Annie Love

She needs some attention, too.

With a new kitten in the house, and with how much I’ve been talking about Merlin here on the blog, I know Annie’s feeling a little left out. Don’t worry – she’s getting plenty of treats and cuddles. But I know it’s an adjustment for her. And she’s handled Merlin so well. They’re not friends yet, but they keep getting closer and closer to each other, and Merlin occasionally makes a move to play with her. Maybe one day, she’ll actually respond!

Annie’s going to be thirteen this spring, and we’ve had her since she was a tiny puppy.

She’s so sweet, and much slower than she used to be, but she’ll always be our puppy girl. Dogs love us in a totally different way from cats, and Annie is the first dog I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I get to be her person, though she’d tell you, if she could talk, that Graham is actually her person and I’m the other one. Doesn’t matter.

She’s a good dog. And if I’m even a small part of making her happy, then I’m happy.

A Little Monday Merlin

As most cats do, Merlin has found the laundry basket. And claimed it.

Cats, y’all…

But seriously, this little kitten – who won’t be little for long, judging by how fast he’s growing – has brought us so much joy since we brought him home. I’m grateful. I firmly believe that cats, if we listen, can teach us the value of slowing down, of being quiet and still, of observing.

And of a very good nap. (Yes, even on a busy Monday.)

Meet Merlin!

He’s new here.

No cat could ever, ever replace my sweet Gatsby, and I know I’ll always have a Gatsby-shaped hole in my heart. But we’re so happy and excited to bring Merlin into our little family, and I know that there is always space in the heart for more love.

He’s about four months old, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a big kitty. He’s silly, playful, affectionate, curious, and obsessed with feathers. He’s settling in well, and Annie has been…well, not friendly, but tolerant. I think they’ll get along fine. Eventually.

I’m just so grateful that we get to be his humans. Welcome home, Magic Cat.

Annie is a beach dog???

Y’all, I just had to share one more picture from our beach getaway.

Now that we’ve been home for a week, Annie is up to her usual antics – barking, guarding the back window against deer and groundhogs, generally being sort of loud and energetic.

She was a different dog at the beach. As you can see.

Calm, sleepy, relaxed, easy-going. I’m beginning to think our country puppy who loves the snow and cold is actually A BEACH DOG! Who knew?

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

Happy Monday, Gatsby-cat!

Happy Monday, y’all! Here’s a picture of Gatsby, taken with Graham’s new camera earlier today.

I just had to share, and I hope his handsome face makes you smile.

Gatsby’s sixteen, and in addition to the eye issue he’s been dealing with, we know he has a heart murmur and kidney disease, which is not advanced, thankfully. He’s also had some digestion issues in the past couple of years, which seem to have settled for now.

I adopted him when he was a kitten and I was nineteen.

We’ve basically grown into adulthood together.

It’s funny, watching a beloved pet get older. I still look at him and see the scruffy little kitten he was, even though he’s going gray and he’s slowed down quite a bit. He used to play fetch. He used to play at all, for that matter. His days now are filled with naps in the sunshine and cuddles and snacks. It’s quite a life.

It’s been a quite a life.

I don’t know how much longer this sweet old man has, but I will treasure every second I get to spend with him.

The Happiest Cat

Is there any happier creature in the world than a cat in his favorite sunny spot?

I really don’t think there is, y’all. And yes, this is an older picture, if you feel like you’ve seen it before. He is so very comfy and asleep right now that I just couldn’t bother him with the camera. But trust me, he looks almost exactly the same, just absolutely at peace, dozing in the sunshine.

At any rate, after several days of cool temperatures, clouds, and rain showers, the sun is out and shining today. It’s a nice change for all of us, but I think Gatsby’s enjoying it the most.

I hope it’s a sign of good things to come this week!

Happy National Pet Day to Annie and Gatsby!

I grew up with a cat. Well, a few cats. There was Jingle, the Siamese, Tiger, a scrappy gray tabby, Dusty, a sweetheart of an orange tabby, and Salem, a never-quite-tame but never-bad-luck midnight black wild thing. I also had a bird named Bluebird (yes, I came up with that), a hamster named Rosie, and a goldfish named Lucy.

My point is this: I’m a pet person.

I’ve always had a pet. I don’t know what a house without its resident animal sidekick would be like. Quieter, probably. Less prone to furry tumbleweeds. But also, a little more lonely. A little less lively. At least, that’s how I’d feel about it. I’ve loved all my pets, and I’m lucky now to have Annie, our crazy perpetual puppy…

…and Gatsby, our sweet old gentleman.

Gatsby’s a Maine Coon, and he’s been with me since college. He’s a big cuddly lump who purrs loud, adores sleeping in the laundry baskets, and loves to watch the birds. You know, from his comfy perch inside of the house. Or on TV.

Annie’s an Australian Shepherd with a quick mind, boundless energy, and a deep and abiding love for her human. Yes, just the one. And it’s Graham, not me. But we should all find someone who loves us as much as she loves him.

They both get plenty of snuggles, but I’ll give them a little extra today. They’re animals, so they’ll have no idea why. But they’ll love it nonetheless. And they absolutely deserve it. 😊

Sunday Supper #6: Podcasting, Plumbing, and a Very Hungry Gatsby Cat

Y’all. You guys. It’s been some kind of weekend. Where do I even start?

Okay.

Let’s start here. After a hiatus of several months, the Better Friendships podcast is finally back and posting episodes! My co-host (and very dear friend) and I are so happy to be back at work on it, researching and writing episodes and planning for a very good second season. And of course a strong finish to our first season. You can find our latest episode – which features a fun interview with my mother-in-law, who was a flight attendant in the 1960s – here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4iTAsxjl7NcAYK1qq3L1pu

So, that’s the good.

The bad? Well, Friday night, we discovered that our upstairs shower was backing up into our basement sink, because that is totally a thing that can actually happen. We called in a plumber yesterday, and he couldn’t fix the issue. So, we called in a different plumber today. He discovered that, just like we anticipated, the pipes in our house are part of a serpentine labyrinth that makes no sense at all. But after moving our basement wet bar and cutting a hole in the wall behind it…

…he found the issue, and thankfully, it looks like it’s fixed. We just need to deal with a hole in the wall and a displaced wet bar. Luckily, this particular plumbing company has people on deck to handle all of that. So now, we wait until they can make it out here to do the work. Which, I mean, things could be so much worse, right?

To top it all off, Gatsby’s favorite food is out of stock. Everywhere. So he’s a very unhappy, grumpy, hangry little big cat right now. Don’t worry – he has food. It’s just not the food he wants, and so he won’t eat it. At least not until he’s good and hungry. Kind of like when your mom cooks you a healthy, nutritious, made-from-scratch dinner but you wanted pizza.

Speaking of dinner…er, supper…and of pizza, what’s on tonight? Leftover pizza. I don’t have the mental energy right now for anything else. And also, ice cream. Because it’s just been the kind of weekend that makes me want ice cream.

Cheers to a hopefully better week!