Monday, February 27, 2023

It's all a crap shoot

I am the youngest resident, at 79, due to be 80 in a month. There are close to 100 residents in independent living, many in their 90's and the balance in their 80's. A whole lot of respect is owing to these men and women, in my opinion, except when it isn't. I would recommend to anyone who is considering the move to an independent facility, devise some method of judging the ideas of the residents. I based my decision on the overall cheerfulness I found here. It never occurred to me to make any judgement call on "political" issues.

Sports are a hot topic here, and Cleveland has plenty of sports teams. One tiny old woman, Mary, is past 95, is spry as they come. Walks quickly, with no walker or cane. She feels totally entitled to cut into a line and no one challenges her. Another resident came into one of the common rooms wearing an old Cleveland Indians tee shirt. Mary immediately began (or in her case resumed) her favorite topic, "They should still be the Cleveland Indians! What are these "Guarders" anyway?"

I listened a while, then asked if she was familiar with the Guardians, what they represented, where they were. "No, but I suppose you know and are going to tell me!" I said, to the audience, they were a series of award winning art deco figures on the Hope Memorial bridge crossing the Cuyahoga River from Loraine to Carnegie Avenue. The several figures represented traffic that built the valley. There is a farmer, pioneers, construction and more I would need to look up on Wikipedia. Or they could. Mary said I was a Ladeda educated person and turned her back. So much for letting a group know that prejudice is not acceptable.

So that's a little background of listening to rude remarks about people of another culture. One example is the tip of the iceberg here in this very red county I have moved into, but less than ten miles.

I eat dinner with three other women, whose company I enjoy when certain topics don't come up. All three are Catholic, as are most residents here. My table mates are sincere Catholics, and one is past sincere to the extent of forming a Bible study group. When I was asked to join I inquired into the topics she might cover. From a short list, I latched onto the Song of Ruth, and even re-read it to be prepared. But the topic of the first class is the 23rd psalm, and I said I could not do it justice and did not join.

Sadly, I have a bigger problem I have not found a way to address. All three are deeply against LGBTQ+, and have exchanged some bitter remarks. I have looked all three in the eye and said nothing. I have no broad platform to address them, no Hope Memorial Bridge to walk across. 

Though I have four qualifying grandchildren, I think I'll start with all my friends from my art days. All three of these dinner companions wear art show clothing and jewelry, and probably would be stunned to know I recognize some artists and their gender might surprise them. It goes from there to a discussion of what makes people feel comfortable in their skin. I could even used my acquired grandson as an example; without identifying his relationship to me, I am more than happy to explain this is a person I get along with as a man far better than the old days, as a woman. This identity is comfortable for him.

I'm pleased I made my views known on the Cleveland Guardians, and I have nothing to lose putting out my opinion on bashing people for their gender identities.

I need to add, I looked into several independent facilities and chose this based on the genuine sense of pleasure among the residents. My three table mates have a far wider circle of acquaintances than I, and at the table they often discuss recent residents and what facility they came from. Facilities chosen for lower cost are being left, in favor of the Atrium in Aurora. Lower cost in other facilities is reflected in the quality of food, the amount of housekeeping, programs offered, and the attitude of staff.

Finally, kitty extends her nose from under the shoe shelf for the rattle of the treat can. I must keep my feet out of sight; she disappears at the sight of my toe. If we wind up in the same room by mistake, she continues whatever she's out for, never takes here eye off me and gives me a wide berth in passing me.

Here is another profile of Kitty: but I cannot find it. I've screwed up my photos. Here's an old picture of a pretty cat:

Monday, February 20, 2023

Yes, I have a cat

Hopefully, the last cat post. Not that you won't hear more about her, but only as she appears and participates in living. In the meantime, I have seen Kitty again. One evening I was working quietly at my end on the room. I did not hear Kitty emerge from under the bed in the room to my right and not only work her way quietly behind me, across the room to the window seat and without sound, jump up. To her advantage, my hearing aids were out. The kibble caught her up. I heard that and looked left. 

We had an interesting conversation. I asked if she would still be there when I looked in the viewfinder? I didn't hear the response, which must have been yes, and she was still backed away from the dinner tray, watching cautiously. I gathered the scene quickly. It was about ten o'clock. I'd drawn the curtains because it was darn cold, and returned to reading blogs on the computer.

Kitty probably had come to the end of the bed, waiting for me to go to bed. Generally about that time I was closing curtains and picking up cat kibble. I had not "starved her out" by that point by not leaving food available when I was out of the room or asleep. She had been without food for two days, and, I figured, hungry. So I had changed operations and decided to made food available all the time. And she appeared because she was hungry.

So, we had a nice chat while she ate and drank. 

That's the last I've seen of her. I do hear the balls knocked around at night. I put the feathers away. They would be disintegrated by morning. Tomorrow is housekeeping day, which is good. The carpet is coated with toy scraps.

Friday, February 17, 2023

The case of the abstracted Kitty

Kitty came to live in my apartment on February 11th. You saw her once, briefly,  enigmatically looking at us from the "outhouse", and perhaps a small sneer curling her left cheek as she considered her next move. 

I petted her and spoke nicely. Her fur was surprisingly stiff and bristly. I said Good Bye, and left for a bit. When I came back, I found Kitty had abstracted herself. I've dealt with cats for seventy years, or more. I was not concerned. 

Her food bowl was full, as was her water bowl. I began looking for her. I even used my flashlight for behinds. I checked "unders" to the best of my ability. At weeks shy of my eightieth birthday, I dare not get down to the floor to check the absolute "under", to the wall. I convinced myself she was not under any chest or cupboard, behind any book case, or on top.

That left only the bedroom. I checked as far under the bed as I possibly could, then gave up the affair. I got up the next morning and found she had ingested a substantial meal. Excellent! Obviously she would not starve on my watch. And her little snores in the middle of the night from her redundant pharyngeal membranes, drifting up from under the bed, were oddly comforting.

As the day went on and she did not appear to say Thank You, or give any sign of gratitude, I began to reconsider. By bedtime I'd decided to make food available only when I was in the apartment, and to buy treats the next time I sent a shopper to Heinan's. I also ordered feather toys, which were delivered yesterday.

And so the week went on. Water was drunk. Food was eaten. I never saw her, but I did see the the occasional kibble dropped on the carpet, and definitely gone in the morning. The litter box showed she was not going hungry.

Kitty is the source of great discussion among the residents, and considerable research. I am applauded for doing everything right. I am nothing but instinct, and my mother and grandmother telling me, "When they are hungry, they will eat."

I went through her paperwork one more time, and saw the overlooked paper from her trip to the veterinary clinic when she was found. Her age was assigned as five years, probably based on her teeth being intact.

Last night I got up for the bathroom trip. I came out of the bedroom and turned left to walk to the bathroom. At the same time Kitty came down the hall from the bathroom and turned right, to go who knows where.

We met, ten feet apart. I backed into a chair, sat down and began talking kitty. She didn't move. I reached the microwave, opened it and extracted a handful of kibble, which I left in a neat pile on the carpet. Kitty took advantage of the change in the action to scoot into the living room and melt into the furniture.

I went to the bathroom, then back to bed. satisfied we will meet again.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Kitty come home

Ruth, Beth and I met at Rescue Village, a Geauga County animal rescue facility. I wanted to adopt a cat named Tori, surrendered by her  owner because of the owner's health issues. Tori was the longest at the shelter, surrendered last October.

Tori had a room of her own because she disliked being housed with other cats. Big room. We went in to meet her. She certainly had personality. Feisty, even. I saw her as a six year old cat whose world had changed and whose new world was not wonderful. She was happy to interact with us and the toy we offered. We went out to complete the adoption process.

The adoption consultant was so happy Tori was finally finding a home. However, she warned, Tori could not be picked up until Monday. She was participating in a fundraiser. We already were told that, and thought we had obtained a waiver. The consultant went to check and returned to say we were informed incorrectly; Tori could not leave until Monday.

Even Ruth protested. She plays her several years old than me age card very well, but No. This had been protested to the owner (?) and Tori was not free to go today. Looking around only one room, there were several tortus cats who could stand in for Tori, who could not be adopted in any case, since I intended to adopt her. The consultant had tears in her eyes. Tori cannot leave today. The three of us left.

After we settled in the car and fastened belts, Beth stuck out her phone. The Summit County Humane Society was on the long way home. Why not; after the grueling job of assembling an out house for a cat, the job today was to find a cat.

We arrived in short order and chatted with another adoption specialist, also named Beth, who took detailed notes of the sort of cat I was looking for and ran a search on her computer. She came back with a list and off we went.

One room housed several potential adoptees. One fellow named Cesar might easily have been called SeizeHer. He nailed me and drew blood! I was stunned at the back story of most cats. Kittens are the usual problem; cats are cats and have kittens. However, the number of abandoned older cats is appalling. 

I kept coming back to one cat whose age was listed as one to seven years old. She had been found abandoned and injured in a West Akron neighborhood and given to a vet clinic, which treated her leg and turned her over to Summit County Humane Society. Because it was the fall season of the year, the Society named her Holly.

Her history was completely unknown. Did someone own and abandon her? This seems the most likely; she seems to be a housecat. She also has "redundant pharyngeal membranes attached to her soft palate." It does not affect her quality of life, except to make her snore. 

I debated between Holly and another similar cat far more shy; only able to put one eye past the edge of her box to look. She had far to go in her socialization course. In the end I picked Holly, and renamed her Katherine on the way home. I'm sure she had a home once, and now has a home again. I only need convince her. 

She inched herself half way out of her carrier, watching me closely the entire way. When I went to the door for my dinner, I heard the carrier significantly move and when I came back, Kitty was in the outhouse.  She took a long nap. I just looked over and she is contemplating me. Sometime after I go to bed I'm sure she will come out, find her pillows, her food and water. I wonder where I'll find her tomorrow.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bring on the light

Five fifteen and still light out. Just finished dinner! Half a side of salmon, steamed carrot rings and a baked potato. The detritus needs cleared away, but I also need to write a blog. Oh, and I am crunching a magnesium gummy. After years of suffering some kind of restless leg syndrome, I have a cure. Magnesium in the evening.

I confess it's been a strange day, what with a fire alarm at 4 a.m. Another false alarm, I'm sure. I slept in until ten this morning and missed connecting up with the Mexican Train players because I pushed so many phone buttons there was no sound from my phone when Margaret called to tell me to get downstairs for Mexican Train.

The geriatric cat becomes more of a reality. I have accumulated the $250 non-refundable cat deposit. I need to wait for it to clear my bank, and even then it will be too soon.     

Yesterday I began purchasing everything a cat needs, whether it wants said thing or not. There is no negotiation on location. The cat will live in the cat window, from which I can attend to its earthly needs without bending over. It worked for Toby, and will work even better for a new cat, whose obligation is to be grateful for a new home.

I purchased a cupboard that will hide the cat box. It will go diagonally in the back right corner. I bought one with cat tree paraphernalia on top. As I remember, it will all come flat packed and need assembly. Oh, well, Monday is soon enough to worry about that.

I bought a cat carrier. I bought a litter box and scoop. I bought kitty litter. I did not buy food or food dishes. I will hold off on the former, until I learn what she is used to eating. The latter is plain oversight. I think I'll finish and post, clean up my kitchen, and order cat bowls.

Jan got a new knee Friday, and is home today. Wonderful for her, but I've lost Tom for handy jobs for some time. Laura too, unless I can figure out how to nab her. All these PE classes have left me stronger than formerly, and I probably can assemble myself. We'll see how it goes.

I have my eye on a calico named Tori. She has been in the shelter since October, weighs eleven pounds and is six years old. She's a black and orange calico, a mix I find quite attractive. I do wonder why she is named Tori. We shall find out.