Old Habits

Oct. 12th, 2012 10:30 am
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I work at home and have for a while. There are times when [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise, Katie, and Julie aren't at home and I open the office door and walk out into a quiet house.

And my first thought is still frequently, "I wonder where the cat is."

And then I remember.

*sigh*

Fuzzbucket

Sep. 7th, 2012 09:55 pm
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By now, you've probably seen elsewhere that [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat passed away last night. He was sixteen years old, as nearly as we can tell, since we adopted him as a feral kitten from a litter that one of the customers at the bank had caught and was looking for good homes for.

[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise wanted a cat with a big plumy tail and Fuzzbucket had that in spades. Except he wasn't so much our cat then: he imprinted on Sasha, Gretchen's mother's (Victoria's) dog. He would follow the dog anywhere, even when he was getting whacked in the face by her wagging tail. Because Sasha was devoted to Victoria, Fuzzbucket tolerated her. The rest of us, he pretty much avoided when possible.

Fuzzbucket liked to go outside and we weren't going to stop him. We'd had him front-foot declawed for the sake of Smudge, my increasingly elderly cat who was similarly equipped. This somehow did not stop him from getting to the top of the recently-planted pin oak in the back yard. (Gretchen: "Look out your window." Bill, looking out the upstairs window at something swaying desperately back and forth at the top of tree: "What's that?" Gretchen: "It's Fuzzbucket." Bill: "You've got to be kidding. How'd he do that?" Sheer rugged determination, I guess.)

After Sasha and then Victoria died in the space of four days, we wondered if we'd see him again after the next time we let him out. But he came back. And not too much later, Gretchen woke to see him sleeping warily at the foot of our bed, although he fled immediately when he saw that she'd noticed him.

One night, Gretchen went out to pick up the pizza for dinner. When she came in from the garage, I warned her, "Don't drop the pizza." Fuzz had hopped up into my lap as I sat in the recliner chair and was getting well-petted for the first time in a long time. We concluded that I was the most dog-like thing in the house, so I was now the object of his affection. But he fairly quickly learned to love Gretchen too. And later, he was very fond of [livejournal.com profile] catalana who was his favorite lap whenever she came to visit.

His life was fairly settled for the next six years until Katie and then Julie arrived on the scene. Much time was spent teaching them to treat the poor cat well. In the last year or so of his life, he'd -- cautiously! -- let the girls pet him.

As he got older, he went out less and less, which wasn't a surprise. And he was always a very dog-like cat, having been well trained by Sasha to beg for food (which he frequently would fail to eat) and to drink out of the toilet bowl (which he would do quite often, as the water was always nice and cold).

Fuzz slept with us every night until the day about a month ago that he peed on the bed twice in one day, the second time when I had crawled out of bed at 2 AM to eat leftover pizza which I had refused to share with him. I took him to the vet for a check up. He had lost about three pounds in the last year and was less than half of what he'd weighed when he was a healthy youngster. We gave him a course of antibiotics and he perked up a bit, but he was now permanently exiled from all of the bedrooms, because we were running out of mattress pads. (And when he did get access to the girls' bedroom a few times, we got to do another round of laundry.)

He didn't look at all well when we got back from Worldcon.

Thursday night, he lay down in front of the warm oven where Gretchen was making dinner. I scratched his head a bit, but he was just very tired. Later that evening, Gretchen went down to sit with him while I put Katie to bed. He climbed up on the couch and let her rub his head for a while, then hopped down and walked off to lie down.

And this morning, he didn't get up.

I will miss him.
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat has developed an annoying habit when we go out of town. He proceeds to pee and poop where he sleeps. Since that spot is our bed, it's really annoying to come home to. Other beds also appear to be fair game.

As a result, we close all of the other bedrooms when we leave, but we don't want to close off our bedroom because -- well, it's where he sleeps and we don't want to find out how he'd take out his wrath upon us if we did.

Instead, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise bought a flat, waterproof mattress pad that we can cover the bed with. This protects the rest of the bed from the Bucket's depredations, but results in one really stinky mattress pad. We've used it four or five times now and despite our best efforts at destinking it, Katie immediately noticed the smell when asked to carry it upstairs from the basement. Sadly, she was all too correct, so it stayed in the basement these past few weeks.

Tonight, I threw it into the laundry with detergent and two scoops of Oxy-Clean. I now have a clean, dry, non-stinky mattress pad.

I guess it does work. :)
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So the other morning, Julie was sick and the contents of her bottle left her stomach and ended up on our bed, which meant we got to wash much of the bedding, but not the comforter. Katie solved that problem the next day, by getting sick on our comforter, but none of the rest of the bed.

Last night, Julie was sick on the bed in the guest bedroom. That bedding still needs to be washed.

It's become a lower priority, because [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat has decided, in solidarity with the younger members of the family, to pee on our bed tonight. So that bedding has gone to the laundry room and about half of it is in the washer. The bedding that I washed previously has come back up and been placed on the bed.

Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise is feeling sick to her stomach.

*sigh*

So far, I've dodged this bullet.
billroper: (Default)
So the other morning, Julie was sick and the contents of her bottle left her stomach and ended up on our bed, which meant we got to wash much of the bedding, but not the comforter. Katie solved that problem the next day, by getting sick on our comforter, but none of the rest of the bed.

Last night, Julie was sick on the bed in the guest bedroom. That bedding still needs to be washed.

It's become a lower priority, because [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat has decided, in solidarity with the younger members of the family, to pee on our bed tonight. So that bedding has gone to the laundry room and about half of it is in the washer. The bedding that I washed previously has come back up and been placed on the bed.

Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise is feeling sick to her stomach.

*sigh*

So far, I've dodged this bullet.

Home Again

Sep. 21st, 2009 11:58 pm
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After almost exactly a twelve hour drive, we got home about an hour ago. Now we're cleaning up the collateral cat damage, as the door to Katie's room that I carefully closed before leaving wasn't closed when we got back.

Bad kitty.

And now Gretchen is giving the girls a bath while I dig through a lifetime supply of work-related e-mail.

Home Again

Sep. 21st, 2009 11:58 pm
billroper: (Default)
After almost exactly a twelve hour drive, we got home about an hour ago. Now we're cleaning up the collateral cat damage, as the door to Katie's room that I carefully closed before leaving wasn't closed when we got back.

Bad kitty.

And now Gretchen is giving the girls a bath while I dig through a lifetime supply of work-related e-mail.
billroper: (Default)
Last night around midnight, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise said to me, "Where's [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat?" And we compared notes and realized that we hadn't seen him all day, nor had he woken me up at sunrise that morning. I also realized that this might have something to do with why I hadn't been beaten up by Fuzzbucket over the litter scoop that Katie had thrust into his pan, blocking the entrance.

So we took turns going down and calling out the back door and checking all the closets and the basement. No cat. Now Fuzz has stayed out overnight before and for more than one night as well, but not in a very long time. I was pretty worried. When I woke up at 5 AM, I went down to call for him again, but still no Fuzz.

This morning, I suggested to Gretchen that she call the local Humane Society to see if someone had picked him up. This seemed unlikely unless he were badly injured, but I'd lost one cat to the outdoors with no further final resolution and I really didn't want to lose another the same way.

As I headed off to work, I stuck my head out the patio door. "Fuzzbucket! Here Fuzz!"

And I heard a rustling and a "Meow! Meow!"

About 15 seconds later, he popped over the fence to my right and ambled into the house, walking past me, and up the stairs to flop on the bed with Gretchen. Showed me, I suppose.

I'll let him out again, of course. He wouldn't be happy if I didn't.

And if you love something, sometimes you need to let it go free. Even if it means that you may never know what happened to it.
billroper: (Default)
Last night around midnight, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise said to me, "Where's [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat?" And we compared notes and realized that we hadn't seen him all day, nor had he woken me up at sunrise that morning. I also realized that this might have something to do with why I hadn't been beaten up by Fuzzbucket over the litter scoop that Katie had thrust into his pan, blocking the entrance.

So we took turns going down and calling out the back door and checking all the closets and the basement. No cat. Now Fuzz has stayed out overnight before and for more than one night as well, but not in a very long time. I was pretty worried. When I woke up at 5 AM, I went down to call for him again, but still no Fuzz.

This morning, I suggested to Gretchen that she call the local Humane Society to see if someone had picked him up. This seemed unlikely unless he were badly injured, but I'd lost one cat to the outdoors with no further final resolution and I really didn't want to lose another the same way.

As I headed off to work, I stuck my head out the patio door. "Fuzzbucket! Here Fuzz!"

And I heard a rustling and a "Meow! Meow!"

About 15 seconds later, he popped over the fence to my right and ambled into the house, walking past me, and up the stairs to flop on the bed with Gretchen. Showed me, I suppose.

I'll let him out again, of course. He wouldn't be happy if I didn't.

And if you love something, sometimes you need to let it go free. Even if it means that you may never know what happened to it.
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise has been spending far too much time at I Can Has Cheezburger, which I must admit is pretty funny when I remember to do so. And I recalled that I had a perfectly good picture for the purpose...

funny pictures
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise has been spending far too much time at I Can Has Cheezburger, which I must admit is pretty funny when I remember to do so. And I recalled that I had a perfectly good picture for the purpose...

funny pictures
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] bedlamhouse and [livejournal.com profile] ladyat were led astray by Mapquest which sent them through the center of Chicago on their way to our house. As a result, they were late getting here and we missed seeing the top of the first inning at Wrigley yesterday, during which the Brewers scored four runs on their way to a 13-4 victory. I still blame Sutton, although I'll give Mapquest an assist.

After the game, we collected Katie from our neighbor's daughter who was babysitting, grabbed some dinner, and headed home for conversation and eventual collapse. Bill and Brenda had to leave at 7 AM (while we were still asleep), so we had a fairly normal Sunday, save for time spent in the basement cleaning up the Bilbo adventures that had eaten through one of the vent pipes in the heating system.

Lenny is coming tomorrow to replace the wrecked pipe. We've thrown out a bunch of stuff. And I'm not sure what we're going to do about the dry wall...
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] bedlamhouse and [livejournal.com profile] ladyat were led astray by Mapquest which sent them through the center of Chicago on their way to our house. As a result, they were late getting here and we missed seeing the top of the first inning at Wrigley yesterday, during which the Brewers scored four runs on their way to a 13-4 victory. I still blame Sutton, although I'll give Mapquest an assist.

After the game, we collected Katie from our neighbor's daughter who was babysitting, grabbed some dinner, and headed home for conversation and eventual collapse. Bill and Brenda had to leave at 7 AM (while we were still asleep), so we had a fairly normal Sunday, save for time spent in the basement cleaning up the Bilbo adventures that had eaten through one of the vent pipes in the heating system.

Lenny is coming tomorrow to replace the wrecked pipe. We've thrown out a bunch of stuff. And I'm not sure what we're going to do about the dry wall...
billroper: (Default)
Thank you everyone for the good thoughts and reassurances about Bilbo. It helps.
billroper: (Default)
Thank you everyone for the good thoughts and reassurances about Bilbo. It helps.
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise let Bilbo out of the bathroom this morning and went and sat on the couch with him purring on one knee and Katie sitting on the other. A little before ten, I put him in the cat carrier and took him to see the vet.

The nurse weighed him. Bilbo was down to four-and-a-half pounds, pretty much skin and bones. The vet looked at the growth in his ear and gave him a shot of a sedative so that he'd relax and sleep, since he clearly wasn't happy being at the vet.

We talked briefly. There really wasn't anything they could do to fix his problems. And it was time for him to go.

We'll get his ashes back later and sprinkle them under the maple tree with his sister, Shvaughn.
billroper: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise let Bilbo out of the bathroom this morning and went and sat on the couch with him purring on one knee and Katie sitting on the other. A little before ten, I put him in the cat carrier and took him to see the vet.

The nurse weighed him. Bilbo was down to four-and-a-half pounds, pretty much skin and bones. The vet looked at the growth in his ear and gave him a shot of a sedative so that he'd relax and sleep, since he clearly wasn't happy being at the vet.

We talked briefly. There really wasn't anything they could do to fix his problems. And it was time for him to go.

We'll get his ashes back later and sprinkle them under the maple tree with his sister, Shvaughn.
billroper: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, I'm taking our older cat, Bilbo, to the vet. A year and a half ago, we took him in because he had some teeth that were so rotten that he was in too much pain to eat. The only thing he would eat was cream cheese which he would lick off my finger. The vet was reluctant to put him under anesthesia, especially because his blood work indicated that he probably had a lymphoma somewhere, but we decided to chance it.

As it happened, Bilbo came through the surgery just fine and resumed normal eating, although we did give him canned food from then on. It was some time after that that we found out where the lymphoma was, as a large red mass appeared in his left ear. We pretty much assumed that there wasn't anything that the vet could do for it and it didn't seem to bother him, so we left it be.

The problem with that was that periodically it would bleed dramatically. That could be dealt with. It's now to the point where it leaks fluid fairly continuously, leaving ichor wherever he goes, including on his head. It also occasionally mats in his fur, where [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise has had to cut them out, giving Bilbo a rather patchy appearance. We had to start locking him in the downstairs bathroom at night to keep him from crawling on top of a sleeping Gretchen for warmth in the winter.

At this point, he could play Mrs. Norris in any Harry Potter film, given how disheveled that cat is supposed to look. With Ron's luck with familiars, obviously someone should gift him with Bilbo. But I digress...

We thought that the tumor would eventually take him, but it hasn't. And he can't continue to have the tumor. It won't work.

So tomorrow, Bilbo is going to the vet where they will try to do something about the tumor. And he may not wake up from the anesthesia.

Bilbo was Gretchen's mother's cat. He came to us when she did and has outlasted her by nearly seven years.

And tomorrow, the outcome is not likely to be good.
billroper: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, I'm taking our older cat, Bilbo, to the vet. A year and a half ago, we took him in because he had some teeth that were so rotten that he was in too much pain to eat. The only thing he would eat was cream cheese which he would lick off my finger. The vet was reluctant to put him under anesthesia, especially because his blood work indicated that he probably had a lymphoma somewhere, but we decided to chance it.

As it happened, Bilbo came through the surgery just fine and resumed normal eating, although we did give him canned food from then on. It was some time after that that we found out where the lymphoma was, as a large red mass appeared in his left ear. We pretty much assumed that there wasn't anything that the vet could do for it and it didn't seem to bother him, so we left it be.

The problem with that was that periodically it would bleed dramatically. That could be dealt with. It's now to the point where it leaks fluid fairly continuously, leaving ichor wherever he goes, including on his head. It also occasionally mats in his fur, where [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise has had to cut them out, giving Bilbo a rather patchy appearance. We had to start locking him in the downstairs bathroom at night to keep him from crawling on top of a sleeping Gretchen for warmth in the winter.

At this point, he could play Mrs. Norris in any Harry Potter film, given how disheveled that cat is supposed to look. With Ron's luck with familiars, obviously someone should gift him with Bilbo. But I digress...

We thought that the tumor would eventually take him, but it hasn't. And he can't continue to have the tumor. It won't work.

So tomorrow, Bilbo is going to the vet where they will try to do something about the tumor. And he may not wake up from the anesthesia.

Bilbo was Gretchen's mother's cat. He came to us when she did and has outlasted her by nearly seven years.

And tomorrow, the outcome is not likely to be good.
billroper: (Default)
My food allergy has bitten me again, which means I need to be very careful about what I eat for the next week or so. I tried taking Benadryl this morning to see if it would help and it really didn't seem to help much, but it did make me feel even more cruddy. Right now, I've just got enough swelling in the hands and face to be uncomfortable.

I'm also minus on sleep, as [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbucket_cat decided to start walking all over the top of me around 5:30 AM. So when it got to be 3 PM at work and the network still wasn't working right, which meant that I wasn't getting any significant work done anyway, I told Doug I was going home.

Two and a half hours of nap later, I'm still swollen, but more coherent.

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