Sleepless in Holyoke…

Monday, June 23, 2008

Well it is about 2:45 in the morning and I can’t sleep.  Which I really should be doing because I have my first day long portion of my orientation for the Nurse Practitioner program tomorrow at 9 am.  So…if I would happen to fall asleep at 3 am then I would get 5 hours of sleep.  I could survive on that.  But somehow I don’t think that I’m going to be able to fall asleep in 15 minutes.  Thus, I decided to get up and have a snack (some toast and hot chocolate–because my tummy was growling!), read, and write a quick post.

Yesterday, the 22nd, was in actuality the first day of my orientation for my continuing education program.  There was a dinner held at the school.  My day was kind of uneventful since I slept in until after noon (which MAY explain why I am unable to sleep now!), and then read the paper, called my parents (since it was my mom’s birthday–HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!), and got ready for the dinner.

It was so strange driving to UMass again after not having been up there for about a year.  That campus was like a second home for 18 months while I completed my 2nd Bachelor’s Nursing degree.  The dinner was held at the top of the campus center, in a conference room, with large windows on all sides–the view was magnificent.  Massachusetts, with all its rolling hills, really is a beautiful state.  I was incredibly nervous about going to this dinner.  I’ve been shy pretty much my whole life, and I don’t think that is about to change now!  Wasn’t I surprised when I noticed one of my co-workers walk in!  She is beginning the Clinical Nurse Leader program (a master’s program) and I never knew!  So I actually had someone to talk to and so wasn’t a complete wallflower.  Together we met almost all of the people that were there.

I would say that there was about 40 people there–and this was from all the programs that are going to start this fall–the Family Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Public Health Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner doctoral program, the Nursing PhD program, and the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program.  The students were for the most part older than I although there were a few who had just graduated from their Bachelor’s programs (so in their early 20s).  Many of the women (there was only ONE man!–nursing is still pretty gender biased) had decided to return to school after their own children were done with college.  In fact, many of these women were already nurse practitioners (I’m not sure if they need to obtain more schooling now that the requirements for nurse practitioner are doctoral level, or that they simply wanted to advance their education–that is something that I will have to find out).

Our cohort is from all over the country.  There is someone from Jamaica, another woman from St. Croix of the Virgin Islands, a few from California, some from the Midwest, and a few locals (whew!).  I actually met a nice woman who works at Baystate and has been a nurse for two years.  She looks to be about my age or maybe a little younger.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get to know some people who live locally so that if I need a study buddy, it’s a possibility.

I felt a bit overwhelmed at the dinner.  I guess one would feel that way when they are undertaking a huge commitment.  I believe this is something that I want to do, yet it’s tough to really know.  I never knew anything about nursing before I pursued that either.  But at least in the role of nurse practitioner I’ll be able to have a direct continuing role in the lives of my patients, and focus on preventative health care.  I hope that I’ll be able to get through this program.  I know that there will be times when I will be frustrated (probably more times than I care to think of), but when the professors talked to us last evening they stressed for us to remember only one word, and that is PERSEVERENCE.  I will have to make a conscious effort to remember this word when I am at my lowest!

On a more positive note, I saw a beautiful sunset last evening and it reminded me that there are wondrous events happening all the time, that most of the time we simply miss.  I was glad that I was able to see that one.

Well, now I REALLY should get to bed.  So it’s 3:00 am.  I’m hoping it doesn’t take me more than a half hour to fall asleep (now that would mean I would get 4 1/2 hours of sleep…)

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 3:02 am  Leave a Comment  


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There are several things that I have learned about myself lately.  One–I can get easily stressed.  Work at the hospital has been pretty much insane, with heavy patient loads and really demanding patients.  Combined with time constraints (having to give meds at specific times, having to chart on every patient, and reacting to issues as they arise, even if they arise at the MOST inconvenient times!), I know now that the patience I thought I possessed, is in short supply.  In short, I really dislike my job most nights.  I went in last night for extra hours and was so stressed out after only an hour of being there that I was already berating myself for going in at all.  And pretty much the only reason I did go in was simply to earn more money.  Most of the time I feel extremely positive that I have been able to pay off so much debt in simply one year.  However, when I look at the big picture, it is easy to become discouraged when I realize how much more there is to accomplish.  And there is so much that I sometimes feel I am so behind on.  Like wanting to have a family.  Right now that is something that I dream of often, but keep saying, it will happen eventually…after I feel financially set, after I’m done with school, after I have bought a home.  But there are so many steps to complete those goals.  I have to pay off my debt, which currently consists of one more credit card, my car loan (which will be done in August!!) and my school loan (unsure of when that will be paid off).  School will take me at least 5, maybe 6 years to complete (while costing a pretty penny).  I know it will eventually be worth it, but it is still daunting.  Then I have to start saving money for a down payment for a house.

Okay, thank you for listening to me vent.  Yes, life is a constant struggle.  But, I don’t have to let it defeat me.  I realized tonight that I am in control of how I REACT to certain events in my life.  I can continue to feel depressed and angry–which usually tends to create a lot of negativity within me.  I don’t want that.  I need to start focusing on the positive in my life.  I think the problem is I don’t often think much about the positive in my life–rather the daily grind, which as I have said earlier, can really get you down.  But I am making it my goal to try to think of at least one positive thing each day that will work to bolster my spirits.  I’m going to start my making a list right now of things that I can think of that make me happy.  It’ll be a mental lift brainstorm if you will.  So here goes…

Things that make me happy 🙂

  • reading a good book (I honestly don’t know what I would do without my local library–FREE books to read whenever I want, and I can have books I want delivered there to pick up)
  • eating a good meal (I ought to know by now, as my waistline can attest to (!), that I LOVE food–it is very relaxing to eat something that tastes good
  • snuggling with my cat Charlie–he is such a lover!
  • watching my favorite T.V. shows (most of these are on DVD–Queer as Folk, The L Word, ER, Gilmore Girls, Friends, Boston Legal, House)
  • going to sleep in my very comfortable bed
  • having a cup of coffee with French Vanilla cream in the morning
  • catching up with friends
  • looking through recipe books and choosing out new recipes to try
  • reading my favorite blogs (again, FREE!)
  • knowing that I have shelter, and enough money to feed myself
  • the comfort of being with someone that I love
  • the excitement leading up to Christmas and the fun of opening gifts and watching others open gifts that you choose especially for them
  • smells–fresh cut grass, lilacs, rain, bread baking, chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven, baby powder, freshly washed hair, campfire
  • memories–of happy times, of times spent with loved ones
  • the excitement of possibility–that things can be different, and knowing that you can have a part in that with your actions
  • new clothes
  • fireworks
  • saving money
  • folding laundry
  • clean dishes
  • listening to music that I can sing along to!
  • vacations
  • days off from work
  • looking through photographs

Okay, so I know there is probably lots more, but I can’t think of anything else right now.  So I think that each day I’m going to try to find something during that day that makes me feel happy and if I feel I can’t, then I will try to think of something/anything that makes me happy.  And if that also fails, then I will come back to this post and read this list.  And remember that, “this too shall pass.”

As far as at work, I need to come up with some way to re-focus and deescalate.  At this point I’m going to have to try stopping what I’m doing, taking some deep breathes and trying to prioritize what needs to be done.  It seems kind of hokey, but it’s about all I can do at this point.

Now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my evening off, and try to forget that the hospital already called and said they were “desperate” for a nurse to come in tonight.  I already put in my extra hours this week.  I deserve this down time and I will not feel guilty for my “me” time.  My sweetie and I are going to have some ice cream (do you sense a pattern here…I’ve taught her to self-soothe with food! She’s a quick learner that one!) and watch “Mad Money.”  A little Katie should help me feel better 🙂

Published in: on June 18, 2008 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,


Friday, June 13, 2008

As I’m writing this post, I’m actually post-frustration, start of relief, but still kind of angry and needed to vent.  So what caused this mood of mine?

Here’s the story.

I believe I mentioned at the start of this blog (way back in March) that I was a new nurse (graduated from a 2nd Bachelor’s program in May 2007).  During my time at that program, I had made the decision to apply for the Nurse Practitioner program that that same school offered.  I applied on the last possible day (procrastinator that I am!), and happily found out that I had been accepted.  However, because of the fact that I was a completely new nurse, NEVER having any clinical experience at all (save my nursing clinicals), I decided to defer for one year, get some practical experience and then begin the program.

That’s all fine and dandy.  Well, the year is about up.  I had heard back from the School of Nursing sometime in January, asking if I was still planning on attending school in the fall.  I answered “yes.”  And thus have been receiving information from them regarding the summer orientation that is mandatory (since the program itself is primarily online).  So I had asked for vacation time from work for this orientation (wow, what a vacation, right?) and was reviewing the information packet one more time (yes, because I’m also anal like that).  And I noticed that I was supposed to have received a username and password from the graduate school so that I could register for classes.  Since I had not received it as of yet, I emailed the secretary for the Nurse Practitioner department and asked her when I would be receiving this information (as well as some other questions, such as what the detailed schedule would look like for the week of the orientation since at this point, about one week before it is to start, all I know about is the dinner that occurs on Sunday, June 22nd).

So, I’m waiting for a reply to my email, which I receive this morning.  And when I open it and read it, my heart drops into my belly.  The secretary calmly informs me that I have been withdrawn from the program because the graduate school never received anything from me stating that I would be enrolled in the program in the fall.  And I begin talking back to the email saying, “I never received anything from the graduate school, only the school of nursing!”  So I immediately send back an email to this secretary, telling her the same thing.  But then I decide to also call, because this is serious business.  If I am not in this program, I will be PISSED off!  Mostly because I don’t want to go through all the hassle of applying to another program and because I was all prepared to start this fall.  So I try to calm myself down before I call because I know that my mind is going a hundred miles a minute and I need to try to calmly explain all of this to the secretary, who probably can’t make any decisions anyway.

So I do call her and she basically reiterates what she has told me in the email.  I tell her that I never received anything from the graduate school and she tells me that she has a copy of the two letters that they sent me.  Interesting… So I decide to call the graduate school admissions office (are you following my frustration…I HATE making phone calls to these kinds of places because everyone has different information).  I reach a lady, who I explain my situation to, and she also calmly explains to me that the graduate school never received confirmation from me stating that I was planning on enrolling in the fall.  I explain to her, in the calmest manner I can, considering that I am extremely agitated, that I never received anything from the graduate school, but that I have been receiving information from the nursing school all along and they are expecting me to start because I received information about the orientation that is to begin in one week.  This must just go over her head, because she tells me that they need to hear from the nursing school that they still want me in the program and then the withdrawal can be removed and I can register for classes.

So, I call the school of nursing again.  I explain to her what I have been told.  And she tells me that she will need to speak to the director of the program that I am supposed to be starting, to see if they still want me in the program (!!??) because, get this, “it is a very competitive program and we have already been moving people off the waiting list into the program…and sometimes people say that they are going to be starting the program, but then they decide not to…”  To which I reply, “Well, that’s not me.  I have been planning on attending and it’s a good thing I emailed you with some questions or else I may not have known about this until the orientation, where they may not have been expecting me!” (or something like that!)  So she tells me that she will speak to the head of the program, and that she is coming in for a meeting today at 1 pm and will speak to her then.  I implore her to tell this professor that I never received anything from the graduate school and that basically the future of my nursing education depends on a “yes” or “no” that really should never have happened because it wasn’t my fault I never received anything in the mail from the graduate office.  She assures me that she will do this.  RIGHT.

So I decide to email this professor, explaining the situation so that it is understood properly.  Which I do, and then promptly get an autoreply message back saying “I will be out of the office until June 11th, etc, etc.” So much for that.  So I also call and leave her a voicemail, thinking, if she is going to be on campus, she will probably check her voicemail.  So now all bases are covered and all I can do is wait.


Still waiting.

And still waiting.

But, much to my surprise, I receive a call from the secretary only 45 minutes later.  She informs me that the professor came in early and she talked to her and….”they have enough room for me in the program.”  Well, I would hope so, considering I had been receiving all the information from the school of nursing telling me about the orientation!  So the secretary tells me that all she has to do is call the graduate school to let them know that I will be attending so that they can change my status.  So I give her adequate amount of time to do this (in my mind, approximately 20 minutes–I read my email, check my blogs…) and then I call the graduate office again, hoping to hear that everything is now settled.  But of course, they haven’t heard from the school of nursing yet.

Which prompted me to write this blog.

So now there should have been plenty of time for the call/email to have occurred.  So I will call again.

AMAZING!  The graduate office states they have added me.  Woo-hoo!

They in turn advise me to contact the graduate records office to make sure that whatever is supposed to be mailed to me, HAS been mailed to me.

So another call (are you feeling the frustration!).  I find out from the lady at the graduate records office that I should be able to go to the website for my campus email and get information about registering, etc.  I tell her, but I don’t have an email or a password or an ID number.  After some questions concerning who I am, she gives me my ID number (which supposedly never changes–it’s the same one I had when I was in nursing school) and tells me that my email should be the same as well.  So now I’m off to see if I have any email that gives me any information.

A long process, on the day that I’m scheduled to go into work tonight (so basically I like to make these days as stress-free as possible), after which I’m not sure I know much more information than when I began, other than knowing FOR CERTAIN that I will be able to start school in the fall.  And pay an exorbitant amount of money for!

More updates to follow.  Thanks for listening to my vent.

Published in: on June 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bungee-corded Fridge…

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yep, you read that right.  Our fridge is currently being held shut with bungee cords.

Bungee-corded fridge

Look very closely, and you will observe the red bungee cords around our fridge.  Since I last mentioned the fridge leaking, Kimm called our landlady and she in turn called an appliance repair person who came and “diagnosed” our fridge.  He told us that the leaking was occurring because the drainage plug (located under one of our crisper drawers) was closed and it was supposed to be open–WHO KNEW!?  So he opened the plug, and since then, no leaking.  Which is a very good thing.  We also informed him of the problem of our fridge not being very cold.  We had the fridge up to the highest setting (number 9) which means that things should basically be frozen in our fridge, and yet things were lukewarm.  Nice repairman-guy takes a look, and notices that the magnetic portion of our fridge, on the door when you open it, which works to seal the door to the fridge, is duct-taped to the door (oh yeah, it had fallen off a while back and because we were avoiding calling our landlady, we just duct-taped it on).  He says that if we replace the magnet, the fridge will be cold again, because there will be a tighter seal.  Okay, we say.  And now we are waiting because of course that magnet piece has to be ordered because this fridge is like 30+ years old.  In the meantime, all of the stuff in our fridge is warm–little did we know we were making yogurt the old-fashioned way, by letting our milk curdle!  So, ingenious ones that we are, we decided to use bungee cords to create a tight seal.  And that’s why instead of taking 2 seconds to open the fridge and grab something out, it is taking about 2 minutes, with the added bonus of having extremely sore hands from holding on to the bungee cord so it doesn’t whip around the fridge and take out one of our eyes!  The food seems to be a bit colder, but still not as cold as it should be.  Once the repair guy comes again, we’ll let him know.

Speaking of broken things…

Broken fork

(Thank you Frank for instructing me on how to take close-up pictures on my camera!)

This happened today as Kimm was eating.  We have had this same set up silverware for about 5 years.  We have been meaning to get a new set, but, yep, you guessed it, we can’t seem to agree on a new place setting.  And because we are both pretty stubborn, here we sit with broken silverware.  But we have managed to save two 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and today we are going to attempt trying to find something there that we both like.  It should be an adventure…

By the way, the heat wave has broken…thank goodness!  The cats are no longer looking like the living dead, sprawled out in the apartment.  I hear it’s going to be warm again this weekend, but HOPEFULLY not as bad as this last stretch.

Tonight is our HGTV night and we are both very much looking forward to it.  Every Thursday night we watch House Hunters from 10 p to 11p and then Property Virgins at 11, and My First Place at 11:30.  And we usually get our ice cream to eat (love our ice cream!)

Ice Cream

That’s Half Baked for Kimm, and Caramel Cone for me!

All in all, it’s an extremely relaxing evening, and a time for us to dream about when we will own our own home.

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Hot and Humid

Monday, June 9, 2008

We’re in a hot spell here in Massachusetts. And I have to say, I’m not lovin’ it. I’ve never liked hot/humid weather, and it sure doesn’t help living on the fourth floor of an apartment that is not air-conditioned. You pretty much feel like a limp towel, too lazy to do much of anything. It’s been in the 90s for the past two days, our apartment thermometer reads 86.9, and there’s about 60%+ humidity. Just imagine a perpetual film of sticky-ness and you know what I’m feeling. I really wish I could be one of those people who love the hot and humid weather. I think maybe I could be that person, as long as I lived a few feet from the beach or had a backyard pool. So MAYBE one day I’ll be that person. I am grateful, however, for my bedroom air conditioner. Without it, I’d be going insane rather than simply blogging about the weather 🙂

Some more good shopping last night–Walgreen’s total was $3.45 (total savings $3.22) for some Pringles (2 cans) and 2 Puffs kleenex. Then at Rite Aid, spent $8.17 (total savings $8.22–over 50%!!). Bought 2 cans of Glade air freshener, 1 box of Kotex, and 7 candy bars (the Take 5 were only 0.21, a steal–these will be good end of meal desserts when you just want something sweet). So not bad. We still have to replenish our pantry and fridge this week as well as make the trip to BJs for bulk items. It will be interesting to see how the month ends up. So far not really keeping to the $50/week, but trying very hard. Whatever this month ends up at, I’ll make it a goal to try to spend less next month. It’s a process.

I feel kind of distracted lately because I just found out that a very dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer. I actually feel numb. I read as much as I can about it online (based on the information I know so far), but I just feel like what is happening is unreal. It doesn’t help that he lives across the country and I can’t just hop in the car and drive to the hospital and visit. That really sucks. I want to be supportive, but not suffocating, comforting, but not dreary and maudlin, basically I want to be what he needs, but that’s impossible to know. All I do know right now is that my thoughts are constantly with him, wishing him lots of love and the strength he needs to push through this. Please add positive thoughts his way. Thank you.

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

June Goals…

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Since I have been trying to pay off my credit card debt, I have wandered into the world of frugal blogs.  They are so addicting!  I love to read about how other people–people just like me, who are simply trying to pay less, and get more in a world that is so determined to make everyone buy, buy, buy–manage to reduce monthly expenses.  So, I have decided (I should say, WE, since Kimm wholeheartedly agrees), to try to reduce our monthly expenses on food/personal hygiene stuff this month.

It’s kind of hard to say how much we generally spend since we haven’t really been keeping track.  However, I tend to allot about $200 a month (just me) for food, personal hygiene stuff, and other miscellaneous stuff that we might need (or think we need).  So, since we both do this, that comes to $400.  Again, not sure if we actually spend that much or not, but starting this month, I’m going to find out!  I also started with a goal of $250 total for food/personal hygiene stuff/etc.  That ends up being $50/week for groceries and a $50 trip to BJ’s for bulk items.

So far we have gone shopping one time and we are already over budget, but not by much.  We actually went to two places–Walgreen’s (for some deals that we had coupons for–buying ahead–I’ve learned from some of the frugal blogs that sometimes you have to go over your budget in the beginning in order to catch good deals when they come up), and Stop and Shop for food.

So at Walgreen’s we did QUITE good.  We purchased two rolls of Angel soft TP (sorry Cottenelle, no more brand loyalty!) for $2 ($1 each, limit 2), shaving cream that was on sale for $2 (for which we had a $1 store coupon and a $1 manufacturer coupon–total price: FREE, I like that!!), Colgate toothpaste (on sale for $2, for which we had a $1.50 manufacturer coupon, so total price, $0.50–not bad).  So the total for that trip was $2.63.  Yeah!

Next on to Stop and Shop.  Now we have always made out a weekly list, since we find that it is, oh so easy to be tempted when we are in the store to get this or that.  Mind you, we still may succumb to a temptation, but it is much less likely.  Our total trip to S & S was $59.38 (almost $10 over).  Not bad for the first week.  Plus I know what put us over–we got 2 pints of ice cream (total of $7) and some homemade Peanut Butter cookies from the deli ($4).  If we would have resisted, we would have been on budget.  But you know what–I also don’t believe that we should go without all the time.  I believe we deserve to treat ourselves once a week.  So if our budget has to be $60 a month, so be it.  I’ll know more towards the end of this month.

Before going, I made sure that our list included everything we needed to have different meals during the week.  These are our meal ideas:

  • veggie burgers with a salad
  • Boco chicken patties with Au Gratin potatoes (had at home)
  • Pasta dish with veggies on the side
  • Baked mac and cheese (lasts 2-3 meals)
  • Boco chicken parm with spaghetti
  • Pierogies
  • Scrambled eggs with pancakes (all the stuff at home)
  • Homemade pizzas
  • Frozen pizza with a salad

As you can see we had even more meals than needed (which is good because sometimes you want a choice).  Stuff we got from the store included: the staples (1/2 gallon milk, 2 loaves of bread, American cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch), lettuce, tomatoes, a cucumber, croutons, 1 can of chickpeas (store brand mind you–and they weren’t that bad!)–all stuff for our salads, onion, pasta, sharp cheddar cheese, a frozen pizza (the one on sale), paper towels (2/$4 with a $1 off coupon), cream for coffee for both of us, apples (for snacks), cool whip–to have with some berries at home for dessert, and some frozen o.j. to mix up (I decided to try this instead of buying the not-from-concentrate Tropicana that I always get–it was a savings of more than a few dollars–it’s actually tolerable, although it has the pulp which I’m not particularly fond of, but I’ll deal).

So far for meals this week we’ve had the veggie burgers with a salad, and the chicken sandwiches with the potatoes.  Both VERY good.  I don’t mind spending less money as long as I don’t feel cheated at mealtimes.

I’ve already made a list for bulk shopping which pretty much comes to $50.  We need laundry detergent (somewhere between $16-$20 I’m sure), Diet Pepsi (about$10), iced tea mix–two since we’re cutting down on the soda (about $14), and pizza crusts (I believe about $7).

The other goal that I have for this month is to call Comcast, our cable company, and request a cheaper plan.  Right now we pay about $120/month just for internet and cable.  I believe they have a deal for new customers for internet, cable, and phone for $99/month for a year.  That would be a huge savings for us since we pay about $40 for phone right now.  So I’m going to call them on my next days off.

So those are the goals and I’ll keep everyone updated.

By the way, Charlie and Madeline were out in the apartment together all last night with no problems.  It was great–even though Madeline woke me up twice, at least it wasn’t 5-6 times!  She only hissed at Charlie once this morning.  For the most part they are acting back to normal–both in their normal “favorite” spots and acting calmly.  Once they can eat next to each other again, then I’ll know things are truly back to normal.  That, I’m sure, will take time.

I have to work tonight and Friday night, then two days off.  I really want to try to pick up an extra shift as well since I did last week and my paycheck was VERY nice (almost $350 more than normal).  If I can do that a few times a month, the bills will be paid off that much sooner!

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Charlie’s Home!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Okay, well, he’s been home for a few days.  I just never got around to blog about it until now.  I’ll backtrack and fill you in…

So Charlie went into the vet hospital on Thursday.  They inserted a catheter to drain his urine and started him on IV fluids to hydrate him and flush his bladder.  The hospital called on Friday morning and said Charlie was doing fine–his blood work came back negative, he was tolerating the catheter well, and he was receiving antibiotics and a medication to prevent spasms in the bladder.  I worked Friday night.  Saturday morning they called again and let us know that Charlie had pulled out his catheter during the night (do you blame him?!) and they would be watching to be sure that he was urinating on his own and if so he would be ready to be picked up that afternoon.  I, of course, was sleeping, as I had to go in that night as well for work, but when I woke up Kimm and I went to pick up Charlie.  His little paw was shaved because of where they inserted the needle for his IV fluids–it looked so skinny compared to the rest of his paw.  It was so good to see him again!  Another good piece of news–we got about $300 back on the original bill (since the original bill was an estimate).

There was more drama after we brought Charlie home.  Turns out Madeline kind of forgot about Charlie or felt he was some kind of threat–she was growling and hissing at him like crazy.  So we had to separate them during the day and at night.  Charlie was in the spare bedroom with his own litter box, water, and food.  Madeline had her run of the rest of the apartment.  Unfortunately, Kimm had to deal with this since I was at work.  Same thing happened on Sunday.  Let’s just say she was getting a little bit frustrated with not being able to have the cats in the same area of the house.

So when I came home on Monday morning, I let both cats out and observed.  Madeline was still hissing, but Charlie was basically ignoring her.  I tried to get each cat more used to the other by petting one, and then letting the other cat smell my hands.  That seemed to work fairly well.  Everything seemed to be going okay until later in the day, when we decided to cut the cats’ nails since they were very long (it sounded like Charlie was wearing high heels whenever he walked on the wood floors!).  So we started to with Charlie.  All was going well, until Madeline saw Charlie in Kimm’s arms.  All of a sudden it was mayhem.  She started growling, Charlie got scared and tried to climb out of Kimm’s arms, Kimm held on to him because she didn’t want him to get hurt, Madeline started howling and hissing, Charlie was climbing onto Kimm’s head, and I was saying, “Let him down, let him down” but she wasn’t and all of a sudden I see blood coming down Kimm’s head.  That freaked ME out!  So we got Charlie into the spare bedroom, and Madeline into our bedroom, and I looked at Kimm’s head (only a small scratch, but lots of blood).  So, basically we were back to the beginning again.

The cats spent the night separate again.  I tried again the next day to have them out.  Pretty much the same story.  Today is Wednesday, four days after Charlie came home and Madeline is STILL hissing and growling, although much less.  In fact, she is becoming so used to Charlie’s smell that often she won’t know that Charlie is in the same room as her unless she sees him.  Tonight we are going to let them both in the apartment together.  We can’t stand Madeline in the apartment by herself at night.  She wakes us up about 5 times during the night–we are getting VERY sleepy and VERY annoyed!

The good news is that Charlie seems to be better.  He’s been using the litter box faithfully and he’s putting out a good amount.  He’s on his new food, and seems to like it, although it’s kind of a pain since Madeline is still on the other food and so we have to make sure that if she doesn’t finish her food we put it up so Charlie can’t get it.  But I have my little guy back–he cuddled up next to me this morning as I read and had my coffee and it was just like old times 🙂

Published in: on June 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment