Off Our Walls: Cat “Observations”

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{funny because it is so true}*

I just realized, I share this with the risk that I maybe labeled cat crazy, but really I’m crazy about my cat, and these cartoons remind me how silly she can be.  This series of cartoons are some of my favorite, by cartoonist Jeffery Brown.  They tickle me, even though they are just small “observations” about cat personalities, they make me smile.  We have several of his post cards (which I really love) tacked up on the fridge and on bulletin boards, and I enjoy sharing them with house guests who are cat owners. They always appreciate their simple humor.  It’s the little things isn’t it?

(*image found here…the article it’s linked to is also a good critique read on cat cartoons)

These are my favorites that we have pinned up, they very much reflect our little girl.

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Our Boy Forever

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I struggle with how to begin this entry.  It is one I feel most compelled to write, but one that brings me to tears still to do so.  Our new year however has been marked by loss for Bill and I.  Our precious boy, Rocky, who filled our hearts, and home, with unimaginable amounts of love, kindness, and kisses passed away unexpectedly on the night of December 30th.  I won’t go into too many details here, because now the only fact that seems important is that he is no longer with us.  After taking him to the hospital on December 26th with what seemed to be an upset stomach and dehydration, his health quickly declined, and by the next morning, our big strong boy could no longer walk.  I felt broken myself seeing him laying in the hospital attached to tubes and IVs, knowing that only two days before we were running through fresh snow together.  We were given hope, we needed hope, because his eyes and his spirit were still so present, loving, and healthy.  The vets too gave us hope for recovery, and we clung to that hope ferociously for four days.  On the last day he contracted pneumonia, which weakened his already tired lungs. By the end of that night it was just too much.  We got to lay with him as we kissed him good-bye, thanking him for his companionship and for always being the best good boy.

I do not have the words to explain how much Rocky meant to me; what he did for me, and for Bill, or what he taught us.  The importance of our relationship with our boy is one that will only ever be understood by Bill and I.  Together we find comfort in remembering how he changed us, and the joy he gave us selflessly on a daily basis.  But to anybody who has ever lost a pet (and the word pet seems trivial and inappropriate to me at times because aren’t they so much more than that) can understand that these bonds we form with the animals we love, and who return that love 10 fold, are priceless.  Rocky came into our lives as a pet, and left as our son, our baby, the one who showed me further how to give and receive without complaint or expectation, and how to live each day full of appreciation and genuine enthusiasm.  He taught me to better love myself.   He taught Bill and I how to better love each other, to be patient with each other, and to forgive each other with genuine gentleness and sincerity.  In the five years that Bill and I have been together our boy Rocky was always by our side. We felt happiest when we were all cuddled in bed together, or out on our morning walk.  It was the simple, calm moments that I felt brought all three of us shared peace, joy, and gratitude.    I’m going to miss those moments most.

He hated when either of us cried, whether from pain, or disappointment, or frustration, or the tear jerking movie we were watching.  It was his kisses, and the worry in his eyes, that always were able to snap us out of tears and find us laughter again quickly. I’ve felt the need for his warmth and kisses more then ever, but I’ve tried to keep my face dry and my spirits high because I know thats all the big guy wanted for us: Happiness.

It’ll be a long time before that hole and quietness at home begins to feel less gaping.  But he still seems so present, and that is how I know he really will always be with us, it will be impossible for Bill and I to lose him in our hearts and mind.  And it makes me only want to hold Bill closer and love him more.  Rocky served a grand purpose in our lives, for those closer to bill and I, you may know he helped save us, just as much as we helped save each other.  Life works in unexplainable ways, and the older I get the more I learn to keep those things loved ever so close.  I have no regrets for my love for Rocky, he made it impossible not to show him everyday how much he meant to us.  I still find myself saying “I love you big guy” in my heart in head every time we leave the house, because for the past five years it was the last thing a I always made sure to tell him before walking out the door.   I want him to know I still do and always will, and I know he does.

My big boy, my baby boy, my Rock Dog, my baby bear, Rocklobsta, your dad and I loved you more than we could have known and love you still.  Thank-you for giving us our lives back and giving us a future together.  Thank-you for just being our good boy, everyday and every second.  We carry every moment with you with us.   They are the most beautiful moments we can remember.

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Our Visitor

Our recent visitor is fat, furry, and has a torn ear.  He also loves eating our pumpkins. And taunting the pets.  I know I should probably shoo him away, but I find him pretty cute.  Plus, he provides entertainment for the pets.  Poor Scout really wishes she could go outside and chase him, however, she is strictly an indoor kitty (unless she sneaks out).   This not so little guy has returned daily to greedily grab handfuls of pumpkin and seeds. I think I like knowing he’s being well fed before the true cold comes. I do not like the mess he has made on our porch.  And he hasn’t brought any friends, so it’s been a private feast, minus the watching eyes from behind the glass door.  Oh well, pumpkins season is almost over, it’s time for tinsel and a tree.  I’m happy my pumpkins haven’t gone to waste, and I hope Mr. Squirrel has fattened up plenty for the winter.

Caught in Bed

My pets mean the world to me.  I’ve had Scout for seven years.  Bill has had Rocky for almost six years, and I have been with them for the past 5.  They are a big part of our little family.  When we first moved in together there was a big question mark surrounding how our 91lb boy would get along with our 11lb girly.  Rocky had never been around kitties before so I was a little anxious, but I knew she would fend for herself and hide if he saw her as a snack.  To our relief it was disinterest at first sight.  A curiosity grew in both of them as they learned to share a small space, and our attention.  It’s been wonderful to watch their relationship change and even grow.  Scout has pretty much established herself as the tiny boss of the house.  She likes to jump out of closets, or from behind furniture, at Rocky.  He now hesitates every time he enters our bedroom in the evenings (when she’s rowdiest) knowing she’s crouched, waiting to pounce.  It is really cute, and kind of embarrassing for Rocky.  We have also seen many sweet moments between them.  When one of them doesn’t feel well the other knows.  After a bad slip on ice last winter, Rocky was left with a sore paw.  Once we got him home and settled down on his bed, Scout approached him.  He was very still and quiet as she smelled both of his front paws, before giving his injured paw tiny kitty kisses.  It was a brief and simple moment, but it made me so happy to see this closeness between them.  While they have not gotten cuddly yet, I see them getting more comfortable and loving towards each other.   It is special and wonderful catching them together in bed like this.  It’s amazing how much joy these two give me.

Little Loves

{16 months ago with my favorite study buddies}

I take pictures of my pets more than anything else.  I can’t help it, it seems everytime I turn around they are doing something else so adorable, or hilarious, that the camera has to come out.   Rocky laying uspside down on the couch never gets old and Scout drinking from her fountain (a quirky cat charateristic of her’s…she only drinks from running water) is always a hoot.  Our pets provide us with daily giggles and smiles by giving us endless amounts of affection, warm snuggles, and unconditional love.  And, as you other pet owners know, there is no better way to be greeted after a long day, then then by warm wet noses and happy tails.  I have been spoiled by two amazing furry little friends who have now been with us for over six years, through all the ups and downs, always providing us with an example of simple happiness and joy when life easlily gets complicated and messy.  Bill and I both talk to them as if one day we expect them to look up at us and answer the many questions or comments we direct towards them.   Despite their inability to answer verbally I never feel like what I’ve said goes unacknowledged, and sometimes all you need is a kitty kiss or one of Rocky’s long deep sighs to know everything is going to be okay.   That being said I would like to remind everyone to give all their four-legged friends lots of love for Valentine’s Day tomorrow and everyday after.  Use tomorrow as a reminder that love goes beyond what is said in Hallmark cards, and that love can be found in our lives in places we sometimes forget to look, like in the affectionate gaze of a dog or in a warm ball of fur curled up with the utmost trust in your lap.

{the boy}

{the little girl}

{our friend's buddy Theodore}

{my parent's tiny terrors}

{my friend Allegra and her love Dexter}

{Rock & I on one of our favorite hikes}