Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving... and Some Sorrow

In general, we had a good Thanksgiving this year.

Our celebration began the Friday before the actual holiday. For as long as I can remember, the church has held an annual Thanksgiving dinner. A few select people bring the meat while everyone else brings rolls, side dishes, casseroles, stuffing, gravy, desserts, etc... The decorations from Mandy's wedding (namely the table clothes, some of the tea lights, and the LED lights) were used for the decor, and they looked lovely. After the meal, people stand up and say what they are thankful for. It was an enjoyable evening.

Six days later, we had the clan get-together at Uncle Jason's. There was plenty of food to go around, and we enjoyed the conversations and the laughter. We even sat down and watched Ben and Mandy's wedding video, which we enjoyed. Especially the reception part, which was several clips of what happened during the reception (like the cake-cutting and the dancing). We stayed there for several hours before we went home.

However, when we got home, our joy disappeared. Our oldest cat Boo (who had recently turned twelve) was acting strange. She was not moving her back legs, and she was moving very sluggishly. About five minutes later, it was clear that was dying. We gently laid her on a towel and stood around her. Her breathing became very slow, and the only movement we saw was occasional twitching. Mom and I were emotional messes as we stood there, but Mandy was sweet to pray for us (we had texted her and told her what was happening) and Dad helped comfort us. Time passed, and Boo was no longer moving; we couldn't detect any breathing or any heartbeat. Dad and Seth moved her to the garage, and the next morning Seth buried her. We've known that Boo has not been in great health, and we suspected that she might have had a thyroid problem though the vet said she didn't. It was a tear-jerking twenty minutes for us. That night was even sadder when Boo's oldest son Oatmeal, who usually snuggles with her, began crying and yowling, like he knew something was wrong; he seems to have gotten over it, but I don't think the cats yet have figured out that Boo is gone. Still, we are thankful for the time we had with Boo. And we're thankful that she gave us two kittens Oatmeal and Trouble.

So, here's to you, Boo.

On a more light-hearted note, we got our outdoor-only kitten Jayne fixed the other day. It was a quick procedure, and Jayne was given a clean bill of health, and so we brought him home and let him run around the house. The anesthesia must have muddled the poor kitten's brain because he went absolutely crazy. He kept chasing the other cats around (much to their annoyance), and he even snuggled with me, rubbing himself all over me and making me laugh because his whiskers tickled. Thankfully, he has gotten better and is back to his normal self. It was sweet, though. Our other outdoor-only cat Pooky appeared rather sad when he realized Jayne wasn't there; it's been sweet to watch the interaction between the older-cat Pooky and the rambunctious youngster (which reminds us of the relationship between Shadow and Chance in "Homeward Bound"). Otherwise, Jayne is back to playfully wrestling our hands and stalking Pooky when the older cat is walking the yard.

And now, on we go to Christmas. Some of our Christmas shopping is already done, which is unusual for us, but that means a lot less running around the week of. Tonight, we got our Christmas tree, and Ben and Mandy helped us decorate it; we also had our yearly tradition of eating out (Five Guys instead of the usual Zaxby's) and watching "A Christmas Story."

But, before Christmas comes, there is still other things to be done. I've got my history final on Monday, which means the end of the semester for me (I'm sad that it's gone by so fast, as I've enjoyed the class). Then Dad and Mom have their own classes to finish up. I'll actually be substituting for Dad next week, which will be a chance for me to see how I like teaching history; I'm both nervous and excited about it.

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