Balkans Road Trip 2018 - Part 10 - Closing thoughts
Decade in Review

2019 Year in Review

I say it every time, "Can you believe how quickly that year has gone by?" 

I wish that I could slow time down, that I could bottle it up, and save it. But if wishes were wings, we would all fly. 

I did no blogging over 2019. This was not because I did nothing, we were extemely busy, but because I did not have the discipline to blog. 2019 has been a year where Kevin has stretched himself by becoming more active with the local table tennis community. He played in the state games in Colorado Springs in July, and competed in a number of sanctioned competitions in the state. In December we traveled to Fort Worth, Texas as Kevin was competing in the US Open Table Tennis competition. I have really enjoyed being a "support spouse." Table tennis is a great game to watch. (And it is fun to play.) It is a small community of players and families. We have met some great people. 

My brother Mark and my sister in law, Cheryl came out in February. Mark was competing in an archery competition in Las Vegas. Kevin and I joined my mom and dad and we watched Mark compete. I learned a lot about the sport. The bows are really heavy. I don't know how they manage to shoot with any accuracy. While we were in Las Vegas we got tickets to see the Blue Man Group. We had so much fun. The visit was a great reminder of how important family is. 

At the beginning of the year we last our dear fur person - Maddie. She was a very old cat, and lasted three years longer than the vet's prognosis. We selected the "at home" euthanasia option. It was very sad. Our fur people certainly leave paw prints on our hearts. 

It took us several months to feel when the time was right to find another fur person. We ended up buying a kitten from a breeder (first time for both of us.) Darling Rio, a beautiful Ragdoll kitty entered our lives. I then got it into my head that Rio, our new kitten was lonely. We had never had a kitten before as we had always adopted grown up cats from shelters or rescues. I was worried that Rio had no one to play with when Kevin and I went to work. I thought he was depressed. We took him to the vet to get checked out (just in case there was something wrong.) The vet could find nothing wrong with him, so we made the decision to find Rio a baby brother or sister. 

Red entered our hearts. Red is another Ragdoll cat. We again purchased him from a breeder, instead of a rescue. We started the kitten introduction program to make sure that Rio, and his baby brother Red were introduced gradually. 

Then Rio got sick. Red was also sick - but he bounced back. But Rio did not. We learned that Rio had FIP - that is Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It is a dreadful disease that is almost always fatal. We were devastated. In a matter of days Rio had deteriorated so much that we had to make the awful decision. We opted to euthanize at home. Rio was just 10 months old. 

Luckily we had Red. We got him tested, and found out that he tested positive for the virus. The vet explained to us that that didn't mean he would develop the disease, but he might. She also advised us not to introduce a kitten into the household until Red was at least a year. Red is a wonderful kitty. He is currently 9 months old. He loves to cuddle, and sit in the window and watch the bunnies, and the squirrels. Kevin got some books out from the library on clicker training for cats. Every day (or as often as I can) Red and I practice our training. Red, being a cat, is much better at training his humans than we are at training our cat. But he is very quick to learn, and very funny. So far - he can come to me at a signal, sit up and "beg", jump up on a chair, and then jump to another chair. I think it is official - I have turned into a crazy cat lady!

I also re-discovered a passion - writing stories. While tidying my study I came across a manuscript I had written some twenty years ago. It was a children's chapter book about a girl and her toy pig. I even had the old floppy disk it had been saved on. Luckily Kevin had an ancient old computer in the basement, and he was able to extract the files. It was fun reading a story I had written so many years ago. I decided to take the basic story, and tweak it. It is still a children's story, and it is still about a girl. But this time it is about a girl and her cat. I've named her cat, Rio after the Rio we lost. Thanks to Amazon publishing, it is easy and cheap to self- publish. I am currently writing the third book in the series. 2020 will be the year of the self publishing experiment. 

As we begin 2020, I am reminded about what is really important- family and friendships, and the time we have together.