As March departs…


It’s been on my to do list since the beginning of the year. I spent 15 years in journalism. I wrote weekly columns and editorials for years.

Yet it’s so hard to carve out a little time to blog.

Opie, our 8-year-old cat who recently had his leg amputated, (as opposed to Oz, our 8-year-old cat who somehow got half his nose pecked off by one of my parakeets) received his biopsy results yesterday.

He did indeed lose his leg to a rare type of kitty cat bone cancer.

His surgery was three weeks ago tomorrow. He is doing great, though he hasn’t mastered his balance yet for more intricate maneuvers.

Poor Opie:

I have been on vacation since Saturday, but I haven’t rested much. I’ve done a lot of laundry. Taken the teenager to three doctors (and podiatrist next week!) Got a very nice $8 haircut at Great Clips. Did grocery shopping. Made some amazing dinners.

And joined a(nother) gym. Say what????

Is she back on her let’s get physical and buff kick?

Angel is.

And she hopes to take the teenager with her.

That will be the next post!

Update: The progress of 2019

In late October, I made a list. There were several progressive steps on that list.

1. Buy a car.

The Monday before Thanksgiving, I purchased a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8t with 21,000 miles on it. That car has been 95% as comfortable as my Nissan Ultima 3.5se. But exponentially better in the snow. The trunk is ginormous. My phone syncs.

2. Find a professional job.

I recently accepted, started the paperwork and applied for my fourth set of clearances to work with ProJeCt of Easton as their development coordinator.

I have had a great time pulling my professional wardrobe out of storage.

3. Write (and publish) more.

Okay, so my most recent publishing success was my ditty on Dime Show Review’s “Ten Word Stories.” I also have a recent essay on the horror website Crash Palace Productions. And more in the works.

In an editing related endeavor, my friend Gayle and I are advertising our joint services, editorial and graphic design, to the attendees at the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group The Write Stuff Conference.

4. Eat more fruits and veggies.

This one has been hit or miss. I eat pretty well, but I like going for the extra vegetables and more fruit. I’m not a big fruit eater.

And on the honest side, I need to stop stress eating refined carbohydrates.

5. Get more serious about bodybuilding.

Now I will never be athletic, and even my most competitive side would never have the dedication and patience it takes to truly body build. But I like working on it, and since I am changing jobs I need someway to maintain my muscle tone and weight.

6. Be consistent with the pets.

I have parakeets now. And we need to brush the cats’ teeth more.

And poor Opie, he recently had his left front leg amputated. So, yes, I now have a three legged cat.

How’s your 2019?

Adieu, my cat Zoot

I rescued my cat Zoot after Christmas 1999. At the time, I babysat my nephew every Tuesday night so my brother and his wife could have date night.

My nephew was preschool age, and for some reason, my brother and his wife decided to adopt two kittens, freshly weened from their mother. Their logic was that they had heard “cats were easy.”

“Cats are easy,” I replied. “But you didn’t get a cat. You got kittens, not even one, but two kittens.”

They clawed the tablecloth. Ripped up house plants. Caused a ruckus all night long.

The one was docile and loving. The other wouldn’t take poop from anybody.

That second one was Zoot.

My nephew liked to carry the kittens with their neck in his elbow. In a spirit of self-preservation, Zoot scratched him. This and other incidents led my brother to chase Zoot around the house, fling her down the basement stairs, and swat her with a broom.

But whenever I visited, and put the kids to bed, she would come out from hiding and curl against my neck using my then-shoulder-length hair as a blanket.

And she’d purr. As if saying, “save me.”

Christmas came and went. My sister-in-law pulled me aside and told me if I didn’t take Zoot she would have to take the cat to the shelter to keep my brother from killing her.

I asked my husband. We had married October 30, 1999. We had a tiny ramshackle apartment. He said, “I guess.”

I could tell countless stories about her. But to summarize, I never cried or napped alone. She liked to watch me wash dishes. When my daughter was born, Zoot always there whenever the baby cried. She loved company.

I taught her to sit and give her paw for a treat. So whenever I had anything she wanted, she would sit down and put her paw on my arm.

She also tended to crawl in bed and spread her body between me and my husband. And she would sit on me if it looked like my husband might be interested in hanky-panky.

Today, my husband took her to the vet for her final sleep.

To my surprise, my daughter went and stayed with Zoot the whole time.

So, in my weakness, I got to see how strong my daughter is.