Holiday Hanging – Bennett Style

We took a cue this Christmas from Bennett.

Bennett chilling with the fam!
Bennett chilling with the fam!

After all, there’s something to be said for a Christmas filled with chill-time. You know the one: no guests. . .. dinner whenevs. . .. And staying in jammies all day. My kind of holiday! (So glad Bennett’s one smart kitty!)

Hope the rest of your holiday’s everything you want – and then some! 🙂


The Greatest Gift

This time of year brings a ton of excitement to the Alexander household. Between the presents, the food, and the company of family, what’s not to love?


Bennett hunting through packages
Bennett hunting through packages
From Niece 2 :-)
From Niece 2 – totally made me crack up!

The greatest gift comes from the memories made with family and close friends, from the sense of community, and the belief that, even if for a brief time, all is right in this world.

Or maybe that’s just me. . .. *shrugs*

In whatever way you celebrate, the Alexander family wishes you and yours the happiest of holidays!

Merry Christmas!


Destination: Mommy

I present you, my peeps, Bennett Charles, fierce explorer of all things unknown! He recently braved the cold, cold, oh-so-COLD, world of ice. His destination: Mommy.

Bennett had to save her from the snow monster – even though it was one of her own creation (but that’s a different story). With cool determination he bravely stepped into the snow storm that whirled through the Alexander back yard to get to her. Failure was NOT an option. After all, who’d prepare his breakfast if something awful happened to her?

P1150695P1150696P1150698Bennett totally makes me smile!

Stay warm,

Bennett’s World

Bennett Charles, my middle cat, is amazing.  He loves attention, both giving and receiving it.  P1140465Doesn’t matter that I’m rushed to get out the door to the day job or that I’m struggling with writing a difficult scene but have just about got it right.  Oh, no.  He’s going to make sure his peeps remember we live in his world.  🙂

As I tackled my WIP this week with him draped over one arm as I typed – seriously – I realized he’s been teaching me a lesson all this time.  Persistence gains results.  P1140297For instance, no matter how many times I close the door to my office, he doesn’t take “no” for an answer.  He bangs on that sucker until I capitulate and let him in.  Like now.  *Sigh*

I’ve received multiple rejections from publishers over the years (what writer hasn’t?), and Bennett’s lesson this week really hit home.  Gotta stay persistent. . ..Gotta stay the course. . . ..Gotta keep honing craft to become a better writer.  Cuz if you don’t keep knocking, no one will know you’re there.

Happy writing!

– Melia

Who’s on Top?


My morning routine is pretty standard: up at 4, feed the kitty-kids, write until 6:30-ish, P1140256then head to the day-job. As I fixed breakfast for Alex, Bennett, and Chloe one day, I had to ask myself: who’s really at the top of the food chain in the Alexander household?  I mean, amidst the painful, starving mewls of my three (*snort*), I’m stressing ’cause I’m not moving fast enough for them.  What is wrong with this picture?

The question gnawed at me as they ate.  While I’m at work at the Male Observation Lab, what exactly did these three do with their time?

I’ve made it a point to really pay attention to their routine, even dug through some photos in search of evidence.  I figured that it couldn’t vary much from day to day, right?

After some observation, I think I’ve pretty much figured out what they do while I’m away at the day-job.  *Sigh*  And here’s the evidence:

Nap time.
Nap time.
Bennett on the prowl. . ..
Bennett on the prowl. . ..
A patch of sunlight on the back deck. . .. Finally!
A patch of sunlight on the back deck. . .. Finally!
Bennett's sleep spot in the solarium.
Bennett’s sleep spot in the solarium.
Bennett blends right in.  🙂
Can't a girl nap without interruption?  Go.  Away.  Now.
Can’t a girl nap without interruption? Go. Away. Now.
Bennett. . . napping.
Man, has it been an exhausting day!
Cat nip time!  (Alex guards his stash by laying right on top of it.)
Cat nip time! (Alex guards his stash by laying right on top of it.)

Oh, what a life!  Play and sleep and cat nip and food and more sleep.  Does it get much better than that?

I know who’s in charge at my house.  Do you know who’s in charge at yours?


It’s Official! (Kinda)

Mother Nature is such a tease.  Either that or she’s flat-out sadistic.

After months of torturous rain and clouds and cold and sometimes even *gasp* snow, some of us in the great Pacific NW crave warmer spring weather the way a certain writer-person-who-shall-remain-anonymous craves a great pair of shoes.  (*Whistles while looking at the ceiling*)

The thing is, once the sun breaks through and the temperatures rise to about the mid-60’s (even a brush with it for ten minutes will do), Mother Nature knows she’s got us optimists suckered.  We become so sure that it’s a sign the rain’s gone.  We’re captivated by the slim hope that the weather reporters are wrong, and this time the sunshine and warm temperatures will hang around until November.

Sadly, spring in our part of the world typically translates into . . . more rain.

But the optimist in me searches for signs of warmer, drier weather the same way I attack the shoe rack during a Nordstrom sale.

For years I'd sworn I'd take a picture of these trees when they bloom in the spring.  This is the first time I'd actually done it!  These beauties surround the ball field at the corporate offices of the Male Observation Lab.  They're a sure sign spring has arrived!
These beauties surround the ball field at the corporate offices of the Male Observation Lab.
Hot Cross Buns on Easter morning.
Hot Cross Buns on Easter morning. 🙂
I wish I could say this was my garden.  Sadly, it's not.  But I do get to visit when I see my good friend (and the best seamstress EVER!) Sharon.  She makes growing stuff (and keeping them alive) look so easy!
I get to visit this garden when I see my good friend (and the best seamstress EVER!) Sharon. She makes growing stuff (and keeping them alive) look so easy!
My boys, Bennett (on his back) and Alex love to soak up the sun.  Add a bit of catnip and they're in kitty nirvana!  :-)
My boys, Bennett (on his back) and Alex, insist on a sunbath when the weather warms up even a teensy bit.  Add a bit of catnip and they’re in kitty nirvana! 🙂
Nothing gets between Alex and his 'nip.  Not even mom begging for him to look at the camera!
Nothing gets between Alex and his ‘nip. Not even mom begging him to look at the camera!
Bare legs!  Yeah, I shoulda taken this outdoors, maybe in a parking lot somewhere to prove it was warm enough.  I might actually have to replace this picture.  Hmmm. . . a skirt to the Male Observation Lab today?
Bare legs! Yeah, I shoulda taken this outdoors, maybe in a parking lot somewhere to prove it was warm enough. I might actually have to replace this picture. Hmmm. . . a skirt to the Male Observation Lab today?

So while some rain is in the forecast this week, I’m hanging onto the belief that spring will eventually warm up (and dry up!) enough for us to come out of hibernation and spend some quality time outdoors.  After all, it happens every year!  🙂

How do you know when spring has arrived in your part of the world?




And so the saga continues with our little guy.  Blood work shows nothing’s wrong with him.  Of course there isn’t anything wrong with him.  Alex is perfectly normal.  P1130745That’s why his body’s not able to process potassium correctly, and that’s why he needs 100 – 200 ml of potassium chloride every day – on top of the potassium supplements we use to spike his food.  Because he’s perfectly normal.  Of course.


*Sigh*  Until the docs figure out what’s wrong with Alex, we’ve set up our version of a kitty care clinic in  our solarium, P1130748complete with a pill cutter for his anti-nausea drugs, as well as a pill shooter and sharps container (seriously).  Hauling him to the vet for daily doses of I.V. fluid is not an option. . .. I’d likely end up way more traumatized than he would.  So we’re prepped to do that, too.

On the up side (because heaven knows we need to search for one), he doesn’t seem to mind this particular nightly ritual.  Oh, no.  He waits patiently while Niece and Hubby prepare the fluids (which includes heating it to the correct temperature and then flushing the line), and when the time comes, he crawls onto Hubby’s lap and settles in.  It’s like Alex knows that he’ll feel better once he’s through the procedure, so he’s happy to settle down long enough to get it done.

And aren’t we lucky?  🙂


Eat Your Bananas

What a week.  Seriously.  P1130688

Almost overnight our little Alex went from a happy, engaging kitty to one who was lethargic.  I knew something was terribly wrong when he refused his midnight treat.  It was highlighted when he didn’t fight me as I tried to get him into the carrier the following morning.

The vet determined his potassium level was so low it was undetectable, so his entire metabolic system had been thrown into chaos.  His body temperature had dropped, and his kidneys were failing.  That afternoon he was admitted to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital.  All we could do was wait.  And hope.

We got home that evening, and I stared at a bunch of bananas and thought about Alex.  (The limited amount of Geek-girl in me remembered that bananas are a good source of potassium.)  It seemed like so short a time had passed since I first brought him home.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I’d sacrificed an old college economics textbook by placing it in front of his litter box because he was too small to climb inside?

Time passes so quickly.  Too quickly sometimes.  It doesn’t seem right.  At least, not to me.  Yet I realized that experiencing the joy with Alex also meant experiencing the pain of letting him go when the time came.  But until then, every moment of every day with him was important, no matter where he was.  IMAG0538

Two days in the emergency hospital, and we were able to bring him home.  Potassium supplements, kidney-friendly food, and an antacid seem to have worked wonders on him.  So far.

Alex was back at the vet this morning. . . for a back adjustment.  That’s right.  Chiropractic care.  For a cat.  Seriously.

And because he’s still with us, I’m so happy I can roll my eyes about it!

Here’s hoping for a saner week in the Alexander household.  🙂


Bring It!

IMAG0259There are times when it feels like life’s so crammed with challenges and stuff that I don’t believe I could possibly take on one more thing.

That’s when I remember this photo.  I was holding Alex at the time when Bennett, whom Hubmeister carried in his arms, insisted on joining us.  Despite my protests, Bennett crawled over his brother and onto my shoulder — a place he’d claimed since he was a kitten.  And I managed to hold onto both of them for quite awhile!

So I now think of challenges in this way:  even if some things in life seem impossible, sometimes you just gotta do it before you can figure out what you’re truly capable of accomplishing.

And it only took a cat to help me figure that out. . ..

Have a fantastic weekend!

-Melia (who is happily editing a manuscript 🙂 )