The final post of 2022 and it’s embarrassing

Olive the cat
Olive the cat is very introverted.

We boarded Olive the cat for our vacation in Palm Springs. I got a call from the boarding place three days into our trip. Olive wasn’t drinking, eating, peeing or pooping.

It’s the first time she’s been at this boarding place, because the one we went to before closed. I was impressed with this new outfit. It was spanking brand new, had huge two and three level kitty suites complete with climbing towers and TVs! Cats can climb up and down through the suite through large holes cut in the platform levels.

I had left Olive with her Rx laxative, kitty soup and dry Friskies. She even had an old smelly t-shirt of my husband’s to make her comfortable. After a few phone calls, the boarding place said they’d take Olive to the vet if she didn’t settle down. They also put her in an empty bathroom, where she’d be all alone.

Our Olive isn’t exactly neurotic, but she’s a loner and trembles and gets frightened of new people and places. You’d think having a friend take care of her in our house would be the ideal situation rather than boarding her. But no, you’d be wrong. As long as my friend’s daughter took care of Olive she was fine when we lived in Palm Springs. The friend’s daughter got scared of Marco — our homeless guy who believed our house was his — so her dad took over Olive duty.

Olive doesn’t like strangers, but really doesn’t like men. The end result of the father taking care of Olive was a urinary tract infection — plus me purchasing two new comforters, sheets and mattress toppers.

I got a call five days into our trip that Olive was doing fine.

Now for the embarrassing part.

On our way home we stopped at the boarding place to pick up Olive.

They gave me her meds, foods and handed me her soft carrier. I insisted it was not the right one. Hers was black, I swore — and the one they tried to pawn off on my was gray with blue piping.

I had four frantic employees opening up every cupboard shelf searching for the black-sided carrier.

Finally, 25 minutes later, we came to the agreement that I’d take Olive home in their hard cased carrier and they’d deliver Olive’s carrier to our house once they figured out what happened to it. Maybe it went home with the wrong cat? Maybe the manager who was trying out new spaces to make Olive comfortable had placed it in a safe place?

Once home I decided to check on Amazon for my purchase of the carrier. This is what I discovered:

I had bought a gray carrier with light blue piping. Not black. I bit the bullet and called and apologized for being totally insane and a pain in the behind. Then I had to drive over there and exchange carriers and apologize profusely.

I realized my error. Waffles the pug and his carrier I bought six years ago. This is what I thought Olive the cat had too. She doesn’t get out much and Waffles get in his carrier daily.

Waffles the pug in 2016 with his black carrier.

Here’s to a New Year and sanity! What are your hopes for 2023?

Intention for today: gratitude

Outside my window.

I was focused on my laptop at the small round table next to the window in the casita. I glanced up and to my surprise I saw three bobcats!

First was the mother, who has been a visitor for the two years we’ve lived here. Following her were two kittens (one is above.) They looked healthy yet somewhat gangly like preteens. Their coats were practically white while momma had a deeper tan with darker spots.

I finally reached for my phone and captured this one shot. The momma and other kitten had walked through our yard out of view from the casita.

“Bill! Bill! Bobcats!” I yelled for my husband as I ran down the hallway to our living room. He had left the kitchen door open with only the screen door closed. The bobcats scurried away when they heard my frantic voice.

It was such a sight! I wish I’d captured them on camera or that my husband could have seen them. Instead of yelling I should have been stealthy and quiet — we might have had them in our yard for an hour or two.

The word that came to mind this morning as I woke up was gratitude. I’m grateful for these wild creatures in my world.

What are you grateful for today?

Are you superstitious?

Angus our yellow lab and Sherman our black cat (RIP.)

Sherman and Angus lived to ripe old ages of 17 and 15 respectively. I was surprised when my husband’s uncle came over years ago and I discovered he was superstitious about black cats.

Yesterday, I was ready to take my daily trip to the post office with my husband’s client gifts. My plan is to go five days in a row with a dozen packages. Any more than that, my mind gets muddled writing addresses and I make mistakes. Plus, the dirty looks from the patrons behind me, isn’t fun. Once I had a woman cursing at me. My daughter was with me and I was afraid she’d beat up the woman attacking her mom. So, 10 to 12 packages gets me under the radar of the impatient. (Boy, do I miss my daughter’s help with this annual project!)

I counted the packages as I put them in bags to carry. 13. I had 13 packages. That wouldn’t do. Why not? I guess I’m superstitious, too. I notice I avoid the number 13 at all costs. I took one package out and saved it for the next day. Whew! That was close.

Are you superstitious? What about? Do you change what you’re doing because of superstitions?

Sherman helping me with my work. Actually, Sherman wanting attention from me and telling me to stop working.

The cold shoulder

Olive the cat wanting attention
I tried to write my morning pages, but Olive had other ideas.

Olive has structure to her life. She has a routine that she closely follows.

5 a.m. She munches a bit of dry food.

5:10 a.m. Olive jumps on the bed to snuggle in and sleeps with us and stays on the bed after we get up.

9 a.m. She goes to her grassy patch and watches birds through the sliding glass door.

10 a.m. She sleeps on the rug in the sun.

11 a.m. Olive enters my husband’s office to jump on his lap.

2 p.m. Olive walks into the casita and wants me to stop writing. She wants me to read or watch TV on the sofa so she can lay down on my stomach.

4 p.m. It’s time for Friskies ‘Lil Soup. It’s a treat I give her after I call “Kitty Soup” and she answers “Meow-oup.”

And on it goes.

Yesterday there was no kitty on our bed. She didn’t snuggle us. She didn’t try to get on my lap while I wrote my morning pages. She wasn’t on her grassy patch or in my husband’s office.

She walked nonchalantly into the Casita a few hours later and stood under the end table by the sofa. From there she stared at me. Then she walked away and we haven’t seen her since.

I feel like I’m getting the cold shoulder from our cat. I wonder what did I do wrong to be treated with indifference? Or, perhaps she is reminding me that she’s a cat.

What are your pets’ routines? Do you think something is wrong when they vary from routines?

A whirlwind week

Olive the cat getting out of my way as I clean house.

It’s a busy week or two. We returned from a trip to Mexico. I wrote about that HERE.

My son and his girlfriend are visiting from the Bay Area. We are gong to visit Taliesin West later today. It will be a first for all of us. That’s the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ll be going on a self-guided tour. A coincidence is that a friend of mine from playgroup days in Palm Springs is a director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. What a small world! I found out from a friend in Palm Springs that our mutual friend had moved to Arizona a month or two before us. I wrote about coincidences recently HERE.

Next week, I fly to Seattle to visit my 90-year-old mom. I meant to visit for her birthday last March, but we were in the throws of Omicron. Both my daughter and husband got it. What weird days those were. I was taking care of my daughter — without being near her. We would wave at each other through her apartment window. I’d go to the laundromat and grocery store for her and leave things on her front steps.

When my husband had COVID, I moved into our Casita. It has a kitchen, so I cooked him chicken soup with lots of garlic and onions. I’d leave it outside the front door and text him. I was close if he needed me, but I wasn’t in physical contact.

I now have an aversion to flying. We have taken trips by car, which I’m comfortable with, but I haven’t wanted to get on an airplane. I can’t stand the wait at the airport, the crowds, being on the plane. COVID ruined flying for me.

Did COVID change your feelings about flying, too? Or did it affect you in other ways? Did you or your family get it?

Have you seen “Amsterdam?”

Olive the cat laying on my journal
My typical morning trying to write three pages in my journal with Olive wanting my attention.

Yesterday we had plans to see the movie “Amsterdam” with our new friends who live around the corner. Yes, they are California transplants, too. It seems our neighborhood got filled with us during COVID.

Our neighbors bought the movie tickets and made reservations for dinner. I was looking forward to the movie because it stars Christian Bale and Margot Robbie. It’s directed by the same guy (David O. Russell) who did “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Also, we never go out on a weeknight, so this was unusually fun for us.

My husband got a text from our neighbor that his wife got sick and they wouldn’t be able to go. They were going to the doctor instead. So they emailed us the digital tickets. Then my husband had an appointment in Phoenix. I was going to meet him at the movies 30 minutes away. Then he texted me that he wouldn’t be able to get away in time to make it to the movie.

Oh well. Best laid plans. Exactly where did the saying “Best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray” come from?

I looked it up and this is what I found:

best-laid schemes/plans, the

The most careful plans sometimes do not succeed. It was probably already a 
cliché by the time Robert Burns used the phrase in “To a Mouse” (1786): “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [go often astray].”

The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

What plans have you had go astray lately?

Have you seen “Amsterdam?” Did you like it?

When you dream about your pets

My kids with our yellow lab Angus. We adopted Angus from Guide Dogs when he was seven months old and wasn’t making the cut in the program. He was ours for 15 years.

Have you ever had a dream where your deceased pet is alive? I had one last night. I was on vacation and my golden retriever Pepi was with me. She looked so happy, healthy and her fur was so soft.

I told someone in my dream, “Doesn’t Pepi look good? Can you believe she was born in 1970?”

Next in my dream, I was frantically looking for Natasha, our rottie who died in the late 1990s. I sometimes have dreams with both Natasha and Pepi together. They usually are running and playing in fields ahead of me.

I feel so comforted when I have dreams with my pets, whether it’s Natasha, Pepi or Angus. They are my three dogs who crossed the rainbow bridge. It’s like a gift that I get to spend a little more time with them.

Pepi was in a litter of ten born to our golden retriever Kim — on my birthday — when I was in kindergarten. My dad sold all the puppies but Pepi, who was my childhood dog until she got hit chasing a car while I was away in college.

I found an article called Stories of Visitation Dreams of Deceased Pets: Loving, healing, and uplifting experiences from readers’ dreams on Psychology Today by Preston Ni M.S.B.A.

It offers five characteristics that people report about their dreams of pets. The dreams attest to the animal human connection we share. Here’s the one characteristic that rings true in my dreams:

The deceased pet often appeared young and healthy.

“My girl came to me full of life, love and happiness.”

―Anonymous

“(My dog) was completely healed.”

―Anonymous

In many visitation dreams, the deceased pets appeared not in their afflicted or stricken states toward the end of their lives. Instead, they are young, energetic, and healthy. The pets would play and interact with their owners in the dream.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/202010/stories-visitation-dreams-deceased-pets

Do you have dreams that include your pets? Are the pets in your dreams ones you lost years ago? How do you feel when you experience one of these dreams?