wisdomfromthesisterhood

The Sisterhood is a place to bring your cup of coffee to. Heck, bring the whole pot :). Sit down, relax, and fall in for a while. No divas or meanies allowed. It's about boy brain, kiddos, food, one crazy labrador, autism and a cat in recovery from a back tire incident. Oh the places you'll go :)

A Boy And His Girl: Profound Trust

This is from many years ago but I was struck by how serious they both were in this moment.  Completely enthralled with one another.  He was just four years old when the kids and I drove from Florida to Georgia to bring her into our life.  She was just eight weeks old.  She is his friend, not just his dog.  She is the only girl he allows into his world because, at ten, girls still have big time cooties.  This dog is a girl but she is an equal and he treats her as such.  I only wish I was sitting closer so I could have heard what they were speaking of.  The important things that boys confide only in their best dog, their first true confidant.  I love these two.  They are devoted, connected and committed to one another.  Maisy is his friend and he is her boy.  Nothing more profound in a relationship than that right there.  This is what total and profound trust looks like.

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Creative Parenting 101: The Monopoly Picnic

For me, it’s easier to parent in the summer.  Warm weather, the pool and sunshine are good friends to have and they come together to make parenting pretty darn easy.  Fall and winter, on the other hand, are a tad bit more challenging.  There just isn’t as much to do and my boys especially are quite content to give all their time to the Nintendo and the television…which Mom is NOT going for.  So, on the weekends, we try to get creative.

This weekend, in an attempt to get the boys outside and the electronics disengaged, we merged what each of us enjoys most.  The boys got their “Nintendo” and Mom got them outside.  Sunday, for us, was our first round of Nintendo Monopoly Picnic and everyone joined us…as you can see from the pics below.  I will say that I did not include the pic of the black widow that we surprisingly discovered crawling up to our quilt!  Ewww…it was not pretty.

The clean board and quilt…before everyone showed up 🙂

Although I am quite partial to the Disney version, I will say that I do very much enjoy the Nintendo Monopoly…and this version is much more popular with my boys.  Though…I do miss being Sully.

I am not nearly as good at keeping my money organized as I used to be.  These days, the rules just don’t matter to me.

Before The Red Girl joined the game and whacked the board with her head.

Scrat Cat LOVED us coming outside and had to check out the game.

Maisy was all about some together time..with Bear of course.

Mom went directly to jail on my first turn.  The boys got a great kick out of that because I did not get to pass go and I did not get to collect $200.00!It’s surprising what you notice in the backyard when you hang out a while…like all the things that never got put away.

Scrat really enjoyed the company.  Proof that the Scrat recovery is progressing quite well :).

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The Red Girl’s Nap Time

 

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The Red Paws

My red girl, holding onto her baby.   I thought her paws were gorgeous.

 

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The Red Girl and Her Babies

The Red Girl has her babies.  It’s kind of crazy how much she adores them, snuggles them, carries them and steals them from my daughter.  She even rescues them from the pool when we throw the babies in.  The pink penguin used to live on my daughter’s bed but the Red Girl is sneaky and clever.  She grew quite adept at sneaking into her girl’s room and filing through all the babies until she found the pink penguin.  Once upon a time she would only steal the pink ones but, alas, we are short on the pink ones now and my daughter has also become increasingly protective of the stuffed animals that remain.  The Red Girl has now moved on to the boys’ rooms and settles for snow leopards and whatever penguins she can find because a girl has to have a pillow when she naps.

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The Red Girl is hopeful the odds are ever in her favor :)

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Morning In Mississippi

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Our Red Girl and Her Baby :)

 

 

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The Horrible Scrat Day-Part Two…


Scrat had been a member of our family for about a year before the tire incident.  He was from a litter of mountain cats a friend had been given and I didn’t know it at the time, but that would later explain a lot of his quirks.  He was the only cat I’d ever known who could open doors.  He would use his paws and claws to grip and pull the door open if he wanted out of a room.  He would come to my bathroom to use his litter box and if he finished before I did, he’d let himself out.  He would wait at the shower door while I showered and once, when I heard some bizarre sounds coming from my bathroom, I opened the door just in time to see him jump up over the top of the shower door and down onto the tile floor.  The amazing part is the opening at the top of the shower door is only about eight inches.  Looking back, I think the odd sounds I heard were his missed attempts at exiting the shower.  He will crawl under covers, into cabinets and he clearly thought my dining room table was his bed.  He even, after it was established that the lab was not cat-adverse, would crawl on top of the lab’s head and begin to cat attack the red girl with neck biting.  Our lab never cared, she has so much hair the cat would be hard pressed to find skin.

So, we headed to the ER with our quirky and damaged kitty after the tire incident,  with my friend, his daughter, and my daughter in tow.  It was not a fun trip.  I could still feel my adrenaline bubbling.  Once we got into the vet ER and I confessed my sin to the counter person, I got a little nervous about what the outcome of the trip might be.  What if I had to put Scrat down?  I have a very calm and comforting guy with me who would be a great asset…and two  fifteen year old girls who, with emotions high and kittens cute, would be anything but helpful in a moment of hard choice.  Little girls should not be privy to such  things.  Despite my want to keep the friend with me to help with tough choices, I sent them all away to find some lunch and told them I’d call when I knew more.

The craziest thing I can remember happening was getting into the room with the doctor and the doctor being bumfuzzled that the cat would not stop purring.  PURRING.  The cat is smushed and hurt and broken and yet, being the crazy-wonderful-quirky mountain cat that he is…he is PURRING.  The vet actually had to soak some gauze in alcohol and put it on the table beneath his nose to get him to quiet himself.  And, being the vet that he is, it worked.  I was kind of wowed by that trick.

At this point, all the nice vet can say is we won’t know much until we take some x-rays.  This is the point in the appointment, at least at the ER, when they get the money issues out in the open and bring you the “estimate” before they actually do anything.  Oh yeah, it was harsh.  The estimate they put together, before they rendered services, was 1500 dollars!  This is before any surgeries he might need in case his pelvis is crushed…as happens with tire incidents.  Oy Vey.  So, this is when the single mom’s world crashes hard.  There are not that many dollars set aside for cat care in my budget.  There just aren’t.  It’s not going to happen.  If you are that person who has that sort of money to spend on the animals…bless you.  I, unfortunately, do not.  As my world is crashing, I ask the nice vet if putting my Scat down is my only option.

I had not cried before this point.  I was still running on adrenaline.  But I have had to put an animal down once before and it is not something I ever want to have to do again.  It was truly, before the Scrat tire incident, right up there as the worst day of my life.  So, in my tears, I ask the vet, what are my options?  He, being the seasoned vet who has been in these shoes many times, says we can break it down and go step by step.  It will be 250 for drugs and x-rays.  When I ask what the other 1250.00 is for, he tells me that is for fluids and observation over night.  I can clearly cut that bill down, I think to myself, because for 1250.00 I can set up a hospital room in my bathroom and give him fluids myself.  We agree to start with x-rays and see just how extensive the damage is inside of him because, truly, that is what will force some of the choices that need to be made.

I won’t make you wait as long as I had to for the results to come back.  The tail was clearly pulled away from the spine and paralyzed but a cat can function just fine without a tail.  I was good with that…best case scenario for that.  The x-ray did NOT show a crushed pelvis but it did show a dark spot between the hip and the pelvis and where Scrat’s hip should have attached to the pelvic bone …his did not appear to be intact.   But, that as well, was heal-able.  The question would then remain, how he personally would recover.  It would also, as his tail did or did not regain feeling, affect the pooping and peeing department since the nerves from the tail also traveled farther down and pulled double duty.

So, the vet and I agreed… he would give Scrat pain meds and I would take Scrat home and I would be in charge of observation and fluids.  I called my friend and the girls and we took Scrat home.  Within a few weeks, with care, fluids and pain meds, we would be able to better determine whether he would recover and heal or if he would not.  I did not want to jump the gun.  The vet said it would come down to a quality of life issue for Scrat.

For the next two weeks my bathroom was his recovery room.  We washed him and the floors multiple times a day.  Scrat got pretty good at enduring soft showers and he tolerated his medicine.  We kept the litter box in the bathroom and the darn cat insisted on dragging himself in and out of it (along with half the litter, LOL…clean up was always an adventure) even when his body didn’t quite work right.

At two weeks his recovery seemed stalled.  My daughter was going away to camp and I really believed at the end of that week, before she came home, I would have to do the unthinkable and put Scrat down.  It didn’t look promising at all.

Around the three week mark,  the Scrat-Cat started to open the bathroom door and escape his recovery room.  That is when we started bringing him outside to the patio during the day so he could walk around more and get some fresh air.  His friend, the red girl, was even gentle and kind with him and they co-existed and I think the red girl knew something wasn’t right.  The next day when I went out to see Scrat, I couldn’t find him.  I panicked.  I called him and I could hear a faint meow so I went looking.  In a few minutes, I could hear the meow above me and ,when I looked up, I was shocked to find Scrat on the ROOF!  A cat who could get on the roof seemed to be doing pretty darn well in my book.

He is not perfect these days.  His tail is still attached but it just hangs and his legs are a little less perfect as well.  He runs, jumps and is back to attacking the dog but I can tell his hips are a little off and his back is bonier than before but, for us, it works.  He does not smell up his kennel quite as much as before at night when he sleeps inside so I think some sort of nerve regeneration must be taking place.   Not perfect…but it works for us.

This morning I heard a cat fight and ran to our front door.  There was my Scratty-Catty watching as a neighborhood cat ran away from our yard.  He is not perfect but he is happy and we are so fortunate that he is still part of our family.  Our crazy mountain born cat that has the kind of genes that defy explanation.   He is our little miracle, he is still quirky and nutty and even a bit wobbly but we are so thankful.  It’s like I tell my kids: He may not be perfect and he is a little banged up…but he’s alive and that’s a blessing to us all.

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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: AKA…when you run over your cat :(

 

It is perhaps the worst day I have ever had.  It is most certainly, without a doubt, the worst sound you can hear.  It’s not any sort of quiet thump that may occur when you run over the top of your cat.  What I am talking about is the screeching howling cry that comes from a cat that is feeling his body smashed against the garage floor as a mini van crushes his tail and then his legs and back.

Let me just say, it was a bad day.  It was bad for me but it was the worst for our Scrat.  I know, it happens.  People have been kind enough to remind me it happens quite frequently.  It happens and usually cats die awful deaths.  It happens and children see.  But, honestly, it just doesn’t happen to me.  And, as if this were not bad enough to have run over my Scrat, it happened when both my boys(ten and twelve years old) were in the car at the time.

After hearing the sound, I felt the adrenaline and anxiety twisting up together and surging in me as my boys both asked, “What was that, Mom?”

What do you say?  How do you explain it? As they began to look around and ask about their cat the question finally came.  “Mom, where’s Scrat?  Did you just run over MY cat?”

This is when you begin to shrink.  This is when the tears fly forward and  you fight like crazy to hold them back so that they do not begin to fall down the front of your face and send your children into crying tail spins.  This is the moment when you have to be Mom and be in control and in charge and be fearless.  This is the moment when you have to be the grown up and act like everything is okay because if you don’t, and they are watching you, all hell will break loose in your world and you WILL lose control of more than just yourself.

I told my boys, “Just close your eyes and do NOT get out of the car,” because I did not know what I was going to find.  I took a deep breath, opened my door and before I closed it behind me I reminded them once again to NOT look out.  Luckily our impulse control is better these days and they love their Scrat very much.  They held their breath too as they kept their eyes closed and we all hoped for the best.

As I stepped out of the minivan, I looked beneath my feet at the front driver’s side tire as well as the back driver’s side tire and found nothing and no one beneath them.  I breathed a little as I gathered my courage to go to the other side.  I began to walk to other side and, with a first step, I could see a gray streak leave the garage.  He was not under a tire or dead.  At least I knew that.

My ten year old, who was no longer closing his eyes, must have noticed the relief in my eyes because he asked, “Did you see him?  Is he okay?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer yet so I said, “Just stay in the car, buddy.”

I walked out of the garage and around to the front door where I finally found him.  I had not run over his head and there was no blood.  This is important and good because I knew the boys would want to see him and, at least from what I could see, he looked good.  As he began to walk, or try to, is when I noticed the damage.  His tail and legs were not functioning well at all.  As we pieced together the accident later with the vet, the best we can figure is that his tail was under the tire when I began to back out and as his tail got trapped, the tire began to roll up his body.  When I put the car back into gear, we then rolled back off of his body and limited any further damage.

I gently picked him up from the front door and carried him in the  house.   I called our bet and even though I told them Scrat was traumatized and possibly paralyzed from the accident, they told me they were at lunch and would be back in an hour.  Uggh.  The boys and I had been on our way to pick up their sister so I put Scrat in his kennel and drove the ten minute drive to pick her up.  It would give us all a moment to regain our senses and breathe again and the kennel, since Scrat was not bleeding, would keep her safe and immobilized until the vet got back from their lunch.

And, adding to the chaos was knowing my ex from out of state would be at my house in twenty minutes to pick up my children for the week and my high school friend and his daughter would be at our house in fifteen minutes to stay with us for the weekend.

When I pulled up to pick up my daughter, I very quietly told her what had happened but my quiet voice did not help keep her quiet at all.  She uncharacteristically began to use a very high pitched voice to question me.  After calming the car back down and taking her friend home, we waited for all our guests to arrive back at the house and for the vet to get back in the office.

Right on time, my childhood friend and his daughter arrived to stay with us and my ex was not too many minutes behind them.  After my boys left, I began to make more calls to vets.  It was surprising how little concern seemed to fill the vet offices when a cat is run over but still living.  The first was going out to lunch and closing for an hour, the second told me they did not have the facilities for an animal that would need to be watched over night but the third, the emergency vet, said come on over.  I apologized to my friend and his daughter.  I felt bad to have them walk into such drama but I didn’t know what else to do.  He, being the calm and unshakable guy he is (he is also the smartest boy I know and apparently his military pilot training paid off in spades because he was as calm and cool as anyone I have ever seen), just said he and his daughter would be happy to come along.

And, that is exactly what they did.  Like the trooper he is turning out to be, he was not phased by tromping along with us to the vet or a cat that may or may need to be put down because of his injuries.  I guess, as they say, this is when you find out who your friends are!

This has become a long post…running over your cat is like that…it takes time to explain.  Tomorrow I will write about the vet, the tentative recovery of Scrat and what we chose to do.  Sometimes it’s just not easy to figure out what the “right” thing to do is.

Thanks for reading and for caring about Scrat 🙂

 

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