Feb 13

Things Porkchop the Dog has eaten/chewed/bitten

(A partial list, to be continued):

my slippers
a pinecone
baby toys (assorted)
Anna’s toys (assorted)
blankets (several)
tennis balls (several; note to self: buy more tennis balls)
his dog toys (good boy! good boy!)
his leash, when we are getting ready to go on a walk
garden house sprayer attachment (while outside, looking at me through the glass door)
rubber ducky bath toy
assorted clean laundry
assorted dirty laundery
dirt from houseplant
bathroom scale (attempted; glass so not very satisfying)
mop (bonus: fun to chase!)
feet, hands, legs, and other body parts

Feb 13

things our new dog has done since he came home with us

Captain Porkchop (AKA Porkchop, AKA Porky, AKA The Porkster, AKA P-dog) came to live with us on Friday afternoon. It is now Sunday afternoon. In the past 48 hours (approx), Porkchop has done the following:

Humped his new dog bed (vigorously for the first day, then not at all)

Licked the baby (every single chance he gets)

Jumped in the pool (oops–he just ran right out onto the cover, not realizing it wasn’t, you know, solid ground, then swam to the side)

Eaten his meals in less than 1 minute (that’s some super fast eating)

Jumped in the shower WITH a showering adult (ONCE, and hopefully never to be repeated, from now on the dog stays OUT of the bathroom during shower time, ewww).

Stolen my slippers and ran away with them (so, so, so, so many times. Ugh.)

There are many, many, many more crazy moments from these last couple of days. I had forgotten what it was like to have a puppy-ish dog around. It’s about 3/4 awesome and 1/4 ohmygodwhatwerewethinking! I’m pretty sure he’s bonding to me as he hardly leaves my side and follows me around the house like a….like a….oh, shoot, like a puppy, of course. He sleeps snuggled up next to me. He gives me the saddest puppy face when I close him out of the bathroom but, really, dude, it is so totally not okay to sniff someone while they are going to the bathroom. That’s just gross.

And, not that I have any experience with this, it’s just a guess, but it feels like having a puppy and a baby is sort of like having a toddler and a baby. I say this because Porkchop is constantly trying to get my attention….whenever I happen to be doing something baby related, something for which I would really like to devote my attention explicitly to Lily, like during a diaper change. It is in these moments that I can count on Porky to jump up or to grab one of Anna’s stuffed animals or to pick up one of my slippers (his very, very favorite) in his mouth and start vigorously shaking it side to side.

It’s crazy, yes, it’s true, but I’m so glad that my kids will have this experience of growing up with this dog and that Adam and I will have his companionship and love. He’s going to be a good one.

Jan 13

Our new “kid”

We pick him up this week. Am I crazy?!??!

Jan 13


I feel bereft without Lucky here. I walk in the door and miss her greeting. I am constantly listening for the shake of her collar, looking for her in the corners of rooms, expecting to see her when I am cooking something delicious-smelling. I have a dog-shaped hole in my heart.

Is it too soon for another dog? I guess it isn’t. We started looking this weekend and I believe that we may have found our next family dog. Pictures and story to follow when we bring him home and get him settled in.

It just doesn’t feel right around here without a dog to love. This new guy isn’t her, but he will become a part of us the way that she always will be a part of us. It just takes time.

Missing my Lucky Girl, my first baby, so terribly.

Sep 11

Desperate Times and all that that entails

So, you remember Max, right? Our new cat? The one billed as “Loves Dogs!” at the Humane Society? The one we were hoping would quickly and seamlessly integrate into our existing family structure? Yeah. Not so much. Not only does he continue to Hate with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns any and all canine creature (well, okay there is only one of those in the house, so his hissing and growling and caterwauling is reserved for Lucky), but his “talkative” nature (a virtue ADAM GRAY insisted most emphatically on (“Yeah, we LOVE talkative cats! Love them!”) has risen to new heights. Apparently his talkativeness was rather, ahem, subdued in those lovely early days. This cat starts talking first thing (and I mean first thing in the morning and doesn’t stop. At all. All. Freaking. Day. Long.

He gets somewhat better if I am with him in “his room” (he rarely ventures outside of our bedroom, except for some forays into rat/mouse-eating land (we suspect. He doesn’t bring us tails or anything, but he just has the look of a hunter), but it only lessens, it does not disappear. He even talks in the middle of the night. If I get up to go to the bathroom, he stands up and asks, “MEOW?”

It’s not about the food. Also, there is nothing physically wrong with him at all. Over $250 bucks spent this week at the vet’s office tells me so. The vet offered kitty prozac. So I did what any person who had received the bad news that there animal is just fucking crazy in the head would do, at 5-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-o’clock in the damn morning: I ordered a plug-in cat pheromone wall unit off of Amazon. What? You would have done the same thing, too (it has great reviews!). I even paid to get it shipped here quickly, super saver shipping be damned.

My sweet savior arrived today in a little box thrown on my front porch. Eagerly I opened it, plugged it in. Had to dash off for a dinner thing. Arrived home to His Craziness doing the Crazy Meowing. I am still holding out hope. How long do you think it will take this thing to work? Because it has to work. It is supposed to have “calming powers” for those cats that have “difficulty with anxiety.” Yes, I will buy that magic tonic from you, traveling salesperson! I BELIEVE! Why? Because I have to believe. Because the other choice is….I don’t even know. This cat is driving me up the freaking wall. But he sure is cute. (And talkative!)

P.S. Anyone want a cat? No, really! He is soooooo awesome. I swear. Just a little bit mental.

Jun 11


Not me. The aggression, that is.

We’ve been trying things out with Max the cat and, overall, things are awesome. We love him. He is SO sweet and cuddly and loves to be petted and brushed and he purrs and cuddles up in bed and is great with Anna but….

He HATES Lucky. Like, HATE HATE HATES. He is a hater.

His little card at the humane society said “Good with Dogs!” Umm. No. Not our dog at least.

Not only does he growl and hiss, he makes swipes at her. He growls and hisses if she is anywhere near him, even just in the same room. Lucky started out just interested in him (after all, she grew up with a cat in the family! She wants to play! She just wants to sniff!) but after he started aggressing against her, she started getting a little aggressive back.

Tonight I got in the middle of them and Lucky bit me (didn’t break skin)–MY fault for stupidly getting on the jaw side of her instead her back or her collar. I didn’t think, just reacted to help the smaller of the two animals (even though I really think that Max is fiercer and meaner!). I’m fine. But…

This is not a good mix.

My heart is heavy. We are planning on calling the humane society in the morning. Tomorrow will be six days that we have had Max (AKA Oliver). We’ve bought special cat food and brushes and a new collar and a scratching post and catnip. It’s not just the stuff, though. I was really growing fond of him.

Anna is going to pissed. Well, really she will be sad but she will act pissed off. That is her way.

Not sure if they will even suggest trying more time or if this is it (?).

He is such a cool cat. : (

May 11

Max, or The Cat Formerly Known as Oliver

It has been a while now…..and I realized that I missed the little pitter-patter of tiny cat feet. I missed the talking (meow!) and I missed the petting. We have Lucky Dog still but our house just hasn’t felt right since Jack died.

We went to the Humane Society this weekend and had a humorous round of Meet N Greets with the cats available for adoption. Our first visit was with Oliver, a black and white talker of a cat. A cat who did not stop meowing for one instant the entire time he was in the room with us. (“Just like Jack,” I thought). We also met Cheerio….well, if you can call the one second he was in the room with us as a meeting. Cheerio jumped up onto the (very very very extremely tall) partition and away away away as fast as he could. Adam and I looked at each other, laughed, and agreed that Cheerio was not our next cat. There was a big ol’ love of a cat, a big furry cat named Kitty Kat, whom we all loved but who was very up there in years. I hope someone takes him home. I just didn’t have the heart to adopt a 13 year old cat, knowing that health problems and (sad but true) death probably weren’t that far away. We met a couple more, but it was Oliver that we kept coming back to. Oliver, though not as immediately cuddly and happy as Jack was from the beginning, had the right kind of personality. He was social (clearly bonded with the lady who worked there, despite having only been there a couple of weeks), he was talkative (love that, except for the middle of the night), he was just okey dokey with Anna petting him and getting in his face–no growls and hisses like we got from one of the others we saw.

Oliver it was! Anna decided that his name was REALLY Max so he has become Max now that he is home with us. (There was a waiting period to bring him home; I guess they want to make sure that you are serious!).

He has been hiding out under our bed for the better part of today, but we watched him enjoy some catnip through the sliding glass door (from outside) and it is obvious that he has eaten some food, too, out of his new bowl. It will be interesting to see when he emerges, how he fits in.

No cat will ever be Jack–he was a once in a lifetime kitty–but I am loving having a cat around here again.

Nov 06

An open letter to Jack the cat

Contrary to popular (your) belief, all the new baby stuff does NOT, in fact, belong to you, nor is it intended to provide wonderfully comfortable places for you to sleep. Yes, it is cozy. Yes, it is new and must get broken in. Our intention was for these things to belong to Anna (you know, that baby that you think belongs to you).
On a happier note, it is quite cute to see you curled up next to Anna, cuddling up against her. It may be that it is all about the personal warmth factor, but I choose to believe that you actually feel some sort of attachment and affection for her. Let’s keep that up and avoid the use of claws.
Thirdly, I would like to personally apologize, as Anna’s mother, for the abuse that you have (and will continue to have) to put up with. Anna has a strong right hook, and I’m sure that the toddler years will bring many incidents of fur pulling and chasing throughout the house. Thank you for being so patient.

Your home-sharing, food-providing, non-furry subordinate,

Jennifer Gray