Tag Archives: cats

Safe for another year!

We have had a busy weekend here at Casa Poolman.

I came home from work on Friday to meet the newest member of the Poolman menagerie, Penny. She comes from the extended family. Her feline mother belongs to my son-in-law’s parents.

Penny is quite the little charmer. She is very socialized to people. She is still a little wary of the two dogs and Sid the Tailless, but her hisses are more for form than from fear.

Mrs. P’s sister and her gang (two nephews, one niece and one nephew-in-law) got here Friday night for the Florida-Georgia Game House Party. Actually our niece and husband stayed with Poolboy, who has a fully funished guestroom and bath in his condo about a mile down the road. That worked out well.

I spent the first half of Saturday cleaning the back yard, and setting up things for the viewing party. We had about 40 people of mixed loyalties. We set up TVs in the family room (serious watching), the courtyard (half watching, half partying) and the living room (overflow.)

Half time in the courtyard.

Fortunately for the Gator fans, our punter-turned-FG kicker found his range and won the game in OT. We are safe to live here for another year.

Some of our Georgia friends hit the door almost immediately after the game ended, but many others stayed much later. Many of the 20-30’s crowd was totally engaged in a game of Beer Pong. I don’t know the details of the game, but suffice it to say it involves a long flat surface, ping-pong balls, cups of beer and much consumption thereof.

In the past, we have just used a piece of plywood for the playing surface, but this year, a couple of Writer Princess’s friends created a Beer Pong masterpiece. If you are going to play Beer Pong, you might as well be classy about it.

The Gators started off the Poolman football weekend with a win. The “Stillers” take on the Saints in New Orleans tonight. Let’s see if they can make it two for two for the Poolman teams.

Friday ramblings

It’s a big weekend coming up at Casa Poolman. With both teams in the middle of disappointing seasons, the Florida-Georgia game isn’t quite the match-up it has been in the past. All the same, for those of us Gators who live with enthusiastically obnoxious Georgia fans all year, it is still a big deal. A bunch of relatives from Mrs. P’s side of the family will be coming up from Jacksonville for the weekend. We will host a fairly large viewing party Saturday afternoon. Should be fun. I’m cautiously optimistic about the game.

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Speaking of sports, this is the only time of the year I occasionally listen to sports talk radio. I flip back and forth between the Fox and ESPN local stations. My question is this; is Brett Favre the only player left in the NFL? He is all anyone wants to talk about. The Vikings are 2-4. Who cares? Meanwhile, my “Stillers” are 5-1 with a major turn-around story from last year and you hardly ever hear them mentioned.

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When I got home from work on Wednesday, Mrs. Poolman approached me and said, “I hope you aren’t going to want to kill me.”

That’s always a great way to start a conversation.

It seems that Mrs. P called our daughter’s mother-in-law to check on her treatment for an ongoing health issue. Before the conversation ended, Mrs. P had agreed to adopt one of MILs litter of kittens.

I’ve seen this coming ever since we lost Berta the Timid a couple of months ago, so this was no big surprise. The new addition is scheduled to be delivered today.

Mrs. P is concerned how the rest of our “animal kingdom” will take to their new sibling. I’m not worried. Sid the Tailless will give her a hiss and then put her on “ignore” to establish his alpha-cat status. Eventually, he will warm up.

The dogs, especially young Sammy, will think the kitten is a special gift just for them. Once the kitten gets over her initial fear and realizes that the dogs can be great buddies, everything will be fine.

We have been discussing names. I tried to get Mrs. P to go along with “Urban” (as in Urban Meyer), but she insisted that was not a great name for a girl cat. I think we are going to settle on “Penny” after one of the main characters in “The Big Bang Theory” TV show.

Such an important decision…

Bye, bye, Berta!

Yesterday was a difficult day around Casa Poolman.

After consulting with the veterinarian, we decided it was time to put-down Berta the Timid. She was only three years old, but the results of the lab work indicated that her liver was past the point of no return. She was a real sweetheart and Mrs. Poolman’s “baby.”

You were a good cat, Bert!

A sick kitty

We have been dealing with a crisis in the animal kingdom at Casa Poolman this past week.

Berta in happier times

Our youngest cat, Berta the Timid, has been ill for several weeks.

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lethargic.
  • Hiding out.

I had taken her to the vet early in the month, before we went on our cruise. They chocked it up to a change in her diet and suggested we watch her closely, and bring her back if there is no improvement. She seemed to be doing OK, so we went on vacation. When we returned she had regressed.

Another trip to the vet produced a diagnosis of “lipidosis.” Essentially, if a cat becomes anorexic, the liver functions get all out of wack. The treatment is to make sure they eat. Have you ever tried to get a cat to eat?

This has been very stressful on Mrs. Poolman, because she considers Berta her “baby.” We have been trying everything we or the vet can think of. One day last week, Mrs. P decided to use her skills as an ICU nurse and try a feeding tube. While, I held Berta (firmly wrapped in a towel), Mrs. P got a small tube down her throat with surprising (to me any way) ease. She attached a syringe with emulsified canned cat food and got about half of it in the cat before the syringe became disengaged from the feeding tube. I ended up with a spray of liquefied tuna in my face. Yuk!

As of this weekend, Berta does not appear to be in any severe discomfort. She hangs out under a chair in our bedroom. She comes out when someone comes into the room and purrs when you pet her. But she still isn’t eating much.

So I’m taking her back the vet in the morning. We’ll see how it goes.

College football arrives and a couple of good books

College football is finally here. Yea!

My Gators won today, but their offense was so inept they were embarrassing. I think Urban has his work cut out for him this week. Meanwhile…

I finished two decent books lately, and am reading another.

The last real book I read was “The Last Stand” by Nathaniel Philbrick. As you can probably tell by the title, it’s about George Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Philbrick does a very good job analyzing the week leading up to the battle and the climax on June 25, 1876.

He extracts information from both the “white” and the “Indian” side of the conflict, and presents a pretty decent hypothesis of what the last hour or two must have been like for the men of Custer’s battalion.

What amazed me were the deep seated issues and problems that were a long standing part of the 7th Cavalry Regiment. The low standards of training and leadership were eye opening. The jealousies and personal feuds among the regiments top officers combined with the nepotism and favoritism that were prevalent in the regiment  set the stage for a disaster before Custer saw his first Sioux . When you top that off with the incredible series of tactical blunders on the day of the battle, it’s no surprise how it turned out.

If you don’t like military history, this will probably bore you. However, if you are drawn to this kind of subject matter, this is a very good account of the battle.

I had a road-trip last week. I usually try to pick up an audio book to keep me alert and awake. For this trip, I picked up “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron. This is not a great piece of literature, but it is a cute story. You probably already know the story. A small town librarian (the author) rescues a tiny kitten from their overnight book drop on a freezing winter night. She names the kitten, “Dewey and raises him as a library cat. Dewey turns out to be a pretty cool cat who becomes the life of the library.

I currently share a residence with two cats, neither one of whom would meet Dewey’s standards of people-loving sociability. I just can’t imagine Sid the Tailless allowing himself to be carried around, upside down, by a toddler. I can’t imagine Berta the Timid allowing herself to be in the same room with a toddler.

So I appreciated the author’s story of her cat. Myron does a good job painting a portrait of an amazing pet.

Because the author was also Dewey’s owner for the 19 years of his life, I’ll forgive some of the over-the-top sentimentality and excessive anthropomorphism. The story is good but the cat-love can be a little annoying. All the same, it is an entertaining story, and worth the effort.

I’m currently reading “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis. I’ll give you a report when I’m finished.

It’s Friday!

Things have been slow around here this week, but I did finish another book worth mentioning. Here are some bullets.

I got an email this morning from an old friend. We probably haven’t seen each other face-to-face in probably 40 years, but we have exchanged some Christmas cards over that time.

Dr. Betsy Kennon and Scooter, courtesy Readers Digest

She said “Andy Warhol is right.” Betsy is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame in the form of an article in the August edition of Readers Digest. Betsy is a veterinarian in Pittsburgh. She saved a stray kitten with a broken spine. The cat, Scooter, now moves around with his hind-parts on a cart and visits nursing homes. Nice touching story you can see, complete with video, here.

I attended the Savannah Gator Club annual gathering last night. The speaker was GatorCountry.com editor Franz Beard. Franz did a great talk. Things are looking better for the Gators this fall than many opponents would like to admit. That’s just fine. It’s better to sneak up on ‘em.

I just finished reading “The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis. Everyone is at least familiar with the movie by the same name starring Sandra Bullock. The book upon which the movie is based expands the subject matter of the movie. The film pretty much concentrated on football player Michael Oher and the manner in which he came into the family of Sean and Leigh Ann Touhey and eventually became a star athlete. The book adds significant color and texture to that story. It also develops two additional themes – the change in the NFL that made the left tackle position the second most important position on the field; and the issue of poor, black, inner city kids trying to use sports to get out of the ghetto.

I enjoyed the book a lot. The Oher-Touhey story is interesting and touching all on its own. The two additional themes just add on to the value. If you liked the movie, you’ll like the book. Even if you thought the movie was a little schmaltzy and over done, you’ll still like the book.

We are looking forward to company this weekend. This time it is the gang from Mrs. Poolman’s side of the family. It will include a sister-in-law, a niece and nephew, both with significant others, a grand niece and a large rambunctious boxer (dog.) There will be lots of eating, drinking, visiting and hanging out by the pool. When I got home tonight, I went ahead and mowed the lawn, and cleaned the pool and back yard  to be ready for them.

Should be fun!

Normal life

It’s been a busy two weeks around Casa Poolman.

Last week, we had out-of-town company all week. My cousin’s wife, their two children (6 and 9) and their golden retriever came down and spent the week at the Casa. She wanted to introduce her children to some Savannah history. Of course there were also trips to the beach and plenty of time in the Poolman’s pool.

Cousin D joined them for the weekend.

All in all, it was a good week. The kids are exceptionally pleasant and well behaved. We did a lot of cooking. Plus, just the presence of another family in the house creates additional daily maintenance needs. To be honest, though, seven days is a long time no matter who the company is, and it was great to have our house back.

The doggie guest was well behaved, but our cats were very happy to see him hit the road.  Sid the Tailless was tolerant of Max, but Berta the Chickenhearted just hid out all week. We only saw her at night when the dog was crated and behind closed doors.

It’s just a four day work-week, but it seems like it has gone on forever.

About two weeks ago, I sent out our speakers bureau “menu” to a bunch of civic clubs in the area. As I hoped, I have been getting numerous calls for speakers. Yesterday, I took on an assignment myself and spoke to roughly 40 Rotarians in one of the area’s bedroom communities. Judging from the body language and the questions I got after the talk, I thing it was well received. That made me feel good.

I’m hoping for a fairly laid-back weekend. It’s hot as all get-out here today, 99 degrees right now. No point in straining in that kind of weather.

Weekend at last

I think I’m turning into a wimp in my old age. One busy week kicks my butt. From Tuesday through Friday of this week, I either had evening activities or I was traveling. By Friday evening, I was pooped. I must have slept 11 hours without moving Friday night.

Our “living stations of the cross” went well Friday evening.  Alejandro, the organizer, did a fantastic job with the middle and high school kids who played the roles of Jesus, Mary, the disciples, Romans, etc.  Eight adults were the readers. I was the narrator. Essentially, the script was like a radio play. Each station had narration at the beginning and end, and all dialogue in the middle. While the readers were handling the script, the kids posed in the role of each of the 14 stations. There was a little movement, but not much. Between stations, they dimmed the lights and the kids assumed their positions for the next station. All in all, it went well and was very well received by the roughly 100 people who attended.

When Mrs. Poolman and I finally got up Saturday morning, we took off to shop for a new washing machine. Our old one died. You know you are at least middle age when you can’t remember when you got your current washer or dryer. Mrs. P finally decided the dead washer was originally her mother’s, which put it at least 20 years old. We debated getting it fixed, but decided to just go ahead and buy a new one. I did some initial internet research so we didn’t have to do a lot of shopping around. We had a good idea of brands and prices. We ended up buying the first and only one we looked at. Mrs. P is very excited it is a model without an agitator. I don’t care. I just hope it works. Delivery is Wednesday.

Writer Princess and SIL are moving in with us for a few days. They have some serious mold issues in their condo. The workmen are coming first thing Monday morning to pretty-much rip their condo apart. It should be fun having them here for a few days. Their cats might not think so however. They have two cats that have never been out of their condo except to go to the vet. We are going to use our large dog crate to provide them with a safe haven from our “vicious” dogs and cats, and place it in the unused bedroom. They won’t like it, but I’m sure they will get over it. In either case, it will be better than having pissed off cats pissing all over my new floors. Don’t think so, kitties.

Christening a baby and bathing a cat

Friday morning —

It’s been a busy week here at Casa Poolman.

Our Baptism demonstration for our CCD students went great Wednesday night. We had roughly 100 kids witness the celebration. They were extremely well behaved and attentive. Monsignor C did a super job explaining each step of the ceremony. The baby’s family seemed to get into it. Having that many young “honorary God parents” didn’t seem to detract from the impact of the event. Even young Kieran was calm and quiet most of the time.

Now we have set the bar high for next year. We will need to be on the look out for a family that gets pregnant in the next few months and start working on them to provide their child for next year’s program.

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Sid the Cat is apparently not holding a grudge after our encounter yesterday evening. Sid is a large, long-haired, neutered, male Manx. (That means he ain’t got no tail.) Like most Manx’s, Sid likes to hang around near his “people” but he really doesn’t like to get real close. He likes to be petted, but he doesn’t like to be held and he definitely is not a “lap cat.” And after last night, I can also attest that he definitely does not like getting a bath.

Sid the Cat

I noticed Sid had an issue when I walked through the room he was in and smelled him. Apparently, Sid didn’t take care of himself real well after using the litter box. He was hiding, but he wasn’t difficult to find. I just followed my nose.

I filled one of the kitchen sinks with warm, soapy water. I located Sid and got him into the empty sink. Using an old rag, I tried to get him wiped off. Without going into the disgusting details, let’s just say that Sid had some major hygiene issues. I needed scissors and several refills of the sink. Sid took it only so long and then he was “outta there.”

The good news is the only thing damaged was Sid’s dignity. I escaped without any scratches. After some liberal use of bleach to clean out the sinks, all was good.

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We still have some work to do this weekend to reassemble our home-office, but after that, Mrs. P says we are taking the weekend off. No argument from me. I can use a weekend of R&R before tackling the next project.

Safe for another year…

Well, we get to live in Georgia for another year and don’t have to move. The Gators beat Georgia 41-17.  We’re safe for awhile.

Georgia wore black pants and black helmets for the first, and probably the last, time in their history.


Uniform gimmick doesn't work.

I’m not a big fan of uniform gimmicks. I thought UGA would have learned. Last year, they pulled out black jerseys for their home game with Alabama and were trounced in an embarrassing fashion, down 31-0 at the half. I suspect those black pants and helmets will be put away somewhere they won’t be found again.

We’ve had a busy weekend. Friday was a furlough day, so I was at home to help Mrs. Poolman prepare for our weekend company and the Saturday afternoon viewing party. We ran errands and then I handled the yard clean up and some of the house, while she focused more on food. It worked well. Patty’s youngest sister and her gang arrived around dinner time. It was nephew’s birthday, so she made chicken parmesan for dinner. It was loved and devoured by everyone. Both our kids made it over. The younger generation stayed up much too late. I hit the bed around 1230 am and things were still going strong. Must live to fight another day.

We had between 40 and 50 people here for a viewing party for the Florida-Georgia game, and fortunately, the Gators did not let us down.

We set up TVs both inside and in the courtyard.

Fla Ga View

We had a ton of food.

Fla Ga Food

Some guests were less interested in the game than the party, especially some of the Georgia fans, so they played bean bag toss and beer pong.

Fla Ga Bean

Bean bag toss

Late night beer pong.

Beer pong

Of course the party for the afternoon game lasted until around midnight.

Our house guests were all gone by around 12 30 pm today. At least one of our cats was not sorry to see them go.

Fla Ga Berta

Berta being anti-social.

She spent most of the past few days under the bedspread on our bed.

Cleaning up today. I think Mrs. Poolman is making crab cakes for dinner. Oooo good!