the all-important cat update

Sorry for the delayed post. It has been a complicated few weeks.

Oscar, at age 18, has had a challenging year. It all started about 6 months ago, when Oscar started pooping outside his litter box. He had never done this before (outside of the occasional accident) so I took him to the vet. Thus began a concentrated focus on cat poo that I never thought possible … and roller coaster ride of emotions.

First came the blood tests, then urine tests, then the cancer screening. That latter one was a kick in the gut. I know he is the equivalent of a person in their late 80s, but the thought of Oscar having cancer broke my heart. I wasn’t ready to deal with that.

So, what’s up with the lad? In the end, things seemed fairly normal and he there is no sign of cancer or other horrible disease. His calcium is a little high, but not too bad. My sense was that, with the changes in his dry and wet food that were related to mild kidney disease, he was just not eating right. When he ate the new wet food, he sometimes got diarrhea, so he didn’t eat it – he also just didn’t like the taste. Then, he would get dehydrated and it was hard to go to the bathroom.

Rather than spend a small fortune on testing, we made some pragmatic changes. His diet included a mix of the old and new dry foods. We went back to the old wet cat food in the evening and added more old wet food in the morning. Occasionally, I throw in some of the new wet food, but, let’s be honest, he doesn’t like it and won’t eat it.

We switched out the litter box for one with a low entry, so it was easier for him to walk in and out instead of jumping. We added a second box over near where he was pooping. Unfortunately, it is near my mother’s space. Good sport that she is, she went along with this. I guess she figured: better a litter box nearby than stepping in something, um, icky first thing in the morning.

And … it all seemed to be working fine … until one morning a couple of weeks ago when it was no longer working. Now, we frequently have cat poo on between the litter box and my mother’s bed. Also, his walk has changed. Oscar always had a slow, low-slung lanky walk – like a lion ambling across the savannah – but now there is almost an arch in his back, his legs are stiff and his steps minced. He is in pain.

So, we have moved into the “let’s spend a small fortune” part of our program. Back to the vet we go. The doctor very thorough: his back and both hips have gotten worse and yes, it is painful. So it’s painkillers for a week and shots to help his hips – for the rest of his life. Waiting for test results ….

My poor boy. I love him so.

on regrets … another view


This is exciting! The blog’s first “guest post” – a milestone. After reading my post on regrets, my sister-in-law and I texted back and forth and she is sharing her thoughts:

I am the sister-in-law Susan is writing about in this post on the subject of regrets. I had no idea that I had stirred up such thoughts, but I was glad to do so. I too love questions. It helps me solidify what I believe.

Susan asked me to respond to her blog. I would be happy to. First of all, let me preface this post by saying that I’m a Christian, and I believe that I am forgiven for my transgressions. That does give me peace, yes. But when I think back through my life at the some of the footprints I’ve left behind on people’s lives, I can’t say that I rejoice over my frailties and failures. Just the opposite.

There are many kinds of regrets, such as those things we do and say that don’t offer this world anything good or lovely. Then there are regrets for the things we should have done and said, but didn’t. The list could be huge, but one example is the way we treat others. For instance, it is so easy to walk into a party and within seconds make a plethora of judgments—that is, which people are worth our time and which ones are not. We may be tempted to gravitate to those guests who can be useful to our careers rather than spending time with those folks who might be lonely and in desperate need of a kind word. In the past, I have on occasion been guilty of this behavior. Loads of other people are guilty too, and yet that doesn’t make me feel any less sad about the selfishness and pride that is obviously behind such behavior.

So, in the midst of these spiritual spasms, what is the positive that can be gleaned here, Susan? I am grateful for forgiveness, and I am hoping in the future I’ve learned that these manipulative choices are not just worthless, they are harmful to everyone, including me. This life is quite a journey. Thanks, Susan, for helping me to ponder this important topic in greater detail!

And there she goes, posing another question in the first sentence of the last paragraph! Thank you, my SIL, for moving us from monologue to discussion! Anyone else want to join in?

ETA: I will come back to this discussion of regrets. I’m so sorry to have left in mid-conversation. It has been a busy and challenging couple of weeks and I’m sure some of it will spill over into the blog!

regrets … I’ve had a few

flower-1030408_1920I can almost hear Sinatra singing My Way in the background as I start this post.

My sister-in-law has an unusual talent for asking questions that stay with me for a while. Last year, when she and my brother came for a visit, the question was whether I was happy with my life. Apparently, my brother mentioned that he thought I was and that he was happy that I seemed happy. My SIL was more direct – she asked me! I said yes, but it was not the most enthusiastic yes. If you look at the past several posts, you can probably understand why. More about this question in an upcoming post. Continue reading

where do we start?

fractal-2428531_1280So, fall became winter, which became spring, which became summer! I can say with some confidence that I’m back.

A lot has happened since I last “really” posted, so I’ll spend the next few posts bringing everyone up-to-date on the three of us.

First, we are all doing well and are enjoying life. Oscar is feasting on treats, perching in his window seat and lounging on my new desk. Mom is knitting up a storm using pretty sparkly yarn and doing jigsaw puzzles. I’m in resting mode after a very busy few months … more on that later.

Second, I decided to update the blog with a different look – I hope you like it. If you notice anything missing, please let me know. I tried to go back through and read everything (and resisted the temptation to edit) but may have missed something. It seemed like a good time to make a change!

Third, thanks to everyone following or reading the blog and to anyone who has sent in comments. I really appreciate hearing from people.

Now,  here we go ….




new summer project … see you in the fall!

I am working on a new-ish writing project and so will be taking a break from the blog until the fall. Last year, I started writing a children’s story that will feature some drawings from my mother. Then, I got a little off-track when I started the blog. I had planned to try to do both, but the reality is that I can’t do both the story and the blog in addition to everything else. embroidery-74087_1280

I will be back in the fall. Fingers crossed that I can make some progress on the children’s story! See you in a couple of months. Have a great summer ….