New Kids?

My wife just discovered two gray kittens, brother & sister, at a local pet store.

Votes? Should we or shouldn’t we?

The Big Guns: Endymion

Endymion J. Crowl, May 2000 – June 7th, 2013


He left us today after a week in which he aged a decade. He was the most handsome of cats, and the sweetest, and the softest, and he greeted us at the front door – wherever that front door was – every day of his life until this past week.

Oh, big Endymion. Big loyal beastie. We loved you.

Endymion Update

For now:

Endymion’s responding well to steroids and antibiotics – his blood cells are fat & new and his count is up only two days after going on them. It’s not like there’s anything to make him a young, perfectly healthy cat, but he’s hanging out for now, & we are very, very grateful.

Thanks for all of your love & good wishes. He really is a precious kid to us.

(My wife took this shot yesterday, out in our garden.)


endymion meSo our big Endymion is on his way out of this world, but right now he’s stable – on a mix of steroids and antibiotics, with another trip to the vet for bloodwork tomorrow. He was  severely anemic and jaundiced yesterday at the vet, and although the jaundice seems to have diminished, he still seems very, very tired.

But he did decide to hang around long enough for his mom to get back here and kiss his big head.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers. We’d rather him around forever, but not if he’s suffering, so we’ll see what shitty decisions we’ll have to make, or not.

(This is one of my favorites of the big goober, taken back in Brooklyn.)

Emergency Ride from Milwaukee > Appleton

(I’ve gotten a ride. Thank you all for helping out by re-posting this note.)

Hello all

I desperately need an emergency ride from Milwaukee airport to Appleton. I’m arriving at 2:30 & want to leave right away.

Our Endymion is dying. We’ve made him comfy & he’s at home, but I’d like to be able to say goodbye. I can’t change my flights, and because of my stupid probationary license, I can’t rent a car.

If you know anyone who might be able to do this, even if you can’t, please pass it on. Obviously I’ll pay for gas & consider any other requests for remuneration.



Lions, Lambs, Cats, Bunnies

No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, and I’m not a day late for Easter: this is a bunny for two people who really, really love bunnies. (The cat’s for me.)

Both of you have a good one.

A Year Today

& I still miss him.

Literary Cats

It’s a cool website: photos of authors with their cats.

I loved this comment: “I think the whole world is in the difference between a cat and a dog. Whole world, really.”

So here I am with my beloved Aeneas.

Just to Say

It’s been seven months since he left us, & we both still miss him everyday.Here he is with his star pendant. Because, you know, he was one.

Two Weeks

They called today to tell me his ashes are ready for pick up, and it’s like some part of my brain broke all over again. We miss you, kid.

Friday Cat Blog: Aeneas.

Look at those eyes, would you?

What a beauty. Rest in Peace, SpideyCat.

The other day I really saw the pile of prescriptions and pill bottles,the syringes, the plastic bags and pages of Discharge Instructions. My poor boy went through a lot of meds in a dozen weeks. That was when the tumor on his leg really went nuts, & we had to decide to amputate or not. We did, which is probably what gave us the two months we had with him. I think it might have been quicker otherwise, because it was an aggressive cancer.

But it was in late December that he first had a thing on his leg, and because it appeared so overnight, we thought it was a sprain. We didn’t even wait to take him to the vet. We did x-rays, blood tests. The blood work turned up nothing weird – which, interestingly, it never really did. Our vet here couldn’t find anything, so I sent the x-rays and blood work to a vet friend in NJ and she didn’t find anything either. Because it turned up out of the blue, it looked like a sprain, and everything you read about cats & sprains is that they take a long time to get better, because cats tend not to rest. Now, I feel stupid for waiting as long as we did for this thing that wasn’t a sprain to heal. We iced it, and it got smaller; other days it was bigger, which is what you’d expect of a sprain on a patient who couldn’t be told not to jump up on the sink. I feel stupid for not realizing it wasn’t a sprain sooner, but then I think that even if we had caught it sooner, there was probably another in him ready to go.

Still, it’s hard not to wonder if we could have done anything differently. Really, really hard. & That’s the thing about parenting, furry critter or human: you do your best, & sometimes that’s not enough, & the powerlessness & pain that causes is pretty fucking tremendous.

So I’m happy the 6 months is over, but terrifically angry the 11 years is. It’s very hard to find balance in that equation. He put me to bed every single night – climbed up when I got into bed and got under the covers to be petted and when I was just dropping off he would leave quietly, stepping around my head or Rachel’s. I’d hear the soft thump of him jumping from bed to floor, and go to sleep smiling. Every single night for 11 years until the last few months. How do you not miss that kind of gentle loyalty & affection? It is especially hard because Endymion was always Rachel’s cat, as is Aurora. Aeneas was entirely mine. Of course I take care of the other two, but it’s not the same. I used to call Aeneas my shadow, my heart, my momma’s boy. He was my own Great Stone Face, my tiny Buster Keaton. He loved me so much – sat on my desk next to me for hours, usually in my inbox, which he didn’t really fit in.

Because they don’t speak, you always have a flawless, empathetic relationship with them, sensing moods but never knowing. He was such a stoic – the vets were regularly amazed over these past months at how high a pain tolerance he had, & how much poking he tolerated, too – and I cried on him too many times. He’s been my deepest friend for all these years, when others were busy, or perplexed, or judgmental, or too tired, when I didn’t want advice but only company. Trans people out there know what I’m talking about, and so do all of you others who have been through it in one way or another, who know what it’s like to come home at the end of a day whether you’re 14 or 40 and feel like you just don’t fit into the human race very well. These furry kids remind us that if you have food, a place to live, and someone warm to sleep near, or even two out of three, life is good.

When I didn’t even know how I felt or what I was thinking, he made me laugh and smile. He was a sweet, sweet kid. Some days, I have longed to be the kind of person who can live in shallower water, but Aeneas made swimming in the deep currents something like joyful.

Good Night, Sweet Prince


Aeneas G Kramer, May 2000 – June 18, 2011

Catullus’ Passer Mortuus Est

It’s one of the most beautiful love poems ever written.

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
at vobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

I’ll explain why I posted this today some other time.

Feline Godspeed

That’s my little goober on a better day; today he has surgery to get his leg removed because it’s got cancer. Keep us all in your thoughts.

Cat Accountant

(& here’s more photos of cats doing taxes)


I thought this blog needed a lighter moment, so here is Maru trying on wigs:

What’s Cool About Wisconsin:

This guy!

And so far, in my experience, he is not atypical. Honestly, the more I meet people born & raised here, the more I think Joe McCarthy couldn’t have been.

(via Jezebel)

Friday Cat Blog: Herself