Sued51's Blog

{November 12, 2010}   Zoee Speaks–Again!

Did you hear that Renault is going to be naming its electric car after me??

They say a bunch of French parents are unhappy to have an inanimate object have the same name as their daughters; I wonder how they would feel about me? 

I have to say it doesn’t bother me in the least; in fact, I am quite flattered.  I love my name.  My adoptive parents gave me that name because it means “life,” and I am full of it.  I am also so beautiful they thought I deserved a more exotic name.  My given name was Patti (which I didn’t like); I am DEFINITELY NOT a Patti.  That’s much too common for me.

Well, I just thought I’d share that…now I’m off to talk to the birds outside the window and find some leftover cat food under the placemat.

{November 8, 2010}   Is It Really a Calico Thing?



Our vet in Tennessee told us that calicos were the “divas of the cat world.”

When our beloved calico, Simone, passed away a year ago, we adopted another calico, Zoee.  If you read my previous blog, A New Year’s Wish, you know that we felt Simone was a very special cat.  She chased hockey players on the TV, stopped our cuckoo clock, and had a special game she played with me when I changed the sheets on our bed.  It seemed Zoee had a lot to live up to.

Right after we adopted her, Zoee picked the same spot in the bed to sleep with us.  I explained that by saying she must smell where Simone liked to sleep. But Zoee took things a lot further.

She loves the cuckoo clock; she comes running when the clock strikes, and sometimes even anticipates it, waiting on the table near it for the cuckoo to sing.  Our tiger cat, Aimee, could care less about it and shows no interest.

When I make the bed, there’s Zoee, hiding under the blankets, just the way Simone used to.  She will go under each layer of sheet and blanket as I go along–no sign of Aimee.

Last, but not least, she reacts to the TV like Simone did; only her sport t is golf (see my previous blog, My Cat Likes Golf?!).  She gets up on the TV stand, stands up on her hind paws and chases the ball on the screen.

It makes us wonder: is Simone still with us in spirit, through Zoee?  Or is it a calico thing?

P.S. No disrespect to Aimee; she has her own cute behavioral quirks and we adore her, but they aren’t the same.

My sister Zoee got to write a blog a while ago; I wanted to write one too, but I’m so shy it took me a while to work up the courage.

Zoee is so loud and constantly “talking”; I have a tiny voice.  When I speak it is just a “mew” or what mama calls a “squeak”, but I talk in other ways.  When I want mommy and daddy to get up, I rattle the knob on the bedside table (daddy has treats hidden in there).  I stand at the sink and squeak when I want water. When I want mommy to give me Fancy Feast sprinkles on top of my breakfast, I go in the pantry and sit on the container where they are kept.

I don’t like strangers so I hide under the bed when they come, I let Zoee greet them and entertain them.  It’s not my thing. I do like to look out the window, but I have no interest in going out there.

This is painful for me to write about, but I feel like I should.  Is there more animal abuse happening recently or is it just that in the past it was not publicized?

I see the headlines, but I can’t read the stories.  If it comes on the TV news I have to change the channel or leave the room.  Yes, you can dismiss me as one of those crazy animal lovers, but I feel the same way about child abuse.  Both these issues are about an extreme, sick, violent form of bullying someone vulnerable.  The headlines alone are enough to make me want to cry, I don’t need to read the stories.  But is that why it continues to happen, because people like me want to pretend the problem doesn’t exist?

Bullying in schools has finally become an important issue; it can no longer be ignored because children have died, but it has been going on since the beginning of public schooling.  It has escalated recently because of social media and the illusion that violence is somehow acceptable in our society, which is implied through its excessive use in video games and movies.  Why do children or animals have to die in order for us as a society to address the issue?

I feel very torn about the reporting of it.  I know it is important that people know that it is going on so we can work to stop it.  A news story may motivate some people to step up and offer information on the perpetrators so they can be caught.  But there is also the element of glorifying those who do this by giving them attention.

I feel powerless to do anything but bring it up and get others to think about it.  How can we stop this behavior?

{May 11, 2010}   Zoee Speaks

Susan has been so busy lately that she is allowing me to guest blog—what fun!  I am happy to do it because I always have a lot to say; I always answer when she calls me and say, “That’s me!”

When Susan gets out of the shower I ask her to turn on the faucet so I can drink and play in the sink.  This was a fun game for us until my little sister Aimee joined in.  She’s always following me around and sucking up to Susan and Alan, taking attention away from me.  She can be annoying, but I put up with her because she cleans up after me in the litter box and she gives me good baths.  She also lets me eat first, except when it comes to treats, and then she tries to steal mine if I don’t eat fast enough.

Well, that’s all I have to say for today…it’s nap time…


{May 5, 2010}   Simple Joy

I haven’t had a dog in many years, but I remember what it is like.  Anyone who has a dog or has had a dog knows what I’m talking about… the wagging tail, the bark or whine of joy when you come home to your pet.  That’s simple joy.

My husband and I experience it with our cats too.  In the mornings when they know we are waking up, they race across the bed with excitement and play with our feet as we move them under the blankets.  Our cat Zoee acts like a dog when we come home, she runs to the door wagging her tail with excitement and meows.  How wonderful it is to be the recipient of that joy; it is almost better than being the one actually experiencing it.

When was the last time you have felt that simple joy at seeing someone…at hearing a friend’s voice on the phone, at seeing familiar writing on an envelope?  Did you communicate your joy?

We would all do well to realize how precious that is and embrace those feelings.  It is the best gift any of us can be given.

When my husband and I were both working full-time outside our home, we got out of bed between 4:00am and 4:30am so that we could have time to have our tea and go for a walk or work out before work.  It was usually around 5:30am when we got outside.  Depending on the time of year, it would be just getting light or still dark when we took our walk.

The duskiness allowed us to see a lot of wildlife, including foxes and bunnies.  We saw so many bunnies that we started counting them, and I started recording the bunny count in my journal.  In the early summer, the bunny count was usually somewhere between 13 and 25 each morning.  On one occasion we were in Truro for a long weekend; we went for a run in the bird sanctuary and lost count of the bunnies at about 35.

The other thing we would do on our walks is pet the neighborhood outdoor cats; we made up our own names for them.   In our old neighborhood, there were at least eight cats that we named and regularly petted.  I sometimes wonder how many of them are still around.

The neighborhood we live in now is a dog neighborhood; people are walking dogs at all times of the day.  There is only one cat that we sometimes see and stop to pet; we call it Angel because it has such a beautiful face.  It is orange and white with long fur and a full tail any cat would be jealous of.

Now that I work irregular hours and my husband works at home, we don’t walk until 10:00am and the bunny count has become a thing of the past.  But I don’t miss it enough to want to get up at 4:00am again.  I was lucky the other night; I came home from work at 7:30pm and a bunny ran across the driveway.  Bunny count: 1.

{April 11, 2010}   My Cat Likes Golf?!

Unbeknownst to most observers yesterday, Phil Mickelson had some help.  During his run of eagles at the end of yesterday’s round, our cat Zoee was sitting in front of the TV “helping” the ball into the hole with her paw.  It was a hoot.

We would have liked to have filmed it for America’s Funniest Videos or YouTube, but every time I tried to get up from the couch to get the camera, she would turn around and look at me and my husband would say, “Don’t make her stop; let’s just enjoy it.”  And we did.

Maybe it is a calico thing—our last calico, Simone, used to like hockey games.  She would lie on top of the TV and let her paw hang down to chase the puck.  Zoee can’t do that with a flat screen, so she sits in front of it.

Funniest of all was the fact that as soon as Phil finished his round, she lost interest.  Tiger was being interviewed and she jumped down and turned to face us with a “fait accompli” look.  My husband said, “She must be a lefty.”

 My mother and father just lost their 10-year-old dog, Jerry.  They have always had pets, but they swear this time they won’t get another.  Their biggest concern is that if anything happens to them, they would have to know that someone would take their pet; they’re afraid that at this point, a pet may live longer than they will.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this.  Two days ago we had a conversation with a neighbor whose cat we used to stop and pet as we passed her yard.  She had two cats and two dogs; she has one cat left.  I asked if she was going to get more pets and she said, “No. I’d like to get another dog, but I don’t have anyone to take care of it if anything happens.”

It makes me so sad.  My husband and I were at the PetSmart today; we always visit with the cats up for adoption.  Today there was a 7-year-old cat; the description said the cat was given up because its owner had gone to a nursing home.  I’m sure giving up the cat was yet another source of distress to someone who was probably distressed enough about having to leave their home.

A woman came over to talk to us when we were looking at the cats.  “Some of these cats have been here for a while,” she said.  I looked at their descriptions: along with the 7-year-old cat, there was a 2-year-old cat and a 3-year-old cat.  “I feel so bad for them,” she said.  “Me too,” I said.

Writing the blog is my way of helping those cats.  If my parents were cat people I’d try to convince my parents to adopt an older kitty.  They would be providing a home, helping out another elderly person, and probably wouldn’t have to worry about their pet living longer than them.  But…I know they won’t.  Maybe my blog with convince someone else to do it.

{March 2, 2010}   An Obsession with Pens

My cat, Zoee, loves pens.  It seems I’m always running around the house picking up pens off the floor because Zoee steals them whenever she can.  It doesn’t matter whether they are ballpoint or felt-tip, plastic or metal, Zoee loves them.

It reminds me of my own obsession with pens in the past, although for me, it was all about color.  I bought as many colors as I could to make my journal-writing more adventurous. Lime green, orange, and yellow were failed experiments.  I can’t read them, especially with writing on the other side of the page.

My husband went through a period of pen obsession too, but his was about how they were made and looked.  I bought him a couple of pens for gifts that cost between $50 and $100.  I was very happy when my nephew expressed an interest in having a nice pen; I bought him a special pen for his high school graduation, for which he wrote me lovely and heartfelt “thank you”.

Now that I am unemployed and broke I find myself using whatever I can find: pens with advertisements of realtors, farm supplies, or insurance companies, whatever writes fairly smoothly and whatever Zoee hasn’t stolen when I need it.

It is my belief that anyone who likes to write goes through a pen obsession at some point in their life.  I smile as I realize Zoee truly is my cat; a pen obsession can identify a writer or a writer’s kitty.

et cetera
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