I started this blog years ago when I was sitting with my sick “firstborn” (he wasn’t my first cat ever, but he is the first that I alone chose at the age of 16). He recovered, as he always did, from the anemia that time, the pancreatitis before, the blocked urinary tract before that. Now here I sit again with my firstborn on my lap, my baby, my chunkalunk, the one I cried over for weeks when I moved out of my mom’s house. But this time there’s no recovery. His birthday is a day before mine, March 1st. He just turned 17. And he went from feeling a bit bonier than usual on Monday to a cancer diagnosis on Wednesday. These little a-holes hide everything until it’s really bad. His normal girth didn’t change, apparently because it’s not filled with fluid, and didn’t even have any interest in the one true love of his life – food. So I’m here visiting, as I will do every day that I can until he tells us it’s time.
I know 17 is a long life for a cat, but I suppose somehow I expected him to be around forever. It’s life, I know, but when he’s sitting here on my lap (which was a rare privilege for him to bestow before), my heart breaks. It feels more like he’s trying to comfort ME. When my legs go numb eventually and I am going to have to move him off my lap, he will fight to get back on it. He’s just sitting and purring and occasionally looking up at me with his big eyes and his fu manchu whiskers (both reasons I fell in love with him at the shelter in the first place).
This is the life of an animal parent, we take on these furry babies and hopefully give them the best life they can have knowing fully that we will, almost certainly, outlive them.
I apologize for being a downer. A blog about a dying kitty (especially after so many months of not posting anything) is not exactly uplifting material. But, well, this blog is about being a crazy cat lady, and crazy cat ladies all have to deal with this at some point.
So many things have changed since I was 16, but Fatty has always been my kitty. This sucks.
Took Taco to the vet yesterday. Just the yearly checkup, which I think was 2 months late. Anyway, both the boys just had birthday, Moosh is now six and Taco four…and apparently 4 is the year to get FAT. Because according to the vet, that’s what Taco is. Tell me how I’m supposed to reduce his food when he eats all of the food? I can’t starve Moosh to cut back on Taco. I got a grazer and a gorger. Guess who wins?
And seriously, 13 lbs for a cat is NOT that bad. Sure, he was 11 lbs for the majority of his adult life but 2 lbs in a year isn’t THAT bad. As much as he runs around I cannot believe he’s getting fatter. Plus, I discovered that we’ve actually been buying “moderate calorie” food, which explains why we’ve been running through it so fast — and why the cats have been begging for food 3 hours after morning feedings.
It also is a two-man job to even get Taco into the carrier, despite careful planning. I had attempted to carry out the kidnapping without waking the boyfriend up but alas, it got too loud, which was fortunate because he heard enough to shut the bedroom door just in time to avoid Taco running in and hiding under the bed. Then came down to help, since I got Taco in but couldn’t close with one hand.
They have kittens for adoption at my vet. These kittens were adorable. I threatened Taco if he didn’t shape up, I was trading him in for a new model. His performance didn’t improve, but the vet rejected my trade offer. Go figure.
As all cat owners know (I assume all, every cat I’ve ever had is MISERABLE in the car) I endured bone-chilling howls all the way there. Slightly muted on the way back. And, upon arriving home, feeling horribly guilty for all my evil doings, proceeded to give Taco all of the treats in the world. Including turkey, which he meowed incessantly for, but didn’t know what to do with upon receiving. Shrugh.
Yes, it has been forever, and I’m sure you’re asking “Why now?” I say, “Why not?”
Maybe because I ran out of cat things to talk about. Or because I’m busy. Whatever it is, here I am again!
So. Yes. I am crazy. Not in a “needs to be locked up” sense, but close.
The fact that Moosh likes to sleep above my head is well-documented in other posts, so I won’t get into it. So the other night, whilst in the middle of what was apparently a very deep sleep, Moosh bit my hand (regardless of position, I almost always have to have one arm positioned somehow above my head). Now, being that I was, in fact, in the middle of a very deep sleep, I’m really foggy on what exactly happened, other than that my hand hurt quite a bit. I woke up enough to see that it was bleeding, but just barely, and I was so tired that I decided any bacteria would just have to wait for the morning and I went back to sleep, as did Moosh. In the morning, I saw there was another mark on the other side of my hand, in keeping with my bite theory. It wasn’t very deep, so I just peroxided it, antibiotic-ed it, and slapped a few bandaids on (by the way, these are impossible to keep stuck on your palm).
I pondered the reasoning for the bite for the rest of the morning, and while I assumed that I may have jerked in my sleep (I sleep punch the boyfriend a lot so this is a valid assumption) which freaked Moosh out who then bit, the thought suddenly occurred to me that I only had 48 hours to get a rabies shot before it was too late and I began the spiral down into what I hear is a horrible death by insanity.
The chance of rabies being an issue is pretty much .000000%. Both of my boys are strictly indoors and get their shots yearly.
However. I am what I like to call a “disaster planner,” meaning I can only relax and tackle an issue once I have determined the worst case scenario and planned for it. I blame the girl scouts. It’s not pessimism, I just feel better identifying it. Then I can plan for the most realistic outcome.
So I emailed my vet to please verify that Moosh was up to date on his rabies shots. I’m sure I gave them a laugh for the day, but yes, they assured me, he had it in January.
So that just leaves infection. Cat bites are pretty much the worst for bacteria. If you ever have a choice, get bit by a dog instead.
When I took off the bandaids at the end of the day I realized the marks were kind of parallel and more in line with claw marks rather than a bite. All that for a damn scratch. But hey, I was asleep.
I also do not feel as crazy as the person who put a t-shirt on a perfectly nice outdoor cat. This cat accosted me on my porch the other night, meowing and rubbing on my legs, and tried to run in my house. It ignored the food I put out for him so it seems he’s someone’s cat…but what MORON puts a shirt on their cat (also, what moron lets their cat outside, but that’s a different story)? I debated taking the shirt off the cat because it seems so very dangerous but I wondered if they maybe had a really good reason for putting the shirt on the cat. I may put a notice on the neighborhood board calling out the idiot owner.
I could google this, but for the sake of this post, I’ll allow my curiosity to fester.
“This” is the phenomenon of my cats seemingly recognizing my (and maybe the boyfriend’s) voice. I know that I’ve read that cats respond better to women’s voices, something about the tone. Moosh and Taco seem like they respond to our voices, particularly by their names. Taco is less of a sure thing, he just talks all the time, and to whatever variation of his name we use. But he at least looks like he knows that he’s being talked to. Moosh, on the other hand, knows his name like the back of his paw. Maybe it’s just the tone that we say it in, or the way that “Moosh Moosh” sounds. Saying it sometimes gets him all worked up, like I’m petting him without actually petting him. He’ll close his eyes, purr, and look like he’s in ecstacy.
It’s funny what you discover from years of co-existing with your animals. How you can figure out what their triggers are. Why do they have the triggers they do?
The best response I can get from Moosh is by shaking my head back and forth while saying his name in a deep, cooing voice. He’ll come running almost every time. Unless he gets distracted.
Taco’s ultimate call-over involves more energy. He responds best to an excited voice. Less coo-ey, more OMG, but still in a deeper voice. He gets all jacked up and runs over. If I’m laying down, combining that with patting my chest plate loudly will get him up and on my stomach purring.
So…am I crazy? Does anyone else know quirks this intimate about their furry children or do I just look waaaaaay too far into things?
What I accomplished today: very little.
But I did manage to do something that, while briefly lived, was immensely satisfying. This little miracle? Making a cat sit on my lap. MY decision.
Of course, this doesn’t sound like a monumental deal. After all, cats sit on laps all the time. Taco forces himself on my lap at LEAST once a day. But this time, it was my idea, and he submitted. HE SUBMITTED!
As all kitty mommies know, our children only do things that THEY feel like doing. How many times have you decided to feed your brats (when they weren’t meowing for it) only to have them take a sniff and walk off, only to return when they deemed it suppertime? Or had a bad day and wanted nothing more than a big, furry hug from your little one, but receive the cold shoulder. If they’re feeling particularly ornery, they’ll hide somewhere you can’t possibly extract them from.
So today, a day of accomplishing nothing but finishing season 3 of Breaking Bad (yeah, 2 weekends in a row – so irresponsible and flat-out lazy), I can take comfort in that for at least five minutes, I made a cat sit on my lap. Without struggling, of course, because heaven knows I’ve forced both the brats to cuddle for periods of time. No, the only glory is in a comfortably seated, even purry cat. And I did it.
Insert Rocky music here (Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now, if you weren’t sure which one).
I realized today that I have an awful lot of cat-inspired decor on my Pinterest.
In order to attempt to judge if it would be over the top for me to gussy up my couch with cat pillows, I took stock of the things in my home that are cat-related. I THINK it’s not that bad.
Whether or not the boyfriend agrees with me, that’s another story.
Here I go, blaming the cats for things again.
My neck has been killing me since Monday. The kind of hurt that makes it almost impossible to turn one’s head. It’s been really fun checking my blind spot while driving. It’s feeling a little better today, but as I was going through my photos, I realized that I captured PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE pointing the finger straight at Moosh Moosh.
Yes, my “good son” is apparently to blame for my latest injury.
The photo below was taken last Saturday night. At the time, I thought, “How adorable. My son loves me SO MUCH. I’m so very lucky to have this lil snugglebunny in my life!”
I see now that this was step 1 of the evil plan.
Sunday night. Gettin’ all up in my bidness. I still vaguely found it cute, but I was wondering if he was trying to take over my pillow entirely. It was a bit uncomfortable for me, but he’s my kid, and mothers have to sacrifice for the greater good sometimes.
It was all part of the master plan. The way I see it, this angel-faced devil hatched up this plan in order to force me to sleep in an awkward position which he knew would result in a stiff neck, keeping me out of my night job so that I would be home to spend time with them and feed them at an earlier time.
On the other hand, he’s not that smart. Maybe Taco was behind it all.
So I’m not sure how many of you out there are into all the “hip” new apps that the kids are using these days, but as a 31-year-old who still thinks she’s 12, I sure am. Most recently, my (slightly) younger and hipper friend introduced me to Snapchat, which, if you’re not a pervert or horny teenager using it for more risque purposes, seems to be a tool to send your friends stupid, goofy faces. Needless to say, I was an immediate convert. I also recently jumped on the Vine bandwagon. If you’re not familiar with this one, it’s just a way to share short, looping videos, mostly compiled of even shorter clips.
But NOW…Instagram, in all its Facebook-owned glory, quite smartly jumped on that shit. Yes, Instagram just put the short-lived Vine out of business in one fell swoop by now including videos. This is ok with me, I didn’t get close enough to Vine to feel mourn-y or anything.
What does this mean for you, you may ask?
It means now, not only can you browse millions of adorable kitty pics, you can now browse millions of kitty VIDEOS. Honestly, if any more technologies come out aiding my crazy cat lady-ness, I’m going to have to make it my full-time job.
And, of course, one can also post millions of one’s OWN kitty videos. I’ve held myself back so far and only posted 2. Should you care to see them, you can always follow me on instagram.
And if not (but you should), here’s a cute pic for the road.
As a mother of any species can tell you, you know when something’s a little off with your children. And despite the fact that my brats are never really what I’d call “all there,” they’re acting weirder than usual. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they had their parents home for a whole 5 days or the weather or if they’re just feeling their age as a result of their recent birthdays, but even the boyfriend’s noticed. It’s not anything I can put my finger on. Just some weird crap here and there.
Moosh will stop in a part of the room he usually won’t (yeah, I notice this crap) and stare at me. Usually he just waits by his food bowl and stares. He’s also being really needy. Following us around and looking at us pitifully for attention.
Taco can’t sit still. He’s in my face 24/7, and when he’s not, he’s in weird places, like my closet (this is Moosh’s usual haunt) and in Moosh’s basket (also, as you might have gathered by the title of the resting place, Moosh’s). Taco’s also started kneading me when he lays on me in bed. Yes, I know this is a NORMAL cat activity, but he’s never really been much of a kneader (Jackson Galaxy calls this “smurgling” but never explained if that’s some sort of scientific term — it seems like an odd choice for a serious scientist to choose, but whatever) and he does it ON me. I’m fairly certain that my skin isn’t as rewarding to smurgle on as, say, a cushy blanket. I don’t mind it so much. It’s more like a change-up pitch in baseball. Throwin’ a fast ball at me forever and now you’re going to throw a slider? You know what? That’s a horrible analogy. I’m assuming you get the point.
I don’t know what this all means, but it throws me off. And I hate change.
Yep. It’s that day again. The day we all celebrate our moms. And deservedly so. The mothers of the world do so much for us (and put up with a lot of brats like me). I appreciate my mommy every day of the year, except, of course, when I’m trying to get off the phone with her. This is a common mom thing, I hear. I think there’s a secret school for it somewhere. You have to start at least 15 minutes before you absolutely HAVE to get off the phone.
But enough about that. I know I posted something like this last year on Mother’s Day, but it’s worth saying again.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO THE KITTY MOMMIES!
You’re underappreciated. Especially those of you with special needs kitties. It’s not often understood why someone would take on caring for a pet who needs so much help. I really want to punch people who think that animals with problems should just be “put down” because after all, “they’re just animals.” One of these days, I probably WILL punch someone for saying that. And I’ll be ok with it.
One of my fellow bloggers has a paraplegic cat. I admire the hell out of her for it. It warms my heart that there ARE people out there who don’t need to be punched. On the newest episode of My Cat From Hell, the trouble cat had a neurological disorder that made it positively heartbreaking to watch him attempt to walk. And only one eye. But he had someone that took him in and gave him the life he couldn’t have gotten on his own, or maybe even with another caretaker who wouldn’t have had the patience to love and care for him. And despite the fact that he was hell-bent on tormenting the other cat, she never in a million years would give up her baby.
Taco is vaguely special needs. He also has a neurological disorder (that makes him pee where he’s not supposed to when he has a flare-up), but it’s not life-threatening and while it wears my patience extremely thin sometimes, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He’s my baby. So is Moosh Moosh, despite being what I’m pretty sure can only be described as “a little slow.” I love them just as hard as I would love my own flesh and blood.
So. To the responsible, loving, amazing cat moms — *I* appreciate you. And I’m giving myself a little pat on the back today, too. Because we deserve it.