Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Redefining the Meaning of “Family”

Recent events have caused me to examine what the word “family” means to me and who it describes. Traditionally one’s family is thought to be those you are related to by blood and by marriage. But that’s genealogy. After what happened this weekend, I now believe that for me, merely sharing the same blood does not give someone “family” status.

To me, family means those who uplift you, those who add joy and love to your life, those who are there for you when you need them. Family does not forsake you. Family does not beat you emotionally until you crumble, bloody and broken. Family does not kick you when you’re down. Family does not unapologetically treat you badly, and expect you to carry on the relationship as though nothing happened.

So with this new definition, I had just one family member left—my sister. She was the only one who supported me when my 87 year old mother (who I believe has advancing dementia) started treating me like she hated me this summer. The meanness inflicted by the one who brought me into this world was incredibly difficult to bear, but the complete lack of empathy of my so-called family magnified that emotional pain a thousand-fold.  At least I had my sister. Or so I thought.

This weekend, she got mad at me and for a good half hour she ripped me a new one; actually several new ones. We’ve only had one fight our entire adult life, and that was nothing compared to this. She said such demeaning, hurtful things that I wondered if she’d become possessed because I couldn’t fathom how all of that loathing could be inside her all this time and was only now coming out.

When she was done with her diatribe, she said “You know, you do have family who care about you.” I pointed to my three cats and said “I know I do. One, two, three.”  This enraged her and she stormed out. But as I looked at my precious, sweet and loving earth angels with fur, I realized it was the truth. Annabelle, Mickey and Rocky are my only family.

That does not make me sad, though. I feel so blessed to have these three family members who will always love me, who will always be there for me, who will always offer a comforting purr when I’m sick and an uplifting head-bonk when I’m sad. The human beings I’m related to by blood or marriage are not my family. Blood is just blood. It does not determine who deserves the title of family.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Christmas Card!!

That wonderful Ann from Zoolatry has done it again. She made us this adorable Christmas card that matches our holiday header! Isn't it lovely?

We would be honored and thrilled if you wanted to copy our card and put it on your blog with other holiday cards you receive.

We would also like to post your card on our blog! Please email it to me or post it in the comments if you prefer.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Hi my furry peeps, it's Rocky! The Warden said to ask you a question, so here goes:

"How do you know when it's really cold out?"

Answer: When the pet door has iced over ... on the inside! MOL. Yes, this is what the pet door looked like this morning from inside. This happens every winter when it's really cold (below zero). The pet door has panels on the inside and outside, but it's still drafty. We don't use the door even in summer because we don't get free access to the outdoors since the Warden is a worrywart. I don't mind but Mickey, oh boy does he fuss in the summer. In the winter, he doesn't step paw outside.

This is where we all spend the winter -- in front of the wall heater. The Warden says it's an eyesore but we kitties just love how warm it is there. I hog the soft little cat blankie that the Warden puts down in front of it.

Usually it's just my brofur Mickey and I relaxicatting in front of the heater, but sometimes we allow that spoiled girl kitty Annabelle to get warm, too.

The Warden titled my post Burr because she had a good laugh -- at herself -- the other day. People were using it to mean "cold" and she said to them, "Don't you mean brrrr, as in brrrr, it's cold out." But then she Googled it. Lo and behold, burr is now listed in the slang dictionaries to mean the same thing as brrrr!! 

So whether you write burr or brrrr, we agree. It's too cold for kitties to be outdoors! Please stay warm.

Love and kitty licks,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is Wrong with Me?

Recently I asked myself that question, and I looked inward for the answer because I sincerely wanted to know. I was certain there must be something wrong with me. Surely I must be an evil, awful person, that my own family didn’t invite me to join them for Thanksgiving. Right?

Wrong. With a bit of introspection, I realized there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, and it was not my fault that my half sister thought it was perfectly acceptable to exclude me from her holiday dinner. Even if we were in the middle of some huge family feud – which we aren’t – her actions would be less than kind. Given that the only reason she didn’t invite me is that she just doesn’t like me very much, I find her meanness reprehensible.

We’ve never fought or exchanged harsh words, and I have no idea why she feels the way she does about me. But by not inviting me, she’s shown me what’s inside her heart, and it’s not pretty.

I won’t lie. It did hurt that my half sister, her husband and kids, my step Mom, my brother, his wife and kids would all sit down to a Thanksgiving meal and think nothing of not including me. But life is all about those teachable moments, and this was one for me.

I learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I am a good person, and I deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. That my family couldn’t do this on Thanksgiving … well, that’s their problem, not mine. 

I cooked a big turkey, and my cats and I feasted on that tasty bird for hours. I did not wallow in self pity, and I did not spend my day feeling bad that my family excluded me from their holiday table. And besides, my cats are far better company than any of them! LOL.