A bit more detail

September 2, 2009

Cricket, Lauren, Phennig

We interrupt Lloyd’s ‘Post in 4 parts’ for a meaningless explanation.

I got my first piece of hate mail.

A concerned cat lover let me know in no uncertain terms that putting the cats to sleep was a terrible idea. I wrote back, explaining the decision, and Lloyd thought perhaps I should tell all of the internet the whole story. If you already know this, feel free to skip ahead to tomorrow.

Cricket and Pfennig were 15 1/2 and 14 1/2 years old, respectively. Our vet told us that they were becoming geriatric. They’ve lived through a lot.

About five years ago, Cricket woke me up howling one morning. She was holding her paw like it was broken, and I rushed her to the vet. After they x-rayed her (and she bit them all), they told us she had arthritis. A cortisone shot helped, but he said she needed to keep skinny so it wouldn’t become aggravated. (Remember that part.)

When Pfennig was a wee cat of 3 years old, she had pretty bad urinary problems – peeing all the time, peeing blood and peeing in visitor’s suitcases. We put her on prescription cat food that cleared it up, but she had to be on it for the next 10 or so years, and she got really fat. A year ago, it stopped working. I took her to the vet to find out why she was drinking so much water, and he said she might be diabetic. There were tests he could run, but we decided against that. (Cat lovers, hate me here. I decided against giving my cat a shot everyday. I’m the devil incarnate.)

As you know, over the next year or so, the cats switched bodies. Pfat Pfennig became skinny, and skinny Cricket became fat (aggrevating her arthritis). Then Cricket had the anal gland trouble that required the antibiotics that messed up her system. She never had a regular bowel movement since then, despite yogurt, probiotics and several kinds of expensive cat food. When we took them in again, we were told just to watch her and see how it went. Oh, and Pfennig had a heart murmur. “Watch for strange breathing – it might be her heart.”

Then there was the summer ‘poop all over the basement floor’ issue that preceded the digging of the grave. The vet said that they might just be getting senile. We changed food again, added another litter box, put litter attractant in the boxes, changed the litter daily, and put a step up to the litter box. I should mention that when Cricket would pee, it was not a normal amount of pee. Something was wrong. Daily scooping yielded 3-4 giant bricks of clumped litter.

So now it was down to this. It wasn’t just ‘missing the litter’ box, it was pee in my closet, in Brad’s closet, in the play room, all over two twin guest beds, their chair in the basement, the floor in the tool area, the floor in the library area, the floor in the laundry room. (I got out the blacklight last week, and nearly fainted with what I saw.) Pfennig had become a skinny ghost that only slept and ate, and Cricket had a hard time jumping up onto my lap.

And the barfing. Oh, the barfing. Beth can attest to the barfing.

I loved my cats. I’m sorry that my cheap cat food post made it seem like I only fed them crap. They had other, non-cheap (IAMS, Purina, some organic stuff, and yes- Meow Mix) dry cat food in addition to that (several kinds – nothing worked).

So, forgive this overly-detailed post. I’m left with a freezer full of different kinds of cat foods that didn’t help, various items in different stages of de-stinking, and now, a heap of guilt from a stranger. No, wait. I don’t feel guilty. I just feel sad.

So here’s the wrinkle. I want to take the high road here, so no support of me and no bashing of the letter writer, or vice versa. Your comment must be about your feelings regarding mustard, or I will delete it.


About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren


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26 Responses to “A bit more detail”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I think mustard is way too strong of a flavor. On almost any food, it becomes the only thing I can taste. The only time I have ever voluntarily put mustard on something, it was a ham sandwich. And only a very tiny bit. And only the weak bright yellow stuff.

    I don’t care for mustard.


    • Beth Said on:

      We must be related.

      Basically the only thing I eat mustard on is a ham sandwich (or occationally roast beef if I’m someplace that will have good roast beef), and it has to be a tiny thin layer of the bright yellow stuff.
      I wipe it off my McD’s cheese burgers, even.

      I use it in cooking meatloaf. Just a squeeze. Brad doesn’t make meatloaf.

      Mustard bottles remain mostly full in my fridge for…um…years…


  2. Lloyd Said on:

    I’m running out of mustard. There are 9 varieties in the refrigerator right now, but some of them are ridiculously low on mustard. I usually buy several varieties of mustard at the State Fair --which is going on now, got to run.


  3. Peggy Said on:

    Mustard gives me the jibblies. I hate mustard. I hate the look of it, the smell of it & the taste of it. Even just a smidgeon on a sandwich makes me gag. Or watching someone eat a hot dog with a huge amount of mustard on it…oozing all over the place, getting all in the corners of their mouth….hack, hack….excuse me.
    Ketchup save me (but not too much ketchup).


  4. Karla Said on:

    I keep ham, mayo and mustard in my fridge at work (yes, I am able to have a refrigerator at my desk!). Just yesterday I stole the mayo and mustard bottles from home to refill what I had a work. I was quite the sight sitting at my desk, squirting one bottle into another, amid client statements, Business Banking project notes, audit files, and Christmas Club payout checks.

    But now I’m restocked for lunch today. 🙂


  5. Mark Said on:

    When we open up our son’s diaper, most of the time what’s in it looks like…

    I’ve never been one who liked mustard. That view is now CEMENTED in my psyche.


    • Deanne Said on:

      That’s funny! I remember the mustard days. But I was thinking it was mostly just when the babies were nursing. You have a really tiny one, don’t you?


  6. Kristi Said on:

    Hmmm. mustard. Not a big fan. Good when mixed in with other ingredients. Too overwhelming of a taste for me. Blech.


  7. Rae Said on:

    My five year old son and I like horseradish mustard. Although the kids eat the yellow stuff, I have to agree with Brad -- way too strong of a flavor. I don’t even typically use it for cooking -- there I use the horseradish stuff again.

    Oooo wait, I thought of one time that I will eat plain old yellow mustard -- on a Maid Rite. Yep, nothing but plain old mustard There is something about it getting all mixed in with the ground beef. Good stuff!


  8. Brady G. Said on:

    I don’t prefer ‘regular’ mustard, but I do enjoy this fancy-lad type from N. California wine country -- Chocolate Fudge Mustard.



  9. Christina Said on:

    mmmmmm….. Mustard is great! Mustard in deviled eggs is wonderful and adds a new debth to the yellow color of the egg yolks. Or a corn dog…..there’s nothing like a corn dog with mustard, unless you have Hot Mustard from McDonalds.

    We don’t even bother to buy the chicken nuggets at McDonald’s anymore. We just get french fries and Hot Mustard sauce. Anything you dip in it will taste like the mustard, so why buy the expensive food, when you can get french fries so much cheaper!


  10. Marisa Said on:

    Mmm, I love mustard. I’m a particular fan of the really grainy ones, but in a pinch, any mustard will do. Living in Philadelphia, I’m geographically bound to dip my soft pretzels in a pool of mustard but I also like to use it to make vinaigrettes or as a glaze for roast chicken (in combination with some honey or maple syrup).

    Damn, now I want some mustard.


  11. Deanne Said on:

    I have never liked mustard…

    UNTIL my wonderful children discovered Snyders Honey Mustard & Onion Pieces. These things have the best combination of salty yumminess with a hint of sweet. I brought them to work one day this week, ostensibly to eat them with my lunch. Not only could I not wait until lunch to eat them… but I ATE THEM BEFORE BREAKFAST. Is that shameful??


  12. Annette Said on:

    Mustard colored walls in a kitchen prompts endless conversation. And I LOVE conversation. Mustard, well, I used to eat mustard sandwiches when I waa little. Runza and Amigos always put too much mustard on their burgers. And Mark, mustard colored diapers is only the beginning!


  13. Erika Said on:

    The most disgusting thing about yellow mustard in a bottle, is the horrible mustard water that ALWAYS splashes out onto the bread before the actual mustard comes us. Thus ruining my desire for mustard in the first place. Now honey mustard and pretzels…..THAT’s a different story. Nothing can go wrong there.


  14. Curt Said on:

    When I was young I didn’t like mustard that much (mainly due to the same reason Mark doesn’t like mustard except from a bottle feed calf). But as I got older I learned to love it especially the spicy mustards. This all changed when Mark made his comment and now I am rethinking my love for it. I think I can get the images back out of my head.

    I agree with Christina, nothing like mustard on a corn dog. Mmmmm…State Fair here I come.


  15. Jessica Said on:

    Sometimes I like mustard, sometimes I don’t. There are all kinds of mustards, and I try to be accepting of them. But I get really annoyed when a certain kind of mustard makes me feel bad for making a tough decision -- like, you know, should I choose to eat the rye, or leave it in the bag to mold in favor of eating the country white.



    • Jill Said on:

      I’m with Jessica. Some types of mustard make me so nauseaus that I can’t even talk about them. Oh, and rye is the worst. I hate it when mustard makes me feel guilty for eating rye.


  16. rachel in L.A. Said on:

    the only time in my life I’ve ever intentionally eaten mustard was when i was pregnant with Scarlett. I craved the salt or the vinegar so I would eat McD cheeseburgers with extra ketchup, pickles, and mustard. funny that I marry THE BIGGEST MUSTARD FANATIC ON THE PLANET. we’ll have 3 or 4 bottles at any given moment. to top it off, everytime we’re at the store, he buys MORE! we’ll run out of mustard about the same time the Sahara will run out of sand. never.

    did I mention I’m not a big fan of mustard?


  17. Amy Said on:

    I love this website *tear*


  18. Blabby Said on:

    Some foods need mustard. Regular yellow mustard. Like hot dogs. And corn dogs. And giant pretzels -- which I prefer without salt. Well, maybe one or two of those big salt balls. Grains?

    Anyway, no matter what, I ALWAYS get mustard on my clothes. It’s one of the only things I spill on myself, but for some reason, it always happens. And I get it all over my face. And then I find it under a finger nail, which I will have undoubtedly just wiped on my shirt or pants.


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