I am a bad blogger. As I type this, I am hanging my head in shame because it has been almost two months since I have written a word here. I haven’t forgotten, I just haven’t felt very inspired, I guess. Oh, and I’m covered in animal fur.
I have often joked that I am “one more cat and one less husband” away from being a crazy cat lady. Currently calling my house home are four cats and a Pomeranian that thinks she’s a cat. If you think I’m joking, I’ll try to get a video of her grooming herself and post it.
You see, we started out the usual way it starts with cats. We got a cat from a coworker who thought a cat would mix with a hyperactive three-year old and couldn’t keep trying to make it work. I wanted a dog, my husband had never had a dog and wanted a cat, so we got a cat. Our first cat we named Sully after the character in “Monsters, Inc.” She likes to pretend she’s a big, hairy beast, but deep inside she’s just a purry softy. After a couple of months, everyone said she needed a friend, to play with her and help her lose some of the weight she gained while we learned how to be proper cat guardians. Soon, our mail carrier gave us Caramel Corn, who is completely declawed, but very much an alpha cat. Sully is a very submissive cat, so the two became best buddies and snuggled together very cutely.
As it goes, and I read this somewhere and laughed because it’s so VERY true, “another cat appears as if from nowhere.” After a couple of cats appeared in our lives and exited fairly quickly, Junior appeared via another coworker who couldn’t keep him. Junior was named this because when she got him, he looked like a junior version of her other cat. Junior has far exceeded all expectations and grown to a healthy, husky, 16 pounds of muscle and PURR. After the third cat, it becomes accepted practice that cats just come into your life and you are completely unable to refuse them. This is how we got Rutherford. Rutherford was still a teenage kitten when we got him, with absolutely NO FEAR. He has been ruling the roost ever since. For the longest time, his main nickname was “You Little Bastard,” to the point where he started answering to it. He’s on Prozac, now, so that particular nickname has fallen out of use. Mostly.
Ruby Dee, the Pomeranian who thinks she’s a cat, came in between Caramel Corn and Junior. She was a puppy mill dog, bred to breed, and given up to a rescue sometime after her first litter. We don’t know why they gave her up, we are just glad they did. When the rescue got her, she had very little of the Pomeranian’s natural poof of fur about her, and her nails had never been clipped, so she walked on the inside of her feet. It took me a while to figure out that she had never seen grass before, and that’s why she got so very scared every time I took her outside. Trying to teach her to do her business outside was impossible until we got a second dog. We fostered Scooby for a few months until we found a better home for her, and in that time she taught Ruby Dee how to be a dog. Scooby was a true blessing for us, and I’m glad we were able to find her a better home.
All of this back story is to explain why I am currently covered in animal fur. Since I came home from visiting my family over Christmas and New Year’s, Ruby Dee has been having a lot of pain and doing a lot of limping. It seems she has some serious issues with her neck and spine, which have required major adjustments to our routines around here. Keep in mind, our life as it pertains to Ruby Dee has always been a little unusual, since we deal with her neuroses every day. In a way, she’s a little bit like an autistic child. She likes her routine, she doesn’t deal well with change, and if she gets scared, she is just as likely to do something that will hurt herself as she is to freeze and do nothing at all. With the advent of her back and neck problems, she is now restricted from all steps, even the two steps in our living room, and no jumping. Well, she jumps all the time. We have a ramp for her to get from the deck to the yard and back, and she jumps on that. She jumps into her crate. She jumps into her various pillows and beds. She jumps when she’s happy. (She actually spins and jumps at the same time and it’s very cute.) In short, keeping her from jumping is really HARD. I mean, she’s a Pomeranian! When was the last time you saw a Pomeranian that WASN’T jumping??
Basically, my time has been spent keeping Ruby Dee from jumping, taking her to vet appointments (she gets puppy spa days about once a week, now, which make me completely jealous), giving her medication, and generally trying to find a “new normal” for us. And when I’m not making Ruby Dee feel like the proper princess that she is, I have been dealing with Caramel Corn’s insecurities. We have put both Rutherford and Caramel Corn on medication in an effort to stop Rutherford treating Caramel Corn like prey, and thus keep Caramel Corn from then treating my couch, my guest bed, all of the puppy and kitty beds, and any other soft surface in the house like a litter box. There really isn’t anything more difficult to clean up than cat pee. I don’t care what enzymatic, turbo-charged cleaner you have, you still have to work to get it clean enough that your cat doesn’t smell it anymore.
So, if you stop by and wonder where I am, you can be sure that whatever I’m doing, I’m covered in animal fur while I’m doing it.