Thursday, March 31, 2005
Mr. Rhett is our own Babe Magnet. He and his sister Miss Scarlett are rescue kitties but expensive ones. They were donated to an auction held by Nyssa's school when they were only about six weeks old. Apparently their mother had died and the people didn't know how to take care of the kittens. Their little bellies were distended from malnutrition. I was the only person who really wanted them but another mother started bidding to get the price up. It got up to $60 before she realized that the auctioneer was doing the bid at $60 each instead of for the pair. I think they have been worth the $120 and it was for a good cause.
Mr. Rhett and Miss Scarlett, true southern names....actually all our cats are called "Mr." and "Miss". Not by our naming but by the deep southern tradition I first saw at the vet. He calls all the animal patients with these prefixes.
Mr. Rhett has earned his title of "Babe Magnet". He loves women, any size, any shape, and any age. He stares genteelly at them with big round "moony" blue eyes but keeps a respectful distance unless first beckoned. Almost every woman who came to our home would ask later, "Who was that cat with the dreamy blue eyes?"
Mr. Rhett loves bathrooms. He loves to sleep in the oval sinks (dry) and he loves to sit on a cabinet opposite the shower while it is occupied. If you shower a bit longer than he thinks is acceptable, he will cry. If you sing in the shower he will sing with you. His favorite song is (of course) "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens"; he comes in at the end of each phrase. His other passion is "clean naked bodies", he wants to touch you right after you have stepped out of the shower and dried, he kneads on your shoulder and rubs his head on your arm to get your attention, purring deeply all the time.
I may have earned the title of "Mommy" for Rhett but he has one everlasting and overwhelming true love in his life.....Michele. She would housesit for us and if she took a nap she would wake to find him next to her on the bed, again respectfully distant but there. When she closed her eyes he would reach a paw across and gently touch her face. As long as her eyes stayed shut his paw would stay put, but when she opened her eyes he withdrew his token of affection. He adores her, seeks her out when she visits and sits by her, on the couch, on the ottoman....content to just touch her with a paw or if permitted to lay his head on her lap. He truly lives up to his namesake, suave, mysterious, very Clark Gable.
To see other pictures of cats and dogs and squirrels..Oh! No!...be sure to visit Friday's Ark a posting of Friday Animal Blogging.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
States of the Union - How many states have you visited, lived in, and where are you living now? Here goes.
Florida - Disney World, Lakeland, Grandfather Gould who lived to be 97.
Georgia - Atlanta with the Thorntons, passed through the airport to places worldwide.
South Carolina - pass through from Mississippi to Virginia
North Carolina - Great Smokey Mountains, college search trip, various routes from the west to Virginia.
Alabama - Gulf Shores, Birmingham shopping trips, outlet malls, horrible stretch of Hwy 82.
Mississippi - home for 15 years, some good some bad, my child considers this "home".
Tennessee - Sewanee, Memphis, I40 from Oklahoma City to Virginia
Arkansas - pass through to go from Texas to Virginia, college roomate lives in Texarkana.
Louisiana - New Orleans pathology course in 2003
Virginia - now home, also home for me from age 3 to 9, many sites visited.
Maryland - Baltimore airport was end point of air travel while in college.
Delaware - Parents moved there from Pennsylvania while I was a freshman in college.
Pennsylvania - High school sophomore to senior year, New Brighton, also visits in Hershey, Lancaster, Philadelphia.
New York - New York trip with Nyssa and my brother Stephen
New Jersey - drove from Philly down to the tip of New Jersey and took the ferry across to Delaware.
Massachusetts - Eastern Nazarene College, bible quizzing trip, Cytc training trip, Boston
Connecticut - never been as far as I know
Rhode Island - never been
Vermont - never been
New Hampshire - never been
Maine - never been
West Virginia - route taken between Virginia and Chicago
Kentucky - drive to Chicago, home of Asbury College - the parents are alumni
Ohio - northern route from Pennsylvania to the farm in Illinois
Indiana - lived in Gary from fifth grade to the summer after 9th grade, born in Bedford
Illinois - my dad's home state, trips to Chicago, Kankakee, Olivet Nazarene College.
Missouri - route from Illinois to Oklahoma, I lived here when dad was in seminary
Michigan - One summer a certain type of small fish in Lake Michigan died and washed up on the beaches in Indiana making them unfit for use. So we would drive up into Michigan to the beaches there.
Wisconsin - never been
Minnesota - never been
Iowa - never been
North Dakota - never been
South Dakota - never been
Nebraska - never been
Kansas - never been
Oklahoma - home during college, Bethany Nazarene College, practiced medicine there for seven years, Nyssa was born here.
Texas - unfortunately lived in Dallas for eight years, most stuck up snotty people live in that town. They look down at the good people of Fort Worth. Horrible traffic. World's worst airport. Galveston was the site of the honeymoon (don't get me started), San Antonio was hot, the Alamo is a big let down and the River Walk looks and smells like a sewer. The nicest city in texas is El Paso.
New Mexico - White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, college science trip, wonderful; last vacation with husband (before divorce), was a nightmare.
Arizona - college science trip destination, camping, rock climbing, Sonora desert, absolutely a trip of a lifetime.
Colorado - great camping trips with whole family before the breakup to a smal very remote place...only two cars went by the campsite the entire week we were there.
Nevada - Las Vegas AmeriPath trip, Take Tahoe trip with Paul for meeting, not fond of this state.
Utah - medical trip to Park City when seven months pregnant. I couldn't ski but they have a way to ride to the top of the mountain, ate at the restaurant in Sundance, greatest skiing on earth.
California - San Diego - pathology board exams over Thanksgiving, San Diego zoo, Sea World, Santa Barbara medical meeting - where I did first pregnancy test, saw "Cats" in Los Angeles.
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii - I have never been to any of these.
Well, I have visited 30 out of 50 states and lived in 8 of them. Most of the states I have never visited are ones who went Democratic in the last election....hmm....is there a pattern here?
Monday, March 28, 2005
In the dark ages when I was a child, parents would give live little chicks to their kids for Easter. In some cases the feathers were dyed different colors, pink, blue, green..etc. My folks got me a chick one Easter, just the plain ordinary yellow one, no dye. I loved that little chick and kept him in a box in my room. His name was Cheep-Cheep, not original but I was only seven or eight. In a couple of weeks he had gotten bigger and Dad had built a really nice chicken coop with space for him to scratch and with a little house for shelter. (He is really good at building houses for animals)
Cheep-Cheep loved the coop; he could run around all he wanted. He was still small and it was still rather cold at night so we brought him in to stay warm in the basement or my room. One night we had to go out to a dinner or church service or something and it was supposed to get much colder. Dad thought he (or was he a she, don't know) would be ok until we got home. As soon as we got in I reminded him to go and get him in. Dad had a stricken look on his face when he came back into the house holding the lifeless, stiff, cold, apparently frozen body of my beloved Cheep-Cheep. It had gotten too cold for him. "Do something!!! Do something!!!!” I pleaded.
So began a resuscitation process of epic proportions. We warmed up towels and wrapped the little chick body in them. Then they had the idea to warm up the oven and put him and his little box in there. I don't know if I would want to be a chicken and wake up in a warming oven....such irony there. We even warmed a little water and put a few droppers inside his beak. And we prayed, the prayer a small child prays, earnest, heart felt, with sobs and very straight to the point....make Cheep-Cheep not be dead. After what seemed like hours, but what I'm sure must have been only thirty minutes or so....we heard a small faint "cheep" coming from the oven. We gave him more warm water and in a while he started moving and "cheeping" and ....... A MIRACLE!...my Cheep-Cheep who was dead (or at least in a coma) is now alive. Such joy. Needless to say, it was a long time before he ever had to stay out in the coop past sundown.
Cheep-Cheep grew into a fine white chicken. Not fully grown but able to stay outside overnight, he/she enjoyed the warmer weather....until.....that fateful night when a stray cat made its way somehow under the coop wiring and......the next morning all we found of dear Cheep-Cheep were his claws and his beak. I was heartbroken but looking back it was all for the best. If Cheep-Cheep were actually a male, he would have eventually found his way to the Sunday dinner plate...his only hope was to really be a female and perhaps earn her keep by laying eggs.
I think the practice of giving live chicks to kids has all but vanished thanks to the animal rights activists.....thank goodness. It wasn't practical. Maybe it was important to learn lessons about loss and small traumas as a child to be able to cope with the gigantic ones faced as adults. Nah....we can figure out better ways to teach kids about loss and trauma and not have to deal with chickens.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
This kitten was first named Chloe and thought to be a "she"...she acted feminine, loved on the dog and in general was very prissy. To the surprise of all, the vet discovered that Choe was actually a "he" and thus the name change to - Clovis. Clovis belongs to good friends Michele and Mckenzie S.
Easter is also, like Christmas, a time for children. I have many memories of the Easters of my childhood. Some warm my heart, some bring back a somewhat nauseous feeling and some lead into follow-up stories.
I remember an Easter in Roanoke, Virginia when the local radio station put on a gigantic Easter egg hunt. They advertised with fliers and on the air for weeks. A helicopter was to fly over the large park in town and drop thousands of the small plastic eggs for children to collect. Inside the eggs was candy or a slip of paper with a prize. I believe the big prizes were bicycles. Now, if you stop to think about this at all, it is not the best idea in the world. Picture hundreds of children standing looking up into the sky and then seeing a rain or more appropriately a hail of eggs falling. Did anyone consider the physics of it all, you know gravity, acceleration, the force the eggs would hit the ground or the heads of kids with? I don't know how many bumps on the head there were or how many eggs remained intact but it was chaos. My dad had taken me but we stayed at the edge of the mess and of course by the time we could get to where the eggs fell there were none. Such disappointment. But looking back....at least I didn't get bonked on the head. Wasn't there an episode of WKRP where they did something similar with turkeys or pigs?
We often had Easter sunrise services in Roanoke. The usual site was on top of Mill Mountain and while it was often cold, and very much too early, the sunrise over the western Virginia mountains was and still is very beautiful. That Easter as most Easters we had a ham for lunch after church. The ham had the scores on the outside making the little square block pattern. The parental units decided to stick whole cloves into the outside and while this was probably done without any directions, they went with the premise "If a few are good, more is better." There was not an empty square on the entire ham. The ham was placed in the oven to cook and off we went to the sunrise service and on to church. When we got home and opened the door, the odor of clove permeated the entire house and you can imagine how significant the flavor of clove infiltrated the ham. All I can remember about that Easter is the smell....I about threw up. The ham was not edible; I don't remember what we ate or if we could eat. The smell in the house took days to get rid of with all the windows open. To this day the smell of clove makes me sick.