A New Kitty

Sage's Cage Card
We agreed that three cats were enough. Then we made the mistake of looking at the kitties at PetSmart nine days ago just for fun. We had done the same thing after agreeing that two cats were enough, and the result of that visit had been Scully. 

I encouraged Peggy to get Sage, and after thinking about him continually for two days, she did. Scully's adoption had been more interesting in that after Peggy fell in love with her but declined to adopt her, we went across the street to Costco to grocery shop. While there, I asked Peggy if she was sure she didn't want Scully, to which she responded, "Go get her." Upon hearing these words, I ran from the store, only getting to PetSmart a minute ahead of another person who wanted her. Peggy later said that she had been joking about getting Scully and had thought I was too.

The Back of Sage's Cage Card
If you have other cats, you're supposed to keep your new cat isolated for a few days until the cats you already have get used to his presence. Meanwhile, you're supposed to take items that the cats have touched back and forth so the cats can smell one another. When we did this with Smokie (a cat we kept for a few weeks until his new owner could get him), and our cat Brewsky hated him anyway, we decided to ignore the isolation advice when we adopted our second cat, Ollie. When Brewsky immediately started bathing Ollie, we knew we had done right, so we did the same thing when we go Scully. Scully hissed at Brewsky and Ollie for about an hour, but after that they were friends, so we again concluded that we had done right.

So we did the same thing with Sage (a week ago today), only to watch in horror as Brewsky stomped about hissing, not only at Sage but at Ollie and Scully. By the next day, things had calmed down. Scully and Sage are now playmates and Scully is bathing Sage. As for Brewsky, he's somewhere tween rejection and acceptance. Ollie is still hissing, but only when Sage gets really close to him.

An acquaintance of mine asked me why we would pay $120 for a cat when we could have gotten one for free off Craigslist. The question reminded me of why I dislike the man who asked it. I told him that the money got us a cat that had been socialized in foster care, had received its shots, been neutered, been treated for parasites, and came with a free vet visit. Most importantly, we were supporting people who are doing their best to make the world better for cats, to which end they reserve the right to visit your home and require that the cat be indoor-only. They also ask: what you would do if the cat needed $2,000 worth of veterinary care; how long each day the cat will be alone; what you will do with the cat if you move; and other questions that people like my interrogator would consider intrusive.*

I didn't say, but wish I had, that I don't even want to look into the face of people who only have kittens to get rid of because they're too callous and irresponsible to have their cats spayed and neutered. I didn't say this because my questioner had just told me of taking a box of fourteen kittens to work and leaving them outside his door. All he knew of their fate was that they were gone at the end of the day, and that was good enough for him. I hate people like that, yet they're the kind of people who rescue groups are forced to interact with for the good of their cats.

I admire no one on earth more than I admire people who help animals that have no voice with which to praise them and no arms with which to give them plaques and trophies. I often feel guilty that I'm not such a person. The author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion argues that too much empathy is the enemy of compassion. His says is that when a person identifies too strongly with the victims of the world, it makes him so miserable when he tries to help those victims that he can't keep it up. This, I believe, is true of me. Maybe it's also an excuse. For what it's worth, I try to be a really good pet owner. I look at our new kitty, and I ponder the fact that all in the money in the world couldn't create such a miracle, yet millions of his kin die needlessly each year because of people like my questioner. Peggy and I had the same furnace technician out three times this year, and on his second visit, he told us that when he dies, he hopes to come back as one of our cats. Aside from Peggy telling me that she loves me, it was the nicest thing anyone ever said to me.

*Please visit my friend Strayer at https://catwomanflix.blogspot.com/)


Elephant's Child said...

Empathy is a very mixed bag, and I sometimes find it a burden.
Welcome Sage. You have landed safely on all four feet.
When we get another cat we will get it from one of the rescue places for just the reasons you mentioned. The Strayers of this world have more than enough to do without me rewarding those who make her life so busy.

Emma Springfield said...

Congratulations on the addition to your family. Giving love to any animal (including humans) is the kindest of all gifts.

kylie said...

Our rescue dog, Harry cost $30, down from the usual $300 because the RSPCA was running out of room and needed to clear some kennels. My son rushed off to get a $30 dog but hadn't been in such a hurry when they were $300 and that bothered me a little. How many dogs were placed in unsuitable homes that weekend because the price was too cheap for people to do any hard thinking?

I'm pleased that your family continues to grow and give joy, when do you qualify for crazy cat couple status?

Winifred said...

My daughter has just adopted two rescued kittens a brother & sister & paid quite a lot for them. They are absolutely beautiful. It is horrendous how people in what we think are civilised countries can be so cruel to these poor defenceless animals.
When we went to see the kittens the lady had about 23 cats living in her house bless her. I don't know how she manages, her vet bills are horrendous never mind the food costs. She gets very little support from the charities that are supposed to be rescuing cats.
I would love another cat but my husband says it would outlive us. However I don't think I could face taking an older cat & then having to take it to be put to sleep. I still hate to remember taking my last beautiful fellow I had loved for 21 years.

angela said...

We are going to have to start calling you the cat man!
I totally agree with you
Why would you not get your cats fixed and stop them breeding There are way too many out there and many many perfectly healthy animals are euthanised each year
I am happy to say here most pets owners are responsible and our feral cat problems are not as bad as they were a decade ago
The message is finally getting through. I hope!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Our Petsmart rescue cat was adopted in Mat 2011 and was struggling a bit with what vet said was arthritis. We changed her diet to grain free and all wet foods must contain fish. It is costly food but six years later she walks with no limps and looks great for her age. We did the free vet visit after getting and were told she needed an expensive dental cleaning. We declined and put money into the healthiest cat food we could find. Now her vet visits are just anual check ups and shots.
An amusing observation;
My daughter and baby stayed at our home for 10 weeks last winter and of course babies cry to get attention at 4 am. Ellie cat observed how quickly baby got attention. Baby and mom went home and we thought nights would be quiet again but Ellie had other ideas. Till this now every few days she will come to my bedside sit and “cry” till I get up and give her attention. It has amused us.
Have fun with your pets and here’s wishing you a lovely holiday for it is that time of year.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Congrats on your newest addition to the family! No more kitties for us due to severe allergies that some of the grandkids have. Our daughter had cat dander allergies too but could tolerate (she loved him)our kitty of 21 years (which I thought was a record) because he had no interest in ever grooming himself thus no saliva on his fur.

When in Redding, California, I noticed they had a feral cat feeding station in a local park. As bad as some Americans treat animals, in Europe it is far worse. I saw plenty of feral cats on my recent trip to Spain.

Marion said...

Snow, that is THE cutest kitten ever and I love the name! Congrats on the new kid! :-) It must be pet day because I just posted about mine, too.

I've never purchased a pet. The Universe just seemed to give them to us and we took great care of them. Cody, our Great Pyrenees, was rescued from a family who must've hated him and left him outdoors. Every time it stormed, this 100 lb. dog would jump into our laps and shiver! He ended up owning us, taking over a couch and having more toys than our kids ever did. LOL! He also brought us 3 feral kittens and raised them like a giant mother cat. I'm down to two cats from six and no dog. They all had fabulous lives here (two of the cats lived to be 20 years old) and I've had many folks say the same thing that your repairman did: that they'd love to come back as one of our pets. I've had a lady trying to give me another Great Pyrenees, but I don't know what my future holds and I can barely keep myself and the two cats alive right now, so sadly, I had to say no. I sincerely hope to get resettled next year, have the 2 surgeries I've put off for years and get me another dog and more cats. I love animals.

Great post, Snow. You're an amazing person and I don't think there's such a thing as too much empathy or compassion. I'm like that and I wouldn't want to be any other way, painful though it is at times. We're the poets and pet rescuers of the world. Happy Holidays, Snow, to you, Peggy and all the kitties. xo

Snowbrush said...

"The Strayers of this world have more than enough to do"

I went back and put her address at the end of the post. For those who don't know her, Strayer has devoted her cash-strapped life to helping unwanted cats.

"Congratulations on the addition to your family."

Thank you, Emma. He's quite the cat, what with so much brazen willfulness and self-confidence in so small a body. As I write, he and Scully are cuddled together on the top of a cat tree.

"How many dogs were placed in unsuitable homes that weekend because the price was too cheap for people to do any hard thinking?"

Our four cats came from three rescue groups. Brewsky, our first, was on a half price sale for reasons unknown given that he was still a kitten, and kittens are supposedly easier to adopt out (I sometimes tease him--often while rubbing his belly--by telling him that if had been any good, he wouldn't been on a half-price sale). Scully was on a "black cat closeout," although her paws are white, and she has white on her chest and abdomen. The sad truth is that shelters get overwhelmed, and it's either discount the animals or send them to the city to be killed. Of course, if they discount them, someone has to make up the difference between what they spent on the critters and what they're selling them for. Of the three groups that our cats came from, two are 100% volunteer-run, so that money would be coming either from the volunteers' pockets or from donations.

I've impressed by how many local people form groups to help animals. I thought there were but four, but it turns out that there are way more than that if you count groups that are operated out of members' homes with only an occasional opportunity to put the pets up for a adoption inside stores like PetSmart. Yesterday, I heard on the news about a local horse rescue group that is on the verge of having to close for a lack of money. I hadn't even thought about horses ending up in such a group, but of course they too can be victims of abuse, neglect, and old age abandonment, and when that happens, it's not necessarily true that anyone will want them.

Snowbrush said...

"...when do you qualify for crazy cat couple status?"

I too have been wondering about that. I had thought that three cats was a good number for people who were dedicated cat lovers but not demented cat crazies. Now that we have four, have we strayed into the realm of cat collectors or, god forbid, cat hoarders? A local woman made the news recently as being a dog hoarder when her 99 chihuahuas were taken from her. When I heard that, I wondered if her goal had been to have 100, but that she was thwarted just before meeting it.

"When we went to see the kittens the lady had about 23 cats living in her house bless her."

If the lady is charging that much, are you confident that she's helping the cats rather than breeding them for income? I actually don't think that $120 (what we paid for Sage) is much money at all. The people who run the group say that they don't keep a nickel for themselves, and given how much they do, I believe them. Some of these cats come to them with fleas, worms, skin diseases, and god knows what else so, if anything, I suspect they often go into the hole with how much they spend versus how much they take in.

"I would love another cat but my husband says it would outlive us. However I don't think I could face taking an older cat & then having to take it to be put to sleep."

Why not go to the pound, and ask which cats are about to be euthanized and take one of them home? That way, even if worse comes to worse, and you and your husband can't keep the cat until its dying day, the cat would have at least had a good life for however many years you could keep rather than being killed tomorrow, plus, who knows but what someone else might want it when you could no longer care for it? The groups we have adopted from require that we return the cat to them if, at any time, we can no longer keep it. Honestly, we're NOT going to be getting a fifth cat, but if we did want other cats, I think it would be wrong for us to keep adopting kittens because of the concern your mentioned (we're now 68 and 66). However, upon talking to the shelter volunteers about old people adopting kittens, it became clear that they don't all share my view that it's unethical to do so. As for me, I would be delighted to adopt a grown cat, and if we were over seventy and catless, I would very much want to do that, but as long as we have other cats, I know it would harder for them to accept a grown cat than a kitten because kittens aren't intimidating.

All Consuming said...

“ The question reminded me of why I dislike the man who asked it.“ - Me too, the hit, especially after reading about the box business too tsk.

Welcome to Sage! My friend Sara built up to three cats and they do find their way themselves quite often. The last to arrive was Baggy, an older ginger cat. She already had a six year old named Pumpkin, and a younger tabby of around two called Marley. The younger two have always scrapped a little, but never to any physical limit. Baggy had all three of them running round the house screeching at each other for three weeks. She was at her wits end, but used all the psychological online and vet alive and also got a plug in calmer which I suggested. It took time, but after said 3 weeks things calmed down and eventually they were a very happy family. She had said she wouldn’t give up on the situation and she didn’t. Animals are very hard work, but no more than having children is, less in fact I strongly suspect because they can’t grow up to be uncaring horrors or bugger off abroad when you get old yourself etc. They can physically harm people or each other of course, in dogs cases kill, but so much of that depends upon how you raise them. In both cases methinks.

Sara would have up to seven or eight cats if she could afford them, but she just can’t. Baggy died a few years back and she couldn’t afford the vets bills and food for another. I know we’ve discussed this before and you find it cheaper for cats, but over here the vets bills are huge and lots of cats get tooth, kidney and eye problems as they get older, which matches the dogs issues. Though mongrels tend to be much, much healthier like Lardy who was the cheapest dog ever until she was thirteen. Rosie is a white dog, and we knew they had more health issues, but we find a way to keep her healthy. I’d love to have two more dogs, maybe even three, but obviously can’t, so I envy you your lovely family. It’s a great idea getting Sage, and though there’ll be trials sometimes, it will be worth it a million times over! Well done to Peggy for falling in love with them all too, how lovely. X I’m so shattered now. (Not broken in pieces, or grieving, just very, very, very tired hahahaha) pardon the spelling errors, I’m sure there will be lots.

Snowbrush said...

"Why would you not get your cats fixed and stop them breeding?"

Peggy's sister said that she couldn't afford to have her dog spayed. Like all good Baptists, she and her husband tithed to their church, so it really wasn't really a matter of money but a matter of priorities (they weren't only trying to buy their way into heaven, they also believed that God would prosper them on earth if they tithed--the prosperity gospel it's called), and I think that's always what it comes down to. My father would only allow me to have male pets because he didn't want to have to get rid of the litters of the females that other people's un-neutered males impregnated. He was obviously okay with his dogs and cats wandering the neighborhood getting other irresponsible people's animals pregnant as long as he didn't have to be troubled by his animals being pregnant.

"Till this now every few days she will come to my bedside sit and “cry” till I get up and give her attention. It has amused us."

I can see why you would be amused, but it is also why our critters sleep in the laundry room. After a week of Sage sleeping with her, Peggy finally felt confident enough that none of the other cats would attack him that she put him into the laundry room for the first time night. Peggy breaks out if a cat touches her face, and our cats want to sleep right up against her face. I never break out, and although the cats like to sleep with me too (if I take a nap during the daytime) none of them want to sleep touching my face.

More later...

Strayer said...

Oh my, been so busy I hadn't kept up on blog friends. You got another! Somehow I knew you might at some point. I think you're wonderful.

possum said...

Oh MY! He is adorable!!!!!!
Here on the Shore, they would say he is a mess - which is our way of saying he not only is cute but I bet he is a lot of fun, too!
I am sure he will have a good home.
All of my cats come "cheap" to start with. They are all Delmarva Drop-outs. Either someone just tosses them out along my road and they see the "SUCKER LIVES HERE" sign out in the bushes, or somehow in their wanderings as little hobos they decide to give this place a shot... Thus, we have Hoover now, our first little girl kitty in 20 years. She lives outside.
Rusty was left on a baby's blanket in a friend's woods - so sick I told the vet to put him to sleep (something I don't really believe in) if he could not be cured. Well, it took a lot of time and $$, and Rusty still has respiratory problems, and feline HIV, so he must be an only cat, but I have never had a more affectionate cat in my life. He is a real lap kitty, unless he is on my shoulder.

Enjoy your little family. They are lucky kitties!

Snowbrush said...

For those who read the post about Peggy's upcoming surgery, she had her operation on the 19th (which was our 46th anniversary), and I brought her home on the evening of the 20th. The pain in her leg is gone--as expected--but she's in a lot of pain from the area of the incision. That too was expected, and it should slowly dissipate. She isn't allowed to bend over or lift more than five pounds for six weeks, but she doesn't have to go to physical therapy.

I am writing with Sage in my lap. He's a doll!

"It is costly food"

Tell me about it! Brewsky's Science Diet Urinary Diet costs $64 for a fifteen pound bag from Chewy.com, which is the cheapest place I've found to buy cat supplies.

"We did the free vet visit after getting and were told she needed an expensive dental cleaning."

Expensive because cats and dogs to be put to sleep and therefore intubated. Our last two dogs ate the same food. One of them needed frequent cleaning, and the other never needed a cleaning. I don't know why, but some critters are clearly more prone to plaque.

"When in Redding, California, I noticed they had a feral cat feeding station in a local park."

According to biologists, the Audubon Society, and all other societies and naturalists that I've ever heard of that make it their business to observe and track small wild creatures, cats are major predators of those creatures. This and our cats' safety is why Peggy and I are firm in our belief that cats should be kept indoors (I've been surprised by how strongly critical some people are of us for this, and how proud others are of how many animals their own cats kill). Because feral cats can't be kept indoors and because they live short and brutal lives, I strongly favor euthanizing them. Some cat loves deny that cats are major predators of wildlife, and they also argue that euthanizing feral cats is cruel. It is not an argument that either side is going to win, although I resent being called cruel by virtue of the fact that I don't believe human beings and their pets should be allowed to decimate other species. I used to see numerous squirrels, birds, garter snakes, and lizards in my neighborhood. Then a neighbor and her resident children and grandchildren accumulated twelve outdoor cats. In hardly anytime, in combination with other neighborhood cats and feral cats from a nearby overgrown drainage canal, my area's wildlife was greatly reduced. The last snake I saw was in a cat's mouth, the lizards are all gone, and there are far fewer birds and squirrels in my area. I used to wonder if a cat would really take on so formidable an animal as a grown squirrel. I no longer have to wonder because I have not only seen cats stalking squirrels, I saw a large tabby jump to the top of a five foot high fence with a nearly grown squirrel in his mouth.

"I saw plenty of feral cats on my recent trip to Spain."

Photographers go to rural Greece specifically to photograph the feral cats for art books because the area is so sunny and colorful.

Snowbrush said...

"Snow, that is THE cutest kitten ever and I love the name! Congrats on the new kid! :-) It must be pet day because I just posted about mine, too."

Thank you! I'll be coming 'round to see what one of your critters looks like. You charmed me once by a description of your cats chasing one another about the house as, if I understood you correctly, you sat-up in bed. I do so love kittens, even if our current one is in the process of seeing how many things he can relocate from shelves to the floor.

"He also brought us 3 feral kittens and raised them like a giant mother cat."

Our oldest, Brewsky, is fifteen pound tabby that mothers the others. Our second oldest, Ollie, is still on Brewsky. We tried to stop him because it seemed a little weird but mostly because he slurps. He still nurses, but not in our immediate presence.

"I've had a lady trying to give me another Great Pyrenees..."

It's too bad that you can't take him. There are people who only want big dogs, some of whom don't even regard small dogs as dogs. I suppose our biggest was 32-pounds, but I actually prefer dogs that are under twelve because they live longer and are so much less trouble.

"You're an amazing person and I don't think there's such a thing as too much empathy or compassion."

Too much compassion, no. Too much empathy, yes. I haven't read the book I've referenced, but I very much enjoyed an hour long interview with its author. Another point he made was that, because highly empathetic people identify so strongly with the victims of crime, they tend to favor harsher punishments than do less empathetic people. For instance, I've seen a few news stories of late about people stealing Christmas presents off porches, and I thought that a good way to discourage such thievery would be to start chopping off hands. My point is that being empathetic doesn't always mean being sweet and cuddly, and that it can lead to actions that calmer minds might regard as over-the-top. But is chopping the hands off thieves over the top? Certainly, it would discourage thievery, but then what would become of former thieves who had no hands? Even if they wanted to reform, what would they do after they reformed if they had no hands with which to make a living or even to feed themselves? I know this, yet when I watched that asshole stealing some poor schmucks gifts, I felt like I often feel when confronted by crime, by which I mean that all I wanted was to punish that thief and to do it severely. The good people of the world shouldn't have to put up with people who would kill their own mothers if the price was right, and the fact that they would only be doing it because they needed the money to feed their addictions doesn't impress me in the least. I just want to make this world as safe and carefree as possible, and whatever that takes, I'm willing to do. Given that you're a Republican, perhaps this is one thing we can agree upon. Maybe a lot of Republicans are highly empathetic. I really don't know and had never even thought to wonder which end of the political spectrum scores highest in empathy.

"lots of cats get tooth, kidney and eye problems as they get older"

I suppose it's the individual rather than the species that is the most important factor in determining the cost of vet bills, but you're right about cats being prone to kidney failure in their old age, and I mentioned further up that we're already paying $64 for a 15-pound bag of Brewsky's food that's supposed to prevent bladder stones (which he suffered from before we put him on the food). Whether it's people or pets, an early death sure can spare one a lot of suffering later on. As for how our cats are getting along, Brewsky is now bathing Sage (Scully already was), and Ollie is becoming more accepting by the day.

More later...

Snowbrush said...

"lots of cats get tooth, kidney and eye problems as they get older"

I have no data one way or the other, but I haven't observed that dogs are less prone to cataracts or cavities. You might recall that our last dog, Bonnie, died blind. We debated about getting her cataracts removed, but it would have required several difficult requirements, the worst of which weeks of inactivity following surgery. She was anvery active dog, so we finally concluded that trying to keep her quiet would leave everyone miserable. As for tooth problems, we could have had our last schnauzers cleaned twice a year, and it still wouldn't have been too much.

"You got another! Somehow I knew you might at some point. I think you're wonderful."

And you're not even the first to say that! I think the lesson here might be that women have a fondness for guys who have a fondness for kittens, and this makes me wonder which gender is more enamored of baby critters, human and otherwise. I know that a lot women started pretending to be mothers when they were little girls, while, as a little boy, I was running around pretending to shoot people with my Roy Rogers cap pistol. Yet I also remember loving my stuffed toys, some of which I still have, although one of my bunnies is missing an eye and has stitches because he was chewed on by a puppy. Sage is now happily playing at my feet although, I'm pleased to say, not with my feet.

"Here on the Shore, they would say he is a mess - which is our way of saying he not only is cute but I bet he is a lot of fun, too!"

Oh, I knew that it meant, although it's one of those terms that easier to interpret when spoken.


Snowbrush said...

"Either someone just tosses them out along my road and they see the "SUCKER LIVES HERE" sign out in the bushes..."

I think the people dropping them off might see the sign too. When I was a boy, one of my dogs turned chicken killer. I recall my family coming home from church one Sunday to be greeted by the sight of dead chickens all over the place. My usually kind-hearted mother all but screamed "Shoot him!" but my father decided to drop the dog off at his employer's hobby farm, because he knew that the man was, as you put it, a sucker who would feed every dog that presented itself at meal time.

"so sick I told the vet to put him to sleep (something I don't really believe in)"

You don't believe in euthanasia? Our views are a universe apart. When Peggy and I were at the shelter deciding whether to adopt Sage (for adoption it is), another person told us that his last cat had died less than a week previously following months of pain and weight loss. When he said he had allowed this prolonged suffering because he didn't believe in euthanasia, I was incredulous that he had allowed his cat to suffer horrendously, not just for minutes or hours, but for months because he "didn't believe in euthanasia." I responded that we had made the hard decision to have our last three dogs euthanized, and that if I were to someday suffer as they had suffered that I hoped someone would euthanize me. He was as horrified by my sentiment as I was by his. It is my firm belief that euthanasia is a moral obligation. The saddest part of the decision to euthanize is that human sufferers can often say what they want done, but that we have to make the decision for other creatures. I can even say that if Peggy were: (a) suffering in terminal agony that modern medicine couldn't palliate, (b) incapable of taking her own life, and finally (c) asking me to take her life, I would regard the honoring of her request as the hardest and noblest thing I had ever done because there would be no option other than the cowardice of a man who was so intimidated by the thought of prison that he preferred his bodily freedom to doing what he believed with all his heart to be right. My challenge in such a situation wouldn't be what to do, but rather how to do it. I can but hope with all my heart that it will never come to that, but if it ever does, I believe that I could find within myself the courage of a Jack Kevorkian.

E. Rosewater said...

i've had rescue dogs for the past 40 years and they've all been excellent beasts. i got rip a few years ago and it wasn't easy like the old days. i had to fill out several forms and was told it would be 72 hours before a decision would be made. but when i returned home there was a voice mail saying i had been approved. this was from the city pound.

before that i had contacted a few rescue societies about getting a staffordshire and it was insane. all they did was string me along and i began to doubt if the dogs i was interested in even existed. luckily i didn't get the 100 pound beast i was pursuing, my already sore knees would be destroyed walking a powerful beast. i'm not sure if i'll be able to handle the 65 pounder in a few years.

how do you keep up with a kitten with your knee surgery?

Snowbrush said...

"how do you keep up with a kitten with your knee surgery?"

I responded to your comment in my last post twice. I mention this in case you didn't see my second response.

Keeping up with a kitten isn't a problem except that I can't get to where he is to stop his bad behavior as fast (yelling at a cat isn't something that the cat is likely to take seriously). Part of the reason I've come to prefer cats to dogs is that cats don't have to be walked. I've had three shoulder surgeries, and Peggy was gone for a week or more after two of them. At the time, we had two dogs that needed to be walked (friends would offer to help me "in any way I can" only to refuse to do the one thing I really needed them to help me with, which was to walk the dogs). It was an ordeal to walk them with one arm six inches out from my body in a sling, but I felt that I owed it to them to take them on their daily walks. Then there was trying to hold the dogs while picking up their poop, all with one arm. It got me down in a way that having dogs had never gotten me down before, especially after a pit bull attacked my schnauzer, and I had to beat her off with one arm while holding two leashes with the same arm as both of my dogs wound the leashes around my legs (if the pit bull hadn't been young and female, she would have killed my schnauzer and, as it was, he had puncture marks in his skull--I reported the dog to animal control, and was happy to note that they took the matter seriously). The worst part about cats and surgery (or cats period) is that they can so easily trip a person by running right in front of his or her feet without a moments notice. Following her surgery last Tuesday, Peggy can't bend over or lift more than five pounds, so if she were alone, she couldn't even take care of the four cats. It seems to me that there's a lot to be said for fish and birds when it comes to having pets that a person might be able to care for after a lot of surgeries.

Marion said...

Aw, Snow, don't judge me because of how I vote. I despise labels and you know we're all individuals. Hey, I'm 100% with you on crime. We agree on something. My fav shows are on the ID Channel: true crime. I'm for the death penalty and I own and shoot my gun, as you know... When I was 5 years old, my Mama took my two older sisters and me to see "Old Smokey", the electric chair from Angola which was touring the state in back of a big truck. I was indoctrinated early on you might say. My, how times have changed!

rhymeswithplague said...

This close to Christmas I wish you and Peggy and all your furry family increasing good health and happiness in the days ahead. We did not send out Christmas cards this year but we do appreciate yours. My commenting on blogs nowadays is sporadic at best. We have just adopted an eighteen-month-old female Chihuahua whom we have named Abby (photo on my blog), so things are looking up.

Snowbrush said...

"Aw, Snow, don't judge me because of how I vote. I despise labels and you know we're all individuals."

How we vote says a lot about who we are. It doesn't say everything because people have different reasons for voting for the same candidates or ballot measures, but our voting record is hardly meaningless. If Peggy and I lived in Alabama, and she voted for Roy Moore, I would wonder if I was married to the right person. After 46-years, I certainly wouldn't leave her for that reason alone, yet if we were dating and she said she had voted for Moore, I wouldn't continue to date her. Every time there's a presidential election, I see couples on TV who are in opposite camps, and I wonder what the divorce rate is for people who hold opposing political values. Marriage is hard enough without marrying someone with whom we know upfront that we have significant sources of friction, and opposing religious or political views certainly represent significant sources of friction. Love is not "all you need, and "love doesn't conquer all," shared values also being important. Peggy is actually more conservative than I. For instance, last I heard (we haven't talked about it for a long time), she opposed gay marriage (she favored legal contracts that provide the same benefits as marriage); had more qualms about abortion; and had no sympathy for addicts of any kind. Yet, she's hardly a Republican, and she sometimes curses in the direction of the TV when Trump comes on. Given that Peggy rarely curses at all, this is rather striking. Prior to Trump, she ignored politics, but as soon as he announced his candidacy, she took to watching an hour of news almost everyday.


Snowbrush said...

"My fav shows are on the ID Channel: true crime. I'm for the death penalty and I own and shoot my gun, as you know..."

I got my first "real gun" when I was eight, and I would guess that I own around ten guns right now, although most of them are old and either don't shoot, or I would be afraid to shoot them because the new powders are stronger than what they were made to be used with. I don't even remember the last time I fired a gun. Years ago, I got a carry permit, and had fun carrying my .357 around in a fanny pack for awhile. When the gun's weight over-rode the fun, I switched to Peggy's hammerless .38, but I soon tired of that too. As for TV, we don't have cable. We do have a little antenna that is sufficient to bring in maybe fifteen stations (we can see a bank of broadcast antennas that are on a hilltop a mile from here). I watch an oldies station sometimes (Me TV), and Peggy is a hardcore Jeopardy! fan. We both watch the evening news, but most of our TV watching is either PBS or DVDs. I'm currently on a Robert Ryan kick. Crossfire, Act of Violence, The Set-up, and On Dangerous Ground are all good movies that star him, but if I had to choose one, it would be Crossfire. I'm the kind of movie fan who watches the narrated version after seeing the actual movie, but about the only movies I'm interested in are the old ones, especially film noire. An interesting trivia fact about Ryan is that when he was dying of lung cancer (from smoking), he sold his NYC apartment in the Dakota to John and Yoko. Ryan was also a noted liberal, a championship college boxer, and a former Marine. He and Lee Marvin were good friends, and to my surprise Marvin was also a liberal. John Wayne, of course, was a conservative, and their politics supposedly got in the way of him and Ryan having a harmonious relationship on one of the films they did.


Snowbrush said...

"Hey, I'm 100% with you on crime."

My only problem with the death penalty is that there's no going back if we kill an innocent person. At the same time, I think a lot of people have cashed in their right-to-life card. I heard last weekend about four kids, aged 13 and 14, dropping a sandbag off an interstate bridge and killing a man. Those kids knew that they might kill someone, and they aimed at that car, and they dropped that sandbag on it anyway. I know that young brains aren't sufficiently developed enough to weigh consequences, but those kids represent an extreme case, there being a hell of a difference between stealing a Snickers bar and committing wanton murder. I believe that society should go all out to help people who are doing their best in life, but I strongly oppose throwing money hand over fist at people who screw up again and again and again. Maybe three-strikes-and-you're out was too severe, but there are people who have committed twenty felonies, and I see no reason why they should continue to live. I also think about people who are profoundly retarded and who will need 24/7 care for life. Does it make sense to keep them alive? I think not. How about psychopaths who have committed no crime, but who lack all scruples, all ability to feel empathy and compassion, and can be expected to go through life doing nothing but hurting people? You can see why I'm not an ACLU member or even a Democrat. My values are so all-over-the-place that I'm not accepted anywhere. I wish I were though.

"My commenting on blogs nowadays is sporadic at best"

Mine too, but I daresay that you have changed in this regard, and it led me to assume that I might have angered you due to the fact that I put a lot more emphasis on honesty than on tact. I'm not saying that this a good thing, but you know it's how I am. It doesn't mean that I'm not loyal and caring, but it makes me difficult to to get along with. I can but say that I'm happy that you've hung in there with me all these years. I put a whole lot of time into most of my posts, and a wholelot more time into addressing comments, so I can but hope that this makes up for how little time I spend visiting blogs. I'll be around to see the new fur child, Abby. I love my critters, and I think that if our cats would be likely to accept one, we might very hell have a dog too--a small one like yours.