Category Archives: Pets

Too many cogs, too many wheels…

So here I am, new house, new baby, new town, trying to get some semblance of normalcy into my life by enjoying a relaxing day at home with the children, and maybe taking a small trip to Ellen’s for lunch. It was a plan ill fated from the beginning.

Otter was an upset baby today, not a happy baby. He was a crying, screaming, fussing, unhappy baby. Therefore the morning lacked the longed for relaxation. Doubly longed for as he was a fussy baby all night and I haven’t seen the deep side of sleep in what feels like 50% of forever (as my mom would say.) To make things worse, every time I try to sleep in I am awoken by a. the baby b. Monkey or c. Lee, looking rather as though I am a bad person for sleeping in while he heads off to work. (It’s okay, I look at him like he is a bad person when he is sleeping at night and I am up with Otter, of course, he can’t see me, so it has less effect.)

Anyway, the morning is spent attempting to console the inconsolable child. Then we all bundled into the car to go to Ellen’s, where I spent two hours trying to console the inconsolable child. Our landlord was coming by to show the house to a visiting religious leader/friend of his, so I went home to let him in, while Monkey stayed at Ellen’s.

But my day gets better…

Ellen called to say she was bringing Monkey home in a few minutes. After I hung up, the landlord arrived with his guest. While they were coming in the door, Bella got out. I had a hold of Andy, and was carrying the grousy baby, but Bella was sitting pleasantly by my side, like her well behaved self. While the landlord was coming in, she calmly got up and sauntered out the door before tearing hells bells for freedom.

So here I go, 20 pound baby in arm, racing in fitflops down the street yelling for Bella. (The fitflops really do work by the way, I am quite pleased with them.) She disappears, and my ragtag team of me, Otter, landlord, and landlord’s honored religious leader visiting from India go searching for her.

A random cabby tells me he hit her when she ran across the street, but that he had just began moving and didn’t hit her hard. He points out the direction in which she ran. He spends a good 20 minutes trying to help me find her, in between frantic calls to his boss and assurances to me that he wasn’t speeding. (I wasn’t even wearing my “cross me and I’ll sue you” t-shirt they gave out on graduation day!)

At this point I was terrified for my sweet Bella, who spends all day every day following me everywhere I go and is an integral part of my life. I went home to get my car, and my daughter, and we left to go find her. I called Lee, he headed home, and I began driving up and down streets in search of her.

Then I got a call from the landlord telling me she was home but hurt. Apparently a nice man got her to cross the street while a cop blocked traffic and she limped in through the back door. I drove home, relaying the message to Lee on the way, and found my sweet dog, lying on the kitchen floor, with a bloody mangled paw. She looked up at me with eyes that said “make it better mommy” and collapsed in a heap at my feet.

I set the baby in his pack and play, laid out a blanket, coaxed her onto it, and gave her a bowl of water. Then I sat with her and petted her until Lee got back.

Lee raced her to the vet and, $600.00 later, she is now sitting at my feet with a cone around her head and a paw wrap. There is nothing broken, no internal bleeding, just a bloody mangled paw. (Sadly that $600.00 was our extra travel home money, so it is looking like just the visit in August and hopefully christmas. Also, Lee probably won’t make it home for the wedding in August, so it will only be me and the children. Sigh.)

I feel like such a bad doggy mommy. I was holding onto the flight risk dog, Andy, and the baby, because Otter screamed every time I set him down. Bella hasn’t run off in years, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. There were simply too many cogs squeaking on my wheel for me to handle, and hers is the one that fell off.

Sorry girl. I promise to slather your painkillers in peanut butter to make them more palatable.


Of temper tantrums and bodily fluids…

Why is it that the moment one parent leaves town, the kids go insane?

Lee is away at a Ruby on Rails conference with Devon, Morgan, and a few others representing Vonage in all it’s orangeness. My Dad was here until yesterday, so I only have two full days alone with one Monkey, one infant Otter, three dogs (I agreed to keep Devon’s dog Fitz, who lacks housetraining but normally will keep to a pee pad instead of hitting floors and carpet), and three cats. Shouldn’t be too bad right?

Let’s see… The night before I got up at 4:30 am to take Lee to the train station for his journey Monkey threw her first ‘Post little brother” fit. It was complete with screaming and crying and ended with the phrase “you don’t love me anymore, you only love Otter!” Sigh. Lee and I talked her down off a ledge, told her we did love her, and finally got her to sleep. However, Otter then kept me awake until almost 11, thereby giving me only 5 hours of interrupted, fitful sleep to work with upon Lee’s departure. I tried to go back to sleep after dropping him off, but Otter was awake and ready to eat, so it didn’t work. (It’s hard to sleep while a small creature sucks milk out of your nipple, but damn it I am going to master it eventually!)

The next sign that my week without Lee would be more challenging than initially anticipated came when Fitz decided to deviate from the perfectly acceptable pee pad behavior and instead poop on the carpet. Not wanting to risk a rental deposit of astronomical proportions, I cleaned up the mess and confined Fitz to a large linoleum area with temporary toddler fencing. She has still not deigned to hit the pee pad conveniently located near her, but at least she can’t destroy the linoleum. Sigh. (As if I was not already handling enough human waste, now I have to handle doggy waste too!)

The week continued with Monkey waking up at four am two nights ago with a nightmare, and last night having wet the bed, causing me to lose even more sleep than I normally do taking care of the baby. Of course I had failed to wash her previously dirty sheets so when I opened it at 4 am, the sheet cupboard was bare. Sigh. Additionally she has managed to use every tactic in the book to delay bedtime each night this week, leaving her very tired and cranky during the day. Joy!! (She was very well behaved today though, until bedtime, so I am thankful for that.)

Happily my dogs have not gone mad, yet, and Otter is only slightly more cranky and fussy than normal, so things are not as bad as they could be. However, why is it this crap happens when you are already taking a hit for the team?

A picture is worth a thousand words…

A photographic update of the last few months…

It has been a while since I flooded the internet with family photos, in the interests of friends and grandparents, here are some pictures of events in the last few months.

One of Monkey’s christmas gifts this year was a fort construction kit by Cranium. She loves it. She has made several forts since then, including a ship and a camp-out area.

Monkey sails the seven seas with cereal and Ariel…

Monkey reads “The Stupids step out” in her camping tent, complete with sun hat.

It was such a successful gift that we are going to buy another, just to create more fort fun options!

Margot and I finally got to take some pictures together, baby bellies and all…

Rue has been extra cute lately, even as he passes through kitten years and enters the dreaded teen kitty years… Here he is perched under the christmas tree.

Lastly (for now), Monkey was in a choral performance with other kindergartners in her class for the christmas show, here she is in her little singing outfit.

There will be more, but now I am late for coffee!! Miss you all!

Washing cats…

Washing cats is wholesome family fun!!

A couple of weeks ago, almost a month now I suppose, we rescued a small cat from the swamp by Monkey’s school. She has adjusted to her life here rather well, she snuggles with us, visits downstairs even when the dogs are around, and is good at reminding us of our responsibilities. We have been waiting for her to adjust before we gave her a bath. Well today was the day!!!

Bathing cats is a lot like trying to juggle Slinky’s. They generally dislike being wet, and will fight fiercely to avoid it. However, there are certain holds I have developed over the years that will allow me to keep them from running away covered in pet shampoo, and will also prevent them from scratching the hell out me. (The most successful one involves placing a hand on each side of the cat, thumbs over the shoulder blades, first two fingers under chest, last two under the belly.)

I held poor trusting Hazel in the sink while Lee ran the sprayer over her. She never uttered a sound. She stretched into every permutation possible in her attempts to get out of my grasp, she beseeched us with wide pleading eyes, but she did not complain. We washed all the remaining loose fur from her little body and wrapped her in a towel. The she and I had a discussion about the purpose of the towel. I tried to show her that it was a tool intended to assist her in drying off, but she was only interested in fleeing the foreign device. She is currently upstairs, mostly damp, attending to her injured vanity.

We usually do kitty baths a couple times a year, with a special soap that assists in damping down the allergens they produce. Since many of our friends have cat allergies, and Monkey has asthma, this seems a good way to keep all our furry friends, and our human ones.

Soon, it will be the kitten’s turn. But not today. One cat bath at a time! Hazel has already forgiven us, she is purring away and using her persuasive powers to try to get me to bring her more wet catfood.

Hazel’s damp head seeking scratches:

Hazel sporting her squeaky clean coat


Our new cat… and how she got her name.

Many of you may remember my post about the little kitty who approached me outside Monkey’s school and told me to take her home. Well I did, and she is a happy and healthy new member of our household.

We decided to name her Hazel, though that name took a lot of time to develop.

First of all, my dad suggested we name her Fancy, after the Bonnie Raitt song. It seemed to fit, both her situation and her personality, so we gave it a try. But it was pretty clear early on that it wasn’t working. Sometimes a name just doesn’t fit a cat. So I sat down to study our new feline friend, and made some crucial naming obsevations. 1. She came to us the day before halloween. 2. She is black and pumpkin colored. 3. She is fairly intense in attitude and appearance. She needs a serious name.

I look up her colorations online and find an almost exact photo likeness of her on wikipedia. She is a tortioseshell cat! Great!

I continue to research, this time focusing on her breed. It appears that a stray tortie fortells bad luck… hmm… luckily she is no longer a stray. Historically, tortoiseshells have been to be able to tell the future and are likely to give the gift to a lucky child in the household. Hmmm… okay, so now I have a clairvoyant black and orange cat who came to me the day before halloween. Well clearly a name like ‘fluffy’ or ‘paws’ simply won’t do.

I decided to look up the names of oracles and other future tellers,but none of them fit. Dione was too pretentious, Delphi too odd, Artemis too much. Then I was sitting there staring at her rather intense gaze and realized…. Hazel is an herb used in divination, and a golden, reddish, brownish color. I say… “Hazel?” Lee responds, “Okay, that name works.” Hazel starts to purr. (She has a purr that can be hard for miles)

She is learning her new name, and has settled in amazingly fast. She is completely comfortable in her new abode, and is a very snuggly creature. As to which child she will bless with future-telling? Only time will tell.

Cat sucker…

Le sigh….

Well, I dropped my daughter off at school this morning and upon leaving the grounds was greeted by a plaintive mew. Following the noise I saw a small black and cream mottled cat sitting by the massive marsh directly in front of the school. It mewed again. I said “Hello kitty” and at this point it wandered over, pushed against my leg, and seemed to say “I’m cold, and very, very, hungry. This is your problem now.”

Obviously, there is a small mottled cat in my upstairs bathroom who has a date with a vet. It ate a packet of cat food and resolutely began licking the enamel off the bowl. It was so small, and it’s little tummy was sooo very small, I couldn’t leave it there. I had hopes that it was a lost kitten, rather than a stray, but inquiries of the other moms when I picked Monkey up weren’t promising. It seems this little kitty has been at the marsh for quite some time.

It looks as though we have another cat.

It is not all my fault though. I have been dropping Monkey off at school all year, and not a single cat has targeted me for potential mom-hood. However, a few days ago, Lee suggested we get another cat for the kitten, as Chloe (our Siamese) has not befriended Rue. See, he let the universe know there was a potential opening in our house for a cat! This is his fault too.

Oddly, both Chloe and Rue were sitting side by side, hissing at the bathroom door hiding the cat. They seem to have bonded in adversity.

Cats are simply perverse.

So, off to the vet at five, may the cat please be healthy and not have a crazy illness.


Rue the day…

A new kitten.

The wedding and honeymoon info will have to wait. There is a much more important, or at least, much cuter, new addition to our lives that requires an introduction.

Meet Roo. Roo was the runt of the litter, hence why we named him Roo. He is already famous for his enthusiastic 5 am sessions of “Attack Blanket Kitten Commando”, ruthlessly played on our bed.

So far, his favorite pastimes include… purring in one’s ear after having painfully scrambled up their shoulder, eating Lee’s or my buttons, playing “catch the feather” with Monkey, and eating the dog’s food. (Much to their consternation)

He is also big on sleeping, though not at night. He mostly prefers laps. More cute images of the new resident cutie to come. And a summary of our island adventures.