Category Archives: catblog

kitty update

Hecate Moonbeam Aveline Nightwalker Spookypants has emerged from the basement and apparently decided that all our purple throw pillows are belong to her. She looks very picturesque on them, though good pictures do not yet abound, due to crappy celephone camera and poor light. She will sit on your lap and submit to head skritchles if you hold still long enough, so that’s progress, but she still bolts at any sudden move (and we are a family of poor impulse control, oops). As her third name indicates, she is still nocturnal, and has been meowing me awake aroud 5 a.m. for the last three days. This was bearable during the long weekend, but I expect it’ll be harder to cope with when I have to do things like go to work. Still and all, I am pleased that she has calmed down a bit. We want her to be happy here.

(Edited to add photo)

(Edited to add photo)

Song du jour of the day: Hold on to You, by Madrugada

new cat, not the same as the old cat

Oh, right, here’s a Thing that’s been happening. Um, well, you know Lilu died at the end of January and it was horrid and I grieved (and still do). I am croggled: how does the loss of an 8-pound cat make our gigantic house seem so empty?

So in April I started campaigning for a cat from the local shelter. I didn’t want to raise another cat from infancy – turns out you get too attached when you do that, and besides, shelter cats need rescuing. After considerable debate (A Certain Husband may have changed his mind a few more times than was strictly necessary) we settled on a black foundling named Mona. She still needed to be fixed (the pound is very against unnecessary kittens) and vaccinated and given ID-tattoos (badass pirate kitty). Then she needed 10 days to recover, and someone from the pound visited our house to make sure we know what we’re getting into and we’re not living in filth or buying cats to feed to our alligators or something, and then on Friday we got to take her home and change her name – because srsly, James Taylor wrote a song about a pig named Mona and that’s a song virus I can live without. Now she has to live inside and poop in a box for six weeks, and then we can let her out.

Maybe.  Continue reading


So we took her back to the vet on Monday and all we really learned was that it wasn’t kitty leukemia. The corona virus is really hard to detect, so vets generally go by symptoms, and she had ’em all. So if it wasn’t FIP, it was something else that was destroying her liver and making her so anemic that even if we force-fed her, she wouldn’t really be taking in anything useful. Essentially, she was starving to death. So we made the decision to have her put to sleep, but first we took her home for one more night and day, to say goodbye and give the boys the chance to decide whether they wanted to be there when it happened. Initially, both said yes. In the end, neither came with us, and DrBob postponed a few appointments to come with me, which was really helpful. But I still cried a lot.

I know that you sign up for this when you get a cat. But we really thought we had another five years before we even had to think about losing her. This blindsided us.

No song today.


about a kitty

I’ve been collecting pictures for months, planning to update y’all on how Miss Lilu has adapted to life in Heidelberg. Don’t know why it took so long to get around to writing it… (oh who am I kidding, of course I know why).

As you’ll no doubt recall, getting her here was a bit of an adventure. But with a new home and the vertical adventureland kitty paradise forest in our back yard, we hoped she’d settle in in relatively short order.

And she did. We established with the Utrecht move that she attaches to people, not places, so we had no qualms about letting her out. She really liked Out – she spent so much time there in June that we thought she might have adopted another family. She also brought a lot of Out in, in the form of rodents – 6 in a single week, once. That was… thrilling.

Continue reading

Moving Day Retrospective

15 May – the appointed day dawned murky and threatening, which I suppose is what you want for an epic endeavor like an international move, right?


The movers had said they’d be there at 8, traffic permitting, which means “around 10 but you should have pants on by 8 just in case,” a hardship for nightbirds like us. We locked Lilu in the backyard so she couldn’t escape, which meant the movers couldn’t use the back door so we had to unload the Evil Shed, which is why the living room was full of tires and gardening equipment. I’m sure the movers were very impressed (cough *whitetrash* cough).




Based on the spreadsheet we sent them, they thought this truck would hold all our worldly possessions. It sort of did, on the principle of “throw it in the truck and shut the door real fast.” The giant potted palm tree is still in a snit about that. Continue reading

In which I dip a toe into the brave new world of pet ownership

Which is to say, I’ve lived in the regular old world of pet ownership for nearly six years – a cat lives with me, I put food out for her, and she sheds on things. We got her from a farm, she had one litter of kittens and then we got her fixed at the horse doctor’s and since then she’s had no medical care to speak of. Because she is a cat.

Turns out, she is a cat who REALLY doesn’t like to go for rides in the car – that is, she’s not a dog – and we’re moving by car, so we were hoping the local vet could give us something tranquilize-y for her because when we moved up here she cried for hours. Seriously. HOURS. But the vet won’t tranq someone she doesn’t know, so we had to take her in for a check-up and agree to random vaccinations and promise to try to find her passport. Cats have passports? Once we get back to Germany will we have to find her a therapist, too?

So anyway, that happened today. Two rides in the car, many treats and apologies, and now she’s sleeping like a rock and tomorrow I have to go in and get her a new passport. And a new cat carrier, because she pretty much ate the twee wicker thing we’ve been using until now.

Song du jour of the day: not exactly a song. Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, in memory of those lost in the Boston bombings yesterday, and all of the victims of  all the stupid pointless conflicts we engage in for reasons I can’t fathom.

um, yes, that is my cat. why?

So today I thought Lilu’s fans might like an update. She took the move a lot better than we’d expected, aside from the hellish semi-drugged drive up here. People told us to keep her indoors for varying lengths of time after the move so she wouldn’t try to go back to Germany. How long we should have done that turned out to be a cow’s opinion, because the movers were in and out, and then Alke found the leak in our kitchen ceiling so then the sellers and their real estate agent and our real estate agent and the plumber and the tiler and the ceiling guy and the insurance people were in and out so the door was open for days, and she could have left anytime she wanted to. Continue reading