Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 278: Who Cares What You Look Like When Your Kitty is Sick and You Have a New Puppy...

Our new Boston Terrier + Beagle rescue puppy!
If only she slept like that through the whole night....
The days between my last post (Day 269) and today (Day 278), mark the longest gap between posts since this project began.  I apologize from the bottom of my heart for not keeping you all in the loop with what's been going on.  Speaking of my heart, the past week has been a tumultuous emotional roller-coaster.  In addition to the holiday madness we expected from our people, our animals decided to up the ante.  To be more specific: last Wednesday we adopted an adorable 10-week-old puppy, and then on Thursday my sister found one of our beloved cats, Diesel, comatose at our home.  Diesel almost died due to an undetected urethral obstruction. 
This is what a very sick kitty looks like.  He couldn't walk or easily
lift his head. My heart broke when I saw this.
Thanks to these two events the last week flew by in a mishmash of: elation, puppy breath, giggles, puppy kisses, 4am, 5am, 6am, & 7am puppy piddles, stepping in and cleaning up said puppy piddles, exhaustion, bad news, worry, anxiety, fear, crying, drinking, praying for kitty to piddle, relief when kitty finally piddled, followed by more drinking (celebratory this time!), and - of course - continuing all-hours puppy piddles.  We're exhausted and overwhelmed by the extra responsibility that pet ownership has bestowed upon us this past week.  Both our serotonin levels and bank accounts have reached new lows. And yet we feel pretty lucky.
Noelle / Charlie!  Awww...

Our new puppy - a feisty Boston Terrier + Beagle mix who we plan to name either Noelle (for the holiday season) or Charlie (as in Chaplin: check out that Hitler-esque mustache!) - has been an exasperating delight as she wiggles and piddles her way into our hearts.  Diesel is expected to make a full recovery. Under the watchful care of my sister and the fantastic veterinary staff at Nob Hill Cat Clinic and All Animals Emergency Hospital, he's fought his way back from kidney failure to 100% normal blood-work - "a miracle!" according to one of his caretakers.  Just 24-hours after emergency surgery the vet technician "could barely hear Diesel's heartbeat over his purring."

I planned to write a blog post about how my thoughts about appearance change when I come home for the holidays, but I just haven't been thinking much about that topic in the past few days.  I suppose it's a healthy sign that worrying about a new baby (puppy) and a deathly ill furry friend took precedence over worrying about my looks.  Right now I don't really care if it's healthy or not, so long as they are healthy!

Diesel, on a better day!
That said, I'm struck by how little I've considered the impact that our beloved pets ought to have towards our body image.  I've waxed poetic about Michael's unconditional love for me as a person, regardless of how my body changes or doesn't.  Sometimes I've even wished I could see myself through Michael's eyes.  Yet, our animal friends are even more generous with their love and devotion, and I doubt they have any concept of "beauty."  It might do me some good to remember my pets the next time I battle body-image demons.... What do you think?

P.S. - "Noelle" vs. "Charlie" ... Discuss!

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  1. Interesting post! I had never consciously thought about it, but in the year I've had my cats, I've had a new role - mother (god knows what I'll be like when I have kids for real haha). A combination of unconditional love from them, and the unglamorous life of cleaning out litter trays, has made me focus less on my looks, and more on my new "motherly" role. They don't care if I'm dolled up - they probably prefer it when my face doesn't smell like foundation, finishing powder, blusher etc! And they love me for me. Even my partner, my soulmate, was at least initially attracted to me for my looks - with the kitties it's never been about appearance. And i like this new kind of love :) glad to know your cat is feeling better, and sorry if I've come across as a crazy cat lady!!!

  2. Charlie... And kids will do the same thing for you

  3. I agree on Charlie as a name. I miss when my puppy was little like that. Now she is over 60# but still offers the unconditional love, and keeps my feet warm.

  4. Glad your animals are doing and downs like that are hard during the 5 year old had strep throat for Christmas...but you are right about one thing..who cares what you look like...stay in your special holiday PJs and bun hairdo all day and just enjoy!!! (Happy first married Christmas by the way)

  5. Ever since I started following your blog I have found myself making a much bigger effort to look past people's appearance and into their souls (or whatever you call the inner beauty).

  6. Oh, NO! I am SO SO SO glad Diesel is okay! We have had two sick cats and it is heartbreaking when something is wrong. I feel for you!

  7. This is totally random, but are those two the same cat?! The top one looks big and grey and the bottom one petit and orange, it's driving me nuts! :)

  8. Same cat! He's actually a cream tabby, so somewhere between orange and cream. And he's a big guy. :)

  9. Charlie. Noelle doesn't roll off the tongue when you're hollering across the dog park.

    And yes, sometimes it is good to think like our pets. Puts it in purrrrrrrspective. Sorry that was way to cheezy.

  10. noelle, definately. my sister and i agree that the little sweetie looks more like a noelle. i'm sorry about your cat, and i love the concept of thinking what the people that trully matter in your life think of you rather than caring about what strangers think of you. your blog is amazing, i'm always checking to see if you have a new post :)

  11. Congrats on the new puppy! I vote for Noelle what a fun name.

  12. How about Charlotte?

  13. Definitely Charlie. It's a name that's in season all year round, and it has more spunk. Plus, in my opinion, it's more fun to say.

  14. Charlie! It can be after Charlie Chaplin with that mustache.

  15. I notice you didn't divulge the gender of the puppy. By common perception (a whole other blog topic I am sure!) Noelle is a girl name (Noel being the boy version), and Charlie tends to be a boy name.

    If you want to evoke Charlie Chaplin, perhaps Chaplin might be a more interesting name. Or "Tramp" for his most famous mustachioed character (and a disney mutt too). Sadly this year, the name Charlie is too associated with Tiger Blood and "winning". It is also painfully common.

    At least Noelle is a little different and also pretty. Other holiday themed names that are far easier to yell loudly in a dog park could include Yule (or if you are in my family they draw it out to sound like "YOU-wool") or Nick/Nicky.

    But don't overthink it. You'll probably do what most pet owners (not to mention parents of kids) end up doing - most of the time you'll use some utterly silly nickname like "widdle wuv" or "poopy paws" or something similarly alliterative and obnoxious. ;-) My 10 year old still goes by "baby bug" if I don't catch myself.

  16. Kjerstein,
    I too am a unemployed/underemployed teacher and have connected with your blog in the education posts as well as the ones from your heart. Everyone struggles with their own self image no matter who you are. My boyfriend sent me this link last week which I think was he way of telling me that mirrors do not reflect the actual person on the inside. Please check it out. I am buying myself one to remind me of this when I need it. Hapy New Years!!

  17. I followed the link form Cullen Grant. Wow. Thanks for that! Just what I needed today. :-)

  18. Since Noelle is my name, I vote you name your puppy after me. And I promise, and my mother can also guarantee, it is easy to scream across a crowded room/dog park/neighborhood when needed.

    As for your post, I feel much the same about my dog Sydney. When I am most down about anything, be it how I look, or even a bad day at work, there is nothing like a 70 lb lump of fur coming at you with a wagging tail to remind you someone really loves you no matter what.

  19. What a fantastic link Cullen! I love it.

    FYI - We've decided to name our puppy Noelle. :)

  20. that's what am i looking for a long... thanks.. I appreciate your work.. nice article... Awesome
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