Category Archives: pets

Our Cat Has Pneumonia

Knick KnackYes, indeed our beloved feline has pneumonia. I didn’t even realize that could happen to cats. This poor kitty picked his parents well when he adopted us. He has been the most high maintenance cat I’ve ever had. My sneaking suspicion it is because he’s male. I never had these problems with female cats. Oh, just kidding…well no I’m not, actually. Human males can be a bit high maintenance as well, in my experience.

In retrospect, Mr. Kitty had been trying to tell us he’s not ok with bizarre behaviors; inappropriate urination – on the stove, my shoe, a pile of laundry, hacking up unmentionable ectoplasm all over the house, pawing at us and then running to hide. But when he started gasping for breath we finally figured out he was in crisis and rushed him to the vet.

So now we have a kitty with pneumonia and have to give him medicine twice a day and hope for the best. Giving a cat medicine is no easy task. Of course it doesn’t take him long to figure out our nefarious plan and hides. Then it falls to me to drag him yowling, hissing and scratching out of whatever his hidey hole du’ jour is. We wrap him up in a bath towel like a burrito, so he can’t claw us to shreds, and then give him a dropper full of antibiotic and an anti-congestion pill. He of course struggles, growls, tries to get loose from his towel straight jacket and in general acts like we are skinning him alive for sport.

Just like a child, Kitty doesn’t understand that all these horrible things we are doing to him are for his own good. It reminds me of a sister when she was a kid. She fought like a banshee every single time she needed to take meds. She never did figure out that it was inevitable. She absolutely would not take medicine without a fight. It took 5 of us to hold her down. One sibling to each arm and leg, and one kid to hold her nose long enough for her to open her mouth so my Mom could pop in the medication. It’s sort of ironic really, because she’s swung to the opposite extreme in her adulthood and will take anything she can get her hands on.

My Cat is Trying to Tell Me Something

Image via sodahead.com

evil cat via sodahead.com

My cat is trying to tell me something. Just wish I could figure out what the heck he’s trying to say. I know he thinks he’s had the last word, but this is getting ridiculous.

This morning I wandered into the kitchen in my typical just woken up peaceful state of mind and proceeded to start the coffee-making process. I had a few technical difficulties so I was in the kitchen longer than usual. I put the ground coffee in the place where the filter goes without putting the filter in first. Woopsie.

As I was putting things to rights to get the coffee going I noticed a weird stench. I sniffed the dish rag, nope. The garbage disposal passed the sniff test also. I checked under the sink, nothing going under there.

Then I noticed some sort of bizarre ectoplasm on the stove top. It looked like a pot had boiled over, but there were 2 things wrong with that theory. It was around the back right burner which neither I or Hubman ever use for some reason. Also the house keeper cleaned the living daylights out of the stove on Thursday. (She even puts the burner racks in the dishwasher, so I have to reassemble the stove the next day.) Furthermore we were out to dinner on Friday so no cooking happened.

Then I sniffed it and viola the source of the stench was revealed. I leaned in to check out the stove hood to see if something was dripping from up there. I half expected to see some alien pod attached to it. What can I say, I watch a lot of sci-fi?

Finally I daubed a paper towel in the substance and to get an up close olfactory diagnosis. The mystery became obvious. Our G* D@#m cat PEED ON THE STOVE!!!!!????!!!! I’ve heard of cats weeing in your luggage when you are packing for a trip, or on the bath mat, or even on the bed if they are really ticked off about something. But the stove, what the hell is up with that? How do I figure this one out? Does he want us to cook for him? Or was he mad because we went out to dinner? Bleh, who knows?

At first I wondered if the storms upset him, but the tornadoes happened on Wednesday night. The urinary infraction occurred sometime in the Friday night – early Saturday morning time frame.

Was this just mischief? Does he have a legitimate beef of some sort that he is trying to convey? I swear I briefly considered the possibility of finding him a new home. But, I love the little critter even though he is frequently a royal pain in rear.

I’m seriously stumped here. Maybe it’s time to hire a cat whisperer?

How to Declutter Your Relationships

flame throwerA good sign of when a relationship needs a good decluttering is when there is a huge communication breakdown. Are you reduced to sending an e-mail to someone who is physically sitting in the next room? If the answer is, yes, then there is definitely a problem. Yesterday while in the depths of anguish and “what the hell happened to us, and why are we fighting” I e-mailed Hubman an article called “Cold shoulder, silent treatment do more harm than good.” Bazzinga! Take that, I may suck at communication at times but I can search better than you can.

We tend to have these showdowns at the Not So OK corral when fighting. It ends up being a game of who can suffer through the isolation the longest. I always end up thinking things like ‘Bubba, I am the master of handling lots of pain for extended periods of time. Forget getting shot at, try giving birth, Rambo!’ But does not help either of us individually or our relationship.

I assume he read the e-mail because he appeared at my office door with a death grip on his coffee cup, eyes wide and asked “So do you wanna talk, or what?” Not exactly a graceful entrance, but I have to give him extra points for his excellent dismount from the high horse upon which I remained firmly seated. At least he took action. I was still pouting away in my office wondering if it was possible to drive to Mongolia and if so, how long it would take.

We started with the basics, “you interrupt me all the time!” He was mad at me for getting mad in public. (this blog) Actually I was flattered for a moment. You mean that my blog is important enough to be considered ‘in public.’ Cool! Er uh, I mean… I’m really sorry, my intention was not to paint you as the bad guy so much as I was trying to make a point about interrupting people sucks on multiple levels.” But  I could see and understand his point of view and knew that I hurt him.  I countered with “well my blog is mainly about marriage, if marriages were perfect, there would be nothing to write about.” Furthermore, I’m not good at suffering in silence. As a matter of fact I think I’m the noisiest sufferer I know. When I had my son I didn’t emit a few dignified groans while a nurse dabbed at my forehead with a cool cloth. Oh hell no, I screamed bloody murder.

So, just for the record I want everyone to know that I do love the Hubman with all my heart and soul. He is my best friend, companion, and cohort in mischief. When we are not getting, along it’s a horrible alone type of feeling that is difficult to describe. What do you do when you need to cry on your best friend’s shoulder, but your best friend is in the other room temporarily hating you?

Maybe I need a contingency plan. I need a bevy of best-ish friends. Best implies better than all other options. But I need someone to go to for help and tea and sympathy when my best friend option is not available.

Anyway, we talked a lot yesterday. I think my tongue has blisters on it.  Or that may just be that I drank my coffee too hot this morning. We talking about doing things together, traveling together, setting aside time each day to talk. I aired my grievance that so far, he has refused to go with me to a town near here and eat the world’s largest donut together.

We squabbled about the cat and then the cat litter box and took it all the way back to the beginning. Since I didn’t want a damned cat in the first place, why was it MY job to clean the litter box. That box is the very reason I didn’t want a cat in the first place. Been there, done that, scooped enough poop to last a life time.

Then we moved on to “chores,” I don’t do many. There really isn’t much to do in this department because we have a housekeeper, but there is still plenty to scuffle about. He asked why I never do the grocery shopping. My response was “there are many mornings I’ve woken early and decided to do the shopping but…I can’t …read…your writing.” It’s tiny and illegible. I even tried one time to decipher it with a lighted magnifying glass, but that didn’t work either.

Wandering around trying to match up missing items in our larder to this list doesn’t help. This whole list thing is hard for me to begin with because I never really used lists for the grocery store before taking up residence with Hubman. For me, “we need to go shopping!” = we’re out of food. For Hubman, “we need to go shopping!” = uh oh, we down to our last 50 gallons of milk. For the first 50 years of my life grocery, shopping was reserved for when there was something that I wanted to eat bad enough that it was worth going to the store for. Otherwise it could wait. I can subsist on cheese, crackers and the occasional apple for long periods of time. There are no growing children in this house to nourish so what’s with all this rush?

So we ended up airing quite a few grievances yesterday and made a decision to make more time for each other. I’m hoping we made some progress. Ain’t love grand?

I Have a Kooky Family – So What?

I have a kooky family. So what? I miss them anyway. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m moping around the house. Earlier this month, I expressed an extreme disinterest in doing a huge bang up in-law infested turkey day at Hubman’s mother’s house this year.

We leave on a way loooong road trip, with his mother in tow, the following Monday at the ass crack of dawn. That’s too much to cram into the time allotted. It’s not like there is no one else here in North Texas to cook a damn turkey. So what is his response? Move the party to our house! Excellent idea, oh beloved Bimbo of mine. Howz about I burn all your Star Trek collectibles in a big bonfire in the back yard. Wouldn’t that be fun?

I think I now know why iron skillets were invented and it was not for cooking, that’s just the cover story. There were created to knock husbands over the head with when they just…don’t…get it. Part of the problem is that I miss MY family. I love each and every one of them, even though there have been times that I contemplated murder, keel hauling or at the very least 20 lashes.

Some of this annoying ennui is my fault. I need to put my foot down in the marital kind of way before the next big holiday and say “HEY! It’s my turn. WE, not just me,  are going to my family’s house for a holiday.” We are not solely responsible for entertaining every one of your relatives on every damn holiday ever invented. And I don’t wanna hear any whining a about how much it’s gonna cost. Or what is your mother is gonna do without us there to cater to her every whim, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Hell, bring her with us. We’ll give her a peek at how the darker side celebrates a holiday. The crazy beer drinking, Saints football team loving, dance at every opportunity, laugh at everything, wear a turkey on your head, New Orleans people way of celebrating. There is more than one way to do a holiday. And some of them don’t involve standing on your feet slaving over the stove until your feet swell up to the size of watermelons, and groaning and moaning about it. And on top of all that claiming you enjoy it. Uh, yea, and I like to get root canals too. Nice try, but I’m not buying it.

So I’m trying to work on things to be grateful about. I’m alive, have my health, a loving husband, even though he is rather thick-headed in the female department. A family that loves me, friends, I don’t live on the Gaza strip. I can afford to do pretty much whatever I want to do, within reason. I probably can’t afford to charter a jet and fly to Russia to train and go up in space, but I don’t want to do that anyway. I’m pretty much OK with being Earth bound for the time being.

I own a postage stamp size plot of ground on the moon. I bought if from a coupon on a cereal box when I was kid, but can’t find the paperwork. My dog loves me, and my cat doesn’t bite me…often. I do have a lot of things to be grateful for. Perhaps what I need to do is state my case earlier in the game. No means No. If I don’t wanna, then I don’t wanna. And if I do, then I do. Going along for the ride, moping around and pitching a fit when it’s too late to change anything isn’t working out well. Guess I need to pay more attention. Ignoring my needs and wants just isn’t doing the trick.

You Can’t Spank a Fish – Or Why God Gave Us Free Will

Hand of God

picture via: Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse

I woke up early because of some annoying racket and did something stupid so I’ve decided to wax philosophical to make up for it. I determined that our cat was batting at our door demanding that we get up and feed him, water him, stroke his royal fur, or whatever his highness’s desire happens to be.

We have, by the way, the noisiest cat ever to roam the earth. Living with a nervous Rottweiler would be more peaceful.  I burst out the door and swatted at him with my house slipper determined to have some quiet. He ran away to hide and that’s when I realized that he wasn’t making the noise.

Feeling a little guilty, I crawled under the coffee table to apologize to the cat and not knowing what else to do I staggered into the kitchen to make coffee. Waiting for it to brew I looked out the kitchen window and saw 8 to 10 guys walking around in the trees. Closer inspection revealed that they were walking around on the roof of the house across the alley replacing the entire roof. What an unholy racket. If we ever have our roof redone I’m leaving town for the duration.

Drinking coffee my I started thinking about the people who are in the “positive reinforcement only, never yell, scold or punish” theory of raising children, pets, or dealing with adult humans.  It’s a good theory but doesn’t always work in the wild. If you see the your child or pet has toddled into the street do you yell at them to get their butt out of the street this very minute or run in the house to find a treat to lure them out of the street? I tend to be in the yell first and cuddle later camp. Maybe I was Genghis Khan in another life, who knows?

Then I thought back to the 50 gallon fish tank I had years ago. It was supposed to be a community tank where all the little fishes love each other and get along. You have to do a lot of research to figure out which fish get along in community tanks without eating their neighbor’s children or biting their fins off. Some fish like to hang at the top of the tank and others prefer to hang out on the bottom, some in the middle, etc.

It worked out fine until I made the mistake of putting an angel fish in the tank. This damn fish was pretty, but what a bully. He constantly roamed the tank chasing the other fish, loved to nip the fins of the fantail guppies and just in general causing a ruckus in the formerly peaceful community. I asked some experts and was told that I may need to isolate him from the community tank. So now I’m supposed to put a fish in jail?

One day I got exasperated and stuck my hand in the tank and touched the angel fish with my finger and chased him all around the tank wiggling my fingers. He stopped terrorizing the other fish. That seemed to work for about a week and then he started up the bully tactics again so I chased him around the tank with my hand again. He stopped again. About a week later I came in one morning and he was on the floor dead. He jumped out of the tank and committed fishy suicide.

I was horrified and heartbroken. What kind of fiend drives a fish crazy? One like me, evidently.  I started the whole thing by trying to force the fish to live in a community tank after being warned he was a predator. I thought, in my omnipotence, that I could make it work.  Later that week I was having drinks on my balcony with a friend and told her the sad tale. She burst out laughing and spit my fine boxed wine all over the patio furniture. I asked her what was so damned funny. She finally managed to gasp between gales of laughter, “only you would try to spank a fish!”  I beg your pardon.

Well she kept laughing and after thinking about it I started wondering what would happen if the giant hand of God came down and tried to stop with me from doing what I wanted to do. Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read about that in the bible. Look what happened when God tries to force his humans into behaving like humans. All those floods, plaques, rivers of blood, lightning bolts, pillars of fire; people freaked the hell out, that’s what happens. And the resulting forced change is always temporary.  It’s no wonder he threw up his hands and declared that we have free will.

%d bloggers like this: