Cupcakes and Pets? Maybe.

KougleHello everyone! I am so glad that you are all here! It’s so great having people travel with me on this journey. I have said for years that if I ever did anything interesting enough to blog about, I would definitely do so. Why I didn’t think regular life was interesting enough is probably a topic for another post.

I know I said I wanted to discuss cupcakes and pets today. I am going to start with pets and we shall see if we get to cupcakes. 

You guys all know by now that we have chickens. There were seven, and then The Day of Chicken Death and No Sleep happened and we had five. Then I found a free Copper Marans chick on craigslist and added her to our flock and now we have six. The newbie still doesn’t have a name, nor does “Naked Butt” because we are still waiting for one niece to have a chance to name. I will tell you, however, that Carlos is currently calling her Harold. Like Harold Potter. I don’t know why, but there it is. 

We went into this chicken thing with the idea that we would have some fun and eventually eggs. We’ve flirted with the idea of one day also raising meat chickens. We are meat eaters, and we want to be farmers, and we want to know where our food comes from. If we want to continue eating meat, eventually we will have to kill it ourselves. We can do it some day. We are strong and we can do it. I keep telling myself this. And sometimes I even manage to believe it. But then death happens and I realize that I cannot just glibly assume that this is something I can do. 

Maybe if they’re meat chickens from the beginning. Maybe if we’re aware early. Maybe if we don’t name them. Maybe if we know in our hearts that we gave them a great life followed by an “easy” death full of appreciation. Maybe. Or maybe I will become a vegetarian. Or maybe I can trade stuff we can grow for meat. I don’t know. I don’t have any idea where this is headed. I want to be a grown up and grateful person who either does what needs to be done or does without. But if I react every time the way I did with Voldy and Clover, I don’t think I can handle it. And what if we were to decide to raise other animals? Could I do it then? I don’t know. Luckily, I don’t have to know right now.

Pets and animals are an important part of my world. Besides the chickies, we have the Kougle. Kougle is a six year old Maine Coon Cat-type cattin (our own word. Cat+kitten. Cute, huh?) She is a dilute calico, which means she is orange and white and silver (non-dilute calicoes have black in place of silver usually.) And she is bat shit crazy. Not joking. I have heard that calicoes often are, and I have heard that many critters of a “dilute” variety are often a little nuts as well. That is not scientific in any way. I worked at a vet years ago and someone said that orange cats, red Dobermans, the diluted colors of some other breeds were crazy. And not bad crazy, just less like you would expect in the behavior department. And Kougs has the distinction of being two of these-calico and dilute-which means she is perfectly justified in her crazy. I should also mention that in the height of her craziness she was living in a house with other kitties that picked on her all the time. Like all the time all the time. That would probably make anyone crazy.

I am not chatting about my cat just because I am becoming a crazy cat lady (not that that’s a bad thing, and I am aware of my likelihood of getting there eventually anyway!) but because I have had pets on my mind this week.

On Thursday I got a call from Carlos’s sister. Spud was very sick and not responsive. Spud was a black and white tuxedo kitty, somewhere around 17 years old. She had been declining for a while and we all new her time was approaching. Thursday morning we think she had a stroke. The vet said her kidneys and bladder were in pretty good shape but that her heart rate was a bit slow and her core temperature a bit low, and she was unresponsive. The vet actually gave them an option. Although he thought they should probably have her put down, he said they could try giving her a shot of steroids and keeping her on fluids for 24 hours and see if that would “jump start” her. They wanted my advice. 

This is not an easy choice ever. I think I did a pretty good job of this unpleasant talk. I told her that whatever choice she made was valid. I knew that she would take all facets into account before making a choice. Spud herself would not judge her or hate her or even dislike her regardless of the choice that was made. I said I was surprised that the vet even gave any hope for the treatment, that I had never heard that. It may work. The vet gave it about a 5% chance of working. I mentioned that Spud was definitely not going to get any better than she had been yesterday, that she had been in decline for a while, but it’s a very personal choice and one that she needed to make. If she needed me to help, let me know. She said she was going to talk it over with everyone and get back to me. 

We had our acupuncture appointments and then I checked my phone. It was actively ringing and it was Carlos’s mom. Spud was gone. She exited on her own. I told her that it didn’t hurt, that her body was shutting down and her brain had disconnected first. It sucked that she was no longer with us but it was her time. Later I found out that Carlos’s mom, in the height of her grief, got a phone call letting her know that her newest grandchild, a boy, was born in California. There is something poetic about the end and the beginning, the joy and the pain in all of that.

As humans, as people, we have such an interesting relationship with the animals that share this planet. The love of a pet is very special and something many of us would not want to live without. If I could, I would have a truckload of dogs and cats and sheep and goats and cows and everything. If I could, I would rescue them all. If I could, I would make sure that everyone had the opportunity to experience the love you get from animals. If I could.

Complete change of subject and then we’re going wrap this up. Lemonade was great this past weekend. Carlos was still not up to it so it was the Kati and Mom show again. I had been hoping for a real hot day, assuming that if people were thirsty we would have better sales. Remember how they say to be careful what you wish for? Yeah. We got a real hot day. Like 85. I forgot to bring shorts and felt melted by the end of it. (I am a big heat wuss and prefer 75 tops.) And since we’re in the lovely Pacific Northwest, it was a bit hot for others as well. Apparently I do not want a real hot day for better sales. What I want is a day warm enough to make people thirsty, but cool enough that they still come to the Farmer’s Market. Oops. And I’m not sure we’re going to get that ever. This weekend is supposed to be the same as last. Oh well. We’ll do our best and hope for the best. 

Again I want to thank everyone for being here and reading. And I am aware that I am scattered as hell and most of what I say barely relates to anything else I say. I claim exhaustion. And I am sorry this is another sad post, and I am sorry there were no cupcakes in it. Maybe next week we’ll do cupcakes. Have a great week and as always, if you’re in the area and haven’t melted into a puddle, come and see us. It’ll be worth it. I promise!



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