Meet Oliver….

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the newest addition to my ‘family’ of one – Oliver.

So, for those of you who may have missed it, I have been living the solitary life for a few weeks now since my last baby, Mugzee had to be euthanized.   In that time I’ve learned a thing or two about myself….one, my life doesn’t seem normal without a pet in it.  And two, I am not a fan of being that completely alone.

I don’t want to lament about how horrible my life has been for the past month.  It really hasn’t.  I’ve spent lots of time with friends, I started that dance class I talked about, I even took myself on the now ‘officially’ titled world’s-worst-garage-sale-run-in-all-of-human-history.  (Important note:  It is always best to prepare in advance for a Garage Sale Saturday, and early starts are a plus.)

However, that’s been my life for the past month – try to stay as busy as possible outside of the house.  My home had quickly become my own personal prison.

Now, I have been determined since way before Mugzee passed that I would not – no way, no how – get another dog.  While I loved my boys dearly, they messed up my house almost daily.  I couldn’t handle that anymore.  Also, as a dog owner, I am tethered to my house for the most part unless I pay someone $20+ a day to let them sit in their house, and I just wanted to be a little freer (is that a word?) for a while.

So you know…kudos to my best friend who kept me on track with that in my weakest of moments.  There were several occasions where I would scan and debate adopting another dog to have her swoop in a little later and save the day, reminding me of my resolve.

So skip forward a few weeks……

**As a side note, I’ve been dealing with a little ‘issue’ with some raccoons in my attic (there will be a full blog post about that as soon as I get someone up in my attic to assess the damage) and as a means to capture and relocate them I have had “Haveaheart” traps in my back yard.**

So Wednesday of last week I walked outside for my nightly ‘Raccoon Roundup’ field trip.  No raccoons, but in trap number two was a cat.  I released it and being as animal-deprived as I was, and he as (I assume) grateful for release as he was, we ended up hanging out for the next hour or so.  I sat out in my back yard with him for the longest, just petting him.  Finally I went inside and he hesitantly followed me.

I had no intention of keeping him by any means, but I think on some level I just wanted that feeling of having a pet in my house.  Make it a home again – even for just a little while.  So he’s checking everything out and I’m just watching him.  It feels good to see a living being in my house again besides myself.

The next day I’m retelling my story to that same best friend when she asks, ‘Well, why don’t you just get a cat?’  We go back and forth on this topic with her heralding all the benefits of cat ownership (as she herself owns the most regal and beautiful of giant, solid white cats – Winston) as opposed to dog ownership.  We discuss the independence, the fur, the litter box….on and on.

I log onto a Facebook site where local animals are offered ‘Free to Good Home!’ on occasion and lo and behold, there he is.  This precious little furball face with these big eyes staring hopefully into the camera.  He and two siblings were left in a basket at a local vet’s office and were looking for good homes.  Merely 3 – 4 weeks old he shouldn’t have yet been separated from his momma, but here he is staring at me on Facebook.

I mean….seriously?!?!?  How could I not?

So I message the vet employee who posted them and by that afternoon he was mine!

He’s so young that I bottle feed him.  This girl who has never owned a cat as an adult is now caring for this brand new one that probably doesn’t even realize that’s what he is yet!

On Day 1 (Friday) he came to work with me.  He was so brand new – to life and to me – that I couldn’t just leave him at home by himself.  That day I got tons of pointers from several co-workers who turned out to be cat lovers.  He barely ate all day and that concerned me.  Every time he woke up or walked around I would shove a bottle in his face.  I was so worried I wasn’t doing something right!  That night I went to dinner with friends and upon returning home he ate like he’d been starved all day.  Problem solved!

Today is Day 6 and I’m guessing that makes Oliver either 4 or 5 weeks old.  I must say, I’ve had a great time with him already!  I don’t know if this is just typical ‘cat’ or if he’s the best mannered genius of a kitten ever born.  (I’m leaning towards the latter in my most unbiased of opinions.)  Regardless, I’m thrilled with him.

In just these few days I’ve already seen so much progress from him.  When I first got him he was so wobbly when he walked.  It was obviously a brand new skill for him.


Today, though he’s still a little unsure of himself, he struts all over my house.  Yesterday afternoon he even attempted his first leap, which was entertaining.

Oh, and each day he comes up with some new form of playing.  At first he would just bat softly at my finger, over the weekend he would nibble a little and even bat after a ball or feather.  Just yesterday he began some form of what I can only assume is ‘Murder/Death/Kill’ where he will wrap his front paws around his bottle or my hand and bite it while scratching at it with his back nails.  Yeah, that’s a fun one.  Personally, I’m looking forward to the next game.  Unfortunately, he seems to get much enjoyment from this one.

His favorite nap spot is either on my shoulder or in my hair.  I have to admit, this I kind of love.  And when he wakes he’ll roll over on his back and bat softly at my chin or hair like a little ‘Good morning!’.

He’s barely beginning to taste some solid (soft) cat food.  His teeth aren’t all in yet so it’s a bit of a process right now.  And we’re also working on the litter box training although he’s picking that up quite easily on his own.  He’s already using it if I’ll put him in it, but this morning he actually walked to it, got in, and used it all himself!  I was quite proud.

I think I’m really gonna enjoy this new endeavor with Oliver.  I’m loving it already.

Beachin’ It

I was browsing through my pictures this morning and realized I took a trip to the beach recently that I’ve already forgotten all about.  You know why I forgot all about it?  Because I spent the entire trip – after day 1 – in the condo with a monstrous head cold.  This normally doesn’t sideline me, but there was also the edge of a tropical storm barreling down the coast with 50 – 60 MPH winds (I think).  Talk about timing!!!

You know what ruins your beach fun more than a tropical storm?  A tropical storm with a head cold cherry on top.  So I spent my time sniffling and sleeping, curled up on in a chair or on the couch or in my bed.

We will not get into why four grown, seemingly intelligent women took themselves down to the beach with an impending tropical storm headed our way instead of running in the opposite direction  like other sane people would do.

Alas, I was not able to take my usual 724 pictures of waves, seagulls, or sand.  Bummer!  But on Day 1 I did manage to take two pretty good pictures.

This was day 1.  Since watching the beach from my condo was about the only thing I could be bothered enough to do, I entertained myself by checking the progression of this chair each morning.  On Day 2 the chair was buried about halfway up in sand.  On Day 3 you could only see the top 3 inches or so, and on Day 4 it was completely covered.  Today, in my healthy state, this sounds extremely boring.  I can assure you at the time it was like watching National Geographic!

Just go with it, ok?

So after I take the obligatory 13 or so pictures of that chair, I wander down the beach.  The storm has not officially arrived yet but the waves are high, water is rough, sky is gray.  There’s not really much to photograph but I can always find something.  This time it was the wheat grass.

Some of you may scoff at the sight of those “high” waves.  It’s Alabama.  Give me a break.  It usually looks like a river out there.