After Hours Excitement

I was up in the wee hours both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.  Not because I was out partying and living it up.  Not by choice.  In fact, I’m almost certain I was in bed by 11 PM both evenings.  By choice.  I had been up earlier that preferred several times last week and was looking forward to some much needed restorative sleep.

About 3 AM on Saturday, I was in a deep sleep, dreaming of wonderful things.  Suddenly, I was accosted by a blaring alarm.  At first I thought it was the house alarm, but then remembered I hadn’t set that.  I then realized it was the smoke alarm about 10 feet from my head.  I was familiar with these things chirping if the battery was dying or sounding if I had burnt something in the kitchen, but never had one caused temporary deafness for no apparent reason. 

I tried the reset button and a new battery, but that only resulted in a few minutes of relief until I was again jarred out of my sleep and sure my heart rate would never return to normal.  Thankfully my parents were in town so I went to get my dad to see if he could get the alarm to stop.  I felt bad that I had to wake him up (somehow my parents had slept through the alarm blaring…) but he was able to take down the defective alarm so I could sleep in peace for the next few hours.

Last evening, I went to bed on the early side because I was tired from the previous night’s excitement.  Around 4 AM, I wake up to some sort of ruckus coming from the other room.  I turn on the lights and walk down the hall toward the noise.  It seems to be coming from the family room.  I come into the family room and find Miss Scarlett with her back to me in the far corner.  Upon closer inspection, I see that she has a mouse cornered, on his back, with his arms up in the air as if surrendering and pleading for his life.  No exaggeration. 

He tries to get away a few times and she smacks him back into the corner with her big, furry paws.  I moved to go get a box or some vehicle for escorting the mouse out of the house and must have distracted Scarlett in doing so.  Little mousy made a run for it.  Scarlett and mousy made dozens of laps around the coffee table until Scarlett was able to force him into another corner where I had several bags of fabric samples.  Trying to escape the furry beast, the mouse backed up the side of one of the bags and fell in.  Somehow Scarlett seemed to miss this development and proceeded to nearly hyperventilate as she furiously sniffed all of the other bags and the space between them.  Meanwhile, I crossed the handles of mousy’s bag so he couldn’t jump out as I took the bag downstairs and out to the porch.  I opened the bag and leaned it over.  Mousy scurried out into the darkness.  Back upstairs, Scarlett looked confused as to where the new toy had gone. 

After reenacting the last thirty minute’s sequence of events to each my mom and dad, my head hit the pillow pretty hard.  Scarlett slept off the excitement all day on the sofa. 

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Today, I bought some not so cheap restorative moisturizer that has extract of every plant known to man that will hopefully erase my newly acquired wrinkles, age spots and bags under my eyes.

Hopefully I will make it through the night undisturbed. 

Y’all hurry back,

Sugarlump

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My Sunshine

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The world lost a wonderful, furry soul today.

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Little Gus was technically a cat, but somehow he was far more. Perhaps part dog and part human, he was his own breed. He always wanted to be with people and always had love to give.

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Gus didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was so sweet, I swear he was made of pure sugar. Such a friendly and innocent little fellow, he even made converts out of “non-cat people” and “cat haters.”

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Call me a crazy cat lady all you want, but Gus and I definitely had conversations.

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He would be looking for me, saying what surely sounded to me like “He-lloooo.” It was one short meow and then one long.

He would say, “Meow, meoooow.”

And I would say, “He-lloooo.”

And we would repeat this several times until he found me and came trotting around the corner, his little fur trousers swaying side to side.

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I was certainly as much a fool for Gus as he was for me. I would sing to him “Rock-a-bye Gussy” And “You Are My Sunshine.” As I cradled him like a baby with his paws in the air and rocking him side to side, he would look up at me with those big green eyes. I’m sure he was thinking something along the lines of “I have no idea what that sound is coming out of your mouth, but I think it comes from a good place and I love you. But please don’t quit your day job.”

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Oh how he loved shoes. He was a bit metro, I suppose. Particularly when I would return from being gone longer than usual, the moment I took off my shoes he was over snuggling up to them.

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We almost lost him three years ago to acute kidney failure when he was just four years old. The vet said his numbers were so low, she was amazed he was alive and that we would be lucky to have him through that weekend. He made it through the weekend, and the next week and the week after that, slowly but surely regaining his strength and cheerful attitude.   The past three years, he was on borrowed time, but it still seems far too soon to lose such a special little guy. He was a miracle in so many ways.

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I really believe that he stayed with us to make sure that my move south went well, that I was happy and settled. He knew I needed him and he was always there to keep me company.

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Thankfully, I took up blogging and got a new camera before I moved. That gave me the excuse to take a million pictures of my cats. I’m sure my blog readers got a little tired of the cat posts. But, hey, they were my willing (and only) subjects in my little apartment and now I have album upon album of Gus pictures. I will forever treasure the countless Gus expressions I was able to capture. He was such a character.

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Last night, he was curled up against my legs on the sofa as usual as we watched the news. He tucked me into bed, rubbing up against me and hugging my face with his tail. I pointed out to Eugene how loudly he was purring. He was so content to be there with us.

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We found him this morning laying like he always does on the kitchen floor where it’s nice and cool.   He looked so peaceful. The vet said it was likely a blood clot, sudden and unpreventable. I’m so thankful he didn’t suffer. I just can’t believe he’s gone.

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Gussy,

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,

You make me happy when skies are grey

You never know, dear, how much I love you,

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Even though you’re not here anymore, I know your light will always be shining down on us.

Love you, little buddy.

The Sugarlump

Search Terms

WordPress has some pretty spiffy features that allow you to track and analyze your wordpress.com site.   You can see how many page views you’ve had that day and the past few weeks in bar chart format.  You can see where your page has been viewed from across the globe.  You can see which of your posts were viewed and how many times, which links people clicked on from your site and how people arrived at your site.  You can see what you had for breakfast everyday for the past month, where all of your high school friends live and how many pairs of shoes you’ve owned over the course of your life.

Just kidding on that last bit.

I think.

There is really an incredible amount of data that could probably be analyzed to develop a complex strategy for getting more page views, but I just like to look at it and take it all in.  After that, I don’t do a whole lot with it.

While I always check my page views when I sign in, I think my favorite feature to check out is the box of search engine terms.

Now, many of these make sense such as “old cookbooks” or “sister birthday” because I have dedicated entire posts to these topics.  Others, not so much.

Here is a good sampling of search terms that have led people to the Sugarlump:

  • Birdhouse in tree
  • Cat shoes
  • Fried chicken using Crisco all vegetable shortening
  • Sweet potato experiment
  • Scarlett’s birthday
  • Planting pot with dirt
  • My cat Gus
  • Men who love flower gardens
  • Love old cookbooks
  • Sugar sayings
  • Taller sister
  • Dirt rocks
  • Sugar and scared child
  • Growing roman beans
  • Drought sugar 2012
  • Annie Ruby’s café tomato
  • Strawberry one pot biscuit
  • Infant possum
  • My cheetah print chair
  • Dramatic clouds
  • Forced to wear aprons
  • Two people tap dancing
  • Qtip addiction
  • Minnie mouse canopy bed
  • Is Eugene a southern name

Although WordPress doesn’t calculate this statistic for me, I have taken it upon myself to do some extensive trigonometry and differential calculus to determine that in 35.87242% of these searches, the Sugarlump was a relevant result.

Obviously, the result was intriguing enough for 64.1276% to click on the Sugarlump even though I haven’t had anything to share about infant possums or Minnie mouse canopy beds.

Yet.

I would like to thank all of the search algorithms out there for providing me a good laugh on a regular basis and for sending some completely unprepared, soon-to-be baffled souls to the Sugarlump.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

P.S.  Various versions of “eugene sugarlump” and “sugarlump eugene” are by far the most popular search terms.  I don’t know what to make of this just yet.  I’ll let you know after I do some more long division.

Salmon!

Gus loves his Fancy Feast Savory Salmon.  He spends the better part of his day (when he is not making himself comfortable in my lap) begging for salmon.

While he’s a very sweet kitty and I want him to be healthy and happy, he eats 2 cans per day, about ¼ of a can at a time.  That figures up to 8 feedings per day.

Reminder: Gus is a cat, not a newborn baby.

It’s starting to get out of control.

Here are a few examples of his ridiculous behavior:

I’m hungry.

Will you please feed me instead of taking my picture?

That’s enough pictures, lady.

Now feed me some salmon.

Oh hi.

SSSSSSSSAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllmooooooooooooooooonn?

I’m going to sit on your notes and stare you down until you are forced to pay attention to me and feed me salmon.   I’m confident this strategy will work.

I’ll sprinkle in a few meows to disrupt your concentration as well.

Hello, did you hear me?

S-A-L-M-O-N.

Fine then.   If you’re going to ignore me, I will drink your iced coffee.

AAAAALck.   Never mind.  That stuff’s turrr-bul.

I’m so glad you enjoyed your dinner (and neglected to serve me some even though I very politely sat in a chair).

Now where’s my salmon?

Maybe if I sit at the counter you will put it together that I am hungry and I would like some salmon.

Man, what’s a cat gotta do for some grub around here?

These humans are useless.

SALMON!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump

Gus

This is my cat Gus.

He is not normal.

I think the root of the problem is that he missed the memo that he is a cat.

He behaves like a puppy/small infant/possum.

He leads a life of leisure (understatement).

When he is hungry (which is every 20 minutes) he will chase you around, meowing pitifully in several different keys until you feed him savory salmon morsels.  If you happen to be seated, he will either sit in the floor in front of you and burn a hole through your laptop/reading material with his stare (pictured below) OR circle you like a shark, walking up the arm of the chair, around the back and down the other side and round and round again, all the time purring on maximum volume, until it is impossible for you to concentrate on whatever you were doing that is obviously less important than his savory salmon morsels.

After he has had a few courses of salmon, he then calms down and comes and sits/naps in my lap, looking so cute and snuggling into my arm that I am reduced to using one arm at the risk of disturbing him.  My productivity then declines. But, if I disturb him by trying to use two arms, we start the pitiful begging bit all over again and my productivity declines then also. I just can’t win. So this is how I spend my day:

Some days, when my lap just won’t cooperate, he opts to sprawl out on my desk for his nap:

I put up with his nonsense because he is the sweetest kitty and I almost lost him about a year ago.

He went into renal failure and was given a pretty grim prognosis after several days at the animal hospital.  We were told it might be a few days or a few weeks, but probably not much longer than that. We brought little Gusser home and he ate like he had been starved for months.  He gradually gained his strength back over the next couple of weeks and one year later he is a lively (and demanding) young fellow.  My little miracle cat (who may never realize he is a cat, but that’s fine with me):

When Gus was at the animal hospital, we brought him a few things from home so he would have something familiar.  We brought him his “camper” (a cat bed with a hood) to sleep in and “the mommy,” which is a cable-knit blanket with which he has developed a very special/peculiar bond.  The instant you put up your feet up on the ottoman and drape this blanket over your legs, Gus is right there, making himself comfortable on “the mommy” covering your outstretched legs.

Here he is in the “camper” on a kitchen barstool, his preferred spot when there is activity in the kitchen:

Here he is on the “mommy” on my mom(my):

What a little dumpling.

And here he is swaddled in “the mommy”:

And that is an introduction to my spoilt cat/dog/infant/possum named Gus.

More to come as his behavior reaches new levels of absurdity.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump