it’s raining cats and dogs…

The rain has come home to roost in the Seattle area. There was never a question as to its returning…it was just a matter of when. Thank goodness hubby and I are pretty near done spiffying up the front yard after a year of neglect. Now I’ve just got to get the slug bait down before those little buggers feast to their hearts’ content. Once they get going, there’s no stopping ’em. Meanwhile the bunny rabbits, cute as they are, continue hippity-hopping about as though they own the yard. Truth be told, they pretty much do.  

So while it drizzles outdoors, here’s a little something to warm your heart and  lift your spirits. 

…gotta love our furry little pets.

………hugmamma.

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touch and go…

Another pet will probably be leaving us soon.

IMG_4985Sitka…who thinks he’s a lap dog…not a “leave me to my own devices” feline. If he could attach himself to my body…or anyone’s for that matter…he would. His life is intricately intertwined with his humans. He doesn’t want to be anywhere except with us. If he could curl up around our necks and live there, only uncurling himself to eat and do “his business,” he would.

Sitka’s nearly 14…a long life in cat years. Not long enough for him, I’m sure. He’ll always be young at heart, living the carefree life of the youngster he most assuredly thinks he is. Always reaching up the length of my body to be carried…to be snuggled…to be loved like a child. 

Sitka, who could never get enough love it seems. Makes me wonder what his life before 8 weeks had been like. I adopted him, and his sibling Juneau, from the local animal shelter around that time. It was the day after 9/11. They were my own personal homage to lives lost on that horrific day. Diagnosed as having “worms,” I had to keep them apart from my two other cats so they wouldn’t contract the disease.

IMG_2145For a month Sitka and Juneau lived in our downstairs bathroom, much to their dislike. Every day I had to scrub down the floors, counter tops, toilet, shower stall and sink with disinfectant so that the cats would not reinfect themselves with those nasty little buggers. Every day I had to spend quality time with them closed off from the rest of the family, assuring my little boys that they were loved. Every day they tried to rip the door off its hinges…literally…in an effort to escape solitary confinement. Once my husband even had to take the door off its hinges. The boys had pulled out a drawer of the cabinet so that we couldn’t even open the door. Funny now. Sheer pandemonium then.

When we moved to Washington in 1998, we brought along 2 cats…sisters, Fudgie and Sunkist. After 9/11, Sitka and Juneau joined the family. A few years later our dear Mocha ruled the roost as the only dog. They all figured out how to make the most of their living arrangements.

Being the least inclined to follow anyone’s lead, Sunkist was the grand dame. Fudgie seemed to shrink from contact, preferring to hover nearby instead. Sitka, the friendliest of the bunch, wanted to be pals all around. Juneau preferred to body-slam his affection, especially with Mocha who tolerated, sometimes even tussling with his unlikely opponent. Once we had to reprimand Mocha for dragging Juneau a few inches by the scruff of his neck, as well as scold Juneau for making a nuisance of himself with Mocha.IMG_5213

IMG_4990When grandkitty Misha came home with his mom, our daughter, to vacation or, on occasion, to spend several months…or a year, the house would be in an uproar. Misha usually flounced his weight around, gaining the upper paw by sheer magnetism and charisma. He is one cat who doesn’t cotton to occupying the lower rung on any ladder, animal or human. As with the others, he soon learned that grammy…me…was the predominant alpha. Once he learned that golden rule…Misha settled in just fine with the others. Oh, he still drove me up the walls…splashing water all over the place in an effort to clean himself off while drinking water. We went through several innovative concoctions, not to mention types of water bowls, to save the wood floors from being drenched and eventually warping. Now that he’s happily settled in with his mom again, she has that headache with which to contend. And I can return to carrying on about what a cute, little grandkitty he is…from 3,000 miles away. Although I do love him as much as my own boys.

Sitka’s blood platelet count has been descending rapidly…for some unknown reason, it seems. The vet, a compassionate man who has doctored to Sitka’s needs since he was 8 weeks old, suspects cancer. In an effort to stabilize and even elevate his blood count, the doctor is trying every and all medication he can think of to turn things around for our little fella. In the end, however, it is about quality of life. I never want any of our pets to suffer for our sake. Once we become aware that they are struggling to hang on…it’s time to let go…and remember them during the best of times.

By the end of the week our little man might be gone…joining siblings Sunkist, Fudgie, Mocha and even earlier family members, Sushi our Shitsu and Bandit our Persian,(and many others before that for there was never a time I was without pets.)

I still have all their ashes…in little, floral tins provided by the crematoriums. One day I will spread them out in the garden so that they will be remembered year round as I wander about…among the flowers…the fallen leaves…the light dusting of snow.

…remembering those who love us…unconditionally.

………hugmamma.

(Move your cursor over each photo to read captions.)

Enjoy more pet shares at
https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge/

michelle’s weekly pet share: update to grandkitty’s tale

Forgot to mention grampy’s contribution to the tale of our woebegone grandkitty.

"I'm all ears."

“I’m all ears.”

The kennel in which grandkitty had his smelly accident was exiled to the balcony. And thank goodness there was one.

Imagine spending the night in a studio…albeit an over-sized one…with no windows to open, and a sliding glass door that remained closed for the sake of security, not to mention the cold.

Ppphhheeewww!!!

I would probably have slept at the furthest point away from the crate. Maybe standing up in the shower after I’d scrubbed it thoroughly…top to bottom. Me and grandkitty hiding out…with the bathroom door shut tight.

Fine for me anyway, seeing as how I “go potty”…while everyone else dozes.

Grandkitty’s crate would have been history if I had my way.

Not one to shrink from a challenge, grampy decided he’d save it…somehow.

“Good luck”  I thought. Removing every piece of stuck poop would be some trick.

Lo and behold after moving to our daughter’s apartment, and after the movers had unloaded all her furnishings and left…grampy set about cleaning the cat crate.

Removing the pieces ever so carefully so as not to drop any poop, grampy took some kind of brush and scraped off all kinds of “unmentionables.” (I would have barfed for sure.) And then he took the pieces down to the basement laundry and ran them through one of the commercial washing machines.

Voila!!! Good as new. 

I don’t think grandkitty’s been back in it yet, since he’s not been on a plane since that unfortunate, never-to-be-forgotten event.

…i’m sure you wanted to know what happened to the poor crate…

…right?

………hugmamma.

"Chewing my toes is more exciting."

“Chewing my toes is more exciting.”

"And you'll never get me on a plane again!"

“And you’ll never get me on a plane again!”

michelle’s pet share: a little levity…from my grandkitty

My daughter sent along this photo of my grandkitty, a little fella who tugs at my heartstrings every time I see him…in person…or in print.

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I think he’s trying to tell his mom that he misses me…his blogging hug-grammy.

And that she’d better get him on a plane headed this way…quickly! 

Even though the last time we all flew to take he and his mom back to where they lived…he pooped in his crate.

Believe it!

Having rented a condo for a couple of nights until our daughter’s apartment was ready for her to move into, she and I had to bathe my poor, miserable grandkitty in the shower.

Imagine a cat with water pouring down from high above, while two humans he thought cherished him scrubbed every nook and cranny of his body unmercifully. Well, it was more like my daughter holding him, while I did all the pulling, tugging, and scrubbing…making sure not a smidge of feces was left in his long hair.

Triple uuuggghhh!!!

So then we had to leave him holed up in the bathroom so that anything I hadn’t manage to scrub off…didn’t smear off onto the condo furnishings. 

Poor, miserable grandkitty.

Although the night before, I did insist we buy a little, soft fabric house in which he could hunker down and hide. And that’s where he remained until we felt it was safe for him to join us in the rest of the over-sized studio.

Of course I had packed his litter box, some litter, the poop scoop, and some food…wet and dry…in my suitcase. So he was good to go…kind of.

As you can see, the “little man” has acclimated to his home of less than a year quite nicely. In fact, he’s back to his ornery self. 

…no doubt about it.

………hugmamma.

(Move your “mouse” across each photo to read the caption.)

(Go to the following for other…PET SHARES by MICHELLE
https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/weekly-pet-share-round-up-and-start-of-new-week-73/

Shhhh Kitty Kitty Kitty….

I think the goddess has spoken for a few of us pet owners. There’s always the upside to our furry critters, but then again we have to make allowances for their idiosyncracies too. I’m certain they feel the same way about us. It’s for sure my own Sitka and Juneau would meow that I drive them up the wall sometimes, as much as they do me. Isn’t that what true love is all about though???

…give and take.

………hugmamma.

 

Humoring the Goddess

Let me start off by saying – I love cats. I love MY cats. They are solace when I am sad, they are loving when I feel empty.

Now.

My cats also drive me up the proverbial wall.

They do the usual “cat” things…they lay on my laptop when I’m typing, sleep by my head when I’m trying to sleep. But they also make more noise than the Park Street Band. Especially Tom.

Tom is my grey and white tuxedo. He is the friendliest, coolest cat I’ve ever owned. He holds his own against my chocolate lab, along with the two other labs that practically live at my house. He allows my grandson to carry him all  around the house, feet dangling near the floor, as his body as long as my grandson is tall. He loves to lay on your lap – anyone’s lap – especially if you are under…

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tugging at our hearts…

Making the case for a new dog after the loss of our beloved Mocha is a real brain twister.

So far I’ve been able to resist.

Not that we wouldn’t love the companionship of another faithful, loving pet. However caring for more than one furry, family member gets a tad more difficult with age. And I’ve still got two, little felines following me about for food and attention.

Meanwhile, I’ll get my fix for another pooch by watching these irresistible critters online…

 

nurturing thursdays: loving is…living

You might wonder why my limited writings of late have been as entries on blogger Becca Given’sNurturing Thursdays.

Two reasons.

Thursdays suit me well. Having run errands and done chores earlier in the week, I reward myself with a short stint at my laptop doing what I do for sheer pleasure…writing.

More importantly, however, is Becca’s invitation to share words that help us feel good about ourselves. God bless her for giving contributors a platform which encourages us to have compassion for ourselves and others.

While other writers contribute more regularly, I’m grateful that my entries are accepted when I am able to snatch a few moments here and there. Perhaps if I limited myself to a few inspirational words, I’d do better. And yet, I can only think to share a little slice of my own life. If it inspires then I am blest. Mostly though, it’s just me trying to figure out…life.

The passing of my beloved Mocha recently coincided with my husband’s casual announcement that he was retiring sooner than expected. Instead of 2016, his last workday will be January…2015!

After the dust settled in my brain, gone musty as an empty-nester these last 12 years, I listened as hubby revealed the whys, hows, and wherefores of what had transpired. Suffice it to say, he’s come out on top. Although retired, he’ll continue as a consultant for another year.

All I’ve ever wanted of my marriage since day one…was my husband.

IMG_4079I’ve waited 44 years to spend more than a few hours a week with my best friend in the whole, wide world. I’ve only had a taste of what his coworkers have always shared with me when we’ve met at office functions.

Among the many compliments were my husband’s fairness…his calm in the midst of turmoil…his patience…his generosity in sharing the limelight…his integrity…his humility…his willingness to mentor others…his loyalty and dedication…his work ethic…his tireless efforts in always seeking the truth…and his willingness to go the extra mile on behalf of others.

Yes. My husband’s a saint. I called him that once when we were first married. His retort was that it was an unkind remark. Only my husband would take offense at being held up on a pedestal.

My husband loved our little Mocha as much as I did. He wasn’t as demonstrative toward her as I was, not given to hugging and smooshing ad nauseum like me. Nonetheless, Mocha always knew she could depend upon him for a walk anytime of the day or night. With me, there could be resistance depending upon the weather and what hour of the night it was. My arthritis doesn’t do well in the wet and cold, and I’m deathly afraid of encountering a bear or cougar in the dark.

IMG_2145When Mocha left us I couldn’t help but feel she did so knowing my husband and I would have more time for one another…one less family member who needed our care and attention. Especially with all she required the last months of her life. Feline siblings, Sitka and Juneau, are now happy to get more cuddle time with me. Although I think they miss their little pal as well.IMG_4810

In reflecting upon Mocha’s life and my husband’s retirement, I couldn’t help but think that those we love the most live on through us who remain. We are their legacy. We continue to tell their story long after their physical presence is gone. We attest to their having been here.

Sad then, those who die unloved.

Who will speak of them? Who will testify to what they did…their dreams…their passions…their accomplishments…their failures? Who will say “We played softball together on the weekends.” Or “She loved doing things with her children.”

Perhaps when we care for others we, in some small way, acknowledge their reality. They live because we think about them…even if only for a moment. All those with whom we engage as we go about our daily lives…the waiter…the supermarket cashier…the dry cleaning clerk…the pet groomer…the landscape worker…our furry family members.

We matter to others. Probably more than we know.

Mocha’s still with me as I go about my day. Reminding me that as long as we’re here, she’ll be with hubby and me…

…enjoying our retirement years.

………hugmamma. 

(Enjoy other inspirational writers at  https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/nurturing-thurs-next-time/                                                                                                                                            

 

Imported Photos 00137

goldilocks…who’s that sleeping in my bed?

Fellow blogger Following My Joy posted the youtube video at the bottom of this post to her site  at
http://followingmyjoy.com/2014/09/01/its-raining-cats-and-dogs/

Her post reminded me of my own pets Mocha and Sitka. I guess it’s true that when it comes to canines and felines…kitties have the upper hand…or so they like to think. Is it fearlessness, egoism, or…just plain ignorance?

 

Meanwhile, as my kitties demonstrate…blood is thicker than water. Brothers Sitka and Juneau have no problem sharing tight quarters. On the other hand, when Sunkist was still with us, she made no bones about her displeasure at sharing HER space with Sitka. 

IMG_5306
February 2011 00019

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge

Couldn’t resist sharing these feline photos…
………hugmamma.

LIVING WITH MY ANCESTORS

Whew! One set of photos for two separate photo challenges! I present MIDGE in one of her favorite sleeping postures — on the edge.  I offer these for Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge Week #40 and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Edges!

Mmmm, the arm of this sofa is so comfy…

2013-10-08 Midge4_Fotor

As is the top of this chair…

2014-06-13 Midge_Fotor

Puhleeze, allow me my dignity if you won’t allow me my solitude…

2013-10-08 Midge5_Fotor

Now, you’ve gone too far.  That is just sooo not right!

2014-06-13 Midge2_Fotor

To participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things With Edges and/or to see additional entries, please click on the logo:

cees-fun-foto

To participate in Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge Week #40 and/or to view additional entries, please click on the logo:

petchallenge logo

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weekly photo challenge: unexpected

Unexpected moments in our household…and beyond. Roll your mouse over each photo to view the accompanying caption.

a “new” old me…

Following up on my previous post nurturing thursdays: relief…myofascia release, I must admit to feeling pretty darn good this morning. 

Normally I awake with my body already aching as though I’d been lugging myself around for several hours. 

This morning I’m standing here at the kitchen counter as though I’d been given the proverbial “new lease on life.” And to show you that the “proof is in the pudding,” I could actually bend down to pet my 3 cats and one dog without flinching as I did so.

My pets got the benefit of some me and them time. Me cooing sweet nothings into their furry, little ears; them lapping up every morsel of mommy murmurings dropping from my mouth.

Even hubby reaped the benefit of yesterday’s rejuvenating rubdown…without having to undergo it himself.

I slid out from under the bed covers, sashayed down the hallway to the kitchen, and fixed him an egg sandwich, replete with a nicely done, fried egg, a couple of lightly sauteed ham slices, with slivers of cheese sandwiched between so that they’d melt. To complete the morning feast, I sliced a couple of large, juicy strawberries for hubby to nibble upon. Hot green tea with slivers of fresh ginger finished off my king’s 6:30 a.m. meal.

I sent happy hubby on his way, and after I publish this piece I’ll return to my comfy nest of sheets and quilts to catch 40 more winks.

The moral of this little story?

…go get a massage! pronto!

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: 3 words…i love you

Those three words…I love you... can work wonders when told to someone who’s in pain…who’s hurting.

Those three words…I love you… needn’t be reserved for family, sweethearts or close friends.

Those three words…I love you… shouldn’t be secreted away…only to be displayed on special occasions.

Those three words…I love you… isn’t just for lovers on Valentine’s Day.February 2011 00068

Those three words…I love you… takes only seconds to say.

Those three words…I love you…can make someone’s day.

Those three words…I love you…bridges the distance between two hearts.

Those three words…I love you…is a hug traveling on a cloud.

Yesterday I was sad to learn that my cat-sitter, China Rose, has been spending her nights alongside her mom in the hospital. Since June she has been dealing with throat cancer. 

China Rose is a sweetheart who adores cats. She has 9. Most are strays which she has adopted. Not only does China mother her own, but she does the same for those at the local vet where we take our cats. In addition, she cares for cats whose families are away.

When I asked after her mom, China choked back tears. I know first-hand that when someone shows compassion, it’s difficult to remain stoic.

I told China I wished I could hug her…that she felt like a daughter to me. And the next three words flowed easily …I love you.

China responded…I love you too.

I could see her smile…knowing that…I really do love her. 

…those three words…i love you…from me to you…

………hugmamma.

English: On Valentine's Day , the words of Jim...

october monthly mini competition: an unexpected journey

IMG_4980

ESCAPEES

“How did we get ourselves into this mess?” wondered Juneau, his stomach growling in anticipation of the next meal. Making his way through the tall stalks of bee balm, bending under the weight of an earlier downpour, this little fraidy cat seemed on the verge of a total meltdown.

Sitka, on the other hand, sauntered along the winding path ahead of his brother, intent on smelling every petal…leaf…twig…and clump of mulch. You name it; he smelled it. “This is heavenly,” he thought.

As he continued along, gulping in as much fresh air as his lungs would allow, Sitka meowed for the world to hear…”Free at last! Thank God Almighty! We are free at last!”

Meanwhile, Misha, the leader of the pack, ambled confidently ahead of the others. His swagger seemed a challenge, as if daring one and all to…”Try and stop me! Just you try!” He it was who had made a beeline for the back door when it was unwittingly left ajar. He’d peered at the outside world through the window panes on the French door. Now he was determined to experience all its delights…firsthand. No more playing like…”Alice through the looking glass.”

“If only those two slow pokes wouldn’t have come with me” thought Misha. “I’d have been into the next yard by now.” Muttering to himself, he added “I don’t even like those half-breeds.” Not being purebred Maine Coones like himself, Misha tended to stick his nose in the air when the three boys found themselves in one another’s company. Although Misha did need to check them out from time to time, by way of sniffing…their butts.

“I can’t go any further!” complained Juneau to his fellow escapees. Moaning to himself, he added “There’s nothing to eat out here.” He had to admit that even his bowl of bland, diet kibble was better than nothing. “If and when I get back inside,” gulped Juneau, “I’ll be ever so grateful. I won’t try to sneak a few bites of Sitka’s food. I won’t body slam Mocha. I won’t pick fights with Misha that I know I can’t win. I won’t drive Hugmamma crazy with my constant meowing.”

Juneau prayed hard.

Unfazed, Sitka lay down on a piece of slate warmed by the noonday sun. “Oh, this is just divine,” he purred to himself. Oblivious to his partners-in-crime, Sitka bathed himself, licking his silky coat to undo some of the spider webs he’d encountered.

Suddenly out of nowhere, a red squirrel was in front of Misha. At home on his own turf, the rodent raised himself up on his haunches as if threatening to lash out at Misha. Neither blinked. Seconds passed.

And then…Misha bolted! Without looking back, he squeezed through the door which had nearly slammed shut in an unexpected gust of wind.

Juneau followed in hot pursuit, leaving Sitka to wonder what all the commotion was about. Little did he suspect that there’d be a huge fuss once Hugmamma learned he was missing.

” SITKA!!!