Tag Archives: Oliver

Oliver’s Memorial

Shortly after our little Oliver cat died, my mom suggested planting a baby tree in our backyard as a little memorial to Oliver. Anyone who has seen our backyard knows it’s about as big as a postage stamp, so, while I loved the idea of planting something in Oliver’s memory, I didn’t think a tree was quite right. Upon bringing this up to Alex, he suggested catnip. I thought that was perfect since Oliver acted like such a spazoid all the time, it was as though he was always high on catnip! Thanks for the tag-team effort in coming up with just the perfect thing to honor and remember Oliver with.

Henry getting his nose all up in the catnip!

Henry getting his nose all up in the catnip!

Last week we planted some catnip in our little retaining wall garden as a memorial to Oliver. He spent so much time in our backyard, racing across the fence, hunting birds and bugs, it seemed like the perfect place.

Protecting his catnip.

Protecting his catnip.

It’s safe to say, Henry LOVES the catnip! The catnip plants are right outside the window of my office and I frequently see Henry going to get a whiff or roll in the catnip – I’m going to be fighting off the neighbor cats here pretty soon, too.

He's happy with the new plants.

He’s happy with the new plants.

In Memory of Oliver

It has taken me a week to build up enough courage to look through photos of Oliver to write this post. With each day, life is getting easier to handle as I move towards finding solace after the loss of my “baby cat” Oliver last week. Today I am remembering Oliver and all of the fun memories I have of my spunky little cat.

Oliver.

Oliver.

Oliver was always there. Wherever “there” was, that’s where Oliver was. He was always up in everyone’s business needing to be the center of attention, getting pets from anyone who he possibly could convince to love on him.

Always into everything.

Always into everything.

If I was making dinner, Oliver’s nose was in my face. When I sat down at the computer downstairs, Oliver would be right there ready for a cuddle. Like clockwork, when Alex and I would sit down at the table Oliver’s little face would pop up in the window next to the front door and he’d start meowing for us to let him in. in the middle of the night, Oliver would come and dig with his paws for me to let him under the covers so he could snuggle up in my arms and nibble on my cheek as he fell asleep. He was just always there.

Bed time in the Allen house.

Bed time in the Allen house.

One of the most challenging parts of moving forward is that since he was always so present in my entire day I find myself constantly looking for him and waiting for him to be there. I can still see his little face in the window. I can hear him meowing. I can feel him. I can hear the sound of him sprinting through the house. He’s still very much alive in my mind.

Such a helpful packer.

Such a helpful packer.

I have never met a cat who is as cuddly as Oliver. He was just the absolute best cuddle bug I could have ever hoped to have.

He loved to be held.

He loved to be held.

Some of my favorite memories of Oliver are of him showing off his acrobatic skills. He learned quickly that he could jump up onto a rail that we have running around our walls at about 8 feet off the ground – he would sprint around this rail and show off whenever we had company. Oliver loved to jump from our fence through the neighbor’s deck banister, which was several feet up and away from the fence. He was so agile.

Crazy cats!

Crazy cats!

Oliver and Henry had a heart warming brotherly bond. I fondly recall so many times whispering to Alex to come and look at Oliver and Henry cuddling together on our bed, or when one of them would be so gingerly licking the other one’s head, cleaning it, because it was out of reach. They loved to wrestle and chase each other around the house. They were just always together. They were best friends. My heart breaks for Henry’s loss.

Cuddle bears

Cuddle bears

I can’t even express how much I miss Oliver. My heart was shattered and it will take a long time to mend itself, but I’m working on it. It’s overwhelming, though I am comforted by these photos and the endless memories I have of my kitty, who will forever have a piece of my heart.

Oliver cuddles.

Oliver cuddles.

He sure loved sun bathing.

He sure loved sun bathing.

Oliver in his Halloween costume last fall.

Oliver in his Halloween costume last fall.

Oliver.

Oliver.

I can still see him sitting up here, perched on the rail, looking out the window.

I can still see him sitting up here, perched on the rail, looking out the window.

My Oliver.

My Oliver.

Weekend Recap

Going into the weekend we didn’t really have much on the radar but somehow it turned out to be a really fun weekend. We squeezed a lot in and had a great time!

Jackson and Alex playing in the backyard! The grass is finally starting to fill in and it looks like a fluid yard now.

Jackson and Alex playing in the backyard! The grass is finally starting to fill in and it looks like a fluid yard now.

We kicked things off on Friday. I started the day being tormented by the puppy and managed to break away to go for my first five mile run down along Lake Washington. My time was 54 minutes {stay tuned to see how many minutes I cut off of today’s 5 mile run!}. I felt great the whole time!

5 miles!

5 miles!

Once Alex got home from work on Friday we walked down to the Farmers Market and grabbed a few things. One of our favorite parts of the Farmers Market is the Mexican food stand. I usually get a pork quesadilla and man is it good!! We ate our Mexican food at the market then came back home and had some wine while we played outside with Jackson.

Jackson is getting so good at just hanging out on the front porch with us. We are so lucky!

Jackson is getting so good at just hanging out on the front porch with us. We are so lucky!

Saturday was a long, but great day. We woke up early {thanks Jackson!} and hung out with our furry friends. Alex and I had a great breakfast together, cleaned up and then he took off for a 65 mile bike ride around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. I was left to fend for myself and the little pup, but we had a great day together.

Photo op with Jackson.

Photo op with Jackson.

Date night was Saturday night where Alex and I had a fantastic dinner at Harvest Vine. The food and ambiance made me so nostalgic for Spain and we spent the whole time talking about our upcoming trip to Europe. We were able to narrow down the countries we’ll be visiting next year {Spain, Italy, England and Switzerland, and hopefully a long layover in Amsterdam} and some things we’d like to do and see while we’re there.

Jack decided he wanted to be involved in emptying the dishwasher.

Jack decided he wanted to be involved in emptying the dishwasher.

Sunday morning was kind of a hoot in our zoo. It started with Oliver presenting me with a bird that he had recently caught. He quickly moved on and I watch him catch a second bird – he is such a good hunter! After Alex and I grabbed a cup of coffee, all three of our four legged creatures decided to hang out together in the backyard. Oliver was doing sprints along the fence while Jackson was running alongside the fence on the ground. Meanwhile, Henry had climbed a tree in the backyard. By the time he had gotten down, Oliver decided he needed to climb higher than Henry had gone, so he ran up the tree, only to be followed moments later by Henry. They are so good at climbing!

Henry and Jackson playing together.

Henry and Jackson playing together.

We were hosting Jackson’s first puppy play date on Sunday afternoon so I ran out to the store to get some stuff to make guacamole. On my way to the store I was enticed by a garage sale sign, so I decided to stop. Good thing I did because I found a coffee maker with a grinder for $10 that retails for nearly $200. It’s in great shape and I can’t wait to use it.

New coffee maker with grinder!

New coffee maker with grinder!

The guacamole turned out great! I sure do love a good guac.

Yum.

Yum.

Jackson was in absolute heaven during his play date with Gram, who is a 15 week old Duck Tolling Retriever. Alex’s colleague, Nolan, and his wife Natalie are Gram’s owners. Gram and Jackson weighed the exact same amount and Gram looks smaller but that’s only because Jackson is so fluffy. Gram has Jackson beat in the coordination department, though!

Gram (L) and Jackson (R)

Gram (L) and Jackson (R)

The two puppies were a great match for each other. Neither one was dominant and they both had their moments of being more aggressive and then times where they’d submiss to just be bitten in the ear. It was so fun to watch Jackson run around the backyard having such a good time!

Puppy play time.

Puppy play time.

Roughhousing

Roughhousing

After Nolan and Natalie left with sleepy Gram, Jackson passed out and we decided to run up to the Bottlehouse to take advantage of a beautiful evening and we had a couple glasses of new wines. We are so lucky to have the Bottlehouse so close to us! We got there so late and stayed for more wine than we had intended on that we didn’t end up eating dinner at home until after 9:00 — preparing for our Europe trip, I guess!

Check out the great pictures of Alex I managed to get:

How handsome is he?!

How handsome is he?!

Loving his white wine, which he never drinks.

Loving his white wine, which he never drinks.

Great way to end the weekend.

Great way to end the weekend.

We’re always looking forward to the weekend – hopefully we’ll be able to take Jackson out and do something fun this weekend. Until then, we’ll just enjoy the beautiful weather!

Little Man is Growing!

Jackson is 9 weeks old today! In our first week and a half he has gained about 3 pounds but we can really tell that he’s getting longer and taller. Today he weighs 13 pounds.

Posing for the camera!

Posing for the camera!

Things are going well with Jackson. Here’s a little update about the pup:

  • He is sleeping through the night most nights and sometimes he even lets us sleep in until 6 a.m. – not today though!
  • Jack is eating really well now that we figured out that he’s a grazer. Hopefully that will contribute to his continuous weight gain over the next few months.
  • Since he’s been eating so well he has had much more energy than he had during his first few days with us. Thank goodness for our fenced in backyard so he can sprint around in circles.
  • We are on day 3 of being accident-free!! By no means is he house broken, but it’s great that we’re making consistent progress with potty training him.
  • Jackson is dying to have puppy playmates! He so wants to play and wrestle with the cats, but of course the cats are having none of that. Oliver and Henry are doing SO well with Jackson – they don’t even flinch when he passes by them. Henry will give Jackson the occasional whack on the head to remind him whose in charge.
  • Next Friday is Jack’s booster shot appointment. After he gets his booster it will be safe for him to meet and play with other dogs – right now, he can just play with other puppies.
Little buddies

Little buddies (we took the curtains off the windows yesterday because we had the windows cleaned).

He's getting big.

He’s getting big.

Henry has been really loving Jackson's food...

Henry has been really loving Jackson’s food…

Proud puppy daddy!

Proud puppy daddy!

Puppy snuggles :)

Puppy snuggles :)

Our First Week with Jackson

Now that we’ve had little Jackson for about a week I figured I should post some more photos and info about how things are going.

Monkey cuddles!

Monkey cuddles!

Jack is doing really well and seems to be settling into our home quite nicely. We don’t have much in the way of a routine or a schedule yet, but we’re working on getting there soon.

  • Yesterday was a turning point in figuring out food for him. He seems to like eating small amounts periodically throughout the day… just like me!
  • He hasn’t quite figured out sleeping through the night yet, but he’s only 8 weeks old. Mostly he just wakes up once in the middle of the night to go out, otherwise he falls asleep pretty quickly and sleeps until about 5:30 a.m.
  • House training is going very well so far, We have had very few accidents in the house and Jack has even started going to the door to let us know when he needs to go out.
  • We are crate training Jack and that is still a work in progress. He cries a little bit when we put him in the crate most times but it seems to be easing up for the most part. We are working hard to alleviate any separation anxiety he has.
  • Jackson is definitely teething and wants to gnaw on anything and everything he can get his sharp puppy teeth on. It’s great to feel prepared in dealing with that this time.
  • The cats are doing really well with Jack. Oliver and Jackson seem to almost be pals already, and Henry is quite indifferent to Jack, as he is about most things. Both of them seem very comfortable with Jackson, though, which is fantastic.
He's not much bigger than his monkey

He’s not much bigger than his monkey

The weather has been sort of iffy this week but we have managed to take advantage of sun breaks each day and get some great playtime outside. Jackson is a fast runner and loves to sprint around the perimeter of our backyard. I have a feeling there’s going to be a “dog track” around the outside of our yard someday soon from those four big paws.

Jack is very playful!

Jack is very playful!

Changing the focus from Jack a bit, Oliver cat gave us a little scare on Thursday night. He came in from playing outside and seemed to be choking or gagging on something. After a while, I decided that there was something going on so I took him to the animal ER. Indeed, he did have a very nasty, thick, sharp piece of grass caught way back in his throat. He had to be sedated for the docs to remove it. Oliver has made a quick recovery and was able to come home with me that night.

Oliver man

Oliver man

I got a glimpse at Jackson’s future of being a front porch dog. I am really looking forward to having our morning coffee out on the front porch with Jackson laying out and soaking up some Seattle sunshine with us.

Just hanging out!

Just hanging out!

Sleepy puppy

Sleepy puppy

WP_20130524_027WP_20130524_038We have introduced Jack to sitting, laying down and standing using food lures and hand motions. Hopefully this week we’ll graduate into the “sit”/”down”/”stand” commands using hand motions and verbal cues. He is getting used to his leash and we have not started walking much with him yet. We are going to be very strict about teaching him how to walk on a leash so as to avoid starting any bad habits from the beginning.

Already trying to be right next to me when I cook. This will be a challenge when he's full grown...

Already trying to be right next to me when I cook. This will be a challenge when he’s full grown…

Things are off to a really great start. I think we are much more prepared and confident this time around!

Meet Jackson!

It’s official – Alex and I are puppy parents once again. We welcomed our newest four legged furry friend into our home and our hearts on Sunday. Jackson is a 7.5 week old Golden Retriever who we got from a breeder in Salem, Oregon. We named our puppy after Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Jackson!

Jackson!

So far, things are going extremely well with Jackson! He is adjusting very well to his new life and we are enjoying getting to know our new little pup.

Snuggly boy!

Snuggly boy!

We selected Jackson, who was “blue boy” in our previous photos, because he was very interested in playing with toys and he was super cuddly. “Blonde boy” in the litter was chosen first, by another family, “green boy” was way too independent and not very interested in us, and “silver boy” was very small and had a strange kink in his tail. So, “blue boy” seemed to be the best out of the bunch, but we have since realized he really is a great fit for us.

So happy to be a puppy daddy again!

So happy to be a puppy daddy again!

Since Jackson came from Salem, Oregon, we had a long drive back to Seattle. The four hour drive felt a lot longer than that because Jack was terrified of being in his crate in the back of the car. He had never been separated from his siblings and was having a hard time adjusting. I ended up holding him for about half of the trip and that quickly calmed him down.

So happy!

So happy!

Once we got home we were able to really start engaging with Jackson and seeing his personality come out. It turns out he is extremely playful and loves to run and play with toys! He had so much energy and excitement on Sunday when we got home – we were surprised at how long it took him to crash.

Which toy to choose??

Which toy to choose??

We didn’t expect to get a whole lot of sleep our first night with Jackson, which did end up being the case. We ultimately woke up for the day at 4:30 a.m., and of course by the time we had finished our first cup of coffee he was out cold. Monday was our first full day with him and we got a chance to see just how much sleep he needs. It seemed like he had bursts of energy that lasted about an hour and then needed to follow that up with a 2-3 hour nap. To help him adjust to being on his own, we decided to try to put him in his crate for short periods of time when he was really sleepy and when we would have the opportunity to take him out and play right away afterwards. This seemed to work quite well and his whining and crying disappeared almost altogether. Our second night was amazing – he woke up around midnight and went out and then when we woke up at 6:00, he was already awake but he was just hanging out in his crate and not crying. Victory!

So sleepy!

So sleepy!

Jackson got his first shower on Monday. He seemed to easily adjust to the shower and then fell asleep on the bathroom floor when I was drying him off. I suppose a full body massage would put me to sleep too.

Little fluff ball

Little fluff ball

Things have been pretty easy so far, but give Jack a few days to finish adjusting and Alex and I both know that we’ll soon be tested. We start puppy class on June 5th, but until then, we’ll introduce him to treats and then work on some basic commands like sit, stand and down, as well as learning to not jump on people and how to walk on a leash. Training is so much fun, so hopefully he will be receptive and motivated by delicious treats.

Caught him snoozing upside down! He loves his bed.

Caught him snoozing upside down! He loves his bed.

Overall, Jackson is fitting in very well with our household. He is doing great with the cats and the cats seem to be doing very well with him, too. He has had a few bonding moments with both Oliver and Henry and I am hoping that they’ll eventually become friends. Either way, Jack is a great addition to our family and we’re really looking forward to watching him grow up to be an amazing dog.

IMG_1930

Fun facts about Jack:

  • He is extremely cuddly and loves to be held. We’re going to be sad when we can’t just scoop him up and hold him like a baby anymore.
  • Jackson loves tennis balls and his outdoor toys. He will be perfect for our family because he enjoys being outside.
  • Even though he is a cuddle bug, he is very independent. We’ve noticed that he is able to easily entertain himself.
  • Jack is a fluffy, furry puppy. He weighs 10.8 pounds and we’re expecting him to get pretty big, as the breeder noted that her dogs are usually 70-80 pounds. The fur on his ears is fairly dark, so we’re thinking that his coat will be darker.
Such a sweet love

Such a sweet love

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has arrived in Seattle and it is truly a blessing. Usually I feel like we get gypped with our springs because it still consistently rains through the 4th of July. Ask any Seattleite when summer begins and they’ll tell you it’s on July 5th! I think that Seattle gets 9 months of winter and then 3 months of summer and really not much of a spring or fall. Either way, this spring truly feels like spring and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

We have had more sunny days lately than I can even remember. What a treat!!

We have had more sunny days lately than I can even remember. What a treat!!

Before the weather changed, Alex and I came up with two enormous lists of “spring projects” to do around the house – some inside and a lot outside. Last summer we re-did our backyard and this summer we have some touch up projects to do back there – pretty easy stuff but each item on our to do list has a lot more steps than one might realize. We got started before we went to Hawaii by spreading out some new top soil as a way to level out the yard and prevent large puddles from forming in low spots. We planted some grass seed and it is taking its time coming in.

Our house projects list... surprisingly near completion!

Our house projects list… surprisingly nearing completion!

Yesterday Alex started digging out one of the corners of the yard to remove the top layer of clay soil so we can replace it with nicer top soil, which he is doing as I sit here and write this post {what a good helper I am!}. Since it’s such a small section we decided that we’re going to lay sod instead of going the grass seed route.

Backyard... a work in progress once again! I am planning to plant some flowers between the stone retaining wall and the fence.

Backyard… a work in progress once again! I am planning to plant some flowers between the stone retaining wall and the fence to brighten it up a little bit.

I was busy all day Friday and Saturday weeding and planting flowers and getting the patio and porch ready for sunshine.

What a good little helper I have!

What a good little helper I have!

I put out the cushions on the patio chairs, wiped down the table {for the second time this spring!} and added some potted flowers {gerber daisies} to the table. This was just in time to have Jamie over for dinner on Monday night and use up the last of our charcoal from last summer.

Lovely evening sun over the patio table.

Lovely evening sun over the patio table.

Don’t worry! I stocked up on charcoal, so we’ll be good to go for a while. We love, love, love our charcoal grill. In an ideal world, we’d have both charcoal and gas, but we just so prefer the flavor of charcoal. Of course having a gas grill adds an amazing convenience factor to the situation.

Stocked up and ready to grill!

Stocked up and ready to grill!

Hopefully by next weekend our backyard will be ready for our little pup to terrorize! We can’t wait to watch little Jackson grow up, play fetch and hang out in our backyard.

The beautiful weather has been proving to be quite the source of motivation for me keeping up with running and Alex getting his miles in on his bike to train for his big 200 mile bike ride in July. I’ve been running 2-4 times per week, usually 2-3.5 miles per run and have been loving it – who knew! I have an app on my phone called Runtastic that tracks all of my runs and tells me my average speed, my pace per mile and allows me to make notes about how I feel. I love it! And Alex blows my running progress out of the water by biking 50-60 miles like it ain’t no thing.

My latest runs haven't been very impressive - the 5/1 run is especially unimpressive because my phone died! I really did run 3 miles that day :)

My latest runs haven’t been very impressive – the 5/1 run is especially unimpressive because my phone died! I really did run 3 miles that day :)

Hopefully spring will stay in Seattle through May and June! What a wonderful year we’ve had with weather.

Happy 2nd Birthday Henry & Oliver!

Today our little monkeys cats turn two! With their high levels of spunk and energy, it’s hard to believe that they aren’t “kittens” anymore. They have provided us with an unbelievable amount of love and joy, as well as a whole lot of annoyance {mostly in the form of 5 a.m. wake up meows}. We have so enjoyed having these two sprite little balls of energy in our family.

Baby kittens right after we got them

Baby kittens right after we got them

Alex & I got Oliver & Henry when they were 8 weeks old. They were 2 pound fur balls with absurd amounts of energy back then. Now they are 8 and 10 pound fur balls with absurd amounts of energy.

Ready to pounce! The boys love to wrestle.

Ready to pounce! The boys love to wrestle.

Henry is our laid-back “I don’t give a damn” cat. He minds his own business and loves to be an observer. It’s a special day when Henry lets us hold him for more than 2 seconds.

Cool as a Henry cat

Cool as a Henry cat

Henry can often be found scaling the telephone pole in our front yard, climbing trees or sneaking up on the neighbor’s roof. Henry is an adventurer at heart. He loves chasing birds and is friendly with other cats in the neighborhood, yet very protective of our house.

Henry on the prowl

Henry on the prowl

No big deal - Henry can climb trees

No big deal – Henry can climb trees

Oliver is our wild, spastic, madman cat. He is always getting into trouble and chasing something.

Oliver found a new bed: the crock pot!

Oliver found a new bed: the crock pot!

He loves to be right where we least want him to be!

Sneaking into Alex's underwear drawer while I do laundry.

Sneaking into Alex’s underwear drawer while I do laundry.

Wild as this little guy is, he is the biggest ball of love I’ve ever met. Oliver is happiest when someone is holding him and giving him really nice pets and cuddles. He loves to come under the covers and sleep in my arms in the middle of the night. Such a lover.

Always a cuddle bug!

Always a cuddle bug!

Most of all, the boys love each other. They are usually roaming the ‘hood side by side, or hanging out in the chairs on our front patio just chilling. It melts our hearts to see them cuddle together or when they clean each other’s ears. They are such good brothers!

Cuddle bugs!

Cuddle bugs!

They love hanging out in the bathroom.

They love hanging out in the bathroom.

We love our little kits and are so happy that they’re in our lives!

Alex and the kittens

Alex and the kittens

Me and the baby boys

Me and the baby boys

 

Brotherly love

Brotherly love