TToT – By the Numbers, Sort Of

Categories Family, Health, Home, Life, Love

Well, it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?

I took an intentional week off for Holy Week and Easter and then all hell broke loose.

It all started with some beautiful spring blooming…and pollen. Allergy season entered our lives in full force.




So here we are, now three weeks, three head colds, one sinus infection, one round of bronchitis, several sick days, one human doctor visit, one overnight vet visit for one Rotten Cat with intestinal issues that included three kitty enemas, and (between people and cats) five prescriptions. Oh, yeah, and one kitty pill popper gizmo because our cat refuses to take his meds.

The cat story alone will give me at least two great blog posts. So silver linings, you know?

That said, let’s get down to some thankfulness because after a few weeks of skipping out (sorry, gang) I definitely need to jump back in.

Holy Week and Easter break were wonderful. Aside from the obvious ultimate sacrifice of Good Friday, it was just a wonderful experience all around. We attended Holy Week Mass and services, Zilla was part of the Holy Thursday procession and sang with the choir for Easter Sunday. We enjoyed time with family, some we haven’t seen in forever, and spent some time home relaxing and hanging out. Wonderful.




I’m not so thankful that shortly after Easter my allergies went crazy. I don’t usually get hit with spring allergies – at least not as much as in the fall – but clearly that has changed. That allergy nonsense became a horrible cold turned sinus infection and bronchitis. Again, not so thankful for all of that, really. But I am thankful that when I knew my home remedies were not going to do the trick and I needed to seek medial attention and secure some prescription meds, I could make use of the express care place two minutes from home on a Saturday morning rather than wait an entire weekend for my regular doc to open and have to make the thirty minute schlepp to the office.

While I don’t really enjoy the way the prescription stuff makes my body feel, I’m pretty grateful for the kick in the pants the meds provide to knock this germ out of me. I’ll be more grateful when it actually leaves for good and takes the lingering cough along. The nurse warned me that the cough from bronchitis could remain for three to seven weeks.

*crickets chirping*

Seriously. I just stared at her after she said that. I mean, I know the cough lingers and all…but seven weeks? We’ve since considered purchasing stock in Ricola because the number of cough drops we’ll buy in that time period alone will boost the share price. And tissues. I think we need to buy stock in tissues, too.




Did I mention that the Hub and Zilla both ended up with colds, too? I probably wasn’t doing a very good job of sanitizing surfaces after my germy self, so mea culpa. But I’m thankful that neither of them (knocks wood) have ended up with the sinus infection or bronchitis development.

And on that subject, I’m thankful that I haven’t had bronchitis in so long that I forgot how horrible it is. For someone with my immune system and pathetically feeble asthmatic lungs, that’s a big victory. So I think that qualifies as a win. I’m thankful that Kidzilla and the Hub are willing to do things like rest and drink “sick tea” and eat homemade chicken soup for dinner three nights running to fight off the cold germs. OK, the Hub still won’t drink the tea – but he only complained about it smelling like feet once, so that’s good.




I’m thankful for the fact that since I work from home, Zilla’s sick days did not create a major catastrophe. We just…stayed home. I’m thankful for lots of sleeping and snuggles and big glasses of orange juice. I’m thankful that the Hub understood that two solid days of me and Zilla in the same room meant we needed a little break and sent us to separate rooms for a bit.  (OK, mostly that meant I got sent to my room…yesss!)  But after about an hour, we all ended up in one room huddled up together watching the remake of The Karate Kid on TV. Thankful again for family time.

I am thankful for our vet hospital. Cat One finally got so sick with his ongoing poop issues we knew it was time to take him in. (Trigger warning: ick factor ahead.) Turns out the poor guy has major constipation and all the wet food and increased water consumption in the world didn’t solve that. So he had to stay overnight for three (yes, three) kitty enemas to clear him out. He is now on an antibiotic for a few days and has to take – get this – a kitty laxative three times a day for I don’t know, probably the rest of his nine little cat lives.




Do you have any idea how impossible it is to get antibiotics and liquid laxatives into a cat? A lot. It’s a lot impossible. I’m going to leave it at that for now because the attempts to medicate him thus far have been nothing short of ridiculous and therefore qualify as blog fodder. So, hey, I’m thankful for that. You know it’s going to be a battle when the cat’s face looks like this:




I’m thankful for contact with friends, both old and new, most of whom I’ve been sadly out of touch with lately. I’m thankful for family for many reasons and on several occasions lately. And I suppose I’m thankful for Rotten Cats, even if they cause trouble, because they’re all home and reasonably healthy and my fear that Cat One would have to take the long walk did not become reality this week. Stupid cat.

And now I”m going to be thankful for whatever rule the SBoR/BoSR boasts that allows me to to be done right here and now even if I have more to write because I’m still kinda sick and I just want to be done and go to bed.


OK, your turn: It’s been a while, so I know you have lots to share. Get me caught up – what are you thankful for now? What have you been thankful for in the last few weeks during my extended hiatus? What cool stuff is happening to you that I’ve been missing?

You know the drill – share ’em or link ’em!

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Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

22 thoughts on “TToT – By the Numbers, Sort Of

  1. Glad to see you back again!
    This has been one for the record books—I mean the spring and the degree of suffering it has caused asthmatics and people with allergies. Awful! You don’t think that it is insider trading if you know you are going to be hacking away for seven weeks and invest in tissue and throat lozenges, do you? Cuz it would just be wrong to get well just in time to be hauled off to that prison where Martha Stewart did time and, you know, participated in athletic events and reading groups.

    1. Ah, my late night friend! Thanks, May!
      Yes, the spring is particularly unfriendly for allergies and asthma this year. I put a handy dandy little pollen count app on my phone – not that it helps relieve anything, but at least I know how miserable I’ll be up front. That’s good, no? 😀
      That Martha Stewart thing made me laugh so hard I started a coughing fit so now I need more cough drops. Does that make you an accessory? An accomplice? Thanks for a great laugh, May! Needed it!

  2. Glad to see you back. Spring allergies are the worst. When I receive the lovely tulip or hyacinth plants as Easter gifts, I sincerely thank the giver for the beautiful bulbs and then proceed to leave them outside in the pots because they trigger a full blown allergy attack which, as you know can lead to other things. One beauty I drink in with eyes only, leaving the other senses out of it. Get well. I’m doing the A-Z this month, hope you’ll stop by.

    1. Thanks, Val. Glad to be back and to see you! I love fresh flowers, but have long ago stopped buying them because of all the allergy problems in the house. And my Husband does not buy me flowers because it ends up causing more grief than joy. 😀 I usually take my live plants to my Grandparents’ gravesite (where my aunt will take good care of them) or to church. Definitely an eyes-only for me, too.
      Good luck with the A to Z! I’ll get over there as soon as I can!

  3. Glad you are back and hopefully, on the mend! I had that bronchitis/sinus infection stuff around Christmas and I think the cough is the worst and yes, it does seem to last forever. I promise it will eventually go away though…probably about the time you start to think it is never going to disappear. Sorry to hear about your kitty as well. That poor cat’s face…so funny. Hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

    1. Hi, Jean. The cough is definitely the most annoying – for me and everyone who has to listen to me! Ugh. I’m just really hoping my voice is back and the cough gone before my Listen to Your Mother performance in two weeks.
      Cat One is doing OK. We are really struggling with getting the meds into him, but hopefully he’ll settle into it because one of them is a maintenance med. Really don’t want to have to fight him twice a day every day…
      It’s snowing here, of all things, so I’m watching the snow gently cover the spring blooms on the tree outside my window. Not a bad way to spend an hour.

  4. I am so glad to see you up to posting a bit and I think you’ve done amazingly well to feel positive enough to come up with some thankfuls amidst the recent struggles to get well and clear out the kitty’s plumbing plug-up too! Allergies do increase as we get older, mine by leaps and bounds, and I hope that you’ve done your round of Spring allergies now and can get back to breathing and living! You were wise to listen to your body when it told you it needed a little high-powered help, sometimes there is no escaping it.

    Now as for getting meds into cats, challenge is the word for it!! We’ve found that they become pros at spitting out liquid even if aimed at the back of their throat with a syringe, and spitting out piles even if popped in with said pill-popper. It generally takes two of us to wrangle and medicate, and each day the poor kitty becomes more suspicious and hostile – much like the look you’re being given above. We are lucky with Toby, who has asthma and must take regular medication to breathe freely, he will eat anything! I don’t even have to grind up his pill, just put it in a bite of his wet food, even in plain sight, and it’s gone in a moment as he inhales the bowl’s contents. I wish the others were that simple. If liquid or pills work better for you, check with the pharmacy because many pet meds can be provided either way.

    I am so glad that you no longer have to go out to a job, that made this session of being sick less stressful and you were able to be home with Zilla – win/win! Here’s to a much healthier, happier week ahead! XOXO

    1. Josie, I so love your comments – they’re like a great big hug on the page. Thanks!
      We are all working on feeling better. Kind of glad for the snowy cold weather this weekend – gives us an excuse to snuggle up, stay inside, and rest. I’ve just finished my round of meds for the afternoon and am headed for a nap.
      Yeah, the medication process is not entertaining. He has one pill and one liquid. Honestly, I would just like to get past the three days of pills and be done with that. We can get this antibiotic in liquid form, but is it really worth it for just a few doses? Sigh. Maybe. The other med is already a liquid and is a maintenance drug so I’m hoping he will find a way to just accept that and not be a jerk every time we give it to him. Several friends have suggested hiding in food, but since our three eat together and often swap bowls mid-meal, that’s a bit complicated. I know, they’re weird.
      Being able to stay home through all of this has been a great relief to me. I can’t even describe it.
      Here’s to healthy days! XOXO back!

  5. Sounds like the applicable Secret Rule would be SR 1.3 (subchapter 4: projectile defecation by any lifeform within 2 miles (or other form of proximate knowledge) of writer, allows truncation of Items List, [sec 3.] numbering acceleration due to ‘ewww’ factor

    hey, it’s not snowing, though, so not as bad as it might have been

    1. That’s the rule I was looking for, Clark! Thank you for your thorough knowledge of the BoSR/SBoR, as always! 😀
      It snowed pretty heartily here for most of the day, but really nothing to get excited about since it didn’t stick. Well, just a bit on the grass and trees, but not enough to even cover. And I have to say there was something kind of poetic about the fluffy white snow sitting on the colorful tree blossoms…

  6. Ohhhmigosh! Judging by the look of Rotten Cat’s face in that pic, you are being cursed to beyond in kitty-language! I hope those are huuuuuge silver linings with the telling of the meds because the reality sure doesn’t look fun.

    So glad you’re back, and BETTER (and wtf 7 weeks indeed! Hope it’s way shorter than that) and that Fab Hub and Zilla weren’t hit *too* hard.

    I rather love that you got sent to your room…

    1. He is beyond unhappy about the whole medication thing. But we just gave him his evening dose with very little drama, so that’s progress! Perhaps he figured it wasn’t worth the struggle.
      I’m better and yet not so much. I’m really hoping I’m not headed into another round – have a terrible earache this afternoon. So more meds and back to sleep. The Hub and Zilla got nasty colds, but nothing quite as terrible as my mess, thank goodness.
      Getting sent to my room was not such a terrible thing…maybe I’ll tantrum more often. 😉

  7. Poor kitty.
    Sorry you all have been sick, ill, out-of-commission.
    I was sick for a week myself. Had to cancel a violin lesson and everything. Sucked because I only had one so far, but back on track now.
    I feel for your one cat and for all the worry you have had. I fear the day my own cat, who is only two now, needs medicines to stay healthy. I haven’t had much cat owner experience, but from all I have heard, they often get sick and require medication.
    Well, glad you are back. I like visiting here.

    1. I’m better, Kerry, and yet not. I may or may not have an ear infection at the moment, but I’m hoping this round of antibiotics will make short work of whatever it is. Sorry you missed your lesson and were sick – especially right when you were just getting started! Hope you’re better now.
      This cat has given us quite a bit of headache over the last few months, true. But overall? We’ve had these three boys for nearly ten years and this is really the only major illness any of the three have had. So either we have particularly hardy cats or that things about cats being sickly is bunk. Maybe it depends on the breed? Ours are just the equivalent of mutts. 😀
      Thanks for your sweet words – I’m glad you like visiting here! <3

  8. Sorry to hear of the illnesses, that’s never pleasant :/

    That tree is lovely, despite its pollen producing, allergy-inducing properties! What kind is it?
    Your kitty looks like my Layla. She’s getting old and is partially incontinent, though, I’m quite sure she’s doing it to make my life hell rather than being unable to control her bowels. I’m glad we can discuss out disgusting cat’s bowel issues lol!

    Hope this next week proves to bring better health and even more thankfuls for next week’s post!

    1. Hi, Abbie!
      The trees out front are gorgeous, even if they cause suffering. You know, I’m not positive what they are because I am no gardener…I will have to find out. Something tells me Lizzi or Val or Dyanne will know. Or Sarah or Christine. They all know stuff like that!
      Anytime you need to discuss cat poop issues, come on over! No one understands quite like a fellow cat owner. 😀
      Thanks for the well wishes and so good to see you!

  9. Welcome back! I’m glad the illness at least held off until Easter Sunday was behind us.
    Those med clinics are so very helpful when you pretty much know what you have and just need the meds to kick it. Even better that it’s only 2 minutes from your house.
    When people ask why I don’t get a job now that the kids are in school, one of the many, many reasons is just what you said. When a kid gets sick, it isn’t that big of a deal schedule-wise. We just stay home. Exactly what happened with us for 3 days last week when my 8 year old had a fever. If I had a job, I’d be feeling way guilty taking off work for a fever that didn’t have any other symptoms.
    Giving a cat medicine is not easy. For sure. Good luck with that. Hopefully he’ll get better with it as time goes on and he realizes it doesn’t hurt in any way.

    1. Christine, it held off through Easter and the Monday school holiday. Then – wham! And yes, the express clinic is great for those occasions, especially when your Mom is telling you, “Go to a doctor!” I don’t need a doctor, Mom, just the drugs. OK, that sounded really wrong…but you know what I mean. 😀 And having one so close has been a huge convenience when offices are far away and/or closed.
      I never thought I’d say this, but knowing my kid can be absolute first priority without the guilt of taking a sick day from work is huge. Huge.
      Cat One has resigned himself to the fact that I am bigger than he is and I am going to win the meds war. He’s doing much better today. Success! He’s a smart cat. I think when he realizes it’s just what we do now, he’ll stop fighting it. He’s our lazy cat – he will always choose the path of least calorie burn, so it’s just a matter of time.
      Hope you are all well – looking forward to catching up!

  10. oh spring allergies are terrible…fall ones too – my nieces suffer each spring badly they live among oak trees and that is what triggers it – at one point once all the blooming ends and we all are surrounded by this yellow powder everywhere it seems to get better however my sister and BIL power wash everything – the same happens at my home and although I do not suffer from allergies I do feel the effects of the pollen on a small scale and my heart goes out to all allergy suffers – my nieces do take medication for their allergies but were taught to use at a young age the netti pot which seem to help –
    I hope the meds worked for you, and that your cough does not linger too long – I read somewhere that Asian pears boiled with ginger ( I think ) helps a lingering cough – also, many years ago my mom had bronchitis, she made tea adding pomegranates and honey.
    hope your cat feels better too – oh boy if looks can tell you what that little guy is thinking- I’d run and hide LOL
    feel better!

    1. My fall allergies are usually the terrible ones. I’m allergic to corn smut (I know, it’s hilarious), so when the fields around here are harvested, I am miserable. That spring pollen powder is the worst! When I get in my car and see a coating on the windshield, I know it’s a bad day! The netti pot is a great thing or a sinus rinse bottle – my sister and I both swear by that. Asian pears with ginger – got it. I’m game for a good home remedy! I’m still fighting to get rid of this, but I think there’s some progress, at least. Feels like forever…
      The cat is doing much better and cooperating pretty well about his meds. I still have to suffer the evil look of doom, though, which I suspect is more for effect than anything else. Silly cat!

  11. I’m glad everyone is (more or less) well at your house and that you’re back, because I have missed you!
    I had one of those kitty pill popper things when I had my old cat Christopher (by “old” I mean he lived to be 21 and a half). When I had to give him pills, he would clench his teeth and spit out the pill and foam at the mouth and carry on something fierce. The pill popper helped. I would kneel on the floor with him between my legs, tail end towards me, and I would wrench his mouth open with my left hand and poke the pill down him with the right hand and then hold his mouth shut as long as I could. Good times!
    Kitty enemas. Mmmphhhahahahaaa

    1. I’ve missed you, too! It’s been a rather trying couple of weeks with all the sick – both human and cat. I’m happy to say that 2/3 of the humans are much better, the other 1/3 still kind of meh. Cat One, however, is taking his pills like a boss with that popper and we’re doing much better with the liquid laxative. He’s less than happy about it, but he’s kind of resigned himself to it. And he only glares at me with pure hatred for like 20 minutes now instead of four hours. Progress!

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