Checking in

File under: maynard | weekend update

Thanks so much to those of you who left comments on the last post and emailed. We appreciate that so many understand our loss or can empathize. I feel like I should post an update. No promises that this will be especially coherent.

Pat and I took Maynard's passing harder than either of us thought we would. We had some time with her before her passing where we knew what was going on, and we took some time to completely dote on her with lots of love and all of her favorite "people food," just trying to give her the best last days possible. She got tuna, pork tenderloin, and even steak. We think she really was happy in her last days and that we did what was best for her...there is peace in that. Having a sick pet and having to make the decision to put it down will really mess with your head, though, even if you truly feel it's in the animal's best interest. I cried a lot and broke the no-crying-at-work rule at least a dozen times last week. Luckily only one coworker stumbled upon me having one of my little crying spells. She gave me a hug, shut my door for me, and then bought me a latte.

The family dynamic has definitely changed. Ruby is definitely more at ease. Maynard, uh, sort of tormented Ruby. Greta is sort of oblivious about it. Pat and I were both dreading telling her the news because she was super into Maynard. We did something sort of cliché and creepy and bought her ice cream and told her. Greta's response, basically, was, "Hmm, okay." That was really it. Very anticlimactic. The next night, out of the blue, she asked, "Why did Maynard die?" But otherwise, it seemingly hasn't even been a blip on her radar screen. (This is in stark contrast to the usual overreacting and crying that goes on in an average three year old's day.) The other notable thing is that Pat and I have been sleeping really well. Maynard was very aggressive about getting food, and she would wake us up multiple times during the night to eat, sometimes as many as 5 or 6 times. Seriously, we might as well have had an infant in our house for the last 11 years. Ruby is much more dainty about asking for food. Two nights ago, Ruby chirped a couple times and I ignored her; my knee was hanging over the edge of the bed and she pawed my knee once...and that was it. So highly ignorable.

Those things being said, I'm still really, really sad. It probably doesn't help that it rained nonstop the last two days (except when it was snowing), and rain is expected pretty much every day for the next week in good ol' Rochester. We did try to make the best of the weekend, and tonight we even had our first grilled meal of the season. I chased Greta around in the back yard for a bit and took her picture. I probably would have done this anyway, but it helped that she said, "Hey, Mommy, say, 'Greta, run around while I take your picture.'" I took the cue and went and got the camera.

You can almost make out a couple daffodils that blossomed Friday while I was at work. (Okay, all this rain is good for something.)

Greta and the daffodils

And in homage of Maynard, here are a couple recent pictures, doing what she did best (after eating and tormenting :)), hanging out with the family during our nightly "relaxy time."

Fran and Maynard

Reed family

Oh, and on a happier note, this day is an important day in Reed family history. April 5th was Greta's due date. Of course she made her appearance earlier than that, but I will always remember April 5, 2006 as being significant as well.



File under: maynard


We are very, very sad to say that our beloved cat Maynard passed away today. She went very sweetly and peacefully. We will miss her, including the sound of her clicky toenails on our floors, very much.


Rest in peace, Maynard. You will always be our "first born" and have a special place in our hearts.

Maybe we'll actually sleep through the night tonight

File under: maynard

Why, you ask? Is Greta still not sleeping through the night? She is, mostly, and has been for a good six months or more, but our cats wake us up approximately every two hours during the night to eat. When I say "our cats" I actually mean Maynard 99% of the time and Ruby every rare once in a while.
I've had our chubby friend Maynard since 1999, and she has always had food issues. I like to blame her previous owner, who would buy cigarettes for himself before he would necessarily buy her food and she would sometimes go days without eating (I've been told). She gobbles her food and always seems focused on the next meal. She got so fat one time she couldn't even clean anything except for basically her shoulders, head, and neck.
She is eleven now and with old age has slimmed down to what looks like a normal size, but she is just as full of piss and vinegar when it comes to getting fed. In fact, I think things might have gotten worse. This is in stark contrast to the fact that Ruby has mellowed a lot over the last year to where she is happy as a clam sleeping at the end of our bed every night and almost never begs.
And yeah, Maynard gets fed throughout the night. Why do we enable this behavior? Because it's unrelenting, and we don't know what else to do. She scratches everything (and she is not de-clawed), and she's very smart. She knows how to push the right buttons. We could lock her in the basement, but that would require locking Ruby in the basement (where the litter boxes are), which we can't bring ourselves to do.
Long story boring, I had some chicken on the counter today, and Maynard ended up eating approximately half a pound of it. This was at 5ish, and she has yet to beg tonight. I kind of thought she might get sick, but for the first time - maybe ever - she seems...content.
Maybe the old girl just needs half a pound of chicken a night? Yeeeah. I have optimistic hopes we might sleep a little more tonight than usual.

Wait a minute, I forgot my introduction!

File under: greta | maynard | ruby

For those of you who are new to the site, I thought it would be nice to introduce the family members. Those of you who are not so new to the site will likely learn some things too, so don't smash your computer just yet. There is way too much information to cover in just one day, so here is the information about "the kids." More to come tomorrow.


Maynard, a female cat, was acquired by unconventional means. In 1999, she was living with a man who has been nicknamed “The Bad Cat Man.” Mutual friends of Pat and Fran and The Bad Cat Man had threatened to take Maynard away from The Bad Cat Man on numerous occasions if he did not start taking better care of the kitty. One day, the friends saw Maynard (an indoor cat) frolicking outdoors and took her. These friends asked Fran to take Maynard for a month until they could set up suitable placement for her. Fran obliged, and a month turned into 6 months, which turned into a year, which turned into 8 years. Pat and Fran consider Maynard their “first born.” She is quite large and in charge and, at times, has tipped the scale so far that could couldn’t even clean her own behind, requiring extra attention from Pat and Fran. If that doesn’t say love, I don’t know what does. Maynard loved being an only child, and she was NOT happy when Ruby came into the picture; Ruby and Maynard are mortal enemies. Maynard displays an extra abundance of patience and restraint around Greta that she has never displayed width anyone else. Maynard was named after the lead singer of Tool by The Bad Cat Man, who, consequently, was a tool. (It took him 4 days to notice that his cat was missing.) By conventional standards, Maynard is neither pretty nor friendly, but we think she’s wonderful.


Ruby, also a female cat, is our “second born” and is a little bit of the black sheep of the family. She came from a litter of kittens from Pat’s best friend, Andy. Andy had originally brought Ruby to his mom, who begrudgingly took the cat (she is a “dog person”) and named her Holly. Shortly after Andy gave her to his mom, he went to Iraq. Before Andy left, we told his mom to let us know if there was anything we could do to help her while Andy was gone. About a month later, she emailed Pat saying something like, “Come pick up this damned cat!” A few days later we drove to Binghamton and back (about 6 hours round trip) one Saturday in a snowstorm to pick up little Ruby. The meeting of Ruby and Maynard did not go well, and relations are still strained. I swear that some day I will come home and find them spooning; I like to think they really do love each other deep down. Ruby is scared of all animals and humans and her own shadow. She is typically unaffectionate but will sometimes sit on Pat’s legs if they’re outstretched, and she will sometimes get in Fran’s lap and rub on Fran’s neck, which results in red, itchy welts on Fran’s neck. She is pretty but she is about as dumb as a box of rocks.


Greta was born on March 17, 2006 (St. Patrick’s day), so she’s like an instant party animal. She is a little over a year and a half old now. Greta can be a bit of a tough critic in that she doesn’t laugh or even smile unless she feels it is really deserved. Some things are inherently hilarious: being chased, “sneaking up” on mom and dad, and getting water sprayed in her face. She is also quite fickle and does not give affection freely. Greta loves dressing up, eating good food, doing just about anything outdoors, saying “no,” playing in water (eg, the bath tub, mud puddles, the cats’ water dishes), and anything having to do with animals. She also loves Elmo, bubbles, and dancing. She seems to have gotten her mother’s lack of patience and both her mother and father’s love of music. When listening to music, during the pause between songs, she says, “More, more, more,” while signing the word for more. Greta has a very funny sense of humor and is very pretty and very smart. She’s a triple threat.

For those of you who do know us should feel especially free to leave your additional observations about Maynard, Ruby, and Greta in the comments section.


Maynard insists she's the baby of the house

File under: maynard

Is that a cat in the stroller??

Why, yes it is.

Thunder Paw!

2005-12-19 19:41:41

File under: maynard

Friday night: We had Ruth and Josh over for dinner. We just had to see Ruth one more time before she goes back to England. We had the typical olives with cheese and crackers, followed by salad, garlic bread, and some chicken concoction. For dessert, we just had vanilla ice cream with gingerbread cookies. I fashioned one of the cookies to look like Mr. Bill. Oh no! Mr. Bill was eaten.

Saturday: Pat and Cima went to pick up our crib while I baked cookies. I’m working very hard at making everyone around me fatter so I can try and blend in. I call it Operation Double Stuf [sic]. Saturday evening, Pat and I had...a date. We’re trying to enjoy as much alone time as possible before our life’s disruption comes. We had dinner at Bocaccinis followed by the movie, Walk the Line. Lovely, lovely.

Sunday: We watched Love Actually (again) because it’s that time of year and we just love that movie. So sue us. Every time I see it, I’m amazed I love it so much. We also put the crib together and got the nursery rearranged a bit. We took a very cold walk, and then went to Wendy’s for dinner, because sometimes chili and a baked potato is just plain good.

All I want to do lately is bake and eat. Tomorrow, I’ve got my glucose test to make sure I don’t have gestational diabetes. This kind of conflicts with the weeklong potluck thing we’re having at work. Normally, I’d have no trouble saying no to baked goods, but I’ve just been craving sweets like crazy lately. Nuts.

Here's a great picture of our firstborn, Maynard. She's looking quite stately in this photo; don't you agree?


2004-06-16 16:31:49

File under: maynard | ruby

Here are some updated photos of our children. Who do you think is better, Maynard or Ruby?

Maynard kitty
A glamour shot of Ruby

2004-01-19 20:50:29

File under: maynard

A lot of people have been telling us they have been getting too much Pat and Fran and not enough Maynard on this site. So, we thought it was about time to give a little Maynardo update.

As many of you know, Maynard has been struggling with her weight for some time now; she’s a big, fine lady. Two month ago, we took her to the vet and she weighed in at a whopping 17.1 lbs. The obese vet declared Maynard obese. Since then, we have had her on the Hill Science Prescription Diet cat food. The vet wants her to lose 3-4 lbs. over the next year.

We took her to get weighed today and she weighed 16.5 lbs. Fran and I are quite proud of that chunky, little feline. She’s well on her way to being able to reach her own back and ass. Here’s a picture of our little baby at her biggest.

Maynardo the Wonder Cat


A message from Maynard

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