Friday, May 29, 2009

A S(Tick)y Situation!

I've lived in NC over five years now. I swear to God, even though I've heard all about ticks, I had yet to see one.
That all changed yesterday.
When I woke up, I was lying on my stomach. Still half asleep, I brushed at the back of my leg with my hand. I felt something adhered to my leg so I sort of knocked it off. I was trying to get back to sleep when some part of my brain kicked in with "What the hell WAS that on my leg?"
I jumped out of bed and wrenched my head around to look at my leg. There was an ugly looking red spot that hurt like the dickens. My first thought was I'd been bitten by a spider (I've seen A LOT of spiders lately). Worried about what TYPE of spider it might be, I started hunting through the sheets for what I'd pulled off my leg.
I didn't see anything at first. Then, I noticed a small little dot on the sheet. I peered closer and realized the dot was crawling, albeit slowly, away from me. I sort of shrieked when I saw it's little legs waving at me, as if to say, "Ciao, ciao, baby, thanks for the snack!"
I ran into the bathroom for a Kleenex. I wanted to keep it to show it to Mr. B (who was out walking Lucy) to confirm my suspicion that it was, indeed, a TICK.
Mr. B and Lucy came home a few minutes later. When they came into the bedroom, he was surprised to see me up. I was a tad hysterical when I told him what happened. Am I gonna die? Will I get some disease? I knew you were not supposed to pull ticks off because you leave their legs in you!
Well, he corrected me; it's not the legs, it's the mouth. He looked at the little creature in the Kleenex (who, despite my having placed the soap dispenser on one end and a bottle of saline on the other to keep it trapped, had managed to get out and was on the lam across the bathroom counter top).
Yep, definitely a tick. He then looked at my leg and ascertained that there was no little tick mouth stuck in my bite. Thank God (although I guess the tick might not be able to move if it didn't have its head).
He fixed me up with ointment and a band-aid, Mr. Tick went on the one way whirley trip down the toilet, and Mr. B checked out Lucy.
He found a tick on her leg and got it off right away with tweezers (it had not adhered to her yet). He didn't find any others.
He then checked himself out and didn't find any ticks but he did find a bite in, uh, well, let's just say a sensitive place. So, Mr. Tick had likely gone from Mr. B to me.
Well, I was not taking any chances! I took off our bedding, as well as Lucy's bed cover, and took them downstairs to wash them. I also decided to wash all the throw rugs and her other bed cover.
Suffice it to say, Lucy got a dose of Frontline.
Later that morning, I went to go let Lucy out. When she sat at the door, I noticed the place where the Frontline was was turning black. EEK! I let her out and called Mr. B. He told me not to worry too much but see if I couldn't take a picture and email it to him.
I went outside to take a picture of her. I came back in to upload it to my computer. As it was uploading, I went back to let her in. Thankfully, I thought it might be a good idea to look at her feet before I let her into the main part of the house.
That is when I found at least three ticks on her. I made her stay put, went and got the tweezers, and, like I'd seen Mr. B do, tried to pry the first one off.
She yanked her foot and I got most of it. But, I knew some of it was still there. So, like Mr. B had told me to do, I went to get some oil. I smothered the little fu$$er with it and it plopped off.
I did the same with the 2nd one.
The third one, though, would not budge no matter how much oil I put on it.
Around this time, Mr. B called to find out where the picture was. I was none too happy and told him our yard was full of ticks. He decided it would be best to leave work, go get some insecticide, and come home to spray the yard and get the uncooperative tick off Lucy.
In the meantime, I put Lucy in the sunroom and went to check on Pete and Lily. I didn't find anything on them (but Pete was not very happy with me and kept yanking his paws away). I started to wonder if we should get Frontline for them, too.
Throughout all of this, I was in email conversation with my SIL Analee who was a big help, thanks, Analee! She had a lot of good advice.
I called our vet and they said it would be a good idea to get Frontline for Pete and Lily. They told me not to worry about it being poisonous; they'd have to lick up tons of it to do any harm and they probably wouldn't get past the first lick because it's very bitter tasting and makes them foam at the mouth (I was worried about them licking it off one another).
Mr. B came home and got the tick off of Lucy, found a few more, got them off, and went out to treat the yard. He told me we would not be able to let Lucy out into the yard for at least 48 hours.
After he went back to work, I walked Lucy.
When we came home, I took her straight to the sunroom where I thoroughly looked her over. And found several more ticks.
By this time, she was not happy. She was not very cooperative when I tried to smother them with oil and, to make a long story short, I was getting frustrated and couldn't get them off. Additionally, Pete (on the other side of the sunroom door) kept trying to climb in between the door and the blinds; rattling the blinds all over creation. I looked over and saw his little face smashed into the glass and didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I did neither. I shouted and pounded on the door and he ran away.
Thoroughly disgusted, frustrated and freaked out at this point, I sent Mr. B a text telling him I was going to keep Lucy in the sunroom until he got home because I couldn't get the ticks off her and I didn't want them hopping off her and onto Pete, Lily or me. Poor thing, but, what else could I do?
I then went to put the clothes that he'd worn while treating the yard (which were outside in the garage) into the washer. After I did so, I noticed small red splotches on the floor in the utility room. I got down to take a closer look, and, GROSS! They were ticks that had fallen either out of his clothes or off of Lucy when we came back from our walk. They'd been so full of blood that they literally splattered when they hit the ground.
Mr. B called at that point and said he was coming home (obviously, he realized his wife was in danger of completely melting down; plus, he didn't think it was a good idea to leave the ticks on Lucy).
While waiting for him, I ran around like a banshee vacuuming everything I could think of to vacuum. In the middle of a horrific thunder and lightening storm, too. I didn't even care that I ran a (small) risk of getting electrocuted!
When he arrived, he, once again, got the ticks off Lucy. He decided this time to work from home for the rest of the day. I drove over to the vet to get the Frontline for Pete and Lily (BTW this stuff is NOT CHEAP!)
I got home and we dosed the cats. Neither were too happy about it but thankfully they'd been in the midst of one of their afternoon naps so were sorta sleepy and didn't put up much of a fight.
Pete promptly turned his head 180 degrees and tried to lick at his spot. Lily managed to get some of hers and you should have seen the grimace on her face when she tasted it.
After that, things calmed down somewhat. Mr. B took Lucy for a long walk while I crashed on the couch upstairs with Pete on my chest. Later, we had a martini (I think I could have used two but kept it to one) and, after dinner, we walked Lucy again (that made #4!)
I have not found any ticks on her, me, Mr. B or The Twins today. Thank God. Hopefully, the Frontline has kicked in on all three of them so, even if they do manage to pick up a hitch hiking tick or two, the little you know whats will bite them, ingest their blood, and die.
Die, die, you little gross things! What possible good or benefit does a tick offer this world?
I can't think of anything!
Anyway, what a day!
Mrs. B
The black spot on Lucy's fur is gone today and we threw out the bag from the vacuum cleaner so as not to risk reintroducing any ticks or tick eggs to our carpet the next time I vacuum.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Middle of the Road

Excerpt from The Pretender's "Middle of the Road"
"The middle of the road is trying to find me
I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me
Well I got a smile for everyone I meet
As long as you don't try dragging my bay (ok, I have no idea what this means; some thing to do with war, maybe?)
Or dropping the bomb on my street" (I suppose this means, short of tragedy, what is there to be unhappy about at this point?)
When I was 34 or so, I'd listen to this song and think, "Yeah, baby!" Then, it meant something to me like "I've got maybe half my life behind me, man, I'm starting to really dig this life thing"; this because I THOUGHT she sang, "I'm standing in the middle of life with my PAST behind me".
Also, I figured the song might have been about going from one (political) extreme to the other, finally settling somewhere in the middle, which is what happens to a lot of people as they get older. Life has a way of teaching us that our way it not always the only way.
However, now that I realized she was really saying PLANS behind me, it brings a whole different meaning to this song for me, right here, right now.
Add to it this stream of thought that my Father gave to me this morning (paraphrasing him) "You drove a long time in the fast lane. Now, you've drifted over to the middle lane where you can chose to jump back into the fast lane from time to time if you want OR, maybe even drift to the right. It's not so bad in the slow lane, especially if you're in a BMW 7-Series!"
Are my plans behind me? I don't know, probably. What I mean is, at my age, I've already done the biggie things I set out to do when I was a kid. I don't need to recount them all here as most of you who know me KNOW what these things are and those of you who don't won't give a rat's ass.
This isn't to say that there are not more things I'd like to do before I get to God's Waiting Room (another nice image from Father, thanks, dude!) I have all sorts of half-baked ideas that keep my mind going (whether I end up doing any of 'em, who is to say? Hell, I would not have thought one year ago that I would have started my own LLC to do HR Consulting or be on the Board of Directors for a symphony, but life happened!)
Some of these half-baked ideas, in order to become full-baked, might necessitate having to jump start a bit and move on over to the left lane for a time.
Others, like that great line from John Lennon (one of many) "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans" likely will occur while I'm chugging along in the middle or have slowed down in the right to re-charge; thinking about what I'm gonna do next.
And, everything I've done and continue to do puts me in a potential position (further on down the road, to continue with this road/traveling concept) to do something else, maybe.
People might think it's a bit lame for me to say I've done all I set out to do as it might lead them to think that means I'm done.
I'm not done.
Don't stick a fork in me yet! It's just the rest is going to be icing on the cake, is all.
So, for all of you flying by me in the left lane, have fun. Work hard. I'll see you at the end of the road!
Mrs. B

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lucy's New Thing

Lucy's new thing...sleeping with one of her toys in her mouth! Mrs. B

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're Home!

We arrived home safely yesterday around 4:30; an uneventful drive back up North. Our new car performed beautifully on its first road trip!
All was fine at home; the pets were doing well and I don't think Lucy's tail has stopped wagging since we picked her up yesterday afternoon!
I'll blog soon about our trip (although I've sorta been doing it all along, huh?) plus some reviews (via Trip Advisor) in case any of y'all need info on Charleston!
Suffice it to say, we had a lovely, lovely anniversary trip and will probably be plotting shortly on how to get back down there sooner rather than later. The Vendue Inn's rates are a lot lower during the week and they start offering deals when it's really warm and humid down South.
On the other hand, we are starting to plan a potential trip to NY in July; likely a four or five day jaunt to visit with Mr. B's family and perhaps attend his (fill in the blank) high school reunion.
Here are a few pictures. Dinner our final night in Charleston (at The Library; the restaurant at the inn) and of Lily and Pete watching birds last night in our sun room.
Mrs. B

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mr. B at the Vendue Inn

Mr. B chillin' in our room at the Vendue Inn!

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Yesterday at Folly Beach

Yesterday's weather was pretty stinko so we opted to drive over to Folly Beach to see the spot where the deed was done four years ago. Luckily, on that day, the rain and wind stopped and the sun came out and it was lovely. However, it did not do so yesterday so we didn't stick around that long, just long enough to snap a few pictures of the beach, the water, and us.
Although I don't look great in the one of us, I am willing to post it here just so y'all can see Mr. B's expression. I crack up every time I look at this picture! Although I am pretty sure he was just grimacing against the wind and rain, one could pretend that he was thinking some poor married man thoughts!
Meaning? When we were out walking around the market the other day, we saw two tee shirts that I found very amusing. One had D.A.D.D. across the front with "Dads Against Daughters Dating" underneath (Mr. B said that was "ok")
and the other was of the stick figures you see on bathroom doors. They were done up in wedding clothes. The bride figure had a huge grin on her stick face while the groom was looking a tad unhappy. Underneath the picture, it read "Game Over".
Mr. B didn't find that one so funny, but, now, whenever I see this picture of him, I'm gonna think that was what he was thinking! Ha ha.
Anyway, the weather is not that great today, either. We'd planned on going out to Ft. Sumter but I'm not sure I could tolerate 75 minutes in a boat on choppy water with the wind blowing my hair all over creation. So, next visit (and there will be one; we love this place too much to not come back).
So, shopping, yey! And, dinner tonight at the inn's restaurant, The Library.
Home tomorrow, y'all!
Mrs. B

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mint Julep!

One of my Facebook pals (and high school classmate) suggested we have a drink in the bar at Charleston Place (a very swanky hotel; Mr. B said he stayed there with his ex and The Kid once and it was EXPENSIVE).
So, here we are in the bar. Very clubby; lots of leather and books. The julep was well done (I've had some that are quite awful). Mr. B drank SC beer.
The only reason I'm on-line right now is that is the weather has turned nasty. It's raining, it's windy and it's coldish. Guess who only brought sandals and flip flops to wear? Nary a pair of socks, even! So, we're in the room now, hanging out. We might venture out in a bit to a museum or drive out to the beach we were married on. We'll see!
We are having a wonderful time! Dinner last night (family style at an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Lucca) was amazing!

Mrs. B

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Anniversary

Here are a few pictures from last night. The first is in our room at The Vendue Inn and the 2nd is at SNOB for our anniversary dinner. We had the same booth we had on our wedding night. They gave us complimentary champagne, too. The food was wonderful, as always. It was a very special and lovely evening!
We're enjoying Charleston and each other!
As a side note, when we were packing up yesterday morning, I found Pete in one of our suitcases.
When we were unpacking at the hotel, I found one of Pete's toys in the suitcase :-)
Mrs. B

Saturday, May 16, 2009

At The Vendue Inn

Me on the monster bed in our room. I feel like Edith Ann. I had to use a step ladder to get on it. I am not kidding!

Mrs. B

Friday, May 15, 2009

Charleston Tomorrow!

Finally! We are leaving tomorrow (our 4th anniversary) to head down to one of our favorite places for four nights; Charleston SC. It's a special place because a) it's where we went on our first vacation together back in 2004 and b) it's where we were married in 2005 (well, technically we were married on Folly Beach NEAR Charleston).
Our wedding day on Folly Beach, Charleston May 16 2005

Anyway, we are staying at the same place we stayed at the other two times, Vendue Inn. And, we'll be eating tomorrow night at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB), which is where we ate on both our first night in Charleson in 2004 and on our wedding night a little over a year later.
Our first time at SNOB together April 2004

I'm sure we'll also eat at a few different places that we've not been to (one of my Facebook friends asked me to take a picture of us having a drink at the bar at Charleston Place) and I want to go to Fort Sumter. We'll probably visit Folly Beach as well, but, that's about all we've got planned; we usually don't go overboard in the planning department.
We were originally going to drop Lucy off at the kennel (Triangle Vet) tomorrow morning but I got to thinking that would be a lot of driving around (in the opposite direction of where we want to end up), especially since we want to leave by 10:00 am or so. I called a few weeks ago and they said they could accommodate her one night early.
I drove her (and her Santa) over there around 1:15 this afternoon. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, she started hopping around in the back of the car. She gets SO excited whenever we take her there (which goes a long way, I can tell you, in abating any guilt I may feel for leaving her there).
This time, I asked to see where she'll be hanging out. So, they took me on a tour (she'd already left me).
When we can (which is almost all the time), we pay extra to have her in a run. In essence, it's like a cage but it's quite a big bigger, both width-wise and length-wise. They are several of them out there all next to one another. So, the dogs can visit but they are separated. If it's cold, they bring them all in at night (it's definitely not cold).
Anyway, there were a lot of dogs out there! All very excited and happy and barking away. Lucy didn't see me looking at her because they were busy getting her situated but I could see her; running happily about, tail wagging, big smile on her face, barking her head off.
The Kid made a comment to her dad the other night that Lucy is probably happier there because she doesn't "get yelled at all the time". In all honesty, that's probably true, to some degree. She probably doesn't get yelled at, period; and, she gets to bark, pull on the leash, jump up on people; you know, all the stuff she is not allowed to do at home.
I left and went on my way, feeling good that our girl's gonna have her own little vacation, too.
As for Pete and Lily, Uncle Jon and Aunt Shannon will be stopping by daily to see how they're doing.
All bases covered; we're ready to roll!
Mrs. B

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pete and Lily Are Maine Coons!

A lot of people have told me (including those at the vet) that they think Pete and Lily are part Maine Coon (actually, Uncle Chuck said he wouldn't be surprised if they were close to pure-breed Maine Coons; something I cannot quite figure out since they were found in a storm drain!)

When they were little, they looked like this (remember these pictures?):

So, yes, I looked up Maine Coons today and what I found stunned me in that it perfectly describes Pete and Lily. I mean, these articles could have been written about OUR cats!
Here are some excerpts from various sites, with my comments inserted:
Everything about the Maine Coon points to its adaptation to a harsh climate. Its glossy coat, heavy and water-resistant, is like that of no other breed, and must be felt to be appreciated. It is longer on the ruff, stomach and britches to protect against wet and snow, and shorter on the back and neck to guard against tangling in the underbrush. The coat falls smoothly, and is almost maintenance-free: a weekly combing is all that is usually required to keep it in top condition. The long, bushy tail which the cat wraps around himself when he curls up to sleep can protect him from cold winters. His ears are more heavily furred (both inside and on the tips (Lily's more so than Pete's)) than many breeds for protection from the cold, and have a large range of movement (I swear that Pete can swivel his ears 360 degrees!) Big, round, tufted feet (Both of them have a lot of tuft and Pete's feet are HUGE) serve as 'snow shoes.' Their large eyes and ears are also survival traits, serving as they do increase sight and hearing. The relatively long, square muzzle facilitates grasping prey and lapping water from streams and puddles.
Although the Yankee myth of 30-pound cats is just that, a myth (unless the cat is grossly overweight!), these are indeed tall, muscular, big-boned cats; males commonly reach 13 to 18 pounds (Pete was over 11 pounds two months ago; we're betting he's at least 13 now) with females normally weighing about 9 to 12 pounds (Lily was 10 1/2 two weeks ago). Add to that two or three inches of winter coat, and people will swear that they're looking at one big cat (no kidding!)
Maine Coons develop slowly, and don't achieve their full size until they are three to five years old (Oh. My. God). Their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives; they are big, gentle, good-natured goofs. Even their voices set them apart from other cats; they have a distinctive, chirping trill (We initially thought Pete was part squirrel) which they use for everything from courting to cajoling their people into playing with them. (Maine Coons love to play, and many will joyfully retrieve small items (Yes! Yes! Pete, in particular!)) They rarely meow, and when they do, that soft, tiny voice doesn't fit their size! They are playful throughout their lives, with males tending to be more clownish and females generally possessing more dignity (This definitely sounds like Pete and Lily!)
Maine Coons are known as the "gentle giants" and possess above-average intelligence, making them relatively easy to train. They are known for being loyal to their family and cautious-but not mean-around strangers (Yep!) and are independent and not clingy. The Maine Coon is generally not known for being a "lap cat" (Yes, neither really cares for hanging out on laps) but their gentle disposition makes the breed relaxed around dogs, other cats, and children.
Many Maine Coons have a fascination with water (Just ask Mr. B about this one!) and some theorize that this personality trait comes from their ancestors, who were aboard ships for much of their lives.
In the Maine Coon, the most common inherited health problems are hip dysplasia, which can produce lameness in a severely affected cat, and cardiomyopathy, which can produce anything from a minor heart murmur (Pete does have a Level Two (on the low end) which Uncle Chuck is keeping an eye on) to severe heart trouble.
Below are some pictures. Will the "real" Maine Coons please stand up? Some are of Pete and Lily and some are from the on-line sources; I'm sure you will be able to tell which are which, especially since I've posted these pictures of Pete and Lily before, but, by means of comparison!
Mrs. B

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy 20th Anniversary Don and Kathleen!!!!!

Yep, they've experienced 20 years of wedded bliss today. What wonderful friends they have been to me (so this means I've known them MORE than 20 years) and, how unusual (in this day and age) that these two high school sweethearts a) ended up marrying one another and b) are STILL married!
I was trying to find the photo album from 1989 so I could post a few pictures of their wedding day. Unfortunately, I think the box of photo albums is on a shelf in the garage that I cannot reach (without risk of serious injury which I'm not about to do this close to our trip to Charleston). I also don't appear to have any of those pictures scanned into my computer. Drats!
So here, instead, is a fairly recent picture of them (with me and their son James) in Orlando a few years ago.
I can also recall a few memories from that day (and the events leading up to that day).

Here goes; no particular order since this is free-style writing:
1. I was one of three of Kathleen's bridesmaids. I walked "down the aisle"; this in quotes because there was no aisle because they were married at a public park in Seaport Village (San Diego)) with Stuart (I can't remember his last night but I wouldn't have posted it here, anyway).
2. We wore purple dresses which I helped Kathleen pick out. One of the other bridesmaids (Stacey) was also supposed to help pick them out but she became violently ill the day were were going shopping. She had quite the most unfortunate accident in the bathroom at the diner the three of us were at for lunch (The Corvette).
3. The dresses were very pretty but practical; meaning, they were chosen so we could wear them again. Which I did. A lot.
4. The other bridesmaid (maid of honor) was Kathleen's college roommate, Teresa. Or Theresa. She ended up marrying a guy that later flipped his wig.
5. I was drastically late to Kathleen's bridal shower. I was driving down from Redondo Beach to El Centro and got stuck in a horrific traffic jam on the 5 (near Oceanside). I got there in time to have a few drinks with the other guests and watch Kathleen open some of her presents (including mine, since I had it with me). I spent the night, though, so at least I got to spend extra time with her that way.
6. Don and his groomsmen wore sneakers with their tuxes. His best man was his brother Dick. In addition to the aforementioned Stuart, Mike D. was the other dude to stand up with Don.
7. The wedding procession song was Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life". I love that song; I still listen to it frequently and I always think of D&K!
8. My date for the wedding was my now ex but at that time not yet my fiance John. My sister Kathy went with Ray (who was a big part of our family for many years).
9. The weather was beautiful.
10. Kathleen looked beautiful.
11. I was standing in such a way that Don was facing towards me as he recited his vows. I'll never forget the way he was looking at Kathleen. So much love!
12. There was toasting and dancing and cake (I think) at the park after the wedding. Later, we went over to a nearby restaurant (drat, forgot the name) for dinner (the wedding party and family).
13. I got TOASTED. I got lost from the bathroom going back to our table. John had to come find me. Not terribly proud of THAT moment! Luckily, a lot of others were feeling no pain, either.
14. And speaking of John, he was none too happy the morning of the wedding because my sister had her car towed away and he had to go help her out (I couldn't because I needed to be at the park early).
15. For some reason that I'll NEVER understand, the daughter of one of Kathleen's mother's friends got a hold of my credit card (it was in a small clutch purse along with lipstick and my driver's license), cut it up, and threw it into the bay (water).
16. The day after the wedding, John and I went to Seaworld.
17. I think their wedding gave him ideas because he proposed a few months later. Thanks guys (just kidding).
Here is to Don and Kathleen and (at least) another 20 years of marriage!
Mrs. B

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

Here is hoping all the mothers in my life had a wonderful day.
Here are a few pictures of us with mom! I truly wish all three of my moms could have been here with us today.
Much love!
Mrs. B

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Videos

Just a quickie post as I have tons to do today and I'd best get to it!
I posted a few new videos of (primarily) Pete and Lily on You Tube. Lucy does make a cameo!
Mrs. B

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nap Time Today

Lily and Lucy on the couch together with my leg as a buffer. They both got up here on their own, I didn't put either in place. Whew.

Mrs. B

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Cats And Dogs And (Potential) Choices

Ever since I reported about Lucy attacking Lily and our conclusion that, if Lucy did it again we'd probably have to find her another home, I have to say I've been getting a little bit of flack from people; namely over WHY we'd get rid of LUCY and not the cats.
First off, let me say that it is probably not going to be an issue because, at least as far as we can tell since letting Lucy back into the house Sunday, all is going well. She's been on her best behavior and both of the cats are almost back to where they were with her before this happened (cuddling with her, rubbing up against her, giving kisses, climbing all over her, grooming her, etc.) I even saw Lily walk past Lucy last evening and give her a rub up; albeit, a quick one.
I've thought about the various reactions I've received and think they are definitely falling into either the cat camp or the dog camp. Remember that movie, "Cats and Dogs"? Well, if you've not seen it, you can chose, when watching the DVD, to be either on the cat's side or the dog's side, thus dictating for the course of the movie which animal is the evil one (I've watched both versions; it's really cute, you should rent it and watch it if you haven't done so already).
Anyway. From the cat lovers I've heard that we'll need to be extra vigilant and consider giving Lucy away if she does it again; after all, she's a lot bigger and she could kill them, intentionally or unintentionally, but, the result would be the same (then, of course, we'd have to give her away, anyway, because who could live with a pet that's killed another one of your pets?) Yes, very dramatic.
From the dog lovers, I've heard that it's possible Lily provoked Lucy (you know how sneaky cats can be; always trying to get the dog into trouble) and that why would we give Lucy away and not the cats? You've only had the cats five months and have had Lucy over two years. How is THAT fair?
Obviously, there are points to be made for either side.
But, for us, it comes down to this.
First of all, I'm pretty much 100% certain that what caused Lucy to attack Lily was my leaving that chewie in sight on the patio (believe me, I still feel awful about that). Lucy was obsessing about it and the fact she couldn't get it and couldn't possibly understand when Lily strolled over to the door that Lily couldn't get to it, either. Not that this made it okay for her to bite Lily.
Given how often I've seen the cats climbing on Lucy and such, I doubt even if Lily HAD swiped her with her claws, that Lucy would have reacted in that manner. Add to it the ONLY times we HAVE seen Lucy behave this way was over food or chewies, well, the argument that Lily INTENTIONALLY provoked her is weak.
Chances are that we'll not ever have this issue again because we will ensure Lucy is not put into a situation where she'll react this way (over food/chewies). We've taken my brother's recommendation and will, from now on, feed her outside (good weather) or in the sunroom with the door shut (bad weather). And, sorry to say for her, no more chewies. Ever.
However, if, even given these restrictions she DOES attack one of the cats again, then, chances are there would be a serious problem with Lucy and her temperament. I'd forever worry about them, her, and, God-forbid, what if she went further one day and attacked one of my nieces or nephews? Right now, there is absolutely no reason to believe she'd do that. But, if she attacked one of the cats for no reason, or, a swipe or a hiss; who is to say what she might do to a small child pulling on her eyes, tail, or stepping on her paw?
That, really, is the primary reason why we decided she'd have to go if she got out of line again. Cats or no cats, we'll always have children around. They come first.
And, obviously, what sort of life would she have, assuming we kept her but kept her outside or locked up in the sunroom all the time? SHE'D be better off (under those circumstances) with a family where she can be involved and loved; probably one with no other pets and no children. Maybe an older couple or a single guy or, who knows. It probably won't come to this, but, if it did, I'd want LUCY to be happy, too.
Finally, to address the question of why not get rid of Pete and Lily? It's simple. They've done nothing wrong. They have every bit as much of a right to be here as Lucy does. We love them, just as we love Lucy. Certainly, if something happened such that it would be BETTER for Pete and Lily to go to new homes, we'd have to think about it. But, again, the only reason we'd give Lucy to a new home (I say this rather than "get rid of her" or "give her away" to reinforce that we'd ensure she had a new HOME, and a good one at that) is if she attacked one of them again, which would led us to the conclusion that she needed to be in a home with no other pets and probably no children.
Ok, I'm rambling and maybe I'm feeling a tad defensive. Excuse me for that, please.
If you've been reading my Blog, you know how much Lucy and I have been through together, our ups and downs, and how much I love her. Believe me, we have her best interests at heart, too.
Mrs. B

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Nephew Zack

Zack posted this (and a bunch of others) on his Facebook page. For whatever reason, I really like this picture.
I think he resembles Prince Harry of England, what do y'all think?

Mrs. B

Friday, May 1, 2009

Insight: Part Two

Well, y'all have read my posts before about The Kid and how, at times, she can be a royal pain in the butt (getting worse, IMO, but that's probably due to her being almost 17 years old (gasp) more than anything else).
There have been times during the past few years when I've scratched my head in puzzlement over, not only her behavior, but, Mr. B's constant defense of her (with a few exceptions; he won't abide by her lying and he will call her on the carpet for that).
In addition to Mr. B and The Kid, I have, of course, routinely been involved in the throes of woe and angst my own parents have gone through WRT to my sisters.
Yeah, yeah; anyone can say (and some have), "Well, you don't understand because you're not a parent".
And, up to now, I thought this was pretty much true. I am NOT a parent and I DON'T understand.
But, after this recent incident with Lucy attacking Lily, I suppose I understand a bit more than I did before. Or, rather, I realized that I DO understand because I probably always did, deep down.
Ok, we're talking PETS here and not CHILDREN. But, they ARE my children, such as it goes. And, frankly, I felt all sorts of conflicting emotions (and still do) over what happened the other day. I'd imagine these emotions are not so very dissimilar to what parents of human children feel when there are issues/problems/drama with their kids. Here goes:
What parent hasn't thought this from time to time? I know it's what was running through my head over and over and over again like a nasty version of the movie "Groundhog Day". WHY did I leave that chewie on the patio? I KNEW I should have moved it, why DIDN'T I? I'm an idiot. I'm a bad mother. I allowed Lucy to fail and put Lily in harm's way.
Ok, not literally, but, in my life (not very often thank God) I was, a time or two, on the receiving end of parental anger (likely very much deserved). I sure as hell felt mad enough to really sock it to Lucy the other day. Luckily, I had the sense to put her out in the yard instead. I mean, I could have stood there yelling at her until the cows came home and it wouldn't have made any difference to what had just happened (sound familiar to any of you parents out there?)
This I was frantically thinking as I ran upstairs to check on Lily and then couldn't find her. Then, when I did find her and she seemed to be okay, I burst into tears.
When I was at the vet and the story came out about what happened, I felt everyone there was thinking what a rotten, stinking mom I was. I don't think they really were, but, any parent that has had to take a child to the hospital or doctor because of some unfortunate accident can likely relate.
By the time Mr. B made it home Wednesday night (he had a Board meeting and it was almost 9:00), I'd calmed down somewhat, enough that I was starting to worry a bit about how Mr. B was going to deal with Lucy. I KNEW he was furious with her because this was the 3rd time this has happened and his tolerance is waning. I found myself telling Lucy through the screen door that, if she thought I'D laid into her, wait until her father got home! Of course, he didn't do anything to her at all but ignore her and tell me he thought she should stay outside several days.
This, I suppose, was the biggest A HA that I had. No matter what, I still love her. She's my girl. Now, unlike a human child, we WILL have to find her another home if she doesn't come around because we have the cats' safety to think of (they, after all, have not done a thing wrong) BUT I still feel committed to Lucy and to doing everything I can to make her successful. Yes, she hurt my feelings, or, rather, really, really disappointed me. Yes, I'm a bit wary of her around the cats for now so this means she'll be spending more time outside until we can work through this. Yes, she's on borrowed time as far as Mr. B is concerned and I know I have to support him, too.
GAH! I should have got a fish!
Seriously, I believe after all is said and done, we'll get to a good place again with Lucy, Pete and Lily. It may take Lily quite a long time to forgive Lucy, but, we'll leave that up to Lily. I've had some excellent advice from several sources; thanks everyone! So, we're not the only ones who want Lucy to be successful. She's loved all the way around. Yes, others are also disappointed in her, but, willing to bet she'll do better from now on.
Most importantly, I've got even more respect for Mr. B and other parents who've had to deal with difficult/trying situations with their children.
My friend Luigi is fond of the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears".
Thanks, Lucy.
(But you ass is still grass if you ever do this again!)
Mrs. B