Category Archives: Pets

Giving Thanks

First anniversary - we made it!

I’m thankful for my husband. He puts up with a lot – my mood swings, some tears, my obsessive compulsive personality, and my long ramblings about what happened today and why it was such a BIG deal. After all of this, he still rakes leaves and gives me back rubs. He takes the dogs out at 2:00 in the morning when I’m too lazy, and he rides the moped in the cold weather because I’m a wuss.

Bella the Cat

I’m thankful for my pets. My dogs Orson and Nana jump all over me and wag their tails all around just because I come home after work each day! They also have a wonderful smell. If the verb “home” could have a smell, it would smell like my dogs. My cat Bella is a diva. She wants people to open and close doors for her (even though she can use the pet door), and she wants to be picked up and carried past the dogs (even though she knows perfectly well that they’re harmless and she could totally take them). My pets can sense when I’m having a bad day, and their temperaments change. The dogs settle down and the cat becomes more affectionate. I love this sixth sense of theirs. It’s like they have a emotional radar or something.

With Mom and Dad in Zihuatanejo

I’m thankful for my parents, who worked their whole lives so that their kids could have innumerable luxuries and opportunities. As an adult, I’m finally beginning to appreciate how much work they do everyday and that doesn’t include raising kids – because my husband and I haven’t gotten that far yet. Sans kids, the adult stuff (i.e., taxes, cars, insurance, bills, work, relationships) is really hard. I hate to say they told me so, but yes, I do miss those days when I was a kid. And yes, I do understand what life is really like now that I’m older.

Sisters don't let sisters get married without lip gloss

I’m thankful for my sister. She’s so smart, beautiful, and hardworking. She’s my confidant, my adviser, and my friend. And she’s the only person who can eat more ice cream, more often, than I can and still not have it “go to her hips.” Way to go girl. No matter what my sister does in life, she’s going to be successful. Caitlin, if you’re reading this, take a break from the books and have some fun.

Peter and Kate on their wedding day

I’m thankful for my friends Peter and Kate. They are two of my best friends who happen to be married to one another, which makes it really convenient for me to keep in touch with both of them. They are always there to support me in good times and in bad, and they’re always down for a fun time. I’m amazed that a med student and a future business tycoon (the good kind) have time for a crunchy-granola friend like me. Peter visits RVA once a month, and Kate calls “her wife” religiously. Gracias amigos!

St. Christopher's students and faculty in formation for the commemorative Saintennial photo

I’m thankful for my colleagues at St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s. I’ve never felt so welcomed by a community in all my life. Literally, I have felt at home since my first day at both of these schools. The faculty are amazing. They can switch from talking about pedagogy to tatooes in about 30 seconds. I’m proud to be a small part of such an accomplished and fun group.

Who wouldn't want to pet-sit for these angels???

I’m thankful for my neighbors Gene and Julie Bruner. These guys are rockstars. Not only do they manage their own jobs, family, and pets, but they also pitch in once every two weeks to help us with our pets. We couldn’t ask for more generous and kind neighbors. Oh, and did I mention that they’re both runners and Gene is a bad-ass kayaker and stand-up-paddler? Totally cool. My neighbor can out run and probably beat up your neighbor.

I’m thankful for blogging, because – aside from cooking – it’s my only outlet for creative expression. I’ve never been able to draw, paint, or sculpt; I stopped playing the piano in high school; and I definitely can’t carry a tune. I’m not much of a fiction writer (in fact, I don’t consider myself much of a non-fiction writer either), but I do find that blogging about my life, my family, and my reactions to the world around me is a fantastically cathartic process. I wish I had more time to blog (and to cook). Perhaps I’ll take the Post-a-Week Challenge in 2012…

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?

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Bella Storia, or How a Cat Came to Love Two Dog People

For nearly a month, a tabby cat has been hanging around outside our apartment, meowing for attention. She wasn’t afraid to come right up to a complete stranger and solicit their attention. This forward behavior took us by surprise, and quite frankly, scared the living daylights out of Sarah for the first few weeks. Neither of us are “cat people” (i.e., we’ve always had dogs). Sarah was even afraid of them. Something in the silent independence of a cat is unpredictable – not to mention the whole nocturnal thing. So at first, when this very social cat would approach Sarah, she would hustle into the apartment as quickly as possible, fearing the worst – a bite or a scratch – which she now knows to be utterly ridiculous.

One evening, we were in the car port brewing beer, and this cat peeked her head around the corner. She meowed, and headed straight for Sarah. Christian tried to calm Sarah, assuring her that this cat had approached him before and that she was very sweet. Frozen solid, Sarah didn’t move as the cat came closer. To her surprise, the cat brushed up against her leg and nuzzled her soft head on top of Sarah’s foot. The cat meowed and looked straight up at her. Maybe cats weren’t so scary after all. Maybe this cat just wanted a friend…someone to pet her and hold her in their arms. No sooner had the thought entered Sarah’s mind when the cat jumped into Christian’s arms, nestled in, and began to purr loudly. Clearly, this cat was in the market for love and affection.

It took a few days before the cat worked up the courage to follow us into the apartment, and she hasn’t left since. We named her Barley. (We had been brewing beer on the night we met her, and since our neighbors are Barley & Pfeiffer Architects, it seemed appropriate). Soon after, we learned from our friend Lynne Connellee that Barley was actually named “Bella” and that she was supposed to be staying with our neighbors whose two cats and one dog weren’t very welcoming to their feline house guest. So Bella sought out a new home while her real parents were away on business in Madrid  (they return in June).

We are so happy to welcome Bella. She loves to perch herself in the window sills, soaking up the cool breeze, and she’s already claimed Bruce’s spot on the bed at night. At first Sarah was a little uncomfortable with Bella occupying what had been Bruce’s sleeping place, but perhaps Bruce may be showing us, through Bella, that he’s still here. 

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