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Shrimp & Apple Cinnamon Sausage Skillet

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

Occasionally, our Kroger will have uniquely flavoured sausages, such as apple cinnamon or gyro. They are raw sausage, not the precooked kind. This recipe was born – as many of mine are – from looking at what I had in the fridge and getting an idea from a googled recipe. This is a very easy meal and very hearty. This also freezes well, so you can double this and freeze half for a quick dinner later!

Shrimp and Apple Cinnamon Sausage Skillet

Shrimp and Apple Cinnamon Sausage Skillet

Shrimp & Apple Cinnamon Sausage Skillet

1/2 pound large shrimp (or whatever size is on sale), cleaned and cut in half crosswise, soaked in vermouth
2 Tbl dry vermouth or dry sherry to marinate shrimp
3 uncooked apple cinnamon sausages (or sub the precooked kind)
1 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
2 roasted bell peppers (jarred), diced (sub 1 fresh pepper if you like)
2/3 cup halved and sliced red onion (about 1/3 of a big onion)
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
2/3 cup halved and thinly sliced fennel (about 2/3 of small head)
6-8 sliced cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup basmati or any long grain rice, uncooked
1 cup chicken stock (half stock, half water)
1 Tbl mirin
1/2 can diced tomatoes with juice (fire roasted is best)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1.5 Tbl fennel fronds, chopped

Mix together shrimp and vermouth (or sherry), set aside. Put olive oil and butter in a large skillet over med hi heat. Open the sausages and crumble into skillet. Sauté sausage until it starts to brown. Add peppers, onions, garlic, fennel and mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the uncooked rice to coat thoroughly. Add stock, mirin, tomatoes and spices and cover over med heat for about 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if it gets dry. Check seasoning. Turn off heat and stir in shrimp and vermouth. Let sit another 5-8 minutes until shrimp become pink and opaque. Turn on low heat if the shrimp are not getting cooked enough.

Simple Gorgonzola Sauce

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

This is a riff on Ina Garten’s recipe for gorgonzola sauce. It is super cinchy and really delicious on beef or pork – or anything, really. I think it is sublime with gorgonzola dolce if you can find it. My newly renovated Kroger now has an extensive cheese bar, and I found a block of gorgonzola dolce ON SALE, which is what spurred this idea. I served it on flat iron steak and it was amazing. (See my Instagram!)

Gorgonzola Dolce Sauce

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
pinch pepper
1 tsp garlic paste
4 oz gorgonzola dolce, in pieces (or regular gorgonzola)
2 oz parmesan, grated

Put cream, salt, pepper and garlic paste on medium heat and let it simmer for 20 mins to reduce. When the cream is reduced to your liking, take off the heat and add in the cheeses. You can put over low heat if the cheese is not melting enough. Check seasoning after you add the cheese. That’s it! Easy!

Flat Iron with gorgonzola dolce sauce

Flat Iron with gorgonzola dolce sauce

Mixed Fruit Galette

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

UPDATED!! The dough recipe has been perfected! It makes a bigger pie and rises more.

I’ve been slowly bringing more baked goods into my repertoire. I can make a good madeleine and now I can make a pretty good galette! I use a mix of blueberries and peaches, nectarines, and plums. You can use any fruit you like, but if you use apples, they need to be VERY thin and the cook time might be a bit longer. The best part is the short dough crust! You’ll need parchment paper for this recipe. It will stick like crazy if you don’t use parchment. Trust me.

Blueberry and Plum Galette

Blueberry and Plum Galette


Dough
3/4 cup almond flour (grind up one small bag of slivered blanched almonds)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbl A/P flour
1/2 cup S/R flour
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, cold, cut in pieces
1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water (depends on the weather!)

Filling
half a pint of blueberries (check for stems!)
2 peaches or nectarines (or one of each, OR 3 plums), peeled, pitted, halved and sliced 1/4 inch
juice of half a lemon
1 Tbl cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Glaze: Apricot preserves
Optional but looks great: large decorative sugar crystals (specialty, by Wilton, I found it at Target)

Method for dough:
Put first 5 ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Cut in butter with a dough cutter. (OR put into food processor and process for 5-10 seconds just until it comes together.) Butter should be pea sized. Pour in half the water and work in with a spatula. (OR process for a few seconds.) Keep adding water until the dough just holds together and you still see the butter chunks. Some days it will be 1/4 cup, some days it will be 1/2 cup. It depends on how humid it is.
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Turn out on a floured surface, give it a couple of kneads and pat into a 6″ flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 mins – or you can do this a day ahead.
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While the dough is chilling, put fruit, lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar into a bowl and stir. Let it sit until the dough is ready. This step is to let the excess juice come out of the fruit, which will give a better overall galette. Stone fruit is very wet, so there will be a good amount of juice; apples, not so much.

Put 3 Tbl preserves in a small bowl and add just a splash of water to loosen it up enough to spoon on.
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When the dough is chilled, unwrap and place on floured parchment sheets, leaving the plastic on the top. Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out dough to about 14″ diameter, 1/4 inch thick – don’t make it too thin or it’ll leak. By rolling it under plastic, you keep the rolling pin clean; the parchment makes the dough easier to move right onto the sheet pan. This is a rustic type pie, so the dough shouldn’t be perfect. Move the dough on the parchment to a sheet pan (or pizza pan) wrapped in foil. This galette will leak and you don’t want it to stick. USE PARCHMENT PAPER!!

Place the fruit filling into the center of the crust, leaving all the juices in the bowl. This will make a less soggy pie. It also makes this a very low sugar recipe, so if you prefer your fruit a bit sweeter, add more sugar as you layer in the fruit. Fold up the edges of the dough to create a rustic pie. Spoon half the apricot preserves glaze along the edges of the crust and over the filling. Sprinkle with large crystal sugar.
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Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375F or until crust is nicely browned. There will be leakage, it’s ok.

While galette is hot, spoon the rest of the preserves on the crust and fruit, then sprinkle with decorative sugar again. Use a spatula to loosen the pie and remove any burnt leakage. Move carefully to a plate for serving.

Serve at room temperature.

Blueberry Peach Galette

Blueberry Peach Galette

Real Talk About Being Fat

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I know it’s en vogue right now to be “body positive” and all that shizz. But I have to tell you something: I hate being fat and I do not think it is ever pretty.

There. I said it.

I am still fat, but just getting my face back has been a revelation. You can see my eyes! I have only one chin!

I’ve been reading a lot of fat positive blogs and books and while I agree that you should wear whatever the fuck you feel like wearing, I do not agree that it is cute. I just don’t think obesity is a pretty sight, no matter what you’re wearing. I’ve tried really hard to accept being fat, but ultimately, it just never worked for me.

Which brings to mind a girl at DragonCon about 15 years ago. She was easily 300# and she wore the LeeLu Dallas white strappy thing ALL WEEKEND. I saw her and I was all at once hugely impressed and grossed out. It was impressive that she had no fucks to give and she rocked that minuscule cosplay despite the jeers and mean looks. I’ve never forgotten that girl and her bravery. Wonder what happened to her? Is she still fat 15 years later? Is she still as fierce?

Anyway, back to me. When I look at the few pics I have of me at 250#, I am stunned by just how horrible I looked. I knew it was bad, but dayam. All you fuckers who told me I looked great can SUCK IT. LIARS!! While I appreciate your support, I feel it was more for my feelings than the truth. So, thanks for the support despite your lying to my face. :P

I’d also like to publicly apologize to Nick, for ignoring his gentle nudges to be more active and try harder to lose the weight. And I’d like to acknowledge his continued love and support for all these years, during all the sizes and all the mood swings. I love you, honey, and I couldn’t have done this without you. Yes, I wanted a better life for myself, but I also did the VSG for you. I was tired of being an old fat wife. I’m still old and currently still fat, but soon I’ll be old and average rather than fat. And I’ll be much more able to be the partner Nick needs me to be. He deserves that.

I’ve only lost 44# so far, but I already feel SO much better. I’ve still got issues with the new stomach (Pouchie is an ASSHOLE), but I think I eat enough to start exercising again. I just ordered a NuBand Activ+ and I plan to start walking every day again. Starting today!

I like that I’ve dropped from an 18/20 to a fat 14 (Avenue is a fat store, so their 14 is bigger than a straight 14). But I can tell I’ve lost lots of muscle mass. I’m going to ask a bodybuilder friend for some guidelines to get my muscle tone back. I’ve got a lot of weight to go, but the carrot is wearing straight sizes again and being able to cosplay next year at DragonCon. I’ve always responded better to the carrot than the stick and this is no exception. The fact that I did Dragoncon this year and only had a sore lower back (no muscle tone) is AMAZING.

To all the fat and fabulous out there: good for you! I’m really happy that you are fine with your body and rock it daily. That just wasn’t me. I was never fine with being fat. Which is why I did VSG. I’d had enough of the fat and the inflammation and the sore joints. I’d had enough of my face looking like a bloated balloon. I’d had enough of the huge belly. I’d had enough of not wanting to go out because I hated the way I looked.

VSG is not for everyone, true, but for me, the surgery was a breeze and despite the reflux, it has been worth it. I feel SO MUCH better about myself as I come to my 51st birthday than I did at my 50th. Last year, I was beyond unhappy. This year, I feel a glimmer of hope that our future will work out. I’ve not had hope for a VERY long time. I feel like throwing a party! And I just might. My cooking mojo is coming back – thank the gods. The loss of my desire to cook was pretty devastating after surgery. But it’s coming back and that is another reason to rejoice!

I’m happy to leave behind the world of the fat girl. More power to those that are rockin’ it, but it just ain’t me. I hope to reach my ultimate goal of 150, but I’d be happy with 170. Even at 170, I’ll be in a 10 or 12 straight size. And THAT, my friends, is what I’m after.

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Etsy and Storenvy Marketing Tools

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

So, for all you small biz and artists out there, I’ve found some things in Etsy and Storenvy you might like! We also use Spreadshirt for our T Shirts, but I might move to TeePublic, so I didn’t explore the SS options.

Etsy: You can add a “mini” store to your site by going to your Etsy admin area and clicking the Etsy Mini link towards the bottom. You can set up how many thumbnails you want and the size and then you get a link. Simply add the link to a page and voilà! You’ve got your Etsy on your site. Caveat: You cannot choose which items are displayed. If you have lots, like I do, it’s a drag because it is not showing my newest, but it’s still nice to have it on your site. Here is mine: http://misangela.com/etsy-shop/

Storenvy: You can add a Storenvy section to your FB page via an app that you add in your storenvy dashboard. Login, go to your admin area and click the FB tab at the top. Caveat: not all my pages showed up in the app settings. I wanted to add to IDS, but I only saw POAS and TEV. So I chose POAS and it added the app button to IDS, POAS and ThinkWeasel pages. Fortunately, it did not add it to the TEV page, which would have been a problem. So, a little wonky if you have many pages. But it works well otherwise and does, indeed, put your whole Storenvy shop on your FB page. Another caveat: it is a generic looking icon that is under Apps, so people will probably not know to click it. It also adds a Store link along the left hand side. Here is what it looks like: https://www.facebook.com/indigodragonstudios/app/335383991105/

There are your Etsy and Storenvy marketing tips for the day!

DragonCon 2016!

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I gotta say: I prefer having a job to do at DragonCon rather than just wandering aimlessly. Since the good panels are impossible to get into and I’ve seen all the small panels I need for one lifetime, and I’ve seen every cosplay on the planet, DragonCon has little appeal these days. We’ve worked with an artist for the last few years, but last year we swore off that, partly because we didn’t know what would be going on this year and partly because we were sick of the drama.

Then Joystick Gamebar pops up with this awesome arcade idea… The idea that I had early this year. I contacted DragonCon in early spring about doing an arcade and they blew me off, so either they got the idea from me or they’d already contacted Joystick. Doesn’t matter, the upshot is that we DID the arcade and it was a smashing success!

Really, the only snag we hit was that not all our badges had the vendor sticker, which caused problems on Saturday when we tried to enter the venue. Of course, the Con staff had no idea what was going on, so we snuck in the exit door. Turns out, the badge I was borrowing* had a vendor sticker, so we managed to get the relief staff in, but it was a huge hassle. DragonCon needs to go back to using the flags like they did a coupla years ago. It’s easier for everyone if it is CLEAR that we are vendors.

*I misplaced my badge Friday night when we were out with Ted and his lovely ladies, so I borrowed one for Saturday. I thought it was gone, but NOPE, it was under the visor, where I’d put it before going in. DERP. It’s fun getting old and forgetful! NOT! :P

The arcade itself was a big attraction once word got out. The Powers That Be at DragonCon were happy with it, so we’ll be doing it again next year with a few modifications on the layout and we really want a disco ball! LOL

I’ve been using Instagram a lot since I discovered that it now cross posts to other media. It is very handy to be able to post pics everywhere at once. I’ll be setting up IDS and POAS accounts soon.

I owe you guys a video, which I’ll get done this week. I’m down another 3# or so since last post. Not as much as I’d like, but I’ll take anything as long as it’s going DOWN. Just 7# to 199, which is my first goal: under 200! More details in the video. Stay tuned.

My lower back and knees are being pissy about all the walking and standing on concrete all weekend. But overall, not bad for a busy con. I did a ton of cleaning and caught up on laundry yesterday, so the rest of the week will be TEV work and a few other house cleaning tasks. Cheers and welcome to Autumn!

Vitamins for Long Term Bariatric Health

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I am big believer in vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. I’ve used them since my 20s and I believe that they are the reason for my overall good health. I study vitamins and supplements, so I tend to get very technical when I am putting together my personal vitamin and supplement regimen.

I’ve posted about the various supplements I take, but I wanted to update that to what I am taking right now, plus some interesting information I’ve found about Vitamin K. First, the Vit K info!

Vitamin K, which is promoted as a helper for calcium absorption and often found in calcium supplements, has several forms. Turns out, the form most often found in calcium supplements, K1, is not the one that helps with calcium. Who knew? I came across this article about Vitamin K that I found very enlightening. What I learned is that K2 (menaquinone) is the vitamin supplement you need to help calcium, NOT K1 (phylloquinone). Here are the K vitamins and what they are for:

•Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found naturally in plants, especially green vegetables; K1 goes directly to your liver and helps you maintain healthy blood clotting

•Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, is made by the bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract; K2 goes straight to your blood vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver

•Vitamin K3, or menadione, is a synthetic form I do not recommend; it’s important to note that toxicity has occurred in infants injected with this synthetic vitamin K3
(Excerpt from “What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium” by Dr Mercola, from previous cited article.)

There is more technical info in that article, but suffice it to say that you need K2 to assist calcium absorption when taking calcium supplements. ALL BARIATRIC PATIENTS should take calcium supplements, especially if you are on omeprazole (or any -zole drug), since these drugs block calcium absorption. You also need Vitamin D3 to assist with calcium absorption, but that is in pretty much every supplement out there. I will add that you should also balance the calcium with magnesium citrate (2:1 ratio). You should also be on high doses of Vit B12 since your stomach was the source of the absorption and is now a fraction of its normal size.

What all this boils down to is you need to be aware of this balancing act when you start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. Lucky for YOU, I’ve done the math and found the right blend of products to achieve this balance of Calcium, Mangnesium, Vit D3 and Vit K2 for longterm bariatric use. I will cite specific products from Vitacost, since they have everything and also have GREAT prices. Use the link provided below and you’ll get a $10 coupon. :)

My current supplement regimen (My vendor is Vitacost. Use THIS LINK for a $10 coupon!):

1 200mcg Selenium (hot flashes)
1 Kyolic Kyo-Dophilus (reflux and gut health)
1 QuickDots Vit B12 chewable
4 Kirkland (Costco*) Adult Multi Gummies (double dose since they are not very high quality, but I LOVE THEM!)
2 Kirkland (Costco**) Sugar Free Calcium Chews (being replaced, see below)
1 Quickdots D3 and K2 chewable (to get the K2)
1 VegLife Vegan Iron chewable (When I can stand it – they taste nasty. I have never taken iron (not prone to anemia) and it makes me sick typically, but this vegan one doesn’t make me sick it just tastes gross. I try to take it 2x week. If you are prone to anemia, you’ll need to take this 1x/day or more. Your bloodwork will inform you how to dose.)

*If you do not shop at Costco, then you can get this substitute at Vitacost:
Vitafusion Adult Multi Gummy (identical to costco, take FOUR)
**This is being replaced with a balanced calcium/magnesium chewable: Pioneer Calcium Magnesium Chewable It’s pricey, but it has higher quality calcium and the proper magnesium.

That’s it. I’m still doing lots of chewables and gummies because I like them and because taking a handful of capsules can sometimes give me a little reflux. The gummy multi is not nearly as high quality as taking a multi capsule, but as I said, I like them and there is no chance of reflux. I will likely go back to my capsules eventually.

Another side note:
Since surgery, my inflammation issues are GONE. I no longer take naproxen or turmeric, but I think I’ll add turmeric back in eventually. I’m very happy that the inflammation has disappeared – it is a nice bonus from the VSG.

As I’ve mentioned, I had to go back on omeprazole (Prilosec 20mg) to keep the reflux in check. This is why I am trying to find the absolute BEST calcium plan I can, because omeprazole blocks calcium absorption and has lots of BAD long term effects. I’d rather not have my bones dissolve, so I’m trying to work out the best strategy. I’ll wait to get the results of my 6 month blood tests in November to decide if this plan is sufficient.

As always, I hope this information is helpful to other bariatric patients out there who are trying to navigate the maze of supplements like I am. <3

Getting in Gear for DragonCon

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

Slowly getting used to being without my cow cat. It’s been hard. Shasti is cute, but just no substitute. Shasti has decided to be a house cat. I had to actually shove her out the door this morning! She stayed out for 10 minutes and came back in to play and use the litter box. What is it with girl cats and coming IN to pee? LOL

Operation Osteoporosis is still chugging along, although I think I’m starting to feel the omeprazole becoming less effective. I had reflux this morning, for the first time in about a month. Boo! If it stops working, I guess I’ll have to try another drug in that category. Ugh, I don’t know. Suck.

DragonCon is around the corner. No idea what I’m going to wear. I may have to buy another pair of jeans since the ones I got a month ago are already getting loose. Yay! The scale is still wacky; one day I’m 209, the next day I’m 214, so I’m going with the trend and saying I’m at 209, which is about 3# down from when I posted the video Aug 2. No idea about the weight, but my clothes are definitely fitting differently. I eat what I please, but it’s still restricted to about 4-5oz. Protein is still a challenge. Still drinking a shake or eating a protein bar every day.

On the drinking front, I FINALLY got drunk last Friday!! I’ve discovered these wine spritzer things by Barefoot wines that are yummy, so I take that and add a bit more wine to it. Works like a charm! I’m SO happy to have broken through the drinking barrier! I still do NOT get drunk on less volume, which is kind of a bummer, because it takes me a LONG time to get there. Also, it helps if I don’t eat. Which is, of course, NOT a problem! :P

The provisions for DragonCon will be Vitamin water, wine and protein bars. I actually recommend Premier Protein bars for anyone doing cons. They are 30gm protein, very little sugar and palatable. The shakes are good, too, but they have to be cold. You do NOT want to drink those warm. EW.

The arcade game business is starting to get a little action. We had a meeting with a potential client on Monday. We hope they decide to go with us. They had previously spoken to another company who talked a good game but ultimately did not have ANY classic arcade games, oops. Seems to me that the TYPE of game should have been the FIRST thing to ask about, not the last, but whatever. The bad news is that this company is one of those that splits the game profits and doesn’t charge anything to install the games, so the client had a preconceived notion that the games would cost nothing. I hope we got past that barrier by reminding them that if they rent from us, they KEEP all the proceeds from coins and we take care of the games for free. I’m not sure we did. We’ll see.

Which brings me to a small rant about these other game companies. They use the old model of coin operated games that splits the coin profits in lieu of actual rent. Well, what if the game earns $100? Then you have rented out that game for $50? Screw that. It’s not worth it to us. We would rather just rent the games and let the renter decide if he wants to deal with coins or just do free play. We think free play is the way to go, since people will play more and therefore eat and drink more at your bar. It certainly works for My Parents Basement. They LOVE having the games on free play! But if they want to deal with coins, great, deal with the licensing and all that and KEEP your profits. The games might pay for themselves! But for our part, we just want to make a certain amount for each game, so we can figure out how long it will take for the game to pay for itself. That way we can set goals for the company and manage our money better. I just wish the Old Skool guys would STFU about splitting coins and get out of the business – they mess up our groove. We have a modern model of running an arcade shop that we think will work just great for all involved. The Old Skool ways are outdated now that full on arcades are nonexistent. Sure, you could make a living off splitting coins in the old days, but now people have 4 or 5 games, not 40. This is why we created our model. I just hope the new clients will go for it. ::fingers crossed::

OH speaking of DragonCon, we are a part of the ARCADE that will be in the gaming area of DragonCon this year!! The gaming area is in the Atlanta Mart and the arcade will be in the middle of that, so I’m told. We’ll have Simpsons and Sharpshooter there for sure, and perhaps the Gauntlet II, but it died (of course) so probably not that one. ALL the games will be on free play! There’ll be 15 or so arcade games and several pinball games. COME SEE US!! We’ll likely be at the arcade area during the day for much of the con. Keep an eye on our FB (playeronearcadeservices) or Twitter (@playeronearcade) feeds for all the deets.

The hours for the arcade at DragonCon are as follows:
>>> Friday: 1pm to 7pm
>>> Saturday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Sunday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Monday: 10am to 5pm

We hope to see everyone at Con! (Yeah, right, that never happens, but we can dream!)

Once again, life goes on…

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I got Missy’s ashes back yesterday. I put her in the pretty purple urn I found on ebay. I put her collar on top, like I do for all of my cats. Below is a shot of the memorial shelf with paw impressions on the left, then DJ in green, Missy in purple and Dickens in black – with their collars on top. There’s also one of Bernadette’s collars (the purple one), since she disappeared. I’ve got Hobbes’ paw print in with the others on the left. (Hobbes was Andy’s cat who went to CA with him, but Andy gave me the paw print to keep.) Hobbes’ pic is on the left, the other grey stripey on the right is Dickens.

Memorial Shelf

Memorial Shelf

So, Missy has been laid to rest. I only cried a little at bed time. I think I’ve cried it all out for now. But she is still the first thing I miss in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. Sigh.

In bariatric news, Operation Osteoporosis is still going well. The PPI has tamed the reflux. We’ll see how long that lasts. A friend with chronic reflux said that omeprazole stopped working after 3 months, so we shall see. I take one 20mg omeprazole (Prilosec) in the morning and one 10mg cimetidine (Tagamet) before bed. Getting off of ranitidine (Zantac) seems to have alleviated most of the ear buzzing; still got a little, but it’s mostly better. Still having intestinal issues, but I think they are easing off, too.

Life goes on. We drank wine and plotted our next moves with Player One last night. You just gotta keep moving forward. It’s not easy. But you’ve got no choice, really. Sigh.

Missy Kat: Dec 2003 – Aug 10, 2016

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

Today, we say goodbye to our old girl, Missy Kat. She has been on a steep decline in the last month and today she can’t even get up, so our vet is coming here is meeting us at the clinic to put her out of her misery this afternoon. She was unconscious all day, and the vet wanted $250 for a home visit, so we opted to take her in, which was still $125. I consider that VERY pricey and a little rude, actually. I had a big cry last night and I’m sure I’ll cry more today. It is going to be a long day. We said goodbye at around 3:30pm then took her to Deceased Pet Care after. The cremation service is $185 plus $45 for a terra cotta paw print. I cried all day.

Missy at Maplehurst 09

Missy showed up at my door when we lived on Derrydown, back in 2003. She showed up in the early fall and would come in and out with the herd o’ cow cats that were in the neighborhood at the time. I would leave the back door open and the neighborhood cats would come and go. One day, this little cow cat with a heart shape on her nose came in. She was very friendly and made herself at home. She was already spayed and in good health, so we have always assumed that she was an old lady’s cat and was abandoned when the old lady died. Of course, they always say that a cat is “around two” when you find them, but my vet and I think that Missy was more like 5 when I got her. If you do the math, that makes her around 18 years old, which tracks with her overall health. She’s been an old lady for several years now, since before we left Maplehurst in 2014. She has not hunted or been interested in going out since we’ve been here and she has been mostly deaf for over a year. So, she is VERY old for sure.

Missy stayed around the apartment and when it got colder, I’d let her in. One day she joined me for a nap, put her head on my elbow, and that was it. When we bought the house on Maplehurst in Dec 2003 and moved in Jan 2004, we took her with us along with Dickens (who died in Feb 04), DJ (May 2014) and Bernadette (MIA 2009). They were all so freaked out by the move that they actually SHARED the bed for a few weeks! It was a tight squeeze at night.

Dickens, DJ, Bernie and Missy 04

All my cats from this era are now gone. Time marches on. Sigh. I really didn’t want to have any pets after Missy, but Shasti turned up and, well, I still have a cat. She sort of came with this house. The neighbor told me that she’d been around for about six months when we moved in (Jun 14) and she is so pretty, I started feeding her. She is what I call semi-feral, but she has taken to being a mostly indoor cat very well. She chooses to stay in most of the time and I’m confident that she was an indoor cat: she’s fixed, likes knitted products and loves toys. I think she’s about 3 years old at this point. Shasti is very sweet, but still skittish and hard to handle – she is a big cat. This one will never take to being moved – hell, I can’t even get her into a carrier. But life goes on and cat bound I shall be.

Missy always slept on my elbow or shoulder. I called her a Pirate cat since she would lay on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. She has always been “my” cat. She likes lap and has always cuddled with me during naps. Missy has always had lots of personality and has always bossed around the other cats. She is my first cow cat. Her fur is soft like a bunny’s. She has pretty eyes and that heart shaped nose that I just adore. (Sorry about the verb tenses being mixed. I’m not used to being without her yet.)

Missy Kat Closeup

Missy’s shenanigans with chipmunks in her prime even made it to Think Weasel! I like this one especially:
2010-10-12_example_chipmunk

And YES she did bring a chipmunk in and put it in the bathtub. Good times! She brought them in quite a few times, in an effort to sharpen my non-existent hunting skills, no doubt.

She also had an obsession with water. She’d climb into the birdbath, lick puddles and especially loved getting into the bathtub after we showered. Silly thing!

I am heartbroken that my Missy is gone. She was a great cat and I’ll miss her for a long time. Why can’t someone make a cat that lives as long as we do? We know that their time with us is limited and we know the heartbreak that awaits, yet we have pets because of the joy they bring to us. I always question whether it’s worth it when they die, but overall, I have to say YES it is worth it. Pets are pure love and remind us that life is short, so live every day the best you can. RIP Missy Kat.

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Misangela

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