Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some Sad News

I’m about the luckiest guy in the world. I’m truly blessed. My life has been all up, up, up with so few downs; I was raised by loving parents, in an idyllic town, and a beautiful state. I didn’t suffer any trauma, disease, or losses … at least nothing that was too serious. I was in a deadly car crash with a close friend and I lost both my maternal grandparents when I was 19, but tragedy didn’t touch me often.

I found and married a wonderful girl, we raised a wonderful family, and everyone is healthy and loving. I don’t think it can get much better than that.

However, into every life, a little sadness must eventually come. This last week has had some downs. The most serious is the loss of our loving little kitty we’ve had for almost twenty years. Her name was Tiger and she had more personality than a late night talk show host.

Look at that face. See those symmetrical "L" shaped markings on the nose?

 She first entered our lives when Mike and his wife Jackie lived with us shortly after their wedding. They were expecting the birth of our first grandchild when Mike brought home this young kitten. She had climbed into his car while he was working up in Ft. Collins, and she’s been our cat ever since.

Mike had her most of the time, but eventually, about eight or so years ago, he moved into a “no pets” apartment. So we took Tiger in. She lived with us for several years before moving in with our other son, Mark.

Little white tummy. Don't try to rub it. Remember those razor sharp claws.

 She was a good companion to him, although no upholstered furniture was safe anywhere near her razor sharp claws. She would let me pick her up and hold her, but only for about 15 seconds. Then she would tell me to put her down … or else.

Well, our granddaughter is now almost 19, so Tiger was nearly old enough to buy beer or go to a bar. Her health recently began to fail, and we had to take her to the veterinary. The doctor thought her kidneys were failing. It might be possible to bring her back to health, but it would require a hospital stay and no guarantee. As we looked at her tiny body lying on the floor, it was apparent to all of us that she was ready to leave this life.

The doctor was very kind. They have a special room that you can retire to with a loved pet and be with them for last moments. Her death was peaceful and we have a little claw print memento of our friend for almost twenty years. We loved you Tiger and love you still. I don’t know if cats go to heaven. If they do, then I’m sure Linda’s mom was glad to see that pretty little calico.

After that loss, anything else would be anticlimactic. It seems almost prescience that Joel gave us a lovely picture of Tiger and our dog Louie as a Christmas present. I’ve put that picture at the top of this blog.

Tiger would not have wanted this picture posted on Facebook.

Louie is also up in years, nearly 15. She is also has failing health. She’s loosing strength in her back legs and we take her to the vet to help diagnose a recent malady that is causing her to drink an inordinate amount of water. We just hope and pray we can have her for a little while longer. She is also our oldest son’s original pet. Linda’s parents took Louie in when Mike could no longer have her. We got her when Linda’s dad moved in with us after Bea’s death. When Bob left, Louie remained. She is the sweetest and most beautiful dog you can imagine, and Linda and I don’t know what we’ll do without her. We are enjoying every day that we can with her. She's obedient, never barks, only wants to be with us, and does enjoy eating.

What else has gone wrong? Well, the dishwasher isn’t up to snuff. Doesn’t clean like it did over twenty years ago when we got it. I actually joined Consumer Reports to get an idea of a replacement. Looks like it will be one of those German Bosch models. According to CR they can’t be beat. They’re sort of like the Apple of dishwashers, including the premium price. Still, the cheap often turns out expensive, so it will be our choice.

Finally, speaking of expensive, while we were at the Rib House yesterday, someone came around the corner too fast and slid into our pick-up truck. They hit it right on the rear left corner and destroyed the bumper, bent up the rear quarter panel, and even damaged the tail gate. Fortunately they left a note on the windshield. When I came out and saw the damage, my first thought was that it was a hit and run. Fortunately the driver took responsibility, and I will get a call from an insurance adjuster on Monday or Tuesday. My biggest concern is that they will want to total the truck.

It’s a cherry 1993 Toyota T-100 with only 78,000 miles. It is the only vehicle we’ll let Louie ride in because she sheds hair worse than me. So let’s hope the insurance company will want to fix the damage.

Linda and I are OK. These little difficulties are just part of life, and we have learned to take them in stride. These are small difficulties in the overall picture of life, and I don’t mean to complain. So, how has your week been?

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