A Year Ago, Today

My neighbor down the street called me and told me Mookie, who had been lost for 7 days, was hanging out, safe and sound, in her garage. I had just gotten home from work, and I got this news in the form of a message on my answering machine. I dropped everything and ran down the street. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day.

Perhaps I will buy a camera to commemorate the occasion. 😉

In Short..

My vacation day on Monday was fabulous. Amazing what having one free day after 21 straight days will do.

Mookie is on Prozac now. Yes, you read that right, our housecat is on prescription pyscotrophic drugs. Last attempt to control the litterbox situation.

We finally sent Tony and Erin their wedding present. We’ve had it in our guest room for four months now.

I thought August was busy. I now think September is going to be worse.

My company is having a Wii Olympics tournament. I am tearing it up in bowling.

I get to go back to the University of Illnois for recruiting in October. I tried to push it off on someone else since I’m traveling so much with no success. Now I am actually really pumped about going back. Perhaps I will finally find that elusive Illini hitch cover.

Andy and I have bought tickets to see Weezer and Ben Folds… in the same week. One on Tuesday, one on Thursday. I expect my coffee consumption that week to increase at least two-fold.

I had to drop out of culinary class this semester before classes commenced. Travel would have me missing too many classes. I’ll pick it back up in the spring. But, yeah, booooooo…

Lost and Found

She’s baaa-aaaaaaaaack! The triumphant return of the Mook-meister. It’s been 8 days since that fuzz-butt walked out our door, and I am so unbelievably happy that she’s home.

Tonight is Andy’s bowling night, so I came home to try and get Hugo a quick run at the dog park before the sun set. There was a message on the answering machine, which we have been diligently checking all week. No time for that, the sun’s time is waning. I let Hugo out for a potty break and a drink, then I leashed him up. We were on our way out the door, when I decided I’d better check the machine – figuring it was Andy. “Hi, this is [your neighbor]. I got your number off of what I assume is your cat’s collar. She’s been hanging out in my bushes all day and she doesn’t look like an indoor cat so I thought she might have gotten out. My number is… and I live at…” Guess what. She lives on our street, just down a couple blocks. So I called. She couldn’t believe Mookie had been out for over a week. She said, “I wasn’t sure what to do with her, and I had to leave the house to run some errands, so I put her in our garage. She’s there now.” I will never forget how I felt when I heard her say those words. Mookie was not only spotted, she was safe. She was enclosed. I could come and pick her up now.

Our neighbor is actually my age. She has a husband and a 5-month-old. She has long, thick dark brown hair, and she sounds a lot like me. She said Mookie came right up to her when she called her out of the bushes. Mookie was laying on a dog bed in their garage when I found her. Her collar was, obviously, still on. She doesn’t look bedraggled at all. In fact, I think she’s cleaner than she left. She’s lost a couple of pounds, and I think she’s running a temperature. I’m taking her into the vet to get her checked out tomorrow.

Everyone here was happy to see her. Flea totally lost his cool and cackled and cried at her, ran up to her, and started licking her forehead. Hugo tried to hold her down with one paw so he could get a better sniff, before I pried his 80 pounds off her. She went straight to her food and ate. Then to two different sinks to get running water. Then she paced around upstairs trying to find a quiet place to sleep. She finally settled here in her favorite place, on the back of my computer chair seat. She has resumed her position as the Editor of somethingfischy.com, which of course consists of staring at my writing and looking bored. Or falling asleep altogether. She’s opted for the latter tonight. :)

Mookie, Come Home

Well, I don’t think I could possibly feel any worse. Mookie’s been gone for 24 hours, and I was the one that let her out the front door. We’ve been dealing with her, shall we say, improper elimination outside of the litter box for about a year now. It’s a tough issue to solve, and we figure it’s probably her anxiety from living with the dog. Andy and I feel like we’ve tried every trick in the book, including dropping over $300 at the vet to find out that nothing is physically wrong with her.

So then we had to ask ourselves: Do we keep her? Well, that answer was pretty simple for us. I adopted her from the humane society, and I committed to taking care of her (this feels pretty laughable right now) for her entire life. I can’t give her up. Plus the chances of placing an adult cat in a new home these days are pretty darn slim. So we decided to let her be an indoor/outdoor cat. It seems strange maybe, but this actually helped one of my childhood cats with some arguably more severe mental issues. Mookie has all her claws. She’s microchipped, and she’s young and fast. She seemed well equipped for the outdoors. I say this because typically the cat just walks out the door, sits in the sun, gets bored, and comes back in.

Andy and I tested her Sunday. We bought her a collar with a bell and an ID tag with our phone number on it. She did well outside but she was content to stick around our house. Yesterday morning around 7 am, I let her out again when she was fussing. At 8 am before I left for work, no Mookie. After work, no Mookie. When I got home from class, no Mookie. I called and called her, stopping every once in awhile to listen for her bell. You know what? We have a lot of stinking windchimes in this neighborhood. But no Mookie. We set out some food and went to bed. Dallas had some pretty severe storms last night, and she still hasn’t shown her face this morning. If she’s still alive, she had to be hunkering scared through the cold rain and thunder last night. :(

So, today we pull her microchip information to double check that it’s current. If we still haven’t heard by tomorrow, we’ll start calling shelters and vet’s offices to report her missing. I can’t begin to describe how bad this feels.

Two Parents and a Gas Log

What a full weekend! My folks came down on Thursday night and stayed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I took the day off Friday and took Mom and Dad to our historic downtown to do a little shopping. It actually turned out to be a lot of shopping, being that we were there for about 4 hours. That tends to happen when Mom and I get together.

On Saturday, Andy and I took the ‘rents over to the Forth Worth Stockyards. The Stockyards, aka “Cowtown”, is a semi-historic representation of Fort Worth’s downtown. I personally think that “semi-historic representation” is a nicer way of saying “cliche”. Either way, it’s a fantastic place to get a taste of that good ol’ cowboy culture. We shopped (what else?) and ate at a long-established restaurant, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Andy and I had a dollar bet going that Dad would buy a cowboy hat before we left Fort Worth that evening. Dad found the perfect Stetson and I went home a dollar richer. (Mind you, “Stetson” is just a synonym for “cowboy hat” to me, I do not mean to infer that he bought a certain type of cowboy hat, because well, I just don’t know the differences.)

When we took the folks back to the airport on Sunday, I was ready to go home and veg out for the rest of the evening. Andy, however, wanted to swing by the fireplace store and pick up the gas log that we ordered. (This gas log is a housewarming [literally!] gift from Andy’s parents.) So instead of a relaxing that afternoon and evening, Andy and I cleaned the fireplace and installed a new gas log. Yes, we installed it ourselves. As the year progresses, I’m learning a very clear, very real lesson about my husband. He is a do-it-yourself’er to the very core. I swear I’m going to put “I can do that!” on his gravestone. Why pay someone $60 to install a gas log that hooks directly into your gas line when you can spend the six remaining hours of your weekend doing it? In the process, Andy got to figure out how to bend a 24″ aluminum pipe to fit a 1″ connection, we used my kitchen torch to loosen a (virtually) welded existing pipe connection, and we both turned our fingers black by tearing up and artfully arranging little bits of the wool material provided to create the “glowing embers” effect. Good times.

Flea, our cat, loves the new installation. He gives a big thanks to the staff for thinking of that new addition. He now prefers the ottoman, which was previously the well-established stakeout of our other cat, Mookie (the two felines now have a HUGE meeting of minds about every 30 seconds on that point) and if Andy’s feet happen to be propped up, Flea will curl up on the fire side of the ottoman so that he can blink and stare at the flames when he’s drifting in and out of sleep. It’s pretty cute, but I’ll cut the cat talk short because, well, you just have to be a cat owner to not feel that this paragraph is pointless and lame.

All in all, full weekend! Now we get to focus on actually sitting on the couch, and not doing a whole lot during the evenings this week. Ever since we bought the house, it takes conscious effort to sit still. Maybe a nice glowing fire in the living room will entice us?