Saturday, October 31, 2009

Picture of the day...

Someone wants to go shopping...

Edited for Miguel!


Oh, that Sophie...

So I posted before about my cat Sophie, and her peeing issues and the struggles with medicine. Well, we took her to the vet, this nice one that we had early on that we hunted down to in his brand new practice, Dr. Smets. We told him that we had tried so many options, from multiple litter boxes, to different litter, to getting rid of the futon where she used to pee, even to a cat anti-depressant. We needed a solution.

Well, after giving her an examination, to make sure it wasn't a physical problem, he prescribed a couple of things. I had told him how I hated the effects of the clomicalm, and he said that there were other solutions. 1. Feliway, a cat pheromone diffuser that apparently makes cats happy without side effects and 2. Zylkene, another drug to make cats calm, but totally natural, actually made from some chemical found in cheese! So no dopey, drugged up cat side effects! Yay!

So the first thing I got was the Feliway, because as much experience as I have giving cats pills (oh Phil...), I didn't want to stress Sophie out. So the diffuser has been plugged in for over a week now, and no accidents on the new sofas, or anything else! That's good, though who knows if she would have peed on anything without the meds anyway, it's pretty sporadic. So then yesterday, I got the Zylkene, thinking, oh well, it wouldn't hurt to have it on hand. Well that evening I was showing it to Miguel and we were trying to decide whether to give it to her. I shook the bottle, and the cats came running (I guess it sounded like treats?)! I put one on the floor for Sophie to sniff out. When Cleo tried to approach, Sophie grabbed it in her mouth and ran off! She was protecting her pill!

She went into the corner, and proceeded to try to figure out what it was. She would try to eat it, but it stuck to her little kitty lips and she couldn't get it off. Then she would drop it, pick it up again, and the saliva would stick it to her mouth like glue. She even had to pull a squirrel move, using both of her front paws to try to get it in, all the while protecting it from Cleo. Eventually, while trying to chew it, she punctured it, and white powder spilled out onto the floor.

This she tried to sniff, and ended up (while exhaling) blowing some of it into her face. She then licked it all up and walked away. Such a strange little cat!

So we thought ok, this is probably a one off, she won't do this again tomorrow... I shook the bottle again, and took out a pill and put it on the floor, and sure enough, as soon as Cleo came near, Sophie was off with that pill, and when she finally punctured it, she licked up all the powder! So there you have it! My strange little cat who won't eat ham or chicken scraps (while her sister will devour them), and who is apparently stressed or depressed, will happily self-medicate! Problem solved!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rough Day

I'll finish writing about the wedding later, but I feel the need to blog about today...

I've showed you pictures of my little cat Sophie. She is so sweet, and loves nothing more than to sit on my lap (or my chest or knee, if my lap isn't available). I love her to death, but we've been having our problems.

She has had trouble, really, since we got her, with peeing in places she shouldn't. We keep making the mistake of trusting her, thinking that because it's been a while since the last accident, she's grown out of it. We always end up regretting that trust. The other day, we decided to leave the bedroom door open during the night, and we nearly made it, but at about 8am, while Sophie was innocently (or so I thought) sitting on my leg, I started feeling something very hot. Yep, she peed through the comforter and sheet, down to my leg and the mattress. Now mind you, this was 8am on a Saturday. VERY grumpy and upset, Miguel and I get up to throw everything into the washing machine (actually took 2 loads, as the machine is tiny), flip the mattress, remake the bed, etc.

Now, this was the final straw for me, and I decided to take her back to the vet. I had finally found our first vet, Dr. John Smets who has a great manner, good, modern technique and speaks English very well. I had been to a different vet about the same problem, and he prescribed Clomicalm, which is an animal antidepressant that really only served to make Sophie very groggy, disoriented, grumpy, frightened and drugged. This made me upset, stressed, guilty and very nearly sick to my stomach. We lasted 3 days. It took her about a week to return to herself.

So, I went with Miguel to take Sophie to Dr. Smets who gave us a couple new options, both natural, that god-willing, will work. One of them is Feliway, which is a cat pheromone diffuser, which I bought yesterday and installed.

Now, I was told it would take a few days to really kick in, so that's fine. But this morning Sophie was meowing pathetically outside the bedroom door, begging for attention. I finally obliged, deciding to watch her at every second. Cleo of course came barreling in too, and jumped on the bed. Sophie followed suit and IMMEDIATELY went for the spot where she peed the other day, and got into a squatting position. I wasted NO time and kicked her (through the duvet from underneath) off the bed. She ran off and hid behind the futon in the living room. I'm telling you, it did not take her 30 seconds in the bedroom to do this. So I'm trying to be optimistic, but it's becoming more and more difficult.

So that was how I started the day, and the rest of my day has been spent cleaning and baking. I am making brownies for the cafe downstairs to sell on Saturday. This is our first collaboration and I'm really hoping it goes well, so there's pressure. So I made the first batch and put it in the oven, and then sat down to look over the recipe again. It's my grandmother's, and it makes some of the best brownies ever. Of course, that was when I realized that, instead of putting in a teaspoon of baking powder, like the recipe said, I had put in a teaspoon of baking soda. Not good. It smelled weird and rose WAY too high. As soon as it was cool enough I dumped it directly into the trash.

I then cleaned the dish (and all the rest of the dishes I had dirtied) and proceeded to make the NEXT batch of brownies. Of course, I broke a plate in the process. While they were baking, I did the dishes AGAIN (I had also done the dishes from the night before, right before I started baking). It's times like that I reeeeally miss having a dishwasher. I was nervous while that batch was in the oven, because I still have to do one more batch today, and I really don't have time for 4 batches of brownies in one day. Thank god that batch was ok, and now only one more to go. Lord.

I also have a lesson today, which I think (and hope) I'm prepared for. All I really feel like doing, though, is curling up on the futon with the good cat (hahaha) and watching a movie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wedding Week!

So I've been back in Brussels now just over a week after 2 and a half weeks in the US. I was there to get MARRIED. I'm a WIFE now. So now it's time to blog about wedding week! One day at a time...

We kicked things off on Tuesday night with a concert. But not just any concert, U2!!! (And Muse!!!) Cutter, a dear friend of mine, and, in fact, the officiant at the wedding, works as a videographer for U2, and so was able to get us in! Us being my parents, Miguel, his mom (my mom's best friend, Lisa) and me. We had amazing seats, but abandoned them to go to the "Red Zone" and ended up being about 15 feet from Bono and the Edge. It was pretty sweet! They played a great set, though I think they got too caught up in their theatrics and causes (Bono especially), which was distracting from the music. This is coming from the girl who generally only goes to concerts in small venues for a more personal experience. Anyway, it was a great show, and thanks to Cutter for getting us in!!

Wednesday, after sleeping in, it was all errands and packing to leave for the beach the next day! Busy busy busy, but not much to talk about!

Thursday we got up at a decent hour to finish packing, pack up the cars (Mom and Dad were taking one, Miguel and I were taking the other) and set out! (which we of course didn't do til around 12 noon...) The drive was uneventful, and we made it within 6 hours. As it turned out, Nana, Papa, Uncle Gary and Alberto were all already there, so we had a nice happy hour turned dinner with them!

Friday began the chaos. People arriving, hair consultations, nail appointments, etc! After all the appointments it was time to try to calm down and get ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner! We met at the Village Beach Club, and everyone that was in the wedding walked out onto the beach. We were organized by my planner, Kathy, who took charge immediately. Most of us took off our shoes as we prepared to do the walk through. As it turns out, we are a hard bunch to manage, as we get distracted easily and have a tendency to dissolve into giggles.

Then came the dolphins. As if we weren't already distracted enough, dolphins began leaping out of the water. There would be a dorsal fin, and another, and then one would just go for it and leap clean out! It was amazing, and as a result, none of us felt too secure about what we were going to have to do the next day.

We then all hopped into cars and proceeded to Argyle's. the chosen place for the rehearsal dinner. They had a BIG sign that said: "Congratulations Brody and Miguel!" That made my night already, my name was in lights! Inside, we had a happy hour and mingling time, and were then directed to our tables. Miguel and I had a little table isolated at the front. The only problem was, we spend all our time together, we wanted to mingle more! So we took breaks from our eating and got in the way of waiters so we could talk to everyone. I stole fries from my 6 year old cousin, Austin, took a family shot (not the picture kind) with Mom, Dad, and Jake, a cousin shot, we celebrated Pat Cunningham's 18th birthday with cake and a song, listened to Seamus sing, had European Union Flag cake, made a few speeches and really just had a blast!

After that, it was on to the s'mores party on the beach! We arrived and immediately saw even MORE people we wanted to see! I talked so much I never even made a s'more! And then, not 30 minutes later, it started to POUR down rain. There was no point in running, it was better just to realize you were going to be wet, and have fun with it, which we did! I would even go as far as saying we frolicked. The only casualty was Vince's glasses, which we did find, but they were smashed. Sorry Vince! We hung out (very damp) for a while before changing into dry clothes, but even then we continued partying in the house until about 2am, when my mom intervened, saying that we had a big day tomorrow and needed sleep! Yes mom...

But this is already long! I will write about the big day, but later! I will leave off with saying that I'm sorry there are no pictures in this post, but if you want to see some I'll give you the link!
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