Tom just called and said the local shelter will take her!!!! He told them everything and they said it will be tough [to adopt her out] but they will take her! We are “donating” the adoption fee, along with food, treats, toys, litter, etc. I am also thinking about a gift card to Petsmart.

Oh, this lightens my heart tremendously!!!

Sad news.

The short version is that the vet says Boots is most likely suffering from Pariah Syndrome (at the moment, I cannot find any information online so am not sure if Tom heard it wrong, I am spelling it wrong, or it’s something else that sounds the same, etc.).

The vet said it’s a mix of things, including that the cat has been traumatized at some time in her life (which I wrote about earlier) in addition to her having extreme bouts of anxiety and stress, in addition to her not being the alpha female…all of which combine to cause her improper elimination—and it’s something that most likely will never be cured, even if we were to take the cat two hours away to a specialist to get other meds (and then he said we’d have to medicate two cats, and even then it might not be successful).

The vet said we’ve done more than most people would in our situation, and our choices were either live with her peeing everywhere or…..putting her down. So, it’s not looking good… we know what has to be done, and are completely heartbroken over it. It kills us just to think about it…

Boots is back.

Well, that adoption was certainly short-lived. The woman who adopted her emailed me Saturday morning that she didn’t think it was going to work out. Apparently Boots kept trying to bite her child and swatted at her face repeatedly. And she didn’t get along with the dog, either. And she never used the litterbox once, but peed all over the place.

So we took her back. And it really sucks. I mean, I definitely don’t mean to make light of the situation, but we have already been through 1+ years of cat-fighting and harassment and of another potential adoptive home that fell through—so we were happy she was going (we thought) to a good home. And we had gone through the emotions of both having to give her up and actually giving her up. And now we have her back…and are just waiting for the problems to start again.

To make matters worse, there are other issues. For the past year, Boots has had elimination issues. She has been peeing all over our house and has actually ruined furniture. Most of the times it’s in hiding, but we have caught her in the act. She does use the litter boxes, and she has been to the vet (who couldn’t find any definite problems), so we attributed this to her not getting along with the other cats and just being stressed. Needless to say we have spent lots of money on special cat phermones that are supposed to be calming and help reduce stress. They seem to work somewhat, but they definitely don’t work 100% as she still has some issues. We were sure that putting her in a new home without cats would be the solution. Which it apparently wasn’t. At this point, we are not sure how much longer we can handle her elimination issues. She’s been to the vet, she’s been on medication, and we have the phermones, but nothing has really helped. I’ve had more than one sleepless night over this situation.

What we have determined, however, is that that family we adopted her from (our neighbors)…well, we are pretty sure the kids terrorized the poor cat. We thought it was cute when the little girl came to visit Boots and Boots sort of jumped up at her. We assumed it was playing or recognition, but now we think it may have been retribution! We honestly don’t think the family got rid of the cat due to “allergies” like they claimed.

So we’re not sure what we’re going to do. We’ve pretty much tried all that we can, short of a pet psychic…

A happy day AND a sad day…

The happy news? Boots went to a new home today. :D
The sad news? Boots went to a new home today. :'(

As luck would have it, I was getting my hair cut last night and talking to my hairdresser about our zoo (she has her own zoo, and her husband just left December 29 for a year). I mentioned that we actually had one cat we’d like to find a new home for since our other cats were still terrorizing her after a year. She said “Oh! Kathy [our receptionist] is looking for a cat!”

So after my haircut, I talked to Kathy, showed her the pictures online, and she said she’d take her—and made plans to pick her up the following night (tonight). Of course, I was thrilled, because Boots really does need to be the only cat…but of course I was sad, because I love her and I’ve never had to give up an animal before. :'(

I got teary a few times, but managed to not cry… so here’s hoping she’s loving her new home.

Overactive brain?

So I was doing a load of laundry today and I was getting ready to transfer the items from the washer to the dryer—when something brown fell out towards me! 88| I instantly thought OH MY GOD BOOTS IS IN THE WASHER! Of course, that obviously wasn’t the case (it was a brown towel) but still, it’s amazing what your brain thinks in the split second when something unexpected happens! It actually freaked me out badly enough so that my heart was racing!

I think hell just froze over.

So I was downstairs and all the cats were congregating around the food bowl, whining (not entirely sure why, as they had plenty of food). Surprisingly, Boots was right in the middle of them all…and there was NO hissing, NO swatting, NO stalking—NOTHING. An amazing feat in itself, as they typically hate each other. Or so I thought…

Because then I saw something that made me rub my eyes and shake my head in disbelief.

Charlie was…are you ready?

Charlie was LICKING Boots on the head. And Boots was letting her. And this went on for a good 20 seconds. Then Boots rubbed up against Fuzzy and wandered off.

Oh my.

I think they’re finally friends. And it only took seven months.

Dang Boots!

We used to be able to leave stuff on the stove/counter and the cats would never touch it. Even if we accidentally left something out overnight, it would not be touched. EVER.

Until now.

Until Boots.

That damn cat is always on the counter and will eat/taste/try ANYTHING. The butter must now always be covered or in the cabinet. I even saw her eat a piece of bread crust the other day. She merely knocked off a coffee bean and started playing. This past weekend Tom made me bacon and pancakes (when you’re sick, you eat whatever sounds good) and left the bacon grease in the pan—as usual. The next morning, there was a little 1″ spot licked clean. ARGH!!!!!


dang boots chicken

dang boots chicken

Boots is a bad influence!

Our cats RARELY, if ever, got up on the counters. Every so often the table, yes, but not the counters. They just didn’t. Until now. Until Boots. Boots loves the counters…not necessarily scrounging for something to eat, but just exploring. I’m sure it originated with her jumping up there to escape from the other cats, but now….Charlie and Bella are just as bad! We catch all three of them on the counters at all times. We even saw Bella (I think it was) on top of the cupboards!!! Because Boots had been up there. One day, they were BOTH up there. At the same time.


So, consequently, nothing is safe on the counters. Well, I should have known that after the nail polish episode (the grout is still pink, by the way) but it was solidified this morning when I found our last Atkins chocolate/coconut bar on the ground, torn into, with little bite marks and pieces missing. Thankfully it happened last night, AFTER the dog was in bed, otherwise we might have had more serious issues to deal with.

My Friday Morning

5:45am—I wake up because Boots is throwing up somewhere in the room. I can see it’s not on the bed so I’m not immediately worried.

5:46am—Debate getting up to find it and clean it up…or sleep until my alarm goes off in half an hour.

6:15am—Alarm goes off. (I normally sleep in until about 7:30 but I’m going to work early so I can get out early!)

6:30am—Drag myself out of bed. The dog is stirring and I need to take her out (normally Tom does this, but he had duty last night).

6:31am—Hope it’s not cold out, as I am in my robe and slippers. (Normally I’m showered and fully dressed when it’s my turn to take her out.)

6:35am—Feed Maggie and take her out. Not cold—yea! And she pees and poops—good girl!! (It’s so pathetic to be excited about this.)

6:37am—Make sure there’s food in the cats’ bowl for when I let them out (see 6:43am).

6:40am—Barricade Maggie upstairs (so she can’t sneak down and eat the cat food) while I take my shower and get ready. I feel safe doing this because she did pee and poop (otherwise, she’d be back in her crate).

6:41am—Step in Boots’ liquid frothy upchuck. Five large piles of dirty clothes on the floor (laundry tonight!) and she manages to vomit on the sliver of carpet between them.

6:43am—Let Fuzzy, Charlie, and Bella out of the living room (they get locked up at night). They barrel me over to get downstairs to their food.

6:55am—Exit shower and Maggie goes in to lick the water.

7:00am—Give Maggie some lovin’. I feel guilty because she was in the crate so long last night since Tom and I were both gone.

7:10am—Find something else to wear, as the pants I planned to wear were dirty.

7:12am—Dig out a pair of sandals, as it’s 62 degrees already—with a supposed high of 74.

7:15am—Fuzzy is whining at me—loudly—while sitting at the food bowl. There’s food there, so I’m not sure what his problem is. I think maybe he doesn’t like their new food (Boots needs special urinary tract health food so they’re all eating it because it can’t hurt) but he’s been eating it for a few days. So I put a second scoop of food in and…now he’s happy. Stupid cat.

7:17am—Make scrambled eggs for breakfast. Six of them. Ugh—I went to put a touch of milk in the first batch and it was, um, clumpy. EWWWWWWWWWWW!!! So those went down the sink and I made sure to use the fresh (unopened) heavy cream for the next batch (which ended up being REALLY yummy).

7:20am—Take Maggie out again while eggs are cooling. Just pee this time, but it’s okay since Tom will be home from duty around noon.

7:22am—Eat breakfast while keeping an eye on Maggie. It makes me nervous when she hasn’t pooped.

7:30am—Crate Maggie.

7:35am—Pack my lunch. While filling a jug with kool-aid, it overfills and spills into the sink. I thank my lucky stars it A) was in the sink and B) didn’t get on my white shirt. (Ironically, see 8:45am.)

7:50am—Arrive at work. Hmmm, boss isn’t here as she said she would be. That means I get to play instead of getting straight to work!

8:45am—While I am typing the 7:35 comment about the kool-aid, I take a moment to grab the kool-aid jug (with the cap on, mind you), and give it a quick tip upside down and back out of habit (to make sure it’s mixed—I hate it when stuff settles on the bottom), take the top off and…kool-aid splashes ALL over the desk. Obviously the cap held quite a bit of kool-aid after my quick tip. But, again, I thank my lucky stars because A) none got on the carpet and B) none got on my white shirt!

8:51am—The boss rolls in. Time to go to work!

Boots Update

I just talked to the vet and she did pee overnight (phew!). He said she doesn’t have anything medically-treatable, but she does have crystals in her urine. The best treatment right now is to change to a special food (to help prevent crystals) and get her to drink more (by adding broth or water to the food). Part of me is glad it wasn’t something more serious, but part of me wishes it was something that could be fixed with a week’s worth of drugs.

Boots’ Overnight Stay

Poor little Boots. I took her to the vet this morning to have a urinalysis done—we’ve seen her pee outside the box as well as squat to pee with nothing actually happening (both classic signs of something wrong) but we couldn’t get a sample, the vet couldn’t get near her with the needle (three people holding her down wasn’t nearly enough to get close to her), and after all day at the vet in a cage she still hasn’t peed. If she doesn’t pee overnight, they will have to sedate her to take the sample. Poor little baby.

Houdini Maggie

So we put her to bed in her crate like we always do, probably around 10 or so. We were in the office with the main door shut to keep the cats in (so Boots can have free reign on the house—we’ve been having her sleep with us lately) and just now Tom heard some scratching on the door. We first thought it was a cat wanting to get out but it was louder than a cat would be so Tom went to the door and—SURPRISE!!—it was Maggie, who came bounding in with the energy of a puppy who just beat all the rules! What the—? How the—? She was zipped in—?

Of course, there was a trail of shredded toilet paper and other bathroom refuse leading to our bedroom. That damn dog somehow managed to UNZIP her crate enough so that she could get out. We’re not quite sure how since the zippers are on the outside…but best we can figure is that she just kept jumping and jumping at it and managed to get it to slide down a fraction at a time. We were so amazed and stupified that we couldn’t help but laugh and not be mad. Needless to say the zipper is now locked down with a caribiner.

Attention Buddies

After dinner tonight, Maggie was underfoot (as usual) so Tom sat down to play with her. Within mere seconds, Boots (who is also usually underfoot in the kitchen) was up on his lap as well. They both got lovin’ scritchins until the other cats started to wander in and Boots got anxious and jumped off (they still don’t get along AT ALL). But for a few minutes, she was in pure heaven!

Attention Buddies

Attention Buddies


I can’t believe I’m not exhausted—I only had five hours of sleep last night! I went to bed the first time at 10, tossed and turned wide awake—so got up around 11 and was on the computer until 1:30 (the time just flew!), then went to bed for the second time at 1:30. Then the cats were making noise (Bella found a twistie to play with, Fuzzy was purring crazy-loud next to me, and Boots was meowing downstairs) and Tom was snoring as well. Argh! The last time I looked at the clock it was just after 2… So I suppose the sleepiness will hit me later in the day.

An update on the zoo!

Well, things are getting better. Boots still doesn’t get along well with the other cats, but there’s much less fighting and hissing and chasing. Best of all…Boots gets along smashingly with the dog!! They play and wrestle and fight and tumble…and we even found them sleeping together (pics to come soon—they’re still on the camera)!!! So, we feel much better now that she has someone to play with—we were feeling bad because the other cats were shunning her. She still rarely comes upstairs and has yet to sleep with us (since her first night) but things ARE getting better!

The strangest thing happened yesterday, however. The little girl who used to own her came to visit (and bring her vet paperwork) and it was obvious Boots/Elizabeth remembered her because she did something to her she’s NEVER done to us… pounce and attack! The little girl was just standing there and you could see Boots crouch down, get into pounce mode, then literally rush and LEAP at the girl, making it about to her stomach,wrapping her arms around the girl. (Of course, with no claws she couldn’t hold on or do any damage, but boy, was it a sight to behold!) We thought it might just be an odd occurrence, but Boots did it about five times while she was there! And she said Boots/Elizabeth used to do that to her ALL the time!

Of course, Maggie is as cute as ever! She’s still potty training—she had a few accidents when we took her to Roger & Ursula’s (to let her play with their puppy, Scrappy) but I assume that’s to be expected since it was a strange place. But for the most part she’s good—although we still watch her like a hawk. She sleeps a lot—she’s always in one of our laps—and she will even nap with us (cute pics to come of that, as well). We’re almost to the point of leaving her in her crate during the day, instead of leaving her in the bathroom (which she HATES). We just don’t want her to piddle in her crate and create bad habits.

Our small kitchen is even smaller now, what with all the animals underfoot—and there’s ALWAYS someone underfoot (although it’s mostly Boots or Maggie). Maggie likes the kitchen because that’s where the cats’ food is, and she eats their crumbs…and their actual food when we’re not paying attention or when we forget to move it. She’s sneaky that way.

So, overall, things are going well and we’re one big happy family!

Wow. Just, wow!

Long story short, we’re moved in to the new house. Long story long, it wasn’t without some annoyances and trauma. As you know, it started with our power being turned off Friday morning and it only got better from there.

Not house-related, but we had an appointment at lunch Friday to go visit a cat that we were considering adopting…a fully declawed Tabby that we were REALLY excited about (I really really want a Tabby). However, he is almost 20# (not a problem) and unfortunately as we discovered while visiting him, a nipper (a problem). We did not want to bring home an alpha male that bites/nips. So that was disappointing—it’s rare to find a fully declawed cat. Now on to house stuff.

I had called last week to find out about switching our water service. They told me it had to be done in person. Fine. Annoying to have to make the trip, but fine. So Tom had been meaning to get to it while he was home packing and moving, but never made it. So Friday afternoon, after closing (4pm), I went. So I get there and wait in line for about 15 minutes, and…they tell me they don’t service the new address (ARGH!) so I had to go halfway across town at 4:30 on a Friday to start service! (Yes, it was my fault for not asking and merely assuming the new house TWO miles away would be the same water…but annoying.) Anyway, before I left, I asked for a letter of recommendation for the new water place so I could hopefully avoid a deposit. She said “just have them call us” — okay. So I get to the new place and ask about avoiding the deposit and she said they need a letter. I said “They said just to call them to get the reference” and she said “Yeah, we don’t do that. We need a letter. And they will charge you $5 for it.” I said “You have GOT to be kidding me.” She assured me she wasn’t. I told them “You two water companies should really talk to each other. I can’t be the only one this happens to.” Then I wrote out a $45 deposit check. ARGH. (I will be getting the other water deposit back, but still.) Oh, and I asked about when I might be able to get my deposit back… “Once you have lived here for five years…” OMG! FIVE YEARS!? I was not a happy camper. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but stuff like this just rattles my cage.

So I get home, still fuming, and run into Tom on the road, taking a trailer of stuff to the new house. I tell him what happened with the water. So I was getting dinner ready and Tom seemed to be taking forever but I really didn’t think much about it. He finally comes in and says “I can top your water story” and proceeds to hold up the plastic tray from our grill and says “This is all that’s left of the grill.” Our $600 grill. I literally said (pardon my French): “You are fucking kidding me.” Apparently the strap broke and the grill went FLYING off the trailer doing 40mph. Luckily no one was in the opposite lane where it landed (although he did have to stop traffic to gather the pieces). And of course we can’t afford another $600 grill and I don’t want a cheapie grill now that we’ve had the best. UGH. We’re laughing about it now, but man, that just sucked hard core. (Actually, the grill really isn’t in pieces…but the smokestacks are crushed, the lid is buckled so it doesn’t close, and the knobs and such are missing. Apparently the gas line survived, along with the gas tank, so Tom and Roger think they can try fixing it.)

More utility fun. Tom called LAST WEEK to switch cable service (internet/tv). It was supposed to be turned off on Saturday at the old house and ON on Friday at the new house. Saturday morning…neither had happened. I called and…oh, wait, I didn’t call from our home phone because they turned that off Saturday morning, apparently at the crack of dawn (I scheduled it for Saturday, and they tell you “sometime Saturday” but it’s apparently first thing). So I had to waste my TracFone minutes ON HOLD forever while they told me…they didn’t have a disconnect order OR a connect order for either residence! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. And it gets better. Apparently the lines haven’t even been run to the house yet (“Are there painted lines on your lawn? No?? Hmmm.”), so it could be UP TO TWO WEEKS to get service. No one told Tom this when he called to switch service A WEEK AGO. ARGH!!!!

And did I mention that the A/C was NOT WORKING at all on the second floor (we have two units, one for each floor)? We discovered this Friday after closing when Tom first walked in, about 5pm. Like you could get anyone to come fix A/C at all this time of year, let alone a Friday afternoon! But Roger came to the rescue and managed to find our contractor (who he happened to see in the neighborhood) who called the A/C guy…who, of course, happened to show up Saturday morning WHILE WE WERE GONE. Another call and the guy was scheduled to come back out Sunday! Phew! (So, this is jumping ahead, but our first night in the new house was spent on the air matress on the first floor where the A/C was working.) Apparently what had happened was the builder had the A/C set SO low that it froze the line.

Then we had been running late on packing, what with the 4-hour Friday power outage when Tom couldn’t get into the house (no keys, garage door opener didn’t work), but we were still aiming on being done by 3pm when the carpet guy came. But in the meantime, we were still loading stuff into the new house. (Actually, Roger and Tom were loading and hauling stuff to the new house, Dick [my bosses partner/myold Staples manager] and I were hauling boxes into the new house.) Anyway, around 2 we went back to the old house to get the last of the little things, still trying to beat the carpet cleaner and, of course…he was EARLY! In retrospect, we should have said “Sorry, you’re going to have to wait until 3!” But instead, we just piled all that was left into the garage, kitchen, and back porch (all areas he didn’t need to clean). Technically the house was ours until midnight, but we wanted to be DONE by 3. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out quite like that. Anyway, by this time we’re just exhausted but we have to finish. So it was power washing the garage floor and loading last-minute outside stuff like hose reels and hanging plants.

So around 5:30 we were back at the new house to shower to go have dinner at Roger and Ursula’s (which was fine, since we didn’t have much food available). So I have to find the shower curtain and liner and I get it all together and hang it up and…it’s too short. There was a good 6″ of space between the bottom of the curtain and the bottom of the shower. (We have a shower now, with just a little lip on the bottom.) I was about ready to cry. Not that it was a big deal…I was just exhausted and my entire body hurt and we were upstairs without A/C and all I wanted was a simple shower! Luckily the rod wasn’t screwed in—it was just a tension mount—so we could move it. Well, actually it wasn’t a tension mount because we couldn’t change the width—all we could do was slide it down the wall…which worked, but now it’s out about 4″ too far so the curtains are at an angle. And I still managed to get a huge puddle of water on the floor. And we had the crappy showerhead because we didn’t have the plumber’s tape to install our own showerhead. OH YEAH—I forgot—we also didn’t have hot water since no one had turned the hot water heater on—but luckily it was SO hot upstairs that we didn’t want a hot shower—cool was just fine.

This isn’t directly related to us, but just an update: we talked to the buyers on Saturday afternoon (they showed up while we were there), and he was asking us THEN where he had to go to turn on water and power. This was after I already told his agent THREE WEEKS AGO and she told him, plus I told him personally about the water because I had to give him directions, plus the messages she left about the power issue on Friday. He is a nice guy, but totally clueless.

So Sunday Tom had to go back again to take out the laundry sink…and stuff we forgot in the kitchen like my purse and the vacuum (I thought Tom was loading everything into the car and Tom thought I would at least grab my purse). Hoo boy. I’m glad we at least know the buyers a little and they’re nice enough to not destroy or steal anything!

The A/C guy came and fixed the A/C. Now it’s working like a charm. I painted the office…I didn’t really want to paint so soon, but we wanted to get that room set up, and once all the computer stuff is in and all the cords are all over, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to paint, and we didn’t want to have to set the room up twice…so I painted it. It wasn’t too bad—the painter’s tape I used this time did its job wonderfully…but we somehow ended up with a dime-sized blotch of paint on the carpet. OH MY GOD. I wanted to scream! I blame it on Tom, LOL, because I had everything covered with a drop cloth (because I was PARANOID about not getting paint on the carpet)…and at the very end, he came in to help fold up the tarp and… later when we’re setting up the office, I noticed the paint. Hoo boy. It never fails.

Sunday dinner I start making something…and realize the plastic utensils we’d been using are just not going to cut it for this meal…so we go on a 20-minute hunt for silverware. Of course it’s not with all the other kitchen stuff because I totally forgot about it, so it’s in an unlabeled “last-minute item” box. Or so I thought. Turns out it was in a “kitchen” box—actually in the kitchen that I’d already opened—I just hadn’t fully unpacked it.

Oh, and the cats. OH MY. They are soooooooo confused. They didn’t like being in the carriers of course, but we only let them out in one room (with their litterbox) while we went to dinner at Roger’s. We let them out when we came home and oh my, the crying and meowing… They freaked out whenever we left them and they couldn’t understand the upstairs and downstairs and got especially confused with the balcony. They would be downstairs crying and we’d call them from the balcony and they just meowed louder and louder, never looking up. It was like they were crying for us to come get them and lead the way. It was so funny. It’s better now after a day, but the first night, Fuzzy started crying in the middle of the night and Tom had to go find him and he carried him upstairs to the litterbox—that was what he wanted. He apparently got lost or couldn’t find it or didn’t remember… now, a day later, that’s been okay, too. It’s been an adventure.

So that’s where we are. Now we just have a ton of unpacking and painting to do….