Tag Archives: pets

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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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

 

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

Back in the game

hydrox june 2014

Hi readers.  Mr. Hydrox explained something for me I’d been wondering about a longish while.

Hydrox:  Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww. Meeeeeoooooww.

Me: Jeeze Hydrox.  Ain’t it a bit late for this crap?  Something bothering you?

Hydrox:  No.  I just got to thinking about things.  Missing Niaid.  All those Y2K chickens and that cabin.  Mehitabel.  Tabby and that mountain place we used to live.  All I’ve got now is this other cat here, Shiva.  You.  And that woman who lives here with Shiva.

Me:  Well you do have that.  You’ve got to live for the moment.

Hydrox: I’m not asking for any of that cheap tripe philosopy.  You asked why I was weeping aloud and I told you.

Me:  I’m glad you did, amigo.  I was afraid you were getting sick again.

Hydrox:  So where’s that woman who lives here?  I haven’t seen her for a couple of days?

Me:  She’s off somewhere else, Hydrox.  It’s just you, Shiva and me for the next couple of weeks.

 Hydrox:  So I can meoooow as much as I want and nobody’s going to be kept awake?

Me:  I’ll sleep right through it.  You know that.  And who cares what Shiva thinks?  She used to be a good cow cat, earned her keep.  Nowadays she’s worthless.  I don’t know why Jeanne keeps her around.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but I’m glad she’s here anyway.  This place almost echoes.  I’d go crazy if there weren’t at least one more cat around.

Me:  You’ve got it then, amigo.  I’ll keep feeding her so long as the food holds out.  Maybe Jeanne will pick up some more when she gets back.

Old Jules

 

 

Being alive puts things into a whole different light

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those of you who’ve read here a while probably remember when I did my dramatic exit scene from Texas.  Middle of the damned coldest winter in memory, hopped in that RV trying to beat death to Kansas.  Two cats freezing and scared, me pushing things to a razor edge because I was determined to die somewhere the felines would have a home when I kicked.

Made it as far as one of those north Texas towns above Dallas, checked into a motel to croak.  And Jeanne’s sons dropped what they were doing and came down to drive me the rest of the way.

I had every reason to believe one of a couple of unhappy body parts was going on strike and planned to kill me.  The VA in Texas tried hard to avoid giving me the bad news by not examining me, but I sneaked past them into a private emergency room.  Old Gale hauled me to town when I was in bad enough shape to agree to it.  Took care of the cats while the Kerrville hospital made faces at one another every time they got the results of another test.

So I had every reason to believe my goozle was an ugly cancerous disaster, funny como se llamas on my lungs, but that those couldn’t get to me fast enough to kill me.  My ticker was going to do that honor.

So when I arrived in Oz and checked into the Olathe Medical Center through the Emergency Room I figured there was a middling chance I wouldn’t be coming back out with the amount of alive I had when I checked in.

But the cats were taken care of.  Every time a sawbones wanted to look at something else going ugly or stinking on my old jalopy of a body, I said okay.  And afterward he, or she would come around looking somber, suggesting we have a better look and by the way, I hate to tell you this, etc.

But I’ve digressed.  My point I want to make to you is that nobody anywhere along the program was saying, “On the off chance you don’t croak this is going to cost one hell of a lot of money.  Let’s discuss whether you could pay it in your wildest, most optimistic dreams.”

Hell, I’m a Social Security pensioneer.  Whatever medical care I get is through the VA, or Medicare paying the bills that have any reasonable hope of getting paid.  There’s copays, and I had a vague awareness of the fact it exists, but hell, I was having conversations with the grim reaper.  I wasn’t worrying about bill collectors.

And seemingly neither was anyone else.  Sons of bitches thought I as dying, every swinging Richard of them.  Maybe if they thought there was any hope I wouldn’t someone would have sat down with me and said, “Uh, you know, if you die you’re going to be okay.  But if you don’t, we’ve got people over in accounting who are going to try to make the REST of your life challenging.  Maybe you thought you had it bad before you came in here, but dying’s just a way to escape the accounts receivable people down the hall.  People do it all the time.”

Okay.  This defibrillator and the VA paying for physical therapy did a lot, and I believe, my home remedy herbal cancer killer took care of the goozle and lungs.  For a while it still appeared the damned ticker could still croak me, but it gradually slid down on the job.  Every physical therapy session I came away feeling better physically, and suspecting the financial world had some dark clouds looming on the horizon.  Lucky the national debt already admitted nobody gives a damn about paying debts anyway.

Well friends and neighbors, barring any unforeskinned circumcisions I won’t be seeing anymore doctors for a year.  They’ve got this ticker surveillance device hooked to me, reports to them all the time, and I’m down there three times a week on walking machines and sitting down peddler things, putting all this crap behind me.

And the bean counters are scratching their heads, dunning me and fretting over the phone about how I’m going to pay those copays that didn’t make any difference so long as I was exiting the vehicle.  Every month they get their $10 checks, and the big ones rack up a charge to neutralize that in the form of a penalty because it wasn’t enough.

And threatening to turn it over to the Roccos.

Sheeze!  I was needing a new adventure.  Aside from some help from a few good friends, I haven’t had any personal debt since Y2K.  If I didn’t have money I didn’t spend it, no matter what.  Sometimes they turned off the electricity, and it stayed turned off until I got enough money to turn it back on.

I suppose this could be called the cost of living.  I can send them $10 per month, they can call that $10 and raise, until nature can find some other way of wiping me off the Monopoly board.

But damn it’s good being alive.

Old Jules

 

 

Cops don’t have to put up with being sexually harassed by dogs

Hi readers.  If you own dogs and live inside the United States it’s time to train your dog not to screw anyone’s pantsleg.  Today there’s an excellent chance cops will be kicking down your door.  If you don’t want them to kill your dog, train him not to sexually harrass police:

http://youtu.be/B9Com08ILgQ

“We don’t have to put up with this sort of treatment from dogs,” declared Bracey Goodman, Police Chief of Anal Springs, KY.  “During carefully timed and planned raids setting up citizens for drug busts our officers cannot risk being distracted by sex.  One dog causing an officer to pause waiting for it to finish could cost the  lives of other officers.”

Goodman further explained that police go to a great deal of trouble taking confiscated drugs out of evidence lockers for planting on targeted households.  If not intercepted in a timely manner they might be destroyed by suspects, or stolen by officers during the confusion of the bust.

“Anyone who owns a dog is responsible for seeing the animal will not use the leg of a police officer to urinate, or simulate sex.  If we kill your dog it’s your own fault.”

Old Jules

 

 

City of Adventure

hydrox june 2014

He’s too old to cut the mustard anymore.

Hi readers.  Thanks for the visit.

Jeanne’s next door neighbor saw us on the back porch the other day:  “Hi.  Is that big, fluffy-looking black and white cat yours?”

Me:  “He came with me from Texas.”  No point giving my cat-ownership philosophy dissertation.

Neighbor grinning:  “We watch television late at night with the front door open.  He comes by every night and sticks his head inside, looks at us a moment, then leaves.  It’s eery when he meets your eye.”

Hydrox is evidently as determined to milk as much living out of this life as I am.  Even if it means spying on the neighbors.  They’re older than him, but barely.

Old Jules