Archive for the ‘ Pet Tails ’ Category

Lost and Found

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Exhausted From His Adventure

We lost Wayne Sanchez today. Phil put him in the section of the house where his litter and food are, so we could eat breakfast in peace.

Side note: He’s like a rabid raccoon. Or someone with Prader Willi syndrome. He has an insatiable appetite. If I turn my back for a split second, he’ll be drinking from my cereal bowl.

I went to let him out and he was nowhere to be found–until we stumbled upon a crawl space. It was way back in a cupboard that was open. Neither of us could even crawl back to see where it went (my pregnant stomach kept getting in the way), but it appeared to go to a hole in the floor. Thoughts of Baby Jessica came to mind. We rushed down to the basement to see if the space connected there. It didn’t. I began to get hysterical. I called the owner of the house at 7 a.m. and left her a frantic message. Then went hand-wringing to Phil.

“What if the hole goes to nowhere? Like deep into the ground?” I said, near tears.

“Jill, a hole goes to somewhere,” Phil said annoyed, though clearly stressed himself.

“Not necessarily” I said, panicked. “It could go to the sewer and then to the LA River and Wayne will be gone forever.”

“It would not. I’m telling you, a crawl space goes somewhere. If it went to the sewer we’d have rats in the house.”

Phil went outside to look around the exterior of the house.

Then I heard the magical words.

“I found him. Bring me food,” Phil shouted.

Wayne was sitting under the house in a screened in vent like-area, that apparently the hole dropped into.  Phil pried it open and held food out (never misses an eating opportunity). Wayne got close enough for Phil to grab him and pull him to safety.

The Hole to Somewhere

Fia and I cheered. Then I called the landlord. “Hi, it’s Jill again. We found Wayne. He is worse than a toddler. However, we need a handyman to cover up a hole in your house.”

Thank god the hole went to somewhere. I shudder to think of a world without Wayne.

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Wayne Sanchez–The Biggest Loser

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

He's So Svelte!

I may be more excited about this news that when Fia took her first step.

I took Wayne Sanchez to the vet today to get his travel papers for our upcoming move. He has lost, (drum roll please) 4.3 pounds!! I mean, for a cat that was 18.6 pounds, that is nearly 25% of his body weight. I hereby declare Wayne Sanchez:

THE BIGGEST LOSER.

I had the vet weigh him on 3 different scales to be sure. I even went as far as to ask if it’s possible his morning poo weighed 4 pounds. I simply couldn’t believe that just by cutting down a little bit on his dry food over the past year could cause that weight loss. I haven’t had that kind of luck with past cats.

Of course I still couldn’t carry him in his Sherpa bag, so he rode to the vet in the stroller while Fia was in Spanish class. When I picked her up, Wayne went in the basket underneath and we all strolled happily home. In the rain. On the cracked sidewalks. Me pushing about 50 pounds of weight. Him yowling. Fia fussing.

He is in the Sherpa Bag--In The Stroller

Have I mentioned that I’m a bit burned out of city living? That I’m so excited about having a house and yard and car in LA? Which leads me to my latest NYC working mom theory

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Birds and Babies Don’t Mix

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Peepers is the yellow one on right

Fia nearly killed Peepers and I nearly had a heart attack. If your child kills an animal, aren’t their chances of becoming a serial killer heightened?

The hair-raising incident happened on a recent visit to my Aunt Nancy, who lives on the bayou about an hour north of New Orleans. She and my uncle live in a spectacular setting where jasmine grows like weeds, and crawfish populate the waters (sans oil) with abundance. I woke up to hummingbirds fluttering about and Fia squawking for Peepers.

Peepers and Peg are a pair of lovebirds. Both are boys, so I guess they’re gay. They’ve been partners for 15 years now. Peg only has one leg, thus his name. Peepers has scrunched up feet from a stroke, which means he needs to land on flat surfaces. He can’t curl his toes around a perch. Both survived Hurricane Katrina. Peepers also survived a near fatal beheading when caught up in a ceiling fan a few years back. But he almost didn’t survive Fia.

For background, Fi has chased after pigeons on the playground before, but her obsession with Peepers was unlike anything I’d seen. Nancy lets them fly about the house a couple times a day. Peepers will land right on your shoulder, or your head, and loves to have his belly rubbed. No joke.

The first—and only–time he landed on her arm, Fi squealed with delight. But before I could even say, “gentle,” she grabbed his head in her fist and took off running across the room, screaming with glee. All I could see were his legs poking out of her hand.

I gasped in horror, lunged for her fist and quickly pried it open. Peepers is yellow, but at that moment I swear he was blue. He took off in flight and Fia, thinking this is the most fun she’s ever had, ran after him again. Her fingers were covered in feathers. She tried to eat one.

“Um, this isn’t such a good idea,” I yelled across the room, cornering Fia from Peeps. “Fia, stop!” I screamed.

Nancy chimed in, scooping up a now-traumatized lovebird. “If she kills Peepers, she’ll have to kill Peg because they can’t be alone.”

Peg, upon hearing this, began to squawk, realizing his mortality was on the line.

Oh great, so she becomes a serial lovebird killer. Just what I always dreamt of for my daughter.

Luckily no more feathers were shed during our stay. But a lot of tears were. Everyday, after she grew tired of slobbering on Willy the dog, she’d go over to the cage, stand on her tippy toes and shake it—hard. She’d stick her fingers in, trying to extract even a feather. Peg and Peeps would squawk and take cover in their birdhouse. I’d pull Fia away, which would trigger an immediate tantrum. Crying, pointing at the cage, and ending with throwing herself on the ground.

“Poor baby,” I’d say. “I’m so sorry your mama won’t let you squeeze a bird to death.”

Each time we tried to supervise/teach her to hold him gently, I could see her fist tighten around his neck and I had to take him away (which of course meant more tantrums). After several more attempted beheadings we just kept them both in their cage.

I thought I’d come here for tranquility, not baby and bird wrangling.

In the end, we left with both birds still alive, but fewer feathers than before, plus a tormented child and a mama with shot nerves. I don’t think babies and birds are a great combo at this age unless the bird is stuffed.

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Team Cat and Baby

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I was never good at sports. But somehow I find myself in the unique position of begin a referee to a cat and a 19-month old. I wrote last week about my Wayne Sanchez WoesMy Transexual Cat.  After I posted it, Fia suddenly lost interest in him (are there blog gods?). It has been so nice to not constantly chase her chasing him.  But last night, she came back full throttle. Mauling him, rolling over him, putting all her Muppets on him. When he gets really frustrated, or if she’s choking him, he lashes out. I can’t blame him. And if I don’t move fast enough (or haven’t trimmed and put on his fake nails), she gets scratched.

Neosporin is my ace bandage/ice pack—whatever you use in sports for injuries. It is a permanent part of our survival.

Last night, Phil and I came home from a date. Fia was in bed; Wayne was meowing by his food bowl. I swear the dude has Prader Willi syndrome. He would eat himself dead if he could.

I gave him a few crumbles then plopped down on the couch. He came and plopped down next to me. I look at his giant belly and see this:

Brother Wayne and his treat

Fia had taken her lollipop and stuck it in his fur. He didn’t seem to mind a bit. But we did. It was so sticky, I knew that if I had a half-active cat, our furniture would be covered with sugar goo. Luckily Wayne is more like a sloth. He barely moves. We had to get scissors and cut it out.  He just rolled over on his back and let us at it. Post-op I went and looked in on my little devil-angel. Sleeping soundly.

I often wonder what goes through her silly little head when she decides to do certain things—like put a lollipop on Brother Wayne’s belly? And what goes through Wayne’s when he just lies there like it’s normal? I guess they make a good team… maybe I need a whistle and a black and white striped jersey to make myself official.  I don’t think my referee duties are going away anytime soon.

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Wayne Sanchez Woes–My Transexual Cat

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Sometimes I really want to kill you Wayne Sanchez. Yes I’m your mama. Yes I rescued you from the streets. And yes, we took off your boy parts and gave you a vagina. But that was to save your life. It put us in debt. We could have bought a car for what we spent turning you into a transsexual. Where’s the gratitude?

Fia and her favorite feline

Fia and her favorite feline

At the end of the day, as much as I think your Fia’s older brother, you need to remember you’re still a cat. I was worried about you two not getting along. Little did I know you’d lure her in as your co-conspirator–especially at mealtime. You get fatter and she gets skinnier. And mama gets closer to a nervous breakdown.  She dangles turkey, I beg her to eat it, you swat at it, and I swat at you. But for that brief second when her mouth is open in glee, I can usually shove it in. That is, if you don’t go in for the kill first and gobble it up yourself.

So I keep you around because as much of a pain in the ass you are, you distract her.  I am at both of your mercies.

At night, when you’re sleeping with Daddy and me, don’t think I don’t notice what happens when I get up to pee. I come back and you’ve moved right into my spot. Every single g-dd-mn night. Even resting your fat furry head gently on my pillow. As if you’re me. Where do you think I’m going to go? On the floor? I am a mom though, so I softly move you over and we spoon.

Yet you still don’t show me the love–because at 6 a.m., when we are getting those precious last minutes of sleep, you get hungry. You know that if you wake up Fia, we have to get up—and you get fed. So you sit outside her door, meowing–loudly. If I go get you, she’ll hear the floor creak and wake up. Either way, I’m screwed. Secretly I would like to acknowledge that this proves how smart you are. Or at least pretty damn cunning. But this behavior has to stop. Or else.

Or else what you ask? (And I can see that question in your eyes as you smirk at me). Well, that’s the problem. You know there is no real threat. And that as your mama, I have unconditional love for you. I didn’t max out credit cards and visit you daily at the vet for 18 days straight to walk away. And that’s the hard part about motherhood. When the going gets tough, I have nowhere to go. And apparently neither do you. And that’s exactly the way you want it.

IMG_0767

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