Tag Archives: cats

There’s something about pet cemeteries

ship cat

n Memory of Simon, Served as ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst – Simon’s heroic ratting saving the crew from starvation during the hundred days the ship spent trapped by Communists on the Yangtze River in 1949. Simon was originally the Captain’s cat, a privileged creature who fished ice cubes out of his water jug and crunched them, but after he survived being blown up along with the Captain’s cabin, he was promoted to ‘Able Seacat’ and became pet of the whole crew. Unfortunately, the decision to bring the feline hero back to Britain proved the end of him as he caught cat flu in quarantine and died. http://spitalfieldslife.com/2018/03/18/at-the-pet-cemetery/

Jeanne sent me an email with a blog post about a pet cemetery in the UK dating back almost a century:   http://spitalfieldslife.com/2018/03/18/at-the-pet-cemetery/.    Maybe because I’ve lost so many cats so dear to me over the past few years, but it really struck home.     I rarely get an emotional reaction when I visit human cemeteries, but by golly, a click to that blog did the job.

cemetery entrance

Unfortunately, the Ilford Pet Cemetery is currently closed to visitors due to safety concerns after a Eucalyptus tree was brought down by the snow, but you can contribute to a fund to remove the tree and reopen the cemetery by clicking here http://spitalfieldslife.com/2018/03/18/at-the-pet-cemetery/

For those who have read this blog for several years, but don’t recall their demise, Shiva the cow cat died while we were with Jeanne back when I was trying to finish dying on her couch in Olathe.     She’s buried in the backyard of the house where she first arrived in Kansas and had her litter of kittens.

Shiva in bathtub

This was taken when we lived in the mountains in Placitas, New Mexico. Shiva hadn’t yet graduated to the lofty status of ‘the cow cat’. That came later during the several years we spent together on a ranch in Central Texas.

Hydrox Top Cat RIP

Hydrox, Top Cat, RIP 2016, found his burial place among the ruins of out-buildings at the Blackjack Battlefield. That’s where John Brown and his followers attacked a group of pro-slavery settlers in an incident some prefer to believe was the ‘real’ first battle of the Civil War. It’s a middling distance from Leavenworth, but when I can trust the car I visit him as frequently as possible.

 

A couple of good cats just vanished from my life this century.    There was Mehitabel #3, whom I eventually found the hairy tufts of at the base of a telephone pole in Grants, New Mexico, where eagles often perched.    And:

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Andrews, Texas, December 2013, when I was going through my diagnostic challenges with the VA in Odessa and Big Spring…. I suppose that was the most difficult aside from Hydrox, and the fact she’s in some anonymous grave in the sorriest part of Texas anyone’s likely to find anywhere probably suffices.     During those times I thought I might join her at any moment.

So I’m inclined to think those pet cemeteries, though mawkish, are something of a plus.     If we’re lucky we’ll have a lot of animalcules to share parts of our lives, and over the decades we’ll endure the consequence of their lives being so much shorter than humans.     Knowing they’re lying in some prepared spot where we can visit them if we wish, shed a few tears, and say a few more goodbyes seems worthy of them.

Old Jules

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Mister Midnight’s flaw

mr midnight bracelet 2 all

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by.

A cat only has so much dignity he can hold on to. We all know that. So imagine how tough life must be for a black cat forced to go through life with a silver bracelet of hair on one of his back legs.
mr midnight bracelet
Naturally I find myself trying to grab that leg for a closer look at it. And naturally he’s become particularly sensitive about it.

Oh yeah, I tell him it’s great, it’s what I like about him. What makes him special. But every time I grab for it to have a better look, the tries to jerk it away, sometimes even bites at me an hisses.

Because deep down, no matter what I say, Mister Midnight knows the truth.

Old Jules

Cats can’t sing either

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Hydrox has become a frequent singer in his dotage.  Jeanne described the ones happening several times per night lately as ‘annoying’.  And I haven’t found a way to discourage him doing it, nor thought of any explanation.

I tend to think he misses being around several cats, possibly [especially] Niaid, his litter-mate who went on permanent mouse patrol slightly over a year ago in Andrews, Texas.  We were all together 17 years, so I’d imagine if a cat’s capable of ‘missing’ another creature Niaid is one of his night songs.

On the other hand, it’s clear Shiva is a part of all this.  He’ll walk over and sit on the floor in front of the chair where she’s sleeping and begin the serenade until he runs out of lyrics.  Sometimes it’s Sweet Betsy from Pike, other times Otis Redding or Roy Orbison.  Fortunately that usually happens during the hours of daylight.

The night songs seem to be triggered by dreams, or by Shiva creeping through the living room where Hydrox and I bed down.  She has to go by here on the way to the litter box, a few laps of water, or to check out the food dishes.  And there’s no way she’s getting past here without the keen ears of Hydrox detecting it, head jerking around to stare.

Usually he’ll contemplate what he’s seen until she passes on her return trip.  Then he’ll jump to the floor and follow her with his immortal prose or a few stanzas of Pretty Woman Walk on By.  Or My Girl.

If he had a better command of English and had ever shown any signs of being susceptible to reasoned argument or persuasion I’d try it.  But a whispered 2:00 am yell at him only results in a brief pause and stare.  Getting up and chasing him around also only gets me back under the blankets with my teeth chattering and him carrying on where he left off.

Maybe I misinterpreting the song.  Hydrox might just be saying, “This getting old is hell.  I surely do miss ambition.”

Cyrano de Bergerac remembering the moon.

Old Jules

 

The futility of pessimism

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I swan, every time I get feeling low and remorseful, which I mostly don’t, I just can’t hold onto it.  Slips right between my fingers the way a broken egg gets away from a person.  Doesn’t even leave any particles of eggshell hanging around to try to pick away so’s to save the goo.

What I’m saying is I could get used to this.  Something awful.  Here I am, snow outside, me inside.  Jeanne never lets it get below 63 degrees F here in the house, which isn’t something I’ve experienced since sometime before Y2K.  And I’m having to count calories instead of just counting miniscule particles of sodium.

Heck, when I checked into the hospital here almost a year ago I weighed in at 145 lbs, and didn’t have an ounce of body fat.  Fasting before medical tests was agony.  And here I am at 190 pounds, being careful not to gain any more.  I figure I’m around 10 pounds heavier than is ideal for me.  But I’ll take it off gradually, or it will rot off if I croak.

I’m cooking a lot of salt-free stovetop bread, both for bun-type [hamburger-like] or somewhat cake-like.  Or pizza-like.  And no sodium or low sodium isn’t cramping my style one bit.  I can whip out curry fish, curry chicken, ginger beef, sauteed mushrooms, and more kinds of siamin than anyone ever heard of using mung-bean vermicelli and no sodium chicken or beef broth.

Jeanne found some extremely low-sodium Swiss cheese and I’ll confess I almost found myself wallowing in ecstacy with the first, pizza, then omelet that resulted soon thereafter.

Whip over to the double-sink with hot and cold running water, spang wash all the dirties quicker than I can tell about it.  Sheeze.

Here I am gazing out the window, Otis Redding playing on the gramaphone, Hydrox snoring on his wool old-man army blanket.  Shiva the cow cat nosing around finding things of interest under Jeanne’s Christmas tree, curling up on the ‘tree skirt’ [an item I never knew existed].

So here I am trying to work up a good pessimism but it escapes me.  Got an old Frederick Pohl novel [Far Shore of Time] about a third read.  Finished a pretty good biography of Captain Woodes Rogers, a surprisingly scholarly piece of work by David Cordingly.  Pirate Hunter of the Caribbean.  Thinking of passing it on to one of Jeanne’s sons, it’s so fun reading.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not falling into any pit of joy, getting snagged up by the trap of hope.  I’m just muddling along grateful as hell it’s so warm in here, watching it snow.

Old Jules

Image

Nation Horrified By Carolina Panthers’ Disturbingly Graphic Logo Redesign

Sports icons are evolving to better accommodate 21st Century residents
The Onion: Photo FinishSportsfootballUnsponsoredFeb 5, 2012
When the Confederate battle flags became unacceptable as a source of self-identity for Carolinians something was bound to replace them.

Jeanne arrives back in KC area fleeing Japanese nuclear attack on US west coast

Hi readers.  Hydrox and Ms. Shiva did Snoopy dances last night when Jeanne arrived back here.  She’d been the past couple of weeks climbing wet mountains and doing other things people do out there under the Japanese nuclear threat.  Although she didn’t say so to the cats, her arrival was timed in such a way as to suggest she came back fleeing the Japanese invasion of Hawaii.

Japan practices amphibious landing in Hawaii

It’s long been known, both by Japanese military planners and by US historians that WWII would have gone a lot differently if Japan had followed up the Pearl Harbor attack with an invasion of the island.  The recent reinterpretation of the post-WWII Japanese constitution allowing renewed military adventures by Japan requires absorbing lessons learned from WWII so they don’t make the same mistakes again.  Practice landings on Hawaii, and possibly later on areas of the US west coast not yet too heavily contaminated by radiation from Japanese nuclear plants will help assure that next time things will be different.

Anyway, Jeanne didn’t say anything about all this.  Her climbing of Mount Whatchallit, Ranier? etc etc etc went as well as could be expected.  She took plus/minus 2500 photographs, stayed various places, and despite the radiation, wasn’t all that anxious to return.

Today’s a new beginning returning to working two, count’em, two, jobs again.  Which evidently still weighs in better than radiation poisoning as a way to count off the days she has left in life.

The cats and I were glad to see her back, everything else being equal.

Old Jules

Don’t trust the vet to euthanize your terminally ill pets

Hi readers.  If that death penalty fiasco in Arizona didn’t teach anything else worth knowing, it taught that.  If Arizona State Department of Corrections took over the animal killing from the Humane Society the animals would all be dying of old age, getting healthier while everyone waited with bated breath for the final solution.

Thank goodness it was a human being they did that to instead of a cat.

Old Jules