Sunday, October 31, 2010


In 1990 somebody gave my brother the smallest kitten I'd ever seen. She must certainly have been the runt of the litter. My brother said she was tiny, like a hobbit. It was the perfect name for her. He couldn't keep her, so after several days of the wee fuzzy giving our family dog what-for, and my swearing I did not want a cat, no matter how much it liked to play with my necklaces and no matter how darned cute she was, I took her home with me. She would be my sole companion for many years.

She destroyed my house. She pushed things off of counters and book shelves and would trod on my pillow (or head) while I was trying to sleep. She was partial to nibbling on loaves of bread that may have been left on counters that were certainly too high for her to jump up to (I'm pretty sure she could fly, or at least hover when necessary). One of her favorite spots as a kitten was in my kitchen sink, with the tap drip, drip, dripping on her head. She was a very odd cat.

And Hobbit did not like people. She liked me. She didn't like too many others though. And this was funny given that she was all of 5 lbs, full grown. In fact, the last trip to the vet for a nail clipping resulted in the vet asking us not to bring her back unless she was sedated. Wee Hobbit McNasty, she was dubbed, by friends. I had friends, full grown men and women who were terrified of this cat. She hated a couple of my friends more than others. She trapped one of them in my bathroom one day and would not let her out. She thought she was part puma, I think. She was definitely an attack cat and I was confident I didn't need a house alarm with her around.

She was a very good little companion. She consoled me on many a lonely night. She often entertained me by playing fetch. Little crumpled balls of paper were her favorite toy and if you threw them, she would fetch them and drop them back in your lap and wait, with some excitement, I might add, until you threw the little wad of paper again.

Later, I had a roommate and we discovered that Hobbit like coffee. She would sneak it from my roommate's coffee mug at every opportunity.

Since Hobbit had a fondness of destroying my property and keeping me from sleep, she slept in a large dog kennel that I had purchased to be her 'bedroom'. This was also helpful in toting her down many stairs during many, MANY middle of the night false fire alarms and one not-so-false alarm. Had she not been sleeping in that kennel that one fateful night, she would have had her life cut short by smoke inhalation. When my roommate and I were allowed back to our apartment the day after the fire, we noticed firemen footprints near the kennel where she slept (we had a small kennel that we moved her to in case of fire alarm). It was very touching that they spent a moment to rescue a pet that may have been left behind. Lucky, she was with us.

She was such a funny little cat. And so vocal. And she drooled when she purred. And got sneezy when she got drooly.

I got a second cat several years after I got Hobbit and Hobbit took on the roll of big sister pretty well. The second cat, Tibboh (Hobbit backwards) was very unlike Hobbit, in personality. They were like Yin & Yang. And though Tibboh outweighed Hobbit by at least 10 lbs, Hobbit was still the alpha puma... er, cat.

When I met my husband, Hobbit liked him at once. She tolerated his kids well, too. I was shocked on both counts. Several years after Wonko and I were married, we noticed that Hobbit was acting like an older kitty. Fair enough, she WAS an older kitty. She was probably 15 years old or so, at that point. She had lost vision in one eye, to glaucoma and was losing her hearing. But she kept on for several more years yet.

About a year ago we noticed more changes. She spent less time basking in the sun and more time perched behind me, on the back of the couch. She stopped grooming herself. Several months ago, we noticed she started wanting to eat more wet food and it was clear that she was drinking far more water than usual.

I just could not justify paying huge vet bills to find out that she was an old cat who was likely suffering renal failure. There isn't much that can be done for that and she HATED people so much, putting her through a load of testing at nearly 20 years of age seemed cruel and unnecessary.

Then she started peeing everywhere. We put up with it for some time. I knew what was coming. And I knew it was likely sooner rather than later when I caught her peeing into one of our heating vents. Then she got constipated and was scooting on her carpets. I stepped on little bits of poop a few times and knew what had to be done. My daughter plays on our floors, and this was getting to be a health risk for my family. But poor Hobbit wasn't ACTING sick. She didn't give me 'that look', the one your read about where people know it's time. I never got that from Hobbit. But with every day she was a little less alert. She just perched on the top of the couch and ate and drank. It was time. For my family and for Hobbit because she was certainly going to start displaying pain and I didn't want that.

So I made arrangements with the vet. For an extra fee they would come to our house. And that seemed kinder to Hobbit somehow. We sent our daughter to my folks' and the vet came. And Hobbit was PISSED! She gave the vet a run for her money, I can tell you that. And the noise! Good gravy that cat was vocal! I hadn't seen her move like that or heard her complain like that in years! It was almost funny. Almost. I was pretty certain that Hobbit was going to try and take the vet down with her.

We finally caught her (I say we, but I mean the vet and my husband because I was too busy crying in the kitchen until she was caught). She bit Wonko - hard. The vet tried to sedate her but there was so little muscle that it was difficult. I knew at that point that she was much more sick than I had realised.

Once sedated, I sat with her and stroked her head and talked to and about her. She growled for a bit, even sedated. Then the vet tried to find a vein and she's a tiny cat with tiny veins to start with, but she was so dehydrated that the veins kept collapsing. It was difficult, but I knew from that, from what the vet was saying, that my poor cat would have been displaying severe pain before much longer, had we waited. The vet had some success with finding a vein in her front leg, after failing with the hind.

She was just bones and skin, my poor girl. I didn't think it was that bad as she was still eating well. But she was very sick. Why didn't she ever give me 'that look'? I felt like I had no right to take her life away from her. Though knowing her, she did want to be as difficult as possible and fight, right up until the end.

Then it was over. I didn't think my heart could break any more than it already had. My first fuzzy baby. My friend for nearly half of my life. I know that 20 years is a good long life for a cat. I was lucky to have had her in my life. I miss her terribly. And now, a few days after her passing, my family seems 'broken' somehow. My dear 5 lb tangle of terror, my sweet Halloween cat, I miss you. RIP Hobbit. It's not the same, sitting on the couch without you behind me.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Ditch = 1, Excavator = 0

This thing has been in this ditch for several weeks now. I'm sure there is a brilliant reason why they'd just leave it there to continue sinking, but darned if I can imagine what that reason might be.

Monday, October 18, 2010


This past weekend, my mom and sister were giving sea shells to the girls. My daughter was impressed with one shell and remarked that it looked painted. My father said it must have been painted by God. My daughter replied, “Grandpa, there are no such things as gods!”

One of Weeb’s favorite movies is Disney’s Hercules. As I’m a bit of a Mythology buff, I’ve explained to her that the story of Hercules was a story that people used to tell but is not a story about real people. I’ve also explained how Disney’s version is quite a bit different from the Greek and Roman tales (for example, Hera is NOT Hercules’ mother, Hades was not a bad guy and Pegasus was more Perseus’ buddy than Hercules’ made-from-clouds pal, and there were 3 or 9 muses, depending what you read, not 5). My daughter understands that the gods in the story are not real and that people, long ago, told stories to teach lessons and to entertain themselves.

I guess it’s time I talked a bit more about God with her. I’ve talked with her a bit about it before. I’ve told her, as simply and logically as I can, what I believe and I’ve explained that not everybody believes the same thing or worships the same way. We’ve got a way to go.

I will say this, I don’t have the heart to tell Weeb the truth about what happens to Hercules and Megara in the non-Disney stories. I think that one can wait.


I didn’t leave the house wearing make up this morning.

I usually don’t. I’m happily married and work with two fellows, who though very nice, I’m not trying to impress with my looks. In fact, having worked with plenty of men in the past, I have found looking good just gets me into trouble.

Why not look good for my husband, you ask? Well one, he is peculiar and thinks I look good, no matter how crappy I look to the rest of the world. And two, I’m not going to see him all day.

So I was sitting at my desk, doing the typical paper shuffling that comes with my job when something happened that lead me to sneak off to the bathroom to apply a bit of make up.

Now what, you must be wondering, could persuade an otherwise make-up-lazy woman to un-ugly a bit? Well I’ll tell you.

My boss came in with his wife.

It is my belief that women fuss over how they look because of other woman more than wanting to be attractive to men. We just can’t stand the idea that we might be ugly compared to the women around us. It’s not a competition as much as we just don’t want to ever be described as ‘the ugly one’.

It’s amazing the power that an eyeliner pencil and a tube of mascara can have on a gal. It’s even more amazing how we really think it makes any difference. I can promise you that the only one who knew I was wearing any make up at all was me. I even left it on until after my husband got home from work. I can also promise you that he didn’t notice.

I won’t leave the house wearing make up tomorrow morning.

I’m pretty sure it’s not going to matter much.