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Christmas arrives. Along with it, more tears.

I'm too tired to plot out the points of this post so I'll ramble along the best I can. Last night I was up until about 3am with palpitations-I'm guessing from too much caffeine and stress. On top of that, Christmas, has not been an easy holiday for me to endure-yes endure. My parents are gone-3 years since my Mother died and 10 since my dad's been gone. Holidays give me a stomach ache, mostly. Little things make me cry. I try to find solace in visiting with my close friends, but all the family traditions are gone and I feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes. Maybe they protect me from the cold, but they don't fit quite right-maybe they smell a bit odd, too.

Today didn't get off to the best start. I was already tense about Donner and Cupid, who weren't eating well, or at all, the day before. When I opened the door to the foster room, I feared seeing a dead cat. Thankfully everyone was alive, but Mama-Cupid had clearly vomited all the food she ate the night before. I had gotten her to eat by offering her about ten different foods. I finally found a winner- crappy, grained dry food, but she ate. That's what was important. Now, a huge splash of vomit covered the left side of her dog crate. She was curled inside a covered cat bed next to the mess, looking limp and weak.

Sam has to help me give the meds to the cats. They get so many different medications, I can't hold them and give them the drops, ointment, creams, pills, what have you...When I tried to get some probiotic paste into Blitzen's mouth, he squirmed, then bit my thumb-a deep puncture bite. I threw myself backward and howled in pain. I knew I was in trouble if I didn't get it cleaned out quick.

I ran to the bathroom and grabbed at the betadine and hydrogen peroxide. I washed my thumb, trembling all the while. I soaked my thumb in a peroxide filled Dixie cup and kept squeezing at the wound to push any contaminants out of my finger. It bled profusely, which was good. Hopefully I got it cleaned out enough to keep me from having to visit the ER on a HOLIDAY!!!

After that, what could I do? I had to finish giving the 4 remaining cats their meds. By now I was cross and Sam was silent. We just did what we had to do, then I had to figure out how to get Cupid to eat, so I force fed her some A/D and warm water gruel. I hoped she could keep that down and that it would help her find her hunger again. She looked so miserable, but I have to do the best for her, whatever that may be.

Thankfully, little Donner ate. She ate a bit of this and a bit of that and a bit more, then had a drink. She looked a bit more perky. With any luck, she is out of the woods and on her way to being healthy again.

Then I tried to feed my own cats. Poor Bob is sneezing. He's either sick from being around Nora or he's got the nasty-ass bug my fosters have. He was reluctant to eat. I'm sure he can't smell his food. I tried and tried to get him to eat. I finally gave up and gave him some grain-free dry. He hasn't had dry food in a month. He gobbled it up greedily. At this point, I want to keep him going. I don't care what it takes.

I also put out a brand new electric blanket for Bob. I got it on sale at Tar-jay. I let it warm up, then carried a very irritated Bob over to the new bed. He sat on it, feeling the warmth. He started to purr and gently knead at the blanket. I feared he would electrocute himself, but he wasn't doing it too hard. He laid down and purred deeply. He looked relaxed and content. It was great to see him like that.

2009 Bob on electric blanket sm.jpg

Sam put on the "Yule Log" DVD. It's video footage of a fireplace with a nice fire going, so in essence you can pretend your TV IS a working fireplace. The soundtrack is rather poorly orchestrated Christmas songs, but it does the trick. It throws me over the edge and I burst into tears. I'm taken back to all the years my Mother would turn the TV to WPIX to watch the Yule Log broadcast. This was before there WERE DVDs or even computers in the home. My Mother would have my brother and I stand in front of the TV and pretend to warm our hands on the warmth from the phoney fire. Of course she would take a photo to commemorate the event. One year, when we were in our teens, my brother lit a piece of paper on fire and held it in front of the TV to add to the realism. I was terrified he would drop it onto the floor and set the house ablaze. Hey, he did it when he was four, so why stop at 15?

Sam didn't know what to do. He offered to get some present for me to open. He just didn't get it. Opening a present isn't going to fix a broken, stressed out heart. Then Sam got real quiet again. This was just not going well at all. Some times I just want to give up and leave, but I don't. There is no running away from heartache or missing your parents.

We both tried to right the ship. I sucked it up and said we should open our presents. I didn't expect much, nor did he. We both had some good surprises and it was all right, though there was little joy, more polite friendliness. Let's just get through this...right?

We were invited to visit some friends. I thought it would keep my mind occupied, which it did, but Sam stayed on one side of our friend's home, while I was on the other. I tried to make peace, while he sat quietly with a cat on his lap. I know he might be hurting, too. Sam has to have a root canal in a few days. He was treated with a big antibiotic injection and said he was doing all right, but maybe he wasn't. I don't know. Sam doesn't say much. Maybe you're noticing that trend. I'm too tired to talk to him to figure it all out. I got nothing left. He's got...I don't know what. I know he went to bed at 9:30pm and I am up, too wired to sleep.

If Cupid doesn't improve, I'll take her to see Dr Larry tomorrow. She's too thin to not be eating. She's separated from her kittens so they can't bother her. It's weird. They seem to know she's in trouble. When she gets up to use her litter pan, they run over to her dog crate to look in on her with interest. They so want to be with her, but she pays them no mind. She does her business, then goes back to her bed. Her sparkle, what little she had when she got here, is gone. I hope I can get it back.

As for my own sparkle, well, the odds are that I will get that back one of these days and I will get through this Holiday season. What I can't get back is a part of my heart. It was left behind with a small, crazy family that lived in a 2-story colonial house on Salem Road in Trumbull, CT. They did silly things during Holidays, like Olympic Score belching at the dinner table or take a family portrait and where our heads would be, we each have taped in place, a vinyl die-cut placemat of Santa's smiling face. There was something about all of us together that was magic and there's no getting that back.


Oh, Robin -- my adopted sister! I wish we lived closer so I could come over and help you with the kittehs and give Sam a break and then do stupid holiday shenanigans together! Hang in there, girlfriend. This, too, shall pass. I promise. :)

I'm sorry to hear your holidays are going rough. Maybe next year you and Sam can create some new traditions for yourselves... Not sure what, but something that respects your old traditions while creating something new that brings life and light!! I guess change is never avoidable even though it hurts so much.
Hoping your New Year is better,
Steph in Minneapolis, MN

Dunno if this will help.. I use it on Myst when he wont eat or isnt feeling good. I added some pumpkin to his canned food and mixed it up a bit with a fork. Little stinker almost ate the fork, but it seemed to settle his stomach for some reason. Dunno if that will help Cupid, but thought it couldnt hurt to suggest.

As for the holidays.. Carry handkerchiefs... I carry two myself. I dont hate the holidays.. but I dont look forward to them either. Pain fades.. given time.

Bob & Myst

Wishing everyone a happy (And healthy) new year!

Praying that Cupid and all the kittens will start getting better very soon, and that all your cats stay safe.

It is a very hard Xmas, but you are helping save decades of love-filled feline life. Take care of yourself as well as all the cats under your protection and love.

I am in FREEZING Saskatoon, Canada where my husband is from for Xmas.
I haven't had much time at the computer but I have been trying to read your Tweets and blog. I am thinking about you and wish I could give you a SUPER duper gigantic hug and make you a nice big mug of my best hot cocoa. Hang in there sister! I can so relate to all the stuff that is going on there with the kitties and the URI's. I only had two with kidney failure so it isn't any comparison but I wish I was there to offer you a helping hand. You take on too much!!!!! I know it is for the love of kitties, but if you don't take care of YOU, and SAM you can't help the kitties. Please try to take care of yourself.
I have no family of my own as well, so I get that part too. I am always the extra wheel at everyone else's holiday family events. It is hard and I shed some tears too.

Thinking of you!
Hang in there. AND TAKE A NICE LONG HOT bubble bath with a glass of wine OK??????

Big hugs,

I'm so sorry for your loss, sweetie. It sucks. Plain and so,ple.

Love to you.

Hope your little charges had a good day, and have a better one tomorrow. I've found that when mine get to the turning down food stage, hydration can turn them around. And sometimes I have had to suggest it to the vet (who goes.. That's a good idea...) I think maybe it's like oxygen for humans.. it can never hurt so they're liberal with it and sometimes it does help a lot? Anyway, take care.

Robin I am very sorry about your hard time at Christmas. It is immensely hard to miss our family and the traditions that were so special.

You have been so busy these past few months, taking on more and more with the cats and rescues. I think you need to take some time for yourself and also some Robin-and-Sam time too. I suggest that you don't take another batch of fosters after these, not for a little while, and just have a break. Sam obviously cares about you very much, but every relationship needs some time and help - every person needs time with their loved ones. There needs to be a balance between helping others and caring for your self.

Give Sam and yourself an extra Christmas present and promise to take a break. I do know how much these rescues mean to you, but sometimes in life, we just have to take a breath and say "No. There is something else that needs my time right now and is important. Everything else must wait". Then you can recover your own health and wellbeing, and also give some TLC to Sam and your relationship. That is very important too.

Your recent posts have all been full of stressful stuff. Your post today is obviously pain-filled because of your own situation and the difficulties with sick cats doesn't help. Do yourself, Sam and your family cats a favour and take a break, please?

Thank you Lizzie. I am going to do just that. After these kitties find their homes, I'm going to have to stop fostering for awhile. I'm thinking the month of January, but we will see how long the kitties need my help, but yes, I need to stop for a bit. It's been a lot more than I bargained for and I know I'm no good to anyone if I'm exhausted-as I am right now.

Thank you for your kind words and concern. I hear you loud and clear and I am going to follow your suggestions for sure-as soon as I can.

love those green eyes and orange fur!


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