Posted in Cat Mom, Grief

The sweetest cat I’ve ever known…

Two weeks ago today my cat, Teddy Bear, drifted off to sleep on my lap and never woke up.

He was approximately 14 years old and had been with us for 10 years. He had been in the beginning stages of kidney failure for the last few years and had developed a heart murmur within the last year. 

We brought him to vet that one last time because it was clear that he wasn’t feeling like himself. I knew that the news was likely to be bad and was grateful that I had been slowly trying to prepare myself for the eventually of him not coming home with us since first learning of the health problems that he had developed.

The test results were devastating, he was now in stage 4 kidney failure. There are only 4 stages. He was in the end stage and there was nothing more that could be done for him. 


Curtis and I made the heartbreaking decision to humanely end his suffering that day.


We petted him and told him over and over again how much we loved him as we waited for the vet tech to come in and go over all our options. I made the decision that I absolutely wanted to be there with him till the very end.


I held him on my lap for the last time and pet him as he drifted off to sleep and slipped away. 

Posted in Adulting, Art, Cat Mom, Health

I got some new markers and my cat got a new fashion accessory…

Those two things actually have nothing to do with each other though.

On Monday the set of markers that I’ve wanted for years and recently went ahead and ordered arrived in the mail. I now am fairly certain I have all the colors that this company has to offer.

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I haven’t had the chance to do anything with these new markers though, because very early Tuesday morning I noticed my cat, Teddy Bear, seemed to be licking his behind an excessive amount. Him being a cat though it can sometimes be hard to figure out what’s behavior to be worried about and what is just normal cat neuroticism. This turned out to be the worrying type because when I finally fought my way to a look at his behind I noticed a sore.
We’ve been down this road before, so I knew that this was probably an anal gland that was either about to burst or had already burst.
*Sigh*
He’d just been at the vet’s office a few days ago for a pedicure and now he had to go back.
So I woke my husband at around 3am and informed him that we had a problem and that he’d have to call the vet when he got up in a few hours and see if they could see our cat that day.
And then he’d have to bundle our cat into his carrier, walk to the bus stop, take one bus to the end of the line and then switch to another bus to get to the vet’s office to drop him off.
And then he could go into work for the day.

They were able to see our cat, and my home diagnosis was correct, one of his anal glands had burst on him again. They’d have to put him under for the procedure to fix him up, but there was a problem. They noticed a heart murmur and would have to do an x-ray to determine the seriousness of it before they could anesthetize him.

And the x-ray was going to pretty much double the cost of his treatment.

We told them to go ahead and do the x-ray and let us know what the results were.

And then we waited…
And waited…
And waited…
And waited…

Around 3pm my husband called them for an update and found out that they hadn’t even given him the x-ray yet. My husband asked them again to call us with the results and we continued to wait.

Around 5pm they called my husband and let him know that the entire procedure went well and they wanted us to come pick him up around 6pm.

So much for calling us after the x-ray..

We were lucky enough to have one of my husband’s co-workers offer to let us borrow his car to pick up our cat and avoided having to take buses there and back during rush hour.
He’s on pain meds for the next few days and they want to see him back in 2 weeks.
And during those 2 weeks he has to wear a cone.

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This is going to be a long 2 weeks…

Posted in Blogging, Cat Mom

I’ve been falling behind on reading your blogs (and writing my own) because my cat has a lap addiction…

I follow all of the blogs that I regularly read via email. That is how I keep up with them. I pretty much never bring up the WordPress reader. The email app that I use on my phone started to force close on me every time I had the nerve to try to actually open an email with it a long time ago, resulting in me having to open the app again and try to open the email again only to have it force close again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If I was very lucky the email that I was attempting to read would actually load after about the 5th try or so, so actually checking my email on my phone was something I pretty much gave up on. In order to actually read my email I would have to pull out the laptop formally known as my husband’s that we now both share since mine died without warning while in sleep mode many months ago.

And here’s where my cat’s lap addiction comes in.

In order to effectively use the laptop I would have to put it on my lap, which lately is forever occupied by my toothless, sweet old man of a cat, Teddy Bear. Before moving to our new place back in December I was in the habit of turning on the laptop pretty much every day and Teddy Bear knew that he would have to settle for sitting next to me until I was done using it. But since moving I seem to have dropped that habit. I was pulling out the laptop much less often and my cat picked up on that and has claimed my lap as his property. If I sit down he’s right there. Even if I tell him no because I’ll be standing up again soon, if I get distracted by something for a second I’ll look down to find a cat perched on my lap. And he’ll fight to keep my lap for as long as possible as well, not admitting defeat until he’s in imminent danger of being unceremoniously dumped on the floor by my rapidly disappearing lap.

Keeping up with the blogs I read or my own blog isn’t the only thing that suffers because of my cat’s addiction.

Loads of laundry will sit waiting for me to switch them over to the dryer from the washer or pull them out of the dryer because I have a cat on my lap that cannot be disturbed.

I will wait until much later in the afternoon than I had previously planned to go out and check the mail because my lap is occupied.

I will sit and debate how hungry/thirsty I really am because getting up and going to the kitchen would disturb the cat.

I will sit in a room that is slowly getting darker because I would have to kick the cat off of my lap to get up and turn on a light.

I will stay up way later than intended when I should really be in bed sleeping because I feel guilty about waking up the sleeping cat on my lap.

And on, and on, and on…

This past weekend I finally was able to upgrade my phone though. So now when I go to read an email it actually loads! That doesn’t help with my housework, my eating habits or my sleeping habits, but at least I can stay on top of my emails now without disturbing my cat.

I mean, look at him. How could you have the heart to disturb him?

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This is how my cat responded when I told him I needed to get up and go to bed.
Posted in Adulting, Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Health, Marriage

The extremely short lives of our tax refunds…

We filed our taxes as soon as my husband’s W-2 became available.

And then received additional tax forms in the mail.

Luckily the forms would not effect our refund amounts, but they did mean that we would need to amend our taxes.

We’ll be waiting to file until after we receive those forms from now on. Doing taxes once a year is enough for me.

Thanks for wasting my time

But, like I said, we filed our taxes as soon as we could, so that we would receive our refunds from the Federal and State governments as soon as possible.

No big fun plans for those refunds, just lots of debt to pay off. And the sooner it was paid off the better.

Our federal refund showed up first and very quickly most of that money was transferred from our bank account to the various accounts of those we owed money to.

A couple hundred to our doctor’s office to pay off what they decided we owed after a visit that was supposed to be covered completely by our insurance last year. Attempts to get them to fix their mistake went nowhere fast, so it was just easier to pay the debt and make the entire thing go away.

LemurThanksYouButNo1-vi

Several hundred each to our Care Credit cards to pay off all the debt that we racked up the year before through all the dental work that we both needed done after not seeing a dentist for well over a decade.

We had plans to pay of some off our credit card debt, build up our depleted savings, and resume saving for retirement again with the refund that we had coming from the State. We had hopes that we’d have something left from that to do something fun as well.

And then we received a bill from our dentist letting us know that we actually capped out on what our insurance would cover during 2015, so insurance didn’t pay as much as they thought they would, and we now owed them over $800. And could we please make that payment within 10 days?

Whaaat Minion

So much for not having anymore debt on our Care Credit cards for a while… thank goodness we just paid them off though.

So we made another plan on how to pay off this new debt. And then I got sick. For a month. With the chest cold from hell. (Still have an annoying cough that just won’t quite go away. I’m soooo close to being completely better though.)

And then last week our cat pounced onto the bottom shelf of one of our rather old, kinda cheap end tables one to many times and one of the little plastic feet broke off.

Never expected much

 

We had been talking about buying new end tables soon, but we didn’t expect it to be quite so soon.

 

So another plan for what to do with our tax refund went out the window.

dan-renzi-quote-life-is-what-happens-while-youre-busy-making-other

Our State tax refund finally showed up…

and very quickly was scattered among various payments to others.

To buy new end tables and new cushions for our outdoor furniture.

A payment to Care Credit to start to pay down this new, unexpected debt.

A payment to our credit card, to help pay down our older debt.

A payment to the Utah Transit Authority to refill our transit cards and enable us to be able to continue to use public transportation.

A transfer to our savings account so that our emergency fund might actually be useful in an emergency.

And a transfer to Curtis’ IRA to make sure that we’ve at least saved something toward his retirement this year. (Our retirement savings years end in July, the month he was born in.)

Being an adult is not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be when I was yearning to grow up as a kid…

Calvin & Hobbs Becoming an Adult

But I have to say there is a definite sense of accomplishment in having paid off so much debt. Even if it was only temporarily for some of it.

Posted in Cat Mom, Food, Health, Marriage, Weather

The story of the tragic demise of our second collapsible shopping cart…

ask-yourself-whats-the-worst-that-can-happen-theres-a-good-chance-it-will-415d6

The first shopping trip that we went on after our move our first shopping cart, which we had been using for about 6 months or so, hit a curb wrong and one of the front wheels shattered. We were able to tip it back on its back wheels and limp home with it, but that was clearly the last time that we would be using that shopping cart.

So we ordered a new, bigger shopping cart. One that we hoped would be more sturdy and last us a bit longer.

We used it for one shopping day. A trip to Costco and back home, and a trip to a grocery store and back home.

It was unhappy with the kitty litter, plus other groceries, that it had to carry home from Costco, but it made it home in one piece.

It also didn’t like the snowdrifts that it had to be dragged through on the way to and from the grocery store, but it made it home again.

A month later it was time for us to go grocery shopping again. There was a lot that we knew needed to stock up on, so we brought the cart, our backpacks, and a couple of duffle bags to carry all of our purchases home.

Having Plans

The cart made it to Costco just fine.

We did our shopping and proceeded to pack all of the things from our Costco cart into our bags and collapsible shopping cart. Everything fit and we started on our way home.

Everything was going well until we went to cross the set of 6 railroad tracks that were between us and home.

While crossing those tracks the back axle of our cart bent out of shape and the cart no longer wanted to roll.

Never expected much

We made it across the tracks and limped up to the next intersection where we decided that we needed to call someone for help. As Curtis pulled his phone out a guy in a big pickup truck stopped at the light and asked us if we needed any help. We let him know that we did and he pulled into the parking lot next to us and offered to give us a ride home. He and his 2 passengers helped us load our bags and fully loaded busted cart into the back of his truck and saved us from a very frustrating 2 or so miles of fighting to get our cart home.

Unfortunately, our shopping day was not yet over. We no longer had a cart to use since our most recent one only lasted through one shopping day, but we still needed to get our groceries. So we grabbed a bunch of bags and headed out to the store.

As we had finished loading our groceries into our bags and were about to start our hike back home, around midnight in the freezing cold, a guy in a car pulled up and asked us if we were planning on walking home with all that. When we told him that we were planning on walking a couple miles or so back home, he too offered us a ride. He said that he was watching us get all geared up and thought, “oh dear, that doesn’t look like it’s just for a walk across the parking lot” and decided to find out just how far we were planning on walking and see if he could help us out.

We were very grateful to both of the good samaritans that stopped and helped us out that day. Unfortunately, I probably repaid their kindness by getting them sick.

Throughout the day I had been slowly developing an annoying cough. I thought that it was probably just due to the bad air quality, but the next day I woke up sick.

The stress of the cart breaking the day before, and then once we were home for the day opening the mail to find that our dental insurance hadn’t paid as much as our dentist expected them to in 2015 and we owed them over $850 and they wanted their money in 10 days… that probably did my immune system no favors.

hahahaha-no

So I woke up with a horrible chest cold. And immediately thought that exposing those good samaritans to my illness, even though I had no idea that I was sick yet, was a really shitty way to repay them for their kindness.

I was sick with a fever ranging from 101.6 to as high as 102.9 for a few days after until my fever finally broke. At that point I was left with the chest cold from hell. People were urging me to go to a doctor, but I wasn’t going to spend money that I didn’t have for a trip to the doctor for a chest cold since the fever was gone. Not to mention that the air quality had gotten worse and I would have had to walk a couple miles, plus take public transit to get to the doctor and back. I was avoiding that horrible air outside like the plague…

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Now it’s almost a month later and I’m just now almost feeling back to normal. My voice still hasn’t returned and my cough isn’t completely gone yet, but I can tell that this illness is almost gone now.

I really hope that those nice people didn’t get as sick as I did, if they got sick at all.

 

Posted in Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Random

A few of the issues we’ve run into since moving into our new place…

We moved into our current apartment about a month and half ago. During that time we’ve run into a few issues. Here’s a list of the hiccups and annoyances that we’ve encountered.
Great Idea until packing

  1. During the move while attempting to pack the truck my husband, Curtis, “barely touched” the plastic piece that surrounds where the bulb goes on one of our rather old lamps with another piece of furniture that he was trying to shove in the truck and it basically shattered. We knew that we needed to get new lamps soon anyway, but we weren’t planning on doing it immediately after moving in.
    We spent a good amount of time after the truck was empty making sure that all the broken plastic bits were all swept out of the truck.
  2. Speaking of lamps, the night that we moved in we realized that there was no overhead light in the bedroom and that we would also be needing to buy a lamp for in there.
  3. When we were attempting to put our bed back together we originally were planning on having the headboard up against a certain wall. We quickly realized that there was only one wall that it and our nightstands would fit along though, and it was not that wall. We had to shift everything over to underneath the window. Luckily, our bed is fairly low to the ground and the headboard ends just below the window sill and doesn’t block the window at all. Opening and closing the curtains is a bit more of a hassle now though.
    Fairstone Bedroom 1-26-2016 1
  4. Once the bed was moved beneath the window, our futon would most definitely no longer be finding a home in the bedroom. I had my doubts about it fitting in the living room, but it turned out to fit much better than we expected.
  5. We have a cat. And with a cat comes a litter box. The one spot in the entire apartment that would fit his litter box was one side of the pantry in the dining room. The pantry is behind a couple of sliding doors, so we could leave one side open just enough for him to slip in and out. Only I kept finding the door leading to his litter box closed all the way. We ended up having to stick a binder clip on the door track to prevent anyone from closing the door all the way and therefore shutting the cat out of his litter box.
  6. When we went to hook up our dryer we realized that our new apartment had a 4 prong electrical outlet. Our dryer had a 3 prong plug. We made yet another trek down the street to Lowes (this store became our second home during the first couple weeks after our move we were in there so often) in the hopes of finding an adapter. Only they don’t make those sort of adapters, you have to buy a whole new dryer cord instead and switch them out. Dryer cords are expensive.
    Money can't buy happiness
  7. We realized last laundry day that we should have checked the dryer vent before we hooked up the dryer as well. I came into the laundry room to find a puddle of water on the floor by my dryer and that my clothes were taking forever to dry. So we cleaned as much lint as we could out of the dryer itself and then unhooked the dryer to clean out the vent.
    I swear that the previous tenants had to have been running their dryer without any sort of lint screen at all. Not only was the dryer vent completely blocked up with lint, but there was also inexplicably what seemed to be a wad of paper towels in there as well as other various bits of paper and what might have been a large bandage. I don’t know how they managed it and I’d hate to see the state of their dryer…
  8. And while we’re on the subject of the previous tenants, I have no idea what they could have been storing in the linen closet in the bathroom, but every time we opened it after first moving in this god awful smell would waft out. Now, I suppose it’s possible that it was the smell of the chemicals used in painting and putting down new linoleum, but after seeing the state of the dryer vent I wouldn’t be surprised if the previous tenants were at least partially responsible for that smell.
  9. The first time that we attempted to turn on the light in the laundry room we discovered that there is a vent fan in that room. A rather loud vent fan. I am still not completely sure why it’s there, though I do use it while running the dryer now, but it took me a long time to stop flipping that switch when trying to turn on the light. Especially since the switches are opposite to the way that they are set up in the bathroom. I’m convinced that at least one of the reasons it’s there is to annoy the hell out of me.
    LemurThanksYouButNo1-vi
  10. Our kitchen is nice, but it’s small. There was only one counter that our microwave would fit on, which also happened to be the only real prep space in the kitchen. This clearly wasn’t going to work out so we ended up having to build a shelf in our dining room area for our microwave. We already had to take up some space in the dining room for our chest freezer so we just built the shelf over it. We would have made a smaller shelf, but the wall brackets only come so small and the good people at Lowes were not able to cut them down to size for us. They did helpfully offer to sell us the tools to do it ourselves though. We declined.
    Fairstone Dining Room 1-26-2016 2
  11. When we first moved in we checked out the dishwasher and discovered that it wouldn’t close. Maintenance came out and said that the countertop installers never actually reattached the dishwasher to the brackets under the counter. He screwed it back in and demonstrated how the door now properly opened and closed. Once he left and we went to go and load our dishwasher for the first time however we discovered that the top rack was missing at least half of the prongs to hold the dished in place, and the ones that were still there were all rusted out. Maintenance had to come back out and replace it for us. And then Curtis had to reinstall it so that the rack would actually pull out and give us access to load the dishes.
  12. A few days ago we noticed a leak underneath the kitchen sink. It seemed small at first, until we realized that there was a layer of water under everything in there. covered the breakfast bar counter with paper towels and pulled everything out to take a look. I have no idea how long it had been like this, but the drain pipe for our second sink had come detached from the rest of the drainage pipes. Curtis made several attempts at fixing it, bumped his head and gave up. I really didn’t want to have to deal with maintenance the next day so I sat down to give it a try. I managed to to get the seal back on the pipe correctly and get everything hooked up tight again. I’m willing to bet that the countertop installers were to blame for this as well. Being able to fix the pipes myself and not having to call out maintenance was a huge victory though. Who knows when they would have come out.
  13. It’s been a really long time since we’ve had upstairs neighbors. We expected some annoyances, but we didn’t count on moving into an apartment below a child that doesn’t seem to know how to move without running and jumping and falling most of the time. Or just a child I guess…
    The adults aren’t much better some of the time either, they seem to forget that they can get from place to place without stomping. We’ve mostly gotten used to the sound of a herd of elephants above us, but there are times when I’m convinced that that child is trying to jump through our ceiling and into our apartment.
  14. We also live in a non-smoking building… but at least one of our upstairs neighbors is a smoker. We know because of all of the cigarette butts that end up on our balcony. I’m not sure if smoking is allowed on the balconies in this building or not. It wouldn’t really bother me if they would just throw away their own cigarette butts instead of dumping them on us.
  15. The first time that we used our collapsible shopping cart to walk groceries home from Costco after moving we were barely across the street from the store when we hit a curb wrong and shattered one of the front wheels. Curtis had to treat it like a reverse wheelbarrow and keep it tipped back on its back wheels for the rest of the 3 miles back home. Needless to say, we then had to order ourselves a new shopping cart.
Posted in Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Marriage, Weather

Some thoughts on our recent move…

About a month and a half ago my husband and I moved out of the 1 bedroom townhouse that we had only been living in for two years and into a 1 bedroom apartment down the road.

This is what our balcony looked like the morning of the move…

Hunters Woods Balcony 12-15-2015

Mother Nature decided to dump about six inches of snow on us the day before our move. The forecast said that it was supposed to continue to snow throughout the day of our move as well. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but it did stay well below freezing the entire day. The snow and the cold meant that we had to wear our winter boots all day while moving.

Our moving day started with a 2 mile trek through the snow and ice to the U-Haul store to pick up our truck for the day, while carrying a bundle of about 25 or so extra boxes to sell back to U-Haul. A good amount of the sidewalks had not been cleared yet, so this was far from a fun walk.

Once we had the truck, moving out of our townhouse went surprisingly quickly. We had everything out of the garage where we had staged it and into the truck in about 2 hours. Next step was getting out traumatized cat into his carrier and into the truck, and then doing a final walk-through of the townhouse to make sure we weren’t leaving anything behind.

Then it was off to our new apartment complex to wait around in the office (with our cat in his carrier. No way was I leaving him in the freezing truck.) to sign our lease and find out if all the work was done in our apartment and it was ready to be moved into. We were relieved to hear that they were actually just finishing up in our apartment and that it would be ready for us to start moving into by the time we had completed all of the paperwork.

Approximately 50,000 signatures later we were finally able to start unloading the truck. We were hoping that a couple of my husband’s coworkers were going to come over from his office across the street and help us move, but nobody showed. So we unloaded the truck by ourselves.

Unloading the truck proved to be much more time consuming than loading it had been since we had to walk farther to get things into the apartment, but considering the fact that it was just the two of us doing this move it went pretty quickly. I believe it only took us 4-5 hours to unload the truck.

Once the final box was moved out of the truck and into the apartment we drove the truck back to the U-Haul store and almost weren’t able to drive it up the hill of a driveway to park it behind the building due to all the black ice.  We somehow got it in and parked and after dropping the keys in the night drop off box it was time for us to walk the 3 miles back home.

In subfreezing temperatures.

In the dark.

That was one miserable walk.

At 11:19 pm we found ourselves sitting in a Denny’s right down the street from our new place waiting for our dinner. That was the best pot roast I have ever had.

At about 4:30 am we finally had our bed put back together and the essentials unpacked and were able to crawl into bed… to be awoken by an alarm at 9 am. The keys to our old place had to be returned that day, and spaces needed to be cleared for the Comcast home security installer that was coming that afternoon.

Moving is exhausting, and I really hope that we won’t have to do it again for many, many years, but this move did turn out to be well worth it.

First of all, the temperature in the apartment in consistent from room to room. I don’t think it’s ever gotten below 65° in this apartment. No more waking up to a bedroom and bathroom that are 50 something degrees while the rest of the apartment is at least 10 degrees warmer. Or the opposite in the summer. Not freezing in our apartment has been amazing.

Second, my husbands office is literally right across the street. A five minute walk. So much better than the 30-40 minutes that it used to take him to walk to work and back at our old place.

Third, brand new carpet and linoleum. Not to mention the fact that this bathroom actually has a door.

Fairstone Bathroom 1-26-2016 2

Fourth, brand new countertops.

Fairstone Kitchen Sink 1-26-2016

Fifth, open concept floorplan and a breakfast bar.

Fairstone Living Room 1-26-2016 6

Sixth, a walk-in closet.

Fairstone Walk-in Closet 1-26-2016 2

And seventh, a rather large patio with lots of birds that live in the bushes around it.

Brids on Fairstone patio 12-25-2015

Our cat says this is the best thing about our new place.

Teddy Bear looking out at Fairstone Patio 1-26-2016

That and the larger birds that also come to visit sometimes.

Teddy Bear and the ducks 1-26-2016