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Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-8-2006

Last night at about 11, I carried Jim over to her food bowls. Supporting her, I brought a fingerful of food to her mouth. She was hungry and ate a bit out of her bowl. I did the same with her milk, but she didn’t want any milk. She did drink some water, though.

Then I placed her on her cushion.

I found her dead this morning, just as I had left her.

At least 22 years old, Jimmy died in the manner that we had hoped for. The Vet had assured us all along that she was in no pain and I did not want to have her killed just because I was tired of cleaning up cat piss.

Jimmy died in her sleep, at home, after many years of tender care by us all.

While we are all sad, the edges are blunted by this knowledge: that we took the very best care of her that we could, for many years.

A Flash From The Past

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-6-2006

By nature a good sport, The Father took me to a garden center today. Seeing how Spring was so late, I am guessing that we shall have at least two months of pleasant weather and, well, I did so want a replacement for all of the Queen Anne’s Lace that I ripped out the other day and, well, the pale and brittle plants which now inhabit my hanging baskets. Hey – I’m not bitching- they took splendid care of my camellias.

At the great big old garden center, I was ambling down the aisles, looking for some sort of scented candles. Jimmy is dying. The Girl and I have found her having serious convulsions and now she has no control over her bladder at all. We don’t mind. We have a lot of old towels and as long as she purrs, we want her to die at home, with us, stroking her gently and surrounding her with love. But the kitchen simply reeks.

As I sniffed one candle after another, I heard a woman say “Wim”. For a moment, I thought back to when I worked in the greenhouse, for a fellow named Wim. “Suzanne! Is that you ?” It was indeed Wim and Yvonne, who I once, a long time ago worked for. We chatted this, we chatted that, and suddenly, I asked Wim how old he was now. 40, he replied. I had to say that when I started working for them, I was 32, and that he felt that I was far too old for the job.

This, that and the other thing, standing by the candles at the garden center. He asked about The Father, and I said, oh, he is the same. Wim said, you know, I can’t remember his face, but. gee. I remember his car. I said that nothing had changed. The Father still loves his car, an always snazzy BMW. It was almost 1.15, my pick-up time and so I said goodbye.

They were behind me at the checkout counter, and as I entered the parking lot, I saw The Father in his business – mobile and waved him over. As I loaded the plants into the trunk, he chatted with Wim.

As we drove away, we talked about Wim and Eric and the greenhouse that I had worked for for many years. Out of the blue, he asked me how I had gotten along with Wim in the past. At first, I said, oh, fine, for I can be a bit simple minded in that way. And then I remembered that it always annoyed Wim that The Father had a snazzier car than he did. In fact, at times when Wim was getting on my case, I would have The Father come and pick me up, knowing that the car would irk Wim.

I was glad to see them, I enjoyed working for them, it was a fine time for me.

But I am guessing that The Father’s fancy- schmancy car still gets under Wim’s skin.

In Search Of…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-30-2006

Jimmy has taken to walking around and around and around the kitchen, perhaps 40 times today, hugging the walls . She has managed to figure out how to walk again, rather like a cat wearing a cast which covers both hips and legs, but it is very obvious that she is totally disorientated, smell the only sense left that functions.

I read once that when cats are going to die, they search for a place to do so in. I placed a small box on it’s side, in a far corner of the kitchen, and eventually Jim found it, crawled into and slept for a while. I can tell that she is trying to get back into the depths of the kitchen cabinets, those alleys and tunnels which lie beyond our plates. I can’t let her in there, because there is no way that I could get her out. If she died. Which might be why she searches for that peace.

I can’t imagine that she has much longer to go. Sponge, paper towels and cleaning fluid in hand, I follow her about, all day long, as I always have.

And I have indeed been saying for years that Jimmy’s days are numbered.

And have been wrong, year after year after year.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-15-2006

We all noticed that a few days ago, Jimmy’s left leg sort of…gave out. As the days have passed, the leg has become more and more useless, leaving her with a tendency to move in circles as she tries to figure out how to lead life lame. This morning, both of her back legs were out.

I carried her over to her kitty litter and she peed. I took her to her food, not interested. I placed her on the couch and she slept most of the day. Her eyes opened briefly when The Father came home at about lunch time and she had such a content and happy look about her that he and I both agreed that we would just tote her around as long as she seemed to be without pain.

But I cannot help but feel that her days are numbered.

Then again, I have been thinking that for the last 3 or 4 years.

Fly Away

Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-11-2006

This morning I walked The Girl over to the bus stop not far from The Baby’s little school. While I never in particular feel like walking a few kilometers first thing in the morning, The Girl did indeed have the first day at a new school from hell, and so I knew that my duty was to help her breach this next hurdle. After all, one bus ride and she would know the ropes.

As we set off, she asked me if I had brought my camera along: how funny ! Even she knows that on long, boring walks, I like to take a camera, have something to do.

A very polite young woman answered my questions of what bus to take, and I stood on the far corner of the gas station, glancing back until I saw that The Girl had a seat.

Back in town, I bought a half a sesame white for The Boy, half a tiger brown for The Baby at the baker’s. I set out the plates, the knives, the pots of jam and nutella, all of the things that The Boy and The Baby would need to make their own lunch.

I still have a niggling feeling that they are too young to spend an hour alone at lunch, they are 11 and 6, but The Baby sobs drops of blood at the mere thought of staying at school for lunch, and today, well, I really wanted to blow this two horse town. I wanted to shop. For clothes, of all things- how unlike me. I also needed to buy ( send?) a MoneyGram, and there is a place to do that right at the train station.

I didn’t really buy much, a few of those let’s- replace- the- bra stretchy tank tops, an ashes of roses zip sweatshirt, and one nasty white shirt, made to be worn with one of those let’s- replace- the- bra stretchy tank tops.. And a belt of my own. Oh, The Girl bought me a belt for Christmas, but she is proving to be quite the Indian giver indeed. I like my belt. It is redolent of huarache sandals. When The Girl saw it, she squealed How Cute!.

Whenever The Girl squeals How Cute! in reference to something that I am wearing, a small goblin sitting on my shoulder whispers into my ear that I most likely am not dressing appropriate to my age, that I most likely look the aging fool.

En fin…

In the afternoon, she and I walk to pick up The Boy and The Baby. I bitch and moan that my back hurts and she tells me to stand up straight. Nudging my shoulders back, she tells me that at horse riding, she has learned how to walk with a straight back. This is true : The Girl has perfect posture.

She is in a fine mood. This tells me that all is well with her. I am glad of this.

Vanity : the other day, a man in town said hello to me and did a double take. Really, I could see it. It was the first time that he had seen me without my bulky coat on. I had on a brown union shirt and my vaguely nasty jeans. Of course, he might simply have been shocked by the sagging tits, encased in a let’s- replace- the- bra stretchy tank top. But it did not feel that way, and he is a man of my age, and I felt vaguely flattered. I felt vaguely attractive and that felt very nice indeed.

Tomorrow we take Jim to the Vet. She has a toenail which has grown into the pad of her toe. She won’t let me trim it. In fact, she bit me twice yesterday when I was clipping her nails.

We haven’t taken Jim to the Vet forever.

I know what the Vet will say : put her down.

But we won’t. She is blind, she is deaf, she misses the kitty litter 9 times out of 10 ( but Lordy, Lordy, does she get an A for effort), we carry her about when she is looking lost or bewildered. We won’t put her down because every day she has a blissful look on her face, a purr in her throat, as she sits with the children on the couch as they watch TV.

She is a much beloved, wisp of a cat.

Noah’s Ark

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-17-2006

I still have not told The Father about just how sick Buddy is. I will tell him tomorrow, when our five day vacation is over. But I can see now that Buddy is doing very poorly indeed. He did not eat today and will not accept food from me – the pill giver- at all. I have to force the pills down his throat- but the bright side is that he is down from 7 to 3 pills, twice a day.

Jimmy, our 20+ cat , is now totally blind. A month or so ago, she could still see something, but that is gone. If The Baby picks her up and puts her on the floor of the kitchen, one can see that Jim is lost, hasn’t a clue as to where to turn. She has to start at the couch, her food bowl or her kitty litter- then she is fine.

The Father suggests that we take her to the vet, but we won’t. We won’t because The Boy fills her food bowl every morning and carries her over to it.

I always forget that we have a horse as well.

Bennie is not doing well either. He has seen a number of horse doctors, but no one can figure out what his problem is. Soon, he will be going to a very pricey place to be scanned, to see why he has landed in a place where The Girl cannot ride him.

I feel like I did when Stan and Ollie were very old, Jimmy was very old.

I am surrounded by ailing animals and a glistening sliver of glass which makes me question my success as a wee, earth mother.

Gloria And Germaine

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-15-2006

Continuing the story which included the search for the body of one’s youth- perhaps- when The Baby and I left the garden , entered the kitchen, she started screaming : there was a fish in the niche for the doormat ( no doormats here for the moment, for it is old Jimbo’s favorite place to piss). I looked, and sure enough, it was one of the girl guppies, lying there on the floor, looking dead as a doornail.

I scooped her up and placed her into the women’s dorm. A quick count told me that- somehow- another female guppie was missing. How far, one wonders, can a fish flop ? I found the second missing female nestled in the grove of the kitty litter pooper scooper. I tossed her into the women’s dorm as well.

I have no idea how long they had been out of the water, but as of today, they are still fine.

Although I put them back into the tank.

I had pulled them out of the tank for a bleeding heart reason : with guppies, one should have two females for every male. Well, we had about four males for every female, and all that male guppies want to do is f***, f***, f****. My little girls had no rest, darting hither and yon, finally figuring out that if they sat their bellies upon the floor of the tank, the brutes simply could not reach them.

Mr.Jo was supposed to build me a new tank, my Christmas present, dontcha know.

I’m going to order something this week. I really cannot bear looking into my tank anymore, these poor, homely girls almost unable to eat as all of these flashy, rather pimpy looking short guys harass them.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-11-2006

This morning as I ambled up and down the, oh, three aisles of the grocery store, picking up some cat milk for Jim, some vla for The Father ( some vla for The Father) , one of the girls ( I really have to stop thinking of them as the girls. They have been working there since we moved here, so are moving beyond mid- thirties and girl- ness) said to me, you know, you won. The Boy is yours, right , she asked. Yes, he is , I said. Well, The Boy won the football thing.

Some times, it is really hard to be quiet, to play stupid. I had decided to divert the children on the walk home for lunch via the grocery store. I wanted The Boy to see his name on the list tacked up on the grocery store window. I had in mind saying, oh, I want to show you something …

As I walked to the school, I realized that today was Tuesday, when the grocery store closes at 12.30. I could simply tell the children that I had to run by the store, we needed something.

Of course, they fell for it. Of course, The Baby asked me what we needed. Butter, I said ( truth be told, that simply popped into my mind as something the children would have no clue about, but indeed, later, when I made dinner, we are low on butter. Yup. Life is like that.)

As we walked to the store, to pick up butter, The Boy told me what a great day- why, maybe even the best day ever, he was having. ( Keep quiet, Mummy). Everyone in his class had to write a poem- in pairs- about( what can I say, it is a Catholic school) the resurrection. In a class of 23, The Boy is taking doing things on his own pretty well. So, all 12 poems are submitted, each student judges the poem on a three point scale ( three being highest), the teacher announces the leader, the winner, by a large margin, is The Boy.

So, we are ambling through the twisting alleys of town, me trying to get him to the store to read the broadside that says that he has won the Fussball thing, and he is going on and on about what a great day he has had- maybe even the best day so far.

Oh wow, I say, look ! The results of the drawing for the table.

Sometimes silence is such a good thing.

Minutiae of Motherhood

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-4-2006

The Boy and The Girl play together in the kitchen. The Boy is a TV, The Baby is flipping the channels.

The Baby keeps asking for the Courtney Gears station. Who, I ask, is Courtney Gears ?

In very simple language, they explain to me that it is sortof, kindof like Brittany Spears.

Princess Jimmy ( the cat, remember the never ending battle of the two princesses goes on here. Every day) has her own station, often featuring Frans Bauer, singing duets with P.Jimmy.

But Courtney’s is definitely The Baby’s favorite station.

I’m just the cook, slicing bell peppers as the TV channels flip on by.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Dec-13-2005

I go to bed earlier than The Father does. The dogs are not used to it. Elvis is barking his face off right now.

One summer, when I was in America, The Father made our dogs outside dogs. It was easier for him, without me there to clean up after them.

We have a very old cat. She was an outdoor cat for a very long time.

She is inside now.

She is blind, she is deaf.

The Boy loves her.

We have outdoor dogs.

I don’t believe in outdoor dogs. Especially not for newfs.

Every time that Elvis barks, I feel guilty. It really rips my gut in two.

He is barking right now, in fact.

This is very high on my list of things that I wish I could fix.

We have black tiles on the floor in our kitchen, chosen just for the dogs.

We built our house to be a home for dogs.

I love dogs, but these are our last dogs.

If you have a dog, it should be in your home.

We say that when the old cat dies, the dogs will come in.

But I don’t believe it.

I was only gone for a little while.