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My Aunt Going Home

Jan 16, 2010 - 17 comments

Well, for those of you who know me, you know  it's been a tough month for me because of the mishap my aunt had on 12/22/09 - it's not over yet.. We had a "progress meeting" on Thurs at the rehab center where my aunt is being "held hostage" -- so she thinks......and it was decided that she would be ready to go home in 2-3 weeks.

I went to see her again today and her ONLY agenda for me was to "get me out of here" -- okay, I'm on a mission now....because she fully intends to go home in 2 weeks, not 3.......

Well, I've got to back up.  There are a lot of things that have to be done before she can go home and "guess who" gets to do them!!!  

We have major cleaning to be do in her house -- yeah, that might be my fault because I haven't insisted that she let me do it when I go to see her, because she wants to "visit", not watch me work......well, that will have to change and I already told her that.......

Okay -- my "winter neighbor", Deb, arrived in the Sunshine State on Wed......but before she got here, she had offered to go with me to my aunt's, to keep me company on the hour and 1/2 journey AND to help get the house ready to be "lived in" again........

The thing here is that my aunt has 2 cats --- now don't get me wrong, I love cats or almost any animal -- but I also HATE cats because they have to have litter boxes and if the litter boxes aren't cleaned properly, they STINK. No arguments, please -- I've had cats and I *know* that if the pans aren't cleaned right, they stink. End of subject...

My aunt has a neighbor who works in a vet's office, has dogs and cats and is SUPPOSED to be coming daily to feed the cats and clean the boxes -- well, she does come feed the cats, but she doesn't clean the boxes properly.  She ONLY scoops out the hard poop clumps and doesn't go to the bottom of the litter box to get out the "pee coated" litter -- it just cakes in the bottom of the pan.......and STINKS...yes, it does -- don't argue with me... lol...there's nothing worse to me, than cat pee........ .Anyway, after a couple of days, the cats won't use the dirty pans, preferring to use the carpet -- of course, it's cleaner....what would we expect??

Okay, so I picked Deb up at 6:00 this morning and we began our day....first the long ride to get to my aunt's; then we really kicked into gear..Deb started on my aunt's bedroom and bathroom, concentrating on the "cat issue" because the smell just drives me up the wall.........I opened as many windows as I could and turned on ceiling fans, etc to keep air moving.  

While Deb worked on the master bedroom and bath, I began working on the living room -- I took my vacuum along, so we would have one for each of time to share

Everything was covered with cat hair -- no it's not ALL from since my aunt hurt herself, but most is.......Anyway, Deb and I made great progress -- yes, we did, even though I only got 3/4 of the living room done and there are still stains on the carpet......I even ended up taking down curtains in the living room because of the cat hair.......well, it was time anyway, because I'm not sure when the last time they may have been taken down and washed - if ever.  Well, they got washed today and even stayed in one piece----- when we left, both shears and drapes were back at the windows.  

Anyway, as Deb was cleaning the bathroom, we noticed a lot of things on the very cluttered counter that were dusty and obviously hadn't been used in a long time (remember, we are dealing with a 91 yr old woman who doesn't throw much away) and it's not polite to just throw away other people's things.  So while we visiting my aunt, I mentioned that there might be a few things on the bathroom counter that hadn't been used in a while and maybe should be thrown away.  She said "what things".  I said "oh just bottles of lotions, creams, etc".......She said "well, I guess maybe -- if you think some things should be thrown away, just do it"........Deb and I just looked at each other and grinned.  We have permission....

On the way back to my aunt's, we had to stop for cat litter and a new litter pan (we thought one leaked, realized that it really didn't, but the "gunk" (cat litter/pee) was so glued to the bottom that Deb couldn't get it clean and "stink free".  When we got back to my aunt's, we prepared the new litter pan, then attacked the bathroom counter -- remember, we had permission......Actually, we didn't throw away a lot -- just a few things that obviously weren't going to be used.  Then we cleaned the dust off the things we kept (if I go there later and find they aren't being used, I'll still toss them) and scrubbed up the counter....when we got done, it looked SO much better......

We ran out of time today, so I'll need to go back next Sat and finish it off -- my darling Deb has offered to go with me to help.......I could accomplish this myself, but you've no idea how much easier it is with a "sidekick", especially one who is willing to just dig in and do what needs to be done, without "invading" someone else's space........

In 2 weeks she comes home-- and I've got to arrange for home health care and whatever other "services" my aunt will need, plus finish getting the house in order AND try to keep my job at the same time -- yep, I'll have to be off some days; AND I must say that I'm not getting a lot of support at fact, I'm actually getting quite a bit of flack for all the time I have to spend away from dh...  OH WOE IS HE........

BUT -- there is good news in all of this ---------- my thyroid meds seem to be about where they need to be and I'm so happy that I actually have the energy I need to get this project done....yes, I am tired tonight -- I have a right to be.  I got up at 4:30 this morning, left home at 6:00, drove an hour and 1/2 there, then the same to get home -- in between, I spent hours cleaning, laundering, etc, plus the time visiting my aunt --- oh yeah -- I have a right to be tired because I had a long hard day --  the good thing is that I didn't "crash" by lunch time.......I am making progress here ---I'm just so happy that I now have the strength to get through days like this........yay for me.........

Now, I'm off to bed because I have another long, hard day tomorrow -- my own house needs to be put in order... cleaning, laundry, groceries, etc............I do have Monday off for MLK holiday, but will be working 10 hr days the rest of the week to make up for it.  Yep, I think I even have the energy to do 10 hr days again.........Oh since I HAVE to take Monday off -- I'm going to "play" with some friends that are visiting from "up north" -- watch out flea markets, here we come................LOL

Thanks and love to all my friends.............

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535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Jan 16, 2010
Thats great news Barb I am glad she is coming back to her own home ..I chuckled at your version of the cat litter pans I know what you mean , I too scoop it out but I change it a lot ,I dont scrub out the pan it never seems to be that bad, this cat here does go out side so I think she does' it' mostly in the neighbors garden ...You m,ay be tired but it sounds like a good tiring yet positive day ... well done ..Marg

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Jan 16, 2010
Yeah, margy -- I wish I could put these cats out to do "it" in the neighbor's yard...but, alas that's not the problem with the neighbor cleaning the cat pans is that she DOESN'T -- can I say it any more plainly??

Of course, I'd not like your cat doing "it" in MY garden cuz I'd not want to be pulling weeds, sifting dirt etc and grab a clump of cat poop...............yuck.......LOL

Yes, I'm happy that my aunt can go home, but I'm also apprehensive because she's so old and so fragile and I can't be with her all the time to protect her.  Now that she'd in rehab, I know she's safe.  I'm just frightened for her right now.  

You are right --- my tired is because I had a long day and worked hard -- that's not a bad thing; in fact, it's a good thing because I got tired for a day's hard work --- isn't that what we are supposed to do???

393685 tn?1425812522
by stella5349, Jan 17, 2010
good new... barb. I hope all this slows down now for you too.

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Jan 17, 2010
Thanks, Stella -- I would like for it to slow down, but am afraid it will only get worse for a while.  I'll now have 2 houses to keep up with and sometimes I can barely keep up with my own.  

I'll stick with my favorite saying:  "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it".

657315 tn?1319491387
by twehner5, Jan 17, 2010
What a God-send is Deb.  Her timing in getting to FL is not lost on me - nor, I suspect, on YOU!!!  She sounds like a saint.  We all need a neighbor like her, even if she IS "just" a seasonal one!  Thank HER for us, too!  (Cuz "any friend of YOURS, is a friend of "ours"...  Hey, we take this stuff personally.  What affects our friend, affects us, okay?)

Let me see here...You are blessed for having Deb...Your aunt is blessed for having YOU...Oh, yeah!  A biggee!  Your thyroid meds seem FINALLY to be better adjusted, so another blessing in YOUR column.  I see things moving along well.

I do understand your concern for Angie...for her fragility and the transition home.  Keep us informed on her progress.  I know she "insists" on the home-going at just 2 more weeks, but we can pray that it won't be ANY sooner than it SHOULD be - for EVERYONE'S sake and peace of mind!

I pray that Deb had a blessed day as "it is more blessed to give than to receive."  She sure is a giving person!  

I have 2 cats and I completely agree with you about litter pans.  YIKES!  I choose to clean them myself because no one else does them to MY satisfaction.  Well, my husband did, but he's in another state.  Darn it!  I miss that guy.   lol  We choose to have 2 pans just in case I don't get to them right away.  

I also have ONE huge advantage...a basement!  I didn't have an "inside" cat when we lived in FL.  She was just SO independent and INSISTED on going in and out at will.  Moving up here, I realized that having a basement was AWESOME!  I never have to worry about whether or not the house stinks like "cat."

Next weekend, you might think about you and Deb digging a basement under your Aunt's house...?

483733 tn?1326798446
by TrudieC, Jan 17, 2010
Thank God you have such a wonderful friend.  That is maddening that someone who works with animals would do such a shoddy job of the cat litter.  Like Twehner5 I have 2 boxes for my 2 cats and am the only one who cleans them right (actually, when I travel my guys don't clean them at all).  I hope when I am older that my son or someone else in my family will be there like you are for your aunt.  Hope all works out well for her homecoming.

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Jan 17, 2010
Well, my aunt has actually "3" litter boxes, one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom and one in the screen porch, although the cats have not been in the porch much because of the cold weather we've had, so that pan didn't get used.  So 2 boxes, 2 cats -- how hard should it be??  AND we even went and bought a new one yesterday because some of the litter was caked into the pan so badly  that it wouldn't come lose; plus we thought the old one was leaking, but realized later it really wasn't -- we tossed it anyway, just because it was nasty!!  

Twe -- I actually think Deb rather enjoyed herself; it was all I could do to get her to stop to go visit Angie, then when we got back, she dug right in again.  

We both had a sense of accomplishment and the best thing for me was that I didn't have to make the trip all by myself.  I wouldn't have cared if Deb didn't raise a finger -- I was just happy for the company.  

You guys are all so sweet -- thanks for being my friends.

Avatar universal
by Smilerdeb, Feb 04, 2010
I dont know about where you are but theres a kittu litter here in Oz that has a 'no pong' lol.
Its not like yr usual kitty litter.
This one tends to 'crystalise' and the 'poop and piddles' disintegrate into the litter and doesnt need changing for 3-4 weeks.
Promise theres no smell either!
I'll find out the name of it as they use it in the Nursing Homes.
As much as your Aunt is a pain in the rear lol...let her have her Cats as they are her life.
Older people as you know...tend to enjoy the company and thats probably why shes lived to the ripe old age she is.
Good on you for being her 'Angel'.
Hugs xxx

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Feb 04, 2010
Wow - I would love to know what THAT litter is.  Anything that will disintegrate the "nasty's" is my kind of stuff.  

No, I would never dream of taking her cats away from her. They are her life and without them, she'd be lost and ever so lonely.  She's home now for almost a week and the problem is that she can't bend, due to her back injuries, so cleaning the boxes is difficult at best.  I'm looking into having someone come in daily to help her with things like that. Well, at least there IS help.  She's so horribly stubborn and independent, I just don't know if she will accept it.  I'll have to talk to her about it this weekend.  Wish me luck.  

Avatar universal
by Smilerdeb, Feb 04, 2010
Approach the home help subject GENTLY as most people her age are convinced that any stranger in their home is out to rob them! lol
I'll find out the name of the kitty litter for you.
It actually dissolves the poopy bits and urine lol.
Keep watching this
Hugs xxx

535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Feb 04, 2010
its all good news Barb I am so glad she home and got her wonderful niece and her kitties, and her litter boxes Its a success story .....

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Feb 05, 2010
Thanks Deb - would love to know about that litter.  

And yes, I will approach the home help VERY cautiously.  This person is SO independent - any hint of her not being able to do something, only makes her more determined to do it.  This can be a recipe for disaster considering the fractures in her vertebrae, not to mention that she has stage 4 osteoporosis.  

Margy -- right now, it's a success; let's just pray that it continues to be.  

You guys don't know how much I appreciate your support.  

393685 tn?1425812522
by stella5349, Feb 05, 2010
I hope you are doing well with all this Barb.

Thinking of you..

483733 tn?1326798446
by TrudieC, Feb 05, 2010
Barb, so wish your stress level was more under control.  You are in such a tough position.  Hope she can accept the help and continue on independently.  

Hugs to you,

Avatar universal
by Smilerdeb, Mar 12, 2010
Hope this helps....sorry for the delay.

Silica gel litter, often referred to as "crystal litter", is a porous granular form of sodium silicate, has the highest absorbency of any litter, and has excellent moisture control and complete odor elimination for an extended period of time compared to other litters.

Some praise its absorbency because 4–5 lb (2 kg) can absorb liquid and odor for up to 30 days for one healthy normal weight cat. It is important to lightly stir the crystals daily while scooping the solid waste, otherwise urine can pool in the box.

649848 tn?1534633700
by Barb135, Mar 12, 2010
Thanks Deb -- I'm looking into it.  Auntie just went through another hospital stay and we have to make some serious changes, without making her give up her cats.............

1220571 tn?1274841195
by sharon_lee, Apr 02, 2010
Awesome Barb...
Has anyone on here heard of the book, the Thyroid Solution? If so please share your honest thoughts with me! Just had a call from a lady from Church, and she is very new to this thyroid issue, and is not at all happy with her Dr.

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