Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

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48-hour foster mom

We found the tiny kitten cowering under the janitor’s cart in Fellowship Hall at church. She was terrified and oh, so small. She went home with me while we tried to figure out what to do. I’d never had a kitten that tiny – well, I did when I was 4 but that doesn’t count, since my mom did all the work – and spent time on Google trying to figure out how old it might be and what it would need besides kitten food. And a new home, because I couldn’t keep it. Not only do I have other cats already, but I’m allergic to all of them!

The little one stayed in my half-bath off my kitchen for two days, going to work with me in a cat carrier and spending time curled up on my chest, napping and purring. She gobbled canned kitten food and used her makeshift litterbox. My giant orange cats were NOT happy about the visitor, glaring at me and hissing, refusing to eat or to let me touch them. They are litter mates who came to me together at age 4 months, and this little alien baby was a threat.

We went to the vet on Friday morning to have her checked out, partly because it was the right thing to do for the kitten and also because it would help me when it came to finding her a new home. Turns out “she” is actually “he” and only 5 weeks old, and tested negative for feline leukemia, which was a relief. The vet gave him a shot of antibiotics because of a cut on his lip, and a deworming treatment as a precaution because of his feral background.

My colleague at work found a new home for the little guy. When they came to pick him up, they were surprised to also take home the cat carrier, small cat bed, some toys, and kitten food that Chewy had delivered thirty minutes before they got there. I sobbed like a baby when he was gone, even though it was the right thing for him and for me.


Life in the Slow Lane

12108756_10208073611423764_1885628941810349569_n (1)Four months ago today I arrived in Texas after a 1,658 mile drive from Connecticut. My sister-in-law flew up to share the drive and Tessie was good as gold on the trip. We stayed in pet-friendly hotels but didn’t make reservations except for the first day, since that gave us more flexibility depending on road and traffic conditions.

Our route took us through the Poconos and down through Scranton, PA and continuing down through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, just a short drive from my former home in Charlottesville. We skimmed through Tennessee and cut across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana into Texas, completing the drive in 3.5 days. My furniture arrived within 24 hours, much to my shock and delight.

The past months have been nesting time. Figuring out where things go and what things we don’t need. My pre-move cleanout made the move cheaper than estimated and also meant fewer items to find homes for in my new house. We ended up taking quite a lot of kitchen things and books to Goodwill, including my dad’s 40-year-old stereo system that took up way too many shelves in the bookcases. I replaced it with a new Bose system with CD-player. We’re loving our Amazon Echo in the kitchen and listen to NPR and music over meals.

Dad and I joined the local community church and I’m singing in the choir, which is like breathing for me.  I’ve also been taking Mah Jongg lessons and am starting to play regularly. It’s a strange game but an important social activity here so I’m meeting lots of people.  And the parties! I’ve been to more parties in the last 3 months than in the past 10 years!

It’s been a big adjustment to go from living solo (plus Tessie) to sharing a house, meals, errands, etc. with my dad. We’re figuring things out as we go and the space is large enough that we’re not falling over each other, especially now that we have a second TV in the den. He watches Fox News in one room and I watch anything else in the other!

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Thanksgiving 2015




I’ve Been More Interested in Living My Life Lately than Writing About It

I wrote this last Sunday but somehow it stayed as a draft rather than publish to the blog. Oops 🙂

Buddha and a child

As of last weekend I’ve lost almost 10 lbs and am feeling in the zone of following my plan.  More than that, I actually WANT to follow it which makes things so much easier than when I was fighting with myself every step of the way.

I’ve been working with Weight Watcher points for so long that reading recipes and food labels doesn’t require major brain twisting to understand whether something is a good choice or not at any given time.  The best part is that I don’t have to give up anything, just get comfortable with eating less while balancing what I actually do eat.

It’s a quiet time of year if you work in academia and especially in a law school, where there is no summer school.  The building is deserted of the usual hustle and bustle of students and staff members are taking vacations so the office is emptier, too.  Economic uncertainties with budget cuts and potential layoffs have made this a stressful spring and it’s a relief to see this fiscal year coming to a close.

The Maids are coming to deep-clean my apartment the day before my parents arrive later this month.  In a way it feels like cheating; I know how to clean and really should be doing it better than I do.  I just hate it (that summer as a hotel maid kind of backfired).  On the other hand, they send a team of 4 people who clean everywhere at the same time, including the floors on their hands and knees.  My knees can no more contemplate that than fly to the moon.  So the apartment will be sparkling clean – and as I told my mom, I’m not doing it for HER, I’m doing it for ME.  I think it’s probably a bargain and a service I may want to outsource a few times a year.

Tessie is waking up earlier and earlier, along with the sun which starts streaming light way earlier than I want to get up.  Yesterday she sat on my back, played with my hair, and meowed at 5am so I’d get up and keep her company – and feed her, of course.  It was not my idea of the best way to wake up on a weekend day and today was not much better.  Good thing I’m not on vacation or I’d be really cranky.  She desperately needs to have her claws clipped but I’m trying to hold out until closer to my parents’ visit so she doesn’t accidentally puncture the Aerobed if she happens to jump on it. Although we plan to keep the door closed, she is tricky so we need to expect anything.

Today is a quiet day with chores and errands to run and probably a walk outside in the warm sunshine.   Maybe a nap, if the kitty will allow it.


You know Martha Stewart has Been Stalking Your Cat

My friend MB sent me this and I simply had to share:

You know Martha Stewart has been stalking your cat when:

* there’s potpourri hanging from her collar.

* her nails have been cut with pinking shears.

* her toys are all stored in McCoy crocks.

* the pooper scooper has been decorated with raffia bows.

* there is that tell-tell lemon slice in the new silver water bowl.

* you find liver and whole wheat kitty treats stamped out with copper cookie cutters and decorated with royal icing using a #2 rosette tip.

* her cat hair has been collected and put into wire baskets for nesting material for the birds.

* a seasonally appropriate grapevine wreath adorns the front of the cat carrier.

* your cat disappears for a bit and comes back wearing a thyme colored virgin wool hand-knitted sweater with matching boots.


* The poo left in her litter box has been sculpted into swans.


Tessie on the Offensive

Along with warmer weather comes the chance to open the sliding door to let in the outside air, and the kitty is loving the chance to get the scents and sounds of the outdoors. She hangs out staring at the yard, waiting for Something To Happen. Tonight that Something was a visiting Other Kitty, the big black one that’s been by before and gone nose to nose through the glass with Tessie (see photo). Being able to smell each other was something quite different.

Tessie went into offensive mode, ears pricked and low growling with the tail flicking back and forth, while they had a staring contest. Then the other one started to prowl closer and Tessie let out a sound I’ve never heard her make, a loud, angry, piercing cry as she stood up and her tail got the size of a bottle brush. She completely rocked and the other cat ran away down the side of the building. Tessie’s been prowling and stalking, making sure he didn’t come back. It was quite something to watch her transform into furry fierceness.