musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “rescued pets”


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I have been experiencing technical difficulties with my old laptop. In the meantime, I have been taking a lot of pics of flowers blooming around my yard and outside Toots’s school via Instagram as I runaround in my day to day, as I am now back to, if a bit slower than I was before my accident in March.

For some reason, I was unable to crop out the Instagram stuff in my computer programs or in WordPress. One of these days, I will figure it out. 

Anyway, things down here in Virginia have been blooming madly and sweetly and it makes me happy to see.

Also we adopted another kitty. She is teeny tiny for a 7 month old, and about a third the size of Sasha. We are at the end of her med run and quarantine for kennel cough, but she still has a stuffy nose and sneezes. Toots keeps letting her out. Cecilia is ready to explore and make friends with Sasha, but we have to contain her just a bit more. She is full of spark.


 I can’t wait until we can let her out of Toots’s room for good. 

not exactly quiet

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately.

The obvious place to start is with my grief over the loss of our dear sweet Lucy. It was so sudden, I think I’ve only begun to process it. I am not in a complete fog, walking through molasses and crying at the drop of a hat now. I think it piggybacked our autumn loss of Babette, which was within a week of the loss of my mother’s last living sister, and I couldn’t make it to the funeral. I lost a couple weeks of normal, quieter in some ways. In the meantime, we have been busier than usual in others.

Wrestling season ended for Captain Comic, but not before the number of hours spent in gyms across the Bay Rivers District increased exponentially.
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I am proud of him for trying hard, and always being game for a tough 1st season in the sport. Next year, maybe he’ll win a match from time to time.

Mr Cynic and I have been traveling to colleges and auditions for their music departments and Scholars Competitions, etc. and to have a look around. That has been a couple of adventures in traveling to Boston and to western Virginia.  That has been a bit of roller coaster of pressure, comic mayhem, not so comic mayhem, seeing good friends and my niece, sleeping on sofas, floors,  random beds and hotel rooms. We crossed many bridges, literally and figuratively.

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In the meantime, he has been involved in the Bay Rivers District Choir, and auditioned and won a spot in the All-Virginia Choir! The performance for that is the same weekend as his birthday in Richmond, at the end of April.

Toots is forever Toots, and a spark in our lives, and she apparently has a preschool boyfriend. I told her teacher on Valentine’s Day, that when I asked her who she loves after writing the family valentines, she answered, “D—?” sheepishly, knowing she should have said at least one family member in the context of the conversation. It was adorable. She also has been wanting to invite him over for sleepovers for a couple of months now.  The teacher cracked up and then told me she is always trying to get them to sit with other friends or at recess to play with other friends, but the two of them are stuck like glue everyday. I asked Toots at one point what she likes about D– so much and she answered, “because he is kind.” I couldn’t be happier, honestly, that she has found a best friend who is kind regardless of gender.

She has also been getting into trouble a lot at home, but she is approaching five, seeking independence or when we are preoccupied, seeking attention by plugging the sink, flooding the bathroom and soaking herself from head to toe. Or by poking the bear: Captain Comic, by doing the exact things she knows will trigger a negative response from him. Kazoos and pennywhistles she earns for good behavior in preschool are a big tool of torture for the noise sensitive Aspie.

But she is still our girl and how could we ever stay mad at this:

toots 2013.2.17

One day, I will remember to hold this smartphone horizontally while recording…

Meanwhile, in the writing department, I have started sending out queries to agents, and the rejections have started coming in. At least I’m starting at the top:

1st rejection

good girl


Lucy 11/1(ish)/2005-2/2/2013


Lucy was a good girl. We thought we would have a lot more time with her, but her immune system attacked her suddenly, and we said goodbye today. It is very surreal.

We lost our old kitty Babette not so very long ago, and suddenly, too.

Toots has asked already if we are getting another dog. Honey said to me separately, please can we wait a little while this time to mourn her. We adopted Sasha 10 days after we lost Babette suddenly a few months ago.

Mr. Cynic is presenting stoically, Captain Comic seems okay, and keeps coming over to hug me and make me feel better.

I’m just teary and a bit in shock.



the amazing sasha

About 6 or so weeks ago, we adopted a kitten, Sasha, after our old lady Babette died. It took a while for him to come out of hiding because:

1. We locked him in Toots’s bedroom with all his accoutrement to acclimate to his new surroundings without having to deal with the Terrorizing Terrier.

2. We took a while to settle on keeping the outer garage pet door closed and just let Lucy out the back door when she needs to go, other than her walks, rather than blow $120 or more dollars on a magnetic door and collar for Lucy.

3. Toots and Captain Comic terrorized him with their love and curiosity. I’m just glad that didn’t kill him.

4. After I moved Sasha’s box and food to the garage beyond the inner pet door, he stayed out there in the storage stuff (we have no basement, living as we do, on a Coastal Plain) and we couldn’t find him, but his food disappeared and his box had regular evidence of use. I maintain, he became invisible for about a week or so. Cat’s have magical powers.

5. Lucy is still chasing him when he appears periodically anywhere in the house besides the bedrooms. That dog lives up to her breeding, even if she is a mix, she is all terrier. She chases anything smaller than her and some things that aren’t, Toots for instance.

There’s a cat in here somewhere, I can smell him!

6. So are Toots and Captain Comic. And loving him with a death grip that he weirdly relaxes into.

Anyway, he is starting to show his true playful kitten personality, and it turns out he is quite an active and clever cat, besides a stunningly gorgeous black ball of fluff with a tail bigger than himself. He has come up with some tricks.

I will wear a pair of jeans for a couple of days, if sticky peanut butter, etc hands haven’t left their mark. I laid the day old pair with items in pockets on my bed with my outfit the other morning, and Sasha deftly, and just for kicks picked my pockets.   He removed my lip balm first, and took it for a tour of the bedroom floor. Then he hopped back up and picked out the spare pair of ear plugs I usually keep on me for Captain Comic, when he needs to dampen the noise around him. I took it from him, telling him, no, he can’t eat plastic, while he was in the process of disemboweling the package to get to its guts. He immediately proceeded to remove, one at a time, two dimes and a quarter from my pocket.

I just wanted to get dressed, people. I did not think I was training a trick cat.

Last night, he came up with a new trick.

He hopped off the bed and closed the bedroom door, then he mewed and clawed under it like he wanted to get out of the room. I dragged my sleepy disgruntled self out of bed and opened the door for him, and tried to keep Lucy away from him, because, since the cat was on the move, the terrier had to be on the chase. Most nights they stay pretty well on the bed in different quadrants separated by two sets of human legs.

I managed to settle Lucy down back on Honey’s side of the bed. She’s really supposed to be in her crate right next to the bed, moved up from downstairs a couple of years ago because of the all night pleading barking and cage rattling she goes through periodically. We’re both suckers.

I got back under the covers, and almost had a chance to rewarm my pillow, when, sound of door being pushed closed, mews and clawing at door and rug. I got up, and here we go again. This time, I picked up Sasha and placed him outside the bedroom door, held Lucy back with my foot, so that Sasha might descend the stairs in peace, and he swished his pretty self back into the bedroom and behind the door. Settled dog, settled back into bed, wonder what that kooky cat was up to. Sound of door closing, mews, and scratching of wood and carpet.

By then, I wanted to kill him, I really need my sleep. But I would never kill a cat, especially one as clever and pretty as he.

I think we went through a few more rounds of what was clearly a game he was enjoying before I was able to get back to any semblance of sleep.

Clearly I have adopted a Trickster cat.

I needed that much more mayhem to bring me even more joy to my life.


children’s book in the making?

The New Cat

We adopted a half grown black cat with a big fluffy tail.
He blinks his stunning green eyes so very pale –
A shadow with lights that beam out of his face,
He hovers in corners with hardly a trace.
Until he opens those eyes and blinks once or twice,
Then he swishes his puff tail at the sight of fake mice.

My girl is four and exclaims in high pitch, “He’s SO CUUUTE!”
And “He’s da cutest fing I’ve ever seen in my life! MEW!”
She slides right in and pulls him from the under the bed.
She hugs him and squeezes him, I’m surprised he’s not dead.
But he’s gentle, subtle, likely absolutely terrified –
Yet he behaves as a gentleman, distinguished and rarified.

He has not scratched her in attempts to escape,
Nor has he attacked her in defense against squishes so great.
He merely peers those green eyes around the room,
Seeks a good enough opportunity to zoom
From her arms, and the nape of her neck,
She squishes and squeezes him, loves him, aw heck.

Her goofy big brother is rough on him, too.
Ceiling thumps and bumps signal he’s doing it, too –
Diving under a bed, and grabbing the cat,
Dragging him, pulling him this way and that.
But when they get him out, pin him and hold him too close,
Scratch under his chin, he loves it, and purrs the most.

That cat just puts up with it, and acts very demure.
He gives up after a few wiggles, and begins to purr.
I’m not suggesting that you treat a cat in this way,
That anything is proper in the way that he stays
And just deals with the tough love that they give –
But my goodness, when they do, he lives!

The dog, hold on, is still kept across a barrier,
After all, Lucy is the Terrorizing Terrier.
We close ourselves in with cat, dog claws at the door.
Poor dog, she barks at us to love her some more.
She barks at the kitty, “Arf! Arf! I can smell you in there!
ARF! Sniff! Trailing down the hall is balls of your hair!”

Sasha the cat is regal, beautiful and sweet,
Don’t call him a girl though, or you just might get beat
By a four year old demon who cuddles to death,
And her brother, the hugger of furry adopted pets.
They love him so much, and frankly I do, too,
He’s the lovingest cat we ever had in this zoo.


Not a bad start, especially since I was supposed to be working on my novel manuscript today.

we begin again

We all miss Babette very much.

Toots asked sweetly if we could get a new cat. Captain Comic looked at me with big sad eyes and asked what he was going to do when he needed soft. My heart ached for a cat, I expected Babette in all the usual places. A small furry haunting giving us approval for wanting to continue her catness.

I have a friend who had to give up an older cat over a year ago. She had been fostered all this time and in and out of display at Petsmart through the Isle of Wight Humane Society, a no kill organization. She is 10 years old and solid black, two strikes against her in cat adoption, so I wanted to help. I called and left a message, didn’t hear back. On Saturday, I felt a pull to go to Petsmart to see if she was there again. Captain Comic was having a rough morning, doing more than the usual wandering in circles and hovering, so I took him and a cat carrier, just in case, when I dropped Mr. Cynic off at work at his new job with Kroger.

My friend’s cat wasn’t there, but they had half grown kittens in nearly every kennel. Captain and I decided to call the number on a couple of the kittens’ cards for the foster homes. The first call wasn’t available. My heart sank a little, but I thought, it is too soon, after all. I called the next number, and the woman the other end said the one we asked her about was already reserved. I asked about my friend’s cat’s status and that we were interested in her, and she said, “Oh, she was just adopted by a lovely family!  I am so happy for her!”

Having known that cat , she asked what we were looking for – a cat that could tolerate a small terrier on the chase, overly affectionate fourteen year old with Asperger’s and four year old girl. She then asked me if I had noticed the black 5.5 month old kitten named Salem.

He was tucked in the back corner of his kennel, and did not seem happy to be there, but looked very chill, like, “I may not like it here, but I’ve got this.”  Just a pair of spring leaf green eyes blinking in a shadow. The woman on the phone said, “Have you had a chance to see his tail yet? It is very regal.”

The woman on phone said she was on her way there, anyway, with more kittens and to run the adoption on the other kitty, could we meet her back there in about an hour or so?

Captain Comic and I were so excited, and  I wanted to confer with Honey (really for formality’s sake) and on the way home, Captain Comic and I were already falling in love.

Needless to say, I grabbed Honey and Toots after eating some lunch, and we headed back there to adopt him. The many tiny kittens that had arrived were a huge distraction for the kids, but we managed to adopt the older kitten for whom we returned.


He has basically been under Toots’s bed, sequestered in her room from Lucy, the terrorizing terrier since. Also under the bed with him almost constantly have been Toots and Captain Comic. And me, too, from time to time.

He purrs when we scritchy scratchy under his ears and chin. That tail is so regal, he made me think of a Russian Czar with a big fur collar. I asked Toots if she liked the name Sasha (a diminutive of Alexander in Russia – I read way too many 19th Century Russian novels in college). She immediately loved it for him, though she has a little trouble pronouncing it.

We’re letting him acclimate, and he seems to be warming up. We love our Sasha already. And he doesn’t seem to mind us, too much. This morning he came out of hiding and allowed Toots and me to pet him a bunch. He loves to be stroked long along his back and tail, he rolls and purrs into our hands. 


He even ate in front of a small audience. He may just decide to keep us, too.





la grande dame



5.1(ish).1996 – 9.19.2012

Babette was the cat’s cat.

Not much I can say right now. Her passing was traumatic, but she was on that last decline anyway, moving slowly, not eating much, no more climbing stairs or fence jumping for a few months.

She was an integral part of our family for 16 years.

We will adopt another rescued cat to fill the void soon. This is the first time in my life, since 1973, that I am completely catless.

We all miss her very much. She was good old girl.


And they say people with autism have no empathy. Look at the love and empathy on Captain Comic’s face as he cradled Lucy this morning on the way home from the vet after yesterday’s bladder stone surgery.

He really loves her.

She tried to eat the vet when he attempted to give her her antibiotic this morning.

I gave it to her fine.

Lucy is a nervous little dog who was a stray possibly for the first year of her life. We’ve had her since. She loves us and we love her, even when she is too revved up and knocks Toots down, or jumps too much and barks at guests, or anyone who walks or drives down the street…She’s not to keen on men who aren’t part of our family.

She escapes underfoot through our front door, and always comes home within five minutes. It’ll be tough to keep her from running until the sutures come out in 10 days…and tough to keep that cone on.

I’m sure glad she’s home.

etsy addict

Hi, my name is Cathy. I am an addict.

An Etsy addict.

I usually peruse longingly over many handcrafted items I would like to buy, some by friends, some I just dangerously stumble upon. My friends’ goods are my Gateway drug.

One thing about having a part time job is I can give myself a little treat. And I do mean little, it is part time after all, and my dog needed to go to the vet again. She’s on the mend, though. Anyway, today’s little treats came from


A very affordable, colorful and inspirational place to find Artsy Doodles.  Aimee’s art is very lively, funky and sweet.  Perfect little mantras to get you through your day. A few doodles sing coffee’s praises.

The Happy Shack

A very colorful and happy place to find handmade jewelry and fun photography. Kelly’s jewelry has kick and her photos have spunk.

They blog, too, and can be found at Artsyville and Artful Happiness. When I’m having a cranky or down day, Aimee and Kelly always perk up my mood. And if I am happy when I read their blogs, I giggle and grin and usually find, it is just what I needed then, too.

Go check them out!

happy new year

We took a road trip and saw my family in Connecticut. And I now know I am not 20 years old and can just hop in a car and go whereever and not need a vacation to recuperate from the weekend away. Over a thousand miles in under three days. And the weekend before, we did five hundred.

I took pictures. I took pictures at the house where I grew up and I took pictures at the boat marina.

I haven’t uploaded them yet.

Mayhem rules the roost. School is back in session for the boys today, and for Toots tomorrow. I worked a full day at my part time job on the holiday day everyone else (not working in retail or emergency rooms) had off.

I came home late last night because I was so brain dead, I couldn’t count a small stack of twenties correctly.  When I came home, I couldn’t see straight or complete a thought. Then I went upstairs where  Lucy the terrorizing terrier has taken to peeing on the rug in the hall because we left her with Grandma instead of taking her with us.

Her pee spot didn’t look right, so I took her to the vet this morning. Tests came back fine, probably just a UTI. But of course she was overdue for her shots, etc….cha-ching!

Which reminds me, I need to take Babette, the ghetto queen cat in for her check-up, too.

And make Toots’s wellness appointment before the popular pediatrician fills up for the year…

I have to pick Captain Comic up early from school because he has an appointment this afternoon … and oh, Mr. Cynic’s bass lesson is today, and I am wondering if I can make it back in time from the other kiddo’s appointment.

I really do want to slow down and take a respite of some sort, but it will have to wait.  sigh.

But it was nice to see everyone in my family, however briefly, and celebrate being a family.

And now that I think of it, my family has always been full of mayhem. The more the merrier!

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