Friday, June 20, 2008

Older news

There's not much knitting to show at this point, although I am, in fact, getting knitting done. But as I'm working on the Brambler scarf and the mitts for Older Daughter, any pictures that I might take would look about the same as the pictures I've already shown you, so there doesn't seem to be much point.

I really appreciated everyone's thoughts on cooking, and mileage varying between people. I have some more to say on that, but I'll try to space those posts out. Meanwhile, in the spirit of taking each day as it comes, we ordered pizza on Wednesday night, as we had dog training to get to right in the middle of our usual dinner time and it was Rick's birthday and we wanted to have time to sit down to dinner together (see? each instance is new and different). We did follow it up with homemade blueberry/lime pound cake, though. And last night, we had grilled polenta and veggies with tomato sauce. The kids asked if we could have it more often. I love it when that happens.

Something else happened a few weeks ago that I've been avoiding talking about. I think I'm in a certain amount of denial, although it's hard to stay in that state really. Just before Rick's parents arrived on the weekend that we went camping (around May 28th), Atticus didn't come home one night. He has persisted in not coming home. Given certain evidence found near a neighbor's house, we're pretty sure that we know what happened to him, and as much as I'd like to believe that he's taking a (very, and increasingly) extended adventure tomcatting around the neighborhood, I know he's not.

And it makes me sad.

He was my loving baby boy with the soft black fur, and the softer white tummy. The one who liked to sleep with his nose just touching my cheek. The one who was all about the little love nips on my nose in the morning so I'd pet him. He purred really, really well, and was a huge fan of the belly rub. I miss him. I still wake up at night, expecting to find him sleeping on my elbow.

Gwilim is missing him, too. He's taken to following me around the house. He has even (and you can have no idea how weird this is) jumped into my lap and settled down for whole minutes at a time. For the first several days, he'd walk around the house meowing. No-one answered, and it broke my heart every time. He is now sleeping near my stomach instead of between my feet. I think he's lonely. I know it makes me a little lonely to see him sleeping all by himself on the bed in the day, instead of curled up with the Atty-Cat.

Rick and I are doing some major regrouping, in terms of how to keep our cats safe while still letting them out. I know that the letting out thing is, for a lot of people, a big no-no, but it's how we work with our pets. We both grew up with happy indoor/outdoor pets, and all of our pets have had the same privilege. Also, living as we do in an area with far more rats and gophers than we'd like (and given how we feel about poison), our cats are working cats. Gwilim, at this point, is the talk of the neighborhood, having moved on to other yards after clearing ours of gophers (our neighbors have been known to stop us on the street to thank us for his diligence in clearing their lawns; I am not joking here). So, we've instituted an "all animals in at night with the pet door closed" rule, and we are fixing the fence in our upper yard to limit incursions from other, larger, non-cat-like animals. We're hoping that this safe space will keep this kind of thing from happening again.

And, of course, we're in that state of asking when it's time to get a kitten, someone for Gwilim to be with, or whether he's going to be OK, and we can give ourselves a little more time to grieve. The shelters are full of kittens right now, and we know that we'll be adopting one who needs rescuing, but it's hard to make that decision right now.

Thanks for listening.

17 comments:

twinsetellen said...

Oh, Jocelyn, my heart goes out to you and the whole family.

Atticus got to live a great life going in and out. Keeping him in may have given him more days of life, but maybe not more days of living.

(There is something so touching about one animal missing another. Give Gwilim an extra pat for me, if he will tolerate it.)

Anne said...

I am so sorry. We were in just this place in November 2005. We had to make the same choice when we adopted Fred in 1993; after being thrown in a dumpster in a paper bag with his sisters when he was a few days old, he wanted to make his own choices about how and where he spent his time. Like Atticus, he lived a good life going in and out. I still miss him, three years later. But we would not have been able to adopt the current crew with him ruling the roost (his other most-definitively-expressed wish was to be an only cat), so I have to think there's some kind of long-term positive energy attached to the change in personnel here. We took some heat for letting Fred make the decision, too. I don't know if we can ever keep our felines safe when they go in and out, especially the way neighborhoods have changed, but with many cats, that's the way it has to be.

I'm so glad you posted that picture of Gwilim and Atticus together. And, in the small blessings department, you don't have to go off on your trip not knowing. That would have been awful.

Hugs to all of you.

Alwen said...

Aw. I'm a dog person, but I know the pain of losing pets.

FUZZARELLY said...

Dang it.

I miss Murgatroyd to this day and his body has never been located. Not knowing sucks.

I only hope that his end as well as Atti's was quick.

KnitNana said...

Oh NO. I'm so sorry, Jocelyn. I know how hard it is...

I'm one of those who believes that the world has changed enough that the furkins (kitties) need to be indoors to be safe, but I understand how you feel, I do. When I lost my last indoor/outdoor baby to a roving dog (unleashed in a city with that law), I decided I couldn't take the heartache anymore. My girls do not seem to mind, are more fearful of outside than interested in it...

Still and all, it's a hard decision to make, and I know you'll make the one that works best for you and yours!

My BB, I'm sure, was right there at Rainbow Bridge - You can trust she made friends with Atticus immediately and took him in paw and showed him around...

They'll be waiting for us when we get there...

I'm sending you & Gwilim lots of
(((((hugs)))))

Helen said...

Oh, I'm sorry, that's awful. But get another kitten as fast as you can. It's the only way. For inspiration, see http://tinyurl.com/4hzusb And of course you let your cats out; keeping them in should always be the exception.

Helen said...

Oh, I'm sorry, that's awful. But get another kitten as fast as you can. It's the only way. For inspiration, see http://tinyurl.com/4hzusb And of course you let your cats out; keeping them in should always be the exception.

Rachael said...

Words can do little to ease grief, so instead I send you (((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))
and the knowledge that my heart goes out to you.

Bea said...

I'm so sorry Jocelyn and family and especially Gwilim.

Samantha said...

So sorry to hear about Atticus. We, too, are an indoor/outdoor pet family. Although in a rural area we are right by the roadside and I have lost one cat and had one injured in the seven years I've been here. Even so I can't bringmyself to keep the cats indoors.
You'll know when it is right to get another cat. Don't feel bad if it's quite soon - you're not replacing Atticus, nothing ever will do that.
Hugs and sympathy to you and your family.

anne said...

i'm really sorry about atticus . . .

PHD Knitter said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Atticus. Hold Gwilim close and comfort each other.

Katie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. We just lost one of ours lately so I know you must feel terrible. Our girl's kitty-sister is grieving the same way as yours (she cries all the time now), but we have deceided NOT to get another kitten. She deserves our full attention right now, not the annoyance of a wee one. But cats are different. Only you know if your kitty wants a young friend.

Although we are indoor-only cat owners, I know a lot of outdoor/indoor owners who have gone through what you are experiencing and I feel so sad for your loss.

the boogeyman's wife said...

oh, bummer. i'm so sorry. i'm glad you're finding ways to keep your animals free and safe - both are important.

EGunn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Atticus. (I've been way behind on blog reading, and am just catching up.) As a kitty mom, I'm glad that my girls stay inside, but some animals are just happier with the freedom to roam. It's hard to know when to look for a kitten, especially with another cat in the house. Kitten season goes strong until the end of the summer, though, so you have a while before the shelter numbers start to dwindle. I'm not sure there's ever a perfect time to get a new kitty, but there is definitely a time when you meet the perfect cat!

Carrie K said...

Oooh, I am so very sorry to read this, my heart goes out to your family.

Lynne said...

Oh, so sad. :-(

We have an 'in-at-night' policy for our cat. The cat flap to oour back screened porch/patio is closed to stop him going out and a box is pulled across the flap to stop other cats coming in uninvited; it also lets Tom know the flap is closed for the night!