Moving Forward With Little Paws

Slowly we make progress back to a normal life in the house.

Things are very different around the house.  It’s quiet. No one greets us at the door or lies in the sunlight.  I guess it serves to remind us that Tucker and Tim Tam are gone.  It’ll be a long time until we are done mourning them.

Around here, it’s the little things that trip us up. Like trying to read a book on the couch and not having a cat take interest in the pages.  Or not having to open the lower half of the floor-to-ceiling windows because there isn’t a nose down low.  The other night, I even had to quit gaming online with friends because I couldn’t handle it.  You see, Tim Tam would always sit on my lap while I played games and Tucker would nap against the wall.

Little stuff like that.  Slowly we make progress.

And sometimes we get a little help.

 (Click to enlarge)

 Say hello to Cecilia (Cece or Cici for short) and Skye*.

Let’s start with Cecilia.  No, the name did not come from the Simon & Garfunkel song (now that you’ve got that ear-worm stuck in your head ..) but rather because it means ‘way of the blind‘.  Cecilia came to us from the local Humane Society.  Someone found her wandering around outside and discovered that she’d led a pretty rough life.  Her eyes were pretty messed up and infected plus she was blind in both so they were removed in mid-July.  Also, someone or something trimmed her whiskers (which are vital for getting around) so she’s a bit off balance now but they are growing back.  To get around, she sticks her paw out like a cane.

Of course, none of that means she’s helpless.  She’s been moving around the house and building a mental map since she sat paw inside the door.  Very quiet, has a wonderful ‘peep’ for a meow, and seems to be enjoying our home.

Skye also came to us from the Humane Society.  She was a stray but not much else is known about her.  What we do know is that she is one of the friendliest cats that I’ve ever met.  You know how cats roll over onto their back and say ‘Rub my belly’ and then when you rub their belly, they launch their ambush and rip you to shreds?  Yeah, Skye doesn’t do that.  She likes belly rubs.  We think she might have some dog in her but we’re not certain about that yet.

Even though she arrived in the house first, Skye has confined herself to hiding under the bed.  We’re not sure why but she has started to come out and socialize with us elsewhere in the house.  Once she gets settled into the house, we think she’s going to be a perfect lap kitty.

As for how the two get together – there’s the usual hissing and some growling but each day it gets better.  It’s a bit hard when Skye wants to sniff Cecilia but Cecilia can’t  see her coming in for the sniff, they bump, and then there’s a bit of a startled reaction and some hissing.  It’ll get sorted out eventually.

For those wondering – this was not a sudden decision.  We had been considering a second cat to keep Tim Tam company while we were gone and to help ease the eventual transition when we knew he would no longer be with us.  The only problem was that Tim Tam wasn’t keen on another pet.  We had a chance a few years ago and the reaction was … well, entertaining to say the least.  So we forgot about it until the end days approached.  When the time came, we look at the Humane Society (there was no doubt there) and found cats that looked like they needed a good home.  And here we are.

We’ll take it one day at a time and see what happens.

(And soon this blog shall return to stuff about writing.  I promise!)


* We aren’t sold on the name Skye yet.  That was what she was called before she came to us and we’re still debating if we like it or not.  We are open to suggestions.

Tim Tam, 1998 – 2013

A Place Where The Sun Never Moves

This morning, we said goodbye to Tim Tam.  After fifteen years, it was his time to rest and we gave him that.

For the past year, Tim Tam has had issues with his kidneys that would eventually lead to renal failure (i.e. shutting down of the kidneys).  Over the past couple of days, those symptoms started showing themselves.  He hasn’t been himself, eating sporadically, crying all through the night and then suddenly being extremely calm.  He’s always been a quirky cat but this was above and beyond his usual.

Yesterday afternoon, Tim Tam had a seizure followed by another one at 1 am.  To say it scared the shit out of Steph and I would be an understatement.  Based on conversations with the vet, we determined it was the end stage of renal failure.  The vet came in on a Sunday and we let Tim Tam go.

Fun Fact – Tim Tam once auditioned for a role on ‘Game of Thrones’ and was rejected for being ‘too cruel and evil for the story line’.

We got Tim Tam roughly the same time we got engaged.  It was an interesting time.  More of our friends were surprised that we got a cat than that we got engaged.  That kind of let us know where we stood in this Human/Cat relationship.

He came to us from the Humane Society in Cedar Rapids.  At the time we were living in a small apartment and had this brilliant idea that a cat would be a great pet.  Our first meeting of him was when he tried to escape the kitten room.  He panted the entire way home as we drove in Steph’s old yellow Chrysler hatchback without air conditioning in the middle of summer.

He was a crazy kitten.  He once knocked himself unconscious trying to jump up onto the table because he failed to account for the little edge that stuck out.  When a friend stayed at our apartment, Tim Tam would crawl to the bottom of his sleeping bag, then run to the top, and repeat.  This would have been more enjoyable had it not been in the middle of the night and our friend was trying to sleep.

As he grew older, he became a grumpy old man, except around Steph who was his favorite.  (I was second place but only after the nightly ankle ambush).  He basked in the sun, talked with the birds and his dinner, and made certain our laps never got cold in the coldest of winters or warmest of summers.  And we’re proud to say that Tim Tam kept us safe from the scourge of Christmas trees by knocking down every single one that we put up over the past fifteen years.

I’ve already written about how Tim Tam and Tucker got along.  They were inseparable brothers despite species.  Tim Tam now lies next to Tucker out at the farm.  We couldn’t imagine a better place for him.

Back home, the house is quiet.  And empty.  All because of, as a friend said, a ‘wonderfully rotten sweet terrifying cat’.


A Girl and Her Cat