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Not the water sports you’re thinking of…

Marine Biologist’s blog, seadate: 130226:08

When my cat got older, I considered getting another cat to keep her company many times. But I was afraid that if they didn’t like each other and wouldn’t eventually get along,  her last years would be filled with aggravation and possibly fights. I didn’t want to put her thru that.

I also wanted to be her best friend and masseuse since I assumed her muscles were getting sore. I could see it in those last months when her grooming habits decreased more and more. And I was able to spend a lot more time playing with her, being home every night.

So, I decided to refurbish the lizard tank I hadn’t used in at least a decade. I took it from apartment to storage areas. The lizard supplies are now rounded up in a box, I’d hope to get more money selling it as a lot on eBay or the flea market, given transpo and a weekend (off) to do it.

I bought 4 skirted tetras (silver with black stripes) and one of them promptly died. I have 4 gallon jugs that I refill with down to uv filtered from the front of the supermarket. Tap water smells of chlorine. So they get the best water for their 10 gallon tank. Sometimes I buy a gallon of spring water to rotate in for the minerals.

The ornaments I chose were basically lizard things, the same multi-colored gravel, a rock with a hole in it that the lizard crawled thru and the fish swim thru. They even hang out in it once in a while.

At the pet store, they had live plants, so I got a few, one is a “moss ball,” that looks like a ball of styrofoam anchored with fishing string to a fishing weight. It’s covered with some kinda planting soil and the moss has grown out nicely to a huge messed up fro.

This is getting to be a lot, I know, but I bought a pump and lid for the tank with lights. I also have accumulated about 8-10 chemicals and medicines for the water, and of course feeding flakes.

I put them on a milk crate so it would be on a lower level near my cat’s bed so she could watch them, like kitty tv. She didn’t react as enthused as I’d hoped, but I did catch her staring at them once in a while.

After my cat died, I decided to get 4 red platys, the fish I wanted to get while she was alive because they were brighter. Same thing happened, 1 fish passed away within hours of putting them in the tank. I don’t like that.

And eventually, I wanted an algae cleaner and found a mini catfish, an albino bristlenose pleco. It’s cool, it’s thorough on going around the tank suckering residue I can’t see on the glass, plants, rock and arch that I have. I read online that it likes wood, so I cut a piece of the driftwood from the lizard structure and Hoover likes it. While I was cleaning the tank once, Hoover let me PET it. Pictures online show people holding them, they seem to accept and like it! Maybe its skin salt?

It’s a surprisingly cold winter for me, and I’m in California climates, still conditioned to no humidity. So I bought a cheap heater (pad) for the fish, too.

There will be a part 2, I crammed a lot of expo in my one page typing.

Whenever I stare at my fish now, I’m happy and sad at the same time that my cat got to have her fish.

2013/02/26 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My cat, Fuzzy

Owner’s blog, cat date 66292.29

I have a list of things to complain about. But I’m tired of all that. they’ll always be there. I read all kinds of things about how to deal with anger, frustration. I think of reams of rants, but when I look at my blank, white screen I fight to keep my nemeses at bay to limit their voices- their power- in MY journal. I never want to be an enabling sheep. I point things out. I already just deleted 3 paragraphs that derail me from what I want this chapter to be about. The shepherd has to prevail.

There are lots of isolated characters I’ve read and seen on film & tv, from the wise man, to the deserted man to mad scientist, to the guy in his evil lair. what a lot of them have in common is a pet they contemplate life plans with when there is no one else.

Let me start off with, yes I have owned dogs when I was young. Not much fun with the barking and the crap mine detail around the house. I was a dog person when I had them. Now I’m a cat person. Poop and pee in one convenient box! I know plenty of the dog and cat debates. I have owned pets in tanks, from fish to hermit crabs top lizards. I’ve owned caged pets, including a parakeet whose shrieks went right to my nervous system. I preferred the cooing of a finch I had. All of those pets have come and gone, but my cat remains. I’ve been pondering that “___ come and go, but ___ remains” quote a lot, trying to absorb and appreciate those second blanks.

I got fuzzy and his sister when I worked rides at a theme park, from a girlfriend’s parents house. They came from a littler of 4, the mother had over 5 different colors and patterns of fur, her name was Muffin. My g/f at the time named the small “runt” of the litter Bunny for some reason. We also got one of her brothers that I got to name, Fuzzy which made more sense to me and the name still went with Bunny’s. The other 2 were blonde boy kitties that remained at her parents court, outdoor cats. We took them as soon as they were weaned from their mother. I hope, looking back… Fuzz was black and grey stripes, Bunny was a mix of colors, greys, black, white and tan, just like her mother. I never saw the father.

We used to take them to the park in a basket, everything they did was precious. They scampered around the house when they were little, I used to enjoy hearing their little stampede around the condo, of course when I was quiet working on something else. You could hold one in your hand like a softball. We took them to the vets regularly for checkups and shots. The county offered a free voucher per pet and early on, we got them both spade and neutered. I remember that it took Bunn longer to recover, with her poor little radar dish.

I have blogged elsewhere about her brother and it’s in a file I can’t find, the blog entry lost in some server that GeoCities or MySpace was absorbed into something else.

It happened after I took a trip to Vegas, when I decided I needed to go look for work there. When I came back, I let the cats out in the front yard as I had done. The stupidest thing I did was let them out for progressively longer periods of time, trusting they would stay out of trouble and come back in on their own. Top 5 You Fucking Idiot time of my life award.

“SCREECH.” I went out front and a car was stopped. Bunn was inside. Her brother wasn’t. I ran out and thank the driver that he stopped to get out and consider what he had hit. He was even very apologetic. I told him to stay there, I was already running in the house for the kitty carrier.

I had a car at the time, so after carefully placing my wailing boy in the kitty carrier, I drove him to the vets. I remember guttural growling as I cried and drove with my right hand nuzzling his head in the passenger seat as I drove us, shaking and struggling to say comforting things towards the vets.

Our vet was in fact someone I worked with at the theme park, it was his “weekend” side job for fun. We worked on the park’s railroad together. He was there and the one I could count on to work on my cat as if it were his own. I cried and even called my mother, as I had before in an emergency.

A couple of hours into it, I had to accept some things, drowning in tears. No, I just wanted him to live. I’ve seen people take care of cats without all their legs. What was important to me was that I keep his spirit alive, let me love him longer.

The vet told me that he couldn’t realistically keep Fuzzy alive, his mind wouldn’t be fully there if he could. I really didn’t give a shit about what money I had to “borrow” to keep him alive. When I realized he most likely wouldn’t be in his state of mind again, I had to accept things and drive him home in his kitty carrier until he went to sleep for the last time.

I kept my hand on him as I lay, he smelled like blood. I told him how much we loved him over and over and happy memories we shared. I’m happy I took pics of them playing.

Bunn was confused, she would wander around. After he passed away, I just left him in the carrier until I figured out what to do the next day. I kept good thoughts and smiled thru tears. It wasn’t a time to debate God, it was a time to celebrate my boy fuzzy and if there was a spirit rising from him I had to let him see we loved him and how he enriched mine and Bunn’s lives. She approached him, smelled that he was… different and walked away. I cried for the 3 of us all night & the next morning, pretty useless for me to try to lie in bed.

I would up buying him in the front yard among some rose plants that line the front of the condo I’m staying in again, now a decade later. When we came back, I’d sit out front and let Bunn play for a while until she started eating the grass. I saw in a documentary about yard maintenance and all the chemicals they put into lawn care. It made her sicker than I thought all those years.

I meant to write about Bunn, but this needed to be shared again. I’ll write about happy times with her within a few weeks.

2012/04/16 Posted by | History 101 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment