Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Darwin has left us

My boy, The Darwinian Terror, left us today. He was 16 years old and spent most of that time with us. I got him from a rescue group, thinking he'd keep Magellan company, but she hated him from the very moment he came into our home and kept up the feud for the rest of her life (she died at home in February of this year at age 18).

Darwin was quite the character. When he arrived, the rescuer said his name was Piper because he had "piped" up while buried under a woodpile and found by his initial rescuer. But he never answered to Piper. I'd call and call and he pretended like that was not his name. That first Christmas, when he started trying to chew on the Christmas tree lights, and we decided that he was defying the theory of evolution, Darwin seemed like the most fitting name so we changed it. And that cat answered from the very first moment we called him Darwin. It was as if he had been waiting for a dignified name to acknowledge.

Although we called him The Darwinian Terror, he was a friendly, easy-going cat, who got along with everyone (unlike Magellan whose nickname was The Devil's Cat). He wasn't too happy when Hamlet, our other male, joined the household and went berzerk, marking all over the house, which was most unpleasant, but he stopped those shenanigans when we started letting him spend time outdoors in the yard, which he loved.

It's hard to believe that he is gone, after so many years. And so unexpectedly. By the time we noticed this afternoon that he was failing it was too late. I feel very guilty that I didn't pay more attention to him earlier today when I saw him lying down on top of some dirty clothes near the washing machine in the basement, and wonder whether had I noticed something was amiss we could have saved him. But there's no point to that.

He is gone. And he had a lengthy and happy life. And he will be sorely missed. Our home will not be the same without our Darwin.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Postcards from July

After a very long absence from these pages, and now that I'm on my post-tenure (thrice-postponed) sabbatical year, I'm going to make more of an effort to update here since this is as close to a journal as I can keep.

July 2017 started with a bang, not the least of which is that my younger brother moved in with us after getting a job at a high school in Columbus. I'm thrilled to have him here and looking forward to his youngest son joining us in August to start college at Capital U.

Big, big changes all around. My husband and I, meanwhile, celebrated 23 years by going to the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, a favorite, and we stayed one night at a cottage and it was magical. It's the best going away (at least for me) because it's so close to home.

 We visited the newly opened Whispering Cave trail, which was challenging for me, but beautiful, and then we had a wonderful dinner and a great breakfast and then walked around the premises before heading back home.

At home, Darwin is pretty much the same cat-in-a-box he's ever been, and Lizzy is her own sleepy self once she's tired herself out chasing squirrels in the backyard.

This past weekend we took Lizzy to the Three Creeks Metro Park for a walk and then stopped at a farmer's market to get fresh locally grown corn, which is a summer treat.

Meanwhile, today I started in my new sabbatical-year office, which is starting to look like my space, and where I look forward to working on my scholarship.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A glorious November day

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Puerto Rico clouds

Monday, October 31, 2016

A day in Old San Juan

Sunday, June 19, 2016