11.28.2005

Avalon: 1991-2005

Subject: Avalon: 1991-2005
From: Scott Zrubek
Newsgroups: sff.discuss.cats

We brought him into our house in the Summer of 91, shortly after we'd
moved into the house. We picked him up because we thought Pypn (who
died earlier this year) could use a playmate. We picked him up at the
ripe old age of six weeks and he was neutered before we were able to
take him home. This may have affected his personality somewhat.

Avalon was lucky. His card at the SPCA listed him as DMH (Domestic
Medium Hair). I had been told I could not bring home a long-haired cat.
When Kim saw the guy in whom I was interested, she pointed to his
longish fur. I pointed to the card on his cage. She sighed. I
cheered.

He was a darling little kitten, best known for climbing into the
telephone stand and hiding behind the telephone books. He'd reach out
and snag a shoestring if we dangled one nearby with "The Claw". He'd
curl his paw around that string and happily munch away.

We took him to be groomed once, with Pypn. We think this may have had a
severe effecton his psyche. Several days after we brought him home from
the groomer, we noticed a several inch long scar on his belly. I think
he was far more reserved from this point on.

He was not an adventurous cat. When visitors would come to the house,
he would head to our back bedroom. He might grace us with his presence
in 20 minutes or so, if he knew that not too many folks were in the
house. If he recognized the voices as familiar he would come out, as
well.

He loved the rattan chair that Kim's parents gave us a number of years
ago. It was his favorite spot, a great spot to watch our front yard.
He'd sleep in it and watch the world in the front of the house go by.
Unfortunately, he was unable to enjoy it for the past few months, as the
chair was behind toddler gates that we set up to block part of the house
off from the dogs. He was unwilling to jump over the gates to get to
his chair and we had no place to put it for him to get to.

As a fighter, he wasn't very skilled, but he got lots of practice. The
other cats would brush up on their skills with him. He perfected the
"Bear" posture and he and Hobeaux would battle in that posture for
minutes on end with no sounds being made. Very Zen-like.

He did not like the outdoors, and would scuttle away from an open door
if it presented itself until recently. After we fenced in the yard for
the dogs, he considered the back yard a safe environment and he would
wander around for short periods of time. As recently as Friday, he was
interested in going outside.

He ended up being our biggest cat at 20 lbs. He did not achieve such
stature until recently, but it did affect his ability to keep his medium
length fur in good shape. I was cutting mats out on a regular basis
over the past 2 years.

He was a trooper at the end. He was willing to make the effort to get
off of the vet's table and go somewhere else. He passed quietly after
the vet performed her functions.

I hope he, Pypn and Hobeaux are curled up together keeping each other
warm. We miss them all tremendously.

Goodbye, Avalon (aka Furball and Sir Cardinal Fang)

11.21.2005

Same song, third verse

Two years ago, about this time, Hobeaux was diagnosed with kidney failure. We gave him subcutaneous fluids and various medications and nursed him along until it was obvious he was ready to go.

Early this year, Pypn was diagnosed with the same condition. Knowing how hard it was on Hobeaux and us, we just made him as comfortable as possible. No fluid, no meds. I think he lasted about the same amount of time before he told us he was ready to go.

Last week, Avalon was diagnosed with kidney failure. Earlier this year, he was at 20 pounds. At his yearly checkup last month he was at 15. We thought it might have been related to stress from evacuating for Rita, or at the loss of Pypn his buddy for all of his life. When we took him in last week, he was at 13 pounds.

This furry, shy guy is not long for this world. He's still moving around well, jumping up onto the bed, sofa and other favorite places. He still is wandering around outside, inside the fence, as well. But he has no appetite, so these joys will disappear soon.

11.17.2005

4 Eyes

Went to a couple of Dr.'s appointments the other day. One of them was my eye Dr. I probably hadn't been to see him, specifically, in about 10 years. I had been to see a different doc about 3 or 4 years ago. But, my preferred guy wasn't on my old insurance and is my current insurance, so off I went.

No major, or even minor quibbles with my eyes, according to him. New glasses were in order, though.

I'm wearing them today and, as usual, it takes a while to get used to new prescriptions. The new ones are stronger, but still only for computer work. I've saved the old pair for work at home, in case I decide to use them there.

11.10.2005

Stayin' home and lovin' it

I was driving in to work this morning during rush hour. A white Dodge pickup was in front of me with the above saying stickered onto the back window.

Apparently someone is not staying home and loving it. Otherwise, why would they be on the road at that god-forsaken hour?

11.04.2005

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

The in-laws were in town over the weekend. One of my tasks while they were here was to cook out on the grill/smoker we've got on the back patio (it still isn't back to its pre-Rita location).

The objects of the searing heat: 2 whole chickens and several Rib-Eye steaks. The Rib-Eyes are the meat of choice for grilling. The chickens were the second item to be smoked on this grill.

Kim and her mom prepped the chickens with a rub about 24 hours in advance, and they marinated the Rib-Eyes at the same time.

I got the grill going with some hickory logs from my local dirt yard and cooking along at a nice 250 degrees. The chickens got plopped at the far end of the cooking surface from the fire and absorbed the smoke and heat for about 2.5 - 3 hours. I had to add additional wood about every 30 - 45 minutes to keep the heat up. At the end of the time, the skins of the chicken were very dark and the leg bones were able to be pulled out without much effort: a sign that they are done.

The rib-eyes went on, stright over the fire and came off about 25 minutes later.

The chicken were received with gushing reviews. They were very tasty and still exstremely moist. I think the reviews were well-deserved. Kim's mom says she wants smoked chickens instead of turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I think it sounds like a good idea.