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Entries in pets (141)


Cats love a good book

Either that, or they love a warm body near them in a cozy chair. Cookie and Calvin have always had what others might be tempted to call a thorny relationship; when Calvin was young he loved nothing better than to "love" the cat, and sometimes that kind of love still sneaks in under the guise of toddler exuberance. For the most part, though, their kinship has along with Calvin's greater sense of responsibility and tenderness.

Calvin is responsible for feeding Cookie, and it is to him that she directs her plaintive mews first thing in the morning or in the waning light of evening. Calvin is the only one in our family who is sucker enough to turn the bathroom faucet on at a dribble to allow her to drink. Calvin is also the only one who really takes a good nap  every day, providing Cookie with a comfy and warm cuddle spot to while away the afternoon.

It works in the other direction, too. Of all the household memebers, Cookie is the only one who doesn't have interrupting chores or work to do, and who will sit still long enough to be the recipient of a well-planned tea party, an acted out play or felt story time, or the reading of a delightfully long book (especially, you see, if she is napping). She is also the only pet mindful of the kid's personal space, whereas the blind little dog and the clumsy big dog tend to step on train tracks and collapse block buildings.

I am allergic to animals, particularly to cats, and there are days here and there when, as much as I love our pets, I find myself wishing them away along with my stuffy nose or itchy eyes, but this kind of companionship is a lesson in itself, and a valuable one at that, and while we'll probably never adopt a cat again, I am thankful for Cookies presence and the friendship she gives, in particular, to that precious little boy.


Afternoon sun on a cold winter's day

For Christmas this year we were given a window bench for our pop out window and my Godmother made a cushion for on top. Since then this has become the favorite spot in the house when the winter sun streams through the window in the mid afternoon. If I'm lucky I'm able to claim a spot for myself after Calvin lays down for his nap, and many an afternoon has found me dozing there, my head bobbing and weaving over the book I'm pretending to read. Cookie, however, believes that the spot was made entirely for her benefit, especially with the bird feeders being only a few feet away in the front garden. Can't you tell how intrigued she is by the bird feeders? I thought so.


Wearing a hat inside

When the furnace breaks and you wake up in a house that is only fifty-four degrees on a morning when the frost is so thick it looks like it snowed overnight, that's a good time to wear a hat inside the house.

When someone in the house finally figures out how to wire the thermostat to jumpstart the furnace and the sweet sound of the blowers fills the air only moments before the heat iteslf arrives, that's when you'll find the dachshund staking out his place by the register under the sink. Don't step on him, he's just trying to get warm. He doesn't have a hat to wear inside.


The house does not make the home

A good friend warned us that moving is rated as one of the AHouseIsNotAHome1.jpgmost stressful moments in life, ranking right up there with getting married or having a baby, but we have to disagree.  We think that's a deplorable understatement - moving seems way more stressful than marriage and childbirth combined.  It could be the monetary strain, or the physical one, or maybe it's the act of condensing one's whole life into boxes AHouseIsNotAHome3.jpgand hoping it makes the transition in tact, but we think it goes even beyond that.  We think it's less the act of moving and more the process of being between homes that elevates the stress level so greatly.  With our old house, once familiar and comfortable as an old shoe, now stripped bare and left for the taking, the new house has become our family base. But we are not yet familiar with the sights, sounds, or smells of the new house, and in some ways our first week here has felt a little displacing, like being on vacation and expecting go home any day now.  Glimpsing our possessions settled into their new arrangements has been unsettling as well - familiar but in the wrong AHouseIsNotAHome2.jpgcontext, like seeing a face at church that you had previously known only at work.  We truly love our new house - we love the layout, the colors, the deck, the neighborhood, the location - but it will take some time for it to fully become our home.  In the meanwhile we find ourselves marveling at and enjoying the new (the open kitchen, the larger bedrooms, the wood floors), but clinging to the old (the dogs and cats in AHouseIsNotAHome.jpgthe same old sunshine, our usual coffee in our usual mugs, Calvin's same toys on the same shelves, and hey - we painted his new bedroom to match the old) while we go through the seemingly unending process of unpacking our familiars.  We'll know we've come to an end point when Calvin no longer exclaims "new house" whenever we pull into the driveway.

More pictures in the New House Process alubm. 


The move is going well.

TheMoveIsGoingWell.jpg We're in the new house and absorbed in the process of unpacking, which means we'll have pictures to share very soon.