The golf clubs. Golf balls. Magnetic letters. Oatmeal containers. Socks. My cell phone. A water bottle. A small book. Many, many cat toys.

Shoved through the cat door, they bounce down the basement steps and end up in poor Chili’s food. Sometimes they land in his water dish, splattering his water all around.

How many times have I told Conal not to put things through the cat door? Millions. Maybe billions. I’ve lost count.


You may recall that a few months ago I took Conal to the Children’s Museum and he mistook the pelts for cats. Back then, he didn’t have many words so he trilled. Now, seven months later, he . . . well . . . he still doesn’t have many words. But he has more sounds! Oh, let me tell you, Internet. He has sounds. All kinds of sounds. Sounds for cows. Sounds for ducks. For pigs. For dogs.

And it’s that last one that is important to this little story.

We went to Target today (it was an outing, people!) to pick up a gift. I decided to take a quick look at the sale racks and as I was walking through, Conal started to make his dog sound, a variation on, “Woof! Woof!” I smiled at him. He kept it up. “There aren’t any doggies in here, Conal,” I said. He did it again, this time lunging out of the cart toward one of the racks.

So, I turned to the rack. Scanned the wares. Ah-ha! The fake fur trimmed sweaters. It all became clear.

Apparently, those sweaters look, to a 17-month-old boy, like dogs. That’s right! Those sweaters are furry. Like doggies!

And that’s it! End of the story!

But since it is Friday, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of what goes on around here these days:


Conal opens them and closes them. Chili gets locked in closets behind them. Conal pounds on them. Chili cries in front of sliding ones, desperate to get out.

We’re battling doors. When the howls and cries and pounding combine, I think it is time to get rid of them. The doors, that is. Not the boy. Nor the cat.

But — oh yeah — it’s cold outside. So, I guess we’ll keep the doors. And the boy. And the cat. And live with the howls and cries and pounding.

The last time I went away, Mo was still alive and Conal had just stopped nursing. Things were much different at Chez Jobber. For instance, back then I was a wreck getting ready to leave. Hmm . . . not the best example.

I’ve been a bit of a wreck this week, too, although not to the same degree. I’m busy fixing dinners for guys to have while I’m away, finishing up projects, packing and dealing with multiple layers of headaches and running around with my volunteer work. But, I don’t have the crazy hormones of someone who just that week finished weaning. Nor do I have that sick pit of worry-that-the-cat-will-die-while-I’m-away sitting in my stomach. So I’ve got that going for me.

I’m looking forward to this trip. Conal will be in good hands with my mom and Owen. Chili doesn’t seem to be sickly. I’m not flying home on a red eye, so I shouldn’t end up stranded.

Still, I’m going to miss Conal like crazy.

Lately, my posts have been weak. Not my witty best. In fact, some of you have accused me of copping out with my posts; tossing up some photos in lieu of real content, generally not giving it my all.

The evidence against me is pretty solid. I appear to be guilty as charged.

But, I don’t know. I feel like I need to plead my case. See, we’ve been a little glum around here. Or, more precisely, I’ve been a little glum. Not really mopey or on the verge of tears. Just glum.

I hate that Mo is dead. Hate it. And, for the past two weeks, I’ve spent a lot of energy trying not to be sad, not to feel angry with myself for having a cat that died at only 12 years old, not to let the thoughts of Mo’s death snowball into thoughts of other, worse deaths. All of this “trying not to” has taken a lot out of me. I’ve had little left for my readers.

But, if I’m honest, it’s been more than just Mo. Two years ago this week, a friend of mine died when she was 7-months pregnant. Her son is growing up without her and, I’ve got to tell you, there are times when I think about that and I feel . . . I don’t even know what. Horrible? Overwhelmingly sad? Whatever the feeling, it is rotten and I can barely put a word to it.

This week especially, I’ve thought about how Denise carried her baby boy for 7 full months and then, nothing. She never got to meet her baby. Never saw heard him cry, never saw him smile. Didn’t witness his first steps, first foods or first words. She’s not here to see him growing up. It’s tragic and I hate it.

And so, in conclusion, I’d like to state that there have been extenuating circumstances that have led to my weak posts. But, I’m starting to feel a little less glum. Perhaps acknowledging my glum state has reduced it a bit. I should be back to my old self in no time. Maybe even tomorrow.

Or the next the day.

Definitely by the end of the week. For real.

The Little Jobber is walking around, carefree and happy. Thank goodness. He’s too young to understand that Mo died and, really, that is for the best. I wouldn’t want him to have to carry this kind of sadness right now.

Conal (3 weeks old) and Mo, June 2007.

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