Married to the Empire

Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet Alice

We just couldn't wait.  Our house felt emptier and our family felt incomplete with only one cat.  And Doogie has been lonely.  So on Saturday, we adopted Alice. 

She's a whirlwind, a ninja, and scared of the camera.  I had a terrible time trying to get a decent shot of her!  She never stands still, and she's a master at hiding. 

It's been funny to watch Doogie try to assert his dominance over her.  He was so oppressed by Calvin all those years, so it's a hoot to watch him attempt to be Alpha Cat.  He'll hiss at her, then run away in fear.  We set her up in a separate room the first night, but the next day when I opened the door, Doogie made sure to go potty in her litterbox.  What can I say?  He learned from the master.  Calvin knew ALL the tricks for asserting dominance!

Doogie and Alice are trying to get used to each other.  They're both terrified of the other, so it's a bit slow going, but things are progressing much better than they did when we brought Doogie home to Calvin all those years ago!  We expect Doogie and Alice will be best buds by the end of the week.  And because Doogie was miffed that Alice was getting all the attention last night, I made sure to snap a photo of him, too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How We're Doing

It's been a week now without Calvin, and I keep being asked how we're doing.  Truth is, we're all right.  I cried a few times, like when Medicine Time rolled around that first night, and there was no one to give medicine to.  Or every time a sympathy card arrives.  Last week was a stressful mess, as we also had a Disciple Now to prepare for, but now life is calm again, and we're okay. 

Beautiful flowers sent by a friend.  Thank you, Ashley!  GREAT start to my day!
Truth is, it's a little bit of a relief.  We loved Calvin dearly, but he was a high-maintenance cat.  Even before he was sick, he demanded a lot from us.  We willingly gave him what he needed in sickness and in health, but I don't miss washing things soaked in urine or giving IVs. 
Doogie has been a bit lost and confused.  At first, he seemed to look for his brother.  If we mentioned Calvin's name, his ears would perk up, and he'd look all around.  But now he just cries a lot and wants to be played with constantly. 

Look closely; there's a tail sticking out of the box on the left.  Someone is box-stalking his fishing-pole toy.
Over the weekend, our youth group had a Disciple Now.  Steven stayed in the home that hosted the middle-school boys, but I came home each night to sleep.  (Originally, after all, I had a sick cat to medicate and care for.)  Good thing I did.  Doogie seemed distressed that first I'd come home without his brother, then I came home without Daddy.  He's not a snuggler, but he attached himself to me when I'd arrive home each night.  When Steven finally came home on Sunday afternoon, Doogie was beside himself with happiness.  He didn't want to leave Steven's side.

Doogie perched on Steven as he napped after Disciple Now
Every time I leave the house, Doogie is so happy when I get home.  He really isn't taking very well to only-cat status, so we're already talking about getting a new cat.  We're not trying to replace Calvin, by any means, but our home feels a bit emptier, and Doogie has made it clear that he really wants a buddy and playmate.  And seeing as Calvin hadn't been a playmate for a very long time, we feel like Doogie deserves some fun.  Besides, we'll be rescuing a cat from homelessness and giving it a loving home.  What better way to honor Calvin's life than to give a home to another cat in need?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goodbye, Sweet Tiger

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
This is a hard post to write.  We said goodbye to our precious Calvin yesterday.  We knew Saturday night when Steven witnessed him losing bladder control as he slept that it was time.  But Sunday Calvin was being so Calvin that I started second guessing that.  He was talkative and busy and fighting us to try to eat the food off our plates.  When he was that energetic, how could it be time for him to go?

But when I woke up Monday morning, I found that he'd wet the big, woolly pillow with a heating pad inside.  He'd never peed on that bed before.  I noticed him and Doogie huddled together on a jacket Steven had left on the couch.  All the good sleeping spots were destroyed. 

So, on what wound up being the worst Valentine's Day of my life, I made the hard call to the vet's office to schedule Calvin's Final Appointment.  I could barely speak through the tears.  We scheduled it for Tuesday, February 15th, when our favorite vet could be there to do it. 

Calvin had a good last day.  He got to eat tuna (and he'd had pork the night before).  The sun came out, and the temps outside were in the 70s, so we spent a good amount of time in the yard, just soaking up the sun.   One of his "aunts" came over to say goodbye and pray over him.  Steven took off work so we could all be together. 

I'd been in a state of tears since Saturday night.  I think the anticipation of it all was worse than the actual event.  Calvin's passing was peaceful, and I'm happy to know that he's no longer sick or in pain.  I believe that animals go to heaven, so we told him to enjoy it, but we asked him please not to pee on God.  Our sweet vet said that she thinks God won't mind if Calvin does, though.  But as a friend pointed out, Calvin is now healed, so he doesn't need to pee on anything up in heaven.  That's a comfort. 

Thank you, as I know several of you who knew about this were praying for us.  For my regular readers, thank you for all the kind words and prayers you offered on behalf of Calvin throughout his illness.  And for indulging my need to talk endlessly about my cat.  And now I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos of my sweet tiger cat.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Crazy Weather

This past week has been strange.  We were iced in, then it snowed, I was sick, and the Super Bowl was in town.  (Can I just say how glad I am that the Super Bowl is over?  I'm really sick of hearing about every single day.)  I snapped a few pics last week after we got a pretty solid snow here.

By Saturday my poor husband was feeling a bit stir crazy, and as I hadn't left the house since Monday, he told me I had to get dressed because we were going out.  (Previously, I'd been living in my pajamas since I was down with a cold.)  We wandered around a local antique gallery, which was a compromise.  He wanted to go to Grapevine Mills Mall, but I couldn't stand the thought of being around so many people.  Then we ate at my favorite Cajun market.  Those two things wiped me out completely, so we went home after that.

I skipped church on Sunday morning to sleep in, but as I didn't have a fever that day, I opted to go to our youth group's Super Bowl party that evening.  The family who was hosting gave me the most comfortable chair to sit in, made me tea, and generally made being out worthwhile for me.  I really appreciated that!  Besides, it was great to see our teenagers, even if I don't care a hoot about football.  (I tried to read a book during the game, but I was too distracted by everything going on around me.)

And now we're expecting more crazy weather in the next day or so.  No one is excited.  We Texans used to like snow, but after last week's ice and frigid temps, plus all the criticism we received in the media over our inability to control the weather the week of the Super Bowl, no one is looking forward to more of it. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Texas-Themed Cards

My mom's birthday was this week.  It's so great having my sister in town because we took our mom out together for her birthday.  Lunch at La Madeleine and a trip to the theater to see The King's Speech.  (If you haven't seen it, go!  It's excellent.)  I also made a set of Texas-themed cards for my mom. 

I used my alcohol inks and Deadbeat Designs stamps, which I showed here.  I sized things down and rounded the edges, then glued them to coordinating cards.

I didn't know if she'd want a sentiment inside or if she'd prefer blank cards, so I left them blank. However, I stamped a sentiment several times, cut them out, then ran them through my Xyron to make them into stickers.

Next I made a folder to tuck the cards into.  Steven gave me a Martha Stewart scoring board for my birthday, and I used it to score a 12x12 sheet of cardstock.  I folded up the bottom edge to make a pocket, then scored the center so it could be folded in half.  I also cut off some off the top.  I glued the edges of the pockets, punched holes, and ran a ribbon  through the holes.

I tucked the cards and sentiment stickers inside, then tied it all closed.  And it was pretty enough that it didn't even need to be wrapped!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day

It snowed here last night.  And iced.  We're all stuck inside, but it's not a fun snow day because I'm still doing laundry and paying bills, and Steven is working from home.  A few scenes from our house:

How Calvin is keeping warm

My husband having an "Alien" moment.  Yes, I married a freak.
Snowy/icy sidewalk and street
I was going to let Doogie go out for the mail with me, as he does every day.  He was anxiously waiting by the door, but as soon as I opened the door and the cold wind blew in, he backed up and looked at me like, "Are you kidding?!"  Then Calvin got mad because I wouldn't let him out.  Cat has no body fat left, but he wants to go out in the snow.  And he's supposedly the smart one. 

Speaking of Calvin, we got his test results back yesterday.  His bladder infection is gone!  But now he has crystals in his urine, which he's never had before, so that explains why he's still peeing on stuff.  *sigh*  Normal treatment is to x-ray to look for stones, then do surgery to remove them if they're there.  But Calvin can't be put under.  But he could be referred to a specialist.  But really, what's the point?  We're really not trying to prolong his life; we just want to treat infections and make him comfortable. 

He also turned up anemic, which is new.  The vet gave us a liquid vitamin last week, and he takes it twice a day.  Steven started calling it Magic Vitamin Juice because Calvin got a huge surge of energy after only 3 doses.  Of course, the 75-degree temps we had at the time likely contributed. 

How do you go from 75 degrees on Friday to 18 degrees on Tuesday?  The weather has been wreaking havoc with my sinuses and migraines.  Fun fun.  But we're all cozy inside, we have plenty of food and hot tea and books and movies, so really, I have nothing to complain about!