SIGN UP TO RECEIVE SUSAN'S LATEST POSTS IN YOUR INBOX

Blog

Learning to Speak Feline
10/28/2016 1:59:00 AM by: Susan Lyttek

October 29th is National Cat Day. So I’m going to really go cliché about this day and write a tribute to the cats who have graced my life.

Checkers is my fourth cat. I adopted my first cat, Sparky, when I was 18 and within three months of heading off to college. (Not so smart, right?) So he became my parents’ cat. He lived over 20 years. While mostly a standoffish outdoor cat, he mellowed so much in his later years that even my dad—a totally not cat person—cried when he died.

When Gary and I married, we adopted two cats within a few months of each other. Trixie Ann, the first, was a black and white shorthair that was about half Siamese. She was our mommy cat. When Chat-chat came into the apartment, she was all hisses until it was obvious that the health treatments we were giving him (he arrived with assorted parasites plus fleas, mites and ticks) caused the kitten pain. Then she went into mommy mode. This role continued throughout her life. She loved both boys. She would meow at me when they cried like she was saying, ‘what ails you human! Take care of the child!’

Chat-chat, at his healthiest, was one huge cat. 

He was half farm cat (mother) and half wildcat (father). He even had the tufts at his jowls. He was over twenty pounds without an ounce of fat on him. Some people thought he looked a bit intimidating, but he was a cuddle-able sweetheart. Gary still calls him the best cat ever. He came when called, sat on his haunches and begged for treats, and made a cute chirping sound when he walked or ran. He died too young—from stomach cancer at 14. But he probably wouldn’t have made it past kittenhood if we hadn’t rescued him.

Checkers was born in North Carolina. She is definitely a southern cat as she prefers all of her food with gravy. My guys met her while we were pet sitting and she adopted Erik immediately. She turned 15 last August.

Here are a few lessons she has taught me.

  1. You can teach an old cat new tricks. Checkers has always been a chubby and lazy cat. In the last couple of years, the combination of too much weight and not enough movement has led to arthritis in her hips. She can jump down, climb down, go downstairs, etc., but she cannot climb up for more than a step or two. So she has learned to point herself at where she wants to be and meow. Loudly. Persistently. Until a human does something about it. So not only can an old cat learn new tricks, she can teach them to her staff.
  2. The routine changes as life goes on and we change with it. Checkers had certain expectations when Erik lived here. He was her primary staff. But when he headed to New Jersey, she adapted by recruiting all of us to take his place.
  3. We love and take care of those in our lives—even if they’re a bit ornery. Checkers has had litterbox issues since she was a kitten. At that time, she would go wherever when scared. Then she went through a phase where she only missed the box if she was upset with us. Now, it comes when she can’t go upstairs. We grumble, but we take care of her.

May someone love and take care of me when I get ornery someday!

Share This Blog:


Previous Posts

The Need to Do
11/7/2018 10:28:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Week that Makes Me Remember Mom
10/31/2018 5:06:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Trying to Understand a Just God
10/24/2018 1:10:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Our Limited Perspectives
10/17/2018 3:46:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

My Hope
10/10/2018 3:52:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Grieving through the Eyes of Eternity
10/3/2018 3:30:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

(Re) Learning to Scream
9/25/2018 7:46:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Hurricanes and Other Storms
9/15/2018 10:26:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Trusting God Doesn't Come Easy
9/7/2018 3:02:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Walk of Life
9/1/2018 5:53:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Escaping Life Under the Sun
8/24/2018 10:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Why I Know There is a Hell
8/18/2018 7:35:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

What I Can Do
8/10/2018 4:10:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Non-writing Writing
8/3/2018 10:41:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Thoughts on Forgiveness
7/28/2018 1:28:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Of Mice and Fragile Clay
7/21/2018 3:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Farewell to the Teenage Years
7/6/2018 7:45:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Living Free
6/30/2018 9:13:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Reminiscing
6/22/2018 1:32:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Writer's Tribute to Honest Guys
6/15/2018 2:36:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

In Balance
6/10/2018 9:35:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning from Tabitha
6/2/2018 6:58:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Still Learning to Breathe
5/26/2018 9:01:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

To Breathe
5/19/2018 5:30:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Sisters, Mothers and Dear Women
5/13/2018 6:55:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Tied to the Electrons
5/6/2018 8:08:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Powerless
4/29/2018 8:58:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Sestina Education
4/23/2018 7:48:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Remodeling
4/15/2018 8:55:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning to Promote
4/9/2018 7:41:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Nobody's Fool--An Easter Sestina
3/31/2018 9:44:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Week Leading to Easter
3/25/2018 9:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Off-balance
3/18/2018 9:28:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from the Hyacinth
3/11/2018 9:06:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Plant Lessons--The Aloe
3/4/2018 7:37:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Lessons the Birds Teach Me
2/25/2018 10:59:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Love... By Any Other Name
2/17/2018 11:11:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Ongoing Task of Learning
2/4/2018 1:13:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Musings About Pain
1/29/2018 1:18:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Time to Breathe
1/21/2018 7:32:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Poem a Day
1/13/2018 7:52:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Beginnings
1/6/2018 10:36:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Why the Gospel of Luke Speaks to Me Best
12/29/2017 10:31:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Christmas Letter
12/21/2017 5:51:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Revisiting Anna
12/9/2017 10:04:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Twas the Night
12/1/2017 2:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Quitting
11/25/2017 6:10:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Wonder of a Shoebox
11/18/2017 9:36:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Place to Hide
11/11/2017 3:13:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Thoughts on the Reformation
11/4/2017 9:04:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons in Praise
10/28/2017 5:23:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Why I Love Fairy Tales (and It Probably Isn’t What You Think)
10/21/2017 8:28:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

For Better, For Worse
10/14/2017 5:32:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Practicing Functional Fitness
10/7/2017 5:41:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Tired
9/30/2017 3:50:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Priorities
9/23/2017 10:33:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Teaching Other People's Kids
9/16/2017 8:02:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Crunch Time
9/9/2017 3:47:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

At War With ... Myself
9/2/2017 5:47:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Prepping for the School Year
8/26/2017 9:33:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Overweight, Part Three
8/19/2017 6:37:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Overweight, Part Two
8/11/2017 8:28:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Overweight
8/5/2017 1:58:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Creating Worlds
7/28/2017 8:58:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Prepping to Attend a Christian Writers Conference
7/20/2017 10:15:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Karl Lessons
7/7/2017 3:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

How I Learned the Feeling of Freedom
7/3/2017 7:37:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning from Marriage
6/24/2017 5:51:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

What I Learned from my Dad
6/17/2017 9:00:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from Being Sick and Tired
6/11/2017 9:00:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

My Worst Critic
5/26/2017 3:42:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

May Birthday Tribute
5/20/2017 9:03:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning to Mom
5/13/2017 3:44:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning to Mom
5/13/2017 3:44:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning Honesty
5/6/2017 6:46:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Tribute to my Husband
4/22/2017 5:33:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Celebrating the Resurrection
4/15/2017 3:13:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Your Custom Tract
4/8/2017 1:22:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

March Birthday Tribute
3/29/2017 8:24:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Tribute to Grandparents
3/11/2017 8:08:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

God as Our Rock
3/4/2017 7:45:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

February Birthday Tribute
2/18/2017 8:01:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Writing, Living and Existing
2/11/2017 9:43:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning from the Groundhog and the Auto Show
2/4/2017 8:55:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

January Birthday Tribute
1/28/2017 8:33:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Of Christmases and January Past
1/21/2017 1:28:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Welcome 2017!
12/31/2016 3:22:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Our Christmas Letter
12/23/2016 9:31:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

NaNo and Pebble Lessons
12/16/2016 10:40:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

December Birthday Tributes
12/5/2016 10:59:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

NaNoWriMo Lessons and Hopes
11/18/2016 3:34:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

My November Birthday Tributes
11/11/2016 9:41:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons of the Week
11/4/2016 5:41:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning to Speak Feline
10/28/2016 1:59:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

On Changed Hearts, Changed Minds and Politics
10/21/2016 7:00:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

October Birthday Tribute
10/12/2016 5:22:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Words and the Word (Part 2)
10/2/2016 8:20:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Words and the Word (Part 1)
9/26/2016 9:11:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Questions of Pain
9/18/2016 9:34:23 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

September Birthdays
9/11/2016 4:03:50 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Standard Rescue, part 2
9/3/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Standard Rescue, part 1
8/27/2016 4:59:44 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

How to Go Into Debt
8/19/2016 4:44:52 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Difference Hope Makes
7/30/2016 9:23:22 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Why Teach Poetry?
7/24/2016 7:26:09 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from My Color Bible, Part 3
7/15/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Blog-itis
7/8/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Reminiscing with the Patriot
7/4/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons in Fear
6/30/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from My Color Bible, Part 2
6/10/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Leftover Queen, Part II
5/27/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Leftover Queen
5/20/2016 9:39:00 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from my Color Bible
5/12/2016 4:40:02 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Living As Called
4/22/2016 10:37:35 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Making Writing Fun Again
4/15/2016 12:52:15 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Springing
4/6/2016 6:26:30 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Good Friday Thoughts
3/26/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Confessions of a Delinquent Blogger
3/23/2016 8:42:49 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Accepting the Gift of Free Time
2/29/2016 7:45:10 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Rest vs. the Type-A Female
2/22/2016 3:43:20 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons on Sickness and Rest
2/14/2016 9:09:30 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Sick Lessons
2/6/2016 11:17:24 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Blocked
1/27/2016 11:11:44 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

When Inspiration Fails to Strike
1/16/2016 9:32:15 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Stumbling Into the New Year
1/13/2016 11:02:06 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Annual Christmas Letter
12/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Parent: Help with Work
10/31/2015 10:50:23 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Home
10/24/2015 4:55:48 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Benefits of Unscheduled Free Time
10/16/2015 8:03:39 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: More Empathetic
10/9/2015 7:46:24 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: More Empathetic
10/9/2015 7:39:56 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Parent: More Willing to Persevere
10/2/2015 8:50:54 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Closer to God
9/25/2015 8:33:01 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: More Intuitive
9/18/2015 7:07:30 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent--Weaker
9/11/2015 7:42:33 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Parent--Seeing God's Hand
9/4/2015 9:59:53 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Savvy-er
8/28/2015 6:49:31 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Braver
8/21/2015 7:34:00 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Wiser
8/14/2015 7:33:44 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Benefits to the Homeschool Parent: Smarter
8/7/2015 7:31:13 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Benefits of Being a Homeschool Parent (Intro)
7/31/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Lessons from my Great Aunt Ansie
7/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Virginia Writers Conference
7/14/2015 11:43:28 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Relearning Fitness (Part 2)
7/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Some Truth About Independence Day
7/3/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Relearning Fitness (Part 1)
6/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Under the Sun
6/19/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Lesson I Keep Needing to Re-Learn
6/13/2015 9:17:18 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Times of Transition
6/6/2015 8:43:26 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Blog Ideas
5/30/2015 7:06:10 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Mercs Next Door, Part 2
5/23/2015 7:36:30 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Mercs Next Door, Part 1
5/15/2015 9:00:41 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Getting to Mom
5/9/2015 9:32:42 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

To Blog or Not to Blog
5/2/2015 9:57:39 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Driving Lessons
4/25/2015 2:01:36 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Gaming Education
4/18/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Fast Lessons
4/11/2015 7:37:50 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Resurrection Thoughts
4/4/2015 6:47:45 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Power of the Coupon
3/28/2015 6:18:32 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Spring Planting
3/21/2015 7:36:53 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Showing My Age
3/14/2015 7:51:06 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Teaching Women
3/7/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Beware the Ides of... February
2/28/2015 1:10:50 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Honoring a President in Fiction
2/21/2015 7:35:35 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Gratitude Lessons
2/14/2015 7:12:56 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Pros and Cons of Research
2/6/2015 8:13:38 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Off the Hamster Wheel... Part 3
1/30/2015 9:01:50 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Off the Hamster Wheel... Part 2
1/24/2015 7:55:59 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Homeschool Hamster Wheel
1/16/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Etiquette Education
1/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Ready Stance
1/2/2015 7:01:43 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Our Christmas Letter
12/26/2014 8:36:08 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Sharing Christmas, Part Two
12/19/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Sharing Christmas
12/12/2014 5:32:30 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Swedish Christmas Education
12/5/2014 10:08:38 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Worry/Grumble Antidote
11/28/2014 11:07:16 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Milestone Days
11/21/2014 9:58:07 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Volunteer Education--via Operation Christmas Child
11/14/2014 8:32:03 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Veteran Education
11/7/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Reformation Education
10/31/2014 8:51:31 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Reluctant Vegetarian
10/24/2014 2:55:59 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

What I Didn't, Couldn't Teach
10/17/2014 4:30:17 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Learning to Stand
10/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Christian Work Ethic
10/3/2014 6:36:19 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Animal Education
9/26/2014 10:54:19 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Changing the Love of Learning
9/19/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Blog Block
9/12/2014 9:50:31 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Educating Mom
9/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Debate
8/29/2014 7:22:59 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Interview with Jane, a non-homeschooling friend
8/22/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Homeschool Rebel
8/15/2014 8:11:24 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Other Countries, Other Peoples
8/8/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

George Washington Lessons
8/1/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Interview with Heather Day Gilbert
7/25/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

A Creation Education
7/18/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Blessing of the Church
7/11/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Free to Homeschool
7/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Best Thing
6/27/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

School Lite
6/20/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Homeschooling Poetry
6/13/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Homeschool Preschool
6/6/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

AWANAcation (or Awana Education)
5/30/2014 4:40:30 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Drowning in the Ideal Schedule
5/23/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Penpal Encouragement: An Interview with Sandi
5/16/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Unexpected Education
5/9/2014 8:31:18 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

When Is a Homeschool Mom NOT a Homeschool Mom?
5/2/2014 8:08:10 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Relax, It's Just Writing
4/25/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Purpose Driven Homeschool
4/18/2014 9:38:10 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The Heart of the Music
4/11/2014 3:11:23 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Music Lessons
4/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Teaching My Testimony (Part 2)
3/28/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Teaching My Testimony (Part 1)
3/21/2014 8:16:29 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Glimmers of Homeschooling
3/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Failed Days
3/7/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Other Side of the Homeschool Table...Leanne Hanson
2/28/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Fairy Tale Theology
2/21/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Things I Love about Life and Homeschooling
2/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Limitless Creativity by Bonnie Rose Hudson
2/7/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Weaving Christ into Math
1/31/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Paula Mowery Interview
1/24/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Historic Field Trips
1/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Snow Days... Homeschool Style
1/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Homeschooled Mom Resolutions
1/3/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

Off Schedule
12/27/2013 11:17:52 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Teaching Christmas
12/20/2013 10:24:16 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

The (Writerly) Benefits of Learning Together
12/13/2013 2:11:46 PM  by: Susan Lyttek

Homeschooling reinforced that I am not perfect
12/6/2013 11:33:13 AM  by: Susan Lyttek

And they said homeschooling would be easy...
11/29/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Susan Lyttek