Monday, March 16, 2009

Rest in Peace, Chelsea

I love having pets. Cats, dogs, gerbils, doesn't matter, they're all welcome at my house. We fed the wild birds outside until we discovered they were becoming the daily snack for our next-door neighbor's cat. We knew it wasn't our cats because we don't let ours out. Fortunately, Ms. Snooty Neighbor has moved away, and Nice People have moved in, so it's a lot better.

Anyway, pets are wonderful. We've had up to 3 cats at one time and loved them all. Ophelia came to live with us in '89 (well, more specifically, started living with Point Man, since we weren't married yet then) and lived to the fine age of 15. Higgins walked into our home in '92 as a kitten and was with us til last June, making it to age 16. Joey joined us last June not long after Higgins died, and he'll be 5 in June. Somehow Joey's managed to pick up where Higgins left off in terms of totally awesome cats. He'll never replace Higgins, but he's made a new home in our hearts.

Chelsea, our senior cat, joined our home in '91 at the age of 3. She made it to her 21st birthday yesterday, but over the weekend it became clear that she was too sick to go on for probably more than a week longer. We loved her and couldn't bear to see her suffer, so we made the very hard decision to put her to sleep tonight. When you have a cat that old, you know it's just a matter of time. Some part of me wanted to walk downstairs in the morning and find her curled up in her favorite spot on the couch having gone to heaven in her sleep. That didn't happen. So we made the dreaded trip to the vet for the second time in 9 months. I know it's part of being a responsible pet-lover, but I hate this part. The only consolation is that her death was very quick and totally painless, and she really did just fall asleep before going to heaven.

However, it never makes it any easier to lose a part of the family. Rest in peace, Chelsea.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don't put your book in the dishwasher!!

One summer evening, my son was toddling around the kitchen as I was cleaning up after dinner. He had a Dr. Seuss book in his hand--probably his favorite 'Fox in Socks', which is the greatest tongue-twister of a book I've ever attempted (unsuccessfully) to read. I was putting dishes into the dishwasher and had gone into the living room to get the last few cups left on the table. I walked back into the kitchen, saw what my son was doing, and exclaimed loudly, "Don't put your book in the dishwasher!!" As soon as that came out of my mouth, I realized it was Wednesday night. Church choir night. This ordinarily would not be a problem, except we a. were renting the manse next door to the church, b. the kitchen window was right above the walkway into the church and was wide open, and c. people were walking in, and I had just said something that sounded completely and utterly insane. I peeked out the window at the sidewalk below and breathed a sigh of relief--no one was close enough to have heard my crazy comment.

It made me aware of some of the other things that make us sound like we're inmates of insane asylums, except for the fact that we're parents. Being a parent makes these comments entirely reasonable, or, if not reasonable, shows scientifically that yes, having kids makes us go bananas.

There have been other things that my Trusty Hubby and I have said to our kids and cats that have displayed the fact that we're parents and/or absolute fruitcakes.
Some of these include:

Don't lick the butter
Get out of the toilet! (I've said that to both cats and kids)
The litterbox is not a sandbox
You have to use toilet paper when you wipe
Don't throw up on the couch
Don't put waffles in the VCR
You can't give beanie babies baths in the toilet
Don't put your diaper on the cat
and one of my favorites, which I actually said to my son when we were eating at a Denny's one time:
Don't put pancakes in your pants!