#470: The Spray Bottle

white sea wave

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Having a spray bottle handy has made it easy to help Jace out with learning what to chew and what not to chew on. When he’s feeling especially active and spry, he runs around like crazy, gets the zoomies, and starts chewing on whatever he can fit in his mouth. Sometimes that’s the lever on the desk chair, other times it’s the wicker baskets underneath the bookshelf. Regardless of what it is, or whether it’s tasty or anything like that, Jace seems to have other things in mind. He just doesn’t care about the taste at all; it’s the sensation of biting something and fitting it in his mouth that he loves the most. I stop him mostly because I don’t want him chewing and potentially digesting something that will make him sick. For example, if he gets the wicker down his throat, that’s obviously a bad thing, and he doesn’t know any better so it’s my job to come in and stop that before it becomes a bigger problem.

In these situations, the spray bottle comes in handy. It’s what I deploy when he seems to be getting a little too feisty and needs correcting. Just a light tap of water in his direction gets him to stop. Nowadays, all I have to do is shake the bottle and he starts to notice that he’s doing something wrong. He recognizes the shake and sound of the spray bottle as evidence that he should probably be doing something else. I wasn’t really sure if it would work from the beginning, but I’m glad it’s at least helping us make some progress. He’s been less likely to do that after I started using it. He also knows sometimes that maybe he should take a break and start to relax a bit more.

#468: The Vet

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Bringing Jace to the vet for the first time was an interesting experience. He had to get his nails clipped, and they needed to look in his ears and his mouth, both of which made him anxious and caused him to lash out a little bit. He’s a tough cookie and he dislikes being handled in any sort of way, but when it comes to being at the vet, he’s especially devious and difficult I found. It’s in his nature, though, and I’m not surprised to hear it and also see it.

In the next few days, they’re planning on calling me back so that I can schedule for him to go in to get his teeth cleaned. Apparently there’s plaque building up in his teeth, causing inflammation and poor health up in his gums. That needs to be fixed, obviously, so they’re planning on giving him anesthesia so that he can relax while they do it. He’s not the kind of cat to just sit there and let you do whatever you want to him, unfortunately, so the extra cost from the anesthesia is going to suck but oh well. It’s necessary to keep this guy healthy and looking clean in all ways.

When Alex and I took Angus to the vet, it was a bit different because we had the two of us there. We supported each other and made sure there weren’t any complications that could make the visit worse than it needed to be. Bringing Jace alone was a challenge, but it’s a responsibility I’m willing to agree to so that I can have this companion with me. Even now, just looking at him sitting on the couch across from me, it feels like we were meant to be friends together like this. It’s a perfect combination.

#454: The Doorway, Part 2

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This post is a continuation from the previous one, so please read that one first to get an idea of what I’m talking about here.

So, when I talk about Jace leaving the room and roaming around outside, I don’t mean in the outdoors, thankfully. If he were actually roaming around outside, I would be worried. He’s supposed to be an indoor boy, apparently, and so he most definitely finds the most happiness and comfort surrounded by walls. He’s domesticated, after all, and has a penchant for climbing on top of things and jumping from place to place.

The doorway allows him to roam around the basement or first floor area, and I’ve considered leaving the door open so he can just roam around wherever he wants. The only issue with that is that I worry he’ll stand by the doorway leading into the garage and, when someone opens the garage door, he’ll make a run for it. He’s a crazy little dude and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to do that from time to time.

Whenever I’ve opened the door and he’s made a run for it, he usually doesn’t run at all. He just kind of casually walks away, meanders down by the staircase, doesn’t go up it at all, but just stares at it for a few seconds before deciding to go towards the computer desk in the other room. He looks at it, goes underneath the desk when he sees me wander nearby, and then waits patiently for me to pick him up and bring him back to the room. He doesn’t mind being picked up, thankfully, which makes this whole process that much smoother and better for me. Sometimes he even just walks on his own back to the doorway and doesn’t seem to find the other area that interesting.

#453: The Doorway, Part 1

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The doorway into my bedroom is a wooden door that’s quite slim and tiny. It’s difficult to get in sometimes if you’re carrying something. When Mike and I were carrying my desk from the apartment back to the new home, we thought about bringing it through the doorway, but then remembered it would be impossible. It’s too tiny, and the curve around the hallway makes it exceptionally difficult to manage holding something like that. So instead, we went in through the door that leads outside, the one right by the bathroom. It was easier for us to manage and made the moving process so much better.

But this blog post isn’t about something as mundane as the doorway leading into my room. Instead, I want to talk about how the doorway leads to a certain escape (to borrow a term from a previous blog) from one small cat, the same cat that loves leaving the room as soon as possible and roaming around all over the place, leaving its hair on the ground and chewing on whatever seems to be chewable in the nearby vicinity. He’s a monster, but he’s my monster, and I love that about him. He’s the exact type of cat I imagined getting all those weeks ago, and he’s fulfilled all the obligations he has. He’s the type of cat that meows when you see him, and he lays down on the floor as soon as you walk in because he wants you to pet him and love him. He’s beautiful and a bundle full of love.

The doorway, however, is what allows him to roam around more. It’s not that him going around the downstairs is a bad thing, necessarily; it’s good that he’s able to explore and manage life on his own. He’s a good boy, after all.

#451: The Escape

library photo

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Cats seem to love standing right by the door as soon as you open it. They love bolting out at a moment’s notice, running as fast as possible, and then falling asleep in a spot that they think is hidden enough for them to rest in for awhile. Jace loves to do that when I get home from work, I’ve noticed. He slips in and out of the room so quickly, and then as soon as he finds his way to the computer desk downstairs he stops and rests his head like he did a good job, like it’s a job complete. That’s when I run over, or slowly step over, and pick him up as soon as I can, as a way of getting him back into the room where he’s supposed to stay.

Keep in mind that the room he’s usually staying in is a pretty spacious place with lots of jumping and launching spots. It’s practically a jungle gym for this little dude to explore and vault around. He doesn’t have a care in the world as he leaps from futon to the bed to the computer chair. It’s like he’s lived there his whole life, practically. Jace has really adapted well to his new home, which I couldn’t be more thankful for. Having him around has boosted my spirits and the added stress of him not adjusting well to my little area would make things so much worse. I’m not used to taking care of cats, as I’ve had dogs my whole life, but this one cat in particular has been a great help to have around. I appreciate his company, and even though he sometimes runs away from me and hides all over the place, it seems he’s enjoying my company, too. We get along well.

#444: The Cat

adorable animal blur cat

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One time, when I was still in college and commuting from home, I spent some time watching Madison and Mike’s cats, Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t seem to have a good time with them and, to be completely honest, their friend Dylan had to come over and take care of them for the rest of the time. I didn’t do a good job. I ended up being allergic, which meant that I had a difficult time falling asleep in their bed because the cats would want to sleep with me. And when I closed the door, they scratched underneath it and tried endlessly to get to the other side. It was almost a nightmare, and I hated it, but I’m glad their friend was able to cover the responsibility for me.

Regardless of all this, let me fill you in on something new that’s been on my mind, and that something new is adopting a cat. Even though my doctor thinks the idea is silly and ridiculous, I feel a strong obligation to have a new companion and friend in the downstairs area with me. I need someone calm and lowkey, someone who will keep me company and be a permanent member of my family without being too much of a hassle. That’s a cat, in my eyes. I don’t think a dog would be appropriate, because having a dog necessitates the idea that they’re active and require regular physical activity and walking and so on and so forth, whereas a cat will lounge around, be your friend sometimes, and just relax with you. That’s I think what I’m looking for the most. It’s a shame that so many cats are up for adoption these days, but I’ll need one that’s long-haired and doesn’t mind staying with me. We’ll see how that goes.

#437: The Dog Camera

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One of the last things Alex and I did together, before we split, was purchase a few things from Amazon with the gift card my dad bought me for Christmas. We bought two things, one of which was a camera that my dad recommended for us when we sat together at Christmas and talked things over. We talked about our dogs, but I didn’t realize at the time how fleeting it would be, how soon it would be when Angus wouldn’t be a regular part of my life any more. I wish I knew, otherwise maybe I wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic about it at the time. Maybe I would’ve said no, or maybe I wouldn’t have agreed to it at all.

Alex recently sent me the code to sign up for the camera, so that I can watch Angus whenever I want, wherever I want. It’s on my phone now and I have the option of signing in and seeing what he’s up to at work or at home. I know he’s a big lazy bum, and I wrote about him over and over again on this blog, especially about how much of a big lazy bum he is, but sometimes it’s nice just to see him and know he’s there.

A part of me wishes that he missed me, that he made it known to her somehow. That he would sleep on my side of the bed, well what used to be my side, and moan or something. I guess he wasn’t making it obvious enough, if he did miss me at all.

It’s going to be weird months from now, after Alex inevitably moves out of Stamford and into a new town, when the camera is still running and working. I can only hope the password still works even after all that time. I wouldn’t want to have to ask for it again.

#430: The Older Dog

short coated black and brown puppy in white and red polka dot ceramic mug on green field

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Ango is the perfect dog, and I miss him immensely. It’s not the same being home with Minnie, even though she’s great in her own way too. I’ve known her for longer, first of all; I only knew Ango for a year. But I feel like we had a special connection between us. I saw him more than anyone else over this year, because I got home from work sooner than Alex did and I was around over breaks and the entire summer. We hung out considerably and had lots of fun together. I miss when he would jump up on me as soon as I got home.

To think about it, this has actually been the longest stretch of time I’ve spent without having Angus directly in my life. He’s still alive, obviously, he just doesn’t exist in the same place as I do. And that sucks. I want him to smile, I want him to feel safe and warm and loved. I worry that he’s not going to get that as much with the schedule that he’ll have to adjust to now. The odds of him getting into the trash are likely much higher than they were before, but that’s besides the point. I just miss having him around.

He took some getting used to, that’s for sure, but moving from a place with Ango to a place without Ango inherently sucks. Ango supported me on bad days, and he gave me love when he knew I was feeling down or sad. I know it probably seems unbelievable, but dogs do have a special power for recognizing and acting upon the emotional states of their owners. I know I joked often about how he was mostly dumb and not as smart as Alex made him seem, but I did so from a place of recognizing that he has some smarts that are uniquely Angus.

#401: The Dog

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Angus is such an important part of my life. I realized that recently when I went to the visit the apartment on Monday, after taking the day off of work to pick up some more of my things and some clothes for the week. I realized how much this dumb dog means to me, and how much I love him in spite of the fact that he causes us terror and unrest from time to time. He’s a spectacular boy, and I missed seeing his face around the apartment. I was worried I would never be able to see him again, or that things wouldn’t work out for us. I’m glad that that’s not the case, because I almost mourned the loss of that connection the most. You should never separate someone from their most beloved pet.

When it comes time, I plan on giving Angus a big hug. I don’t want to ever leave him again. He means too much to me.

Having a dog means being able to appreciate the little things. It means sticking up for the little man, no matter what, even when he’s a big butt and makes your life difficult from time to time. It means coming home to take him out in the afternoon even when you don’t need to, just because you’re worried about him and want to make sure he gets to pee when he needs to. You know his habits, you’re aware of how he acts when he’s alone for too long, and you want to make sure he’s alright. Angus is a special dog, and I don’t know what life would be like without him around. When he jumped up on me on Monday, I felt a special connection, I felt like I was about to be missing something.

#318: The Sausage, Part 3

the grill man

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I also realized recently that I haven’t written about Ango much on this blog since my last post, which was over a couple weeks ago. Since then, it’s been mostly video games and work and things like that, without much of a focus on what’s really important: the dogs and other pets in our lives.

We took Ango to the vet a few times recently, once to get him checked up and the other time so that he could get tested for heartworm again. He’s still showing light signs of heartworm in him, but that could just be from the test, and it likely is because he’s not showing any of the symptoms of having heartworm. He’s not lethargic or anything like that, not even close. This dog is a bundle of wild energy whenever anyone starts moving around.

For example, yesterday morning I woke up and walked out of the bedroom to find Ango panting at me from the couch. It had no discernible purpose to it, just that he felt like panting and needed to get something out of his system. He’s so funny and lovable that it’s impossible to stay angry at him for long, especially because he doesn’t hold grudges. He’s just a dog, after all, and he wants love more than anything else.

Being a dog owner has been a wonderful privilege and experience, though a bit on the expensive side, while we talk about going to the vet. The good thing is that we shouldn’t have to take him back in awhile; he’s good to go and doesn’t need anything else for at least a few months, I think. I always feel a bit worried before we go to the vet because of that. Who knows what they’ll say about him this time? Hopefully just good things.