Lovely Boy

“Who would believe such pleasure from a wee ball o’ fur? ~Irish Saying”

I have so many things in my heart that I want to say about Remington P. Cat, but no matter how many times I start, I just cannot get any of it right. Where do I start? How do I start? Words won’t come. Tears do, but not words.

The truth is that no matter how many years Remington was able to live, it never would have been enough. I wanted him to live forever, but unfortunately, even the best cannot live forever. So here I sit with aching heart, looking at pictures of my sweet boy, remembering all the things he did, his sweet little quirks, his bright eyes, his sweet soul, and all I can come up with is… Thank you.

Thank you, Remi, for spending the last 16 of your 18 years with us. Thank you for all of your unconditional love. For the memories. For sleeping every night in the crook of my knees, for purring whenever I would look at you, for being so flexible over the years. You have taught Hamish well, and I see so much of you in all that he does. And as hard as it was to have to say good-bye today, thank you for letting me be there with you. It was truly an honor to know you, my lovely boy, and to know you was to love you.

Thank you, Rob, for taking me to get this amazing boy all those years ago. Who would have known just how special he would turn out to be. You used a perfect word earlier today… “Magical.” You picked out one incredible cat. And you gave him an incredible name to match. Thank you for turning your “Cat Free” house into a “Cats Welcome” one instead. I love you more than you will ever know.

And last but definitely not least, thank you to the Humane Society of Western Montana. Thank you for caring for so many animals and working so hard to find them forever homes. I am not sure if any of you would remember “Crosby,” but we adopted him back on February 5, 2000, and our lives have never been the same. What a treasure this kitty has been, and we have you to thank for that.

Our kitty, Goobers, who passed away almost six years ago, was Remington’s best friend. They were rarely apart back in the day. I like to think that Goobers was waiting for Remington to join him, and that they are now laying together in the sunshine, watching birds, and catching up on old times…

We love you Remington P. Cat. And we will never forget you…

Sweet Boy

If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.  ~Barbara L. Diamond

Every night as I am making our bed, Remington P. Cat climbs under the blanket while I am tucking it in. When I am finished, I go to the head of the bed, lift the blanket and say “peek–boo” to Remi, who meows sweetly at me and comes walking out from under the blanket. After his nightly performance, he waits patiently as I finish the bed, knowing full well that he will be rewarded for his efforts. He meows at me until I remove a certain bag from the cupboard, and then devours his treats with reckless abandon.

In the morning, it is much the same. Only instead of our usual game of “peek-a-boo,” he becomes a paper weight. Or, more accurately, a blanket weight. He is so proud of his ability to make me scoot him all over the bed in order to make it, that he waits patiently until I reach for his treat bag once again.

To many people, he may appear to be just another spoiled cat. But to me, he is just about the best cat there ever was. This rather large bundle of fur melts my heart. It was 14 years ago today that Rob took me to the Humane Society in Missoula, Montana to pick out a cat. “Crosby” was a 2-year old who was in the “cats with colds” room, trying to get over the sniffles. Once we met him, though, we knew that he would be going home with us.

Time, as always, has flown by and today we are celebrating Remington P. Cat’s 16th birthday. He is just as strong and youthful as ever, but he is sleeping much more these days and he always wants to be on someone’s lap. I find myself looking at his sweet face and being so very thankful for all the wonderful years he has shared with us, and very selfishly hoping that they will continue forever…

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.

Who would believe such pleasure from a wee ball o’ fur?  ~Irish Saying

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Are we really sure the purring is coming from the kitty and not from our very own hearts? ~Terri Guillemets

Therapy Kitty

There has never been a cat
Who couldn’t calm me down
By walking
slowly
Past my chair.
~Rod McKuen

Few things are as relaxing as scooping this little guy up, draping him over your shoulder, and resting your head on his warm side as he purrs contentedly in your ear and pads your back with his paws. Or simply petting his sun-warmed fur as he naps in the sunshine. Some people have therapy animals, and while this may be unbelievable to some, I assure you that there are definitely pets who have an incredible healing power. Remi is one of them. Through all of life’s ups and downs, all the chaos that occurs on a regular basis, all the worry and wonder, all the uncertainty, Remi remains constant. I’m here, he says, as he curls up on your lap. Pet me. Love me. Breathe.

And suddenly, all is well with the world.

Spend the Night with Me

9:46 pm

I am normally a night person. I have an easier time staying up late than I do getting up to an alarm clock. Rob is the opposite. The early bird and the night owl. This is the reason why Rob is working the day shift and I have taken the night shift. The only problem is that I will be working until 4am. That’s four. In the morning. Ouch. I can handle one, or even two, but I  am not sure about four. Now that I have finished two weeks of half shifts, tomorrow night I will work my first full shift. This is where 4am comes into play. I figure that if I am to be working all night tomorrow, I better stay up nice and late tonight. Rob has to be to work at 6am, so I do not think he is going to even consider staying up with me. How about you? Are you up for it?

As I sit here, everyone else in my family is getting ready for bed. I am somewhat jealous. While I am not ready for sleep yet, I would like to crawl into my nice cozy bed for some reading. I do not, however, trust myself not to fall asleep, so that is simply not an option.

If you don’t have anything else going on, I invite you to spend the night with me.

10:12pm
I feel like a teenager sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. Not that I am a teenager, and 10pm hardly qualifies as the middle of the night. Quite honestly, I am not sure I ever snuck out of the house even when I was a teenager. Where would I have gone? To a friend’s house perhaps? I doubt it, my friends, and there were not very many, were all good girls, not the kind to house the likes of me. I can honestly say that I have no idea where I would have gone. This is perhaps why I never went anywhere.

And yet, here I am, old enough to know better and still too young to care, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the… well, at night. Where am I going, you ask? Why, to the laundry mat of course. Where else would I possibly go? As luck would have it, someone else had the same idea, so all three of the washers here at the campground are busy with other people’s dirty what-nots, so I must wait my turn.

I think I will read my book for a while…

10:47pm
Rob and I broke down and bought Kindles. I have resisted them for the longest time. I love the feel and smell of real books. Especially used books. They have such history. Who read it before me? Where did they live? Where did the stain on the cover come from? I love to physically hold books in my hands and turn each and every lovely page. Unfortunately, living in an RV doesn’t give you the luxury of storage space. Not to mention books can get very heavy, especially if you have too many (if that is even possible) which we do. Enter the Kindle. We bought the basic model which will hold 1000 books. We even opted for advertisements which saved us more money. Not to mention employee discounts. It just made sense.

The main reason we purchased them (Rob and I each got one since we like to read together) is Thomas Jefferson Education. TJEd uses both mentors and the classics to teach. When we came across the program, we realized that it is what we wanted to do with our kids. So we must read classics. Lots and lots of classics. We started with Anne of Green Gables, which, I am sorry to say, I have never read before. I am about half way through right now and am really enjoying it. How had I not read this in my youth? I do believe I have seen a movie based on the book, but I am glad to finally be reading the book. On my Kindle. In the laundry mat. At 11 o’clock at night.

11:16pm
I am not sure what it is about kids’ laundry, but it always seems to smell like feet. I must say that I prefer it coming out of the washer rather than going in.

It’s a good thing I do not have an overactive imagination, because I am sitting by myself, in a strange place, with my back to a rather large uncovered window. In the dark. Best get back to my book before I make myself paranoid.

11:33pm
I rather enjoy being alone. I have always been a loner, and I rarely know what to say to people, so being alone takes the away awkward silence while I try desperately to come up with something to say. When I’m alone, I don’t have to worry about it. The silence is not awkward, which I rather enjoy. My children require so much communication during the day that it is nice to sit here and not have to say anything.

12:02am
Well, I made it to midnight. This is probably where it will start to get a little tough for me. I am glad you have agreed to visit with me tonight. It gives me something to think about besides being tired. Right now, quite honestly, I am ready to crawl into my comfy bed, turn off my book light, and drift off to sweet sleep. This is about when I normally give into the night.

Doing laundry is helping. The dryers are rather loud with all the buttons and buckles clanking around. I was being cheap and stuffed all of our laundry into two dryers. They didn’t dry of course, so I had to put twice the money into each machine. If only I had used three dryers to begin with…

1:09am
It is always such a relief when all the laundry is done. Back when we had a house and our own washer and dryer, I never managed to get all the laundry done. I washed and dried a load almost every day, but I never got around to folding it all. There was almost always a pile of clean clothes on the couch. If you needed something, you had to go fishing. If it was wrinkled, it went for another spin in the dryer. Now, I have to finish all the laundry. Including the folding. There is just no way around it. There is no dryer to throw it back into if it gets wrinkled. Nowadays you would be forced to use the iron, which, in our house, is almost a bad word. I never use the thing. Quite honestly, I am not even sure why we own one. Rob doesn’t think I know how to turn it on. I hate to admit it, but he might be right. Regardless, laundry is now a weekly thing, all of it at once, and then you are done for seven wonderful laundry-free days.

Let’s go home.

1:23am
I have managed to sneak successfully back into the house. Due to the fact that there is really nowhere to go without waking everyone else up, I am sitting on the bathroom floor. Me and my little computer and my kindle and you, my wonderful companion. Remington P. Cat has joined us because apparently he has a problem being left out. Something about closed doors…

Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? Anne (that’s Anne with an E) Shirley can talk. And talk. I can almost guarantee that there is no awkward silence when she is involved.

2:31am

The bathroom floor is not very forgiving. If this is to become my night-before-heading-back-to-work spot, then I think I shall have to bring a cushion with me. That or stay at the campground clubhouse longer. At least there are comfy chairs and I don’t have to worry about waking anyone up. I just have to worry about the spiders in the corners on the floor. The kids were nice enough to point them out when we went to Rob’s “Meet and Greet”. All night, whenever the tie on my shorts tickled my leg, I had a minor panic attack trying to whack it off. As far as I know, there were never any real spiders on me. On second thought, maybe I do have an overactive imagination. Then again, perhaps Anne (with an E) is rubbing off on me.

I have made good progress in my book tonight. And, for being 2:30 in the morning, I am doing surprisingly well. My goal is 3am. If I can stay awake reading and visiting and folding laundry, then surely I can manage a 10 hour shift running around Amazon, pulling items here and there, trying to beat the clock to my next location.

2:53am

It feels a little strange to be up at almost 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s not nearly as hard as I was thinking it would be. My night owl spirit is in her element tonight, embracing this challenge with a vengeance. Hopefully she will be just as helpful tomorrow night.

I think it is about time to head to bed. The kids have said they will try to be quiet in the morning. I know that is asking a lot of them, but they will do their best, and that is all I can ask.

3:16am

I made it! Ah, sweet success. It’s not much, but I’ll take what I can get!

Thank you for your company tonight, I have really enjoyed it. We should do it again sometime.

Turtle on Board

I’m not sure who had more fun with this, me or Remington P Cat, because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Flash. For those of you who have not spent a lot of time around red-eared sliders, they are amazingly funny turtles. I never would have thought that such a critter would have so much personality, but Flash makes me laugh every day. She swims around her tank chasing my finger, and “talks” to me while I make fish faces at her. I don’t make a habit of putting Flash on the floor, but Remi wanted to say Hi, and he is such a nice kitty that I wasn’t worried about him hurting her.

Flash was quick to forgive me for her humiliation, though. Once I put her back in her freshly cleaned tank, she started “talking” to me again.   

PS – No turtles were harmed in the taking of these photos. 🙂

My Special Kitty

Back on February 5, 2000, Rob took me to the Humane Society in Missoula, Montana. When we arrived, he instructed me to pick out a cat. For those of you who know me, I looove cats. For those of you who know Rob, he does not. So this was huge. But, since I am a good girl and always (insert giggle here) do what I am told, I proceeded to find a kitty.

It was actually Rob who pointed out Crosby, a cute little white kitty with a tabby tail and head. He was in the infirmary, hanging out with the sick kitties while fighting off a cold. Jackpot.

Crosby was estimated to be about two years old, an alley cat, a scar on his ear to prove it. Huge, about 16 pounds. Big, bright eyes. Beautiful. Crosby was going home with us.

It took no time at all for Rob to change his name to Remington P Cat, Remi for short. He made himself right at home and has been taking up all the best seats in the house ever since. He is extremely spoiled, loves his treats, demands his breakfast, sleeps wherever he wants, loves clean clothes. He’s always quick with a purr when you need it.

At 14, Remi is about 80 human years, but you would never know it. He is just as spry as a kitten and as sassy as a teenager. He is an amazingly wonderful cat, and I am grateful every day that he picked us. I couldn’t imagine life without him.

How has Rob adjusted to having a cat around all these years? He loves Remi. He may never admit it, but I know it is true. I see him pet Remi when he doesn’t think anyone is watching, and I know he complains when Remi sleeps on his black jacket only so that I won’t think that he really likes it, which I know he does. Truth be told, it is impossible not to love Remi, even for a person who swears that he doesn’t like cats…

Happy Birthday, Mr. P. Sure do love you, Kitty.

Cats and Dogs

I find it interesting just how differently Remington and Bailey react when moving time rolls around.

On one side, we have Remi. He becomes very clingy, very chatty, meowing and purring almost constantly. He has become my shadow. He gets nervous when we pack to go camping for two days, boxes lining the walls is a little more than he can handle. He is on my lap as soon a I sit down, and he always has that look in his eyes, the pleading, begging us not to leave him.  

And then there’s Bailey. He is oblivious. Nothing bothers that pooch, not the boxes, not the coming and going. He just stretches himself out on a newly cleared piece of floor, usually right in our path so we have to step over him a million times, and sleeps like a baby. Partly because he is getting older and sleeping is his favorite thing to do, and partly because there is not a doubt in his mind that wherever we go, we’re taking him with us.

He’s right, though. We would never him. Or Remi. Or the turtle or rabbit or lizard for that matter, although they, too, are oblivious. Nobody is being left behind.   

“My love, wherever I go, I take you with me.”  ~Melissa Etheridge