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Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

Almost 14 years ago, in Independence, Missouri, I was on my way to an appointment to see a Persian kitten.  I had recently lost my beautiful cat, Casper, who had lived a full 18 years.  I missed him and was lonely for the whiskery love of a cat.  For years, I had thought Persian cats were gorgeous and was not thinking beyond that.  I wasn’t sure how to get to the lady’s home and this was pre-GPS days, so I took note of the directions and started out early – I don’t like to be late.  I got to the area a full half-hour early, but saw a PetsMart near her home and wanted to look for a few cat toys.

And that decision to stop at PetsMart changed the course of what was to be and began my love affair with my new cat, Rascal.  When I went into the store, I realized they were running an adoption program for pets from the local animal pound.  I saw an adorable litter of kittens with their tuxedo mom.  Wanting a male cat, I asked if there were any males in the litter and they said, “two”.  I started playing with the male tuxedo kitten and all he was interested in was going back to play with his sisters.

I then asked which other one was male and they pointed out the little mackerel tabby sitting in the corner of the litter box, watching the rough and tumble play of his siblings.  I wasn’t sure he was a cat I was interested in, but I said I’d like to see him.  And that was it.  They placed him on the table in front of me and he ran to me, climbed up my shirt and snuggled at my neck.  I laughed and my heart melted.  I set him back on the table and he did the same thing…purring in my ear and snuggling in for life.  I called the lady with the Persian kitten and apologized that I would not be there.  But I knew I had made the right decision.

Rascal was a one-person cat.  He adored me and hissed and growled at almost everyone else, especially the vet – and anyone who worked there.  He purred like a motor-boat if I looked at him.  When I stroked his lovely chin and forehead, he squinted his gorgeous, green eyes and purred louder.  He loved me and I loved him.

My beautiful boy, Rascal.  His nose was reddish brown, with a dark outline.  It almost looked like a heart shape.

My beautiful boy, Rascal. His nose was reddish brown, with a dark outline. It almost looked like a heart shape.

Rascal spent the next two years with me, keeping me company and we were happy to hang out on the couch, curled up with a book or watching television.  His adventurous spirit was limited to hanging out on the windowsill, watching the birds, other cats and some squirrels playing in the yard.  He didn’t like the outdoors at all and if the door opened, he ran to the bedroom, hiding under the bed.

When he was two, my new love, Beau came to visit my house for the first time.  I expected that Rascal would hide until he was gone, but my shock could not have been bigger.  Rascal walked over to him and the doorway, rubbed against his legs and purred.  And when Beau sat down on a chair in the living room, Rascal hopped up behind his head and curled up, content to hang out with him.  My sweet, one-person cat had just become a two-person cat.  And that would last for the rest of Rascal’s life.

Beau and I were married several months later and Rascal and I flew from the United States to Germany to live with my new hubby while he finished the last bit of his 5 years working for the US Government in Germany.  Rascal thrived in Germany!  He loved the marble windowsills and the radiators that heated them in winter.  His favorite places were on those sills, watching the birds, the comings and goings of the neighbors and the distance he maintained from our landlord’s beagle and sitting in front of the balcony door.  But our time in Germany ended and we hopped on another plane, back to the United States and Texas – our new home.

Rascal

Rascal’s next nine years were years of love, contentment and his happiness being a two-person cat. His favorite window was in the patio door. He pushed the curtain aside and would stare out – and panic if I was outside. I think he couldn’t quite comprehend why anyone, ever, would want to be outdoors. He’d watch every move I made until I came back inside.

And then he seemed to get hair balls all the time, started losing weight, and I knew that something was wrong.  His frequent visits to the vet began last May.  We dealt with treatments for the hairballs, he had a few bad teeth removed and he seemed to stabilize.  And then he began to lose more weight.  At first, we assumed it was because we had changed his diet to accommodate his fewer teeth, the need to keep his food more moist.

But then six weeks later, he was sick again.  And we returned to the vet…again and again.  Finally, I realized there was something much more wrong with him.  I saw him every day, but even I knew he was losing a lot of weight.  My once fat, fluffy cat who had weighed in at one point over 17 lbs was now at 11 lbs.  And that was when he was diagnosed with an intestinal tumor.

Our wonderful vet removed the tumor and sent it in for a biopsy.  We were told that Rascal’s tumor was cancerous, but that of the two types, it was the lesser and the margins were clean and it had not progressed to lymph nodes.  My optimism returned.  I thought we were going to still keep my baby with us for a few more years.  A month later, we discovered more issues and then the diagnosis that there was likely another mass in his intestines.

At that point, we took him home to enjoy his last days.  To the bitter end, my sweet, loveable Rascal looked at me with love, wanted to be held, snuggled and purred whenever I looked at him or stroked his beautiful face.  I adore him still and miss that face and the love he gave me from that first day at PetsMart.  I will never love a cat the way I loved him.  He was there for me during my time alone and accepted my husband into our life unconditionally…and with no hesitation.

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ~ Charles Dickens 

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Father’s Day is one of those holidays that escapes me each year.  My father died when I was 18 and my mother re-married about 9 years later.  But my stepfather died a little over 7 years after that, so I haven’t celebrated father’s day in years!  But, I’m married now and we have two 4-legged, furry children and now I find myself wishing my dear hubby Happy Father’s Day!  And I tell him that Rascal and Tang want me to take him to dinner for Father’s Day.  After all, Beau does deserve it.  When we got married, Rascal was about 2 years old and Beau had never had a cat.  He wasn’t sure he liked cats, but for some reason, they had bonded.  They had indeed.  Beau bought Rascal an airline ticket to Germany, so I wouldn’t be without my furry baby.  And he managed to talk the cat-hating landlady into allowing us a cat in our apartment.  This was a great feat!!  When it was time to return to the States, Beau again bought Rascal an airline ticket.  Between vet bills to verify that he was healthy and could enter Germany and then re-enter the U.S., along with the cost of the transportation, Rascal was turning into a big expense (one that I thought he was worth, but….) 

And then, when Rascal seemed lonely while we were at work, Beau suggested we get him a friend.  So, along came Tang.  And they have been such a joy in our lives.  We laugh at their antics, worry when they’re sick, hug them and spend quiet time with them.  They are our 4-legged babies!  So, I find myself again celebrating Father’s Day. 

Happy Father’s Day to all of those great men out there who have raised children, be they biological, adopted, foster…or furry. 

“A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash

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Sidetracked!

Archie - before being re-named Tang 

I have to say, between work and hobbies and just plain ol’ goofin’ off, I have become very sidetracked from my blog, dieting, exercise, and keeping in touch with friends. And I miss it! So, I’m now determined to get with the program(s)!! To blog and try to stay in touch with friends is the most fun and probably the easiest. To that end, I am going to try to “catch up” here over the next few weeks and put “on paper” what has been going on in my life recently.

First, I have added a new job/fun to my life. I have been thinking about being a consultant for a particular kitchen product company for years, but never really had the motivation/encouragement until recently. In early December, I attended a party and met a terrific consultant. Her personality and enthusiasm were infectious! And then she encouraged me to think about joining her team. I couldn’t resist. It also didn’t hurt that my dear hubby reiterated much of what she’d already said. I love the company’s products, I own much of what they sell, so I wouldn’t have to make a huge investment to be able to show almost anything (not that buying a lot of their products is necessary), I love the quality and the way they stand behind their products and I like to have cooking shows. So, I signed up! I qualified (4 shows or a certain amount in sales) in less than 30 days! It was easy and I had a great time. And I ended up with a wonderful bonus for qualifying. And now I’m out, meeting new people, having fun and really enjoying work. If only my full-time job was this much fun!! And I’ve set a goal of a new car by the end of the year. Of course, I’ve been saving for a long time, but the extra money from my new business will put me over the top more quickly! And I didn’t want to have to make any car payments, so this will be wonderful.

Beau traveled to Korea in January for work, and sent back some interesting pictures from the demilitarized zone when he took that tour one weekend. Then he spent another week in Kentucky/Tennessee (Clarksville) for work, but happened to be there during the horrible tornado weather that killed several people and caused so much damage. Fortunately, he survived it, but I sure was worried while he was there. So, my mind wasn’t on blogging or anything else.

In January, we also added to our family…we got a new fuzzy baby (our 3 month old kitten) and since he’s orange, we named him Tang. He’s quite a bundle of joy when he isn’t attacking our feet in the middle of the night.

So, we are definitely keeping busy. I’m getting ready for a new boss (finally they are replacing my old boss–after over 7 months of searching and interviewing) and I haven’t met him…so I’m a little nervous. And, of course, he arrives on the first day of my vacation!! Needless to say, I’m also concerned about that! I don’t want to cancel the vacation, but really thought I should be in the office for his first day. Oh, well. I’m taking the vacation…I have company coming and we’d had this planned for quite a while.

More later…now I’m off to try to work on the goals I’ve set for myself–keeping up with friends, working on my diet again, exercising more (or should I say exercising some), and making money at my new business!!!  I’m looking forward to that new car and so many other things (including early retirement from my “real” job).

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” ~ Denis Watley

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Vacation plans are rolling around in my head…we’re trying to complete last minute details and make sure we have everything lined up for the trip. I’m doing all the last minute shopping this weekend for camera batteries, throw-away mini shampoo bottles, etc., mini toothpastes, and all to lighten the load as we go, so we can replace that with souvenirs. I’m planning on buying some Wusthof knives while we’re in Germany and I want to pick up some German chocolates, etc. Of course, I’m sure we’ll end up with some German wine from our old landlord’s family. They have provided us with bottles of the local wines whenever they can. It’s good German white wine and I love my white wine schorles! (white wine mixed with Sprite or sparkling water 50/50).

I keep checking my spreadsheet I’ve worked up to make sure I don’t forget anything in our plans. I still need to follow up with our petsitter to finalize the arrangements for Rascal. He’s going to have the run of the house and think he’s the KING of the world. I’m getting a little stressed over all the arrangements, hoping I haven’t forgotten anything.

We have our passports, we’ve got our prescriptions refilled, we’ve got all of our reservations, our BritRail passes, daily plans and what clothes we’re planning on taking all listed on the spreadsheet. I’ve found a temp to replace me at work and I’m trying to get my desk cleaned off before I leave. We’re planning on a “dry run” for packing to weigh everything…we’ve got such a low luggage weight limit on the flight between Germany and England, so we’re going to be cutting it close! I’m dreading the flight between Frankfurt and Manchester…Beau picked a LITTLE plane and LOW baggage limit! YIKES! Doesn’t he know I like to shop??????

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” ~ Victor Hugo

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