Tag: cats

Phone Calls, Missing Places, Cold Kitty Noses, and Odd Dream Statements

(Writing from September 26, 2011.)

I got a call from my son’s teacher this morning.

I had just sent him off to school in the big yellow bus. Walked back home. The phone was ringing when I opened the front door.

It’s always a little scary, getting a call about your child.

One time, it was because he’d hit his head and I had to come decide if he needed to go to the hospital. (He didn’t.)

One time, it was because he was crying inconsolably and telling the teachers that his stomach was hurting really badly, prompting me to make the 10 minute drive to his school in about 5, followed by a race to the Urgent Care clinic. The x-ray showed that he was in pain because he was full of shit. I gave him a laxative and vowed to not be so neurotic next time. (And then I opened a window. Seriously. It was impressive.)

The last time I got a call about my son, it was a few weeks ago, from a neighborhood mother. She was letting me know that her daughter told her my son was pulling down his pants on the bus, and flashing his ass at the kids in the back.

I was mortified.

She was extremely cool about it. She did it the nicest way anyone could ever tell another parent that their child is acting like an absolute hooligan, but still. She told me she thought it was funny, but that the bus driver is kind of a tough cookie, and my kid would get suspended if caught. I really appreciated the call, as I do not want to have to drive my son to school and sit in the Drop Off Line of Doom every morning for an hour. We are also a one-car family, so that would be a pretty major inconvenience.

I let my husband talk to my son about the incident. We take turns with discipline so the boy doesn’t feel like he’s being ganged up on every time we have an issue. My husband definitely scares him more than I do, so I figured he should handle this one.

But today, the phone call from authority carried good news. His teacher said that they were able to do aptitude testing on all of the kids last week, and my son tested well into second grade levels. (He’s in kindergarten.)

Rather than pull him out of class to go read with the second graders, they are going to instead pull him out of class every day until lunch to go learn English with the smartest group of first graders — the ones who tested at second grade levels like him. She said she had to consult with the principal on this decision, and explained it to her by saying: “The other kids are learning the letter sounds, and he’s signing his name in cursive.”

I’ve been worried that he might start acting out and misbehaving because he isn’t being challenged or stimulated enough, so I was thrilled to hear about the plan from his teacher today. His teacher is awesome, too. She’s young, fresh, and childless, and in it for the right reasons. I have adored her since the first parent-teacher orientation.

Unlike his math-challenged mommy, he also tested at second grade levels in math, so rather than taking him away from his kindergarten friends for the second half of the day for math, they are going to supplement him with extra work during the math his classmates are doing. I am pleased that his teacher is looking out for his interests this way. Really pleased.

So that’s cool.


I spent last weekend with my parents in Lawrence, Kansas. If you’re one of my Lawrence pals reading this, don’t get mad at me for not calling to let you know. It was just two days of total family time… no going out to bars drinking and carousing and such for me.

My parents got a big hotel suite on Friday, and we hung out together there all weekend. One of my sisters lives in Lawrence with her husband and two kids, so they came over to the hotel (and we also descended upon their house one evening). I had a great time. I cried like a baby as we drove out of the city on Sunday afternoon. I miss my family. I miss Lawrence. If I have to be back in the Midwest, I want it to be Lawrence, damn it. It’s an amazing city.

I miss California too. Basically, I just don’t really like it here in Tulsa very much.

But maybe I haven’t given it a fair chance. I moved here when my son was two months old, and I was exhausted from a C-section recovery period and new parenthood. It’s not like I ever got to really explore the city and see what it has to offer. I’m not really being objective.

So, okay. That’s enough. Enough whining.


On an adorable note, my newly adopted cat is sleeping on a blanket I put on the file cabinet in front of the office window. Her name is Cali, short for California. Whenever I write at the desk, she comes in here and sleeps next to me, or watches birds eating at the feeder I’ve placed outside the window. It’s an idyllic scene, and it makes me feel really happy and peaceful, writing while my cat hangs out nearby. I can feel my blood pressure dropping whenever I look at her. Visual Valium.

Behold The Cute:

When she puts the kitten mittens over her face, I die a little inside.


Before I go, I want to share a weird statement that floated through my thoughts right before I woke up today. It was announced, like it was being broadcast over a loudspeaker in my brain. It was the last thing that went through my head before the cat woke me up, purring and rubbing her cold nose on my face like she does, so maybe that’s why I remembered it.

The loud voice announced: If you spend your life intellectually beating people down, you will eventually join them.

I don’t recall seeing that sentence anywhere, so it was really weird. I scribbled it down on a piece of scrap paper while stumbling on my way to the coffee this morning. I don’t really know what to make of it, but I’m trying to listen, in case the universe is talking to me.

I hope I’m not intellectually beating anyone down.

I also hope you’re having a good week, my friends.


Press the Paws Button: 7 Top iPad Apps for Pet Owners

Cali Cat Photo Credit David Crider (2)


Having a pet requires responsibility and dedication, with weekly tasks like veterinarian and grooming appointments, finding safe places for exercise, and acquiring pet supplies being only a few of the necessary duties pet owners find themselves trying to manage.

Organization can play a key role in staying on top of all animal-related activities and errands, and fortunately for pet lovers, there are many apps available to keep safety or personal information and schedules straight.


Below are 7 top iPad apps for animal owners:  


1. Pet Phone—

Available for iPhone as well as iPad, the Pet Phone app allows owners to keep track of multiple pets, with the ability to store detailed information about each pet, with a matching pet image.

Weight, microchip number, pet insurance information, medications, allergies and anything else you need to remember about animal friends can be tracked and stored in this app, as well as veterinarian information.


2. Petcentric—

Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Petcentric is exactly what it sounds like: an app for everything pet-related under the sun.

Petcentric Places gives users the ability to find pet-friendly restaurants, bars, stores and lodging, as well as locating animal shelters, dog parks, veterinarians, kennels, pet sitters and more.

This app also features pet videos, product recommendations, local events for pet owners and a photo gallery with interactive sharing, rating and comments.


3. Cat Doctor—

Created for iPhone and iPad by a cat doctor with over 30 years of experience, this app features extensive instructional HD videos that discuss issues and common procedures for cat owners.

The Cat Doctor app has 19 different topics including animal basics such as spaying, neutering, proper dental care, and grooming, as well as covering serious complications like parasites, arthritis and allergies.

If you have a cat and want to make sure to handle all medical maintenance matters, this app can help you keep your kitty healthy and happy.


4. The Pet Pal—

This app is a great addition to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch if you’re seeking a way to efficiently organize all the details of your different pets and their schedules into one convenient place.

The Pet Pal app also offers alerts to remind you of appointments, walking and feeding schedule input, and allows for storage of photos so you can manage galleries to show off your cute pet pals wherever you go.


5. Off Leash—

Especially if you live in a city where it can be difficult to find places for pups to run free and get exercise, the Off Leash app for iPhone and iPad can be a wonderfully useful addition to your collection.

With a database that includes over 600 U.S. dog parks, this app can locate the 5 closest pet-friendly places using GPS technology, and even allows users to submit data upon discovering new information.


6. Pet First Aid—

Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Pet First Aid is an important app for preparing animal owners to handle any medical emergencies that may arise. It’s unpleasant to think about any harm befalling our furry friends, but being prepared can give anyone peace.

With videos and illustrations to walk users through cat and dog injuries, as well as less urgent procedures like muzzling, giving medication, and proper bandaging or restraint techniques, the Pet First Aid app can help prevent animal injuries and illness, or tell owners what to when they are faced with such situations.


7. iKibble—

Although most animal experts recommend against giving animals human fare, there are actually many foods dogs can eat – as well as some that are surprisingly toxic.

With the iKibble app for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, pet owners can search particular foods to learn about the nutritional content, as well as making sure they’re safe.


Pets are worth every bit of the work, but with the assistance of the many apps available for pet owners, it’s easier than ever to handle the requirements of our animal pals. Give the apps above a try to make pet ownership a stress-free and fully enjoyable experience.