Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I know that's not the way it's pronounced, but having a kid around.... you just don't care! For him it's all about the candy and the parties. And not even so much eating the candy as just getting it. Half of it ends up, "Mama, you would like this one! I don't like it so much, but you will."

Cole gave me the sweetest (or should I say saltiest) Valentine to date......

I woke him up with a "Happy Valentine's Day, honey, time to get up". "Thanks mama," he replied and went out to watch cartoons while I got in the shower. Our normal, daily routine.

I'm drying off and I see the bathroom door open and Cole walking in saying, "Happy Valentime's, mama!"

He was holding a piece of bread.


With ketchup.

Awwwww........ A "ketchup sandwich" that I've eaten since I was a wee one like himself. He broke himself out of the cartoon coma to get the bread from the counter and the butter and ketchup from the fridge to make me a Valentine. (Heart melting to mush......)

"And it's red, mama, for Valentime's Day!", he said. What more could I ask for?

Monday, February 05, 2007

~ Coulee ~

Normal Scenario:

As Cole and I drive up to the house after work and school I can already see him running down the sidewalk to meet me. There were even times that I thought, "Coulee?!? I'm going to end up accidentally hitting you with the car if you don't slow down."

He would be meowing instantly. The times when I was on the phone, waiting for the conversation to end before getting out, he would still meow and meow and meow. Or if he got really impatient with me - stretch his front paws onto the side of my car and paw at my window. He was not quiet or patient about it.

Walking up to the front door he would still be meowing. And purring. All at the same time.

What always got me was the needy-ness he had when we got inside the house. I always thought it was food that he needed, being outside all day. But even when I filled the dish, he was right there, under my feet meowing and meowing and meowing...... He didn't go near the food. He just wanted my attention. He just wanted to be pet on the head - over and over.

Sometimes, between Cole, Coulee, Bugsy and Cici, I just got short with him and had to ignore him. But he never wavered. He always came back for more.

If my lap was empty, he was right there to keep it warm. He was my snuggler at night after Cole was in bed. He took over my pillow (eventhough he knew his was the one next to it).


As I pulled up to the house last Tuesday night, no Coulee. "Not too strange," I thought, "it was a nice day outside." Cole and I go inside and I start dinner. Still no Coulee and no "knock" on the screen door (the cats' way of letting me know they want in). I open the door and finally Coulee! But he is laying down on the door mat. It's about 30 degrees out. This is not normal.

He barely eats 2 bites of food. "Maybe he got into something", I'm thinking. He sits on the kitchen chair, crouched in a ball. No meowing, no purring, no incessant "pay attention to me!". Not like him.

I break out the yogurt. The secret weapon. The one food he LOVES. He takes a few laps, but nothing like the usual. We go about our night as usual but he is very detached. No cuddling, no sleeping on the bed.

I let a few days go by. Maybe something needs to work out of his system, maybe it's a bug. But he hasn't eaten or drank anything since. I take him to the Vet and wait for the bloodwork to come back. In my heart, I know what's happening. I know what the outcome will be. I've been through this before. I know what to expect but still cuts just as sharp. I snuggle and cry with him in every spare minute I have.

The Vet calls Saturday morning and gives me the diagnosis in the most professional and caring way he can. "His liver is failing. He may be anemic which could be helped with transfusions. But the main thing we found is that he has Feline Leukemia. I'm so sorry." There is no cure for it, this I know.

I'm beside myself with grief and sadness........ this I could somewhat handle...... this I could somehow muddle through........ but having to explain it to a 5 year old is a whole nother realm. I try to be as honest and gentle as I can, explaining that Coulee will go to the doctor one more time, but he won't come home next time. "Can we go visit him at the doctor?", he asks with curiosity. "No honey, he'll be in Heaven.......", I say....... "He'll be able to keep an eye on us."

This quick deterioration has thrown me for a loop. With my previous cat, Oliver, it was a slow and gradual process. With Coulee it was just so night and day. He was a frisky 6 year old cat who attacked the side of the chair on Monday night because he was so hyper! My furry boyfriend.... who's been with me before Cole and through the divorce. My unconditional Coo-coo, I love you.
Update: February 7, 2007
A somber update on Coulee......... I lost him last night (Feb. 6th) at 11 o'clock. He layed down next to my bed with very shallow breathing...... I just kept petting him, trying to keep him as comfortable as possible........ he passed, but his body kept grasping for air in the most horrific way I could never have imagined.

Cole and I will bury him today in one of his favorite spots beneath the rhododendrons.