Stuffy Noses, Business Trips and the Vet

OK, I know I’ve been AWOL for a few days, but it couldn’t be helped.  My lovely body decided that the girly monster wasn’t enough, so it decided that I also needed a bit of a stuffy nose and a fever.  Then we also had to take Buddy to the vet on Thursday for his health check.  Hubby was home for a couple of days after being away on a business trip and then he left again yesterday afternoon for another business trip…sigh.

Between me not feeling well and the vet and getting hubby packed again for another trip, I honestly didn’t even feel like getting on the computer.  The weather hasn’t been cooperating either.  It has been really windy, cold and raining since last night.  The kind of weather where you just want to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa.  Unfortunately, I could only do one of those things, so here I sit at the computer with a cup of Ovaltine.

As one of my readers commented the other day, she said the cleaning would still be there…she was right!  I finally got to clean the bathroom and do the vacuuming today and I’m still doing wash and it’s after 5:00.

Buddy’s vet visit was nearly uneventful.  He had no problem with us putting him in the carrier and he didn’t seem to mind the car until we were about halfway there (luckily it’s only about a 5-6 minute trip) and he let out a meeeoooww that lasted a good 7 or 8 seconds!  Got into the vet and he was quiet while we waited to be called in.  He didn’t seem too keen about being on the table and being poked and prodded (he’s been neutered – nothing like having your balls fondled by a stranger, eh?)  The vet said it’s possible the RSPCA sometimes picks up strays and neuters them and puts them back on the street (why don’t they just put them up for adoption?) but he’s not been microchipped.  I guess one out of two ain’t bad.

He was fine with the shot and then the vet wanted to give him a flea pill.  He put the tablet onto a plastic plunger-like thing and tried to shove it down his throat…well Buddy decided that wasn’t going to happen and he spit it out.  So it ended up being the little tube of ointment you put on their backs.  We had to put Buddy into the carrier to put that on as he kept trying to back up.  I think by that time he had had enough.

Can’t wait until he gets his next booster shot….in three weeks!

Buddy, exhausted after his vet visit

He has settled in quite well and has obviously made himself comfortable, although Crystal still hisses at him.  He hasn’t used the litter box and I haven’t found any ‘accidents’ in the house, but he lets me know if he needs to go out.  He sleeps on the bed with us at night and he’s definitely a lap cat!  I think he’s just happy to have a warm, dry home.

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Fat Tuesday, Pancakes and Buddy

As I really didn’t have anything major to blab blog about, I thought I’d go down the ‘Stream of Unconsiousness’ route…

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras/Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday, depending on what part of the English speaking world you come from.  There may be other names for it, but these are the four I know of.

When I lived in Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, on occasion, we would head to Philadelphia’s South Street (you know, where all the hippies meet!) and frequent a bar called Fat Tuesday’s where they served frozen daiquiris of just about any flavor you could possibly think of.  Behind their huge bar were machines built into the wall where the daiquiris came out, like giant Slushie machines.  The good thing was that you couldn’t drink them too fast otherwise you’d get ‘brain freeze’, however, they did pack a punch!

Here in the UK, they use the terms ‘Pancake Day’ or ‘Shrove Tuesday’.  Now most of us know that the reason for this day is to eat as much cake/cookies/biscuits/sweets, etc. for the next day is Lent and we are forced choose to give up something for 40 days until Easter Sunday, and the things we usually give up are cake/cookies/biscuits/sweets, etc.  Over here, the idea is to eat as many pancakes as possible, hence the name.

(via Wikipedia) Shrove Tuesday was once known as a ‘half-holiday’ in England. It started at 11:00am with the signalling of a church bell.  On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated when a housewife from Olney was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake. The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, and England in particular, even today. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air, catching them in the pan whilst running. In Olney today, a pancake race still takes place every year on Shrove Tuesday.

The contestants, traditionally women, carry a frying pan and race to the finishing line while tossing the pancakes as they go. The winner is the first to cross the line having tossed the pancake a certain number of times. Traditionally, when men want to participate, they must dress up as a housewife (usually an apron and a bandanna).

Since 1950 the people of Liberal, Kansas and Olney have held the “International Pancake Day” race between the two towns. The two towns’ competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns’ competitors are compared, to determine a winner overall. After the 2009 race, Liberal was leading with 34 wins to Olney’s 25.  A similar race is held in North Somercotes of Lincolnshire in eastern England.

So as it was ‘Pancake Day’ here yesterday, I did make myself some, but I tried to go the bit more healthy route and made whole wheat pancakes and used agave nectar in place of the bit of sugar in the batter.  (I must also note that pancakes here are not the same as the U.S.  Over here, they are rather thin, almost like a crepe).  So I made myself some American pancakes and put some maple syrup on, but not too much.  My treat!  This morning I reheated the last two and put some sliced banana on them…yum.

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There’s been a black & white cat that has been strolling around the neighborhood for about 3-4 years.  He would walk through our back garden and he would run away from us at first.  Then I started to call him over and gave him a handful of some dry cat food on the pavement.  Eventually, we gave him him a dish for food and water.  Our three cats would watch him from inside (they are all indoor cats) and he would watch them.  Whenever we would see him outside, we’d say to our cats ‘Oh, there’s your buddy out there’ so we decided that he needed a name, so, of course, we named him Buddy.

We made up a box for him outside and he would use it to sleep in during the day and to get out of the rain.  Then back in October, I decided to let him in the conservatory one night as we were having a cold snap.

I made up another box for him with blankets and he slept in there all night.  He would go out during the day and come back when he was hungry.  We were buying him (cheap) cat food and he was quite happy.  We have a small portable heater that I sat near his box bed and he again was quite happy.  We know he’s been wanting to come in the house because he would stare at us through the sliding glass door from the conservatory.  We slowly introduced one of our cats (Noddy) to him and they get along fine.  Alfie isn’t too sure, but he doesn’t seem to mind him.  Crystal is the problem.  I would leave the sliding door open just a bit; enough for a paw to get through but not the whole cat.  He would be on one side and Crystal the other, and she would hiss at him.  We think it’s because she can now smell him.

Well last Friday afternoon, Buddy was in the conservatory and I had left the door open leading to the outside for him.  I went out to check if he had gone outside; didn’t see him, so closed the outside door and opened the inside sliding door so that my kitties could go out there if they wanted.  I went upstairs to the bathroom and when I came out and went into the bedroom, guess who was sitting there!  I knew I had closed the outside door so the only thing I can think of is that he might have been hiding on one of the chairs under the table and I didn’t see him when I checked.

Noddy and Buddy lounging in the front window

So now that he has come into the house, he’s now become a permanent member.  He still comes and goes as he wants, but I have to let him in and out.  Him and Noddy play together, Alfie just ignores him and Crystal still hisses and bats at him whenever possible.  This morning he finally batted back but I don’t really think that will deter her.

We think he was in a household at some point in his life as he’s definitely a lap cat and he actually has been sleeping on the bed with us (the other three don’t even do that).  He came up on the bed around 10:30 last night and stayed there until we got up at 4:45.  I’ve made an appointment for him at the vet next Thursday so that should be an adventure…