July 31, 2011 (this day)

These are my daughter’s feet in one of the beaches of her childhood.  She recently went to visit her grandparents.

Today is Sunday, and Carole returned a few hours ago from a vacation she took with her niece and sister.  I sat through over 300 pictures (which was not nearly half of them) before she took a bath and went to bed.  I have to honestly say the desert holds no appeal for me.  The pictures look like sun and heat and rock and scarce plants trying desperately to live with no water.  She assures me this is the most beautiful place she has ever seen.  And she’s seen a lot of places.  “The pictures don’t do it justice,” she and her fellow travelers say over and over and over again.  Surely, however, I’ve been with her to Hawaii where there were mountains and canyons and volcanoes and LIFE.  Rain and clouds and shade and ocean and lush life everywhere.

As I try to write this, on a Sunday afternoon, my gray kitten tries again and again and again and again to suck on me.  It’s incredibly tedious.  I feel terrible.  I want to snuggle her and pet her and be close, but she just will not quit trying to nurse.  They are three months old now, nearly four months old, and wonderful wonderful kittens, except for this.  It’s maddening.

And I guess this is as good a place as any to mention that my cats are strictly indoor cats.  I live in a suburb of a medium-sized city.  The animal shelters, unfortunately, have to euthanize healthy animals because there are not enough homes.  When I first adopted a cat who was my own, when I was 19, it never occurred to me to keep her indoors.  Through the years, though, I’ve come to see the wisdom of it, and for ten or more years, all of mine had been indoors.

I do see the other side of it and know that an indoor/outdoor cat would have a much more interesting life.  For this time and place, though, the dangers of cars and cat fights, diseases AND the fact that cats decimate the small animals and birds in the neighborhood has me keeping them in.  Now if cats were a rare and much sought after animal, as they should be, I might rethink owning them at all, if my intention is to keep them inside.  But given that there are many more cats than there are decent homes, I don’t feel bad at all about owning them and keeping them in.  I do try to entertain them safely in my house.

But I wish I had a solution for this Olive cat trying to suck on me constantly.  As I’ve been writing, I’ve thrown her off of me countless times, and now she’s settled in a cat bed on the radiator.  But I’d like to have her near me, it’s just that when she is, she’s sucking on me.

: – (

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