased poor Maddie. It was puppy fun for Gracie. Poor Maddie ran for her life, but she didn’t hide. She stayed on that table. Now Maddie will even sit on the couch where Gracie is sleeping. She heads butts me for pats. During the day she sleeps on my bed and during the night she sleeps on the rug in my room. She won’t go so far as to join Fern, Gracie and me on the bed, but she stays close. Miss Maddie is a sweet, lovable cat. It’s nice to have her around. Now if she and Fern would stop hissing at one another, this would be a happy home.