Sunday when I got up, I found a few piles of cat barf in the front room. I sighed and cursed and cleaned it up and thought no more of it. Over the next couple of days we’d occasionally find another pile or puddle. We immediately thought it might be an issue with Spot – since he’s the oldest – and we spent much time standing over him, looking at him for signs of imminent death (which for some reason seemed to make him nervous) and saying “Well, he’s purring! Well, he ate that snack. Well, he smacked at Spanky. Well, he’s begging for food. Maybe he’s just trying to get up a hairball.”

Then last night at TV-watching time, Spanky hunkered over and started making the clicking noises that indicate he’s in the process of trying to vomit. Fred stood over him and watched him until I wandered into the room and said “Get him off the RUG!”, but by the time Fred reached down to pick him up, Spanky had finished and walked off leaving a puddle of clear vomit behind. A few minutes later, he did it in the hallway.

We spent the evening discussing him – “What’s he doing now?” “Sleeping in the hallway.” “What about now?” “Still sleeping, a little further up the hallway.” “Did he eat any of the snack?” “No, he wasn’t interested at all.” – and decided that if he wasn’t acting any more like himself in the morning, a trip to the vet would be in order.

Yesterday morning Fred tried to tempt Spanky with a little bowl of milk. Spanky’s a milk hog and will slurp up any milk you give him immediately, but this time he just sniffed at it and walked off. We talked about waiting and taking him to the vet today when I take Mister Boogers (more on that in a bit), but decided that he probably should be seen sooner rather than later.

Fred called the vet in Madison where we used to take all our cats – the vet I take Miz Poo, Sugarbutt, Tommy and now Mister Boogers to isn’t there on Wednesdays – and got a mid-morning appointment.

My main concern – aside from worrying about Spanky in general – was whether I was going to be able to get him into the carrier. He’s very difficult for me to get into the carrier, and as a result, it’s been Fred’s job to take him to the vet these past few years.

The only carriers we had in the house were in the kitten room, so when I went out to the garage to drop off the bags from the morning litterbox scooping, I grabbed a carrier, took it inside, and set it in the computer room. Miz Poo, on the opposite end of the house, sensed that I’d brought a carrier in, and ran off to hide. Spanky, asleep in the bed under the window in my room, didn’t notice a thing, which in itself is unusual. Usually, if you’re even thinking about considering maybe one day touching the cat carrier for no particular reason, he’ll sense it and hide for three days just to be safe.

For the next few hours, every fifteen minutes or so, I’d stroll casually by the bedroom, glancing over to make sure he was still in there.

Half an hour before his appointment, I crept into the computer room, picked up the carrier, walked as silently as possible to the door of my bedroom…

And Spanky was still lying there, only his eyes were open, and he was looking at me. I stepped back, put the carrier down as quietly as possible, and stepped back into the doorway. He continued lying there, watching me, and on the bed Miz Poo had gone as flat as a portly Poo can get. I walked oh-so-casually across the room, stopping to pet Stinkerbelle and Tommy – see? Nothing going on here, nope, just a Momma walking around handing out the love! – and then walked over to Spanky.

I told him what a good boy he was. I petted him. I told him some more what a good boy he was, and then I grabbed him by the nape of the neck. One hand holding him by the nape of his neck and the other hand supporting his body weight, I carried him to the doorway, put him in the carrier, and closed the lid. No last-minute starfish maneuver on his part, no flailing and yelling, no attempts at scratching me, no howling like I was dismembering him. He just looked around, did a little sniffing, and laid down.

I got to the vet’s office about five minutes early (Spanky slept most of the way, only waking up to howl in protest when I had to stop at a stop sign, or slow down to turn. As long as the car was moving, he was fine.). The vet came in, asked what was going on, did a thorough inspection, took Spanky’s temperature (he was a little dehydrated and his temperature was running a bit low), and then asked if I could leave him for a while. They needed to do blood tests, and then maybe an abdominal x-ray. Since Fred goes by there on his way home, I told them Fred would pick him up, left a contact number, gave Spanky a few kisses on the head and left.

Hours later, Fred picked Spanky up and got to pay several hundred dollars to find out, can you guess? Nothing wrong with him except maybe an upset stomach. And Spanky was pretty much back to normal last night.

Later this morning, I’ll be taking Mister Boogers to the vet. His left eye has been bothering him off and on for a while now – sometimes it’s leaky and goopy, sometimes it’s perfectly fine – so I figured I might as well take him in to have it looked at, and get his yearly checkup and shots while I was at it.

I’m sure it’s eyeball cancer and we’ll have to put a pirate patch on him and it will cost one million dollars to cure him.


“You can fly! YOU CAN FLYYYYY!!!”

Jesikat, up close.

Pretty, pretty Deuce.

“Unhand me!”

The wily Malley pops out of the cat condo to smack at Spooky’s face. Spooky is unimpressed.

Smilin’ Jesikat.

Please note that all of Spooky’s feet are off the ground.


Stinkerbelle is turning into SUCH a spoiled little brat. The other day she yowled and smacked at Miz Poo, and Miz Poo ran away in terror, and my heart broke and I said to Stinkerbelle “Look, YOU. Just because you’re Daddy’s new favorite doesn’t mean you rule the roost. Miz Poo is the princess in residence and the position isn’t available for YOU.” and Stinkerbelle rolled her eyes and sashayed off.


2006: No entry.
2005: The quintessential Crazy Eyes.

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