Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas list for the cats

The cats have their own ideas about what they would like for Christmas. 

Saturn would like a baby hedgehog to play with but Mama said no. The other 3 would like the same or a live mouse but Mama said no. Sniper tried to argue with me that he wouldn't hurt it. He just wants to carry it around in his mouth. Mama still said no.  

After some grumbling and complaining and Saturn running for her life, they decided that they would like a new wand toy. Georgie ate their other one.  And the one before that.  And H's earbuds.  And the last roll of toilet paper.  Again...

They would also like a laser pointer because Mama lost the last one. And some new crinkly balls.  

Oh and Harper would like to eat more without turning into more of an egg on legs. Mama said no. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And then there were 4....

I've officially become a cat lady.  I'm single, 40, and now have 4 cats.  Yes, I have 4 cats....  I think I might be losing it a little because I started to miss having a kitten since Georgie is now 2 and not as BAD as he used to be.  Since I'm not likely to be having anymore babies (human ones), H and I went to the Wake County shelter in July to just LOOK at the kittens.  I should have known better than to even go.  Especially since the shelter had waived all adoption fees for cats and kittens that weekend.  And they included a voucher for the first vet visit.  With my vet.  Sigh..... 

 We fell in love with this scrappy little grey and white female.  She was 8 weeks old and a Russian Blue mix.  I didn't really want another male since then I would really be outnumbered.  I also figured that Georgie would have a problem accepting another male being a bottle fed baby.  That and he likes to think that he's in charge of the whole operation.  Sniper puts him in his place often.  ANYWAY.... 

H and I discussed names on the way to the shelter.

Me: "what about Annabelle?"
H: "no"
Me: "um, Jezebel?"
H: (eye roll)
Me: "well you come up with a name"
H (as a Saturn something or other drives past): "Saturn?"
Me: "Seriously?  Saturn?"
H: "Yeah I like Saturn.  Plus she's gonna run fast."
Me:  "OK.  I'm just glad you didn't see a Dodge or a Toyota"

 So, we named her Saturn Annabelle.  I was insistent on the Annabelle.  She just looks like an Annabelle to me.  She's is fitting into the family quite well.  All she does is eat, run for her life, attack the other 3 cats - all of whom are at least twice her size - and occasionally sleep.  She likes to curl up under my chin in the middle of the night when she's cold, but then gets irritated if I accidentally lay my head on her.  Sniper adores her, Harper tolerates her and Georgie is still waiting to see if she's gonna go away.  He doesn't quite get that Mama can love another cat.  Well, at least not another cat that wasn't already there when he got there.  H absolutely adores her and she seems to love him - for now anyway.  She likes to curl up in his lap and help him play on the computer.  She's almost convinced that her name is "DAMMIT, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE DRYER!!!!"

Sniper (4), Harper (3), Saturn (6 months) and Georgie (2)
Now I have stair steps for cats - 4 years, 3 years, 2 years and 6 months.  I swear I'm done now.  I don't think my queen size bed can hold another cat plus me.  Besides, my apartment is only 1100 square feet and I can't afford a bigger one....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sniper's 4th birthday

Sniper, age 17 weeks on the day he came home to Mama
Today, Sniper turns 4.  He came home to me after my ex and I split up.  As the resident old man in this crazy group of 4 cats and 2 humans, he has seen a ton of changes in the last (almost) 4 years.  He started out super whiny and he's just kinda gotten worse as he's gotten older. 

Sniper is crazy attached to me.  He follows me around like a dog and, well, I've kinda trained him like a dog.  Since he's most likely a Maine Coon mix, I figured that he was gonna be a big cat and needed to learn some manners.  So in addition to his name (which he knows so well that he'll look at the TV if he hears it), I taught him how to sit, stay, wait, up, around, come, drop it, leave it, bring it to Mama, get out of my room, out of my kitchen, don't be rude, and the most important one of all, I'M DONE AND DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE.  He runs when he hears that one and will meow pitifully from under the table like "I'm sorry Mama" so I'll pet him.  Fortunately, he doesn't hear that one too often.  Of course, he IS a cat so he will only comply with these commands when HE thinks it's a good idea.  Or for food - he'll usually comply for food.

he still sleeps like this a lot

He sleeps with me most every night.  Well, "with me" meaning that he's on the floor beside the bed under the air conditioning vent.  I have yet to find a people food that he won't at least try.  He loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with some milk to go with it.  And yes, he does get his own teeny sandwich.  I've never known a cat that will eat watermelon and apples, but he will. 

Fortunately, Sniper is very tolerant of all 3 kittens that he's had to be introduced to in the last 3 years.  He still kinda hates Georgie, but he's as attached to Harper as he is to me.  He's still waiting to see how he feels about Saturn but he really likes chasing her and swatting her feet out from under her so she'll turn flips. 

Happy birthday Sniper!  I hope we get a crap ton more years with you. 


Mama, H, Harper, Georgie and Saturn

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First day of school

School starts tomorrow. My son - my little boy - will be a sophomore in high school.  A sophomore!!!!!  It just doesn't seem possible.  I know all parents say this, but it really does seem as if he started kindergarten just yesterday. I can't believe that he is almost 16 and pushing 6 feet!  I miss him being that sweet little boy that had only given up his passy 6 months before kindergarten started. So I thought about a timeline of his (so far) 10 years in school:

Kindergarten:  his teacher sent a note home asking us to tell him not to write in cursive because the other kids couldn't read it. He also got sent to the principal's office for the first time.

1st grade: awful teacher but he met his first real friend, Wesley. They got into lots of trouble together.

2nd grade: got rezoned into a different school. He stopped saying "cunshtibull" instead of comfortable.

3rd grade: I finally let him stop riding in the booster seat. He stopped calling me Mommie.

4th grade: AMAZING teacher. He had a project to explain who he was (favorite book, movie, his hero, etc). The other kids chose a human for their hero. Not my kid. He chose the cat because Bucky licked him one time.

5th grade: the end of elementary school. Middle school here we come!!

Middle school was a blur of bad grades, his dad and I splitting up and temper tantrums (from both the kid and from me).  I was never more thankful than when he was diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  I know that sounds weird, but there was finally a reason for his behavior and his grades.  He got started on meds in March of his 8th grade year and we have never looked back. High school is looming!!!!!

9th grade:  the change in him was amazing!  He started marching band and really found his place. Something that he is good at and loves. His grades turned around and for the first time since 5th grade, he didn't even come close to failing anything.

Now here we are starting 10th grade. He's continuing in marching band and even starting Latin.  I think it's gonna be an awesome year!!

Good luck buddy!! Mommie loves you!!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cats are evil

My three cats are evil.  There's really no other way to put it.  I've known that Georgie was bad for a while, but now that I think about it, the other two aren't really all that good either. 
Georgie is a destroyer.   All toilet paper MUST be put under my bathroom sink or Georgie will decimate it in about 3 minutes (I'm talking the huge, Charmin triple roll here).  Paper towels are also fair game if they are left where he can get to them.  iPhone charger cables and earbuds are just too tempting and he just can't help but destroy them.  I think he's destroyed 4 cables and 10 pairs of earbuds.  My iPhone and iPad charge on top of the printer so he can't get to the cables.  I don't own earbuds because they don't fit in my ears, but H needs a new pair to replace the eaten pair at least every 8 weeks or so. 

Sniper takes great pleasure in knocking everything off my beside table except for the fan so he can sit in front of it and let it blow his fuzz in my face.  He also knows how to open drawers and cabinets to get whatever I've taken away from him.  He figured out how to open the back door if it isn't locked when he was about 5 months old.  I don't really need to buy any toys for him.  He will just go in the garbage can and find something in there to play with.  He keeps doing this even though I'm certain that he knows it grosses me out.  His latest thing is to stand on my stomach and meow in my face at 6:58am - 10 minutes before the alarm goes off - because his food bowl is empty.   Then he runs when I start to get up as if saying "that wasn't ME meowing.  It was Georgie"

Harper can hear my bedside table drawer open from across the apartment AND in a dead sleep.  She will take off in a flat run because she is certain there is something in there that she must have between her teeny little paws immediately.  She also has figured out how to open my closet door so she (and the boys who follow her in there) can poke around in there and hopefully find some contraband.  If she were brave enough, she would growl at me when I make her get out of there.  It's one of two places in the house that they are not allowed to go - the other is Henry's room.  Ponytail holders are in danger from her teeny little mouth.  She can't resist them.  I keep trying to loop one on her tail so she will run in circles to get it, but she doesn't fall for that.

But then they are super sweet and purr and curl up in little cat balls to sleep with Mama every night so I guess I'll keep them.  Besides, my queen size bed is much too big if they aren't taking up about 80% of it. 
Harper (back), Georgie (middle) and Sniper (front) on Mama's bed

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Georgie turns 2

I can't believe that Georgie is 2 today.  He was just 2.5 weeks old when my wonderful stepmom heard him squeaking in her front yard under Daddy's old john boat.  He was the 3rd kitten this cat mama had abandoned in their front yard.  My parents have the two older ones, but with 4 cats and 2 dogs, they just couldn't handle a 5th cat, much less one that was so incredibly young and dependent.  Lisa waited about 24 hours after she heard him squeaking to make sure that mama cat wasn't just out scrounging around for food before she texted me "do you want another cat? I found a little teeny orange baby."

Harper was not quite a year old and Sniper was just 18 months old and I had a full time job plus a teenage boy.  I wasn't sure if I was able to take care of such a young kitten, but I went over to their house to see "her".  We were convinced that Georgie was a girl at the time and her name was to be Claire.

This is the day I brought Georgie home
I fell in love with this feisty, tiny, squeaky little orange baby.  He was so young that his ears didn't stand up all the way yet and his eyes had only been only for about 6 days.  He had already lost his umbilical cord, but he was unable to eat on his own or even pee or poop on his own.  My stepmom showed me how to make kitten formula and how to feed the kitten with the bottle.  She also told me that I had to burp the kitten about halfway through the bottle, just like I did for "H" when he was a baby.  She also informed me that I had to wipe his little butt to make him go potty after he was done with the bottle.  Oh dear lord, what have I gotten myself into????

I brought him home in the baby kitten carrier talking to him the whole time.  He didn't seem too impressed with my words or with my singing abilities.  He got bored and went to sleep.  After I got home, Sniper and Harper both knew something was up and there was some sort of creature in the carrier.  Harper stuck her little black nose in the air and went straight to my room and curled up on the bed.  Sniper was interested, but he just meowed and wrapped himself around my legs so I would fill up his food dish.
holding the bottle and winking

As soon as I got home, the kitten started squealing again to be fed.  I warmed up a bottle and got him out of the carrier.  Harper hissed and ran.  Sniper ignored both of us.  As I fed the kitten, his little ears wiggled back and forth after he finally figured out that the bottle was a good thing and not something to be fought or attacked.

I quickly figured out that the kitten did NOT like laying on his tummy to take a bottle.  He preferred to be held with his back against my chest so he could hold (or attack, depending on your point of view) the bottle.  After he ate and burped stinky kitten milk burps and peed and pooped, he wouldn't settle down unless I wrapped him up like a kitten burrito.  I could then gently (!) sway him back and forth and he would go to sleep for 2-4 hours.  This went on for 7.5 LONG weeks until he was weaned at 9 weeks old.

he really loved his burrito

I had never known a kitten that loved being swaddled almost like a human baby.  My own human baby hated it!!  This little guy went everywhere except work with me.  He had to be fed every 3 hours with a longer stretch of 6 hours at night.  He didn't know how to walk so watching him learn to walk was hysterical.  The first time he ran, he actually ran backwards.  Harper was terrified of him until he was about 12 weeks old.  Sniper still isn't quite sure that he likes him, but I think he's accepted that he isn't going anywhere.

I took him to the vet 4 days after I brought him home.  The vet assured me that the kitten I thought was a little girl was actually a very healthy, 9 ounce little boy kitten.  His name was changed from Claire (and other names that I thought of but didn't stick) to Georgie.  He is a total rascal and as my sister says, "Jeez, your cat is BAD!"  He got put in time out more than H did.

Georgie, age 2
That 9 ounce, helpless kitten is now 2 years old and weighs about 13 pounds.  He loves his Mama and his feline sister.  He wants to love his feline brother, but he's not real sure about his human brother.  He is bitey, but the vet says that's common with bottle fed kittens. He sleeps with me every night curled up in a Georgie-ball at the foot of my bed.  He's been on every surface in the apartment.  He's terrified of outside and the vacuum cleaner but doesn't mind water.  He sits on the edge of the tub to keep me from getting lonely in the shower.  He is still super playful and I have to remind him daily that the phrase "climbing the walls" isn't to be taken literally.  He doesn't know many tricks (unlike the other 2), but he does know his name and knows I mean business when I yell "I'm DONE - GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy birthday Granny!

Today would have been my Granny's 95th birthday.  She was my mom's mama.  I have such fantastic memories of Granny.  I spent 4 summers with her growing up.  She used to "sneak" us coffee-milk when she thought Mom wouldn't know.  Coffee-milk is milk with enough black coffee in it to make it turn colors.  We would have toast and coffee-milk for breakfast every morning and have devotion.  There was something so comforting about listening to Granny read from the tiny devotional book and the Bible every morning.  She was the best Christian I've ever known, but she had the most wicked sense of humor.  I like to think I got my sense of humor from her.  When we would get in her way when she was cleaning on Saturday mornings (she wouldn't let us help), she would put the bar chairs in the living room and turn on either cartoons, wrestling, Grizzly Adams or Tarzan to keep us out of her hair until she was done. 

Granny had 2 gardens in the summers.  I miss shucking corn on the front porch and snapping beans in front of Guiding Light.  I miss listening to her singing to babies while she rocked them to sleep.  I miss the gentle way she woke all of us up with a quiet voice and a gentle back rub until we were awake.... Her Sloppy Chocolate Cake and her fried chicken and sweet tea.... The way she would cut her beautiful green eyes at someone who had irritated her.... Going to church or to Angier or to Belk's in Fuquay....  The way she would get frustrated if she forgot her grocery list ("Well, I can't go to the grocery store if I don't have my memorandum"  The memorandum was always written on the back of an envelope)....  The way she would ooh and aah over every single gift that was given to her and would show it off to everyone in the room like it was the one thing she had always wanted but had never gotten.....  The way she called credit cards "charge plates" and didn't quite understand why she couldn't write a check at McDonald's....  How she sang "Sal Jones" with such heart and feeling as if it were the most popular song in the world even though nobody but the family knows the song and there are only 2 words in the song.  Most of all, I miss her voice and the way she hugged us and the devoted, unabashed and unconditional way she loved us all. 

H and Granny - H was 2 days old

Granny died at home on August 15, 2002.  I was with her when she died along with most of my immediate family.  H was almost 4.  He doesn't really remember her.  I think his "memories" are just the stories that she told us that we are now passing down to the next generation.  It breaks my heart that he doesn't remember the woman that went by Kit, Miss Kate, Granny, Mama, Mother and GG.

Happy 95th birthday Helen Kate Dove Smith!  I love you!!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The BIG 4-0

Oh lord - my 40th birthday is in 10 days.  10 days!!!!!!!  How the hell did I get old enough to be 40 and have a kid that will be taking driver's ed soon???  My mom is throwing a birthday party for me.  I came up with the guest list and originally there were 60+ people on there.  I didn't know I really knew 60+ people well enough to want them to celebrate my birthday with me, but then I realized most of them were family.  This will be the first birthday party I've had since I was 10 and had a slumber party with a couple of girls from school and my sister helped us dress up at punk rockers.  Think hair like Boy George in 1984..... 

I can't wait for my party......  I wonder if Mom will get party hats and balloons????

I really want a fennec fox for my birthday