A photo of my daughter’s pug who was used in social media marketing for her college swim team. The swimmers on the sports marketing team posed Waffles around the pool wearing goggles, on the blocks and lifeguard stand.
As I think about Thanksgiving, it dawned on me that our last two pets, Olive and Waffles, were adopted Thanksgiving weekend. What a joy they’ve brought to our family.
My son left for college in 2011 and my daughter and I visited the animal shelter in Palm Springs looking at kittens. It was right before Thanksgiving that Olive came home with us. Because my son is allergic to cats we waited until he moved away to college to adopt Olive. We kept Olive hidden in our daughter’s bedroom for the four-day weekend and didn’t think my son would have any reaction from his room down the hall.
Olive’s baby picture taken around Thanksgiving.
Everything went smoothly. I cooked dinner for my kids, husband and dad. I remember a wonderful weekend spending time with family walking downtown and playing in the park.
Then my son called to let me know he was back at school safely. While we talked on the phone, the kitty snuck out the door into the backyard.
“Quick, get the kitty!” I yelled to my daughter.
“WHAT?!” my son said. “I knew it! I knew there was a cat in the house. I had allergies all weekend.”
Today, he can visit our home in Arizona with Olive inside, and doesn’t seem to suffer. I’ve installed an air filter in the casita and the new house doesn’t have the same issues as our 1930s Palm Springs house did for allergies like mold and a grassy back yard.
Then came Waffles. It was my husband’s idea to adopt Waffles as a companion dog for our daughter. She came home from college for Thanksgiving weekend, along with our son, and met Waffles for the first time.
I cooked for our family, my college roommate, who was visiting from Seattle with her mom and brother. Plus a former coworker of mine — and dad of course. Waffles was a hit with everyone — except Olive. I remember my college roommate’s brother thanking me over and over for a home-cooked Thanksgiving. They had planned to eat in their hotel restaurant.
Waffles was beyond cute and so tiny!
Pretty kitty Olive as a grown up.
Waffles as a middle-aged man, snaggle teeth and gray hairs.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and your furry friends.
What is it about Thanksgiving and adopting our pets? I’m thinking our prior two, Sherman and Angus joined us in the fall as well.
Here’s the thing that happens when we have guests. Olive’s world turns upside down.
First, her litter box is moved from the casita bathroom along with her food and water bowl. They end up in our bathroom in the Master bedroom. She knows that something is up.
So she disappears, showing her displeasure. Why should we turn her life upside down when everything is exactly how she likes it? Why do we let people into our house when she’s a fraidy cat?
Because maybe our house guests down’t want to share a bathroom with a cat.
She’ll disappear for hours at a time. I look under beds, in closets and then I find her in my closet. Sometimes, it’s only a little paw or a hint of a tail that shows. But today I saw this. She was giving me a look. I have no clue how she gets up to the top of my closet. My daughter is convinced she she powers up “Beam me up Scotty” style.
The only time Olive shows more displeasure is when the suitcase comes out.
Do your pets feel change in the air? What triggers them?
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?
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.