Cat Starvation Averted: A Reason to be Thankful

Last summer, on the night James was born, things were understandably crazy, and we never locked the cats in that night. (For anyone unaware, they are outdoor cats that live in the garage.)

The problem is, Dortmunder never came back that night. Or the next. Or the next.

With the new baby I didn't have much time to worry about it, and I figured he could take care of himself. We wondered if he had finally had enough of Vin and decided to run away. We walked around the neighborhood calling for him, and I even went into some of the houses under construction and called for him in case he had been trapped.

After about 10 days, he finally came home one evening, scrawny and starving but otherwise looking okay. Katie in particular wondered where he had gone, and was disappointed that we would likely never find out.

Later in the summer Sam and I were out taking care of the lawn one day, when our new neighbor came over to chat for a minute and ask about our cats. She asked if we had a fluffy orange one, and I said we did. As it turned out, Dortmunder had been stuck in the furnace of their house as it was being built. He apparently crawled into a heating duct and had fallen down to the furnace area and was unable to climb back out. She eventually got the builders to come extract him, and they took him home for a night to feed him. Their little girl wanted to keep him, but they felt certain he belonged to someone, so they brought him back to the neighborhood and released him. It just so happens that he lives next door, so they can play with him whenever they want.

Last week Vin disappeared for a couple days. The day before Thanksgiving Sam and I decided to check some of the houses currently under construction. Sure enough, there she was, in the furnace of a house just down the road. We were able to get her out and bring her home.

There might be a moral here about how curiosity isn't good for cats. That'll probably never catch on, though.

Experimental Thanksgiving

This year I am going to give Katie something she has always wanted—holidays with just the family.

I have always enjoyed spending time on Thanksgiving and Christmas with our extended families, but it's been a constant source of stress for Katie. With the move this year putting us farther from our families, it seemed like a good opportunity to start establishing our own traditions.

I do the majority of the cooking for us (not to be confused with the baking; that is Katie's department), but I've never cooked a turkey before. I am looking forward to giving it a shot. And we won't have to worry about picky kids not eating someone else's food. It will just be the usual pickiness of them not eating our food.


One of my good friends posted to his blog after a long time, so I decided to follow suit. I know I'll never be caught up on everything happening, but I can at least share something.

Having four kids is crazy. Seriously, what were we thinking when we decided one more would be okay?

I guess I'll backtrack a bit here. On July 11 of this year James was born. This was a little different from us in that our other three kids are four years apart. But we're getting up there in terms of child-bearing years, and the last couple pregnancies took a while to happen, so we decided not to wait so long. And we were surprised at how quickly he was on his way.

Anyway, back to the present. James is now four months old, and he is a pretty good baby, but he has his moments. Meanwhile, there's Clara, who is now 2-1/2. And, well, we've taken to calling her Cyclone.

I don't know if we were just spoiled with our first two kids, but they didn't do a lot of the stereotypical naughty things as toddlers. But Clara has decorated much of our home with markers (as well as herself), she went through a period of constant undressing, and she is kind of a jerk to her baby brother. She also doesn't really eat anymore, so I can only assume she survives through some kind of psychic parasitic link with us.

My days basically consist of getting the kids up and ready for school, going to work, coming home and making dinner, and trying to get the kids to bed. That's seriously it; there's no time for anything else. Meanwhile, Katie spends all day trying to take care of James and keep the house in some kind of order.

Still, if I'm crazy it's a good kind of crazy. I mean, look at these guys.

As long as they pick a restful mental hospital for us, we'll be okay.