Waking up the cats.


Waking up the cats.

The cats are cold. I’m cold. We’re all cold. Zen was born in Alabama, and Torgi in California, so they aren’t used to it, but I really have no excuse. I was born in the snow belt of the northeastern US and lived in Chicago, and somehow I’ve lost all ability to function in not-even-freezing weather.

I am wearing fleece trousers over leggings, a fleece jumper and scarf, and a bathrobe, and I’m still cold.

We’re all cold and because we’re all cold we’re all sleepy, all the time. But that’s no good, see, because then the cats are wide awake at five in the morning and at that time Torgi has taken to shoving his paw into my ear canal as far as it will go as his way of saying, “Hello, I am hungry now.”

So it is my job, several times a day, to wake up the cats. I do it gently because they are old, more fragile than they used to be, and waking up from purr-lined, fur-lined sleep is a cruel enough experience.

Today I read on Facebook that a friend lost her cat in the most horrible and violent way I could imagine. In fact, I have imagined something similar, whenever we leave the cats in someone else’s care. And I am not a fool; I know that there is a big bad world out there full of nasty things that can steal our loves away. But the reality of it, even removed from thousands of miles and to someone else’s cat, was gratuitously awful.

I woke up my cats this evening whispering into their fur, “Thank you. Thank you for being okay.”

So we are cold. But we are okay. And today that’s enough.

Bad weather friend.


When I go to bed each night, the cats join me. Torgi is a snuggle addict, but I have no illusions about Zen’s reasoning: she knows I throw off heat like crazy, and she is a Southern belle who requires a much higher ambient temperature than Scotland can usually manage. Torgi defers to Zen’s preference to sleep on my hip, and so he usually exiles himself to the end of the bed.

Lately, he’s been getting very brave, and Zen accommodates. He moves up to the pillow and curls himself next to my head, and Zen doesn’t cross the DMZ of my upper torso.

Something changed in the middle of the night, though, and I woke up this morning to a landmark moment: Zen and Torgi, sleeping next to one another. Touching. And not hissing or hitting each other.

They even stayed that way long enough for me to snap a photo. Are our old only-children finally becoming siblings?

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Nah. Zen bit Torgi’s tail a second later, and he made a Walter Matthau grumble and took off. But I can dream …

In completely unrelated news, a few of my work colleagues have now confirmed that I have plans for the holiday break even though FunkyPlaid is out of town.

I … talk about the cats a lot.

Writing from: the lounge, now smelling like cinnamon-scented pinecones. Post title from: “My Evil Twin” by TMBG. Listening to: on Rdio’s suggestion, Leona Lewis’ holiday album. Why is she singing all the notes? She should save some notes for the other songs. So many notes, Leona.

Our cat is on back on the drugs.


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I had something else to write about today, but all I can think about is Torgi. The extended blood panel indicated that he has slight hyperthyroidism, which is a very common thing for cats to have, and treatable with medication.

That medication started today. It involved me tricking him into looking upwards and gently opening his mouth before dropping a tiny pill down his wee throat. O, I felt bad for doing it. The poor guy has been through so much. He gave me such an intense stare right afterwards. Perhaps that was his version of a dirty look?

In four weeks we will find out if this is a temporary condition or if he will need daily medication for the rest of his life. I’m trying not to see this as a setback, but I had fooled myself into thinking that once he beat the diabetes he’d be free from all of this bad stuff.

When stress levels get high, my useless repetitive behaviour ramps up. In addition to this, I stuck close to home today so I could watch for bad side-effects of Torgi’s meds. The combination of these two things meant that I worked on everything I needed to do and yet somehow, magically, almost nothing got done.

Not even a clever lyric from They Might Be Giants from me today, I’m afraid. Just mope-twitch-mope-twitch. Please, December, let’s pull out of this tailspin.

Writing from: a mostly-dark lounge. Mope-tastic. Listening to: “Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

I was a snowball in hell.


Our sweet tabby boy Torgi is no longer diabetic.

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After fifteen months of twice-daily insulin injections, I thoroughly enjoyed typing that sentence. And although we are waiting on the results of additional blood tests, we are celebrating with salmon and snuggles tonight.

Zen would like you to know that she is getting in on some of that action too.

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I hope you don’t mind cat photos in lieu of in-depth content. Hah, who am I kidding? Cats rule the Internet.

Writing from: Torgi’s side. Listening to: “Snowball in Hell” by They Might Be Giants.

Day 336 of Project 365: Sentinel

Day 336 of Project 365: Sentinel

FunkyPlaid has just headed off to St Andrews for a couple of days. I wave goodbye through the window, and turn to see Torgi sitting on the TV stand, watching him go too.

Day 336 of Project 365: Sentinel

gratitude: leftovers · a brisk walk to nowhere in particular · feeling like I have my own entourage as the cats follow me all around the flat