Wednesday, February 17, 2016

the moment

Thank you everyone for your kind words regarding my friend's recent death. The grieving has been going well, in fact, it's been going quite well. In the past death has led to overwhelming despair, fear, and depression. I've been doing a lot of heart work regarding fears and grieving and with Sarah's death, I've really been experiencing the fruit of that work. My heart has been profoundly sad, but I'm not stagnating in the sad like in times past. The grief is moving and is held in a container of gratitude and love which makes it much bearable.

I recently retold the story of how Oliver came into my life. There was a very specific moment when Oliver decided to trust me and from then on it was magic. Well my friends, I've got something exciting to share. This past Sunday, the moment happened with Pierre!

Pierre often comes down and joins Oliver for breakfast.

In the past Pierre would occasionally let me pet him for a few seconds while he and Oliver ate breakfast. But this past Sunday, he not only let me pet him, he came specifically to my hand and asked to for pets!!  He particularly likes head scratches - he loved it!

Then he did the same on Monday morning! My heart was swimming in joy! He's sooo soft!! I keep dreaming he'll some day be an inside kitty!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


My dear friend Sarah went home to be with her creator this afternoon. Her pain is now gone. She is free, forever alive with God.

When I talked with her early last week, I knew it would be the last time we talked and everything in me wanted to ask her to look up Max (my first cat) and Lassie (my best friend growing up) when she got to heaven and give them my love, but I couldn't get the words out. It went unsaid. Then a few days ago she told a mutual friend that when she got to heaven she would look up my pets and give them my love. She knew my heart without me even needing to speak it. What a gift.

March 25, 1969 - February 11, 2016

Prior to my friendship with Sarah, I had zero experience with cats. Sarah and Tom loved cats and had zillions of hilarious cat stories to tell. Spending time with them meant a lot of laughing, joy and endless cat stories! Early in our friendship, we often hung out at their place and enjoyed their kitties (Elmo, Lucy, and Misha) and we would give them a hard time for having so many baskets of cat toys! Funny, now we have baskets of cat toys too!

Upon hearing the news of her death this afternoon, my heart felt sad and I felt a tremendous sense of peace. Sarah's suffering and pain are no more. I sank onto the sofa and immediately Buddy and Nahum hoped up on me. Nahum melted into my lap while Buddy tried to merge with my face. They know my heart is broken and they know they can offer me what my aching heart needs, fuzzy, purring comfort.

thankful Thursday

I know I've said it before, but I need to say it again. I love having Marvin with me at work!

Sometimes a super-soft blanket is just not cushy enough!

He is such a sweet presence. Gentle, easy going, sleek, playful, and lovey. I'm so grateful for him. Wednesday morning, he cuddled right in with a colleague during a meeting.  What a delight!

I'm also thankful for getting my house project done! Now I can get the house in order before Laura comes back on Friday. Oh, and they'll be some time to hang with the kitties too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

grief project

Laura's away for the week investing in her beautiful heart, which leaves me to manage the hobby cattery all by lonesome. It also means I get to selfishly hog all the kitty loves for myself! Ha!!

One of the challenges of flying solo is pillage. Theo is easy to pill, just tuck it in the pill pocket and he gulps it down. Pilling Buddy however, is a challenge. He's super savvy when it comes to trying to hide pills. Laura masterfully drops the pill down his throat, but I can't seem to wield that magic. I decided to get his three meds compounded with chicken in hopes I could just mix it in some human food and he would gulp it down. Fail! He's way smarter than that.

In a stroke of genius I took his favorite food, bacon, and rubbed his pills in the bacon fat. I then prime the pump by giving him a few pieces (he goes nuts for bacon - watch the fingers!) then I sneak in the gelcap pill that smells like bacon and he gulps it down! I follow with another bacon chaser. So far it's worked perfectly! Behold the power of bacon!

It's been an emotionally difficult week. I mentioned back in the fall, that my dear friend, Sarah, was diagnosed with very aggressive stage IV cancer. It seemed like she was responding well to the chemo but a few weeks ago the cancer surged and suddenly she's in hospice care. Her time on this side of heaven is rapidly winding down. I'm struggling to get my head around that reality. Seems so random and cruel.

Sarah and Tom, 2004
In the fall I responded to the grief with the need to be active, so I took advantage of the nice weather and reroofed the garage. This time around I decided to finish the baseboard trim in the living room and dining room. As I was working I realized that it was a very Sarah thing to do. She was always active and didn't like being lazy or giving into depressive lethargy.

This project entailed adding the quarter round base, sanding everything, and then painting. 

Painting with cats is sure a challenge, especially when it's such a big space that I can't just block their path to the area.

The cats respond to the chaos with need to explore everything like it's new!

Poor Rose, she didn't have anyplace to hide from the evil human. She normally likes to hide behind the couch, but with it being pulled away from the wall, it offered no protection!

Nahum demanded tummy rubs and lap time in the midst of the work. Priorities!

Everything's a mess!

I came down Monday morning to find white kitty paw prints!

On Saturday afternoon, I took a break in the painting to check out Wynonna Judd's latest song, Things I Lean On. My heart was overwhelmed with grief so when Buddy climbed up on me for some love I just lost it. I wept and wept. It was glorious.

In other non-related news, I'm still LOVING having Marvin at work with me! What a joy! I think he likes it too. I put a heating pad under a layer of this red blanket and he's liking that!

Monday, February 1, 2016

an inside job

Oliver enjoyed some quality inside time on Sunday. He sure looks at home.

Ambassador Nahum welcomes Oliver to the inside kitty life

When I was at the vet on Saturday with Rose, one of the receptionists told me that they frequently have customers come in and tell them that there is a black cat roaming around their parking lot. They understandably express concern because of the five lane road the vet is on. That would be my Oliver! She said they often see him (it could be Pierre but most likely is Oliver) walk along the fence line that separates the vet's dog walking area from the fire station next door. When he gets to the end of the fence next to the busy five lane road, he takes a sharp right and walks back through the fire station property. Oh Oliver! Not only making me nervous, but making everyone at the vet's office nervous too.

Oliver lives across the alleyway from the vet and fire station.

It's February. You know that that means?

It's national pet dental month.

Oliver's bitey apparatus is looking good!

We've had some warmer temperatures lately, which means Oliver's not been wanting to be locked away on his back porch at night. He likes doing the midnight patrols to keep the neighborhood cats out of his yard. I want him locked on the back porch where I know he's safe and not fighting or darting across roads. I've had to go to bed a few nights lately with him roaming free - on those nights I say a prayer for his safety and for my worries. Thankfully each morning he's waiting by the back porch door ready for some breakfast.

You should hear the purrs...

Here's to a healthy and safe February for all of us and for all of you!