Monday, November 15, 2010

Ryker's Last Day

Yit'gadal v'yit'kadash sh'mei raba ....
May His great name be exalted in the world He created...
I just broke down when I saw those words, posted by @danapixie. They are the first line of Kaddish - often called the Mourner's Kaddish.  It's a Jewish tradition to recite this prayer when a loved one passes.
(for those of you who are interested in the content of the prayer, here it is, excerpted from the Orthodox Union:
"the theme of Kaddish is the Greatness of G-d who conducts the entire universe with careful supervision. In this prayer, we also pray for peace - from apparently the only One who can guarantee it - peace between nations, peace between individuals, and peace of mind.  Paradoxically, this is, in fact, the only true comfort in the case of the loss of a loved one. That is, to be able to view the passing of the beloved individual from the perspective that that person's soul was gathered in, so to speak, by the One who had provided it in the first place."  It tends to elicit a deeply emotional reaction when you hear it....)
Our loved one has passed. Quite suddenly, and in the blink of an eye. And, looking back, I have to say that if there had to be a "last day," I have no regrets. Ryker has always slept with us, and I have awakened these past 13 years more often than not with a little brown nose and sleepy blue eyes blinking up at me from a face resting on my pillow, snuggled up close under the covers. I have to say I highly recommend it as a fantastic way to awaken, with a cuddle and a purr, and I will miss it terribly.
Two weeks ago, we returned from a 5-day trip to find that Ryker and Allie - with the help of a cat sitter - had their first uneventful span of time alone. You could see in Ryker's eyes that this time there had been no trauma. (Many thanks to the cat sitter for wearing Allie out by playing with her daily and keeping her from being so bored she resorted to picking on Ryker!)
Ryker, however, did not want to let me out of his sight. He followed me everywhere, and when I sat, would beg to be picked up.  There were several times in the past few weeks where I consciously chose to cuddle with him instead of cleaning the kitchen or some other mundane chore. Something about his intensity spoke to me, and I decided the dishes would just have to wait. I am SO glad I did this!
Ryker has had many favorite pastimes that he's become partial to over the years, and sitting next to me on the bathroom counter while I get ready in the morning is one of them. Yesterday was no exception. I must confess though, that since Allie has joined our home - and she has a peculiar fascination for running water - he has had to share that space with "The Great Grey Menace" as he called her.  It woudl often become comical as Allie ended up shoving her rear end right in Ryker's face while leaning over to get to the water. Ryker's expression of disgust as he shifted out of the way was priceless!
Ryker loved all things warm and got to experience it to the fullest yesterday, from the bathroom space heater to a nice kitchen sunpuddle to the freshly dried (and oh so warm) sheets in the dryer to a nap by the fireplace.  All in one day - what more can a kitty want?
Treats you say? Why he had those too. We'd been concerned over the past month that his interest in his special diet food was waning, so had begun enticing him with warmed canned food and Whiskas Temptations - the only treat that seemed to not cause a flare up of his IBD.  He got both. Quite a few of the Temptations in fact. So much so that when he first fell ill I initially thought it was his IBD, brought on by feeding him too many treats.
We spent several hours outside yesterday afternoon working in the yard, and Ryker asked to join us. He and Allie inspected our work, then Ryker did his usual perimeter sweep, investigating all the smells and ensuring his domicile was properly chin-marked as "his".
Then he and I went inside - me to my laundry and him to his bed on the hearth...or so I thought. I had just taken a load from the dryer when he began calling out to me at the top of his lungs. Because he often does this, just to get me to come in for a cuddle, I hollered back at him, closed the dryer and went in leisurely search of him. Couldn't find him in his usual spots, and he wasn't "talking back" to me in conversation as he normally does - his cries were more sporadic and arbitrary than that - it took me a minute to find him, sprawled under the piano.
I'll leave the details out, but it's utterly heart-wrenching to have your fur-child reaching out to you beseechingly, with eyes frantic to escape the pain. I wish with all my heart I could have "fixed" this last thing he asked of me: "please Momma, make it better!"
That was at 4:30. By 7 PM, CST, he was gone.
One final word: many of you have been “sitting shiva” with us on #RykersPorch. Words cannot express how you have touched our hearts through this act of kindness.  You may not have realized, but the #nipclub honor with the donations for @WaysideWaifs is very much in keeping with shiva.
As one rabbi described shiva, “Every custom of Jewish mourning and comforting has, at its core, the overwhelming motivation to surround those who grieve with a supportive community. [Shiva] places loss and grief in the communal context of family and friends. …A donation to a charity designated by the mourners is an appropriate way to honor the deceased, while comforting those who mourn.”
I can think of no more supportive community than our twitter anipal community, and your offer to donate to @WaysideWaifs in Ryker’s honor does indeed bring us comfort.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks. You guys are wonderful.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Allie, showing me her first pink toenail back in February. That girl's got a serious pink addiction.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This post is dedicated to my bro-in-fur, Bucky (aka @puzzmitts) who most recently demonstrated a loverly expression of Barf·o·logy himself (*highpaw*!).

Barf·o·logy: the art of elevating a simple act of regurgitation to the status of feline art.

When to use: any time your human slips into forgetfulness - aka excessive ignoring of their Primary Responsibility (petting, feeding, walking, feeding, grooming, feeding - do I sense a pattern here?) - Barf·o·logy is an Appropriate Response.

Tips on most effective use of Barf·o·logy:  textiles preferred (hint, the more absorbent the surface, the longer your art will live on in the lives of your humans!).  If you have a choice between light and dark tones, always choose the lighter of the two - again, for longer lasting effects.

Barf·o·logy and feng shiu:  Proper placement can increase efficacy! Try to express yourself in a high traffic area if possible, and anywhere your humans tend to walk barefoot scores you extra feng shui points.

Of course, I reserve Barf·o·logy for those occasions in which my humans have become Exceedingly Annoying and require a bit of Behavior Modification - like when they decide to vacate the premises for Unapproved Absences (conferences, vacations, etc).  Which reminds me, the center of their bed needs a bit of decoration. See you later anipals - must go Express Myself!

Friday, October 29, 2010

O' Dark Thirty? O' I Don't Think So!

What kind of madness are my humans engaging in now? Oh that's right... it's their annual "wake up earlier every morning" ritual that they engage in each fall.

Honestly, this kind of behavior is simply inexcusable, especially when said "wake" time begins to occur prior to sunrise. That goes against the Natural Order of things!

Granted, some kitties are morning kitties but honestly, even Allie's not up that early!

When will ask this nonsense stop? If only my humans would take half the advice I'm so happy to provide them ... *sigh*

I hear tell they are following an age-old human ritual known as Daylight Savings Time. Saving what, I must ask? Any thoughts? Any gems of wisdom to enlighten me on this most odd ritual?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good Meowning Anipals!

I was just telling Person this Meowning that it was High Past Time that she gathered her lazy self and Attended to My Needs as a Proper human servant should.

I'm happy to say she saw the light, and this blog is, well, about as good a start as any. Purrsonally, I'm thinking that Extreme Guilt over her upcoming ABANDONMENT (oh don't get me started on that distasteful topic) may have played a teensy role in this fortuitous state of affairs, but who am I to look a gift mouse in the meowth, I ask you?

Now that my muse is free to uhm, err... muse... I intend to use this little spot on the web to Hold Forth on all sorts of Critical, Timely Topics of the Utmost Importance, such as the Proper Training of one's human, the airing of grievances best meowed at the Top of one's lungs, and other sundry tales such as the plight of anipals in this world today.

I strongly advise any and all readers to hie themselves hither to @frugaldougal's PawPawty Blog and support his masterful efforts on behalf of animals in need.  I will also take this moment to come out in Official Support of @shivaandjaya's campaign to end the existence of VCs everywhere (for those of you not In The Know, a VC, of course, is the Detestable Human Invention known world-wide as the *shudder* vacuum cleaner).

Well I do believe that's enough Public Announcements for my first blog...and that delicious sunpuddle awaits.  Until later, friends, Kittehs, Countrymen....