Saturday, April 26, 2008

In memoriam Hannah-Cat

I drafted this post some time ago but am just now posting it today, May 11.

We had a very sad week. Everyone's favorite orange cat, Hannah, died on Tuesday the 22nd. On Sunday and Monday, she was lethargic, but not alarmingly so. On Tuesday night, she was suffering badly and clearly having serious problems. Upon returning from class, I took Hannah to the hospital where she had an extremely high temperature reading of 109. With the prognosis grim, we made the decision to give our faithful companion a peaceful departure.

Hannah and her sister, Emma, were rescued from a farm in Vermilion township, Ohio, almost 10 years ago. Jen had graduated from U of Toledo and was preparing to move to DC to begin her program at American University. Jen had always wanted an orange cat, and step-dad, Steve, found one amongst two litters of cats born on a farm near his and Debbie's home in Vermilion. One of the momma-cats had died in an road accident, so the two litters of kittens were all struggling to survive with only one momma cat to look after them. Of all the cats, Hannah was easily the healthiest and Jen joked that she did the rest of the kittens a favor by taking her. The original plan was take only one cat, but Hannah and Emma were inseparable playmates, so they both made the trip to DC.

As a young cat, Hannah was a true athlete. She enjoyed playing fetch and would launch herself off the arm of a chair to catch thrown balls mid-air. Hannah stayed constantly by Jen's side or perched in her lap. Hannah was well-known for her social disposition, approaching anyone who came to visit with trust and a simple demand for attention.

During the summer of cicadas in DC, Hannah wandered the deck, maiming and eating the heads off slow-moving Brood X insects. Sometimes she would bring her still-struggling prey into the apartment to proudly show Jen, who was toiling away on her dissertation.

Hannah's charms were legendary. Even people who claimed not to like cats always found Hannah the exception to the rule. Hannah insisted that weekend visitors stay longer by laying on their suitcases to prevent them from packing.

Most recently, Hannah taught young Jack how to crawl. Because she was a social creature, she was always hanging out with us and Jack became increasingly curious about her. When Hannah strayed too close, Jack would grab a fistful of fur-- an abuse Hannah suffered without retaliation. Our big orange monster enjoyed being nearby.

Always a good cat and dependable companion, Hannah is irreplaceable.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

You may have noticed the website trails real-life by about a week. Last weekend, we were hanging around the house on Saturday morning, waffling on whether or not we would take advantage of the surprisingly good weather and go into DC to see the cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin.

For those who haven't been to DC, this is one of those tourist moments that can actually live up to the hype. Everything looks beautiful when the cherry blossoms are out. The problem is, they peak fairly early in spring and the weather can be dicey. After a couple of rainfalls and windy days, the blossoms are history. Not exactly the kind of thing you can book airfare around.

Jen got us off the fence and declared that Jack should get to see the cherry blossoms during his first year, so we grabbed the camera and braved the crowds. It was definitely worth the trip.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Our cats have been pretty desperate for attention over the past 9+ months since Jack arrived on the scene. They hang around despite the noise and commotion Jack causes and hope for an ear-scratch or maybe even a lap to sit in for a few precious minutes. Those opportunities are rare since we're pretty occupied with Jack.

I guess we always knew what would finally motivate Jack to start crawling-- his desire to catch a kitty. This video was shot on April 4th. He hasn't slowed down since.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Meeting Michael Jerome

Our family delayed Easter a week (don't tell the Pope) to gather in Columbus at my sister's place and visit with two-week-old Michael Jerome. Jack took his first airplane flight on March 29 to get there.

Jack took to the sky with ease and was greeted in Ohio by Karin, Dave, Ethan and young Michael.

The album below has a bunch of great shots of the family. We were missing my cousin, Kevin, because he was on the road for work. Although it was a whirlwind of a trip, we enjoyed a delicious brunch, helped Ethan hunt for Easter eggs and celebrated Karin's birthday.

Easter in Ohio

This picture (also in the album) is a favorite of mine. My sister makes a great mom.