Cats: Goodbye Leya May 2004-February 6, 2017

Leya was my “baby girl” for most of her life. She was even Miss Leya for a large part of her life. I adopted her in 2004 (I’m pretty sure that’s right.) when I came to visit Josh in Texas when I still lived in PA. A year or so later I moved to Texas (in June 2005).

Leya flew from Texas to central PA and then she drove from PA to Texas via the eastern half of Tennessee so we could visit family on the way. People on the flight found her utterly adorable. For those not up on their geography, we added a few hours to our trip because Tennessee is very wide. It seemed to take forever. Leya wasn’t named for Princess Leia, she was named for a person. I decided to give her name a different spelling, well because? Once she grew up, she was mini Leya as a kitten because she was so tiny but turned into a fat round cat.


You’ll see she’s laying beside a box of sandwich bags.

She was a crazy little kitten and she’s probably provided me with emotional support all my life. She was always there When I was living alone I would occasionally come home to find that a certain kitten had lots of fun. Like the time she dragged a full paper towel roll down from the kitchen table. She must have chased it all around the kitchen. There was paper towels wrapped around the table legs. Next is the vicious Printer Beast. It’s attack power is judging you. This picture is at least a few years old. In her prime before she grew into an old lady, she was adept at getting somewhere so that you couldn’t ignore her, but she wasn’t aggressive about it compared to some of our other cats.


Leya dealt with a lot too. One of our cats used to chase her about and because of that she stress-ate. She had a period where she freaked out for awhile from something. We think something happened in the apartment complex we were living in at the time when we weren’t home and it was super traumatic for her. She used to hide when people showed up. She was always more comfortable around women than men. When I look back it’s really hard to tell how much she actually liked other cats. She used to run and hide at the first crack of thunder too. You always knew when the storms were gone when Leya emerged from under the bed. She had all her little quirks like any cat but she didn’t have quite as many nicknames. Her best nickname was probably Darth Vader. She had allergies most of her life and eventually developed fluid in her lungs and tried to turn into a bulldog with extra tissue around her mouth. She sounded quite a bit like Darth Vader. When she was older, at some point, she chilled out. Instead of hiding because people were here she searched for pets. She turned into an attention whore. A lot of these pictures are Leya quietly seeking attention.


Leya also had talons because I have never successfully taught a kitten to accept nail trimmings.


I’m sure this was accompanied with lots of purrs.


As you can see, Leya had trouble relaxing too. Based on the couch and the bookshelf arrangements, this picture was probably in the last year or so.

Grumpy looking cat would kill you with her mind. I adore this picture, so very much.

These past few years Leya provided me a lot of important emotional support. Every time I felt like shit there was a cat beside me, not judging, just being present. A purring cat really does have positive effects on your health. She was comfort in so many ways. Anxiety threatening a panic attack? She was there to purr for me. I miss her, deeply. She was here for almost 14 years of my life. Because she spent a lot of time actually with me, I seem to have a lot of pictures of her sleeping, waiting for belly rubs.



Cats are experts at hiding pain but you know how they feel by how they look in the eyes.

Until the last few months she spent 90% of the time that I was in the living room on the couch, on the living room with me. In the end she split her time with me and the heated bed, unless I laid out the other heating pad for her. Then she was happy, mostly. About six months ago we found a large lump on her neck. (However much lump you see on the outside? That’s how much lump is on the inside.) We didn’t know how long it had been there because she was not petted on her neck on a regular daily basis. Initially the lump seemed to be a cyst. I had a bad feeling. Then it was getting bigger, and harder. Around the new year she was getting worse, she had a big visit to the vet for blood work, to try to get the cyst smaller by removing fluids from it – which didn’t really work, and treatment for her UTI – which she’d never had in her life. She was slowly going downhill until the last week or so. In one week she went from not eating dry food to not being able to swallow anything solid. At this point it was beyond obvious that the lump was aggressive cancer and had grown behind her esophagus to the other side and so it meant she could not swallow. Fuck cancer, we lost two cats in six months. One to slow moving cancer, one to fast moving cancer. Fuck cancer. Losing two cats in such a short period has made it even harder for me to cope.

Leya loved her belly rubs, but only from her people. As she matured, her circle of people grew to also be regular visitors. She also loved her food. She was a sweet girl, even the vet thought so. She didn’t do the whole lap cat thing but one of her favorite things was to lay on the couch between Josh and I through dinner and then watching tv every night we ate at home. If she wasn’t already on the couch, she would show up to sit on the couch with us as soon as Josh sat down. Literally.

This video is actually quite a few years old based on the wall in the background. Regardless it seemed like a great way to end. You might need to turn up your sound.

One last tidbit to leave you with… Leya was very sensitive. If she wanted to join you on the couch and you didn’t invite her on to the couch with you after a few minutes, she would walk away, with her tail down. If you called her back, then she’d come trotting back, with her tail straight up, and join you. It was adorable.

Random cat pictures with some words too

The other day I feel into the rabbit-hole of my Google Photos looking for good pictures of our (MY) cat that we had to put down Monday (cancer sucks for every single living creature) and in that process I discovered some fun random pictures too. For shits and giggles I thought I’d put them here. This is best described as bittersweet so skip the captions/explanations if you can’t deal with that today. Also, I think it’s time to add “crazy cat lady” to my blog tags.


Picture of Tank from at least 4 years old. He died suddenly. He was always cute curled up because he had impossibly long legs. Being half Siamese probably helped?

 


“Human, don’t question why I’m in the dryer. You wouldn’t understand.” Murphy died from cancer but it was slow moving and he was here to be the grumpy old man requesting pets on his schedule for quite a few years.

 


Murphy, Tank, and Leya: top to bottom. They are so closely together because of catnip! We determined this picture is proof that the demon inhabiting Tank’s body was too much and that’s why he died so suddenly and so young. (If you don’t get it, don’t worry. If you do get it, you’ll be amused.) I was struck by this picture because we’ve reached the point in our lives where we now have pictures of multiple cats who aren’t here anymore. Murphy and now Leya died within 6 months.

 


And this picture is like the “Old Guard” and the “New Guard”…. it’s about 4 and a half years old? Murphy, Leya, and Codex, and Parker are all here. The kittens (Codex and Parker) are now almost five. Kittens vibrate, so they are blurry, everyone knows this.

Oh Cats: Goodbye Murphy

Murphy June 2015
Grumpus

Last week, 10 days before my 36th birthday to be more exact, Josh and I had to put down our cat. We spent a lot of the last 6-8 months wondering if he was going to last through the next month. I worried he wouldn’t make it to one of my best friends coming to visit (You know who you are <3.) We worried. As far as we are concerned, we were worried parents, we are parents.

Murphy started out as Josh’s cat. I knew Murphy basically as long as I knew/have known Josh. I guess you could say since I visited TX in the summer of 2004 before moving to TX a year later. Murphy didn’t like me then. I was interfering and definitely not welcome.

Murphy 12_2013
Cat goes here

After I moved it took a quite a few months for Murphy to decide that he liked me. We still remember the first time I grabbed that damn cat by the scruff of the neck because he was “strumming” and banging the window blinds. (You know those crappy metal blinds you usually get in apartments? Those ones.) Murphy had such a look of utter disbelief. Who are you? What? Why? You aren’t supposed to…..! What do I do about this? He was so confused. It was quite amusing.

That was in 2005. Through the years Murphy has been the stoic grumpy old man cat. As he aged he got grumpier. He dealt with kittens and moves and well, life with humans. He dealt with Codex. Eventually he decided he liked her love and attention – except maybe when he had to stop and sit 4 times to get across the living room because she would keep loving on him. He figured out laying on boobs is the best. He got outside a few times a year perhaps? One time he managed to sneak out when furniture and appliances were delivered on the same day at the same time.

Murphy Codex Dec 2015
Codex curled up with her Murphy in the sun

The first sign something was wrong was that everyone who came to visit would comment about how skinny he was. Murphy stuck around for a long time. He was on “hospice care” for the past two – two and half years. By 2016 we were compounding him pills about once a week. Three different medicines into little gelcaps, as well as feeding him wet food pretty much whenever he wanted it.

Murphy 5_2016
Murphy the lap cat

This year I knew he wouldn’t see the winter. The spring storms were too hard on the little guy. Then in the last few weeks he had started moving around even less, sleeping more, getting needier, and just seeming so tired. Codex started sleeping more so she could take care of him too.

Murphy Codex July 2016
Codex takes care of Murphy

Cats are great at hiding pain but you can see a lot in their eyes. This damn cat was great at big brown puppy eyes. I didn’t mind the needier that much. Anyone with cats enjoys a lap cat. A lap cat all day can be difficult, but it’s doable. Kind of. If it wasn’t so stressful and that whole getting up to pee thing.

So then almost 2 weeks ago, we talked, we were sad and he went to the vet one last time to try one last thing. We didn’t want to tinker with his meds and keep him longer just for us. We followed our hearts but also the facts. Murphy was always so dignified and we didn’t want him to lose that by keeping him here longer. So we had one last weekend to baby him – he started to wonder why he was getting so much attention we thought. We had some crazy cat ladies come over and say goodbye. (You know who you are. <3)

Then Monday morning he went to the vet for the last time. It’s one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make but I can resolutely say that if you are a pet owner/caregiver you will know when it’s time to say goodbye to your sick pet. You’ll see it. You’ll know when they are too tired to go any further. You’ll know when it’s reached the point where it’s too much for them. You’ll question if you kept them around too long too.

Our vet said to us as we left without our cat “If I come back as a cat, I want to live in your house.”

Murphy 2016
Murphy 2016

He was the grumpus, the damn cat, the sack of potatoes (referred to when carried on your shoulder) and Codex’s boyfriend. He was calm and thought everyone who arrived was here to visit with him. He must have owned a collection of “been there got this shirt” t-shirts and so he didn’t get freaked or scared or run for just anything. (Looking at you Codex.) Murphy will be that cat who was stoic and dignified but also, always really, so sweet.

Haikus – our cats

Randomly, thanks to seeing something on twitter, I decided to try some haikus. Kind of like a writing prompt. After I looked up the proper format I tried out a few. Here’s what I came up with for our cats.

Leya
Buddy on the couch.
Pet the thick black and white fur.
The door bell rings. RUN!

Parker
Flooftastic brown fur.
Head butting and squeaking.
Lap cat only on her terms.

Codex
Gray tortie meows.
Ready to pounce her sister.
She wants your cracker.

Murphy
Old man stoic cat.
Calm and loving brown tabby.
Purrs like a motorboat.

My knitting project box really should have a latch

Bad cell phone pictures ahead. Ignore the quality…and the laundry baskets.

So, I walked in the door this afternoon and was greeted by cats.

greeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is quite normal, but there was also another sight. One of those things that every crafty person doesn’t want to come home or wake up to. One of those things every knitter doesn’t want to ever see. I took a deep breath so I could stop the mental string of OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG from even getting up full speed, pulled out my phone and started taking pictures. (Especially since I’d come home alone and my husband wasn’t around to see it.) ….So of course I follow the yarn! From the kitchen….

number 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the living room where I found my dumped project box.

number 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kittens probably charged through and knocked it over…and I think it ended up further into the middle of the floor last night after I put away the last thing I was knitting… Here I took mental note of what was missing/not missing. I was glad to see only 1 bit of yarn that was amiss. What’s up with cats and sock yarn? And fuzzy yarn? And moving yarn? And that thing in the bottom right corner of the picture? I think that’s a cat. But, you see, the yarn continues!

Two more pictures.

hallway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s like the cats are following me, laughing. Like I said, ignore the laundry baskets.

bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See how the yarn is wrapped around the foot of the bed frame?

I ended up with little damage done. The yarn dragged about wasn’t an actual project, I had 8 stitches cast on 1 needle. I might have to trim the yarn off that one because it got frayed up quite a bit, but I have enough for my intended project. The sock yarn that was chewed on was actually the end of the yarn, not the middle of the ball! There are worse things to clean up.

Kittens

The last time I was around to see 2 kittens grow up together I was a teenager living at home. Didn’t have some of the things we have now. Like a nice computer desk setup.

I swear these kittens might actually like to walk on my keyboard! When they aren’t trying to mock kill each other that is.

me trying to talk in an irc channel:

(I didn’t know about irc as a teenager either. Blame my overprotective mother.)

zsa5 m,,,,,,,,,,zxxx
god damn it
wopswq298
+’io87777777777777777777754
I swear I think they like walking on the keyboard
]==[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

09,.iok31
she hit enter herself that time

Depression

I’ve been feeling like maybe I’m finally kicking the depression that creeped in when I was job searching at the beginning of the year. I need to remember a depression lies…. Even if it’s just seemingly harmless things it whispers… Like you’re too tired to do anything. Maybe I’ll find the energy to start updating this here blog more often – with more than random musings and rambles.

Job helped, obviously. Seeing the Roger Waters concert too. Gaining weight on steroids because of a super bad sinus infection did not help. Neither did our cat dying. Hub getting a raise helps too. Anyways, been lots of back and forth, up and down, with a little sideways these last few months.

When back from Memorial Day weekend I’ll have survived my first 90 days at the job that isn’t my first choice but that I could do much worse than. And I had the idea of investigating whether the company I work for that wants to get more involved in giving back to the community would be interested in awards grants to nonprofits instead of just cutting checks. That could make my job more interesting for what I’m interested and passionate about.

This long weekend should be good for me (us) too. We actually watched a movie last night. And maybe I’ll get around to doing my nails. It is a pretty safe assumption I’ll finish a pair of socks this weekend! I’ll think I’ll start another pair too.

Needlefelting

I’ve now seen needlefelting thanks to etsy mostly. Interesting. Looks like fun. Looks like lots of fun. You could create all kinds of cute fuzzy things. But. I’m not starting it! I’m not gonna have another hobby besides knitting (and everything else). I’d have to give up sleep and that’s impossible.

Besides, it’d probably turn into making cat toys and my cats do. no. need. more. toys.

Cats and clocks

clock from IKEA
Nice clock right? Simple. Easy to read. I was going to hang it in the kitchen. It had been in the computer room first but I decided I’d prefer to have it in the kitchen. Well, that won’t work either. Why you ask? Not for any logical reason…

…other than one of the cats thinks the second hand is something from hell that must die! Tank was attempting to climb the wall to get to the clock, to kill the second hand. When the clock was laying on the dining room table he was chasing the second hand. Yes. Chasing it. He was following it round, and round.