It's almost 3 a.m. now and Sammy and I just returned from our -hopefully -last outing for him to relieve himself until daylight today. When he and I go out this late, our walk is a bit shorter and we generally go in the opposite direction too -down the road. Why? Because mid-way down the street from our house is one of the street lamps along this road and even with my little flashlight in hand, that flashlight doesn't provide very much light along the way.
It was a pleasant walk tonight though. Cold, yes of course. After all, it is February and isn't that pretty much the norm for this time of year?
And too, it was snowing. I don't know when this snowfall began but the road was already completely covered with a fresh, new cover of white. And you know what? It was pretty! No, it was even more than pretty -it was beautiful.
Lots of things still rumbling in my mind -the issues I posted about earlier with respect to life insurance for openers. I do believe it is in the best interest of all concerned for people to carry some form of life insurance -even if it is just enough to cover the costs for burial -have something so that the family left behind to deal with the normal grief doesn't also have to have that intermingled with thoughts about how on earth am I going to manage to pay for this? A loss of a loved one, whether sudden or something that has been a long, drawn out ordeal, is difficult enough to cope with that let alone having more worry, more stressors unnecessarily put before the family. And, if you do decide to look into purchasing some kind of life insurance and if you can find a plan that you can afford -that won't break the bank at Monte Carlo-and that provides a little extra to be left behind for the family to cover other costs that may have been incurred or that perhaps will now be part of the way your life will be after you're gone, then do that too.
Consider it a parting gesture of love for those left in your wake.
That's just one thing -of many -that are running through my mind tonight.
Another one - a concern yes -is that our "family" just expanded again this week. And yes, I know I'm gonna probably get a lashing from those who read this about birth control for animals and yes, I agree, steps should have been taken to prevent this but unfortunately it seems the cats go into heat much faster than we can move -for openers - or faster than we could acquire the funds needed to take those steps to stop their reproduction.
So on Monday our gray cat, Chino, gave birth to her first -and hopefully last -litter of four cute little kittens all of which look almost exactly like her. Perhaps this was a miracle and she cloned herself? Almost seems like that could be the case because truth be told, we never even suspected she was in heat! She was the strong silent type all the way apparently. Unlike Nina, the orange cat, who we did hear her yowl and howl once or twice this time before she escaped to the outside world and had her most recent fling which, of course, means that she will soon be presenting us with another litter of kittens soon too!
Wonnerful, wonnerful -those who have ever watched Lawrence Welk, please pronounce those first two words there the way he would have done on his show. And no, I don't really mean that having all these kittens arriving here is something wonderful. I am being sarcastic. VERY!
So I am putting the word out to everyone I see, as is Mandy too, that right now we have four kittens, soon we will have more kittens, so please, if you know someone who is in need, who would like a kitten to take home and love and care for and which will in turn probably ignore you until you put some good cat food in front of him/her, but which will also provide for some good entertainment at times too, then please give those people our phone number, address -the whole nine yards ya know.
And this time, after talking to one of the drivers of the vans that pick up and deliver Kurtis to and from his school, I will be receiving the phone number of the local Orphans of the Storm group, which she says will do neutering for a mere $30 per cat! If we'd had that information about 2-3 months ago, we could have scrounged up enough funding to have had at least, perhaps both these cats fixed then. But until now, the only information we had was the pricing for this job done by the vet at his/her office which would have run $80 per cat and that was just a bit cost prohibitive considering all the financial extenuating circumstances that have existed here for the past 3-4 months, thanks to the self-employed professional businessman who also resides in this house.
But aside from the drawbacks mentioned above of having one new litter of kittens and another on the way, probably fairly soon, there have been some things that have been a bit humorous about this whole new state of affairs here too.
I think I've mentioned in the past about Sammy and his relationship with all three of the cats -Nina, Chino and Fluff-Nuts, haven't I? After 3, almost 4 months of Sammy being present in the house with the cats, he and Fluff-Nuts became friends a month or 6 weeks after Sammy came to live with us. And they are quite the pair to watch as they race around and chase each other to and fro, up and down the stairs making the house darned near shake at times and moving furniture around with ease too by their antics.
Nina has never made friends -at all with Sammy. However, all she has ever had to do was to glower at him and hiss a bit and he would run backwards, yelping and crying as if he were going to die at any moment. All that without a single claw on him or even without raising a paw to him.
Chino had always maintained a pretty aloof manner with respect to Sammy. She would slink by him, maybe give him a bit of a dirty look at times to imply he was some kind of infiltrator or quasi-terrorist dog or some such. But rarely did she ever even make any noise or untoward gestures towards him. She just ignored him in the hopes I suppose that by doing that it would cause him to disappear.
All of that calm Chino had previously displayed towards Sammy came to an abrupt -a VERY abrupt end -on Monday after she had delivered her four little kittens.
When Mandy realized Chino was in labor, she emptied out the bottom shelf of this old metal cabinet we have in the bathroom and put some old receiving blankets from the kids and some old toweling in the bottom area and set that up as Chino's private space and her delivery "room" as it were. This cabinet is a bit of an eyesore in that one of the two doors on the bottom part came off the hinge so it has only one door -looks not that great but in this particular case, it serves a nice purpose. We can go in the bathroom and check on Chino and the kittens and she's semi-hidden from the world with that one door that is left on the cabinet.
Now, the problem here is that Sammy seems to feel that he has to follow me, or Mandy, at every turn we make throughout the house and that includes following us both very closely too, when we go into the bathroom. He has to sit there on the bathmat for however long we are in there, regardless of what our mission was when we went in there too. (And to think we thought it was just the kids who had to tail us!)
Well, Sammy made the mistake late Monday afternoon in following one of us into the bathroom and Chino, upon seeing him in there went -well, ballistic is kind of a gentle term I think. I can't think of a stronger one though to describe the speed with which she came out from her sheltered area and the force with which she flung herself on Sammy. And yes, it was a no holds barred exhibition too -claws fully extended and piercing into him wherever she could possibly get a toe hold on him!
And the yelping and crying -my goodness -the gnashing of teeth and wailing that ensued from him! Pitiful, downright pitiful and yet, funny too!
Then later that evening, he was reposing on the living room floor and Chino ventured out for food and other relief, saw him laying there, dozing away and she very quietly walked up to him and went nose to nose with him but not in a mean manner, rather in her normal calm, quiet way almost as if to say that she was sorry for the outburst she'd had with him earlier in the day.
Some of her actions and reactions to him though I do believe have to be caused by an overabundance of hormones that must be zooming through her system. Either that or we have a totally bipolar cat on our hands.
You would think too that he would get the message and stay clear of her, of the bathroom too, but no. Apparently Sammy is not a fast learner about these things.
Although, all of these actions between Sammy and Chino brings to mind a cat we had about 30 years or so ago -longer than that because the ex and I were still married and we were still living in the house next door -the house that Frank built, ya know. Anyway, at that time when Frostie (that cat) had a litter of kittens we also had a dog then too -Willie. Now Frostie and Willie weren't exactly friends -they either ignored or tolerated each other. But when she had that litter of kittens, in no time, Willie would hover over her as she laid in the box we had fixed up for her and her babies and he would just about lick those poor kittens to death! Sometimes it appeared that he was more concerned over their cleanup than Frostie was as frequently as he could be found attending to those kittens. But there were never any outbursts at all from Frostie to shoo him away from her children. They seemed to both love those kittens pretty equally.
One other thing too about Animal House here is the damned rabbits in the cage in the basement. These rabbits are supposed to be the pets of the step-grandson and were only supposed to be here until those stepgrandchildren's grandmother could make other living arrangements for them -oh, just a day or two. That "just a day or two" has now grown to over two months that the bunnies have been living here. Granted, they are a quiet trio and we never even know they are around. Well, usually that is the case.
However, one day about a week or two ago, it seems a certain little six-year-old girl, who shall remain nameless here, had been in the basement with her Dad and unbeknownst to him, she had managed to unlatch the cage where the bunnies reside. And no one was aware that they were out and about -running around in the cellar until Mandy happened to go down to do some laundry that is.
She was standing by the washer and dryer, going about her business when one of the bunnies apparently hopped over her feet and almost sent Mandy into cardiac arrest!
Not that she is afraid of the rabbits -far from it. But just that she wasn't expecting anything alive to be bouncing around, loose, in the basement at the time so it did give her quite a start. And also unloosed her tongue and the knowledge she has of many curse words too in the process.
And one other little story -before I close for tonight.
Maya and her kindergarten class have been studying different countries, their flags and various other things about many countries around the world. Probably being covered in conjunction with the Olympics ya know.
This past Sunday, I had gone down to visit with the older daughter for a couple of hours and when I returned home, Mandy and the kids were out. When they came home, Maya noticed that I was wearing a piece of jewelry -an item she'd never seen before, which is a fairly good sized medallion type pendant on a gold chain. Upon spying that necklace, she remarked "Look, Grammy has a medal too!" Apparently she's learning a good bit more than we realized from all the viewing I've been doing over the past week and a half of watching all the Olympic activities I could possibly see!
Just thought it was a bit of a light and bright spot to leave you with about me and my "medal."