Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Grumpbump Valley Sunday

Today, we laid Tigger to rest in our backyard.  We had him cremated and his ashes are in a memorial stone that we placed in the plant beds next to our pool.  It feels comforting to know he's back home with us.

R.I.P, Tiggerman
Less than one week after we lost Tigger, his former owner emailed me, asking if she could visit him.  I had to tell her via email that Tigger had passed away on October 30.  She did not email me back.  But, in a bizarre turn-of-events, she emailed me back last night and told me that she was (understandably) devastated by the news and that her birthday is actually October 30.  We had Tigger put to sleep on her fucking birthday.  She went on to say that she appreciated us taking good care of Tigger.

Of course, her email opened up the whole loss-of-Tigger wound again and I cried for quite a bit.  Not a very pleasant evening.

On the knitting front, I have started working on a pair of socks (finally).  My next knitting group meeting is Tuesday and I wanted to have at least the heel done by that time.  That means I should be knitting right now instead of blogging.

I spent yesterday with my mom and we had a very pleasant time.  My goal was to buy a couple of cute decorative planters and some hard-to-kill and low maintenance plants.  We ended up with a hibiscus (even thought we already have those planted outside of the patio) and a croton.  Already on the patio is a norfolk island pine (which has seen better days) and a dieffenbacchia (aka dumb cane or Mother-in-law plant).  The dieffenbacchia was one of the plants at my Grandmother's memorial service.  It is so low maintenance and yet it is thriving.

Croton on left; Hibiscus on right

Mom and I went to Old Time Pottery and I ended up buying some storage ottomans for our bedroom.  Not necessarily because we needed the storage but because Delilah needs some help jumping up on our bed.  It's the same theory as us having a pool table simply for Macy to be able to sit up high and watch out for that sneaky Delilah.

But I also bought some cute lanterns and candles for the patio table outside.  Mr. Grumpbump and I moved the patio furniture to the other side of the house (close to our bedroom) because the only outlets were on that  side of the house.  However, we don't have any lights yet, so these lanterns should work for now.

Aren't they super cute?
Mr. Grumpbump has to work on Thursday, so we will be doing a late Thanksgiving lunch (around 3:00 p.m.).  I asked a friend of mine, who is a caterer, to make an apple pie for Mr. Grumpbump for his Thanksgiving dessert.  I just can't wait for two days off of work.

Macy is revisiting the family room cat tree and most times of the day you can find her on the top rung, sleeping.  She's a big girl and some of her hangs over the edge of the rung, but she is sleeping soundly and apparently comfortably, so we let her be.  She's also got this very weird habit of sitting in front of the door to the garage and meowing in her little-baby-kitty-plaintive voice until you let her go in the garage.  I don't understand the draw of the garage and you can usually find her on the astroturf remnant that Mr. Grumpbump uses when he exercises out in the garage (since the floor is tiled, the astroturf gives him some grip).  Macy's confusing us but we aren't complaining because she is being very social with us and much less shy than ever before.

You dare interrupt my sleep?

And Delilah?  If she ever changed, then you should kiss your ass goodbye because that is a sign of the apocalypse.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Celebrating and Remembering

Now that my afghan is complete, I should be devoting all my knitting time to the shawl project.  And while it does currently reside beside me on the couch, I am only periodically picking it up and knitting a few rows (unless Mr. Grumpbump asks me to do something, then I'm all about, "Hey!  I'm busy knitting here!").

Macy insisted on being in the picture
Actually I'm cheating.  Cheating on this project that should be demanding all of my attention.  I can't stop thinking about getting a new project started.  I want to make a pair of socks (haven't worked on socks in well over a year) and I have a pattern for a super cute hat.  I even bought expensive yarn to make it.

Sumptuous Yarn
I really want to do all these projects at once!  And I never seem to factor in time to do my household chores, which I really resent having to do.  I am trying to convince Mr. Grumpbump to let me get housecleaning help for these last two months of the year.  He has a bunch of family visiting during Christmas and New Year's and I just don't want to waste time deep-cleaning the house. Now I just have to find someone reputable to come in and give me a quote.

Our household is still in disarray since Tigger's passing.  I don't mean to suggest that we haven't been able to move on because we have.  Life is back to normal and I don't feel so sick to my stomach at having a sick creature in the house.  The lingering feelings are those of guilt and failure.  As a result, I cannot bring myself to get another cat.  It's hard to tell if the other cats miss Tigger and therefore would thrive with a third cat.  I personally feel that Tigger brought a certain balance to our house.  We have seen serious changes with Macy, who now seems very attached to us.  Macy does not shy away from us petting her and joins us on the couch without provocation.   I can't tell if she is clingly because she misses Tigger or if she feels safer and more content without Tigger's presence.  I initially thought she seemed depressed, and I have been a helicopter cat guardian by monitoring and scrutinizing everything consumed or drunk or pooped or peed in this house.  I can't afford to miss the symptoms of any illness the second time it happens.

Next to her favorite human
Tigger is now home with us; his ashes in a paw print tin.  I am trying to find a nice memorial stone to put in our garden.  Both vets we took him to sent us sympathy cards.  Even though Tigger was a cat, he was in our life every single day.  Every single day I fed him, gave him water, petted and kissed him.  Every single day he lived with us.  I didn't even do all of that for my husband!  And to have him here one day, seemingly happy and healthy, only to lose him without being prepared for the finality of it.  I feel like my life report card has a gigantic F on it for caregiving and no matter how well I take care of Delilah and Macy, and any other cats we  rescue along the way, I can't make up for failing Tigger.

Today is my second wedding anniversary with Mr. Grumpbump, and we are attending the wedding of our good friends later this afternoon.  We are blessed with very beautiful weather and at the end of the night, there will be CAKE!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

In The Market For A Change

 I am trying to convince Mr. Grumpbump to let me have a garage sale so I can sell everything in our living room.  And use the proceeds as a down payment to the purchase of real furniture.  You know, where everything matches?  My living room is schizophrenic and a study in the various shades of brown.  Yuck.

But, when I look at the cost of furniture - oh my gosh, it just makes me sick.  Look, I am not really concerned with appearances or keeping up with the joneses.  I just want something cute and comfortable.  I predict that I will wasting a lot of time on craiglist.

I finished my ripple afghan tonight! I had this stinking project on the needles since January.  It took me forever to bind off the stitches (two nights).  I used Sewn Bind-Off technique because it gives the edge a bit more stretch and looks very clean.  I am so happy I have a completed project.

Try to ignore the cat hairs

I love ripples
Tomorrow will be one week since Tigger's passing and  I miss him every single day.  I wake up expecting to see him begging for breakfast and look for him when I walk in the door after coming home from work.  The guilt I feel is still very strong - why was I not able to save him?  I'm second guessing all those decisions from a week ago, and I have difficulty with accepting this part of the circle of life (cue the Lion King music).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time Is Running Out

I am so close to finishing my afghan/lap blanket.  It's been on needles for months (started it in January!).  I spent lunch hours and weeknights just de-tangling and winding the yarn into center-pull balls.  My goal is to finish it by tonight, meaning off the needles and cleaning up all loose ends (there are always plenty of loose ends when you knit with many color changes).  I also want to throw it in the wash to soften up the acrylic yarn.  I used the Michael's store brand (Loops & Threads) yarn for this project, cheap but durable.  The other afghans felt so much better after a wash.

Which leads me to wonder, why am I posting about being so close to finishing?  Why am I now working on it this very minute?

It's still really tough adjusting to life without Tigger.  While we don't see any real change in Delilah, Macy is a different story.   Macy has taken Tigger's spot as Mr. Grumpbump's shadow.  She hangs out with him much more and he's very careful to give her lots of rubs and attention.

Of course, I have changed.  I resolved never ever to allow one of my cats to languish in a hospital with no definite plan or course of treatment.  Tigger should have been at home with us last weekend, but he was my first sick animal and I just kept wishing and hoping that he would miraculously heal.  I'm still doubting the way I handled his whole crash from seemingly healthy to terminally ill.  This means repetitious discussion between me and Mr. Grumpbump.  

Also, I am now hyper aware of Delilah and Macy's eating, drinking and bathroom activities.  I noticed Macy drinking from the water bowl three times yesterday and I almost went it panic mode.  Before Tigger's death, I never saw Macy drink water, but I can concede that she must have been drinking as I scoop out her litter box every morning.  I feel like I failed Tigger as his caregiver; keeping Delilah and Macy healthy is my penance for that sin.

Sweet Macy Gray
Queen Delilah

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...