Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Animals and Geography

I have been thinking a lot lately of my little old kitty, Eleanor.

It's a trap.  She's going to grab my hand when I pet her.
One would think at the ripe age of 16 she would be dead.  Or incapacitated or frail or somehow mostly dead.

One would be wrong.  She takes medicines twice daily and has learned that when Grey is going to pill her, it behooves her to act cute and maybe purr him up in an effort to get him to not giver her that pill.  In fact, she has quickly learned how to get on his good side, his bad side and that sometimes he will spoil her (if I am not around) by putting her up on top of a book shelf.  She loves to be up high and will forgive almost anything when she is up there.  In turn, Grey has learned that Eleanor is pretty smart for an old cookie. That he can train her for certain actions, like teaching her some manners about sleeping beside his head.

Yes, apparently when I'm not around, she sleeps by him now. Quite adorable for a man who is allergic to almost every cat he has ever met.  Eleanor is only the second cat he has met that he isn't allergic to. Out of respect for my wonderful husband, who has made this effort because he loves me, I will not post pictures.

Do I look like I'd barf on you? 
But it is hilarious.

Anyway, Eleanor has presented me with a challenge.  In 2008, when I moved back to Oklahoma, I promised, promised, promised my little kitty (she was only 12 then) that we wouldn't move across the country again if she would just live through the trip.  I guess I lied, since we are set to once again make the trip to Washington.  During our frequent trips back and forth between Norman and Tulsa, we have been taking Eleanor with us as necessary.  She has apparently gotten much older these last few years as she tummy, bladder and other parts aren't faring well in the car.  I tried letting her out of her carrier, keeping her in the carrier, giving her some calm down remedy and giving her benadryl.

She had a bad reaction to the benadryl.  Really bad. Everything that can come out of a cat, came exploding out of the cat.  Onto me.  So I talked to my vet and he gave me a prescription for her for amitryptilene.  Amitryptilene is actually an antidepressant and so should alleviate her anxiety and/or make her sleep through the trip.  I'm hoping for sleep because she meows all the way there and back.  She didn't use to do this.  She used to sit in the passenger seat, sleeping or looking out the window.  Sometimes she would sing along to the music on the radio.

Grey and I are both anxious about her ability to survive this trip.  For his end, he has mapped out a 4 day, three night driving course to take us on a scenic trip from Oklahoma to Washington through Montana.  It's beautiful and I have driven this way several times.  But I usually make it in two days, whereas Grey has given us 4.  He is making hotel reservations!  This boggles my mind as I just drive until I can't keep my eyes open and then either sleep at a rest stop or find a motel to crash in for a couple of hours.  His way will be much gentler on our poor little kitty.  My job is to keep her sedated.

I went over a contingency plan with Grey last night: If for some reason Eleanor croaks on the road, I'm buying a travel cooler and some ice so that I can take her with us and have her cremated.  Yes, gross.  I know.  But I'm not leaving my cat in a dumpster in Missoula. Like any sane and normal person, Grey's eyes got that "You must be joking" look to them.  Then when he realized that I'm serious, he got that "You aren't joking.  Ewwwww" look.  "Ok."  That's all he said.  Let's hope that she makes it.

He loves snow
In other animal-related news, my awesome and amazing dog, Big, has gone to a new home.  He was graciously taken in by a family I know.  My friend Moon, who was the one who introduced Grey and I, and his wife now own a Norwegian Elkhound/Wolf mix.  Big joins a couple of other dogs, a few cats and four kids.  They are happy to have him and even their youngest son can walk him on leash.  Yeah, Big is a big gentle baby.  The Ingletts will make sure that he is babied too.

Snow is nice, but it's warmer in the house!
It was a difficult decision to not bring Big with me.  We are renting for the first year while I settle things with the house in Oklahoma.  Renting in a small college town means that it's impossible to find a place in the city limits that will accept a giant breed of dog.  No matter where I looked, I ran into the same problem.  So I did the right thing and found him a home.  Lots of people wanted Big and there were many places he have gone.  He is well trained, happy, sweet, gentle and very, very big and hairy. I am lucky to know so many kind-hearted and willing people.   He will be loved, safe and probably never bored!

In thinking of animals, there are some animals in Oklahoma that I will not miss:

Bark Scorpions are venomous.  And creepy!

Cicadas make a soothing sound in the trees but they look scary.
If you ever wondered how to get rid of scorpions, click here!

Nothing really wrong with June Bugs, but they have terrible navigation and tend to fly in to people.  I also found one in my bed a couple of years ago. 

There is one animal that I will greatly miss in Oklahoma: 

Lightning Bugs are the most beautiful sight on spring and summer evenings.

I didn't include a picture of chiggers, even though I know they are one of the most pesky of pesky Oklahoma critters.  Somehow, in my 13 years of life in Oklahoma, I have NEVER been bitten by one.  They are pretty yucky, burrowing into the skin and laying eggs.  The eggs die because people are unfit hosts, but the wounds left are itchy for weeks.  I have a friend who had to have prednisone after a hike with me.  He was itchy for weeks and still has scars on his legs from that excursion.  

While Washington state does not have to deal with all those flying and biting things, we still have rattlesnakes and fleas to contend with.  And bigger things that can eat you or your old kitty, like bears and coyotes.  

I'll keep you updated on Central Washington.  It will be a new experience for me too, since I have lived on either the extreme West coast or the eastern part, but never in the middle.  I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully give an idea of what we will deal with out there.  Can't be that bad, right?  Less than 150 miles to Seattle, over by a ski area and a mountain pass? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're coming home! All 4 sisters in the same state fulltime? Run Grey, Run! P.S. Please bring me some lightening bugs. I've never seen them.