On Losing A Companion

I am sitting here writing this with tears running down my face
A dropper full of baby food still sitting on the coffee table
And the other four animals surrounding me because they can feel something is wrong

I thought I was ready
I spent the last two nights with her laying in my arms
She was weak but she still purred when she was with me
And true to form she hissed when anyone came near her

She was very sick
She was very young
I struggled with what to do

She was family
She was a friend
She was a constant companion

Did I do all that I could do
Would she have made it another night

After a week of being sick she had lost six pounds
Her spine was visible through her matted fur
Her skin was turning yellow as her liver failed
She couldn't go on much longer before the pain started

Last night I knew what had to be done
I fed her to keep her comfortable
She stayed wrapped in a pillowcase on my lap for hours
It was time

She was hiding this morning when I was looking for her
I thought she knew
I cried because I felt like a failed her

I found her cuddled up in the bottom of a kithen cabinet
She was always good at hiding
I was always bad at seeking

I wrapped her in her pillowcase
Slid her tiny body into a carrier
And we walked slowly down the street

I walked into the vet and they knew
Rough weekend says the technician
She pats me on the shoulder and says it okay

I take her out of the carrier and she continues purring in my arms
I hold her like a baby and pet her
Then it is time to put her down

I cry, she purrs
I cry

This won't hurt her at all
Two shots and she is free

I hold her on the table and we are face to face
She knows
One shot

They give me time with her
She is falling asleep
She sticks her tounge out
She breathes deeply

The vet returns
I cry knowing this is the end
Another shot

Tears are running down my face
One last breath

She is gone

I sob and the vet hands me a tissue
Take all the time you need
She lays there motionless

I cry
I hold her in my arms
I kiss her
I try to say goodbye

I apologize
I wish I could have done more
I loved her

She was family
She was a friend
She was a companion

I had saved her
And now I had lost her

I walk out of the office
Clutching her pillowcase
Crying as I walk down the street
She was my cat
I loved her
She was my family
She was my friend
She was my companion
She was my Tipsy
I loved her
And I am going to miss her
Rest in Peace Tipsy
Daddy Loves You So Much

My Poor Tipsy

My cats are not the healthiest animals in the world. Bob has had two major surgeries, but he has survived. Now I am very worried about my poor Tipsy.

Both of my cats found me on a cold January day while I was living in New Haven, since then they have been my companions as I move from job to job and from city to city. When I found them nuzzled together in my back door they were both very sick. I nursed them to health and then couldn't bear to give them away. I love my cats very much and although Tipsy is not affectionate with anybody else I know that she loves me (on her own terms of course). She will cuddle with me and she will purr when she is sitting on my lap, and she loves that I will sneak her some special food like ham when all the other animals are not allowed to have any. She is a very special cat, and she was a very fat cat.

Now my poor Tipsy is in the hospital suffering from liver and pancreas failure. The vet is not sure what is causing it but it may be from cancer. She has lost a lot of weight and when I picked her up last night I could feel her spine. I layed down on the floor with her and rubbed her nonexistent belly until she began purring, she fell asleep with my hand on her hear and I felt a need to say goodbye. I did and I said goodbye again this morning when I walked her into the hospital, she is still strong and she is still young but she only has a 50/50 chance of surviving this.

I am praying that she makes it through but the vet is cautioning me against being too optimistic. So I love you Tipsy and whatever happens it is for the best. I will make sure that we get you the best care and keep you from suffering. You will be happy and there will be plenty of boiled ham for you wherever you go.

Punching Pumpkin Head

I had to work on Saturday but the Doctor and I had a friend down from Boston, so after work I drove home and changed and we went out. I was not thrilled about going to the "Haunted Forest" but because our friend wanted to go and the Doctor wanted to go I reluctantly agreed. And as the Doctor pointed out it was with a group of nine people so it was an opportunity to make some new friends in the area.

Now here is some back story for those of you who don't know. I DON'T DO SCARY! I lie awake horrified for days after watching a scary movie, generally in a pool of sweat waiting for the man with the chainsaw to come bursting through my door. So a "haunted forest" was a very big step and quite honestly I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it at all.

When we got to the forest in the middle of Maryland it was already my worst nightmare, there were townies with hats and kids and I think I saw a man wearing overalls. Remember I grew up in the country but I am a city boy at heart, townies scare me! There was even a big ole RV with weird people in it. Yes, I was scared of this and then I looked at the line for this place. The line was literally "disneylandesque!" It went on for what seemed like miles in and out of a roped of queue. Seriously, we can't be staying here to do this, I know we drove about 30 miles out here but there is no way we will stay in line out in the cold for the time it will take for all of these people to get into the "attraction." But we stayed and waited and froze, until the obnoxious townies and there teens began pushing forward and cutting the line. Then we moved with a mass of people, I am not sure if my feet even touched the ground. After over an hour we were approaching the entrance. As we got there we were forced to sign a waiver, and then we were put in groups and sent to the cashier. This was the scariest part, it was $25 per person to "enjoy" this attraction. This is where the ride was going to end for me, I didn't have $25 in cash and even if I did I wasn't prepared to spend it on something that I knew I wouldn't enjoy. I bid the group farewell and went back to the warm car with 2 others to wait for them to go through the forest. About an hour later we had still not heard from the group except for a few text messages. Then the car door opened and it was a group member. We thought we were finally free to go home but we weren't it turns out that they were going to be able to get us in but they were still waiting.

I once again, very reluctantly, trudge back into the mass of people, and find our group, it is apparently a few minutes from the group number being called. I am cold and very nervous, I am holding onto the Doctor like I may actually have a heart attack. I try to calm myself down realizing that thus us just a fun spooky thing to do and I am not going to die inside the haunted forest. I manage to calm myself a bit as we enter, to once again see another line of people ahead of us. Others thought that this was the scariest thing they were going to see all night, I knew better.

What happened after we entered the haunted forest however, is not what I expected to happen. I was frightened to a fun and reasonable point as were most people during the first 1/3 of the trail, it was dark and things jumped out at you, I held onto the Doctor firmly and screamed a bit. Then about a third of the way through a man with a pumpkin on his head ran at me, I had a flashback to the attack and went immediately into fight or flight mode and punched the pumpkin head square in his "face." Pumpkin man was down and now I was fully panicking and wasn't sure I was going to survive.

Let's all say PTSD together! I never thought I could have been a victim of PTSD, but this was an intense feeling. I really did think I was going to die. As we continued down the trail I was holding the Doctor in front of me to protect me. I man comes running at me, I panic, scream, he pulls on me and I throw him off the trail all the while kicking him in the balls and almost follow him down a hill because of the momentum. The Doctor catches me and at this point I am crying like a little baby and shaking. I don't remember much of the rest of the haunted forest, I remember my heart beating and tears running down my face and just focusing on getting out of there. The Doctor did a good job keeping everything else away from me but the people we went with must have thought that I was completely nuts.

Needless to say, my therapist is going to hear about this one, and I have a free pass when it comes to scary things for at least a year.

Note to self: Crap I really need to find a therapist.


I was closing the store by myself the other day and I somehow managed to trigger the fire alarm. At first I wasn't sure what I had done and as I was looking at the panel it started to screech at me. Within minutes the campus police are pounding on the door and fire trucks are on the way.

I try to convince the campus police that I am in fact a manager at the store who must have accidentally hit the wrong button when setting the alarm. This was to no avail however, because since I am such a new manager I don't have my university ID yet. They literally threaten to arrest me when my phone rings and it is the store manager. She got the message on her end saying that there was a fire in the store and wanted to make sure that everything was OK. I explain top her the situation and she lets me know that its fine and that she will call the alarm company. She then talks to the police.

I reset the alarm and walk out of the store leaving my keys on the counter accidentally. As the door closes and locks behind me the police tell me that they need to get back in and do a walk through to make sure that nothing is on fire. I fumble for my keys and then realize that I left them in the store.

You have got to be kidding me I tell the police the situation and they tell me that they need to get into the store, and the fire department will as well. Once again I call the store manager and she says she will be over. She loads her kids in the car comes out and tells me to come grab her keys. I tell the police and they walk off. I go to grab her keys once I have caught up with the officer but the store manager is already inside. The police are gone but the fire alarm is still showing on the panel. We are not sure what to do so we "no close" the store and head out.

Man what a fun day... and two run ins with the police in one week. Gotta love it!

A Favorite Series is Complete

I am mourning the loss of one of my favorite characters when it comes to mysteries. I have been a huge fan of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series for about 8 years now and in that time I have read all of the Wallander mysteries including the Linda Wallander one which I did not love. For those of you who are not familiar with this series, Henning Mankell is a Swedish author who writes many books, my favorite is a series of mysteries that focus on the crime solving aspect of a mystery and one character in particular, Kurt Wallander. The books in this series proceed in the following order, although they were not published in this order in the United States:

1) Faceless Killers
2) Dogs of Riga
3) White Lioness
4) The Man Who Smiled
5) Sideteracked
6) The Fifth Woman
7) One Step Behind
8) Firewall

And this year the "prequel" to this series entitled The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries was released in the US, I finished this book last week and wasn't sure what to write in the post regarding it. I loved the book and I love the character. This book was an interesting concept, where the author went back and developed the back story that had been eluded to in all other books but never really fully revealed. However, I feel like this development was unnecessary and sometimes specifics were confusing. The mysteries were interesting, but the strength of the other books which is the procedural development of the cases was missing.

I highly recommend starting with Faceless Killers and moving your way through the titles ending in Firewall before you even think about picking up this book. I feel like you will enjoy those more and this title is not necessary.

If you love all of those titles then come back and read the Pyramid its kind of like the eulogy, it provides a bit of closure, you can mourn the loss of a character and begin moving on.

An S Post

S says I am not posting enough! He is right I want to post at least one post every other day but I am commuting 90 minutes each way and by the time I get home I am too tired to post. But I am posting this today so S has a post to read.

This post contains nothing of substance, but it is a post! Does this make you happy S?

I hope so, and if not I posted a long post yesterday!

Just One Question...

Can I call you Joe... ?

I'm sorry I have resisted for over a week now, trying to refrain from talking politics here until at least after the election... but really...

Can I call you Joe...?

And as Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin) so nicely put it "What, we're not doing the talent portion"

Field Testing

I had a very busy weekend. I went home for a family wedding, and the trip from DC is definitely much longer than the trip from Boston, although if you got rid of New Jersey it would be a much more pleasant trip. My cousin and I left DC at one in the afternoon and I pulled in to the Italian restaurant to meet my parents at close to 9pm, supposedly I could have made it to Boston in that time. I guess there isn't much you can do about traffic on a holiday weekend so it is what it is.

The wedding was on Saturday afternoon. A good ole fashion (not really) family wedding. We got to the ceremony with just a few seconds to spare because my mother and sister needed extra time to get ready, I was ready in about 15 minutes (but in all fairness I wear a shirt and tie to work most of the time so its not a big change for me).

The ceremony was short and sweet, the cocktail hour was 45 minutes long (but the cheese was dry) and the reception was fun. My cousins even dressed up as the village people and performed YMCA. Yes, I do come from a crazy family. By 10pm the reception was over and it was time to head home. I had taken my car (err the Doctor's car) with my sister and offered to take a couple of my cousins with for the ride back home. My sister and two of my cousins decided that they wanted to go out for a little bit longer so I offered to drop them off and then pick them up at the bar later and in the meantime I would drop another cousin and his wife off at home.

All things went according to plan, as I was looking at my cousins honeymoon pictures the phone rang and it was the rest of the group wanting to be picked up. I drove over o the bar and as I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a police officer behind me. As I pull off to the side to let him pass I notice another one pulling up in front of me. At this point I realize that they are pulling me over.

Crap, I try to think back (knowing that I am a bad driver) and figure out what I could have done wrong when I realize that the tail light to the truck is out because the doctor backed into a pole trying to get out of our parking spot. No big deal, I am sure they will understand, as a matter of fact we have already ordered the part. The officer approaches and asks if I know why I am being pulled over. I tell him why, and then he asks where I am coming from. I tell him I am in town for a family wedding and that I was coming to pick up my cousins who are ready to leave the bar. He asks if I had anything to drink at the wedding and I answer honestly, saying that I had a glass of wine at the reception a few hours before. The officer asks me to step out of the car.

Now I start to get nervous. I don't do well with tests, especially ones that can effect your life. The officer asks me if I have ever been pulled over for drunk driving before, I tell him no. Then he asks me if I have ever had to complete a field sobriety test. I wanted to make a smart ass comment about why would I need to complete one if I have never been pulled over for drunk driving before but I thought better of it and simply said no. He puts me through a series of tests which are incredibly difficult for a mildly retarded dyslexic to complete. Considering I don't know my left from my right and I don't know how to say the alphabet backwards when I am sober I thought I did pretty darn well. I was horribly nervous during all of this and almost passed out when the officers looked at me and then asked me if I would mind completing a Breathalyzer. I knew I had to say yes, so I did and as soon as I finished blowing they looked at the test and asked me to blow again. After the second time they turned the screen to me, showing me that I have no reading, hand me my license and tell me to drive safe.

Now, if the getting pulled over wasn't nerve wracking enough the fact that they thought I was drunk because of my inability to complete the field tests, they actually made me take the Breathalyzer twice. That was crazy. I almost passed out and continued shaking the entire way home.

Man being the responsible cousin was not easy Saturday night, but I am glad that I offered to drive.


I am in my "mid" twenties at this point and i have always been a picky eater. my mother would tell me that I couldn't leave the table until I finished my veggies, inevitably I would sit at the table for hours (because I am stubborn) until it was time for bed. I knew I could outlast! However, as I reach this point in my life, and dedicate time to the gym i realize that I need to eat healthier and try new things.

I recently began eating pork on a regular basis as well as some red meat, and I have grown to enjoy turkey burgers. Now the big step that the Doctor is trying to get me to make is vegetables. It may sound like an easy step but it really isn't. He has gotten away with packing me a healthy lunch that includes fruits, I can stand some fruits and some I even enjoy (despise watermelon and cantaloupe though). Veggies on the other hand are tough!

We were at the grocery store and he told me that i need to start eating veggies, I am never going to be healthy without all of the blah blah that blah blah blah veggies. I submit as I should and say that I promise to try some in small portions with a couple dinners this week, so the Doctor picks out a couple types of veggies he thinks I will enjoy. This evening at dinner was the first test, we had amazing breaded pork chops whole grain rice and a mixture of veggies. Now I give the Doctor credit he did try to mask the veggies under fat free butter spray and sea salt but they were still veggies and they were still on my plate.

So dinner progresses and I eat my pork, the pork is damn good and I eat my rice and about halfway through I decide that I should actually follow through on my promise and I try a snap pea. Not bad but definitely not something I would eat again under my own volition but as I am being stared at from across the dinner table I eat a few more. Next, a carrot nope never going to eat that mushy grainy feeling thing again and finally I point to what looks like a slender green cucumber on my plate and ask the doctor... "What is that?"

He tells me that it is a squash and that I should try it because it was very good. I cut a small piece out of the center and stare at it for a while. I then close my eyes and reluctantly put it in my mouth and start to chew. I then gag, try to swallow, gag again and spit out the squash.

I am thinking that this veggie thing is probably not going to work!