Sunday 28 August 2011


It's very hot outside and I'm in the process of repainting my deck, so, rather than put my coveralls on over jeans and a T-shirt, I just put the coveralls on. It's still hot, but the coveralls are at least baggy, so allow for air circulation. The man next door came out into his yard and said, "Why are you wearing coveralls when it's so hot?" I replied, "It beats wearing jeans." He said, "Yeah, but why don't you just go to Wal-Mart and get some cheap sweats and a T-shirt." I fail to comprehend how sweats could possibly be cooler than my coveralls. Then it dawns on me that he doesn't realize I'm only wearing coveralls, and not wearing them over something else. So I told him. I suppose maybe that was TMI, as he gave me a strange look and walked away. Maybe men don't ever wear their coveralls without any clothes underneath.
Then my niece came over to ask for my help with something. So I went over to her place with my coveralls on and my hair still in it's unkempt ponytail. Her middle boy took one look at me and said, "Aunt Laura?!?", both amused and puzzled, as he had never seen Aunt Laura looking like that.

Friday 26 August 2011

Tinker freaked out - again!

This time I was already in my bed, snuggled down, waiting for sleep to overtake me. Not a pleasant experience when your body is settling into a state of relaxation and suddenly a one-sided cat fight erupts in the living room. I'm quite sure Mystery had been in the bedroom with me, so once more, I knew he wasn't responsible either for the noise or being the catalyst for the noise. Both Mystery and I headed for the living room to discover Tinker at the window again, only this time she wasn't caught in the curtains. Then she headed for the window in the dining room. I looked out both windows but couldn't see anyone or anything unusual. Whoever or whatever it was, was obviously long gone. It's not like it's the first time another animal has wandered through our yard, so why she chose to make such a fuss about it 2 nights in a row is beyond me. If it happens again tonight, she might have to sleep in the basement. I swear that cat is schizophrenic. I told you she is weird.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Tinker has a temper!

Last night as I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed, I suddenly heard a cat yowling and snarling and growling in the living room. Mystery, who had been in the bathroom with me, and I both headed for the living room to see what was going on. Now, I admit that Tinker has never really liked any other cat but Midget. She will growl at Mystery for the mere offense of being on the same bed as her, and swat at him as he walks by. But Mystery had been in the bathroom with me, so I knew he wasn't the catalyst of the commotion. Could I have inadvertently let in a neighbourhood cat or some other creature? I didn't see how it could be possible, as I had not propped any doors open during the day, but what else was causing the uproar? Arriving in the living room, I realized that I did not want to confront an intruder - feline or otherwise - without being able to see clearly, so I headed to my bedroom, grabbed my glasses and put them on. Back in the living room, I approached Tinker, who was in front of the picture window. Not seeing any other creature, I noticed she had claws on both front paws caught in the curtains. Tinker has always had problems retracting her claws and has gotten stuck in furniture, carpet and clothing. I released her and she promptly returned to her usual self, her usual voice, rubbing against my leg and begging for attention, which she got. Note that I do not say "normal self" as Tinker is not normal, she is weird. I have known my cats to growl at another cat that they saw outside the window, but never to create such a hullabaloo. And the picture window was about a metre above the ground, so I doubted another cat outside the window was the cause. Was she having a temper tantrum because she'd gotten both front paws attached to the curtain and couldn't release herself? That wasn't fear she was displaying, it was hostility! Tinker has been known to call out in fear or uncertainty in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if she wakes up and doesn't know where I am, so she starts calling out in distress. As soon as I call to her, her voice changes to her usual voice and she comes running to the bedroom. Not sure why she can't figure out, after living with me for 9 years, that if it's the middle of the night, she can probably find me in bed. She does this occasionally during the day as well. And, once again, when she hears me respond, she changes to her "happy voice" and comes running. However, when she was hung up on the curtains, it was not her distress call she was using. Maybe she thought that nasty curtain was attacking her and she was trying to retaliate. I am still shaking my head over how she managed to get both front paws caught in the curtain. Anyway, we all survived. 

Wednesday 24 August 2011


One day, as I was sitting in my home office, I suddenly heard a cat calling in distress. The fridge was making an incredible racket (I think it was in distress, too, as it died not long afterwards), yet above this din, I was able to hear a cat, or rather a kitten as it turned out, crying. I rose and went through to the kitchen and looked out the window. There on the sidewalk in front of the house was a young kitten, meowing forlornly. And thus Midget became a part of my life. That was in the year 2000.
Midget was a highly intelligent cat with major cattitude. What joy and unconditional love he brought to my life. He has been there for me through some of the worst times in my life - my divorce and all its ensuing emotional fallout, the disastrous rebound relationship, estrangement from my daughter, the death of my brother, living in the Stinky Towel Motel for 3 months... He has been a wonderful friend - sleeping under the covers with me, licking me when there was no one to kiss me, and just making me feel special to another living creature when there was precious little else to make me feel special. He was very forgiving, even about "the rebound" who didn't like cats in the house (next time, the cats get to pick my dates). 
I never picked Midget up much because he had a painful tendency to hold on with his claws, but in late July, I happened to pick him up and was shocked by how much weight he'd lost. With 3 cats in the household, I wouldn't really notice if one wasn't eating much. He'd hadn't really appeared to be ailing much, but cats hide their suffering well. Blood tests ruled out diabetes, renal failure and thyroid problems, but revealed an alarmingly high white blood cell count. In the absence of any evidence of an infection, the most likely diagnosis was cancer. I enjoyed his company as much as possible for what little time we had left together. He continued to climb up and down the stairs, though I kept food, water and a litter box on both levels so he wouldn't have to, until the end. However, watching him, I realized he was suffering more than he let on. I wept every morning and evening and often in between, knowing that I would soon be losing one of my best friends.
Last Sunday evening, he wanted to be let outside, so I went out with him, along with his 2 feline siblings. He didn't go far, mostly just resting in the yard. Then I picked him up and carried him around for what I knew would be his last visit in our yard. Monday afternoon, I took him in for his final visit to the vet's. They were incredibly compassionate and understanding in the vet's office. They had me prepay so that I wouldn't have to return to the waiting room after his death. They had already asked me if I wanted to be with him (yes) and what I wanted to do with the body (take it home). They wrapped him in a fuzzy blue blanket (Midget loved fuzzy fabric) and took him to insert an IV catheter, then returned him to me and took us to their conference room. This was a much more comfortable and less "clinical" room than the exam rooms. They allowed us some time together to say our good-byes. Then the vet came in and gave the injection and Midget passed peacefully to his rest. They provided me with a cardboard casket to bury him in and let me keep the blanket to keep his body wrapped in. Then they let me out the back exit so that I wouldn't have to go through the waiting room. 
I dug his grave in the side yard, under the shade trees, not far from my bedroom window. Expending the physical energy was therapeutic for me. Next spring I intend to plant lily-of-the-valley and maybe a fern on his grave. Meanwhile, I painted "Midget 2000-2011" with some flowers and grass on a big rock for his gravestone. I'm no artist, but he at least has something to mark his place.
I'm crying as I write this. It is so painful. He has left an aching void in my life and I miss him terribly. 
While there is nothing in the Bible to say that our pets will be in heaven, there is also nothing that says they won't be there. The Bible does say, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. So, I believe God will give me my cats back in heaven, and I'm looking forward to seeing Midget again.