Married to the Empire

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Poor Ninja Cat

I posted that we weren't having any more problems with Ninja going potty outside his litterbox.  Except, we were.  I just hadn't discovered it yet.  He got our dirty laundry again. 

Even though I was 99% certain this was a behavioral issue, I took him to the vet to be checked for a bladder infection.  Better to err on the side of caution.  The vet even agreed that it sounded behavioral.  We did put these cats through a month of hell, after all. 

Poor Ninja had to stay overnight at the vet's office, as he had nothing in his bladder when I brought him in.  It broke my heart to leave him there, as he was so scared.  But I'm so glad I did because when the vet called the next morning with test results, they were positive for UTI. 

My Ninja was sick and just letting us know he didn't feel well by going potty in the wrong places. 

As weird as this may sound, I was actually very happy to hear he had a bladder infection.  That can be easily treated, which will then stop the behavior.  If he was acting out from stress, well, that would have been a much more difficult thing to fix. 

He's been on an antibiotic for 3 days now, and he's obviously feeling better already. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last week was a little rough.  Alex was teething, which made him uncharacteristically cranky.  Then, we noticed that Doogie, who has had a lump on his back for a while, had a big sore on that lump.  I made a vet appointment for him and prayed like mad that my baby wouldn't scream through the whole thing. 

The vet examined Doogie and took a little sample of the lump, which she looked at under the microscope.  It was a tumor.  Because he was being so good (which really meant that he was simply frozen in terror), she opted to remove it right then with a local anesthetic.  He was whisked to the back, and Alex and I headed to the front.  Alex did start crying, but he blessedly waited until we were out in the lobby waiting for Doogie's surgery to be done.  I consider that an answered prayer, as I just didn't want him screaming while we were in the exam room.  Doogie was freaked out enough without the baby adding to his stress!

Doogie came back looking like this:

It was a pretty big tumor, so it's going to be a pretty big scar.  It's all stapled together instead of stitched because the vet said that cats don't tend to mess with staples like they do stitches.  Sure enough, Doogie has left it alone.  He doesn't seem bothered by it at all, which is wonderful!  I just wish we could say the same for Ninja...

The day after Doogie's procedure, I was sorting clothes to wash, and Steven's things were all wet.  Soaking wet.  And stinky.  I realized that someone had been going potty in Steven's hamper.  *sigh*  I am so over doing stinky, urine-soaked laundry!  I did more than enough when we had Calvin. 

It got worse.  I could smell poop in the living room.  After 30 minutes of playing hunt-the-poo, I found it in a box.  One of the moving boxes that was opened but not unpacked.  ARG!!! 

We weren't 100% sure of the culprit, but we were pretty certain it was Ninja.  That was confirmed when I caught him doing his business in the aforementioned box.  He was jumpy and skittish all day long, and he wouldn't come when called.  In fact, he'd run away if I tried to pet him.  Apparently, bringing Doogie home sliced and stapled was the final straw in Ninja's month of stress.  It pushed him over the edge, and he finally acted out. 

I guess we can consider ourselves lucky if it took all that (packing the old house, emptying the house, 6-hour car ride, living with strangers, living in an empty house, carpet replaced, appliances delivered, furniture moved in, brother having surgery) before anyone acted out.  We did throw a lot of scary new stuff at those poor cats in a short amount of time!  However, after a week of a cranky baby, a house full of unpacked boxes, a sick pet, and a pet making colossal messes, I cried quite a bit that day.  I'd hit my breaking point, too.

Thankfully, Ninja was back to normal and going potty in his box again the next day.  No problems since.  And in the meantime, we've been calling Doogie FrankenKitty and FrankenDoog.  He does look like a bit like Frankenstein, don't you think?  Poor baby.  He's such a trooper. 

Oh, and that tumor?  Benign!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Settling In

We finally moved into our house on May 4th.  Last night was the first time I'd even opened my computer since moving in.  We've been a tad busy. 

Mere days after moving in, just as the house was a complete minefield of boxes and mess, Alex started crawling.  Really crawling.  He'd taken a few tentative moves before, but he never got far.  Nope, he waited until he was in dangerous territory to start trucking it.  So, instead of getting things unpacked, I've mostly been keeping my baby safe. 

Steven kept pushing for a babysitter for a night out.  That sounded great, as I was starting to get punchy after nearly a month of me and baby 24/7.  I love him, but I need a break once in a while.  However, I said there was no way I was letting a teenager in to watch him while the house wasn't safe (again, those boxes everywhere).  So, Steven started moving some stuff out of the living room that we knew we wouldn't get to for a little while (like all the boxes of pictures for the walls).  Then, when friends came into town for the weekend, they pitched in to get the living room unpacked.  I deemed the room safe enough for me to feel comfortable leaving Alex with someone while we all went out. 

Turns out, Steven was pushing the babysitter idea so hard because that was his Mother's Day gift to me.  He figured I could use some baby-free time.  Oh, the irony!  The gift was perfect, especially as it also meant removing a towering source of stress, which was a living room filled with boxes that I just never seemed to have time to unpack.  Moving with a baby is hard stuff! 

The cats were beside themselves with joy that first night we spent in the house with them.  They were so excited that they kept flying around the bedroom and bouncing on the bed.  I finally kicked them out because we couldn't sleep.  That was pointless because they both cried outside the door, and Ninja kept sticking his paw under, grabbing the bottom of the door, and pulling.  *bam bam bam bam bam*  All... night... long. 

I think they missed us. 

We're just glad to finally have our family back together and to be in our own home with our own stuff.  It no longer feels like we're on a weird vacation.  I'm doing some real cooking again.  I'm doing laundry whenever I want again.  (VOM had very strict rules about the hours residents could do laundry.  Those rules made me nuts!)  And Alex is back in his nice, soft, cotton diapers again. 

Life is mostly back to normal. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Crafting

This is all pretty old, but I realized I'd never put it up on the blog.  I had some fun making some onesies for Alex and a special little girl named Mara, who was born to a friend I used to sing with at church. 

For the first two, I used transfer paper that goes through the printer, then you iron it on.  Pretty simple stuff. 

Our little future Stormtrooper

When someone posted on FB a picture of a shirt with this saying, Mara's mommy said she wanted one.  So, I made one for her baby shower.  I hand-stitched a simple little bow to make it look more girly.

For the next onesie, I used my Sizzix.  I ironed some fusible stuff (the name escapes me right now) to the back of the fabric, cut it out with my Sizzix, then ironed it onto the onesie.  Easy peasy.

So nice to get to make pink stuff!

And finally, a card to go with Mara's gift.  (She got some other stuff, too, including a wooden teether in the shape of a bird and some homemade burp cloths.) 

I used DeNami stamps on the card, as well as a Martha Stewart edge punch.  You know I love me some Martha!  And DeNami is my favorite stamp company.  It's a fairly basic card, but I've found that my papercrafting time is minimal with a baby in the house.   I think I made that at 11pm, if that tells you anything. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Little Piece of Home

The past few weeks have felt as if we're on a very bizarre vacation.  Our cats are here, but we still don't live with them.  We have a house, but it's empty.  We live in an apartment, but it's not our stuff.  Just... odd. 

It makes me want to go home.  Home, as in Texas.  Where I no longer have a house.  But it's all been so surreal, it feels as if I should still have a house back there that's just waiting for us to return.

Just when I was feeling especially lonely and homesick, my husband came home for lunch with the news that he'd run into a group of older folks who were in the VOM gift shop, and they said they knew me and my family.  One lady was telling him tales of my grandfather showing up for church in his pajamas! 

Turns out, a group of senior adults were visiting and volunteering at VOM, having come from the church I was born into.  My parents met and were married there.  We moved away when I was a baby, but we came back when I was 14, so I actually had memories of many of these folks. 

They invited us to a barbeque, and it was so wonderful to see my fellow Texans who know my family.  Like a little taste of home, just at the very moment that I needed it.  And my sweet Alex was thrilled to have all those grandmothers wanting to love all over him.  I think he's been feeling the loneliness of no longer having an entourage at church.  When we visit churches, no one knows him, and yes, he's noticed. 

This is Alex, me, and Mrs. Teer.  My parents met in the Sunday school class that Mr. and Mrs. Teer taught.

Alex is being held by Anita, who was my 10th grade Sunday school teacher.

The whole group from Plymouth Park Baptist Church
Again, God came through in a remarkable way, one in which I would never have expected.  Just when I was desperate for home, He brought it to me.  Such an incredible blessing!