Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cat Found, an Emotional Day

 I saw something that looked like a cat in the bushes of my backyard around noon today. It wasn't our lost cat, Biggie, but a bigger cat, which after I spotted him/her, quickly jumped up on the fence and escaped to a different yard. Meanwhile, I also saw a smaller, skinny cat streak out of the same bushes, and this one definitely was Biggie.

But he seemed so disoriented and frightened. First he jumped straight into the fish pond, then ran around the yard as if he were crazy. As I tried to calm him down he once again fled into the bushes. I yelled for the kids to come out back and all three did.

We started stalking him, trying to contain him to some area where we might be able to pick him up, calm him down, and get him back into the house.

Despite the kids' sweet words and outreached arms, he continued to act crazy, running here and there and twice more falling into the (very cold) pond.

Finally, in an odd turn of events, he raced up the stairs and into our apartment, after which they picked him up, wrapped him in towels and blankets, dried and warmed him, and convinced him to start eating food and drinking water.

Tonight, he appears back near to his "normal" self. I have taken down the "lost cat" signs.
Tonight, my daughter played soccer and her team won its first game of the spring season, 1-0. She played brilliantly on defense, making many strong kicks up the sideline after stripping the ball from strikers. At some point in the second half, it became clear she was hurt. She'd injured a toe on one of those violent foot-to-foot collisions so common in soccer.

"Are you okay, Julia?" her coach yelled from the sideline.

"I'm fine," she said.

After the game she limped next to me, her shoe off, her toe swollen, as we got to our car.


Tonight is her 18-year-old brother's senior prom. He took his girlfriend. This morning we picked up the flowers they are wearing tonight. "To tell you the truth, Dad, it doesn't matter all that much to me, this three-hour dance, but it does to her. I'm just happy to be there with her."


Friday, April 19, 2013

Tragedy in Boston, a Lost Cat Here

It was an odd week on many levels. Like most people, I was horrified by what happened in Boston on Monday. I was in a board meeting when one of my fellow board members said his niece had texted him that two bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon.

Like many people I watched much of the coverage all week, culminating tonight in the apprehension of the second of two suspects in Watertown. What drove two young men, allegedly the bombers, to commit this awful act may now become known, since one of them survived the shootouts with police before his arrest.


Yesterday afternoon, on a hot day, I had the back door open. That is something I rarely have done since we got our cat. This time, however, with the heat and the smell of cat pee throughout our apartment, I needed to air things out.

In the mid-afternoon, the cat peed again, on the carpet and then, no doubt aware of my displeasure, skulked out the back door, down the stairs, and disappeared.

He's been ill the past few months with an auto-immune disease, and on steroids as a result. His behavior has grown increasingly bizarre. From almost no appetite he developed a voracious appetite. He even broke into a package of English muffins one night.

He started jumping up on the toilet and drinking from it during the night.

Then there is the pee -- everywhere, including on my daughter's lap the other night and the couch where I typically sit and work all day.

He stopped grooming himself, to the point where when he approached the kids they shrunk back, held their noses, and said "Eeew!" My daughter gave him repeated shampoos, but still the stench prevailed.

Today I reported him missing to animal control and placed posters on light poles and fliers in my neighbors' mailboxes. But there's no sign and no word of him anywhere around here.

I feel almost certain he is gone for good. He is so unhealthy he could never survive for long on his own, plus he has stopped taking his medication as of yesterday. I leave food out back and periodically call for him, but there is no sound in return.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

birthday birthday

A beautiful day here in San Francisco, surrounded with four of my children and two grandchildren and a son-in-law, I couldn't have asked for a nicer day. Plus the Giants came from behind for yet another win; they've started the season 9-4.

My two year old grand-daughter can already sing a version of "Happy Birthday."

My 18-year-old drew and composed the most loving messages on the card he made for me I can imagine a young man of his age expressing.

Dozens of friends sent birthday greetings, many on Facebook.

On any level I am blessed.