Today’s gratitude topic is the adaptability of our cats as one of the things I was most concerned about with our move to the wheelchair accessible apartment (besides how was I going to manage to get Night into a carrier to bring her over*) was how our cats would adjust to the changed views from the windows. In our previous apartment, the windows looked out on the woods and the cats could sit there for hours watching birds and wildlife, in addition to other cats that wandered by and even an occasional dog out for a walk with his or her humans at the treeline. The windows in our new apartment look out on the parking lot though and I thought our cats would be either frightened or bored by the view.
The first couple of days they were indeed frightened every time a pedestrian or car went past but they have adapted well and regularly spend time now singularly or together keeping watch on the happenings outside. There are some shrubs and a small area of lawn which attract birds but as far as I can tell, they are now even enjoying watching the traffic outside.
I am grateful that my concern was unfounded and they now enjoy daily window time.
*Note: As it turns out, I didn’t even have to worry about getting Night into her carrier. Knowing that a move was coming, I had left it out for her (with towels inside and the door propped open) for a couple of months prior to the move. She started to use it as her bed some nights. I woke up at 4:30 AM on our move day and immediately went to see where Night was. I cannot begin to express how thankful I was to find her sound asleep in her carrier!
We popped Johnny into her own carrier and immediately brought them over to our new apartment. Jamey stayed with them while I remained in our old apartment to wait for the movers. A lesson to remember next time I find myself wondering and worrying “but how will I …?”
Our laundry room is one of the things in our apartment that I am personally most grateful for as when we first moved into our previous apartment, we had to carry our laundry to the apartment complex laundry room. This was before Jamey was in a wheelchair and he carried the bulk of it. Since that is no longer an option, I would have to carry it all myself and that would be very difficult for me given how much laundry I do each week and the condition of my back and hip.
We have the laundry area set up so that
(1) there is a large enough open area between the drying rack and the washer and dryer that Jamey can easily reach it. Having this area wheelchair accessible came in very handy last week when I needed Jamey to look at the washing machine to figure out why it had suddenly stopped working. (Thankfully, it was a very simple fix.)
(2) The cats can sit on their cat tree as they supervise the process while I do the laundry.
While both of our cats take over our beds on a regular basis, I have also created cat beds for them in various places by adding towels for cushioning on the places they prefer to lay. I wash their bedding at least once a week, more often when needed. Between humans and cats, I usually do laundry 6 days a week which is why I am so grateful for our in apartment mini laundry.
I would also like to add an extra “Thank You” at this point to Peter for all of his attention to detail in setting up our laundry room, not only making sure we had the right hoses but even tying the dryer in place so that it does not vibrate as much.
Something else that we are both grateful for is Overdrive, a free service provided by our public library that allows us to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and even videos on our mobile devices.
I’ve found quite a few things to enjoy on there including the audiobook I just finished of the Alaskan based historical novel To The Bright Edge of The World by Eowyn Ivey. Set partially in 1885 and partially in the present, the book is an intriguing mix of history and folklore with a touch of magic and an emphasis on nature’s beauty. While many of the main characters are men, the book includes two strong women, one of whom is a native Alaskan, a dog, and a raven – or is it a raven?
The author (a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for “The Snow Child”) lives in Alaska with her family. In this short interview, she discusses her fascination with her state and how much of her novel is based on historical events.
In September of 2016, we ended up with 3 kittens born to a feral mother with Feline Leukemia. Despite 6 vet trips and extensive nursing, two of the three kittens died before they were a month old and their mother was not doing well either.
Long story short, we came very close to losing the third kitten also. We were so thrilled that she survived that we named her Johnny 5 as in “Johnny 5 is alive” from the movie “Short Circuit.” She does have Feline Leukemia too but we are determined to make whatever lifespan she has as filled with love as possible.
Thus our “we are grateful for” today goes to our adult (spayed female) cat Night who adopted Johnny as “her” kitten and helped us raise her. Every time I look at the picture in this post, I have to smile as I imagine Night’s body language is proclaiming “this one is mine!”
Note: that picture was taken when Johnny was not quite 5 months old. She is now a shade over 10 months old and slightly larger than Night. When Johnny was younger, we regularly saw Night hold her in place and give her a thorough grooming. Now-a-days, it is not uncommon to see Johnny hold Night down instead and groom her. They still sleep, eat and play together on a regular basis, so we count ourselves very lucky to have two cats who get along so well together almost all of the time.
One of the things that we are most pleased about in our new wheelchair accessible apartment is how much independence it has given back to Jamey. The picture shows the very open space in front of his computer area. It is so easy for him to access it any time he wants that he is now able to enjoy using his computer again.
We are very grateful to everyone who worked with us from our apartment manager, Kuni, maintenance man, Jerry, cleaning assistant, Denise who worked together to lay the groundwork to turn our need for a wheelchair accessible apartment into a reality within two months time. We could not have done the actual move process without a great deal of help from Karin, her sons Peter and Terry, and Peter’s son Matthew in addition to Jamey’s friends John, and Julie.
Thank you to all of you and a special thank you to Dad for your support.
I called InMotion customer support earlier today to find out how to set up a simple blog with very few bells and whistles as I want our blog to be easily accessible to as many people as possible, no matter how they access it.
Joshua was extremely helpful. He even came up with a special widget for me that let me set my fonts to arial as the accessibility guidelines that I read suggested using arial, helvitica, tahoma or verdana so that those who use special equipment to read websites can access them.
I still have a lot to learn about using WordPress so I may not have everything correct yet, but it is wonderful to know that the helpful people at InMotion are only a phone call away any time of the day or night.
This morning Jamey and I had trouble waking up (went to bed too late last night since this was a 5:45 AM alarm morning) and when I said “Good Morning,” Jamey replied “Morning, Don’t know what’s good about it.”
I responded with a list of things we have to be grateful for including a roof over our heads, food in the kitchen, our cats and even the fact that I can walk to the kitchen to prepare the food. The way the list came to me so quickly told me that this was the day to write my first post for our gratitude blog.
We will be blogging about the things we are grateful for in our life including our cats who often make us laugh (and sometimes turn our hair a bit grayer) and the changes that Jamey being in a wheelchair now are bringing to our lives including our new wheelchair accessible apartment that we moved into recently (July 8, 2017) with the help of a number of friends.
While we cannot change things such as both of our cats having Feline Leukemia or Jamey being in a wheelchair, we can choose our attitude towards these things. We welcome you to come along on our journey as we choose to focus on what is positive in our lives.
We would love to hear your stories of the good things in your life also.