Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘cat

True Love

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First, let me report that Delilah is no longer emitting as many outbursts of shrill vocalizations of pain as a couple of days ago. Maybe the meds are taking the edge off. However, things are still definitely amiss. We are seeing behaviors that are obvious indications that she is incredibly uncomfortable.

Between moments of normalcy, she is suddenly out of control in reaction to something that even she doesn’t seem to understand. Her behaviors give me the impression she wants to crawl out of her skin. I think, …allergic reaction.  To her meds? Then, she focuses on licking at her groin, which isn’t easy because she still looks like it is hard to move, …like her back is still a problem.

We wondered about maybe a kidney stone?

Of course, it was Sunday, so we have waited until today for our next consultation with the vet. Delilah is managing incredibly well for extended periods of time between her bouts of discomfort, so we decided it wasn’t an emergency situation. We also recorded a video of her weird behavior to show the veterinarian.

Life around the house is relatively normal, with just an odd fraction of the impression that things are not alright. I think Pequenita is aware, but unsure how to respond.

She gave us a good laugh last night while we were laying on our bed. Cyndie always talks about how ‘Nita is totally in love with me, but doesn’t think that much of her. As she often does, Pequenita was laying across my extended legs when Cyndie slid over to lay next to me with her leg across mine.

Pequenita didn’t move a muscle, other than to make sure Cyndie wasn’t touching her.

We started laughing about it after Cyndie pointed out the scene to me, and suddenly our cat turned and gave me a look.

At first, I wondered aloud why she was looking at me. It was Cyndie who was horning in on her love.

Then, in an instant, Cyndie and I came to the same conclusion.

That look seemed to be saying, “Are you going to do something about this intrusion on our space?”

‘Nita didn’t look happy with our outburst of laughing to tears.

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Written by johnwhays

October 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

Clutter Kept

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Honestly, there were things within the first drawer and over the top of my dresser that have been there for years. When we made the move almost five years ago, I poured everything that had accumulated in the top drawer for the twenty-five years prior into large ziplock bags. Upon arrival to this home in October of 2012, I pushed those bags right back into the drawer to be dealt with later.

Or not.

I have actually found myself digging through the contents a couple of times in the ensuing years, in search of some phantom item from a vague recollection –which I never, ever find– and had the thought that I should probably sort through the bags and bust some clutter.

Over the weekend, Cyndie made a sweeping pass through the house to prepare for a showing to a potential client. Her magical ability to make things disappear from surfaces always excludes my dresser, but this time my mess really stood out to me.

On a whim, (was it connected to the celestial show to come?), I took my shot at Cyndie’s sweeping magic and waded through the clutter on top.

Inevitably, there were a few items to which I couldn’t part.

I slipped them into one of the bags in the drawer. Soon, I realized the bags had to go. I needed space in that drawer for currently active items that had been laying on top. The bags were so full they completely filled the drawer.

Full disclosure: The clutter isn’t busted yet. To save time, I moved the bags into a box, instead of processing the treasure of collectibles contained within. However, in the interest of not totally giving up on the ultimate goal, I set the box –too full to even close– on the floor beside my bed where it would be out of sight to the casual viewer, but where I would trip over it every day until I deal with it.

Any bets on whether I can do five years, stepping around the obstruction?

While I have a hard time parting with treasures, I am getting better at spending a little coin to replace things that wear out. When it comes to my cherished threadbare Carhartt Double Front Work Dungarees, it took an email spam ad touting half-price irregulars to wrench open my wallet.

The three primary pairs in heavy rotation for dirty-work around the property have gotten so ratty as to be entirely fashionable, although not completely safe for public display by anyone with a little modesty. The crotch where Cyndie had sewn patches is now vented around her handiwork.

The kicker last week was when Cyndie came up from the laundry with a six-inch stick about half the diameter of my little finger and asked if I was keeping it for any reason. It was now a clean stick, as it made it through the wash inside the rip of the first layer at one of the knees.

Pequenita put my new replacement pairs through some serious testing as soon as they arrived yesterday afternoon.

Now I will look a little more presentable for the multitude of workshops Cyndie and Dunia are holding in the days ahead to kick off Cyndie’s return to active duty following this summer’s shoulder surgery.

Hopefully, no one will wander into the bedroom and stumble over my treasures that are no longer on the dresser.

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Written by johnwhays

August 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

A First

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Someone laid an egg. Yesterday afternoon, I found a cute little egg in one of the nest boxes, right where it’s supposed to be. It’s our first. Another milestone to record on the great migration to rural life for us.

Unfortunately, Cyndie wasn’t even here to enjoy it, as she has taken the dog and made a brief weekday visit to the lake with our friend, Melissa and her two daughters.

Maybe that’s why the chicken felt calm enough to lay an egg. Delilah hasn’t been around. The rabbits seem to have figured it out, as they have been making themselves a lot more visible than usual during the last two days.

When I got home from work on Monday, Pequenita seemed to be completely confused about the missing canine. The poor thing seemed extremely wary about not being able to see the looming threat that she has grown accustomed to expecting.

It made her noticeably uneasy. I carried her to the spot where Delilah’s crate is usually situated, in hopes of communicating the message that the dog isn’t here, but it seemed to upset her even more for some reason.

They behave a lot like the cat and mouse of the cartoon “Tom & Jerry,” so maybe, despite the appearance of animosity between them, there is a bond that has grown to mean something special. Although they seem to be constantly at odds with each other, the truth is, they complete one another.

Pequenita is anxious over the disappearance of her other half.

I wonder if she would be interested in a cute little egg as a temporary surrogate.

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Written by johnwhays

August 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

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Animals Sense

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This morning we are headed to an outpatient surgery center for Cyndie’s shoulder repair. The plan is for an arthroscopic procedure to reattach ruptured tendons and clean up any tissue tears, and then clean up arthritis discovered in the MRI done to assess the injury.

The silver lining in this incident is that she hadn’t previously realized the extent of arthritic damage in that shoulder that was contributing to a chronic discomfort she had come to perceive as ‘normal.’

Welcome to the world of chronic Lyme disease outcomes. Sure, she was treated extensively with long-term antibiotics back when her symptoms mushroomed to a level of undeniable evidence, but it’s an imperfect science. Even more so back in the ’90s when she experienced it.

A vast majority of health insurance corporations and plenty of doctors closely associated would like her to swallow the company lines that she is completely cured. We tend to feel the wild litany of afflictions picking away at our sanity every year since that initial treatment are unsurprisingly identical to the long list of Lyme related symptoms listed in medical research reports.

Her debilitating arthritis is just a fraction of the issues she experiences, but at least modern medicine offers clear surgical options to repair or replace arthritic joints.

As frustrating as it is to be going through this routine again, we are at the same time grateful to have this opportunity. We intend to focus on the potential for less pain in that shoulder, and the return of function of her dominant right arm.

I want to know if she will be able to hoist bales of hay again. Hopefully, even better than before.

Our animals seem to recognize she is in a world of hurt since the arm was yanked. Cyndie reported that yesterday Legacy approached her and uncharacteristically, with his head down, ever so gently rubbed up and down her afflicted limb with his nose, as if in acknowledgement of her discomfort.

Pequenita, who generally reserves the majority of her affection for me, has switched allegiance and has been sleeping on Cyndie the last few nights. I spotted her on Sunday, all curled up in a ball with her head turned over, sleeping just below Cyndie’s pillow.

We are all mustering our best Cyndie care-taking energies to guide her through today’s procedure, and then on to recovery and rehabilitation. We’ve had some practice with this. I’m pretty sure we know what to do.

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Written by johnwhays

June 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Resume Ranching

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It was a pleasing relief to return home to find our ranch-sitter, McKenna, hadn’t needed to deal with any missing chickens over the holiday weekend. Delilah needed a prompt from her to get up and greet us, but Pequenita practically molested me with affection when I walked in the bedroom.

Cyndie gave the horses a few moments of massage and in a flash we were back in Wintervale Ranch mode.

Once again, before departing for home, we dug up a few trillium plants to be transplanted into our woods.

In the past, we spread them out to several different areas, planting in groups of three. Most of those seem to be surviving, but not necessarily thriving. Yesterday, Cyndie agreed with my idea to put all nine of this year’s selection in one area, with the hope of establishing a little community of transplants.

In the two-and-a-half hour drive home, the plants took on a rather droopy appearance, but after getting them in the ground and adding a little water, they showed signs of perking up a bit.

After work today, I’m hoping to connect with a neighbor who might be able to provide a loaner lawn tractor so I can get grass cut at least one time while awaiting news on the status of our machine.

I stopped by the shop where we took the mower last week, hoping to find out if they had looked at it yet. They hadn’t. I pleaded with the man behind to counter to sneak in a preliminary analysis for me, so I could know as soon as possible whether I needed to be ordering a new replacement, or not.

On Friday, upon arriving in Hayward on the way to the lake, we stopped at Coop’s Pizza for lunch. I told Cyndie that a guy who looked like the man I talked to at the repair shop had just walked in with a family group. As we were driving out of the parking lot, Cyndie read the name of the repair shop out loud.

My initial reaction was to think, “They have a shop up here, too?!”

No, she was reading the information off the door of the guy’s company SUV in the parking lot. That was all the evidence I needed to tell me my sense of recognition was right on.

I sure hope he and their crew will resume repairing today, and that I might get a call with an estimate. It would help me greatly as I resume ranching duties, joining Cyndie when I get home from work.

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Written by johnwhays

May 30, 2017 at 6:00 am

Our Time

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Our cat, Pequenita, is an indoor cat. For the most part, I think she accepts the fact that she has to share her space with our dog, Delilah, but she does so with a perpetual hesitation. I’ve noticed that when Cyndie takes Delilah outside for a walk, Pequenita will often spring into action and take advantage of the unrivaled access to the main living spaces.

If I am in the kitchen, she will suddenly show up under foot, mewing her staccato chirps and walking loops to repeatedly do the little cat hop-and-rub maneuver.

Sometimes I will bend down or sit on the floor to honor her presence, giving her some extra attention in moments where she is free of the usual interference of the scene-stealing canine companion.

These precious minutes become our time. Interactions that only happen when we are alone together.

I didn’t intend to get tangled up in these secret little affairs with ‘Nita. These moments of intimacy came about because I got frustrated with her penchant for reaching up and burying her claws into my pant legs. When I don’t have on my canvas Carhartt jeans, it can be a scream.

Not being raised a cat guy, my first inclination was to ignore the overly independent presence of cats in our home, but she has decided that I’m her man. Ignoring her was never really an option.

To interrupt her before she gets around to the leg torture, I’ve taken to making the first move by invading her space. I figured it might work in a reverse-psychology sort of way and cause her to behave as though she wanted nothing to do with me.

It doesn’t work.

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She loves me. What can I say?

I’d feel a little like I was involved in an illicit affair that only happens behind Cyndie’s back, except that Pequenita almost always shows this much affection, and more, every night in our bed, right in front of Cyndie’s eyes.

All this attention is a far cry from the general disdain for cats I held over the first 3 decades of my life. I sure never saw this coming. It gets me to thinking, do I need to be careful about what could happen next? 

Chickens?

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Written by johnwhays

April 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

Modern Convenience

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It was sunny and 60-some degrees at our place yesterday. If it weren’t for the modern convenience of accurate weather forecasting giving us several days warning of an impending snowstorm, I would be completely clueless about what is headed our way. By Friday morning, the view of our property won’t look like this again for a while.

img_1941eI will not be surprised if the alignment of the storm moving in this evening brings us around a foot of snow, based on the models published by the weather services.

Such a significant contrast of weather in just over a day is something I would not be able to comprehend happening without the present day wisdom, and data gleaned from satellites and radar images. My intuitive senses for interpreting the weather are far too dull to perceive that the warm sunshine yesterday afternoon was so quickly going to become a distant memory.img_1925e

At the same time, it is still February, after all. It’s supposed to be wintery weather. So I am well prepared for whatever cold and blowing snow may arrive. I have my special leg warmer to keep me comfortable while chronicling the brutal challenges I face when plowing and shoveling the oodles of snowflakes inbound on our position.

Pequenita seems to like napping on my legs when I stretch out. It’s cute, but can’t be all that comfortable for her, and it tends to lock down my posture long enough that numbness sets in.

Maybe she is sensing the oncoming storm and wants to keep me safe and warm in preparation for doing battle when it comes time to dig out.

In the mean time, I hope to spend most of the day Friday in front of a warm fire, watching the flakes fly outside the windows.

See ya later, warm sunshine.

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Written by johnwhays

February 23, 2017 at 7:00 am