Tag Archives: CATS

Boxes, Bins and Flowers


One week from today I’ll be living in another city.  I’m up to the task of moving and the adventure that comes along with it.

The Moving Tower of St Louis

The Moving Tower of St. Louis

This week I had a semi-surprise goodbye party hosted by The Ten-Thirty Singers, a church music group I’ve been singing with for over 25 years.  Today I enjoyed a goodbye lunch with some great gal-pals … the PMS Girls (which stands for Peggy, Pam, Mary Anne and Sue).  Nothing like a 3 hour lunch on a Saturday to motivate you to take an afternoon nap.  I’ve been toasted, gifted, regaled with flowers and hugged to the max!

Next week I am hosting several packing parties at my place.  Amazing the things some people will do for a free lunch.

Boxes and bins are my new best friends.  I’ve acquired quite the selection of plastic bins with locking handles.  I even went so far as to delegate colors for certain rooms.  The pink ones are storage, blue for my bedroom, green handles for dining room, and purple handles for linens.  They stack and won’t fall apart.  They will never end up in a landfill because I like them too much, so in a way, I’m “going green” … or pink or blue.  I never thought I’d be one of those people who color coded anything.  I used to laugh at them.  Now I’ve become one of them.

At first I was strolling down memory lane while sorting all my worldly goods.   I was getting nothing accomplished.  Now I am ruthless about what stays or goes.  Goodwill has been happy to see me recently.  What I don’t keep is going to charity.  I have no patience for selling stuff on Craig’s List.

Surviving a move when you have lupus or any chronic illness is a tricky little game to master.  So to keep sane I work in small increments of time, sandwiched with a bit of  rest, like writing this post.    I try not to do more than 5 hours of work a day.  Hopefully, my joints will not protest and my vascular problems will remain quiet.   You won’t seem me outside much on Moving Day.  It will be hotter than hell and I will have the assistance of my son and a couple of his strong high school buddies doing all the lifting and shoving.  Having physical limitations can come with some benefits, such as help from others and I have no problems letting people move heavy stuff.

I did have a bit of a situation while cleaning last week.  I kept smelling something yucky in the living room.  At first I thought it was food or cat barf but the smell wasn’t constant.  Then I thought that maybe it was ME, as I was sweating up a storm and was possibly stinking up the house.  Finally, I decided to move the furniture around to look for the source of the by now, rancid smell.  So under the couch I found the source of the problem.  A dead bird.

Natural born killers?  Not so much.

Natural born killers? Not so much.

I immediately grabbed some paper towels, threw it out, and fumigated my house. Then I started wondering just where in the hell did it come from?  I mean really, how did it get inside my house?  Did the cats kill it?  If they did, why didn’t they eat the damn thing?  That’s what cats are supposed to do.

My only concern with the cats at this point is the 2 hour drive to another city.  They are not fans of cat carriers and car rides.  I’m expecting them to howl and shed all the way to Cape.  Who knows what will happen when we arrive at our new home.  Stay tuned.

I’ve moved a total of nine times in my life, most of them as a single mom.  By my standards, that’s a lot of moving, but I know people who have moved a lot more than that.  Moving sucks, but on the other hand, if I lived in one place all these years I would have accumulated too much stuff.  At least moving forces me to clean up and throw out. And by now, I’ve learned a thing or two.

One, get yourself some bins and forget the boxes.

Two, if you must use boxes, go for the paper boxes with lids. 

Three, don’t pack everything too soon, or you’ll be digging through your kitchen stuff to make dinner, like I’m doing tonight. 

Four, hang on to wrapping paper … my friend MaryAnne gave me 5 enormous bags of white paper left over from her move a couple years ago.  What a lifesaver! 

Five, and this is the most important, let people help you.

When the dust settles, I’ll start blogging again and fill you in on the details of my great adventure.

To Do List – 2010


I’ve been searching for a topic to write about when I ran across a great post from Organised Chaos, who borrowed her idea from Kelly.  I’m passing it on to this side of the hemisphere/blogosphere and heaven only knows where it will go from here.  Feel free to write your own list (or not) and if you have time, mention where it originated.


Writing down a list of Things To Do always helps me stay organized and focused.  However,  these are not resolutions!  I love the promise that comes with a new year, so here’s hoping 2010 will be a fantastic one for us all!

In no particular order …..

**   Wean completely off prednisone. Started at 80 mg seven years ago and am down to 2 mg today.

**   Eat breakfast each and every day and not skip meals.  So for I’ve stayed on track.  Yay me.

**   Play my guitar on a regular basis.  It’s a lovely instrument (Martin 1972 D-18) and I’ve neglected it too long.

**   I’m getting a tattoo come hell or high water.  Probably hell.

**  Think about getting another kitty.  The key word here is think.

**  Download more songs from iTunes.  It never gets boring.

**  Keep painting.  I might be famous one day.  Or not.

**  Be more mysterious and less serious.  I’ll let you know if this works in my favor.

Now get going and have a fun,  crazy, healthy and happy 2010!!!

Here Kitty Kitty


I have two cats, Tigger and Charlie.  They are sweet and funny and loving, which is my biased opinion because I’m a cat person.  Admittedly, my cats are spoiled rotten, pampered and played with, and get along with each other …  most of the time.


attachmentCharlie is a gentle giant.  He’s an orange tabby with big green eyes and weighs a whopping 16 pounds.  Despite his size, he’s extremely agile.  He’s been known to vault his big kitty butt over couches, countertops and even the occasional refrigerator.  Remember John Belushi’s pudgy but agile Blues Brothers character Joliet Jake Blues?  That’s Charlie.  This cat loves his food and has a reputation for dumpster diving. His favorites include pizza and chinese pea pods.  He has a tiny baby-sound meow that somehow doesn’t match his physique but comes in handy when people pet him because he likes to meow.  He’s a lady’s man.  He’s also extremely laid back and unflappable.


Tigger, on the other hand, is a spazmo.  He’s a brown tabby with green eyes and sports an unusually summer 2008065long tail.  A couple years ago I adopted Tig from a shelter when he was 8 weeks old.  A kitten would be good company for Charlie, right?  And I  just, well,  wanted a kitten.  Besides, Charlie could use a little more exercise and a kitten would be a great workout partner.  Tig did not disappoint.  He loves to chase anything that moves, especially Charlie.   Tigger is both shy and curious.  Nothing motivates him to come when you call his name unless  you have something shiny to dangle, or a treat, catnip, or anything that might resemble a snake …. string, ribbon, a fake snake … whatever.  He’s also seduced by french fries and crackers.

butterfly5Mind you, pets are no substitute for family, friends, children or significant others.  However, Charlie and Tigger are good company.  When I broke my leg a couple years ago (actually I broke my left leg and foot, and sprained my right ankle), Charlie spent every day of the 6 weeks I was stuck in bed right by my side.  And they protect my house … sort of.   Every spring they manage to hunt down several mice and bring them to me when I get home from work.  On a cold winter night last year I came home to a crazy mess of broken plates in the kitchen and crooked lamp shades in the living room.  Tigger stood sentry next to the home wrecker … a bird that somehow, some way, managed to get INSIDE.  The bird was bigger than Tig, and he tried to corral that crazy thing until I threw a towel over Mr.  Bird and ushered it outside.

Okay, so they really don’t protect the house.  But don’t tell them that.

For those of you who have pets, you know that when they get sick, the cure always involves an unexpected layout of money way beyond what seems reasonable.  Charlie is prone to urinary tract infections.  My technique for getting sick or injured cats inside their carrier is a masterpiece of bribery and foolery.   Last week we made the trip to the clinic … and waited over 2.5  hours.  Charlie had to pee, but couldn’t.  He managed a few sorry little puddles on the floor.  He was hot and shedding fur was floating around the room like milkweed.  I was hot (and crabby) and was sweating enough to melt magazine ink all over my hands in a frantic attempt to fan myself.  My stupid lupus rash glowed purple under the lovely harsh lights of the exam room.  So pretty.  At least the cold tile floor helped the cat.  I couldn’t justify stripping down and laying next to him, so I suffered in silence.  Outside our room, dogs were howling, cats were hissing, and we both stared at the door, praying for redemption, which finally came with some antibiotics after I handed over my VISA card.  Oh yeah, and a reminder to make a follow up appointment for a urine specimen in 2 weeks, just to be sure the infection is cleared.  We get home and are greeted by Tigger, who is now convinced that Charlie returned with  a bad case of the cooties.  He hissed at Charlie for two days.  Charlie could have cared less.


I know some folks might think I’m well on my way to being one of those old lady cat people, walking around with clothes covered in cat fur, and a kitchen pantry filled with cans of cat food.  I have a bunch of kitty Christmas ornaments.  I own earrings and pins with cats on them.  I don’t have any grandchildren yet, so I call Charlie and Tigger “my boys.”  Kitty toys litter my living room … little mice, balls, and catnip squares.

But here’s the thing.  These guys don’t care what I look like.  And lately, between the prednisone and the lupus flare ups, I’m a little worn around the edges.  Charlie and Tigger  just want to sit on my lap, purr and chill out.  When they act like total goofballs who run around and chase their tails, I often forget about the crummy day at work, or the scary doctor visit, or the infusions I deal with every three weeks.  These kitties are good for the heart and soul.


Now, if they could only learn how to cook and fold the laundry.  But even I know that’s never gonna happen any time soon.   Maybe some day  🙂

Christmas Chaos

Yes, that is NOT my house!

that is so NOT my house!

There was a time when I had my house all decked out for Christmas by December 1st at the very latest.  Not this year, my friends.  I’ve managed to procrastinate the decorating process until ALMOST the very last minute.

The decision to not put up a full-size Christmas tree was very liberating.  I have lots of festive foo-foo.  Why schlep a tree into my house, go to all the time and effort to decorate it (by myself) and pray the cats don’t knock it over, drink the tree water and vomit all over the house, or attack and break the ornaments?  My home can be merry and bright without a tree.

Finally, after running out of extremely lame excuses (such as “I need to take a nap today”, “I have too much laundry to do”, or my favorite, “It’s too dark outside”) I went downstairs yesterday and brought up the big plastic bins of Christmas stuff.  And then took a nap.  After I woke up, after I ate dinner, and after I did 3 loads of laundry I eventually started putting up decorations, but I knew the cats were up to something.  Tigger had T.R.O.U.B.L.E. written all over his face.

cute but dangerous

cute but dangerous

While I was putting up the nativity scene, he was watching my every move.  And when the trees and figurines were in place just the way I wanted it …  Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the Shepard … he made his move.

Manger Massacre 2008

Manger Massacre 2008

That’s right, folks.  He took out the Shepard, Joseph, and one of the Wise Men.  Thank heaven Mary and the baby were spared.  Look at the stupid donkey laying down on the job!  And the other Wise Men standing there with their frankincense and mir looking like a bunch of idiots.  Freakin pacifists! What the hell is mir anyway?  And don’t tell me it’s a Russian space station!

Not to be outdone by his buddy, Charlie had his eye on the styrofoam box that held my favorite snow globe.

a sad case of styrofoam pica

a sad case of styrofoam pica

Chewing on styrofoam is almost as bad as fingernails on a blackboard, or chewing tin foil.  Just a few minutes after he ate a chunk of the corner, Charlie barfed it up all over my socks.  My only pair of Christmas socks.  Gross.

At this point, after Charlie barfed on me, he decided to sit IN the plastic Tub O’ Christmas Crap and take a nap laying on top the the Christmas tree skirt that my mom made me.  It’s really nice, once you brush all the cat fur off it.

planning a coup d'etat

planning a coup d'etat

Meanwhile, Tigger moved into the kitchen looking for something to do.

dumpster diving

dumpster diving

Aparently there was nothing of great interest inside the trash can they knocked over, and Charlie was in the process of looking for something to play with when I took the incriminating photo of Tig.  As I was putting the trash can back inside the cabinet, I heard a rustle of  god-only-knows-what in the living room.

cat toy stuck in tree

cat toy stuck in tree

At first I thought it was a dead mouse.  But it was only a strangled cat toy wrapped around a little tree that was knocked over by Charlie.

For the next hour or so, I tried to put things in some type of sensible arrangement.  Tig decided he liked the miniature lights on the trees and they were even more tasty when chewed on.  Charlie roamed around the entire house in search of more styrofoam.  After the holidays, I think he’s gonna need some kitty rehab.

Eventually I managed to wrap a few presents AFTER I gave each of the cats their own roll of ribbon to chew on so they would leave me alone.

I’ll leave you with a lovely photo of my ficus tree that I decorated with red and green lights.  The sad thing about this is I wasn’t ingesting any illicit or illegal substances.  I miss the good old days.

My Christmas Tree

My Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!