Skip to content

Meet the Queen

This is our cat, Autumn.

10100105252949131

Uh, what?

Autumn is the queen of our household. We joke that if the house caught fire, Dave would grab Autumn and leave me to fend for myself. It’s really not even a joke, but a fact I’ve come to terms with.

Autumn was rescued from the streets of Springfield, Ma, along with her daughter Reeses. My brother Kris and his then-girlfriend adopted them both from an animal shelter. From the beginning, Autumn and Reeses did not get along. It was so bad that Autumn stopped eating because she was so stressed. The vet said that if she didn’t start eating again they would have to put her down.

Luckily, she rallied and ate a couple of bites of food just hours before the deadline. Kris decided it would probably help Autumn to be away from Reeses for a while, so that’s when she came to live with us.

Dave had never had a pet cat before, and he was a little reluctant. I told him it was just temporary, so if he didn’t like her, we could send her back to Kris at the end of the summer. That was 11 years ago.

 

 

DaveLovesHer

I’m the third wheel in this relationship…

After we’d had Autumn for a few years, she began having some issues. The vet did an x-ray to check for a bowel obstruction. There was no obstruction, but they found an airgun pellet lodged at the base of her tail. They performed surgery to remove it, just in case it was causing her pain. She looked so funny with the bald spot on her tail. But my heart ached to think of how much pain she must have been in, and how scared she must have been when she’d been shot!

When Gram died at the end of 2012, I inherited her black cat, Ebony. We felt awkward calling her Ebony, so we renamed her Sophie. Autumn was pissed that we brought a younger, slimmer cat into the household. For months we had to keep them physically separated so they wouldn’t fight. Even today, the occasionally lash out at each other, although very recently they’ve come to share the couch – as long as they are at opposite ends. Progress!

SophandAutumn

It’s a jungle in here.

Today, Autumn spends much of her day sleeping. Additional hobbies include eating, pooping, and torturing Sophie.

IMG_3204

Autumn has the terribly annoying habit of waking Dave up multiple times in the night (this is where I’m grateful for being deaf in one ear), and waking me up about 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. She wakes us up in one of two ways.

Most commonly, she will sit in the doorway of the bedroom and make a variety of noises, ranging from huffy little grunts and chirps to operatic crescendos. Sometimes she accompanies her vocal stylings by picking at the baseboard moulding with her claws.

Her second wake-up method is to sit on the pillow and gently, yet threateningly drag her claws across delicate areas of skin, like the forehead, eyelids, and lately, the throat. Of course this wakes me up right away, and not pleasantly.

IMG_9869

I will cut you.

I usually wrestle her off the pillow and get her to cuddle with me for a few minutes, but inevitably she will pop up moments later, claws extended, to try again. Sometimes, if she’s not up for wrestle-cuddling, she’ll get back on the floor and belt out some more tunes.

Living with Autumn isn’t all poop-scooping and fitful sleeps. She is a champion purrer. She purrs louder than any other cat I’ve ever known. She will purr for just about anything, whether you’re simply talking to her, petting her, preparing food for her, or just lying in bed snuggling.

Some of my favorite moments with her are when we are lying in bed, about to go to sleep at night. She will nestle down in between Dave and I, purring gently. Sometimes she’ll lie on my chest, and I will pet her with both hands and she’ll give me little kisses with her cold, wet nose.

Having a cat is a lot of work. It can be tough on the allergies (thank God for Zyrtec), tough on the sleep, and tough planning a vacation. (Our cats are very spoiled, okay?) With that responsibility comes reward, though. The eager greeting upon arriving home (even though that’s mostly about food), the wet-nose kisses, and the soft, soft fur… it all makes every 5am wakeup meow worth it.

CouchCats

Advertisements

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans!

We just got back from a hearty Thanksgiving meal at my dad’s house. Kris and Grey came too, so it was a nice little gathering. Of course we prepared too much food, but that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I am always grateful for quality time with my loved ones.

This time last year, Dave and I were holed up in our hotel room in Costa Rica, waiting for Hurricane Otto to pass by. After that unique experience, I no longer have any particular expectations for how a Thanksgiving should be.

I used to feel like Thanksgiving had to meet certain requirements in order to be right. My whole family had to be there. We had to have turkey, stuffing, gravy, broccoli casserole, creamed onions, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and biscuits. We had to have apple pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. If it could snow, even just a little, that would be nice.

Last year, Dave and I decided to use the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as a way to extend our Costa Rica trip. I hesitated at first Рdid I really want to be away from my family during this most-cherished of holidays? It had been weird enough to stop eating turkey on Thanksgiving once I became a vegetarian, but skipping the holiday altogether was really pushing some boundaries. Perhaps being stuck in a hotel room as a hurricane passed by was the price I had to pay for skipping Thanksgiving, but it was worth it. That trip was amazing.

This year, when it became apparent that one brother was going to do this, and another that, I accepted that we would not all be together on Thanksgiving day. Instead, my brothers and I had a pre-Thanksgiving weekend with my mom, and then today, Kris, Grey, Dave and I shared the day with Dad.

When I think back to Thanksgivings of the past, I¬†feel so lucky to have spent the day with so many wonderful people and in so many cozy homes. Above all, I’ve come to realize that the holiday is about the experience of being together with people who are important to you.

This is what I’m grateful for today:

Dave.
Time spent with my family.
My two fuzzy children.
That my dental journey is nearing an end (or, a resting point?).
Our cozy little house.
That I’ve been able to meditate for 110 days in a row!
That we live in a safe place and I can go through my days without fear.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

%d bloggers like this: