Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rest in peace, Miss Kitty

I adopted Miss Kitty just one short year ago; she was a ten-year old cat that needed a home, and I really needed a cat, although I didn't know it at the time. It took a couple of months before she started to smile, but from then on, she was one happy cat and a wonderful friend. She and Sugar (my Italian Greyhound) apparently had an agreement - no interaction, but no disagreements. Sugar goes upstairs to bed about 7:00, and Miss Kitty would then spend the rest of the evening trying to herd me to the recliner to watch television so she could sit on my lap. Another favorite place to lounge was the pass-through between the kitchen and the dining/living room - she could watch everything from one spot.

When she stopped eating and drinking nine days ago, I hoped it was just a bad tooth or something, but x-rays, blood work, and a sonogram revealed an egg-sized tumor in her intestine that had finally taken over. Surgery was unlikely to help, and her health and quality of life had deteriorated significantly, so she was euthanized on Wednesday. She'll be cremated and join her predecessors in the Safari Room/Mausoleum. Today I packed away litter box, food, afghan, and heated mat. But I've left the indention on the couch cushion where she loved to sleep. I'll vacuum up the cat hair and fluff up the cushion some day. Just not now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Safe Journey, Discovery

27 years old, its 39th (and last) liftoff, Discovery leapt off the pad like a youngster, headed for the International Space Station with six astronauts and one robonaut aboard. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

As the Orlando Sentinel noted, The launch marks the beginning of the end of the space-shuttle program, 30 years after NASA began launching reusable, do-all spaceships into orbit to do everything from launching satellites to building the space station itself. After Endeavour in April and Atlantis – now set for June – NASA will have no manned-space rocket for the first time in 60 years.

There is, of course, much sadness associated with these final flights, but at least for today, let's just salute the greatness of the program and the thousands of people that have participated in it.