Friday, September 30, 2005

Out of Town

Sorry I have not updated lately. I have been out of the office working at a client and so it has left me with little time to update. (Yes, I do most of my website work at work, but in my defense I try very hard only to do it on my lunch hour.)

Anyhow, things with us are doing well. River got new bandages put on on Thursday and they are teal, not the most masculine color, but it is a step up from purple. The doctors say he is healing well and will get to keep his leg, although they can't promise full mobility. They are shooting for one more week of bandages and then he should be done. He, however, has yet to get the memo that he is injured, because he runs and climbs just like the other three.

Speaking of the other three, they now have names. The calico is Annie, as in little orphan Annie, because she has the red face. She continues to improve but still has a slight limp. We are hoping she will outgrow it. The bigger of the two tabbies is now named Angel, although she is anything but. My mom said Angel wasn't a fitting name since she is such a terror, but all that keeps running through my head is those big biker chicks with Angels tattooed on their arm. When I described it to her that way, she said it fit perfectly.

Finally, there is tiger. A friend of mine who used to work with me is going to take him home. They came last night with their 10 year old to visit him and gave him that name. Their other cat is named Lily so they will have Tiger and Lily. Her daughter is SOO excited about this kitten that they are coming to get him on Friday, two days before he is "officially" six weeks. Hopefully we will be able to have him eating solids by then.

As for us, Jake is working on a big shopping center and is finding the days long and hard. Luckily it has been much cooler so he at least doesn't have the heat to worry about. However he is still beat when he comes home so he is usually in bed early. Bow season is also starting this weekend, so between that and his long days I will probably not see him much until January! :-)

As I mentioned before, I have been working at a client all week doing some Quickbooks things for them. It looks like I will be out there at least another week if not two. The timing is not great, as the deadline for extended individual tax returns is October 15th, but we needed to get this done so I had to just pass off my two individuals to other people in the office.

Well, hopefully I will get some more pictures of the cuties taken and posted next week. They are now staying full time at my mom's and I have to admit, Sadie is not the only one who misses them running around the kitchen.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Kitty Sitting

That's where the kitties sit and you watch right?

This has become Sadie's favorite past time. She doesn't really care if they are sleeping or playing she will lay in front of the kennel and watch them. She will even forgo eating to watch the kittens. We actually have to drag her out of the bathroom and close the door to get her to eat.

This weekend we decided to just leave her and see how long she would watch them. It was 30-45 minutes that she sat in there intently staring into the kennel before she finally got bored and decided that she wasn't missing anything.

Last night, I moved them into her old kennel which is MUCH larger and allows them to play some more. However, since this kennel is much larger it will not fit in the bathroom. I put it in our kitchen in one of the corners, so this morning when Sadie came downstairs to check on her kittens she was thoroughly confused. Then she thought maybe she could just get in with them, since it is her old kennel after all.

As for River, he is doing WONDERFULLY! He walks, all be it with his butt in the air, and is happy to play with the other kittens. When I moved them to the big kennel he moved right in with them. The only requirement for him now, is that he keep the bandages dry. In the old kennel it was too close of quarters to guarantee that, however in the new one there is enough space that we are fairly certain he can keep dry. Plus, the new litterbox is larger, and lower to the ground, so he can use it and the other two are using it pretty much all the time also.

Yes, I said other two. The calico is now on the injured list. Yesterday we noticed that she had stopped putting weight on one of her legs. After some investigation it appears that she may have injured her shoulder. The only thing we can figure out is that she had one of her legs through the bars on the front of the kennel and she either fell or one of the other cats climbed on top of her.

River has a bandage change appointment today at 2:00 and so mom is going to take her with him and see if we can get her some pain medicine and some advice as to how to treat the injury. It is just never ending with these four!!

The final piece of news is that we are trying to get them to eat solid food. We have not had much success as they prefer to stand/walk through it as opposed to eating it.

Of course, we have also not been working with them like we should. We have both been so busy (the race track closes this weekend, and I am trying to get ready to be out of the office next week) that it is just easier to give them the bottles and be done with it rather than trying to get them to eat. Hopefully I will have some time to work with them this weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Just hanging out at home (underneath that towel is a heating pad)
The kitten now has a name. His name is River (no Jess that's not where we got it). Here is how we came up with that name. This was the first litter Socks had that was not all tabby cats. So, we figured that there must have been a new tom cat. Last week my mom talked to a lady who lives in their RV park. She has a cat (who looks like River) who was missing for about a week around the beginning of July.

So, their assumption was that this cat may have been the father of these kittens. Well her cat came from a lady that works for my mom. This lady lives down by the river (commence the Saturday Night Live Jokes) and always calls herself a river rat. Every time it rains too much the river creeps into her front yard.

Therefore, they have decided to name this kitten River Rat. In the interest of saving his feelings I've decided that River is a little less degrading. :-)

River is doing well, at least what we can see of him. He is eating well and walks around as much as he can. My mom is taking him to have his bandages changed at 2:00 today and that will be the first time we will have a really good idea of how he is healing. Hopefully it will be good news.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This will be the first of many, I'm sure. The white kitten (still needs a name) is doing much better. When I arrived to pick him up from my mom's house last night he was very listless. What had been two open wounds when I left was not a raw area running up one whole leg along with the two open sores. We tried to feed him and he wouldn't swallow. The milk would just fall out of his mouth. His pupils were also starting to dilate and un-dilate rather sporadically. Finally, he would open his mouth to cry and no sound would come out and he was breathing very heavy.

I, of course, began to cry, thinking he was going to die. I called our vet (well paged him as they were closed) and waited. After 10 minutes I didn't hear back and decided to go a different route. I called the Animal Hospital in town and they happened to be open until 8:00. They said they were full but could try to squeeze me in around 7:00. At this point it was 6:00.

I waited around until all of 6:10 and then I couldn't take it any more. He looked so sad and helpless. So, I headed for the animal hospital. I thought maybe if they saw him all sick and helpless lying in their waiting room they could "squeeze" us in a little earlier. It worked. By 6:25 we were in a room with the vet.

She confirmed what I knew, it was BAD. One of his knees was almost non-existent. She said that she could not guarantee that he would keep that leg. However, she was encouraged by the fact that he continued to walk on it and said we would know more in 7-10 days.

As for what caused all of this damage: she thinks he was crushed when his mom was. She said that it would have been a pretty significant injury and since he was in a controlled environment for the past week it would have had to be something that happened before we found him. Her best guess is that it started as a small injury but since we didn't know it existed, and therefore didn't treat him, it festered inside until the scabs came off.

So at 6:40 I left him there for a "cleaning and clipping" session. When I returned at around 8:00 he was sleeping but looked more comfortable. Both of his back legs are in hard bandages (almost like casts). They are purple, very manly huh? Underneath the bandages is the mesh stuff that they use to treat burn victims. They are hoping it will help him regrow skin in that area.

When we got home I tried to feed him several more times and did manage to get a little into him before he would fall back asleep. He had a rough evening, I don't blame him for just wanting to nap. Last night I stayed on the couch so I could get up with him every couple of hours. By midnight he was much more alert and I thought we had finally turned a corner. He still wasn't sucking on the bottle, but would swallow when I put it in his mouth.

At four I gave him more pain medicine and then he decided it was time to play. He was well rested, why wasn't I? By the 6:00 feeding he was chewing on the nipple to get milk and trying to walk around. He looks really goofy when he walks because his back legs are taped straight so his back end is up farther than his front.

I will try to get some pictures of the purple people eater tonight and post them tomorrow. I will also keep you posted as things develop with his leg.

Monday, September 19, 2005


The white kitten (you know we really need to get names for them) is sick. As I was bathing him this morning two scabs fell off of his back legs and underneath were these big open wounds. They are in his elbow area (I will spare you pictures).

The guilt I feel for letting this happen to him is enormous. Maybe if I would have cleaned him more often, etc. I know that in the long run if my mom and I had not taken care of these babies they would have died. And as it is, the vet doesn't think they are THAT serious. The vet is closed today so I have to take him tomorrow, but they said as long as he is still eating well he should be fine.

After I found the sores I just wrapped him in a towel and sat on the couch crying (maybe it's hormones) but I just kept looking at his innocent little face and saying I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen. I was supposed to take care of you.

If I am THIS emotional about a cat, people just watch out when I have kids. Someone please smack me if I become one of those mothers that has her kids at the doctor for every little bump and bruise.

In the mean time, we are washing him, and keeping him dry and I will keep you posted as to how the vet visit goes tomorrow.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bath Time

First we wash...

Then we towel dry...

Then we blow dry...

Ahhh... there's nothing like a good warm hair dryer...

Then we eat...

Then we nap...

Bath time is SUCH hard work!!

Oh, and just in case you're wondering why all this bath stuff is necessary... here is a BEFORE picture.

Apparently when you are not even three weeks old, cleaning yourself is the least of your worries.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's a Boy!!

Molly(Jake's sister) & Marshall are having a boy.

They just got the ultrasound done today that confirmed it.

Molly is now 19 weeks and 5 days and is due February 4th!


Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I am in shock right now. I just talked to my mom and she mentioned to me that one of her workers has a sister who would like one of the orphans. Okay... in three weeks we will think about it. No, she wants it now. Apparently she is home with a broken arm, or something, and would have time to bottle feed it, etc. I said no. I'm not willing to part with these kittens until I know they can survive on their own.

Then, she just nonchalantly mentions, well she had Circles but he got hit on the road. Who is Circles I ask. Oh... you know... Budda. I just about cried right then and there. In June we helped my sister move into her new place in Kirksville, MO. While we were there a three week old kitten came crawling across the street meowing.

I tried to take it back, but the mamma cat that I tried to give it too hissed at it and batted it away. So, I set it in the middle of their yard and it followed me back across the street. Finally a lady came out of the trailer and so I picked him up and took him to her. She stated that he had been under their deck for two days and that the mom had abandoned him. She had left him there in the hopes that she would be back, but now guessed she would have to take him in with her other 10 kittens and three mamma cats!!

At that point I offered to take him home with us and give him to Socks, since she only had three kittens and was a very good mom. I went to Wal-mart, bought him a baby bottle (the very same one we're using now) and bottle fed him for two days until Socks other older kitten was adopted and then she took him under her wing.

Budda thrived under Socks care and grew big and strong. He had a fighter personality which is what allowed him to survive those two days without his mom. One month ago, Socks weaned him and this same employee's sister said she would like to have him. I questioned whether he would be inside and was told that they thought so, but she had a farm and so he would be safe either way.

That was ONE month ago. I am just sick right now. There is no way in HELL I want this woman to take another one of my babies. She only had my last one for less than a month and now he is gone.

However, I'm very conflicted. I'm sure this woman didn't mean for anything to happen to Budda. We only had Ozzie for a little over a year when he was hit on the road so a lot of people could make the argument that we are irresponsible and shouldn't' have another cat. (Although after he died I did make the decision that we would never own another outside cat, but that is a different story all together.)

With Ozzie we took the stance that he came to us as a wild outside cat and so he just stayed that way. I supposed the same argument could be made about Budda, although it doesn't make it any easier. It is just so hard to pour your heart into saving these kittens only to give them away to uncertain futures. I suppose in the end it is probably not my decision to make. Ultimately these are my mother's kittens and she will get to make the final decision about where they will live.

Until then we have decided that they will at least stay together until they are old enough to eat on their own. From there, I guess it is up to her.


On Saturday my mother called me about noon with the news that Socks, the mother of the kittens, had passed away. We are unsure exactly how but we have several possibilities. Sometime last week she moved her kittens up to the warehouse, but instead of putting them in the kennel or in the feed bags, she put them under the dock leveler.

For those of you who don't know, a dock leveler (If you click on both underlined words you can see two different pictures) is a platform that raises up and then there is a little flap on the end. When you lower it down that flap goes into the back of a semi trailer, giving you a flat surface to run a fork lift or hand truck across.

Anyhow, we think she was either crushed when the leveler came down, or was trapped in there and died of heat exhaustion. Either way, it was a very sad event and it left four kittens without a mom. We are lucky, however, that she had all four kittens with her or we probably would have never found them. We are also lucky that they all survived as it appeared that she had been gone for several days before we found them.

So, on Saturday I went to Wal-mart and invested in Just Born kitten milk and bottles. (If you ever have an orphan, this is the stuff to use) They all took to the bottle really well and have continued to thrive. I keep them at my house in the evenings and on weekends and I take them to my mom's house during the day.

Once they are big enough to eat out of a dish they will probably stay with her full time. We will miss having them at our house, although we can not say the same for Lex, Sylvester, & Pixie. They will be throwing a kitty party as soon as we close the door!!

Here are some pictures I took this weekend. They don't sit still very well so it's hard to get good pictures. Hopefully when they start walking around a little more I can get a few more good ones.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I know I told some of you I would post new pictures of the kittens, and I will, I promise. Things have just been really hectic lately. There is a tax deadline on Thursday and so I have been trying to get all of that squared away. Jake and I close on the 80% refinance on our house today and the 20% next week so on top of being busy I have to leave early today.

I hope to have the pictures posted tonight or early tomorrow.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

And the circus continues to grow....

Matt & Danette are out of town this weekend. The original plan was that we were going to go over to their house two or three times a day to let Scotch (their dog) out and to feed her. Does this look like their house??
That chair looks surprisingly like the one in my livingroom. So does the coffee table.

On Friday we went over to let her out and she looked SO sad and forlorn there all by herself that we caved. She has been here since Friday night and instead of taking her home tonight and making her stay by herself I will drop her off tomorrow morning before I go to work.

What can I say, we're weak.

Iowa Superbowl

Iowa State Shocks No. 8 Iowa, 23-3

Need I say more??

Oh, wait... maybe just one more thing....

ISU Capitalizes On Turnovers To Stun Iowa

Okay... maybe two....

No. 8 Iowa Tripped and Falls


Friday, September 09, 2005

Birthday Dinner

On Wednesday night we went to dinner at Jake's grandma's house. It was his mother's birthday and Grandma had decided that it was just about time that we all make peace. I was a little nervous about the whole affair, but Jake said he was willing to give it a shot so I decided to just go with the flow.

Okay... let me digress for just a moment. Here is the reader's digest version of the background of why dinner with his mom is so monumental. A year and a half ago Jake's parents got divorced. It was not a pretty divorce and feelings were hurt and mean things were said. Jake, needing someone to be angry with, picked his mother. (It's not important why at this point, since it's so far in the past.)

Shortly after his parents started divorce proceedings Julie started dating someone. At that point Jake's anger switched from all at Julie to mostly at this guy and some still at her. I think it was easier to blame him than to just accept that his parents were over and trying to find new lives for themselves.

Since that point their relationship has been relatively non-existent. They have spoken maybe 3 or 4 times and until the fair, had not seen one another. SOO, when Grandma called and invited us to dinner, my main concern was whether Jake could let go of his anger and just have a nice dinner with everyone.

As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Thing went wonderfully. When we arrived Julie's boyfriend was at home taking a shower so Jake had about 20-30 minutes of time with his mom to sort of catch up and be comfortable in the moment. Once Rick arrived things continued smoothly. I think Jake has finally let go of all the anger and resentment that he has been carrying around for the last year and a half.

My hope is that now that we have had this monumental dinner things will continue to get better from here. I'm not sure how it has affected Julie, but I know that the last year and a half have had a very negative affect on Jake. He loves his mom a lot and I think there are a lot of things in his life that he has missed sharing with her. This has been like a cloud hanging over his life and I hope now the storm is finally starting to clear.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


My parents have new kittens at their house. Anyone want a kitten? They were born on the 28th of August. Aren't they CUTE??

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


It appears that some people may have misunderstood my previous post, so let me clarify a little. For those of you who know my previous history with Jake I am in NO way someone who judges others by their past. I love my husband very much, despite what many may deem as a "clouded" past.

This old friend and I did not have a falling out because of the things she did in her past, or because I feel superior to her and look badly on her. We still talk about once every six months. Her and I not really being friends has nothing to do with the choices she MADE, but rather to do with the choices she CONTINUES to MAKE. Someday if our lives drift back in the same direction we could very well become close again. Although, I'm sorry to say I don't really see that happening.

Now, when we talk the awkward silences far outweigh the moments of free conversation. We are living two very different lives and while that may be good for a twice a year catch up session, it really doesn't give us much to coverse about on a regular basis.

Making Friends

On Monday night I took Jack and Sadie out to let them run around for awhile. The cows were up by the fence because their creep feeder is empty and they were hoping maybe I would notice and feed them. Too bad they don't realize that not all humans mean corn!! Now before you go thinking I'm starving the poor creatures... I did call my mom (who technically OWNS the cows) and tell her.

While we were out there Jack and Sadie would run up to the fence and bark hoping to scare the cows away. Usually this works. However, there was one cow that had decided that if it couldn't have corn maybe it would try puppy. ;-)

Sadie was brave enough to touch it nose to nose before she backed off.

Jack, however... was not nearly so brave. This is as close as he would get before he back off. This shouldn't surprise me though, since this is the dog that is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, and occasionally his own shadow.

See the cow with his tongue sticking out? In Jack's defense that is a very scary cow and he could be trying to eat him!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Where's Waldo?

Can you spot the cat in this picture?

This is what happens when we do not close the door all the way to the cabinet where we store the blankets. Lex seems to make it into his personal kitty cave.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Old Friends

Do you ever find yourself thinking back to your time in highschool, college, or an old job where you had a friend you thought you would talk to forever? Now here it is several years later and you are thinking I wonder what ever happened to that person?

Yesterday, I had a chance to talk to just such a person. It was only through IM and only for about an hour but it was still nice. I got to hear about his son and see pictures and I gave him the link to the website. I think he will always be someone who I will keep in touch with, even if it is just once a year through Christmas cards.

While we were chatting he asked me about another old friend of mine. One, who I'm sorry to say, I will probably not keep in touch with. Back in highschool she was my "best friend." (It was important to stress that in highschool. Not just a friend a BEST friend!) We went everywhere together and talked on the phone almost every night. Whenever I had a fight with my boyfriend I could always count on her to take my side and tell me how it would all be okay.

I can honestly say, I miss that a lot. I'm not so sure, however, that I can say that I miss her. When you find yourself looking back on friendships like this there is almost always a reason you are no longer still in touch with this person. In our case, our lives just took two very separate paths. I think we began to drift apart when I went to college. I had goals and dreams for my life and she was pretty content to just stay at home and work in the fast food industry for the rest of her life.

Some time around my junior year of college she started hanging around with some pretty "questionable" people. We would still talk, but our phone calls got to be less and less frequent. About every month instead of every week. One night when she called she told me about an "encounter" she had had with a married man and his cousin, or friend, I can't recall which. Anyhow, she didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with having "relations" with a married man and another man all at the same time. That was when I realized that the friend I had known and loved was gone.

For the next few years she drifted in and out of my life. She would call every 3 or 4 months and we would talk. It was almost as if we never lost touch. Our conversations flowed easily and it felt like we had just picked up where we left off. I would start to question why we were not talking more often then, inevitably, she would end up mentioning something that would be going on in her life that would remind me of why we were no longer friends. Our lives had taken two different paths and the hopes of them converging again were slim to none.

About a two and a half years ago I got the call that she had decided to go into the army. Her life was going no where and she was tired of bouncing from one dead end job to another. The first thing that crossed my mind was maybe I would get my friend back. I thought maybe this was her chance to make something of her life. I was wrong.

As it turns out, her ambition in the army is a lot like in life. She tried really hard in the beginning, but is now just happy with the status quo. She still calls about every 6-9 months and I make small talk with her, but I have begun to realize that the friend I knew and loved is gone.

Everyone always talks about how they wish they could go back, but I now realize why we can't. People are in your life for a certain amount of time to make an impression. They either stay, or they leave, and if they go... it is probably for a reason. I miss the friend I used to have, but I have made new friends, friends who share my values and beliefs.

Maybe I will see her someday, at a class reunion, or in our hometown. I imagine that we will chat and be friendly, but in the end we will say our goodbyes and go our separate ways. Back to the lives we have made and the new people that fill them. I suppose this is probably as it should be. I would not trade the time I had with her for anything, but I would also not trade the life I have now.