We’ve had two holidays since I’ve last posted, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Both were low-key and uneventful. We didn’t go trick-or-treating this year or hand-out candy because of COVID-19, but we allowed Damien to buy a new video game he’s been wanting so he was perfectly happy spending Halloween evening playing Pikmin 3. We did make Thanksgiving foods for Thanksgiving with minimum leftovers and played a civil game of Monopoly after dinner.
Due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the area, Damien will be starting distance learning on Monday through the rest of the calendar year. If everything goes well, he’ll be able to start in-person learning again in January. I really hope he’ll be able to go back to in-person learning. It was very hard on everyone when Damien did school from home at the end of 4th Grade. We’re making a couple of changes this time though such as moving Damien’s desk into his bedroom instead of having it in a common area.
Right before Thanksgiving week, we received notice from the school that Damien was in close contact with a person who tested positive for corona. It really only means that we’re supposed to monitor his symptoms for the next two weeks, but we decided that Damien should take advantage of the Taekwondo zoom sessions that are offered.
We’ve had Luke for almost two months and I refer to him as a sour patch kid because he’ll do something mean and hurtful and then turn around and do something cute and sweet. He has HOURS of energy a day to run around the house wrecking havoc and then cuddles up peacefully for his many naps. Surprisingly a single sheet of aluminum foil has kept him off of the kitchen counters, but it hasn’t stopped him from jumping on the dining room table or trying to stick his paw into your food. He’s so fast too! It’s probably because he gets so many hours a day practicing his hunting skills. Oh and he bull-dozes his way into rooms/areas that he’s not allowed such as the garage. He’s very skilled at getting what he wants. Where is that sweet, docile kitten I met at the shelter? lol
Today Damien tested for his yellow belt and he did so well! This cycle they learned how to do round kicks and he really struggled with his balance and form, but in the last couple weeks he got it! My only critique is that he still lacks some confidence. It’s hard to think of him as shy and not confident because he’s NOT that way at home. I’m sure it’ll improve over time.
Of course I have to throw in some pictures of Luke!
We’ve had Luke for about a week and a half now and we’re seeing a lot more personality! He’s now playing with toys and he seems a lot more comfortable around the house, even sleeping in places other than our laps. Here are some observations:
Luke was so OBSESSED with Scott’s beard that he shaved it off lol.
He doesn’t like to eat out of your hand.
He actually acknowledges his reflection in a mirror! He once tried to play with the other “kitten”.
It’s been difficult to keep him off of the kitchen counter and dining room table. Our efforts to stop the behavior seem to be making him better at jumping. There are certain foods that REALLY drive him crazy where he is relentless. Yesterday it was over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m guessing he wanted the peanut butter.
We’re still working on getting him to only scratch on his scratchers. He just LOVES to use his claws. On everything! He also slips/rolls off of things and then uses his claws to pull himself back up again, even if it’s your leg!
He seems to roll onto his back more for Scott than anyone else.
If there are multiple laps to choose from he seems to have a hard time deciding where to lay.
He doesn’t seem to mind a little water.
He’ll watch tv! Sometimes he’ll watch the tv or tablet. He seems to be attracted to the various sounds. I was shaking trees in a video game the other day and he jumped down to sit in front of the tv and watch me play.
He doesn’t seem bothered by Damien’s loudness (odd, I know), but he definitely was scared of the vacuum noises. He was even skittish a day or so after vacuuming.
We adopted a kitten! A little over 24 hours ago, we brought home a 19-week old gray tabby named Luke. He’s already neutered and up-to-date on all of his shots.
I was really bummed that things didn’t work out with Frank and have been keeping my eyes peeled for a friendly young adult cat at the local animal shelter. Well, when I checked on Wednesday, there were a bunch of new kitties posted and Luke stood out to me. The description read “Luke here, I’m a young, good lookin’ boy about 19 weeks old and I’m looking for the a good home with lots of pets. I’m all about the pets, really. Like, I am a world class lap cat who enjoys attention in all sorts of forms. I am so excited to go to a good home that gives me lots of kisses and pets. I’m a social boy who loves to meet everyone and I fall in love pretty fast, just a fair warning!”
I just had to meet him! So I took the last appointment available they had on Thursday and went to meet him by myself since Scott had to work and Damien was in school. He was exactly as advertised. Very cute and very sweet. He’s a little bit younger than what I was looking for, but they’re not kittens for very long. I had the shelter place him on hold and took the last appointment available on Friday to bring Scott and Damien to meet him too. There’s no way to could bring a pet home without Damien’s approval. Of course they loved each other and the rest is history!
Oh, and between Thursday and Friday, a bunch of the kittens were adopted out to include a black and white kitten named Kai who I was also considering for adoption (he was a biter). So I’m glad I didn’t wait.
The first evening Luke was very active. He spent hours walking around back and forth between everyone, only stopping to rub up and get pet before seeking out the next person. He seems to crave the attention. I can definitely tell he’s going to need some training and redirection when it comes to using his claws. He likes to use them a lot, whether he’s kneading on your lap or pulling on the carpet.
Today, Luke was a little bit more docile. He napped a lot and just slept on whoever was available. He really seems to enjoy Damien’s company and is very comfortable with him. It warms my heart because Damien loves to cuddle and loves physical touch so they’re both getting their needs met. He calls him Luke Skywalker and even sings to him. Luke doesn’t seem to really like to play with toys, but maybe we just haven’t found one that he likes yet.
Damien started 5th Grade on 31 August and after almost two weeks, everything seems to be going well with the in-person learning. It’s been such a strange school year already. We’ve never met the teacher and only saw a YouTube video where she introduced herself. Parents/visitors aren’t allowed to go inside the school, and each Grade has a designated arrival/departure door and waiting area. So when Damien is dropped off in the morning, he stands in a line outside of the school and waits until 0820 until a teacher allows them inside the building through their Grade level’s door. And after school they all file out of their door and wait until the parents arrive. I still don’t understand what they’re planning to do in the winter months. Of course there are lots of extra rules and procedures inside of the school too like socially-distanced seating in the classrooms and lunchrooms, sanitization stations around the school, and required mask-wear when not separated.
Overall I truly feel like Damien is so much happier being back in school and around other kids. He’s such a social butterfly! Oh, and he likes his teacher too! She even wrote me a message at the end of this week that said, “Damien has been a joy to have in the classroom. He has been working very hard!” Can’t get any better than that! The ONLY concern is how tired Damien is on school nights, especially around dinner time and even MORE when he has Taekwondo. We’re waiting to see if after a few weeks he adjusts to the new schedule.
We enrolled Damien in Taekwondo and he’s been going three times a week for the past two weeks. So far, he LOVES it. He’s super motivated and focused and I see this being a great activity for him. It also teaches so much about respect and Damien has really taken to that concept as well. At home he’s been a lot better about self-correcting his behavior. Exercise, social interaction, and confidence building with a side of positive attitude–yes, please!
Below are pictures after two weeks of sessions. He has two of the four belt stripes and he’s preparing for a belt test at the end of the month. He also made a friend! He always wants to go into the building early just so he can talk to HER. And they even make it a point to say bye to each other when class is over. It’s so cute!
Damien and I spent two weeks in Dickinson as soon as I got the “all-clear” from work to travel. I was a little nervous about the drive but everything went well. We definitely enjoyed spending time with the family. And it was a much needed break from work! Grandpa Dave took Damien fishing a couple times which is what Damien had been asking to do for months…although towards the end of the trip Damien was rather moody. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future trips that a shorter duration might be ideal. I’m sure it was a mixture of a lot of factors such as a recent medication change and all of the isolation from other kids and other adjustments due to the COVID19 pandemic. It’s been hard on all of us. I’m so thankful to have been able to visit my parents and brother this summer. So close, yet so far away!
And thank you to my parents for a nice trip! They always go out of their way to make Damien and I feel special and loved 🙂