Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts

27 June 2022

Ode To Fluffy

I walked out into the backyard last evening and sent a wish into the universe: "Please bring my Fluffy home." Less than an hour later our neighbor knocked on the door to tell us they found Fluffy, who had been missing for a week, in the alley behind our house. Perhaps I should have been more specific and asked for Fluffy to be found alive, although at the time I sent out my wish, it was much too late for that.

We are going to bury him in the UP during our family vacation week. He loved it there. And we will learn to live with the Fluffy-sized hole in our hearts. We'll miss the Flufster terribly.


13 June 2014

All Cats Look Gray in The Dark

Now that we have traded in the trendy industrial neighborhood for a residential one, we run into typical residential issues. For instance our neighbors have cats, just like we do. And their cats are curious, just like ours are. So when they see the basement window ajar, to accommodate the hose pumping out the flooded basement, they venture inside to explore our home. And no doubt, help themselves to the cat food in the kitchen.

While the humans are very friendly towards the neighborhood pets, the animals are not. The older, grumpier cat in particular. Sandman howls at the intruders in a way that makes your hair stand up straight. Naturally this occurs in the middle of the night. And when he’s chased them off, he turns on the young, happy-go-lucky cat relatively new to our household and howls and hisses at him. Makes for long nights, I tell ya.

It has made me wonder if Sandman’s eyesight might be failing. I cannot discuss this with Ryan because he does not want to consider the fact that his boy is fourteen years old now, a most respectable age. But being an older cat comes with some problems. When he thinks no-one is looking, he obviously has trouble with jumping onto chairs. He has stopped hunting a while ago. He will walk straight at me but jump with four feet in the air when I call his name.

The other night he walked up to Fluffy ever so cautiously, with his ears flat against his head. When he was about a foot away from him, he visibly relaxed in an “Oh, it’s you” kind of way and walked off. That really convinced me he can no longer see very well. There is no visible sign of cataracts, or any other obvious eye problem. Perhaps I should perform some of the cat vision tests I found on the web. Yes, they do exist and no, they do not involve a chart.

Then again, we just moved into a new house where nothing is where it should be. And Sandman is not bumping into any boxes or furniture. Perhaps he’s just grabbing his chance to beat up the little pest that has forced him to share snuggles, attention, and food. I wouldn't put it past him. Most likely things will settle down when we unpack all those boxes and the house starts looking more like a home instead of a warehouse. It will certainly improve my mood.

04 June 2014

Back By Popular Demand

I was recently requested on Facebook to do a little blogging. I guess I should if I mean to keep this online diary somewhat up to date. And in truth, we have had some big changes around here since my last post. (My butt is all better, by the way, though it took a lot longer than seven to ten days.)

Big Change One

Santa Claus brought Lola a kitten for Christmas. She really, really, really wanted one and he caved, knowing that Sandman is still not a fan of her and she does love animals so. Fluffy, who also goes by the name Junior, is a cute little puffball. Contrary to what the book says about Birman cats, he is a very vocal cat. We try to train him to be quiet, by spraying him with water when he gets out of control, but it does us little good. He does seem to have developed a love for bathtubs and holds no grudges whatsoever about the water. Sandman has warmed up to him, after pouting for a little bit, and while they do not snuggle, they do play together every day.

Big Change Two

After many frustrating and fruitless attempts to find gainful employment in Milwaukee, I have finally returned to work. I too work for our friendly local cable provider now, just like my husband. After two weeks of intense training, I am learning the job on the job. I am in the quality control business now, where my attention to detail and somewhat anal tendencies are put to good use. It’s fun. I like my colleagues and for the first time in my life, I can ride my bike to work. Not that I have, but I could if I wanted to.

Big Change Three

We have moved. Again. As soon as it became obvious we would be staying in Milwaukee for a while, we started looking for a place of our own. Our apartment was fabulous, but the price tag was not, and there were a few other things as well. We bought a cute little house a couple of blocks down the street and we moved into it last weekend. You would think with all this moving experience we would know better than to underestimate the job, but no. However, it’s done and the place looks like a hoarder’s paradise. After three days of searching for it, I have finally located the missing coffee maker. Next on the docket is creating a path to the cable outlets so that our friendly local cable provider can transfer our services.

So much for the most recent adventures from the Southside. I am sure there is more, and who knows, perhaps I will be a little more disciplined in the future and post on a semi regular basis again. Maybe even include a few pictures. Just as soon as I can find my computer. And the charger. And my camera. And the cable to connect my camera to the computer…

20 September 2012

Squeaky Toys

Before Sandman was introduced to Wisconsin winters, he was a year round outdoor cat and a formidable hunter. In his early years he was even made to wear a bell on his collar, to give the local birds a sporting chance. These days, he’s more of a comfort creature. He likes staying indoors when temperatures drop, even if that means using a litter box. And hunting? Not so much. Nowadays, he just likes to sit under a bush and watch the wildlife instead of running after it.

The other day I was sitting outside, enjoying the late summer sun, when Sandman came walking towards me. When I called his name, he seemed genuinely surprised to find me there and I wondered if his eyesight could possibly be starting to fail. Perhaps that’s why he’s stopped hunting. Lola immediately wanted to have his eyes tested and was very disappointed when I explained cats don’t read eye charts. When I mentioned it to Ryan, he was insulted on behalf of his boy. How dare I suggest such a thing?

And as if to prove Ryan right, that night Sandman brought home a little rabbit. The offspring of the rabbit we chased away earlier this year. Or so we thought. We had noticed her hopping around this summer but she didn’t bother with our vegetable garden so we didn’t bother with her. When I found the rabbit, it was already dead. Baby bunnies are so cute; I couldn’t help but feel sad, even though the last thing I want is an entire family of rabbits living in the backyard. Really, Sandman had done us a favor.

The next night, as I was putting Lola to bed, I heard a noise that sounded like a squeaky toy outside her bedroom door. We don’t have squeaky toys in our house. When I went to investigate, I found another baby rabbit sitting in the door opening to my bedroom. This present from Sandman was still alive. While I locked the cat in the closet, Ryan caught the rabbit and took it back to its home. Only to be caught again by Sandman the very next day. Two down. Could there be more?

Why yes. Of course there were more. We're talking rabbits after all. Yesterday Lola and I walked into the house and found bunny number three dead in the hallway. We had not told Lola about the other ones, but there was no hiding this one from her. She wasn’t as upset as I thought she would be, but she did want Sandman punished for this awful deed. I seized the opportunity to educate her on rudimentary Darwinism although I phrased it a little different.

And now we wait to see if there are even more bunnies. I really hope not. I'm done cleaning up little corpses.

11 August 2011


Lola was cutting up a storm yesterday afternoon. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was cutting up fake food for Sandman. She was going to set out a bowl filled with her paper snippets and wait for him to go: "Hey! What is this?"

I am pretty sure that is exactly what he was saying when I heard him meow at four o'clock in the morning.

15 May 2010

Extreme Make Over, Cat Edition

Meet Sandman. Our handsome, ten year old fuzzy friend. He loves the outdoors, hunting, bird watching, and sleeping. He eats lap dogs for breakfast, despises big dogs, other cats, raccoons, and small children. Despite his best efforts, he has never caught a gray or a red squirrel. He has however dragged plenty of other critters into the house; chipmunks, mice, garter snakes, birds, and once even a flying squirrel.

When I first flew out to Washington for a visit, Sandman and I hit it off immediately. However, after I moved in permanently, we fought a little tug of war over Ryan. Every time Ryan and I would sit down together, Sandman would squeeze himself in between the two of us and laid his paw on Ryan's leg, telling me Ryan was his. It didn't last very long. As soon as he realized he now had someone to keep him company during the day, he warmed up to me. We have been buddies ever since.

His gorgeous long locks protect him from the elements in the colder months of the year, but can be a bit of a burden during the summer. Not only does he get very hot on the warmer days, his hair tangles to dreads, especially on his belly. And if you value your life and limbs, you keep the brush away from that belly. His fur is also a haven for fleas and lately, for ticks. The little buggers frequently hitch a ride in his pelt, sneaking their way into the house. The obvious answer to this problem is a haircut.

Ryan had Sandman's hair cut once before, about five years ago, a buzz cut of his body. His head, tail, and paws were left untouched. Evidently Sandman put up a bit of a fight, because the groomer never wanted to see him again. Last week things went very smooth. In addition to the haircut, he received a mani/pedi and a bath. His groomer loved him, and took the haircut a step further than simply shaving his back and belly. It's a bit of a change, but he has never looked more dashing, albeit very skinny! To avoid any self consciousness on his part, we have given him lots of love and attention. He revels in it.

Are you anxious to see what he looks like? Of course you are. Without further ado, I give you The Lion King...

I just love his tail! What do you think?

24 March 2009

Bad To The Bone

Speaking of manly men; Chewy, the company dog, is back for a few days. He went to live with his dad a couple of weeks ago. It was awfully quiet at Bello Modo without him. Yesterday morning he came tearing through the door with Shelly and her dog Maliika. A very pleasant surprise. However, he ran right past me, never acknowledging my presence.

His dad has bought him a new collar. A really tough looking collar made of black leather with metal studs. It makes him look very manly. And evidently does wonders for his self confidence. His lapdog days appear to be over. No more of that girly touchy feely stuff like saying hello and being really happy to see us. No, he completely ignored us, stole Maliika's bone AND her bed, and spent the morning chewin' and chillin'.

He is still a wuss about getting wet though.

04 February 2009

Company Benefits

The advantages of working in an online store are plentiful. Flexible hours, flexible office, and every day is Casual Friday. And, if you happen to own one, you can bring your dog to work. Ryan and I are cat people, and our cat doesn't care for dogs. He therefore never accompanies me to work.

However, Bello Modo has a Company Dog, Chewy. On days like today, when I am at the store all by myself because Pam and Shelly are in Arizona for two bead shows, he checks in on me on a regular basis. He is a very gentle dog, a bit needy even. A typical case of a 'my bark is worse than my bite' dog.

Until he gets a ball. Or a stick. Once he has it, he does not let go. He totally loses himself in play. You are in great danger of losing a body part, I have been told. So earlier today, when he wanted to play outside, and I wanted to be outside too on account of the glorious weather we're having (the Groundhog got it wrong, it almost feels like Spring!), I was very careful not to put my hands anywhere near his mouth. Fortunately, all you really have to do is pretend to make a move for the ball. He'll take off and run like he's being chased by the Devil. And since he's a little out of shape, he wears himself out in no-time without too much effort on my part. Which is good because I am a little out of shape too.

Afterward, Chewy passed out in his bed in the back of the store where he snored up a storm. And occasionally farted. He's such a charmer.