Sunday, June 28, 2015


My Week in Instagram (Week #135)

It was not an easy week.

The week started off very well, and there were some really great moments, and moments of beauty, but overall, last week was, well, crappy.

Suaturday Night:

This is the last picture I ever took of Millie. I'm glad it was
this one. She was sitting on me, purring. Happy. Comfortable.


Sunflower opening

Duchess surveys her outdoor domain.

It was a Jane Austen kind of day.

Father's Day with Dad.

Figuring out my heart rate zones.

I made carrot fritters and they were delicious.

I stayed up way too late reading. 


I went for a long walk on Tuesday morning. I knew what was

Yeah, Tuesday sucked.

I have Harley's last collar, too. 

I reposted this was a recent one, and it makes me happy
to think that she was content, sitting in the garden, with me.


Hard to cry when the endorphins are doing their thing.

Went to Target for a bit of retail therapy and found this SO
offensive on so many levels.

We had the house painted.

Self care.

Found this tiny praying mantis on Mom's now-open sunflower.

Someone used our hanging teapot for a nest! 

Huge cricket


As soon as I was awake, Duchess came up to show me some

Throwing it back to the time I scaled Mt. Diablo. 

I had a good run on Thursday. 

I went to the Lincoln Library to study (and stay out of Ali's
way while she cleaned), but their wifi was down.

Tastes like summertime. 

As my fellow duck lady Amanda put it:
*looks down in horror*
This was "Dating Sucks, Part One" this week.

A toast to my baby girl.

Equality. Love Wins. That was a good moment in the week.


An InstaCollage of my girl. She really was a pretty and
sweet little cat.

My brother wasted no time sending me a sympathy card. Very

Dating Sucks, Part Two: This is my face when a dude is 20
minutes late with no explanation.

And this is my face when he's now 40 minutes late with no
explanation, or response to my "Hey, I'm at the bar. Orange

So at 7:40, I texted the "...?" He immediately started
responding. If you know you're going to be late, you text,
dude. He responded, "Shit Megan, I'm so sorry." But he
won't get a second chance.

The bar was near Charming Charlie, so the evening wasn't a
total bust! Two tops, two necklaces, all under $60.

And it was a lovely evening.

Here's to a better week this time around. I have a great adventure planned with Summer tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What's In A Name?

If you asked the vet's office, they'd tell you my cat's name was Millie Cooper, but that's only part of the story.

Shortly before my parents gifted me a 12-week-old torbie from the shelter named Punky Brewster, I had remarked to my friend Sarah about an idea I'd had. "Wouldn't it be cute, if I got a girl kitten and named her Millennium?" It was the end of 1999, and the Y2K fears were rampant. While some in the country stockpiled canned goods, I readied myself for finals and the Christmas season. I desperately wanted a cat, but thought I'd have to wait a few years yet.

That all changed on December 12, when my parents came up to Chico to "take me to lunch" and arrived with a little ball of energy. As I waved my arms around and cooed at her--meowing frantically and sticking one small front leg through the slats on the door of her carrier--my mom laughed at my excitement and said, "The shelter called her Punky Brewster, but you can call her whatever you want."

"Millennium," I said. "I want to call her Millennium."

Millennium, while cute, is a mouthful, so I nicknamed her Millie. It fit her. A week or so later, with Christmas fast approaching, and seeing how she made everyone in my family laugh, I gave her Joy as a middle name. 

Of course, 98% of the time, she was simply Millie. I would sing-song nicknames at her, including Millie Vanilli, Mill-Billy, and many more. Within a year of getting her, I met Summer, and she promptly started calling her Millicent. 

But it would be several years before Mom would land on Millie Joyful, and it was so appropriate, that it became a favorite. She was joyful--playful, quick to purr, affectionate. It was also the right amount of syllables to sing over the Hallelujah Chorus: "Miiiiilie Joyful! Miiiiilie Joyful! Millie Joyful! Millie Joyful! Millieeeeee Joyfullllll!" 

(Two words: Music. Nerd.)

Millie didn't seem to mind it--she liked getting attention and didn't care if I was singing or talking, so long as I was worshiping. 

At some point, I will get another cat--actually, I'll likely adopt a pair, because cats do well with company. I am already dreaming up name ideas, but it's hard to really know if a name will suit a cat until you meet it. As luck would have it, Millennium Joy suited the kitty formerly known as Punky Brewster, and we never looked back.


Millie was one of my favorite subjects to photograph, all of her life. When I jumped on the Instagram train, it's no surprise she was often a subject.

Going through my pictures is therapeutic. There are a lot of smiles and laughs. A few tears. So many good memories of my joyful girl.

What's comforting to me is that as I went through the pics I've taken this year, there's still a spark of my sweet Millie, up until about late May or early I can see that I wasn't ignoring massive behavior changes for too long. One thing about this week is that I've been questioning how in denial I was about her condition. She was definitely getting older, but it really wasn't until this month that she got very ill.

Here are some pictures from 2012-2014...


"What are you doing? Why are we not cuddling?"

Not too old to play.

"May I come up?"


This was a common theme.

"I insist you pay attention to me.


These next ones are all from this year.

Millie was a "wool-sucker," meaning she would suck on the
blanket as though nursing. It's a sign of being weaned too young
as a kitten. Harley sometimes did it too.

"What is so important that I can't get on your lap?!"

"I'll just sit behind you, then."

"See? None of your emails are as important as I am."

One way I knew she was pulling away is that she stopped
cuddling with Bella, though Bella didn't stop trying to get
her to cuddle. Bella knew, before I did.

Sitting on a pillow, on my chest/stomach. Bedtime ritual.

"Are you awake? Geez, it's 7:00. I've been up for hours. You're
soooo lazy." 

She knew she was pretty.

This was in May. "Got cookies?!" 

"Why are you on the floor?!" (I was stretching.)

She loved the garden. 

In May, she still enjoyed garden time, but started napping and
resting more out there, instead of exploring.

Towards the end of May. School was letting out. Mom and Dad
were on their cruise. We spent some time outside.

Still happy to make sure I got up early.

A few weeks ago. She was showing more inclination to sleep
on the floor, so I was happy to find her on the bed, cuddling
with Duchess.

Two weeks ago, after her first appointment with Dr. Ann. We
had high hopes.

The next day. I let her come outside while I worked out. She
was tired, but in good spirits.

After a few days on thyroid meds, she seemed to be getting
some of her sass back. 

I was hopeful...but sadly, a few days after this picture, she
started to turn. It's likely she was very ill. I know in my heart
it was her time to go. Doesn't make it any easier.
I think the hardest part of this wasn't so much the actual having Millie euthanized, as much as just how quickly she went from her sweet, demanding self to being completely without energy or joy anymore. I wasn't ready for it--but to be honest, I wouldn't be ready in a year, or two, or more. I'd never have been ready for it. 

Last night, I took a last Millie-related picture on Instagram. It was a glass of wine, in the garden. "To Millie," I captioned it. Rest well, Ms. Joyful.