- Sommer Lovin’ October 26, 2018
“My goodness! What’s the key to her long life?” This is something we were often asked about our 19 year old kitty Sommer. 19.5 years, actually. There was no simple answer for us. She saw three siblings go before her. She has seen many vets in her life, particularly when we were traveling, and we’ve had to actually prove her age to people who thought (for some reason) we were lying.
So here’s what we did. Adopt her out of a questionable foster home and make her an indoor-only cat. Give her a fur family. She likes to bathe them. She will love them, particularly the boy kitty named Bailey. She also asks for kisses from you, so oblige and kiss her. Talk to her often. She will talk back, oftentimes at the very minute you unclick your mute button on a conference call. In fact, she’ll wait for someone on the call to say “anything else?” and she will emphatically say “MROW!”
When she’s accident-prone, bring her to the vet and explain that yes, she got her tail caught in the fan while it wasn’t even running (how did that happen?). Have her move with you through six apartments, three houses and travel with you. She will claim the loveseat as her own.
Surround her with as many pingpong balls, fur mice and scrunchie balls she wants. Give her caves. In fact, give her several caves. She loves caves. As she gets older and she sees others go before her, recognize that she actually likes being the only cat. Let her be the Cat of the House ™. Open the sliding glass doors and let her go out on walkabouts within the lanai, morning and night. Give her stars. Allow her to watch “TV” (birds in the trees, geckos in and out of the lanai). Let her stick with you like glue. Tell her she’s yours and you’re hers. Let her be the dog in cat’s clothing. Allow her to fetch and exclaim her happiness in seeing you. Have her sit on your lap while you work. She’s helping! And yeah, let her boss you around a bit and demand because gosh darnit, she’s earned it. And if on the off-chance she goes into the pool, dive in right after her and let her cuddle with you as she dries off. (Yes, this happened. Due to her anemia she lost her balance and started swimming – now proving both Kim as a hero to Sommer whereas Chris is the hero to Piper).
Give her nicknames and speak to her about cultural references. Call her Ms. Bigglesworth (Austin Powers), exclaim “You are so funny Ms. Pussycat, Ms. Pussycat!” (Tom and Jerry). Tell her she’s your KittyCAT (Wedding Crashers). And sing, “Oh, Miss Kitty, it’s YOU!” (Muppets, in your best Kermit the Frog voice).
Most of all names, call her Pretty Kitty. Tell her she will always be your pretty kitty. Tell her that the nineteen and a half years you had together were wonderful but still feel way too short. Tell her that you love her. Tell her you want her to stay longer but understand it’s time for her to go. Thank her for making you laugh and making you smile. And tell her you’ll miss her every day. Tell her that she and Bailey will be together again.
That’s the key to a good kitty life. We love you and will miss you, Pretty Kitty.
- Twisting by the Pool September 5, 2018
We haven’t updated because we’ve been working on a project. It was a labor of love. And sweat (mostly not ours). And tears (particularly when writing the checks). But we love it. We have a kidney shaped pool. We knew we wanted a pool – pretty much one of the only “musts” on our list – but after moving in, we knew it needed “umph”.
Of the two of us, Chris is the visionary. He usually sees things others don’t. While living in our first house, he saw how a big lawn with a few wimpy trees could become a garden oasis. He has a knack. He thought of making the pool a focal point as soon as you walk in. We can do things in phases, we thought. A waterfall. Then maybe a firepit. Some seating. Maybe finish the deck.
We contacted a few companies and found one that was “the one”. They had done our driveway and garage and we were pleased with the results (driveway details come later).
And then – those so-and-so’s gave us this:
We talked about phases. But then…we have bought and sold two homes. We’ve been to many places. We changed the rig around. And the one thing that taught us was that it’s best to enjoy where you live sooner rather than waiting until you’re about to move. Not that we’re moving, but you get the thought process. If you can do it, do it, if you know you will eventually. And we pictured it.
So. Eh hem. Some befores.
During. It was a messy process. They took styrofoam and covered it in concrete. It was. Well. Messy. And the pool called us for approximately a month.
And afters. Lighting was included. We also did carvings in places that meant something to us. Our ice dispenser also has a dog bowl that ice can drip into. Not that our dog will ever drink from it, but perhaps a dog that acts like a dog will.
Yes, we can change the lighting colors to anything and everything. Holidays will be FUN! We do have to post videos. It’s a sight to see. We promise!
- Old Dogs, Old Tricks May 11, 2018
After living in a motorhome for over 2 years (28 months, give or take a few days) we had to re-learn a few things. We spent about a week going in between spaces (the bed took 5 days to get major items ordered and some items to be delivered). It is fun to buy, admittedly. New stuff! More on that later.
You forget despite living in a sticks and bricks for 40+ (grumble, *cough*) years, or take care to re-teach yourself quickly. When we first moved into the rig, for example, our master bed was surrounded by the walls with only one real exit towards the end of the bed (which we furnished with a large ottoman for the dogs to jump up and down as it was HIGH for any dog, particularly if you are a chihuahua mix). When we came back to the sticks and bricks, the bed didn’t have walls up and we felt like we were going to fall out (yes we’ve stayed in hotels for work throughout the years but the bed we chose we very high!).
Piper had to relearn how to get back into and out of the bed as well. Because there weren’t two walls stopping her she tried front and both sides whereas before she went off the front. She was going to get herself killed so we had to go a little ottoman-happy (all three sides of the bed, only the head was spared because that was logistically impossible for her).
We also had to retrain ourselves to trust that we could take a shower and wash clothes at the same time without fearing the shower losing all water and water pressure. Heck, we just run the dishwasher at the same time because we can! And the clothes! We can wash a normal load of clothes without spending hours trying to dry them. We forgot about that.
Trash cannot just be taken to the dumpster when full. That part is annoying. We actually have to keep it until trash day. Oh yeah! Trash day! Forgot about that. Luckily, this place isn’t like our first two places. First two places you had to fit everything to go out in trash bins. While no trash bins should be put out (weird, to us), you can let your freak flag fly and pile everything in one big pile and they’ll pick it up. After moving in we tossed out stuff the owners “generously” left for us and they took it. The only apparent rule they have is recyclables in clear bags. Alrighty then, if you take that really ugly lamp without my bagging it or binning it.
We also have forgotten – perhaps conveniently for us – about the home maintenance. Weeding! Cleaning! More cleaning! Oh yeah. That will take more than the five minutes it took us in the coach. And our supposedly “clean” house may have been cleaner than others we’d seen while touring homes but our bare feet became filthy after a couple of hours. Nope – turns out the old homeowners never actually mopped the place. Since mopping once a week no dirty bare feet! So some things don’t change. You need to clean your home for it to be clean, kids.
There are some new tricks we’ve had to learn though. Day 5 into cleaning, and painting, and installing, we decided to bring Piper in so she could check out the digs. In her fourteen years she’s never been that close to a pool before. After walking around on leash, we decided to take her off-leash. Now mind you, Piper doesn’t do new things. When she does, she would learn from Ally and copy Ally. Ally has been gone for a year (can you believe it?) so this was all new territory for all of us. The result? SPLASH! She fell in. Chris jumped in after her and they both got out sopping wet and freezing. Did we mention it was only 60 degrees out? It was an oddly cold day. We did learn three things though 1) our dog, despite never swimming before, could swim 2) always have towels in the house, even if you have nothing else 3) in case of emergency, you want Chris (not Kim, who screamed when Piper fell in) by your side.
See? You learn something new every day.