It’s Been a Bit!

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Good evening, Goose fans! 

It’s been a bit since I wrote anything, and I am simply here to give a quick update in the life of the Goose and her family. Nothing huge, and I’m mainly just writing to say that we’re all alive and well and surviving the Midwest Winterpocalypse of ’14.

Not that the snow has been THAT bad, but I have to be honest and say that I forgot how to drive a stick-shift in slush or slick for a while. It’s just like riding a bike, though. On ice. 

So the Goose’s second birthday is coming up, and I used the funds gained through participating in the work/family conflict study to purchase an early gift — a small table and two chairs! She loves them, and I will post pictures at some point.

The Missus and I are finally in a place where we’ll probably be able to move into our own home within a couple months! No, we’re not buying a house. We’re not THAT fiscally solvent just yet. Student loans are a killer! No, we’re going to rent for now, and give my parents their own space back. It’s been good living with them. We’ve survived close proximity to my parents. More importantly, my wife hasn’t left me for having to live with her in-laws. Again, not that my parents are hard to get along with, but if you have ever had to live for the better part of a year with *your* parents, gentle reader, you know what I’m talking about. It’ll be nice to have some space again.

I have a project in the works! As a behavior consultant, I write and implement positive behavior support plans for the people I serve. Basically, I create strategies to help people make good decisions, and then make frameworks in which they learn to clean up their own messes when they *don’t* make such good decisions. I have decided that the Goose needs a “formal” behavior plan, and I’m working on putting it together. In actual practice, the state guidelines allow 45 days for the creation of an analysis of behavior function (for example, when she screams for Daniel Tiger when we turn off the TV, is she attempting to access attention or a tangible item?), and then another 14 days to write the actual behavior plan. This means that the behavior plan will probably be done when she is sixteen and totally owns us. As if she doesn’t totally own us anyway. Whenever I have it done, though, I will share it with you.

On that note, it’s time to put the Goose to bed. Nice chatting with you again!

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A Somber Celebration

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It’s a somber night in the house of Goose, and yet…

Well, tonight is a tough night. The cat my parents have had since I was 17 is not long for this world. He’s a beautiful shelter cat who was eight when my parents got him, and is now the ripe old age of 25. What cat lives to be 25?? This one, evidently, and his name is Loial.

Loial is no longer the strong specimen you see in the photo above. In the last few weeks, he’s lost most of his body weight, and in the last several days, he’s stopped cleaning himself. Today, he decided he’s done eating and drinking, and I imagine it won’t be long before he’s eating the new catfood at the banquet table in Glory.

I love this cat, and because I love him, I’m ready for him to go. Well, mostly ready. It’s always hard to say goodbye.

The hardest part of this, though, is that the Goose is very attached to Loial. He’s been very good to her, allowing her to put things on his back (blankets, aprons, Peter Francis) with minimal protest. Nothing seems to delight her as much as when Peter Francis Giraffee is riding on Loial’s back around the kitchen.

The Goose was recently sick with a flu, and ever since, she’s been especially sensitive to the word “sick”. This has left a predicament in how to explain Loial’s decline. I don’t want her to think that “sick” means “go away forever”, but she’s not old enough to understand what the words “Loial is leaving forever” mean. 

One day, she’ll understand, and that future understanding breaks my heart for her today.

But you know what, Goose? Let’s remember the good times with Loial and your apron. Or Loial and Peter Francis.

I remember when I found out we had Loial. When I was in high school, my parents and I had had a cat named Jake for about a year, but Jake succumbed to a bladder disorder and had to be put down, and it broke my heart. Two months later, on Valentine’s day, my brother and I were in the kitchen with my mom when I heard the strangest sound. “Meow!” I looked at my mom and asked what that noise was, and once the cat was out of the bag (so to speak), she couldn’t keep the secret any longer. They had a beautiful Siamese mix hidden out of the way in a kitty carrier. Love was kindled on that Valentine’s day seventeen years ago.

Love is rekindled this year, albeit in a more somber fashion. Memories make the past and the present all that much closer to the heart.

Another memory! Loial and I used to play a game together, where he’d be on the stairs and I’d peek around the corner and stare at him. Then I’d jump back around the corner and hide. When I’d peek again, he’d be a little closer, and very interested. We’d go back and forth, and sometimes he’d jump out and scare me, and sometimes I’d do the jumping. Once in particular, he’d gotten close to the bottom of the stairs, and I jumped around and shouted at him. All part of the game! Poor cat ran straight up the stairs, turned a hard left STRAIGHT INTO THE WALL, bounced off, and ran around the corner. Poor cat! But I still laugh about the look on his face. 

A final fun memory. I was standing in the kitchen when something small and brown whizzed past me, followed by the gray blur of Loial. They ran up the stairs, and when I got there, he’d cornered a chipmunk that had gotten into the house somehow. Poor chipmunk fainted dead away, and I took him outside where he revived and scampered off.

Goose, hold on to good memories. They’re some of the things that remind you that even though life ends, it’s worth living.

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