Archive | March, 2012

Conversations and Connections

28 Mar
I spent the day working at my profession as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF).  Years ago they used to be called nursing homes.  One of the things that make me a successful PTA is how I can make connections with my patients.  Oddly enough, the differences aren’t as great as we think between generations.

Zelda hanging with some of my patients.

Tanner doing his awesome doggie PT balance thing!

Frankie was a star at 2 months old. He proved to be a natural in the rehab field!

Pets (especially dogs), the military, cooking, jobs, sports and particular interests are all places where we often meet.  But as generally happens when I work with my elderly short- and long-term patients there are unexpected twists and stories.  The crazy thing is it happens just about every time.  And it is the misconceptions between generations that crack me up or amaze me the most.
Today as I usually do when I work with a patient I haven’t seen before, I started out with leg exercises and began to probe for those places we might connect.  When she spotted my Red Sox jacket she immediately let me know she’s a Red Sox fan so we high-fived over that to begin with.  She was a runner in high school who won some medals for it.  We bonded over athletics when I let her know I had been a star softball player.  “Good for you!” she shouted.
Then she revealed her father had passed away when she was young and she was the oldest of 8.  Her mother was sickly and so my patient mothered her younger siblings and didn’t even think about college given the circumstances.  This was in the 1920’s and 30’s.  Our conversation turned to Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover–both under-appreciated btw.  Turns out her husband was into history and she into geography.  What can I say, as a history and geography buff she had me hooked.
So naturally the National Geographic Magazine (NGM) came up in conversation.  After all the magazine has been around since 1888.  She bought the subscription each year for her husband, as an aunt did for my grandfather when I was young, as well as my in-laws for me as an adult.  (Hey, it’s one of my favorite presents each year and it makes me happy that they get me so well after 10 years.)

Yeah, her family and my family becoming our family has been a given for almost 10 years.

My patient and I started chortling because she and I acknowledged that NGM was the first place many of us had seen… naked people!  I mean cripes people I’m talking the 50’s and 60’s here.  Ok, so it was primitive folk from New Guinea and the Amazon of South America… but still it was NAKED people!  It just wasn’t common then.
There happen to be 2 other therapists in the room during this conversation.  The older of them spoke up,  “Yeah, I remember checking out NGM when I was a kid and know just what you’re talking about.”  The youngest therapist (20 something)  was like, ” Really, that was the first time?”  She just didn’t get the shock of it as it was back then.
But the revelation from this patient that really blew us away… was she used to find her mother’s “romantic” and “sexy” ( she seemed to imply “pornographic”) magazines and hide them in her room to peruse in her own good time!  We all cracked up.  Mostly ’cause none of us in the room could conceive of such magazines or actions during the time period she was speaking of.
It didn’t seem to stunt her much, as she and her husband of 68 years (he passed away 6 months ago) had 4 children, 6 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchilden.
I saw something on the internet last week that rings so true.  “How did you manage to stay married 67 years?”  (to an elderly couple)  “We grew up in a time when if something was broken… you didn’t throw it away… you fixed it!”  Yeah, that sounds just about right… even in today’s environment.

Brand New Day

27 Mar

Forsythia in bloom

In spite of the drastic drop in temperature from last week it still seems like spring–the season of renewal.  Especially standing in the bright sunshine and admiring the forsythia in my front yard.  And the lawn will need mowing fairly soon since the dogs are already grazing in the back yard.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts when the muses strike there’s no shutting them off.  The song below was written during a jammie day while in the process of losing my voice.  I managed to squeak out the last of the song before it was gone completely.  Today feels like a brand new season.

Brand New Day      Weez  November 2000

I sit by my window
as the dawn unfolds
and the night rolls back
while the stars go dim and cold
as the sun flames bright
in the Eastern skies

"As the sun flames bright"

What shall I do
with this brand new day
what difference can I make
to this world I live and love in

"Brand New Day"

I sing to the earth and trees
in the noontime hour
and the water flows darkly by
while the wind most definitely cries
as the air grows thin
over Southern skies

"and the water flows darkly by"

What shall I do
with this brand new day
what difference can I make
to this world I live and love in

"Brand New Day"

I pray to the Gods of Peace
as the evening draws near
and the sky burns red
while the hatreds of the newly dead
rise as furies loosed upon the land
under Western skies

"and the sky burns red"

What shall we do
with this brand new day
what difference can we make
to this world we all live and love in

"Brand New Day"

I dance with the moon and stars
at the midnight hour
and the night glows bright
while a sleeping world sends its
healing dreams as protective wings
o’er the Northern skies

"I dance with the moon and stars"

What shall we do
with this brand new day
what difference can we make
to this world we all live and love in

"Brand New Day"

And so I ask that we treasure each day and make what differences as we can.  What shall YOU do with each Brand New Day?

I’m back!

26 Mar

Looking out the back door.

Ok, I think I’m ready to re-join the world of the living bloggers!  The picture above represents how I’ve felt for the last week or so.  Sudafed, upper respiratory and throat infections will do that.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a growing movement to get back to some of the old skills of our grandparents and great-grandparents–canning, gardening, chicken raising, hand powered tools and herbal lore.  I also wrote of some of today’s accomplishments I wouldn’t want to be without–computers, the internet and medical advances… like antibiotics.
I tried to tough it out last week like a big girl but by Friday I realized I needed more help than the Sudafed and herbals could give me.  I could barely swallow and ate almost nothing last week.
My Doctor took one look at my throat and immediately prescribed an antibiotic and steroid.  My throat was abscessed and almost closed on one side.  I am very grateful I live in a time and place where these medicines are available.  Years ago it was called quinsy and people died of it before modern medicine.  Crazy thought that.
Not a long post tonight since I’m back to the training wheels here.  I thought I’d throw out a few observations from the past week.
I’m over the lack of snowshoeing this year.  I live in the Northeast–it will eventually snow again.

If I hadn’t been so sick last week I would have been tempted to go out kayaking.

Kayaking in Finland.

Or taking the dogs hiking.

No hesitation for spring this year as she takes her giant leap forward.  Windows have been opened for several days and nights to chase away winter’s stuffiness.  The peepers have started their nightly chorus as the stars and planets chase the spin of the heavens.
Well no hesitation til the last few days.  Last week it was in the upper 70’s during the days and 50’s at night.  Tonight’s low is expected to be 15 and tomorrow’s high 36 degrees.  The wood stove is lit cause 57 degrees inside is a bit chilly for comfort.
The skies have been exceptionally clear this week.  Just after sunset, the moon, Venus and Jupiter cling close together following the sun and Mars is bright high in the sky.  Later Orion is visible towards the western horizon with his dogs in hot  pursuit.  As the night progresses the twins of Gemini rise up and finally Scorpio with mighty Antares (not Mars) moves south as dawn approaches.

4 out of 5

There are some who think we’re a wee bit crazy for living with 3 dogs and 2 cats.  But I gotta tell  you it was a real comfort last week when 4 out of 5 of our babies would hop up on the bed to lend me warmth.  They all took turns in providing me solace when I really needed it.  I really believe they care as much for us as we do them.
Well dang it, all last week when it was so warm, not a hint of skunk smell.  I just went out with the dogs and as they were romping about the back yard (with the temp at 25 degrees) there was that smell of skunk.  Luckily, they all got back to the house when called without any skunkage.  A big Thank You to the Universe for that!

My beautiful wife.

And speaking of Thank You to the Universe, an enormous one is due for my wife.  Without her attentiveness, herbal knowledge and ability to navigate the health system it would have taken me much longer to recover… especially given how stubborn I can be in “toughing it out”.
Well that’s it for now from our little corner of the world here at CoyoteCrow Farm.  I’m hoping to get back to my daily blog now that I’m feeling somewhat “normal.”  All right, I order all of you who actually know me to stop laughing at the term “normal.”  I’m back!

Truly Random Thoughts… ADD style.

18 Mar

Dancing Zelda

Our oldest dog/cat is the most beautiful, graceful, empathic, goofy, foolish, freakish and least dog-like dog I’ve ever met!  And yes, her story will be told.
Uh oh, I think I might be getting sick.  I’m all schnorki, my throat hurts, I’m starting to lose my voice and my birthday’s this week.  Yes Love, I’ll take a hit of your Double E – Immune Booster tincture before I come to bed.
Ok, I’m not quite sure what the picture above is but it makes me think of the sky, mountains, sunset, trees and stars so I’m gonna go with that.  (I told you this would be random.)  All of which have been spectacular the past few days and spring is still officially 2 days away.
The sky was blue, blue, blue today with not a hint of clouds, the sunset along the western ridge of the Berkshire hills phenomenal, the trees are getting that reddish tint of early spring and the stars and planets have been at their full equinox glory the last few nights.  How’s that for connecting the dots?  Yeah, an ADD specialty.

Autumn kayaking with Frankie.

There are like 4 or 5 layers plus my life jacket under the windbreaker.  So for those who might be wondering, no my head has not been shrunken.  This crazy “winter” weather has me thinking… get the kayaks out.  It’s been over 70 like 3x already in the last 2 weeks.

Northern Appalachians

We spent yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day wandering over some of the high, twisty, back roads of Northern Berkshire County of Western Mass.  It was a lovely afternoon and we came home to a scrumptious, glazed corned beef dinner.
We then watched a gem of a movie called Songcatcher.  It’s set in 1907 when a woman music professor visits her sister who’s a teacher in the southern Appalachian mountains.  She discovers the virtually unchanged music of the Scots-Irish who immigrated to the US in the 1600’s and 1700’s.  They settled in the Appalachians because the coastal regions had already been settled.
The story is a bit contrived but the main focus is on the music.  And as Elizabeth and I have both Scots and Irish as well as music in our DNA it really caught both of us.  Plus the mountains/hills of New York and New England are considered part of the Appalachians.
I got goose bumps and only cried a bit at the end.  It was the music, honest.  And please don’t tell anyone, it would wreck my army national guards/macha image.  Besides a small tot of scotch-whiskey to honor our ancestors (there was no moonshine available) took care of any wimpiness on my part.

He was illegally cute from the beginning.

Young Frankie and I went to work today.  It was a long day.  Most of the patients, staff and visitors know Frankie by name.  He’s kind of legend… after all he’s been going to work since he was 2 months old and is now 4 1/2 years old.

King of the cushions.

I gotta tell you it’s a bit disconcerting when everyone knows your dog’s name but not yours.  But it’s not the first time I’ve been beat out by a dog act.  And I’m OK with that.  When your dogs are cuter than you are (except to my wife thankfully) it’s to be expected.  I’m pretty sure all my patients today worked longer and harder because a dog was there than if it had been just me.  Just stating a simple truth.

Cousins grown and still beloved family

Awesome, unexpected phone call from a left coast cousin totally made my day.  I love that all of my cousins can get in touch with any of us after years apart and still feel the love and connection of family.  It’s a special thing we have.

We have a wonderful trove of stories of the generations that came before us.  And some of our family have traced even further back.  For someone like myself who treasures history this is a wonderful thing.  Even when it’s not of my family.  In speaking of ancestry with a patient today, he revealed one side of his family has been here since the earliest settlers in America.  Wow, amazing stuff.  Even more amazing… is part of my Elizabeth’s family has been here almost as long.

Drying hand made socks.

Yikes, in a couple of weeks we’re gonna have chickens… Steve is gonna build us a chicken coop and the Red Sox start a new season.  Note the sox on the middle left.  Elizabeth knit those a few years ago during the season… to make them especially lucky.  I’ve worn them every opening day and important games since.  Not that they’ve made a difference but it makes me feel better.
So is anyone else having trouble figuring out how the Red Sox and chickens ended up in the same paragraph?  I’m thinking it’s about they’re both arriving around the same time.  Yeah, that’s it.  Really folks, this is how my brain hops from thought to thought… or makes connections.
Right I know, kind of hard to keep track.  Kudos to my wife for sticking around.  Me… I would have jumped ship a long while ago.  Except I can’t… ah, it’s my brain… making it difficult to walk away from.  All I can do is try to keep making those connections!

Hold on Honey, it's gonna be a tilty ride.

Saving Phrases

16 Mar

Saving Pictures

Years ago when I was living in Great Barrington, MA, I went to the library and borrowed 2 books.  One was about 800 pages on the history of the Ottoman Empire.  The Empire lasted over 6 centuries and was the most culturally, religiously and geographically diverse in world history.  It was a very interesting read and went a long way to explaining the present day instability of the Balkans and Middle Eastern nations.
The other book was about Linguistics.  As a kid we used to have spelling as well as vocabulary tests in school.  I devoured the study guides for vocabulary.  I just love knowing where words originate from.
And it was dangerous for me to look anything up in dictionaries or encyclopedias.  I was a goner… lost for hours as one word led to another again and again.  It’s like that for me even today on the computer as one link leads to another.  I re-read that linguistics book twice.
The National Geographic magazine has done several articles on the disappearance of certain languages as the native speakers age and die out.  It makes me sad to think about it… just as the extinction of some of the fauna and flora around the world does in our mad rush to be “modern.”  I’m absolutely fascinated by languages.

Finland has a non-Indo-European language.

As a musician, when I hear other languages, I hear music.  Most have a different rhythm and sound, just as different styles of music do.  Take some of the languages of Southern Africa for instance.  They have clicks and sounds that don’t appear in any other language group.  How did that happen?
One of my favorite audio books to re-listen to is “The Adventure of English” by Melvyn Bragg.  It follows English from an obscure dialect imported from the northwestern corner of Europe to become the global language it is today.  I’d recommend it be listened to rather than read since English has evolved in sound and pronunciation greatly over the centuries.  English has also picked up multiple loan words along the way from just about every country and culture it’s come across.

Montreal, Canada. Still a mostly French speaking city.

Over the past the past 2 years I’ve traveled to 3 different countries with 3 different languages, one of them a non-Indo-European language: Finland; Montreal, Canada; and Honduras. I kept a journal, saving words and phrases in each place.  Partly because I wanted to at least attempt to speak the native language and partly so as not to be perceived as an arrogant American.  I’ve been told I have a good ear for other languages.  I think that’s probably because I spent my first year or so in Italy and was beginning to speak before I came to America.

Trying to communicate beyond language in Guaimaca, Honduras. Guitar and music were the answer.

Keeping track of words and phrases has been a lifelong affair.  Not just something I started to do when I began traveling to other countries.  It used to be scraps of paper and then notebooks.  Now it’s files on the computer… Saving Phrases.  When I read, hear or think of an interesting word or phrase that’s where it gets recorded.  Eventually they become part of a poem or song.  So the poem below is part of that file.  Some of it written down while driving… not easy or probably safe but doable.

Just another dawn morning.

Driving Towards Dawn   Weez March 2012

dawn comes on quick feet
with great shouts of color
while the mist ahead
kisses blue on blue
of water and sky
announcing the lake
at daybreak
jet trails blaze orange arrows
across white clouds
to spark a rainbow
of possibilities along
with the new day
and out on the western sky path
a storm approaches
and in the marriage of sky and earth
the sky is the dark of a groom’s tux against
the bride white snow of the mountain

Westward Glances

The joy of audio books

15 Mar
We were a reading family.  In my grandparent’s house we even had a library room.  There was a fireplace my grandfather would light on most winter nights.  He had his chair in the corner (nobody else would dare sit there) where he sat reading with Sherlock the basset hound at his feet.  A large hand-made bookcase lined one whole wall.  I often lay reading on the floor in front of the fire for hours at a time.

Fire warms the soul as much as the body.

Every month my siblings and I were allowed to order 2 books apiece from the Scholastic Book Club catalog we brought home from school.  I used to make my sister furious by finishing mine and then stealing hers to read before she could finish them.  I couldn’t help it, reading was and is an addiction that has lasted through the years.
And it was Aunt Pat who fueled this addiction.  She’d leave books in the “other McCarty Library” AKA the bathroom.  She would change them out every so often.  I remember reading a book about the lives of Saints and weeping because I knew I wasn’t good enough to ever be a saint in that very bathroom.  It was during my first brush with the nuns and wanting to be Holy like them.
Aunt Pat helped me get my first library card when I was 8.  It was about then I discovered the science fiction section and have been a fan ever since.  And books were always birthday and Christmas presents.  One of my all time favorite Christmas presents was from her at 11… my very own bookcase!
In fact our 6 room house here on Garden St has 8 bookcases.  My wife is also a lover of books and reading.

Books have been life long companions.

When Elizabeth and I started dating she would travel out from the other side of the state on the weekends.  It was a 2 and 1/2 hour ride one way.  She soon learned the joys of books on tape… then CD which she borrowed from you guessed it the library.  She tried to get me to listen to audio books for months.  I kept resisting saying “I don’t know honey, I just like holding and reading an actual book”.
It wasn’t until we took a 4 hour ride to vacation way up in New Hampshire that I understood what she was so enthused about.  We listened to a Father Cadfael mystery story by Ellis Peters and just like that I was hooked.  (It was also excellent as a PBS series by the way.)
And then we discovered  You can download stories to your computer and THEN onto your iPod or other MP3 devices.  Way cheaper than buying tapes or CD’s.

"Reading" a book while driving. Yes it CAN be done!

The thing about audio books is you can do mindless chores like dishes, empty out the cat litter box, paint a room and even with headphones vacuum and mow the lawn.  And have you ever tried to take a shower while reading a book.  I’ve been told it’s possible but not if you wear bifocals.
The best simile I can come up with is it’s like listening to the Red Sox on the radio as opposed to watching them on TV.  I grew up playing baseball and listening to the Sox on the radio so cable isn’t necessary for me to follow the Red Sox.  Yet another way to cut stupid expenses.
It opened up a whole new world of “reading” for me.  It’s especially good for books where the characters speak in different accents.  Some of the readers are so good you can totally figure out which character is speaking.  There are times when I’ll sit in the driveway just to finish an exciting part.
I still do a fair bit of traditional reading.  But now I can “read” and get stuff done at the same time.  Wouldn’t Aunt Pat and the Nuns be pleased!

Teddy Bear

14 Mar
Wow, it’s been a longer than usual day.  I got a call late yesterday afternoon to ask if I could work today.  Trust me folks, I am very happy to get a call to work my physical therapy profession.  I love doing work that means making a difference in individual lives and Hallelujah actually getting paid for it as well.  It turned out to be more hours than any of us expected.  It was Date Night as well.  And as I’ve stated, a longer day than usual.

I’m tired and it feels like it’s close to bedtime.  So I’ll leave you all with something I wrote years ago but feels appropriate tonight.

Teddy Bear… an adult lullabuy   Weez  July 1976

Teddy Bear oh Teddy bear
bring me some comfort as only
you can.  I know the the days
of my childhood have long past.
But I’m tired and I’m hurt
So Teddy Bear do what you can.

I feel that the world is unkind
though sticks and stones
may not hurt my body
there’s no telling
what they do to my mind

I have the feeling that I am lost
drifting in the swirls of time
Lovers point out directions
but what of the cost

I am ready for deep, deep sleep
shedding my troubles
for morning light
and pray for my soul to keep

So Teddy bear oh Teddy bear
bring me some comfort as only
you can.  I know that the days
of my childhood have long past
but I’m tired and I’m hurt
so Teddy bear do what you can

Nostalgia and the bath water

13 Mar

Berkshire Barn

I was out doing yard work this afternoon when I heard the rumble and whistle of a train going through.  There’s just something about trains.  Maybe it’s the way the sound echos back long after it’s passed or maybe it’s because it was so instrumental in history.

It was the backbone of the Industrial Revolution, the difference between Union victory in the American Civil War and it carried the goods and people who resulted in the completion of the American western expansion and made us a nation from sea to shining sea.
A side bar here… I’m well aware and incredibly appalled by the cruelty and arrogance in our world and nations history.  But I can’t change the past and can only apologize for what I myself and my generation has wrought.  I try in my own humble way to make a real difference in our world in ways that are not just talk.  I’m a dyed in the wool liberal and come by it honestly from my upbringing and the immense reading I’ve done into the World’s injustices.   Besides that’s not what this post is about.

A train rumbling through.

Anyway back to the sound of the train this afternoon.  It started me thinking, (and yeah I know some of you are thinking, uh oh, chancy proposition here) how the sound of the train brings me back… to Grandma’s house trying to fall asleep at night, to the fascination and building of train models by my dad and to well nostalgia.
I’ve begun to think more about the past in recent months and I’m not sure if it’s me and my crazy brain or a function of getting older but I seem to be more nostalgic these days.  Nostalgia is described in some resources as a yearning for the past or for the “good old days”.
We’ve all heard about how things were better way back when… from our parents, grandparents and in some cases our great-grandparents.  I suspect this is a cliché that reaches all the way back to the stone age.  The thing is I GET both sides of the discussion.
One the one hand I’m intrigued by all the advances in transportation, medicine, information and technology.  But I also remember reading my Grandmother’s nursing notes from 1917  when I was in nursing school in 1977 (I found her notes in the attic).  That’s only 93 years ago.  There were no cures for TB, pneumonia or the Flu and germ theory was not widely accepted yet.  Even loving history as I do, I have no wish to retreat back to the days of horse and buggy, before antibiotics and computers.
But don’t let us forget what our forbearers still have to teach us.  Gardening, animal husbandry, canning, food preservation and general self sufficiency are almost lost arts here in America.  Slowly but surely more and more of us are beginning to find our way back to our ancestors wealth of wisdom.

There’s a reason certain expressions stand the test of time and are still relevant today.   Stand ready to face and embrace the future but don’t forget the lessons of the past.  In other words “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”!

Our pseudo dog Maeve

12 Mar
For long stretches of time in the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was just me and my dog Apricot Sara.

My soul dog Apricot Sara

At some point I will devote an entire post to my girl Sara. She was a special canine and friend. But as promised in an earlier post I will begin to introduce the non-human members of the Western Mass McCarty Pack. I will start with the Feline contingent as they have been here the longest. Sara played a none too small part in how the current cats have come to live here on Garden St.

Maeve the Mysterious

Six months after a former girlfriend left she came to pick up her dog and 2 cats. She’d asked if I would keep them here while she got settled with her kids into a new place. Sara was my first Rehab dog and would sometimes accompany me to work. Since it would now be just Sara and me again I was worried she would be lonely when I had to go to work without her. So I decided to get her a pet. A cat seemed like a good option. She was used to them and I could leave a cat for a few days with enough food and water if Sara and I went on a road trip.
So one Saturday as I was driving between jobs I passed an Animal Hospital that had a sign out front–Cats for Adoption. I decided to stop in and just see the cats… famous last words. Also the reason I now have to be supervised around adoptable animals. A little something my wife insists upon. Just recently she shot down my plea for an adoptable pony… but that’s another story entirely!

Maeve and her daughter Nisha... taking over a dog crate!

Even though I am clearly a dog person I have always loved black cats. Maeve was a totally black cat, barely 9 months old and had just been rescued from a neglectful home with her litter of kittens. There was one kitten left who had not been adopted. Now y’all know what happened next.
Maeve (her name was Trouble then) was so skinny and freaked, she’d wedged herself headfirst between a cupboard and a small fridge. When the staff and I moved the fridge to release her she made a mad dash to the way back of a crate carrier. I sat on the floor near the carrier and placed my hand inside.
In the meantime her kitten kept interrupting her kitten explorations to check in on her mother. Maeve eventually moved close enough to my hand inside the crate that I could wiggle my fingers slowly and gently under her chin. I couldn’t hear her purring but I could feel it. It became inevitable at that point… I couldn’t decide between them and so they both came home with me a week or two later.

No other decision but to bring them both home!

It was a month or more before I saw Maeve in the daylight again. She hid out in the back of the closet for the longest time. At night she would creep out and sleep with me on my bed and I would get occasional glimpses of her during the day. I left bowls of food for her in the closet. It was months before anyone but myself actually saw her. My friends were calling her my alleged cat Maeve. Even now she’s pretty elusive during the day and prefers to come out towards the night hours.
From the time I met her I KNEW her name was not Trouble… I’ve never met a less troublesome being. I woke up the first morning with the name Maeve on my lips and knew she had whispered it in my ear during the night. In doing research I found out Maeve was the name of an Irish Mother Goddess. It seemed appropriate as she was a very good mother to her kitten.

in the spirit of full disclosure our Maeve is an addict. In the picture above she is attempting to knock over a bottle of catnip spray. It’s her not so subtle hint she wants us to spray it on her scratching post. She can’t get enough of the stuff and will come running from where ever she’s hiding day or night whenever it is sprayed or sprinkled.
Being a black cat she can appear quite spooky at times. I remember one night early in our relationship. I was sitting at the dining room table reading when I heard a noise at the window overlooking the back porch. I looked up to see a pair of isolated yellow eyes staring back at me… nothing else. I think I jumped a foot off that chair. I’ve got to tell you she scared the crap out of me!
She also has a thing about racing to be with me in the bathroom. And it doesn’t matter where she is in the house–she’s somehow there tangling up between my feet before I close the door–morning, noon or night. It’s the nighttime one that gets me. She’s almost killed me more than once. I mean she’s a black cat at night!

Spooky Maeve

In the title of this post I mention Maeve is our pseudo dog. It’s true. I’ve never met a more dog-like cat. She likes being patted (read thumped) like a canine, follows me around the house like a puppy and has developed an oddly intense relationship with our big boy dog Tanner. She flirts with both Tanner and me. Maeve was quite standoffish and almost hostile to Elizabeth when she first showed up by the way. They’ve reached an understanding these days. She also acknowledges me as Top Dog of the Pack… unlike her kitten whose story comes next.

Maeve and her boyfriend Tanner.

It’s 12 years later and our Maeve is still a bit mysterious and elusive. She’s quite a bit heavier than she was, much more affectionate and she’s got a few white hairs on her chest. But she hangs out with my wife on occasion and will come racing down the stairs to actually physically greet visitors. I’m proud of our Maeve kitty and how far she’s come from those early days. I’m proud too that this household here on Garden St. has provided a safe and nurturing place for our Maeve to become the loving being she was meant to be.
11 Mar


Reaching for Nonsense

(While standing in Tractor Supply.)

Weez: You know, I think it would be a good idea to… Oh, look at that!

Me: Finish a sentence?

Weez: What?


View original post