Ode to my ex

I loved him!

I massaged him.

I organized his place for him.

I watched movies he wanted me to watch.

I held his hand at the movies.

I made love to him.

I moved in with him.

I helped pay his bills.

I complained that he was messy.

I helped him decide to go to culinary school.

I supported him financially while he went to culinary school.

I supported him emotionally while he went to culinary school.

I taught him the healing powers of venting.

I listened to him vent about people at his new job.

I complained that he left the cupboards open.

I complained that he was not a better listener.

I took care of his cat.

I cleaned up after him.

I folded his laundry.

I took him to the emergency room.

I bought him great Christmas gifts.

I gave him advice that he didn’t like to hear.

I took him to the emergency room again.

I loved him.

I cared about him.

I counted on him.

I took him to the doctor to get anti-depressants.

He changed.

He said he didn’t like how I treated him.

He said he didn’t like “how we vibe”.

He just wasn’t feeling it….

Well I feel it.

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Posted in LIFE

I used to have two cats.

This blog is supposed to be about cats. I’ve “archived” all my old blogs. (Meaning I typed the word “archive” in front of each title. Why can’t I just delete them? Maybe I’m not ready to let go of my old life. Honestly, I hope nobody reads this blog.   I have decided to blog about my life, which is what blogging first began as…right? I’m really not sure. I’m really not sure of anything about the history of blogging, or it’s purpose, or what people want to read. I have decided to turn over a new leaf and just be honest with myself. Just do what I want to do, and stop doing what I don’t want to do. I can’t be worried about what people want to read. That’s stupid. What do I want to write is the question.  Didn’t blogging start as an online journal anyway?

Well here it is.

Life is weird isn’t it? Just three weeks ago I was engaged to be married, and now I’m not. Now I’m single again. It doesn’t really suck as much as I thought it would. I’m free! I have no more responsibilities, except Oliver, my cat,  and school. I used to have two cats…

I was accepted into a competitive internship. Then I was told I didn’t qualify. Then I was re-accepted. What the FUCK? Now, there is a chance I may have to travel 400 miles away next summer to do this internship. I’m actually kind of excited about it. Now at least. I have never been away from my home town, where I was born and raised, for more than two weeks. Now I may have to go for 6 months. But it pays well.

Today I have to close the joint checking account my EX and I had together. I had a dream last night that we were joking around together over dinner like we used to. Then I got up, looked at him, and told him, “I’m not sure this is what I want.” I’ve been thinking about that all morning. Maybe I’m ready to move on. It seems like three weeks is a short amount of time to be ready to move on after a 4.5 year serious relationship. But then, when he responded with a simple and dismissive “go ahead” text to my inquiry regarding whether or not I could go ahead and close the checking account, I cried again anyway. Maybe I’m not ready.

Posted in LIFE

ARCHIVE – September 24th – Success!!

ImageO

Yesterday’s hurdle overcome was not a fluke! Last night Oliver came up to the top step, but was hesitant to come all the way into the room, so I helped him out a little, and that was all he needed! He hung out in the room with us like he always used to! I’m not sure what he did during the night, but in the morning I was surprised that he actually jumped up on the bed to come to see me! And the bed is directly under the ceiling fan!

We have made it! It only took us 1.5 months to get here. He is now okay with the fan off and the light on the fan either off or on. Now me and my little Black Olive can enjoy our cuddle time like we did before. Everything is as it should be. Until next summer that is…..when the fan comes back alive!

It just goes to show that when working with cats, dedication and patience is all it takes!

 

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ARCHIVE – September 23rd – It’s happening!

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For the last month I have been bringing Oliver up to the bathroom and letting him peak out the door at the fan. I was hoping this would allow him a better view from what is perceived as a “safe” place to observe the ceiling fan and realize it is not actually a large hawk that will eat him for dinner. (Tim’s hypothesis is that Winnie told Oliver the fan is going to suck his brains out so she can reclaim her upstairs territory.) In the past, when I would open the door entirely, allowing escape, when the fan was off, Oliver would slink quietly and quickly back to the safety of the staircase. With the fan on, he would bolt for it, completely freaked out of him mind.

Well, the weather is changing now, and I am hoping it will be cool enough to have the fan off all the time very soon. So, I have also been bringing Oliver to the top of the stairs and kind of holding him there, petting him, in view of the ceiling fan. He doesn’t fight me, but since he is in view of the fan, he tries everything he can to turn his head so that he can’t see it and maneuver a cleverly from my grasp, but not desperately. Oliver and I have been performing both of these activities together off and on. Over the last week I have tried to do one of the other once every day. And today we finally saw success!

I took Oliver up to the bathroom when I got home. The fan was off. I pet him for awhile and let him peak at the fan. Then I went out the door before him. As he began to slink out I started to talk to him and he slowed down and let me pet him. Then he went over to the top of the stairs and paused. And then, amazingly, he made the decision to turn around and come back into the room! Apparently, many new smells had entered the room since he had last been there because he proceeded to wander nervously around the room and sniff everything! I am so proud of him! It was kind of interesting to see where the new smells were though, like in my shorts drawer. The entire time, he kept looking up cautiously at the fan. I understood it to be similar to what I do when there is a spider on the wall. As long as it is not moving, I keep doing whatever I am doing, but keep on eye on it to make sure it doesn’t start walking toward me. I hope it wasn’t a one time thing! YAY! I totally did not have my camera though, bummer.

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ARCHIVE – August 22nd – It’s working!

ImageIt has been two and a half weeks since the installation of our ceiling fan; aka, the devil. Oliver still refuses to go all the way upstairs, but I have been working with him a lot in order to blur his invisible safety line and I have been rewarded handsomely!!

There is a spot in the bedroom that is directly over the bottom of the stairs where Oliver sometimes sits. On Monday (the 19th) I happened to drop an item in that exact location which caused a soft thump. The soft thump scared poor Oliver so much that he felt he needed to run away immediately. And run away he did; right up the stairs! He ran all the way to the top step before he realized what had happened and froze. Tim and I tried to coax him up, knowing it wouldn’t do any good, but trying nonetheless. Winnie, always wanting to be the center of attention, sat between us and Oliver trying to figure out what the heck this odd behavior we were exhibiting was. Of course, this did not help the cause, but instead gave Oliver one more barrier. He sat there for a couple of minutes and finally decided it was safer downstairs.

Since then, he has been going up the top steps more frequently. In the mornings we usually find him sitting on the second step, just one away from the very top, as he waits for us to come downstairs.

We have placed a stepping stool in the landing area so that Oliver can get up on the ledge to right side of the stairs to explore if he would like. Of course, the fan is visible from the ledge, so he may not be interested, but I am hoping the spot may eventually provide safer viewing in the future should he decide he is interested in such things.

Meanwhile, our space for walking on the stairs is getting smaller and smaller.

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ARCHIVE – August 19th – Baby Steps

ImageThe landing area has become a new playground for Oliver. He has the “Cat’s Meow” toy there to help build his confidence; one of his floor cardboard scratchers was brought down from upstairs; there is the ever welcome paper bag for sitting on and some small cat toys. Oliver still never chooses to spend time there on his own accord, but he does come up with me for pets and he will play with the “Cat’s Meow” when it is turned on for awhile. He is still very suspicious of the upstairs and continues to send wayward glances in that direction and nervously lick his lips even during a heavy purr.  There are seven steps from the landing up to the bedroom. He can sit on the first step for about 60 seconds during petting, and he has twice put his paws up on the second step to investigate something sitting there, like my book.

I have discovered that he is most deterred by the shadows the fan makes at night. So hopefully we can make more progress when the the weather changes and we can keep the fan off. Maybe he will think it is dead.

Fingers crossed.

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ARCHIVE – August 8th – The waiting begins

ImageOliver is getting more comfortable being on the landing. He met me up there several times today. Play time is still a little rough as he still associates the stairs with being nervous. But I assume that every time I get him to attack the feather on the stairs adds one more point to his confidence score.

At bed time I glanced over the edge and saw Oliver sneaking cautiously up to the landing area. I called to him and at the same time he heard a small noise of some kind, like an ant footstep perhaps, got spooked and ran back down the stairs.

I wanted to be upset with this development, but I have decided to be glad it had happened. The worst thing, I have decided, is that Oliver gets too comfortable in the downstairs area and loses interest in coming upstairs at all. Once he gives up, and I am the only one trying, there is likely to be no progress at all.  I recognized this episode as an attempt from him to face the fear. Although it was unsuccessful, at least he is trying.

There are two mind sets in which he approaches the landing area:

1. With me sitting there he is thinking about being loving and purring and his mind is in a more relaxed state. In this mind set, every once in awhile he glances up to make sure the monster isn’t coming to get him, but he is pretty much thinking about avoidance. This mind set helps to blur the invisible line (visible to him only) where the safety zone ends.

2. When he approaches the landing with nothing but thoughts of advancing forward, his mind is in a determined state. Nothing but his fear and his invisible safety line and curiosity to approach on his own accord and see if he can get a smell of some kind from the scary beast.

Both of these mind states are important for his advancement. I will help him blur the safety line, but he has to cross it on his own accord and at his own pace.

My goal is to get Oliver so comfortable on the landing area that he comes up there all the time. It would be wonderful if he would begin to sleep there at night. Once I see that he is comfortable in the space, I will move the food bowl to the landing. As much as I want to move it now to force him up there more, I feel it would be cruel and counterproductive. Having patience sucks.

I am going camping for the weekend, but Tim will be home.  I know I am worrying about the situation more than he is, so I am hoping that with me gone Oliver will worry less, but I’m not crossing my fingers for a miracle.

I dreamt that I woke up and saw Oliver sitting at the top of the stairs.

My cat is afraid of the ceiling fan.

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