Monday, February 27, 2006

Obvious Doesn't Mean Easy

We had to put DaintyKitty down the Friday before we left for Disneyland last November. (Did I tell you this already?) It was an obvious decision - she had cancer in her gut somewhere; it was going to cost thousands of dollars to find it, and more to treat it, and then she'd still only have a year or so to live - most of which would have been spent at the pet hospital.

I took a night to think about it. DaintyKitty spent the evening sitting on my chest in her "loaf" position, and looking at me like "Just do it, Mommy. I hurt, and I'm tired, and it will be ok."

So the next afternoon, my dad and I took her in and said goodbye. I was brave - I don't think I cried there. We even went down the street afterwards to GI Joes and bought a travel bag for the Disneyland trip, and it was like everything was normal.

Truth is - it was totally the right decision. She was 17; she was really old. It was time.

And yet on this past Saturday, FuzzySlug was crying because she was "lost" in our bedroom, and I kept calling and calling her, and she didn't come.

And then Critter said, "Uh, you're calling for DaintyKitty..."

Oh. Oops.

So right decision or not, it still hurts. And sometimes, unexpectedly, I miss her something awful. Obvious doesn't mean easy.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lullaby Drool

Critter is VERY tired tonight because she was up until 1 am at the sleepover last night. She didn't want to nap when she came home, so she and I went shopping for several hours. Mostly, I wore her out. When we came home, she was a virtual zombie, and quietly disappeared into her room for a 2 hour nap.

Now, of course, as we approach bedtime, she claims she is not tired and too wound up to sleep. I offer to sing her some lullabies, but she dismisses me. Politely. So I do the only thing left to me - I model the desired behavior. I trundle into her room, load in one of my favorite cassette tapes, and fiddle with the "mood lighting". I adjust the her new sheer curtains to cover the window, and wait.

Within moments, Critter is in her room, sprawled across her bed sideways, telling me it's her bed and there's no room for me. Ignoring her, I start the tape and tickle her feet until he moves enough for me to flob across the end of her bed. Not to be outdone, Critter flings herself on my stomach - sending us both into fits of laughter. Never mind that I can't breathe.

I systematically tickle her under her arms and around her knees until she frees me. And I take my leave. Within a few moments, she's back out in the livingroom - presumably giving Jewel Geek a goodnight hug. But actually, she's dawdling. So I march back in to her room and get under the covers, this time lying on my side with my bony hip up.

Critter flobs across my hip, and laughs like she has me pinned. I start rocking back and forth, which rubs her face in her blankets, and she's suddenly laughing hysterically.

"You made me drool!" she croaks, her voice raw with laughter and a pending cold.

"Oh, sorry," I chuckle back.

Critter adjusts herself farther across the bed, but still draped over my hip. I commence rocking back and forth again, and this time, her whole face is rubbed smooth in the blanket.

"Ewwww," she complains. "Now I have to go wash my face. It's covered in drool..."

Freed from her weight, I hop out of the bed, and begin my own bedtime preparations. Face cleaned, Critter reappears at my bedroom door, this time with a sincere goodnight hug for both me and Jewel Geek.

Exhausted, face washed, and sniffling, she is finally embracing sleep. Her blanket is still wet with drool.

She should have taken the lullabies.

Motown Police

Critter went to a teen dance club Friday night with some of her friends. She looked tired, but happy, when she came home from the sleepover.

"How was it," we asked.


"What did you do?"

"Danced. Talked with friends."

"What kind of music did they play? 80's music?"

"Yeah. They played that 'Respect' song," she replied.

I frowned. "R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Find out what it means to me?"

She nodded. I'm sure the Motown Police will be at our door soon to re-educate her on music history.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Asbestos, Hugs and Yucks

For Valentine’s Day I gave CrafterKat an asbestos-free living room. I think it is far more romantic than a circular saw.

We locked the cats in two bedrooms and the team of men plastered our walls with two layers of plastic to contain the asbestos which they shaved off the ceiling. By noon the room was completely bare, only the first layer of plastic remained with a fierce warning:

Made me shiver every time I came upstairs to check on the progress.

That evening, CrafterKat was craving a good steak. We took Critter with us to High Rocks Steakery & Pub. I’m uncertain what exactly makes a restaurant a steakery, as Websters has never heard of that word before (though it did suggest that perhaps we meant stalkier or stickler). We learned that their two-for-one Tuesday steak night does not apply on Valentine’s Day. Nonetheless, we both had an excellent filet mignon and exchanged Rebus word puzzles on our placemats. Critter had quite a few that CrafterKat and I did not know.

At the end of the night we exchanged Hugs and a few Yucks (Critter’s middle school translation of the Hugs and Kisses conversation hearts).

Monday, February 13, 2006

From the Middle of a Great Big Empty

This week we are finally having the asbestos-laden popcorn ceiling in our living room and dining room removed. This is the pre-cursor step to having some remodeling done in the house. CrafterKat has received bids for replacing the gas fireplace (with one that actually works!) and a new deck on the back porch (where people won’t fall through!).

We’ve spent the week removing bits and pieces from the living room and even after taking two loads to the Salvation Army, it was hard to see a dent. Fortunately, we had help from CrafterKat’s father, Mr. GoGoGo, and her brother, the Renaissance Man, to move the larger furniture pieces and the BBQ from the back porch.

Our two main bedrooms are now full with furniture, knickknacks, papers to be filed, books, DVD’s, and assorted kitty toys. The cats are having a field day. King James has rediscovered his teal mouse and an extra long twist tie. Doofie enjoys perching on the sofa which we upended by the linen closet.

CrafterKat and I throw MASH quotes at each other—our living room now echoes like Colonel Blake’s office in “Crisis” after the 4077 burns everything in site, including the CO’s desk, to keep warm.

Asbestos removal is Tuesday and Wednesday; we head to the coast on Friday night to relax. We found some house rentals in Bella Beach with rates comparable to a nice room in a hotel. Critter is bringing a girlfriend from up the street. CrafterKat and I are bringing DVD’s and a hearty appetite. After all, we will be minutes away from clam chowder, caramel corn, and those little raspberry and blackberry candies I adore.

Here’s hoping your President’s Weekend is enjoyable, too!