Happiness is a Fat Cat Who Watches Everything

My life is nuts right now and is going to continue to be nuts for all of this month. So my moments of Zen are cherished, and one of them is the way my cat, Emily William, has taken over the bay window in my bedroom. There used to be yarn in those cubbies but Emily did not like the way they interfered with her view, so the yarn is gone. I’ll find it eventually. But now when I start to vibrate, I look at Emily’s broad beam serenely surveying the landscape she was once a skinny stray in, and I smile and relax. Emily William is better than Valium.

What made you broadly happy this week?

73 thoughts on “Happiness is a Fat Cat Who Watches Everything

  1. Broadly happy? Celebrating Canada day yesterday in the traditional way, which involves racing around the lake on a Sea-Doo with my nephew, yelling.

  2. I finally found a doctor last week who was willing to order an xray on the leg I shattered a couple of years ago- it suddenly started hurting about a year ago, and I couldn’t get anyone to order xrays. But this guy did, and there’s a visible problem with the bones that requires surgery (easy fix, minimal discomfort), but he also listened when I was describing my movement limitations, and thinks there may be a tendon problem too. So I get to have an MRI tomorrow.

    Having a doctor listen, put me on the fast track for imaging TWICE and also refer me to an ankle specialist for the surgery has me absolutely thrilled. This past year has been absolutely infuriating. But there is now a really good chance that if the guy I see on the 14th can fit me in, I might (possibly) have the surgery completed this month, and be well on my way to being able to walk again by mid August. I am beyond pleased. Seated happy dancing over here! Happy days!

      1. It’s shocking how many a person has to go through these days just to find one MD with working ears!

    1. So glad you were listened to. My dear friend finally got a diagnosis for her serious but weird symptoms: porphyria, of all things. Which can be helped with a pill, thank goodness.
      Here’s to the happiness of a good diagnosis!

      1. Woof! And that’s a simple blood test to diagnose- so glad she found someone who was willing to do it!

    2. I do NOT understand the resistance to ordering x-rays. They use so much less radiation nowadays, so there isn’t a huge risk of lifetime accumulation, and they’re among the cheaper medical tests that exist now! But I’ve heard the same resistance for people with my disorder, who have trouble telling if they’ve broken a bone or just experiencing some random pain (our random pain feels exactly like a broken bone), so they’ll ask for an x-ray and get told they’re drug-seeking, when they specifically say they don’t want drugs and will not take them if prescribed, and all they want is an x-ray so they can be confident they’re not walking on a broken leg, doing more damage to it.

      Anyway, glad to hear that you’ve found a good doc! It’s bad enough to have a health issue, and worse when you can’t get any help for it. Hope there’s a relatively simple, quick, and low-pain fix!

      1. Medical insurers balk at paying for repeated x-rays of one area and exploratory x-rays of previous injuries, so some doctors have gotten the idea that they need to order fewer x-rays.

        I’ve had to insist on consecutive x-rays on the same foot, because I do actually get innattentive and careless and overly excited causing me to injure my feet frequently.

        1. I guess I’ve gotten spoiled by being in a clinical trial, where the principal investigator is extravagant with his ordering of x-rays. I mention the least little ache, and he checks another box on the x-ray requisition!

          Of course, there’s no insurer involved (paid by drug sponsor), and the trial involves treatment for a bone disorder where patients frequently have fractures we don’t know we have, but still. I’ve gotten used to x-rays being a dime a dozen, in relative terms. Of course, everything is a dime a dozen in relative terms when the monthly treatment costs a quarter million bucks a year. For life.

          1. Osteopenia? Because that’s what my bone density scan parameters indicated. I insisted on one because I had undiagnosed, healed foot fractures that we found when I needed an xray another injury. I was nowhere near the age that they say you need to do bone density but everyone was ignoring the family history of osteoporosis. Argh.

            My pain tolerance is high enough that the doc thought a fracture was a foot sprain and we treated it as one and I walked on it quicker than I should’ve had I known it was a fracture.

            I don’t need medication yet, just supplements but I don’t rely on that though; I eat the required nutrients, I do the exercise, and I get sunlight.

    3. Awesome! I know how hard it must be to get that. I still don’t have it. But I have hopes. I wish you a wonderful surgery and a complete healing.

  3. I love that Emily William. My cats are definitely part of my happy, even when they’re driving me crazy.

    My happy is making my final plans to travel across country to San Diego to see my elderly parents (who are in their late 80’s, but I still don’t really think of them as elderly), my younger sister, my stepdaughter and her fiance (who are flying in from San Jose) and my friend and critique partner who will be coming in from Sacramento for a few days in the middle where we retreat to the beach to talk writing and Zen out. (Or Witch out, in our case.)

    I confess to major trepidation about the trip itself, as I’m not a great traveler at the best of times, and recent news about flying is making me very nervous. But I’m just going to hope for the best and try to focus on being with people I love who I rarely get to see, and getting to the ocean, which is my happy place.

    My REAL happy is that my blessed sister has rescued me from my well-meaning but insane father, who thought that after spending 11 hours traveling, leaving at 5 am my time, I’d REALLY want to go march in his local Democratic 4th of July parade right after I got there. (Dear gods no.) So my now-favorite sister offered to pick me up instead and and since it will be lunch time when I get there (although it will feel like 3:35 to me), take me across the street from the airport where there is a restaurant that makes unbelievable Bloody Mary’s with a crab claw on top, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

    With a view of the bay. I feel happier just thinking about it.

  4. I am pleased to have thought of a furniture solution. I don’t know that I will do it but I enjoyed feeling clever for a bit.

    The best way to arrange this fairly small room will involve a couch for a least three across the wall with the only window. The window is set low, any seating will block much needed light.

    Now I want a built-in across that wall, with drawers underneath. Then I want the central part of the back to fold forward, like a car seat. Daytime: two seats with a table and a window between, night time: three or four seats, or even, if built wide enough, take off all the back cushions and make it up as a guest bed. Still haven’t used power tools, may have to work up to this project.

    And my loves, who kindly let me drop out of a planned trip, are sending me great photos. I am so glad they are having a good time. and so glad I am not travelling right now.

    Emily is beautiful. Also a happy making photo

  5. That is a wonderful cat! I’m so glad you have her as your companion. I couldn’t sleep last night, and each cat snuggled and purred a bit, to try to help. It did help.

    My BIG happy is that, thanks to not sleeping, I got up a few minutes before sunrise and took an early walk today. It was cool and pleasant, and the bunnies were out. There wasn’t much traffic, and the birds were already singing. I counted 32 bunnies! I have been worried about the bunny population, but they must prefer to be out much earlier than I do. In 2018, on June 16, I counted 42 bunnies on my walk. So the population is suffering, but not as much as I thought. Yay!

  6. My cat, Jasper, looking out through the kitchen window and watching the branches/birds flutter. We got him almost 6 years ago as a true rescue and for the entire first YEAR he wouldn’t look outside at all. Way too scary. He advanced to looking through the windows from the safety of the floor 10 feet away from the actual window itself. And now! So proud of him.

    1. I have a rescue cat who never dashes out the door when it is open. She was a stray. My other cat was born in a rescue facility, and dashes out whenever she can. Jasper knows what’s out there!! I’m glad he feels secure, now.

      1. We’ve had 8 dogs over the years. The rescues never ran. The only runner was the spoiled golden retriever who always knew where her food water and doggy toys were.

  7. I had a hard day Friday for unknown reasons, but felt better and was productive on Saturday so assuming ranting to DH Friday night caused a cure.

    Made the dough for our favorite rolled out cookies. Was going to make a half batch, realized that was stupid and did a full one. Decided I will just roll out rectangles and cut out vaguely square shapes, instead of fussing with cookie cutters and re-rolling scraps, etc. Going to try frosting half of them incorporating dried strawberry powder that dear B-I-L gives me from the bottom of the bags of his freeze dried strawberries. Hope they are good, and summery for the 4th.

  8. Emily is gorgeous. I love her slightly fly away look.

    My daughter decided on the spur of the moment to visit — with her cat — for 10 days. Her dad and I are thrilled. Right now dad and daughter are watching a Formula 1 race; yesterday they watched baseball games together. I get to torture the cat with affection. So different to have them here — we never use the TV and the only furry types around are the wild ones like foxes who we can’t pat.

  9. Ooooo, such a pretty girl! And clearly in charge.

    Happiness this week:

    Going to lunch with an old friend who introduced me to a new friend on what I thought was going to be a lonely day. Fried clams by the pier.

    The first dahlia blossom (dark red) to appear of the many dahlias I’ve planted.

    Digging the holes and planting the other dahlias I HAD to have.

    Hummingbirds at the little feeder I put up in front of the kitchen window.

    Singing some Debussy songs with the best pianist I’ve ever worked with, and feeling like myself.

    The virtue of going to the gym AND to yoga class. I may be limping, but I have virtue!

  10. I painted something this morning. Nothing much, just green, leafy vines on a hat brim, but I feel better. They work/life balance has been getting me down. We are extremely short staffed at the day job and I am just worn out. Making something makes me feel more in touch with myself.

    1. Short staffed. I learned yesterday that someone else is leaving for a new job and my boss has yet to hire a replacement for the one who’s leaving next month. (Sorry. NOT a happy.) My sympathy.

  11. Can food be happiness? No, let me rephrase. Can abuse of food be happiness?

    I am 20 weeks into the diet of ’23, and I am losing naught but ground. Unofficial weight today is about 275 pounds. A few months back is was 255 pounds. I know the battleground well, and the battles I’ve lost even better. For horrible example, since midnight I have consumed a 312 gram container of dark chocolate covered almonds. I meant to stop after a single ounce, but I lacked the willpower. I ate the whole thing, and before breakfast.

    Then I ate a sandwich with extra ham and a hamburger patty and cheese, the only bright side of which was that the bread was whole wheat. 2,200 out of 2,96 calories allowed per day, and there will definitely be lunch and dinner to come. It will be a test of that willpower I don’t have to limit one or the other of those meals to a freshly picked salad from my hydroponic gardens. Lettuce, green chard, and peppers (hot or sweet) are ready for harvest.

    There are also a few New York Strips beckoning me to eat them. And tater tots.

    I have got to stop eating after midnight, lest I turn into an enormous gremlin.

      1. Gary, Have you considered talking with a doctor/nutritionist about finding a way to lose weight that will work better for you than your current diet? Different approaches work for different people, and different approaches work for the same person at separate times of her life.

  12. Yesterday was my niece’s and her new husband’s post-wedding party for her Canadian family. My brother and SIL organized a lovely outdoor party with great food. My SIL asked me to give a toast which was unexpected and I did my best to be funny and welcoming to the groom who gamely mingled with people he didn’t know but who all knew each other ( my side of the family is very clannish). After the party, a group of us went to a patio on a dive/hipster bar and continued the party. My niece and her husband are moving from California to Colorado later in the year and have invited me to come and help with setting up their garden.

    I brought the flowers for the party from the flower farm I work at. DH and I picked them up on Friday am and about 4 hours into our trip, our car started to make funny noises and decelerated to less than 100km/hour. We managed to limp into a dealership and they secured a rental for us – not easy on the day before Canada Day. Not sure how long it will take to get the engine repaired but the flowers made it safely to the venue. Turned out they were similar to my niece’s wedding flowers so she was happy. And we have a great story.

  13. Friday was my birthday. I celebrated by taking the day off of work and running errands. Then DH took me to the movies (Guardians of the Galaxy 3). We had a great time. I’ve also been happy to spend the majority of my time inside with the air conditioning!

  14. Black raspberries! I got a whole handful from where they grow wild in the yard, before the birds realized they existed, and they’re almost two weeks earlier than usual.

    Also broadly happy to have declared this week a vacation to play with fabric and do stuff around the house/yard. No “work,” however defined, just whatever appeals in the moment.

    1. Lots of wild black raspberries in my year. A bumper crop this year. They seem to be ripening in batches so I’ll be snacking for a while.

  15. Sitting in the early morning sun sipping a no foam oat latte I made myself. Eating cinnamon oatmeal while admiring the sights and sounds of my almost weed free garden. Going to the annual summer plant sale which starts in 40 mins. Woohoo to the year of gardening. Who knew I’d be so happy and content in retirement. There I said it, “retirement.” I prefer semi-retirement. Had a great dinner with a very dear, dear friend last night.

  16. My big happy is looking at the beautiful view from my front deck and I can look at this forever. It’s amazing how much peace I get from listening to silence.

  17. The big happy was seeing dear son among the group of his mates at his graduation (Gymnasium/ similar to UK’s grammar school). It was a rough ride for quite some time, but the final celebeation was fun. Especially happy because his grandparents were able to see him receive his diploma, too.

  18. Happiness is having true friends who authentically see me.

    Just being supported emotionally is great. But having someone who took on getting both my non-working devices to people that they trust was a weight off my back. One was irreparable, the other is back and so far, so good.

    Happiness is lying in the sun on the mat for the somatic release exercises and the furbabies come to sit by me without interrupting.

  19. Emily William is GORGEOUS. I’m So glad you adopted her out of the cold and then gave her cubbyholes to sit in. I now think of you as NOT just a dog person. 🙂 Good job!

  20. This is medical week for Argh. At my annual physical with a new physician (this is a clinic where residents do a three year rotation and she just started), she thought when testing my oxygen levels that she did it wrong because it was 83. The second test was the same. She called her supervisor in and they both listened to my heart and said Whoa. 45. Low heart rate. After the EKG they sent me in an ambulance to emergency. Three days later I got to go home with a new pacemaker. There was some difficulty in finding a cardiologist available to install it. But when my heart rate dropped to 30 I was in surgery in an hour. It went well but I think my cardiologist was almost my age and I am 75. Never do this on an approach to a holiday weekend during a physician shortage.

    Right now the prevailing theory is that the COVID I had 5 weeks ago caused the neural connections between my upper and lower heart to be totally blocked because there was nothing in my medical history to suggest there was any problem with my heart. Yes I have had all vaccines and boosters. No I did not wear a mask on the airplane. COVID, the gift that keeps on giving.

    1. My gosh, how shocked you must have felt! And everyone who knows you likewise! Did you have time to phone your nearest & dearest to fill them in on what you were about to go through?

      I’m so glad you got good care despite your poor timing in terms of holiday weekends!

    2. Awesome! I know how hard it must be to get that. I still don’t have it. But I have hopes. I wish you a wonderful surgery and a complete healing.

    3. Thank for your kindness. My husband seems to have spent most of the time I was gone telling family, and trying to do all his chores and mine too. I think he had the worst of it. I feel like a fraud exacting sympathy because it never once occurred to me that I was at peril. No fainting, no pain. Just exhausted whenever I did something. And feeling like I should not call attention to myself so much. It was a little weird that the nurse accompanied me every time I went to the bathroom and not being allowed out of sight for the entire time. If I grimaced the nurse just happened to need to do something in my room and decided as long as she was there to check my vitals.

    4. I’m so grateful that you are better now!!!

      I think that it would be good to look for a cardiologist who is younger and has partners so that the next time there is an emergency you won’t have to start from scratch. You’ve already had your scary close call, so let’s see what can be done to avert any future scares.

      Did they give you any referrals for follow up care?

      1. Thank you. I have a bunch of follow up appointments and will have to have the device checked periodically. I have no previous history of heart problems and it sounded like they didn’t expect any more problems as long as I kept to the schedule of routine maintenance, sort of like when you get a new car. I get to stay on my normal diet. It is a big question why this happened because all my lab work revealed normal findings. I got a lot of maybe COVID, maybe not.

  21. After one good day back at work, the rest of the first week was horrendous, but yesterday I got to spend all day at home without talking to anyone except the cats, and that was wonderful. I don’t think I truly realised how necessary silence and alone time is to me until I spent three weeks in the near constant company of another human and my brain melted down three times. I naturally spend so much time alone outside of work that it isn’t normally an issue. An important lesson for the next time I go travelling with a friend.

    Other happies have been great pizza after a lousy day, green shoots on one of the rhubarb crowns, and all my coworkers being happy to see me back. It’s nice to be missed when you’re gone.

  22. My son, Jim, and his girlfriend, Nikki, and his daughter Ella are visiting from Michigan. Last night they all went to the pier and for the first time in about four weeks I had a night alone. I watched the last two episodes of Ted Lasso that show makes my heart so happy. If jury duty is doing for people anywhere near what Ted Lasso does for me I am so grateful to be.part of it.
    Also, today was the start of my new insurance which means I can finally maybe do some thing about my knee. Awesome thought. I wish you all a beautiful week full of unexpected little moments of joy.

  23. Todays happy was having some energy and getting a lot of chores done after a few day where I was just beat. Including a big chunk of gardening . If I do ok tomorrow and Tuesday the garden may be ready to be ignored while I recuperate from surgery. (And the surgery should end these episodes of days when I’m dragging all day.)
    Other happies were seeing a childhood friend who used to live near me (kids went to the same school as ours) and who we hadn’t seen since they moved from burbs to city 5 years ago.
    And then taking my moms cousins to see a collegiate summer ball game —we got to see the pre game entertainment, sheltered in the picnic pavilion during a major rainstorm, and took them to our house with a Peruvian chicken stop on the way. It was great. Maybe we will actually get to watch the game when it’s rescheduled.

    1. “Peruvian chicken stop on the way…”. The best chicken we have ever eaten was in Peru. On Sundays we would drive out to a chicken place called El Gordo Pollo. They had a little go cart track too. So delicious. One of the best memories of our time in Peru. We still talk about it. The best drink: pisco sour.

      1. We have two Peruvian chicken chains in the DC area. Both named Don Pollo and serving food so similar that it took me a while to realize they were separate chains
        And then I had to show my DH the websites to convince him.

        I think one is slightly better but they are both very good .

  24. Very handsome cat, that Emily William. Was her gender in doubt when you named her?
    I am broadly happy that my brother, sis-in-law and niece and nephew arrive from Europe on Wednesday to stay for a few weeks. I am also happy that I have one more full day available for house cleaning before they get here.
    I strive for clean and moderately organized and then it promptly devolves into comfortable chaos as everyone spreads out. They are easy guests, we just all become roomies for the duration.

  25. Happiness this week was the 14-month old puppy heading off to camp for a week. She is a delight, but all who meet her agree she is the most high energy dog ever. I’m enjoying the quiet and taking care of household chores that are best done without a four-legged helper.

    She has been having a succession of “best days ever”—getting to run around, play with other dogs, fetch sticks in the stream, and swim in the lake.

  26. My happy is that I have finally managed to quit smoking. And now I feel like I can do anything!

    1. Congratulations on doing your hardest thing! It will make you feel so much better!

  27. I love the cat’s name … and that imperious look on her face. A gorgeous stray showed up here last summer, white VERY fluffy thing with peridot green eyes. On being unable to find the owner, I brought the cat indoors. Maybe it was because of the fluff or the coloring, maybe because the cat was so mellow. but I was certain it was a female. At the vet appointment, the vet is examining the cat and turns to me and says “You do realize this is an intact male?” Oops. So funny. I’d never actually checked and he is so furry that the pertinent bits were never seen. Of course now they will never be seen because they aren’t there.

  28. Happiness is a four-day weekend (thanks to July 4 holiday + my firm giving us all today off as well). On Saturday, I picked up my BFF and we went to brunch, then to The Container Store aka amusement park, then home to watch ‘Hamilton,’ then her husband came over to get her and my husband had made it home early and we got Mexican food and sat around talking till 10:30. 🙂

    Yesterday + today I put in about 4.5 hours of yard work, everything looks better, so that’s happy too.

    I’ve started feeding the Scruffian, a feral cat that hangs around our house. It is a lot less wild after you give it a plate of chicken. It looks not unlike Emily William.

    The rest of today’s happy is that I’m more than halfway through a new chapter for the novel-in-progress and may well write two whole chapters today.

Comments are closed.