The New Now

Remember: This pandemic is not the “new normal,” this is just the “new now.” Thirteen-year-old Bode has always been a deeply intuitive child. On Friday, he taught us an important lesson on perspective during our little graveside service for our beloved pet.

Bode was 3 when we adopted Fat Kitty and it was his earliest memory. “I remember when we were driving home with him for the first time that it was Dark outside,” he shared. “But then today when we were driving home with him for the last time after putting him down, it was Light.”

I was struck. During one of the saddest moments of his young life—when that car felt silent and dark—all he saw was light.

A month ago, I listened to a podcast by Boyd Matheson about perspective and this “New Now” we’re all living. It’s so easy to overreact but we don’t necessarily know if something is good or bad in the beginning. We just know it’s hard, discouraging or frustrating.

Boyd shared the story of an incident in high school that altered his course as a collegiate athlete…and the wise community member who shared the powerful Sufti tale. A certain farmer had a series of potentially devastating events to which his friends empathized about the unfairness of each tragedy but the farmer’s response was always the same, “This isn’t so awful, we just don’t know.” The outcome at the end of a series of unfortunate events was a miraculous, life-saving one. (It’s a short but wonderful lesson and worth a listen:

The Farmer’s Judgment .. A Sufi tale

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had some land a ways outside the village.
He had a son to help him and one good horse. Indeed, it was a magnificent horse.
So magnificent, that when the King passed through the village, he heard about the
horse and asked to see it.

The King was so impressed that he offered the farmer a considerable amount of
gold for the horse. But the farmer would not part with his horse, and the King went away.

The next day, the horse ran away!

The villagers rushed to the farmer and exclaimed, “Oh, how awful. Your horse
is gone and you don’t have the gold! What a bad thing has happened to you!”

The Farmer replied, “Well, I don’t know that it’s a bad thing, but I do know
my horse is gone and that I don’t have the gold.”

A few days later, the Farmer’s horse returned. And, not only did the horse come back,
he brought six wild and beautiful horses with him. Each would be worth a great
sum once they were broken and trained.

When the villagers heard, they rushed out to see the horses and to say to the
Farmer, “Oh, you were right! It was not a bad thing that your horse ran away.
Now he has returned and brought you six more fine horses. It is a good thing!”

“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not,” the Farmer said. “I just
know that my horse has come back and brought me six more horses.”

The following day the Farmer’s son was trying to break one of the wild horses and
he fell off and broke both his legs. Again the Villagers visited the Farmer and
they exclaimed, “Oh, you were right! It was a bad thing that your horse came
back with six more horses. Now, your son has broken both legs and cannot help you
with your crops. Surely you will suffer great losses. Oh, what a bad thing!”

And the Farmer said, “Well, I don’t know whether it’s a bad thing or not. I only
know that my son was thrown from a horse and that both his legs are broken.”

The next day the King returned to the village. He was leading his soldiers to the
border where the kingdom was engaged in a terrible battle with a neighboring country
The enemy was fierce and most of the young soldiers were marching to their death.

As the King passed through the village he rounded up all the young men to join in
the fighting. Of course, the Farmer’s son, with his broken legs, did not have to go.

After the King and his men left, the Villagers rushed to the Farmer and exclaimed,
“Oh, you were right! It was a good thing that your son fell off the horse and
broke his legs. Now he will certainly not die in this war as will so many other young men.

The Farmer replied, “Well, I don’t know if it’s a good thing, or not. But I
know that my son did not have to go with the King to fight this battle.

And so the story goes….

All these things that are seemingly crumbling around us? We don’t know if this is so awful. I’m trying really hard to resist the urge to host my own pity party, remember that perspective matters and always look for the Light.

In Memory of Remy “Fat Kitty” Tiger Johnson

We said good-bye to Fat Kitty today.  Since his colon cancer diagnosis on Monday, we were prayerful about when to put him down. We selfishly wanted more time with him but we didn’t want him to be in pain so as we saw his rapid decline, we knew Friday would be the day.

The doctor prescribed Prednisone to shrink the tumor and anti-diarrheal and anti-nausea meds but trying to get him to take them was moderately traumatic for him and us (he hid under Bode’s bed and was afraid of us). We made the difficult decision to not continue his meds so he could live his final few days in peace. And that they were. His little body was slowly shutting down. His once robust appetite was replaced by barely eating a few morsels a day, he strained to go to the bathroom and he withered away before our eyes, considerably lighter when we picked him up. I always proclaimed he was just big-boned and that he was…when most of his fat gone, Jamie estimated he was still 1 foot across when laying down.

Fat Kitty has prepared us for his departure all week, slowly pulling away and occasionally seeking privacy and refuge under Bode’s bed, something he hasn’t done in the 10 years since we brought him home. Jamie told us it was like an elephant graveyard…our sweet boy just knew the end was near. Jamie and Bode built him a little coffin made of wood and Hadley drew flowers and a sweet message. My wonderful friend Sarah came over on Tuesday to do a family photoshoot with him. He hated every minute but I’ll treasure those pictures forever. 

Last night was hard knowing it was his final night on earth. He fell asleep by my side but I awoke at 1 a.m., stressed about him and work. I looked around and he had disappeared. I surmised he had retreated under Bode’s bed again and I worked for a couple more hours. As I started to return to try to sleep again, I heard something in the laundry room: he was trying to go to the bathroom in his litter box. We met out in the living room and connected in a beautiful, tender way. As I looked into those magnificent green eyes, he told me he was ready. It was time. I brought my beautiful boy back to bed with me, in tears, and savoring every last minute with him. I only got two hours of sleep that night but it was a sweet night I’ll never forget.

He has been struggling all week but today, he was a bit more energetic. The weather was finally warm and sunny enough to go outside. He and Hadley explored his beloved fields and our neighbor’s yard. He sat on the porch cushion for an hour basking in the sunshine. When he came back inside, he retreated to Bode’s dark room for some privacy but Bode, Hadley and I surrounded him with snuggles on the bed. Poor cat was probably like, “Just leave me alone!” But we wouldn’t. That afternoon, I dimmed the lights to my bedroom, played some calming music as Hadley and I massaged and snuggled him for his final few hours on earth.  We said a tearful family prayer with him one last time.

(Final touch and a smile)

Due to COVID-19, the vet clinic no longer does home visits so we had no choice but to take him back to the clinic. We waited on the back lawn as he anxiously sniffed the air and watched the birds. Every night before bed, Bode falls asleep to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again,” and gosh darn if that kid didn’t play the song and make us cry all over again.

The vet tech came out to us, took Fat Kitty inside the hospital to shave his paw and insert an intravenous cannula. She returned with the veterinarian who was so gentle, sensitive and kind with him and us. We placed him in the middle of us, touching his back as the injection traveled through the tube and a matter of seconds, he slowly bowed his head and fell asleep. It was fast. It was heartbreaking. It was peaceful. 

Jamie placed him in his little casket and wrapped him with Aunt Lisa’s beloved blankie. I held him the drive home, just as I did the first time we brought him to our house 10 1/2 years ago.

We gathered around the little grave the kids and I dug this week. I asked if anyone had anything to say. Filled with emotion, Bode spoke up. He was 3 when we brought Fat Kitty home and he doesn’t remember life without him.

“I still remember when we brought him home to our house in Arvada, it was dark outside,” he reminisced as he looked up at the bluebird sky. “But today as we drove him back home for the last time, we were going toward the light.”

I read a eulogy I wrote (below) about our sweet boy, Jamie did a beautiful dedicatory prayer of the grave and we said good-bye to our boy forever. How blessed we were to have such a sweet, loyal and kind pet in our lives.


 Jamie’s Facebook post:

To our dear pet of more than 10 years, Fat Kitty. To say our relationship was complicated, would be an understatement. I would explain my dissatisfaction at times for your early wake-up calls and you would show your dissatisfaction with a poop surprise.

Although our relationship was mutually love/hate, I loved you because you loved my family. There is no cat that has ever been more adored by two children and a wife. You brought them constant joy and for that I love you.

I will miss you hunting voles in the backyard. I will miss seeing you curled up with Amber on the bed. I will miss your strange but wonderful conversations with Hadley. I will miss the strange way you would lean yourself up against the wall so you could lick your Buddha belly. And I will miss your absolute zest and passion for food.

Sleep well, Sweet Kitty.


My eulogy:

Remy “Fat Kitty” Tiger Johnson (October 2006ish – April 17, 2020) 

Our beloved pet, son, brother, mentor and best friend passed away from Colon Cancer on April 17, 2020. Fat Kitty lived a full life (or rather, spent much of his life full) in the company of his dad Jamie, mom Amber, sister Hadley and fraternal twin brother Bode.

Fat Kitty was rescued when he was about three years old and went on to spend 10 ½  wonderful years with the Johnsons. His talents included catching mice and then sitting on them for fun, doing backflips off window sills after slamming into the blinds, getting attacked by mama magpies for attempting to stalk her babies, eating copious amounts of TUNA, finding the softest place to sleep and using poop as a weapon when he was mad.

Fat Kitty always had to be near his humans, snuggling, purring and loving them hard. He was loyal and protective and would see his children off to school every morning and greet them when they arrived home. His “meow of death” made an appearance during his three memorable baths–two baths were the result of a muddy life on the lam, the other after his brother finger-painted him with chocolate pudding. Fat Kitty would quizzically look at his humans anytime they tried to (what’s that word again?) do a thing called playwith him…but they would occasionally see bouts of whimsy when his beloved Mr. Fluffles made an appearance.

(Mr. Fluffles)

Fat Kitty is preceded in death by Amber’s mom “Grandma B” who passed away almost exactly one year ago. The night before her passing in a midnight interchange with her son, she quietly told him, “I’m ready to go home.” At 3 a.m., just 12 hours before Fat Kitty’s untimely death, he and Amber had a similar encounter as he gently told her it was time.  He passed away peacefully the next day on the lawn of the Wasatch Animal Clinic surrounded by his loving family and the veterinarian who poked and prodded him his final weeks….but who provided the ultimate healing in the end.

Fat Kitty was buried in his backyard near the gate he used to sneak out of, overlooking the fields where he spent some of the happiest days of his life catching his “mouse friends.” He was laid to rest in the (kind of) little wood coffin his dad and brother built that was painted with roses by his sister. He is forever wrapped in the loving embrace of his favorite blankie and sealed with love.

May we all live our fullest lives like Fat Kitty by eating a lot, slumbering in splendor, crapping on the stuff you hate and, most importantly, always staying physically connected to the ones you love.

Our Sweet Boy

Fat Kitty has colon cancer.

His health has been failing him this week and I thank God a thousand times our spring break plans to Sea Island were canceled due to COVID-19 because he would have been all alone.

There have been signs the past couple of months that something was wrong but we didn’t pick up on them. He was throwing up a lot more…which we just attributed to binging and purging grass (which he tends to do). And then there is the trauma of the basement being finished. We’ve had a lot of loud noises pounding away, we completely filled our storage room with furniture which is where his kitty litter and food are located and he has refused to go down there. We thought he was just being anxious and his stubborn self. And of course, there’s the pooping. Since he wasn’t using his kitty litter box, he has been having accidents everywhere.

But it was when his vomiting came to the point where he couldn’t keep any of his food down last week, we took him to Wasatch Animal Clinic. Due to the Coronavirus, we weren’t able to take him inside so it was drive-thru service where we dropped him off and someone did the check-up while we waited in the car. They took his blood and treated him for deworming.  His levels from the blood test came back normal except for high white blood cells which generally means an infection. The vet thought he might have a UTI so we took him back on Friday. He should have gotten better but he was worse all weekend. Lethargic. Vomiting. Diarrhea. Even with the Easter commotion yesterday, he made a brief appearance before weakly going back to my bed, the place where he loves the most–curled up at my feet or by my side every night on the softest blanket. 

We took him back to the vet again today (Monday). It had been a week since this all started and they did an ultrasound this time and found a tumor. Colon cancer.  The four of us were crying as we listened to the vet tell us our options. 1) Chemotherapy. Expensive and painful treatments. And with an old kitty, it really wouldn’t add that much time to his life. 2) Prednisone. The same drug that gave Jamie life during his cancer treatments. It can’t cure Fat Kitty but it could possibly shrink the tumor and give us a few more weeks to say good-bye. 3) The vet could put him down at his office right there. WHAT?!

Jamie suggested we say a prayer to figure out our course of action and we ultimately decided to treat him with prednisone. He’s in a lot of pain right now so we’ll see if we can stabilize him and if not, we’ll say good-bye sooner than later. We don’t really have any pictures with him so our friend Sarah is going to come and take some for us.

As Hadley and I were sobbing on the drive home from our appointment today, I suggested we sing a song to make us feel better from my favorite movie “The Sound of Music.” Except when we got to the second line of “My Favorite Things” and it said, “Raindrops on roses, WHISKERS ON KITTENS,” we decided that maybe singing isn’t such a good idea right now.

So, we’re just going to enjoy these final hours or days we have with our beloved pet of more than a decade, unapologetically feeling the pain of this loss while honoring the world’s collective trauma of grief, panic over livelihoods, panic over loss of lives of loved ones, the anxiety of uncertainty and missed milestones, no matter how big or small because right now, it all feels big.

Fat Kitty: A decade-long celebration!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since Fat Kitty came into our lives! Here is his introduction to the world!

I wouldn’t have believed it if you asked me if I would be a cat owner. Jamie had a beloved Cocker Spaniel, Duchess, growing up while I had Lacey the Bichon Frise. When I was younger, we had a spicy tomcat named Peppery who was the neighborhood bully. I used to dress him up in doll clothes and push him around in my doll stroller (which I’m sure went over splendidly) but he wasn’t what you’d call a beloved pet.  Rumor has it you’d be innocently sitting on the couch and he would pounce on your head from behind. His ultimate demise was getting in one of his many catfights at night and we had to put him down because his battle wounds got infected.

So, he was pretty much the opposite of Fat Kitty.

Jamie and I debated getting a pet because our Denver years were filled with so much travel that we didn’t know how we would manage it all. Though we loved dogs, they’re expensive and high-maintenance so when Jamie’s parents announced a move to Utah, we decided upon a cat to fill the void. I put it out on social media and a blogger friend had sadly relinquished her kitty when they moved and so we visited him in the shelter and were ready to adopt…but he was very sick, on a rigorous treatment plan and they didn’t know if he would make it.

I turned to Craigslist and made a posting about a loving family looking for a loving kitty and a woman reached out to us. She had a sweet kitty “Tiger” she had adopted from the shelter a few months ago but her current cat beat up on him (even taking a bite out of his ear).  They estimated he was about 3 years old and she had declawed him because of her leather couches; would we want to come see him?

It was love at first sight. Kind of. He was super shy and hid underneath the furniture. When we finally brought him out, he was a big, green-eyed beauty…but it wasn’t until we tried to put him in his crate that we realized just how big. The poor thing was terrified on the drive home (he still hates the car) and I pet him the whole drive home. I think he imprinted on me and I’ve been the favorite ever since.  We named him Remy but he has been Fat Kitty ever since.

It took him about 6 months to acclimate to our crazy clan and he spent much of that time hiding under beds and behind couches. However, on the first night we brought him home, he woke me up when he snuck into our bedroom. I pretended to be asleep when he jumped up on our bed and analyzed me for what felt like hours. Just when I wondered if this strange, new cat was plotting my death, he crept over to me and wrapped himself around my neck, purring. It was then I knew he’d be a good kitty.

He’s everyone’s favorite (well, except for Jamie because their relationship is dysfunctional at best) and here are a few of our favorite things about him for posterity:

Fat Kity has to find the softest blanket or pillow in the house to lay down (despite his permanent belly padding).

He is the least playful cat ever (and looks at you like you’re an idiot for even trying). We bought a lot of toys before we brought him home and couldn’t get him to play with any of them. We contacted the previous owner to see what he liked to play with and she hedgingly said, “He’s not really super playful.” Understatement.

He is, however, a lover and curls up next to us for marathon snuggles. He sleeps by my side or at my feet every night and becomes unglued whenever I’m out of town. Just ask Jamie; he gets the brunt of Fat Kitty’s neurosis every time I leave for extended periods of time.

The first time he caught a mouse at our house in Arvada, he didn’t know what to do so sat on it (undoubtedly a fate worse than death).

One our funniest memories is when Hadley and I were snuggled up in my bed and he walked into the bedroom. He was fairly agile when we first got him and liked to jump up on the window will. This particular day, the blinds were 3/4 of the way down so when he jumped up, he knocked right into them and flipped over backward. Hadley and I laughed for the next 30 minutes.

He has been an indoor kitty with outdoor tendencies so we slowly started letting him in our backyard. Our old yard was fenced in but a few times, he jumped up on the fence via the Powerbox and went on the lam. We found him a few doors down under our neighbor’s porch with their very enthusiastic Golden Retriever, Kozmo, excitedly pointing him out. He was hiding in a little hole so we ultimately had to spray him out with the hose which went over splendidly. He was covered in mud so it was one of his first baths where we were introduced to the “Meow of Death.” He hates water!

One of his other baths was when Bode finger-painted him with pudding. It took several years for Fat Kitty to warm up to Bode but they’re bestest brothers now. We estimate they were both 3 years old when we got Fat Kitty and if you know 3-year-olds, you know they’re not super great around pets. Bode never hurt him but just LOVED him so much that his snuggles were like being mauled.

Hadley, on the other hand, was obsessed. We got him when she was in kindergarten and every essay, drawing and conversation revolved around him for a few years.

After Fat Kitty went on the lam, we decided he needed supervised exercise so we bought him a leash to walk around the neighborhood. Do you know that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula is working at the travel agency and sees Ian for the first time when she is wearing a headset to talk on the phone and she gets embarrassingly yanked back? That was Fat Kitty every time we put him on the leash. He would try to run away until he realized (too late) he was attached.

Fat Kitty hates change so our move was pretty traumatic for him. First, he had to go on field trips to the neighbors during our house showings and then he freaked out when we started packing up the house. And the 10-hour drive to Utah? Bad, bad, bad. We got him a sedative from the vet and tested it out on him a couple of weeks prior. He was a hilarious drunken sailer and we figured he’d conk right out but no such luck. Hadley and Jamie drove with him and he cried/meowed the entire 10-hour drive. When we arrived at Jamie’s parent’s house in Utah, he pooped in a few inappropriate places and then passed out on the couch from the trama. Poop is his weapon of choice when he is ticked off.

While our house was being finished, we stayed in my friend Kristen’s gorgeous Park City condo which didn’t allow pets so Fat Kitty stayed with Grandma for a few months. He was pretty traumatized those first weeks following the move and being abandoned but sure warmed up to her, Aunt Lisa and Grandpa. When we would come visit, he made very clear that GRANDMA was his new favorite person. They put him on a diet so he dropped a few pounds; it was the first time anyone has ever come home from Grandma’s weighing less.

He loved our old backyard in Arvada with his greenery and bushes to chill out in the shade. Our 0.5-acre property has been a dirt/weed patch but we finally got it landscaped this summer and he has had the time of his life! We back to some huge fields for prime mousing and he would sometimes disappear for a few hours. But we’ve never had any runaway incidents since our move. In his old age (13) he knows who butters his bread.

Speaking of bread, Fat Kitty has dropped a few pounds and is back to his svelte figure from the Grandma days. He was throwing up a lot last summer. and he had a lump on his side. We started freaking out he was ill and started by cutting back on his food (we would always just leave a large bowl out for him). His forced “diet” did the trick. That lump was just a blob of fat and he was throwing up because he was purging after overeating.

So, now he’s just a kinda Fat Kitty instead of morbidly obese Fat Kitty.

And we’re pretty darn grateful to have had this sweet boy in our lives for 10 wonderful years.


See this guy? 

He’s going through a late-in-life crisis. We’ve been traveling the last few weekends. First, to Salt Lake City for Christmas, then to Zion for New Year’s and then again last weekend for Jamie’s grandpa’s funeral. Compound that with the fact I’ve been gone a lot lately–and it’s about to get worse–and this guy is needy, needy, needy. We try to give him as much attention as we can when we’re around but his anxieties are manifesting themselves early in the morning.

Apparently we’ve made a bad choice in feeding him kitty treats after we wake up because he’s become downright obsessed with them, so much so that he desperately needs them at 4 a.m. And 4:30 a.m. And sometimes at 5 a.m. I normally love having him sleep at my feet but these early mornings are killing Jamie and me, especially because he hasn’t been sleeping well anyway (sometimes he doesn’t fall asleep until 1 or 3 a.m.) So, we started locking Fat Kitty out of our room and while he’s happy to go to sleep with Bode, he has made it clear we are his No. 1 choice. The other morning, he stood outside of our door meowing. I tried to shush him away but he kept right on going. In a desperate attempt to get him to shut up and not wake everyone else, I got up but didn’t give into him by rewarding him with kitty treats until much later. If it works for kids, it works for cats, right?

Nope. Fat Dude has a food quota to reach every day and he doesn’t go down easily. So, last night we made a new plan: to let him “meow it out.” The problem with that is it wakes us up but unlike when we let our kids cry it out, we aren’t worried about something being actually wrong.

Last night was night one of Operation Meow It Out and we cranked our humidifier to high so we wouldn’t hear him. I had to go to the bathroom at one point in the night but told myself, “Don’t do it. HE’LL KNOW YOU’RE AWAKE AND WILL START MEOWING.” At 4 a.m., he came calling but I only heard him meow once…likely because I was in my own stupor from lack of sleep. I went on to feverishly dream about him but was wracking my brain about the word he used to express his displeasure.

When I woke up, I remembered that word loud and clear: “MEOW.”

Heaven help us all. We’re being held hostage by a fat cat.

The Prodigal Cat Has Returned

Fat Kitty has had a rough six months. First, we started tearing apart our house and loading everything up in boxes.

Then, we’d dump him off at our neighbor’s house during three months of house showings.

And don’t forget about the 10-hour drive to Utah where he was so traumatized he meowed the entire drive, despite being given a sedative (that is one strong-willed cat).

Then, after only a few days with us at Grandma’s, we left him there to fend for himself. He was so depressed he didn’t even leave the basement for the first week.

Poor, poor kitty.

Our Park City rental didn’t allow pets so my in-laws graciously let him stay for a couple of months. We’ve been in our house for almost four weeks and we had every intention of quickly bringing him to our new home but the chaos continued as we unpacked and finished off two rooms in our basement. We FINALLY wrapped the construction last week and moved Hadley into her bedroom after the poor girl has endured several weeks of sleeping on the floor in my office and then a few days on the beanbag.

We were excited to finally bring Fat Kitty home!

On Friday, Duane, Linda and Aunt Lisa drove him out to Midway (amidst much meowing, of course) and poor Fat Kitty could not have been more confused. He tepidly walked into his new home, explored a bit and then dove under our bed. A while later he reemerged to survey the rest of the house and he seems to be settling pretty smoothly. That night, he cuddled up to me on my pillow and all was right in Fat Kitty’s world again.

Now, lest you feel sorry for The Fat One, don’t. Living at Grandma’s for three months has been like a Fat Cat Day Spa/Boot Camp. They bought him new food dishes, a cat tower, scratching pad (which he loves despite being declawed?), a comfy bed (he’s currently curled up in it as I type) and lots of toys. Much to all of our shock, The Fat One (a.k.a. the laziest cat in America) loves to play in the evenings. Who knew?

As we curled up to Fat Kitty in Bode’s bed that first night, my sweet boy commented, “I had forgotten how joyful it is to have him around.”

And he is a joyful, sweet, gentle, snuggly cat.

Not only has he emerged from The Grandma Spa more playful with a new lease on life, he also has a girlish figure. They put him on a diet with a very regimented feeding schedule and he lost two pounds.

The miracle of the matter? He’s the only one to EVER emerge from Grandma’s house skinnier than when he entered.

Sometimes you’re the cat, sometimes you’re the mouse

In the past, we had a problem with baby bunnies falling down our window well and as much as we hated to do it, we rescued and relocated them. I used to be a big fan of bunnies–heck, I adored my childhood pets Whiskers and Snowflake until my Aunt Sue’s dog had them for lunch. But in our neighborhood, the rabbits are pests who destroy our garden. Jamie has finally successfully blocked them out of our backyard so was surprised when he was downstairs on the phone and noticed movement in our window well. Big movement.

Shocked, he gazed upon Fat Kitty frantically pacing back and forth with a mouse in his mouth.  Being the nice man that he is, Jamie went outside and jumped down in the window well to save him but much to Fat Kitty’s dismay, he got rid of the mouse.

An open letter to The Fat One:

If you’re going to drop down into the window well in hot pursuit of a mouse, make sure you’re not too fat to jump out.

A Few Weeks (from Hell) in the Life of Fat Kitty

An Open Letter from Fat Kitty Voicing His Displeasure About Getting Booted During Our House’s Multiple Showings

One day I was snuggling up to my human friends. It was snowy and cold when Human Mother told Human Sister to take me across the street to Grandma Jean’s house.

I don’t like field trips. The only time I like to leave is when I sneak away and I never go far.

The Human Family left me with this stranger with only my blanket and food.

Grandma Jean has two cats. They cornered and sniffed me.

I do not like to be sniffed. Warning: Do not go anywhere near my butt.

I hid under Grandma Jean’s bed for the entire two hours.

When Human Mother and Father came to get me, I would not move for The Betrayers. Betrayer #1 took the broom and poked me until I came out.

That was Day From Hell #1.

The next Day From Hell was even worse because hell was moving.

I think it was called a car and I was in it.

The humans took me to their friend’s fancy house to lock me in their laundry room while they were out of town.

They had a key and the security code but not the instructions how to do it.

The security alarm sounded.

I freaked out and kindly requested to go back to Grandma Jean’s with the butt-sniffing cats.

The cops came.

Human Father held up his arms in the air, holding the key as evidence they were not burglars

The police did not understand my distress signal I sent revealing they are, in actuality, cat burglars.

We drove home and I went to another neighbor’s where I’ve spent lots of time the last few weeks.

I sit on the stairs glaring at the door until my humans come get me.


The End.


Fat Kitty

Hiel Fat Kitty

Fat Kitty. Captain Squishy. King of the Squish. He goes by many names (except for his given name, Remy) and what’s not to love? He’s fat, squishy, lovable, gentle and an Olympic-level snuggler.

We were horrified upon returning from Canada to learn that Jamie’s sister, who lived with us this summer, decided to put him on a diet. Garfield does not diet. He just has a slow metabolism! And she while she’d limit his food to one small bowl in the evenings, the kids and I would sneak our starving cat extra food.

I think he actually gained weight on his diet but don’t most of us?

Bode, Hadley and I adore him but after five years as a part of our family, Jamie still openly disdains him. We just don’t get it.

“Why aren’t you nicer to Fat Kitty?”

“I don’t understand why you and the kids are obsessed with him.”

“Three out of four members of this family love him. Maybe there’s something wrong with you!”

“Three out of four Germans liked Hitler.”


The War of The Fat Cat

In terms of household pets, Fat Kitty is a great one. Cuddly. Affectionate. Cute. Low-maintenance.


It’s just that Fat Kitty has developed a rebellious streak in him. When some household pets get ticked at their owners, they become calamitous. Our neighbor’s dogs were famous for gnawing everything in their house–from pillars to couches. Call me crazy, but I’d have locked those bad boys up every time I left the house but they weren’t disciplined so their path of destruction continued.

As for Fat Kitty, he never jump ups where he’s not supposed to, nor does he destroy anything but instead uses poop as his weapon of choice. For years, he would occasionally overshoot his kitty litter box and I’d find his gift wrapped up in a nice towel on the floor in the laundry room. But it was never a regular thing.

Until recently.

With all the traveling we’ve been doing lately, Fat Kitty lives in a permanent state of Teenage Angst. It has come to the point that we actually sneak around to pack for a trip because we don’t want his guilt trip. He parks himself in the middle of our suitcases and his ticked-off stare bores into the very depths of our soul. When we leave, his back is always turned in mourning.

Here’s the tricky thing about Fat Kitty: He doesn’t unleash his true frustrations until we get back and then it continues for weeks. The poop, that is.  I’d estimate he goes in his kitty litter box about half the time these days and the other half? I can handle blankets or anything that cleans up easily. But when he pooped on Bode’s beloved sheep skin rug that does NOT clean easily, I was calling mayday.

So, I’m mad because he’s pooping everywhere. He’s doing it because we keep ditching him to travel and claims he won’t stop until we do.

This is what I call Fat Kitty Blackmail.