Category Archives: Pets

There’s a Milk Monster In Our Midst…

It all started when Dizzy was a kitten. You know—adorable, small, rambunctious. One day he discovered the milk at the bottom of our cereal bowls. And the obsession began.

It was all fun and games at first. He’d hop up in my lap, nudging his tiny little nose toward the bowl. I’d give in to the cuteness and let him lap the milk from among the Fruit Loops, and we would all giggle at the cute little slurpy noises he would make as he gobbled it all up.

Fast-forward a few years and now Dizzy is a full-grown, 10-pound cat. He’s still adorable, but he’s much bigger now. And much more insistent that he gets his milk prize every morning. He still jumps up in my lap, but if I’m less than agreeable with his begging, he takes matters into his own…paws.

When he’s satisfied that he’s saturated his paw in enough milk, he’ll sit back and slurp it right off of his foot. Loudly. Usually in my ear.

This habit annoys me. It all but infuriates Brian. Being the Dad in this scenario, Brian usually puts Dizzy on the floor with a firm “NO.” And Dizzy, knowing which side his proverbial bread is buttered on, will sulk for a moment, then mosy over to my corner of the room.

His M/O has changed a bit over the years. He will find a perch that is as close to his goal as possible (usually the arm of the couch) and stare at me as I eat my cereal. Sometimes his face is less than an inch away from mine.

He doesn’t always wait so patiently, but for the most part, he’ll allow me to eat at least 3 spoonfuls of cereal before he makes his move. And then, ever-so-slowly, he’ll start to creep closer, and closer, and closer, until…

Most of the time, I get relatively annoyed, and relatively quickly, and wind up pushing him out of the bowl. But some days…most days, as soon as he starts making that same slurpy sound…

…I cave in and let him have his fill.

It’s worth it, even if I have to eat my Cheerios dry.

Our Battle With The Bulge Begins With My Personal Battle With The Alarm Clock

Do you know how many muscle groups it takes to lift a hair dryer, and then blow dry one’s hair?

Almost as many as it takes to successfully remove clothing, step into the shower, and bathe.

Of course, I was never really aware of this until recently. You see, Brian and I joined a gym.

It’s a small little place, with tons of equipment packed into it. Each elliptical and treadmill has its own television, which works out well for those that want to watch ESPN (Brian) or Jerry Springer (the chick next to me the other day) while they sweat away the pounds.

Me? I’m an iPod girl. All the way. Put some tunes in my ears and I’m ready to go. (Especially if it’s the New Kids on the Block.)

We’ve been at it for a little over a week now. For the first few days, we were going in the evenings after work, just to get the feel of the place and the people who worked there. But as we pulled into a packed parking lot last Wednesday afternoon, we decided that it might be better to try the early mornings before work, in hopes that the line for the water fountain wouldn’t be three people deep at any given time.

And it works. Arriving at the gym before 7:00 a.m. ensures us side-by-side training equipment for the duration of our stay.

However, when the alarm clock rings in the wee hours of the morning, we inevitably have a conversation that goes something like this:

Brian wakes gracefully, for the most part. It takes him a few minutes to get the brain engines revved, but once they are, he’s up and pleasant and ready to face the day.

Me?

I SUCK at getting up early. Always have, and probably always will. I’m usually cranky in the mornings, I rarely say more than five words at a time, and if you were the one who woke me, then you should rue the day you were born. I’m not a nice morning person. Which is why, when Brian first suggested getting up early for morning workouts, I may or may not have growled at him.

But, believe it or not, it seems to be working. I’m awake and chipper (and sore) by the time we leave the gym. I have more energy throughout the day. And I’m hoping to start racking up some serious pounds lost soon.

Just promise me you’ll pray for Brian, y’all. Because he’s in charge of waking me each morning. Poor guy.

I’m a Cat Mom

I don’t have kids.

But I have cats.

I have four fantastically funny, furry, feline friends and they make me smile every single day.

Now don’t mistake me, I’m not comparing cats to kids here…no, wait a second. Yes I am. While they may not speak English, require lessons in manners or the alphabet, or need me to eventually pay for their college tuition, they are every bit my four-legged children.

Let me explain.

How My Cats Are Just Like Children
They keep me company, snuggle with me when I’m sad, make me giggle on a daily basis, and miss me when I’m gone–even if it’s just for an hour or two in the afternoon. It’s true. I even have video proof.



If you can’t see the above video, click HERE, or copy and paste the following code into your internet browser: http://youtu.be/oTh1Hg1-nbQ

They require my attention when it comes to their health, welfare, and food. Especially the food part. Pip never lets me forget when it’s time for a meal.

 They enjoy being the center of attention, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you’re paying attention to them. And not that show you’re watching, that laundry you’re folding, or that book you’re reading.

 They bring me such joy with their antics that sometimes it’s a wonder that my heart doesn’t burst from loving them so much. Whether they’re playing with a plastic lid from a water bottle, sleeping all snuggled together in a group, or hiding from the world in a discarded cardboard box, it makes me giddily happy to see them have such a grand time in their little lives.

I constantly fret over them, nurture them, spoil them, and adore them. When somebody wants a snuggle, they’re getting a snuggle. All other things—work, life, phone calls, meal preparation—will wait until the snuggle is over.



So many people have told me that when I have my own kids that it will be different. That I’ll still love my pets but that I’ll love my children in a different, bigger way. Well, I just don’t see how that’s possible. 

Because I already know how being a Mom feels, even if it’s only to four fuzzy little faces.

 

Saturday

Quiet moments. A steaming cup of coffee. Birds tittering through the open window as they feast at the feeder. Only the sound of my fingertips on the keyboard. It’s the weekend.

A moment of pause gives him permission to leap up into my lap. I wrap my arms around him, reaching beyond his fur to the keyboard to finish my thought. A gentle nudge to my chin and I’m reminded that he’s there, searching for affection, an ear scratch, some soft words.

I abandon my computer and turn my full attention to the cat in my lap. I stroke my hand over his head and down his back. His quiet purr reaches my ears, and I smile. “Who’s a handsome boy?” I ask in a whisper. He looks at me, eyes wide and yellow, and arches his back toward my hand, as if to answer, “Me. Of course.”

Ten minutes later, satisfied that he has accomplished the task at hand, he jumps gracefully from my lap and heads for his favorite patch of sunshine for an afternoon nap. My eyes follow him as he crosses the room, taking in the slower gait, the graying fur near his ears, the still slightly-shaven spot from his latest trip to the vet. My heart fills as I remember him as a kitten–vocal, rambunctious, curious, fiercely loyal.

I grab my camera, not wanting to miss this moment. It’s a rare occasion for him to be in the perfect spot with the perfect lighting, and I want to capture it on film. I snap countless pictures, changing the angle, softly calling his name. And he sleeps on, an unwilling subject for the portrait I have in mind.

I start wiggling my fingers near his paw, rattling toys above my head, tapping the windowsill–anything to get his attention. Finally, those two piercing eyes pop open, and he looks at me with disdain. I can read his expression as clearly as if he were speaking to me. “Woman, don’t you know it’s naptime?”

I ruffle the fur on top of his head and apologize. Then I lean in for a quick kiss. “I love you too much,” I whisper. And I leave him to his nap in the spring sunshine.

Why I Hate The Snooze Button: A Blog in Pictures

Alarm clocks. The bane of human existence since 1807. (I’m guessing. I don’t really know when they were invented. But 1807 has a ring to it, so I’m going with it.) Sometime in the 80s, a man intent on torturing wives invented the snooze button. And society as we knew it began to crumble.

I’ve never been a user of the snooze button. I think it’s silly. If you want to sleep until 6:02 a.m., set your alarm to wake you at 6:02 a.m. Don’t set it for 5:45 a.m. and then spend the next 17 minutes slapping the stupid thing into submission.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a light sleeper. Maybe it’s because I’m not a morning person. Or maybe it’s because there’s nothing more grating that that “BEEP BEEP BEEP” sound. Especially when it occurs much earlier than you’d anticipated.

See, here’s how the snooze button works at my house. My husband, ever on the go, inevitably has to be up much earlier than I do. So his alarm goes off before the sun comes up on a regular basis.

You will note that, at the time of the first alarm, the entire household (four cats included) is sleeping soundly. And most everyone will sleep through that first alarm. Except for me.

Brian pommels the clock into silence and falls immediately back to sleep. And I lay there, now wide awake, with the knowledge that over the course of the next 20 minutes, that alarm will go off again. And again. And again.

A million thoughts roll through my head in those first few minutes. “Did he really hit the snooze button? Or did he turn the alarm off completely? What if he turned it off completely—he can’t be late for class today. I guess I’ll just lay here and watch the minutes tick by, and if he’s not up by 6:15, I’ll wake him up myself. Great. Perfect. Just wonderful.”



Finally, I feel my eyelids begin to get heavy again. Deciding once and for all that he’s a grown man who can wake himself up for class, I allow myself to drift somewhere between asleep and awake. My body relaxes, my mind begins to quiet, and I float toward dreamland. And then…

Now I’m mad. Not only am I awake, but Cat #1 realizes I’m awake and begins his “Mommy’s Awake So Let Me Wash My Tail and Knead Her Pillow Into Oblivion Until She Pets Me” routine. And Cat #3, our most vocal feline when it comes to meal time, descends from his perch at the foot of the bed and begins yowling for his breakfast. And my husband stretches, yawns, and opens his eyes to the world that I’ve been aware of now for exactly 17 minutes.

Now Cat #2 joins Cat #3 in the “Feed Me Now” campaign, and Cat #4 begins the “Catch Mom’s Toe Under The Blanket” game. And Brian and I lay a moment in silence, both of us aware of what’s coming next.

*Full Disclosure: my husband has not used his snooze button since very early on in our relationship. When we first moved in together, he was a 3-times-a-morning snooze button user.  It became apparent a few months into our relationship that his addiction to the snooze button was a possible deal breaker. Eventually he came over to my way of thinking. And he does his waking up on the couch instead of in bed. Which is where I’ll be, sound asleep. Mostly. If Cats 1 through 4 cooperate.

Abby Writes A Mommy (ish) Blog

I read a lot of blogs. I laugh, and learn, with Alex from Late Enough. I revel in the beauty of Simone’s words on Greatfun4kids. I’m convinced that Ryan, author of The Woven Moments, is my long lost twin, or at least that we’re destined to be best friends. I have something in common with each of these amazing women–we write blogs.

But they have something in common that I don’t share.

They are Mommies.

I actually read a lot of “Mommy Blogs.” I cheer with them at their children’s successes, empathize with them their parenting struggles, and make ooey-gooey-cuteness noises at the adorable pictures of their offspring that grace the pages of their blogs.

Mommyhood is a sorority I’m desperate to pledge. I dream of my future children, my arms ache to hold them, I even write them letters.

But in a very huge way, even without children, I am a Mommy. I have four inexcusably charming kitty cats who are, in their very own way, my four-legged children. They make me laugh, they make me cry, and although I’m not 100% sure what it feels like to play Chase and Pounce and Catnip Toy, I’m pretty certain I can guess.

So today is a blog for me–a Mommy with furry children. I can’t barrage you with photos of my doe-eyed, tow-haired children. But I CAN barrage you with photos of my cats!!!

Things I Find Ridiculously Adorable About My Fur-Kids:
 
Toe Floof (ie: the fur that grows out from between their toesies)
Pink noses. (Or brown or black or whatever color they are. Noses are cute.)
They way they sleep all smooshed up.
Brotherly snuggle time. Awww.
 

How FREAKING ADORABLE they are as kittens. Seriously. HOW CUTE IS THAT?
 
That “Hey Ma, whatcha doin? Huh? Huh?” look of utter curiosity.
Similarly, that “I’m-super-excited-about-this-game” face they make when they’re wound up and rambunctious.
Their creativity when it comes to game play is endless.
And their ferocity and man-cat-ness  is blatantly obvious.
I could go on and on for hours. Seriously. I have over a bazillion pictures, and more than half of them are of my cats.
But my favorite “cute” thing about them? The slurpy noises they make when they eat.

So I may not change dirty diapers. I may not worry how my actions will irrevocably damage or enlighten them. I don’t have to fear that society will ruin their innocence or mar their sense of well-being.

But I do change litter boxes. And I love each of them with more of my heart than I ever thought I could give. They keep me company, they annoy the bejesus out of me when they’re hungry, they keep me on a schedule, and they wake me up in the wee hours of the morning. They love me unconditionally, they make me laugh on a daily basis, and they cheer me up when I’m sad about not having furless babies.

So I guess, technically, that makes AbbyGabs a Mommy Blog afterall…right?