Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kitten Love

Meet Max.

Max is an itty bitty lil kitten who is going to help fill the big hole in my life that Bob left behind. Bob, of course, is irreplaceable but I have practically had a cat my whole life and I miss not having a cat in my life. I miss being met at the front door when I come home and having an animal presence around. My lizards are great but somehow they just aren't the same.

Max is a Seal Point Ragdoll kitten which is a breed of cat known to be affectionate and biddable. They get their name as many of them go limp when picked up, though this is certainly not true of all of them. He will be coming to live with me at the end of June (ish) which gives me plenty of time to prepare for his arrival and enough space to get over losing Bob.

Guess who has already been buying new cat beds, toys and other kitty related paraphernalia? I just bought these cool looking cat toys for him and also a great scratching post based on a cylinder design with two levels and holes in the side to go in and out of and hide. I am counting on this to help save my furniture, especially my new leather sofa! It also has a ball on elastic string so I am envisioning a few comedic moments with that!

I am very much looking forward to getting to know my new kitten. I will be visiting him again next week and hope to take more photos then. The one at the top of this post was just a quick pic taken with a mobile phone. Max had been playing all day and he was tired. I scooped him up and sat him on my lap and asked him if he wanted to come and live with me. He made eye contact and then settled down on my hand and went to sleep. I took that as a yes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Other people's words

Picture from Lolcatz

'We lavish on animals the love we are afraid to show to people. They might not return it; or worse they might' ~ Mignon McLaughlin

I've not been around much in blogland this last week or so. All the things I talked of in my last post are still pertinent: I still miss Bob and grieve for him, the change programme at work is very trying and demotivating (having done an MBA I know a good example of 'how not to manage change' when I see it and no, my input is not required), and I am still battling the lack of energy that accompanies an underactive thyroid. I'm not going to go on about all this though as I even get tired of hearing myself at times.

All is not doom and gloom though. I have a long weekend coming up courtesy of a Public holiday adn a couple of days leave and a new sofa being delivered. The old one was looking very tired and it was time for a change. I am also going to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Julius Caesar in Stratford-Upon-Avon on Saturday which I am really looking forward to. I haven't much else to tell right now so I thought I would leave you with words of wisdom from other people. Pick the ones that mean the most to you.

'Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.' ~ Oprah Winfrey

'Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.' ~Martina Navratilova

'Family is just accident... They don't mean to get on your nerves. They don't even mean to be your family, they just are.' ~ Marsha Norman

'Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: there's always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires.' ~ Marcelene Cox

'If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders'.' ~ Abigail Van Buren

'People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.' ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

'Some people wear their smile like a disguise. Those people who smile a lot, watch their eyes... You think everything's OK, and it is...'til it's not.' ~ Ani Difranco

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One week on...

I've not felt like blogging much this past week. I thought I would spare you all my grief and mourn privately. I was devastated by Bob's death but one week on I am coping with the huge gaping hole this small dear cat left behind. The photo is of Bob two days before he died. It was just a quick pic taken with a mobile phone but I love it.

Thank you to everyone who left condolences here or on FaceBook for me and also to two wonderful blogger friends who sent me emails. I very much appreciated them.

There is not much else to tell really. Life goes on. The restructuring at work continues apace though it seems that no-one really seems to know what is going on. Isn't communication wonderful? I took my sister her birthday present of a digital photo frame and on the way up the motorway we had a little excitement when we received a call from M's brother who was on the hard shoulder with his vehicle on fire. The weird thing is we were literally just two minutes from him when he rang for help. Now, what are the chances of that happening? The fire engines turned up and put out the blaze, the highways agency closely followed them and closed the lane and it was all over quite quickly really. We left them there waiting for the road rescue breakdown truck to arrive. Luckily real life didn't mirror movie art and the car didn't explode, but I got a little concerned when the fire was near the tyres. Gas under pressure plus heat is not the best combination really.

Unless you really want to hear about my chores that is pretty much all I have to tell. When I feel more like it I will post some more photos from my Barcelona trip. I have much to share, but right now I'm not in the mood. Grief is tiring but I'm working on feeling better.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

To Bob

Everybody who ever met you, loved you. Even those who said they didn't like cats. I remember one of the most ardent cat haters, a steely Vice Chairman of a large corporation, grudgingly saying that you 'quite nice for a cat' while he scritched you behind the ears. Oh yes, everyone loved you but no-one more so than me. I remember the day I bought you home as if it was only the other day and not 1991, or was it 1992? (Forgive me, my memory fails me as in my head you have always been there). I thought I had chosen you, but of course as all good cat owners know, you had in fact, chosen me. I saw you in the pen at the shelter and I remember asking you if you wanted to come home with me. You looked straight up at me with big wide green eyes and simply said a very loud affirmative 'meow'. There was no mistaking your tone and so the following week I bought you home in a cardboard box which you fought to escape from the whole way back. You never did like enclosed spaces.

When we got home you were not so impressed at first. I lived in a first floor flat and you sat at the bottom of the stairs looking suspicious. I sat with you and stroked your head and you hit me. No claws, just a smack. This went on periodically throughout the first day with the periods of stroking getting longer. Sometime that first evening you made the decision to stay. You walked upstairs and came into the lounge. You jumped up onto the arm of the sofa next to me and looked straight at me. I looked straight into your eyes and I knew we had reached an understanding. Thank you for trusting me all these years. It is the greatest compliment to be trusted so completely.

Since that day you followed me around like a puppy, barely leaving my side when I was at home. Even when you went outside you would come back in to check I was still there. I remember you didn't like it when I left the house to go out, or when I went to bed and you would fly at my legs and hold on, sometimes gently biting my ankles or knees. I always told you I would never leave you and I always came back, but still it helped to roll some treats across the floor so that I could retire unmolested. And so our first ritual started which persisted until you left me.

We had many more rituals you and I. Ones that wove themselves into our very existence so quietly that they became natural. There was the licking of the yogurt pot. How you loved anything dairy! I told you it was not good for you but still you loved it so much that I could not deny you a little now and then (you held no truck with that cat milk junk). You would patiently wait until I had finished and then I would ask you what you wanted. You would hold up your little paw (and sometimes dance from paw to paw in excitement) and meowingly ask nicely. You also liked my shoes and at bedtime would wait by my bed for my slippers which you would then lie on and purr while demanding fuss. You would answer to your name and come running when called and knew other human words too.

We have been through a lot together you and I: 3 homes (including 1 relocation to another city), 1 career change, 3 promotions since then (me, not you), 3 relationships (not counting ours), 1 wedding and then ultimately 1 separation and divorce (again, me), 2 teeth removal operations and 2 hospital stays including renal support (you, not me), numerous illness including surgery for fibroids (twice) and my recent thyroid surgery (you were an excellent nurse), 2 post grad qualifications and 1 MBA (me, though I know you helped), 2 family bereavements (human), 1 family estrangement and countless other ups and downs. Thank you for being there and never ever judging me.

You were beautiful, you were special, you were mine and I loved you dearly. Thank you for being my friend and my constant companion all these years. It has been a privilege and I will always treasure the time we had together. You died on 5th May this year. It was windy when I took you to the vets and it seemed that it had come to carry you away. That decision was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but it was time. You were tired.
I stayed with you right to the end.

Missing you old friend. Rest well.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Bobbing along's been nearly a week since I last blogged but I have a good excuse, honest. Well, actually it's not that great but it's true. Work has been a tad on the busy side and quite a big tad on the stressful side. Change has become de rigour at work but this one is particularly painful as our team is being merged with another and the culture and modus operandi is so different that it's akin to mixing oil and water. Unfortunately the new boss took a JFDI approach to managing the change and now quite a few people are demotivated and disillusioned.

On top of that it is time for the end of year appraisal and I have been trying to write mine, something I always find difficult to do. I want my achievements to be recognised but then I don't want to over do it and give the impression that I can walk on water and do a neat trick with loaves and fishes.

On top of that, I went for my blood test this week and have been informed that I need to have another one in 3 months. Why? Because they are not happy with my thyroid function. Apparently my half a thyroid has not taken over as well as hoped. I told you I felt run down didn't I? This would help explain the uncharacteristic tiredness which is accompanied with bouts of uncharacteristic grouchiness due to feeling tired and having to cope with the hoohar at work.

On top of that I have used all my spare worry time on Bob. Since he came home last week I have kept a close eye on him, but the good news is that he is doing fine on the steroids. In fact, he is quite his old self apart from being very thin (though he eats fine). I took him back to the vets today and we decided to continue with the steroids and see how he goes, though I have been warned once again that this is simply buying some quality of life time. I know this, that is why I have already researched pet cremation places nearby. I don't want to have to deal with finding things when the time comes and this also helps me mentally prepare.

The truth is we don't know how long Bob has left but we will make it as good as possible for him. Bob of course is currently sulking at me for taking him to the V.E.T.S. and he let his opinion be known by throwing up on the way home. Right now, I'm just glad he's doing well, and will take his feedback in my stride. I hope I get better feedback from work next week when I discuss my appraisal. Right now though I'm just looking forward to a nice long bank holiday weekend, with a dash of sun please if that's not too much trouble?