Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 551 - Dec 1, 2009

A couple of things happened today. First, I left Kevin with his aide for over 4 hours and went shopping. I did the bulk of our shopping and it felt great to get away for a few hours. I would love to do this at least once a week, but I have said I would so many times and I never force myself to go so we shall see...

Second, and y'all better sit down for this one - I got Kevin a cat. To those of you that know me, I'm sure you have each grasped your chest in near heart failure, but I assure you - I did it. Here's a picture as proof:

It doesn't really have a name yet. They called it Princess at the shelter, but I just can't see Kevin having a cat named Princess. I think we are going to have to name it one of the words Kevin can say so I am guessing "NO", hehe. It's what I have been screaming at it all night so it probably already thinks that's it's name anyway, lol.

So anyway, it's a fully grown cat, already litterbox trained and very affectionate. Kevin's face just lit up like a Christmas tree when I walked into his room with it, so it's probably worth it (I will agree or disagree after it's been here a little bit longer, lol)

And third, I made an appointment with Kevin's therapists for Thursday and we are going to discuss what he really needs vs what we have been doing all this time.

I agree with everyone that a change needs to be made. We have to start having some fun, but first we need to have the energy to do so. This means eliminating some of the things on the list and only doing what we need to do for a little bit.

I guess we'll see what the therapists have to say and go from there...


Jodi said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the kitty!! LOL. Hey Les, I have two of them, and I know you don't like animals, but they are great therapy for people, so maybe it really will help Kevin. I wish you lots of luck! :-)

Name suggestion that Kevin might like - Bullet

You three are always in my thoughts and prayers. I love you all very much!!!

Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Anonymous said...

The kitty is adorable and I'm sure you will come to LIKE her someday if you give her a chance. Even your Uncle Bob, who was a die-hard cat hater from way back has been caught petting one of my two monsters ! Maybe giving Kevin some of the responsibility of her care will focus his energy away from keeping in constant contact with you. Make sure you get lots of toys, etc that Kevin can share with her. They love to chase laser light dots, just watch the breakables :). Good luck. Love, Aunt Mona

Jan said...

Hee hee...we have six cats and the two mischievous ones are both orange stripeys. I've heard other people agree that they are not like other cats...so enjoy the madness. LOL

Of course they are also the most loving cats ever so it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

Aww... I think that's great you got Kevin a cat! A cute one too. :)

Lorraine said...

The kitty is cute. Name suggestion is Brady. I have 2 kittens right know from 2 different litters they were born end of June. Have fun and get a squirt bottle it works. Take care Lorraine and Rick

Anonymous said...

Cute kitty. What about Liberty. Lib is easy to say or even better yet, what about the name, Miss Kitty. Kitty relates to "kitty" and possibly his brain would relate Kitty ( cat ) as to identifying the animal itself. Good luck. An animal is very good therapy, but also takes a lot of patience. The kitty will give you unconditional love, purr, let you touch her and never talk back !! A very good companion. Patience is a virtue, just remember the love she will give Kevin and he will love her back. Who knows, she may become your friend too. Congrats !!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you were able to do some shopping. It's good to have alone time as well. :)
I think it's great that you brought a cat home for Kevin. I think that it will help make him feel like he is taking care of something as well. Animal companionship is wonderful as well. We have a dog and he's great company. I'm sure the kitty will provide Kevin with that as well. Can't wait to hear what he names her. :)
Good luck on your appt. Thurs.
Kathy in IA

Mel said...

Hi Leslie!
I haven't written in forever, but I read everyday. We got our MOAA magazine yesterday and I read about the conference. Has there been any follow-up on the issues you brought to light? I ask because at the time those present seemed to finally gain some real insight into what it's like to be a caregiver for a wounded warrior, but I don't recall reading anything about follow-up on the blog. Just curious.

You and Kevin continue in our prayers, especially strength and endurance for you as your 24 hour days often feel like 36!

Mel Birdwell

Tracey from Pgh. said...

I think that getting the cat is a great idea for Kevin! I think that you will find that they are great stress relievers too (eventually). I hope it works out! Lots of great comments on this post.

Miss Em said...

Hi Leslie,

It's a long one BUT I hope helpful.

Lorraine is right about the squirt bottle. I use one with "Hey U-tat". That's how I trained her to leave the Cockatiel-Doodlebug-alone especially when he's out of the cage.
It doesn't take but a few squirts with full strength Apple Cider Vinegar that you put in the bottle and she will understand that that's a B-I-G--NO-NO.
Later all you have to do is pick up the bottle and shake it. Then you've got no cat doing what she shouldn't be doing because she knows that that bottle has nasty-tasting crap-o-la in it.
Also use a shower curtain ring to attach a hand towel to the bottle so if any gets on a piece of wood furniture it can be quickly be wiped off.

Get the quart size with adjustable spritzer. Make sure you get enough to put one in every room to start so you don't have to hunt one up because you want to catch her in the act of the NO-NO when you squirt her. Fill with Apple Cider Vinegar. Be sure to do a fine mist on certain pieces of fabric covered furniture...helps to stop the sharpening/marking territory with the paws/claws.

Some may think that the Apple Cider Vinegar full strength is cruel but the taste of the Apples and Vinegar on her fur reinforces the need not to do that behavior again. It works. I have a bottle that sits next to my special chair now. I mist the bottom, back and side. It has not stopped her from getting in the chair with me which is the behavior that I do encourage.

Also when you and Kevin go to the pet store to get her some toys to get one or two of those cardboard scratching post. Most come with cat nip to encourage the use of them instead of furniture.

Letting Kevin name the cat is a good idea. He may surprise you with the name by using a word that he hasn't used before.

Hope you had an enjoyable time doing the shopping/errand running alone even if it was work. Next time take a few minutes to stop and have a quite cup of coffee/tea with a wonderful desert in a nice place. Make it a regular event as an "it's my time" place. You will be surprised at what it will do for your spirit.

Take care and enjoy the extra loving from the 4-legged-fur-ball.

Miss Em
Austell, Ga.

Cathy M said...

That is great about your new kitty! I am so excited!

I have two, and cats do jump on everything, as that is their nature. The squirt bottle does work extremely well to get cats off certain surfaces, but they have minds of their own.....they are, well, cats! With a squirt bottle, you don't need to say "no". Just walk up and quietly squirt.

I keep my boys in, but if you let your girl out, don't do it for at least a month and get an ID tag for her.

Get a scratching post ASAP, too, and put it somewhere accessible where she will use it. Cat boxes need to be in a private place and always clean and not too small. (Forgive me if you already know all this)

Can't wait for the name of this gentle little creature you gave a loving home. I really look forward to all your upcoming kitty stories.

Enjoy your beautiful little girl.

Michelle Long said...

When you first mentioned a name for the cat my first thought was also "Brady" along with Lorraine. But I am kind of leery of the vinegar in the squirt bottle. I would be afraid of Kevin accidentally spraying it in his eyes. Congrats on the cat! I had one in the house for many years and I miss him terribly. I had to have him put down after severe health problems. Hugs to both of you and Breezy too.

Lisa D in Cali said...

I don't know the first thing about cats, so I'm going to leave that to others. I just wanted to say how glad I am that you are going to be re-evaluating the therapy situation. I'm excited for you guys to get a little bit of breathing room!!

Anonymous said...

This post made me smile! I really believe pets are such great therapy and THAT looks like a seriously cool cat. Congrats!

(Ohhh the things we do for our kids!)

Love you guys,
Chris S.

Long-time RN said...

That's a beautiful cat! Way to go!
We have a calico that adopted us, just appeared on our porch one day and never left. Cats have a way of winning over those who aren't cat lovers. ;-) They're really low maintenence and can be quite a comfort. Have fun with the new family member!

Anonymous said...

Hey Les,

Wonderful...a cat has a great home and Kevin has a pal. Animals are great therapy to almost anyone...

I know when I was severely depressed, my "Boo-Boo Kitty" gave me great comfort. I can only hope that he takes a big interest in her and tries to relate to her. Hopefully, the cat will be completely "Kevinized" by Christmas.

I got a cat from LuAnn's friend about three years ago. This cat is almost like a dog...he is always at my side (and not in an annoying way), he sleeps on my head and whines when he and the dog hear odd noises outside.

I only have one piece of possible advice...make Kevin learn how to feed the cat at the same time daily...if he does that, the cat will become dependent upon him and consider him the caretaker. The cat will bond with him like gangbusters...(My cats don't even know who Corky is, he never feeds them or gives them their meds.) Later down the road, teach Kevin to gently brush her...she will be Kevin's forever friend!!!

Eventually, you will love this cat, too...guarantee it...

Travis's suggestion...for whatever reason, he wanted to name her "Red". Kinda odd, but probably had to do with the color of the eyes in the picture???

Thanks, Les, for the daily updates...please call me at your convenience...I can't wait to hear from you!!!

Miss ya!!

Kristen M.

Jessica said...

Aww! What an adorable kitty! I'm so glad you got her and that Kevin was so excited about her. I hope they bond quickly so he has a friend by his side all the time.

Glad you enjoyed your shopping time and hope you can work out a better schedule for Kevin with his therapists. No wonder you two are exhausted with all that therapy.

I'll be thinking of you and praying for you both. Take care.

Anonymous said...

On your list of things to do I see you still plan to send Kevin away.
"facility to teach Kev independence"
You know that he will freak big time without you or his sister there with him! Everyone else said from the beginning of this that you would not stand by him and I always said no she will see him through this. How wrong I was! The emotional trauma he will go through will be horrible. There are many other ways to teach him to be independent without sending him away and doing this to him. Call it what you want. It is still sending him away. If you need a break I sure wish you would find another way to get it without Kevin suffering! But as always you will find a way to make it sound like this is for his best interest. You always do twist it so you look good.
OK now everyone get ready for I am sure a good defense is coming - HA!

sisjake said...

So glad you got Kevin a cat. We had six, but my daughter's favorite got stolen for the third time by a neighbor (the first two times I found him in neighboring villages and brought him home). She will be devastated when she gets back from Army training and finds him gone. I hope to find "Ranger Andy" before she gets home.

Real GI Supporter said...

Hey Anonymous at 12:52AM....WTF? Seriously?

I find your post a bit comical, and more than slightly removed from reality. Have you been paying attention at all? It would be great if you offered some constructive advice on how to improve the situation rather than playing armchair quarterback making wild assumptions about a situation you obviously have little true understanding of.

If you want to be a troll, go back under your bridge! Have a little respect for the sacrifices this brave young Soldier and his family have made and air your dirty laundry elsewhere. If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.