Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our cat named Matt

"If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark Twain

Our lives with Matt started on a warm Colorado spring day back in 1992.

We had been hearing the meows on and off coming from the overgrown field behind our neighbors house. With the number of alley cats that were in the hood we first didn't think to much of it as we went about our normal routines.

However the meows became more pronounced and after a few days of hide and seek we found the culprit. At first we couldn't understand what we were looking at as the cat in the field was partially bald and had large weird mounds and/or balls of matted fur on the none bald parts of his body. We feared that the cat was diseased and in extremely poor health.

After a few more days and the lure of food we managed to get a good look at the cat and we could see that the bald areas were created by large mats of fur that formed and were pulling the fur from various parts of his body. He was skinny and very skittish and would only come to the food after we had backed away.

As many people do we decided to help this cat get back on its feet.

From then on Debi would go out to the lot each day to feed the cat. Often she'd sit for an hour or so and just talk to him. He started looking forward to her visits and slowly but surely he came closer as Debi gained his trust. We surmised that his mistreatment had to of been bad and we had no idea how long he had been wandering the area, where he came from or when he might have been dumped.

It took over three months before the cat would allow Debi to touch it.

Upon being able to touch him we found that the mats were massive, thick, and very tight against the skin. It seemed that any handling of him was appreciated but somewhat painful due to the mats. After more time had passed and trust was being achieved we attempted to cut some of the mats away but he resisted our attempts. So we went to the vet and got kitty valium and accomplished the deed without any complications. Well, there were a few nicks to his skin but as I said the mats were very tight against his skin.

After the mats were removed and he had a few days to get used to not being restricted by the mats we took him to the vet. There was a bit of stress with the cat carrier and the car ride but thank goodness it was less than a mile.

We found out from the vet that he was a Maine coon cat and overall his health was fair. The vet determined that he was between seven and ten years of age. We decided that we'd go with the seven year old estimate as everyone including cats want to be younger! LOL! While there he received the normal host of shots for parasites and vitamins to help jump start his recovery. His teeth were in terrible condition and all but his canines and two others were pulled due to infections and abscesses. Of course the teeth were pulled at a later appointment.

As the weeks and months passed he worked his way into our hearts and our home. We decide to name him Matt because of all the fur mats that we had had to remove.

We decided that his birthday would be January 1st. Everyone needs a day to celebrate their birth and why not at the birth of each year.

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose. - Garrison Keillor

He was mostly an outside cat but certainly was welcome inside. He would come inside quite often but never stayed too long. Of course as time passed that changed as well.

He learned to use the swinging doggie door very quickly and without our assistance. We were surprised the first time we found him sitting in the middle of the living room floor and we hadn't let him in.

On numerous occasions we would hear cats fighting and we'd go out to see if it was Matt. There were very few times that he was ever involved in a cat fight, at least that we knew about. Mostly when we would go out to check we would find the fight but Matt would be sitting off to one side just watching. Also on numerous occasions we'd see the other cats from the hood come up to him and they would check each other out but not fight. It was one of those things that always made us go hmmmmmmmm and a question that never got answered. We had to assume that he was just a good diplomat or possibly he had proved himself enough times so he was sort of like 'Fonzie'! LOL!

The years passed and Matt provided us with companionship and lots of kitty love. He was a lap lover and his favorite place was with you on the chair or couch with his front paws and head on your lap.

As Matt aged our Colorado winters found him sleeping on the heating pad on our couch. He and Debi both despised the cold weather.

Towards the end of 2004 he started loosing his hearing but it never slowed him down. We could always get his attention by stomping on the floor of our wood frame house. He would feel the vibration and come to see what was up. This behavior was more often than not rewarded by either a brushing or a treat.

When we moved to Mexico in 2006 he was totally deaf. Of course, after the move, we could no longer stomp on the floor and get his attention! LOL! We're sure that he felt that we moved just for him as his arthritis had been getting worse and heat was the best thing for him. Almost immediately he found that the patio provided immense heat and it became his favorite place to be. As the next few years passed the heat of Mexico became even more welcome. There were times that we could hardly pick him up off the patio and hold him because he was so hot. He loved the patio.

We're sure that our move to MX prolonged his existence and allowed for him to have a better life. We can only hope that it will do the same for us!

Aging for Matt brought with it more severe arthritis in his old joints especially in his hips. His eyes developed cataracts and he developed what we refered to as "kitty alzheimers".

As the cataracts grew bigger his eye sight got worse and he started walking into things. First door frames and chair legs but it slowly got worse. His balance was off and with the advanced arthritis he couldn't scratch without falling over. His personal hygiene fell off as well. However, he never forgot where the litter box or his food dish was located! Oh, and he never confused them! LOL!

Our combined quality of life together slipped to a point where we, with the opposable thumbs, had to make the decision to end our relationship. Never a good time, never the best part of the relationship and rarely is there as much love and heart wrenching that goes on in ones life as when this decision must be made.  Nevertheless the decision was made.

To our beloved Matt, we hope that your kitty toys never stop smelling like catnip, that your food bowl is always full, and that a lap is always there to lay your head upon! You deserve no less.

Matt Kuhn
Born: January 1, 1985
Died: May 15, 2010

No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch. - Leo Dworken

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to get soap in your mouth!

Growing up we all had childhood friends some of whom are still friends today.  One of my best friends was Gary,  he and his family lived a few houses away.  We played together and shared all our toys.  We were always around to help each other celebrate the biggies, especially the birthdays.

Gary's family had a few rough edges and I learned most of my "bad" words at his house.  It was wonderful!  I also learned to enjoy potato chip and ketchup sandwiches!

On Gary's twelfth birthday he received a most magnificent electric train set.  He was ecstatic and couldn't wait to get it set up so he could play with it.  I was envious but knew I'd be able to be the engineer at some point down the road just like when I had gotten my new bike and he got to ride it after I rode the newness off.

I stopped by his house for two reasons.  One he said that I could play with the train and his mom had made our favorite cake.  She made the best cakes!

So on this particular day we started acting out the passenger train scenario.  Loading, unloading, and all that fun stuff.  Well Gary decided to be the conductor and started announcing the stops etc.  So all of a sudden he stops the train and says, "All you sons of bitches who want off, get off now cause this is the last stop.  And all you sons a bitches who are getting on, get your asses in the train cause we're leaving!"  He started giggling and it was contagious!

Of course this outburst brought his mom in from the kitchen and she said, "You don't use that kind of language in this house.  Now I want you to go to your room for two hours.  When you come out you can call Tom and he can come over and you can play together again but I want you to use nice language."

Gary went to his room and I split and went back to my house and watched some tv and played catch with the garage door.

A while later my mom comes out on the back porch and says that Gary called and I should come over.  Oh boy, maybe I'll get to run the train.

I get there and we resume playing with the train after having a piece of cake.  The train went round and round and all of a sudden Gary stops the train and says "Attention passengers!"  I could hear his mom stop what she was doing in the kitchen.  Gary says, "All passengers who are disembarking the train please remember to take all your belongings with you.  We thank you for riding with us today and hope your trip was a pleasant one. We hope that you will ride with us again soon."
"For those of you just boarding we ask you to stow all of your hand luggage under your seat.  Please remember that there is no smoking except in the club car.  We hope you will have a pleasant and relaxing journey with us today!"

He then exclaims, "All aboard!" He hesitates a moment and then says, "For those of you who are pissed off about the two hour delay, please see the bitch in the kitchen"?

I bolted for the door, jumped on my bike and headed for home!  I figured he'd call in about a week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Computers, wives, and accurate subtleties!

As most of, if not all of you know Debi is the computer guru in the house. I can function but when things get out of hand I need to call her in.

Of course as I have gotten older I have also gotten stupider! (yes it's a word that reflects on me very accurately especiall when it comes to computers) So Debi is called in on the same things over and over again. It's great for me as I don't remember having the problem before but she does remember and gets irritated with me for not remembering how to fix various issues as they come up.

Recently I was having trouble with the computer so I bellowed out that I needed her help. As in most cases she's in the middle of reading a book and she must stop and come into the office to listen to me droan on about an issue I'm having.  It usually goes like this:

I say "blah, blah, blah, I don't know what to do."

She says "I just showed you how to do this day before yesterday."

I say, "sorry, but I don't remember."

She says "get out of the chair as I can't do it standing here!"

She sits down and clicks some keys along with a few mouse clicks and looks at me and says "there, it's ready to go."

I say, "why does it do this to me all the time?"

She says, "well, it never does it to me!"

I say, "I wonder why that is?"

She looks at me and says "it's almost always the same issue!"

I say, "well what is that and if it's always the same thing then why can't you teach me to avoid it!"

She says "because I've tried before and it's just you!"

I say, "ok, I'll really remember this time so please tell me again what the problem is."

She says "well, it is now and has always been an ID ten T error."

I said "what?"

She says "it's an ID ten error!"

I say "ok, what is that and how do I fix it?"

She says "since it's the same thing each time I think it would be more helpful if you would look it up yourself on Google." "I think it may help you to remember what it takes to correct it."

She got up, I sat down.

She says "go to Google search and key in ID ten T error."

So I keyed in ID10T error...............and as I looked at the keyed in letters and number a smile started to form on my face until my grin was ear to ear.

I stood up, turned around, looked into a pair of devilish eyes, kissed Debi on the cheek and went out and got in the pool!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cena, puros, y vino!

I meant to blog about the Mercer Cigar sponsored dinner at the Hyatt back in October after attending and having a great time. Actually I was hoping that there would have been another one by now. Heck, it would be ok with me if there'd be one once a month or at least quarterly. (Hey, Andrew, are you listening?)

For those of you that don't like a good cigar once in a while or an upscale place here in Merida to get one this post will not be of any interest.

Here's a little background on Mercer Cigars:

Andrew and his lovely wife Elisa own Mercer Cigars here in Merida. Andrew's mom, Faye, and step dad, Vic, are some of our best friends. Going to Faye and Vic's is without a doubt one of the greatest pleasures anyone can have here in Merida. It is always a pleasure and they are super at making you feel at home and boy howdy the viddles are scrumptious!
They are all great people and it's my pleasure knowing them and being able to call them my friends.

Andrew came here with the idea of starting up an upscale cigar bar and made it happen and he did it in aces!

Mercers was a pretty plush place to go. A very large walk in humidor and a selection of Cuban cigars second to none in the State of Yucatan. There are also cigars from other countries as well but the specialty there is Cuban cigars. Excellent liquor menu especially if you like to sip rum and single malts! Big screen tv with all the sporting events and the respectable amount of leather sofas and chairs to allow for a comfortable visit. Not to mention a fine air handling unit as well.

So now if that isn't or should I say wasn't enough the entire place is undergoing a complete remodel to make it bigger and better. As I like to say, "if some is good, mo' is better!"

Part of the reason for the remodel of Mercer Cigars has to do with becoming a "Certified Habanos Dealer". The "Habanos" Certification is very prestigious and highly coveted by those that have achieved the level of success and service necessary to obtain it.

Ok, this may seem like a commercial but it isn't, and no I'm not getting a free cigar or anything! It's just when you come across something really good in Merida you have to share, right? Right!

Anyway I want to tell you about the first Mercers sponsored dinner and cigar event at the Hyatt. Mercers has various events throughout the year and Andrew decided that since he was bringing in a world famous Cuban cigar roller from the prestigious Partagas Company that he might as well make a special event out of it. Andrew combined a demonstration by the roller using tobacco leaves from Cuba. Each participant could watch the cigars being rolled right there and each participant received one of the cigars. In addition was a fantastic meal with appetizer, filete mignon, and dessert.  Moving right along I'll tell you about the fantastic duo that performed while we ate.  They are from the Merida area and they were just another added ingredient to make the night perfect!  Last, and yes there is more, Andrew got together with the folks from Covi and the vino it did flow! We were greated with a glass of wine as we arrived and with each course a different wine was served. The wine pairings were superb! With the last wine being a port style malbec served as the cigars were being handed out. I and the guys I was with moved over to the cushy terrace seating and settled in for conversation, a great vino and an ultrafine cigar! Oh, and the setting was out under the stars on the Hyatt's third floor pool terrace.

This is Andrew making his opening remarks and welcomed us to the first Mercer dinner and cigar event. 

 After a few more introductions including Richard, the manager of the Hyatt, Andrew, introduced the torcedor and the fun began.

The torcedor was there for us to watch and watch I did.

This guy was smooth and efficient and rolled perfect
cigars!  It was really a treat to see this guy do his thing!
Every one had a good seat to see him!
We had a great time and the music was superb!

Vic, Doug, and I had a most excellent time!
And like I said earlier in this post I certainly hope I get to attend another one, soon!  (Andrew, are you listening yet?  LOL!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Into the looking glass.....what do you see!

I, as do many other people my age, tend to not see our actual reflection in the looking glass. Possibly because we don't look that hard or maybe because we just don't care to see it.

For the most part everyone has a point or age in their life when they stopped aging. Of course not literally but in their mind. Everyone has an age that when asked how old they feel they can tell you.

When asked how old I feel I'll tell you that I feel like my mid twenties. Now upon closer examination you'd find that the only thing left that in any way resembles me in my mid twenties would be the color of my eyes and my appendectomy scar. Beyond those two items (or would that be three items counting that I have two eyes?) everything else has sunken, sagged, twisted or left the building.

Of course with all this said there are very few of us that feel or see ourselves in true clarity when it comes to how old we look. We are always younger and a wee bit better looking than what we really are. In addition most all of us are guilty of looking at others our age and thinking that we surely do not look that old!

With all that said allow me to share a brief story with you on this subject.............................

After a few minutes of sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with my new doctor I lost interest in the People Magazine and I stood up and started looking at the art and plaques on the walls. The office housed four doctors and their diplomas and other notable achievements were framed and hung proudly on the walls. I took a small amount of additional interest in the diploma that belonged to my new doctor. The diploma, of course, had her full name and upon reading it I flashed back to my high school class of some 40 years earlier and I remembered this tall, slender, gorgious, black haired beauty that I had always had a crush on. Of course being the shy country boy that I was then I never left my feelings be known. Regardless, could this possibly be her? A bit of anticipation wafted thru my heart.

However upon seeing her I quickly abandoned my thinking and the anticipation swiftly took flight!

There was no doubt in my mind that this gray haired, fairly rounded woman with an aged lined face was way to old to have been in my class!

We did the doctor patient conversation and she examined my knee. No, no drugs needed for pain.....yes, the knee compression wrap is great, etc.

At the conclusion I decided to ask if she had ever attended Gettysburg High School. She said why yes, I did, I'm a Warrior!

I asked her what year she graduated? She said in 1967, why do you ask?

You were in my class, I answered!

At that point she looked at me closely and then that not so pretty, fat, wrinkled face, old, decrepit, worn out piece of crap asked me "What did you teach?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Denny, Alan, Silver Oak and me!

Yea, it's been a long time since I posted, I know!
Why? I'm not exactly sure but between getting more lazy (is that possible?) combined with waiting for something significant to come along I just haven't.

However, as fate would have it significant events happened to me just last night. Significant for you, no, but for me most definitely. What were these significant events? The end to "Boston Legal" and drinking my last bottle of 1997 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Unlike many of my friends here in Merida I have not yet connected to a dish service or other means of getting current programming from the US of A. I am connected to the local cable company here, CableMas, but the level of programming I have is a year behind for the majority of the shows. Thus I cannot really talk current happenings about any recent events in any shows that frequent my TV screen. Heck, somethimes I start talking about a show I've seen only to find out that the show is no longer on the air. Humph!
Regardless after the first year I got used to being behind, and in some cases without, in my viewing pleasures.

Ok, moving on, last night I decided it was time to watch the last show of "Boston Legal". I have put this off ever since I received the last season DVD set a few months ago. I had heard that it came to an end but I didn't want to believe it and in a way if I didn't see the last show it was still on the air. I guess that's about the only advantage of being behind a year in my TV watching. LOL!

Knowing that the series was over was sad and I was very fortunate that no one informed me of how the last show ended.

For those that may not know, the end of "The Practice" was the beginning of "Boston Legal". I never watched "The Practice" while it was on but for some reason I started watching it as it went off the air and that's where I met Alan Shore. There was just something about the character, Alan Shore, that James Spader was portraying that made me watch. It was a twisted ending to "The Practice" and it was different enough for me to get interested. That's how I started watching "Boston Legal" from its inception.

For me Boston Legal rates right up there with Mash, Northern Exposure, and Ally McBeal! I like the off center shows that actually have value in a unique way. Saying that I was and am a true fan of those shows would be very accurate. Shortly after getting started "Boston Legal" elevated itself to my most favorite TV show ever. Why? Maybe because I'm older now and I even more than ever appreciated the issues that they dealt with and for sure the friendship between Denny and Alan. I understood their friendship and appreciated that friendship!

So I bought a ribeye to grill, made my comfort mashed taters, a bit of salad supplied by my sweetie and with as much mental ceremony as possible I removed the last bottle of Silver Oak from the wine cooler, removed the foil and popped the cork. This bottle, the last one of six, made our original drive to Merida back in 06.
After a bit of breathing, the bottle not me....well I was breathing but, well, you know, I poured a glass and gathered all the aforementioned food items and set up my eating area in their proper positions and I settled down in front of the screen. I loaded the DVD player and sat silently for a few seconds before hitting the play button.

When all was said and done the series was over, the bottle was empty, and Denny and Alan will be friends forever!

I can always replay the series but I'll never have another bottle of 97 Silver Oak and I doubt that I'll ever have a friendship like the one I had the chance to watch once a week for five seasons!

Now I can only hope that another program comes along that will fullfill the program void in my TV viewing pleasure. And yes, even if it is a year late!