Monthly Archives: May 2012

Why I Haven’t Been Posting


The last post I made before this one was about our cat Grandpa.

Not long after, we found him in acute distress, howling and nearly unable to walk.  We took him to the emergency vet and found that he was suffering — immensely — with a total blockage of the urinary system.  He couldn’t pee.  And it was killing him.

By the time we figured this out I realized I’d seen him attempting to pee for long minutes around the edges of the yard in recent months.  This had been coming upon him for a long while.  Chances were high that he had already sustained significant kidney damage.

A thousand dollars might have saved him, a thousand dollars we could not spare, but it wouldn’t have been a guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again.  He would require special food for life that ALSO might not have solved the problem.  And all of the cats would have to eat this gold-plated prescription cat food.

Worst of all, we wouldn’t be able to let him roam the neighborhood freely to murder songbirds and rodents merrily all his days, a pleasure for which he lived and which he pursued with all his wild predatory heart.  (After which, of course, he would return home to sleep with the least dignity I had ever witnessed, on his back in a fluffy cat-bed with his wittle pawsies crossed and his belly fur tantalizingly exposed.) Many of our neighbors feed their cats outdoors and the cheap grocery-store cat food would be irresistible to such a cat-about-the-town.

Recently I had to explain to my daughter that sometimes grown-ups have to make hard decisions that nobody likes.  This was one of them.

R.I.P., Grandpa.  We loved you well.



Thanks, Grandpa.


So early this morning The Lovely Rhonda and I woke abruptly to an odd screeching sound coming from somewhere in the house.

As the designated handler of such circumstances I sprang into action.  This involves swearing a lot and putting on my Superhero Glasses while scrambling into the living room to put an end to the noise before it wakes the children.

It’s spring here in all its glory; pasty Northwesterners are emerging into the sunlight, blinking and applying sunscreen, and there seem to be birds everywhere all of a sudden.  Plump, delicious birds that our cat Grandpa stalks and kills.  He stalks them outside but drags them into the house to kill them.  He does this with pretty much anything smaller than himself, not just birds but mice and other rodents, and I would not be surprised in the least if one day he drags a full-grown duck through the dog door.

I scanned the perimeter for whatever might have made this screeching sound and at first didn’t see anything but the dog who was standing in the laundry room door wagging his tail hopefully at me.  He was standing over a squeaky tennis ball so in my confused state I thought his tail was expressing guilt over squeaking the ball.  He’s the sort of dog who exudes a mild aura of guilt at all times, though, so I wasn’t sure what to think, plus the screeching wasn’t really of a squeaky-ball variety.  I didn’t see anything else and turned to re-enter the bedroom with orders to stand down when I heard a rather smug meow from down the hall.  And I knew the awful truth, and turned to face it.

The light was dim down there but I could see something motionless on the rug that resembled a squirrel, perhaps?  Something fairly long, with a light center and dark around the edges, and I took this to be a squirrel laying on its side, and there was Grandpa languidly rubbing freshly killed squirrel goobers on the nearby doorways, the cat equivalent of driving home with the deer strapped to the hood.  Ew.  I went to get a wad of paper towels and was stifling the heebie-jeebies at the thought of the weight of the warm dead body of a young squirrel, master of his universe until he suddenly wasn’t anymore.  We only have trash service every other week and it was just taken away on Thursday, so this thing was also going to fester in the hot garbage can for nearly two weeks. Ew ew ew.

But then there was a noise almost under my feet and I wheeled around to find that it wasn’t a squirrel at all, it was a really angry bluejay and as luck would have it it had fluttered and flapped to the sliding glass door.  The cat was on it in a flash but I shooed him away and slid the door open, and that jay was off in two big hops and a leap into the air.  It made for the fence and somersaulted determinedly into freedom like an action hero.  I swear this thing was the Bruce Willis of bluejays.  I think it was wearing a white tank top and had a slightly bloody cut over one eye, and if it’d had fingers the cat would have gotten one.

Grandpa is pretty miffed but he’ll get over it and go back to stalking the local wildlife, quite possibly by later this afternoon.  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t, because this is what passes for excitement around here.  I may not be able to sleep for days.