Have You Missed Me?

So, I must be getting older, because I am certainly getting lazier. My last post was in March, just as Mike was supposedly getting over COVID. Well, not so much. He got sick again after he stopped the Paxlovid, and in April he was in the hospital at Emory for a week. They gave him a drug, Remdesavir, that he believes saved his life. He could barely eat for nearly 2 months, and lost 25 pounds. He has regained half of that. He was unable to read, do crossword puzzles, or complete simple tasks on the computer. Pitiful is the word, but he seems to be back to his old self now. Truthfully, I thought he might die, which I was not prepared for. The Emory team has started him on gamma globulin infusions to build up his immune system. He and Judy got their COVID boosters and flu shots 2 weeks ago. He is masking when he goes out, at least for any indoor activities. Hopefully we won’t have another episode. And, he is walking every day again, usually with Judy.

The other cats are doing fine. I am the only one not on meds or a special diet. I think it is because I am naturally tough, and because I get to go outside and breathe fresh air. And, full disclosure, I am a virtual cat and not subject to the same diseases that domestic cats are. You knew that I’m sure.

Mike’s book, The Twelve Step Pathway: A Heroic Journey of Recovery, is due for release on November 1st. If you go onto Amazon you can see it. There is already a very nice review written by Dr. Vera Tarman, a doctor who runs a treatment center in Toronto. Other reviews are on their way. You can also read a snippet of the book. If you want to preorder it you can do so. Mike has a book signing event at the Berman Center on November 11th from 11:00 to 12:30. He would love to see you there. If you are planning to come, please buy your book there so the owner of A Capella Books who is supplying the books doesn’t have to return a ton of books. Of course you can buy more than one, if you have friends who might be interested. The information for the signing is on Mike’s website, michaelcowlgordon.com.

I am afraid that I am stuck in a lazy groove and no longer the best source of information on Happy Meadows and the goings on with our family. Sometimes I think I’m doing my best, but not really. I suggest you follow Mike on Facebook, Linked-in, or at his website. But, do know that I love you and am grateful for the love that you return to me. For now, so long from Happy Meadows.

A New Decade

So, Mike is officially a decade older. He turned 80 since my last post on Groundhog Day. Truthfully, he looks about the same to me. I should show you a new picture of Mike that he had taken for publicity use for his new book. I think I will try right now. Yep, there it is.

It was freezing here again this morning, so just took a quick nose-around. We had a lot of rain, but the sun is shining brightly today. Mike and Judy both had COVID. This is the first time. They could have been a lot sicker, so we are grateful for it not being worse than a bad cold. Mike is on his last day of medication, and will retest tomorrow. Judy has already tested negative. I can tell Mike is feeling better because he spent part of yesterday cleaning cat boxes without exhausting himself.

More news: Mike is fully retired from clinical medicine. February 24 was his last day at the Berman Center. He says he was ready to move on into being a full-time writer, and possibly a part-time golfer. He has not played for years, but plans to take lessons. I think it will be a blow to his ego when he finds out the ball won’t go nearly as far as it used to. But, if he can hit it consistently straight this will compensate. I plan to go with him to help keep up his spirits, give him swing tips, read putts, and chase squirrels.

We certainly hope that you all are well and happy. And speaking of happy, Judy got The Book of Joy for Mike. Written by Douglas Abrams, it is the account of a week-long get-together between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu where they celebrated His Holiness’ eightieth birthday. The topic of their discussion was joy. Mike found it useful and fascinating. I think you all would enjoy it if you get a chance to read it. Mike says he cheated himself out of much good reading because he spent so much time working.

So, time to move on to my feline responsibilities. I will find a good spot in a patch of sunshine for a nap. We love you and hope for nothing but good health and happiness. Until next time, so long from Happy Meadows.

Groundhog Day

So, today is Groundhog day. I don’t run into groundhogs in Happy Meadows, but we do have our share of critters, including a recent influx of a few armadillos. What will they think of next? I hear some complaints, but I am all for wildlife diversity.

We have had a mild and somewhat wet winter, but did have a bad cold snap a few weeks ago that damaged a lot of plants. I did not spend much time out of doors for those few days. It has yet to snow here this winter, if I remember correctly. Many of our camellia buds froze when it got so cold, but I think some will open. We shall see. The cherry trees and forsythia in the neighborhood are already in bloom, and the birds all sound like they are in love.

The Berman Center had a nice retirement party for Mike Sunday, but he is still working, so I don’t get it. I suppose they will let him officially retire when they find a new medical director. Mike has signed the contract with the book publisher, Rowman & Littlefield to publish his book, The Twelve Step Pathway: A Heroic Journey of Recovery. It should appear in print and as an ebook later this year. I think he needs a snappier title—something like The Heroic Black Cat. He might take my advice and change it.

He went through all his tests and is still in full remission from cancer. I think he may have nine lives. All the rest of us are well. Mike and Judy strong-armed Magi to the Extreme Vet today to have his claws trimmed. Good grief, he had some shivs! The trick was to capture him and cram his big black self into the carrier. It went surprisingly well, it seemed to everyone but Magi. But the other 3 cats did seem upset and hid behind the sofa in the living room for an hour or two. Mike has been taking Shayna Maidel to the vet every week for subcutaneous fluids, as she has early stage kidney failure. He and Judy tried giving her fluids at home, but she wouldn’t hold still, so they swallowed their pride. I think she is going to be fine. She and Jackson have their fourteenth birthday in April.

What else? What else? Not much, I guess. We send our love and wishes to everyone for good health and peace in their lives. Until next time, so long from Happy Meadows!


So, Mike learned yesterday from his agent in New York that he has an offer from a major publisher to publish his book, The Twelve Step Pathway: A Heroic Journey of Recovery. Woot! Woot! We are excited here in the Gordon household. Mike is gratified that his agent refers to it as an important book. Hopefully, it will be influential in the lives of troubled people who will benefit from seeing themselves as being involved on a Heroic Journey leading to recovery and self-love (instead of thinking of themselves as hopeless losers and drunks). Maybe the enhanced spirituality of people’s lives can overcome so much fear and hatred of self and others that we have in today’s world. We have yet to learn when the book will become available. Stay tuned.

Thank goodness Halloween is over. Nothing makes a black cat like myself more nervous than Halloween. It seems to me that people around here have gone over the top with their yard decor celebrating death and ghoulishness. It must be a way of acting out all the stress people are under: fears about the cost of living, (un)employment, the threat to our democracy, rising ethnic hatred and antisemitism. What am I leaving out? Anyway, I suppose it is a harmless display except for those of us who are black cats. There is quite a history of persecution of witches who have been associated with black cats. People used to think that witches could turn themselves into black cats and torment people in various nefarious ways. I have blogged about this previously. It is fascinating how the subliminal paranoia in our society can erupt into overt insanity, all triggered by fear. The fear of witches is pretty much a thing of the past, except that the phenomenon of craziness has emerged in the Q-anon nonsense. It would be easy just to laugh these people off as nut-jobs, except that popular politicians seem to be appealing to these people and gaining their support; and some of them actually seem to believe this idiocy, hard as this is to imagine. And these politicians are associated with the Republican Party, one of the two parties that have the power to control the government. In the last century we saw how frightened and angry people who were suffering financially because of runaway inflation after WWI allowed the National Socialist Party to gain control of the government in Germany, and we all know where that led. People who think that malignant dangerous people couldn’t gain control of the government of the USA are, in my opinion, kidding themselves. We have an election coming up next week. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Mike says that today is the 36th anniversary of the death of his father, Moses Gordon. His spirit lives on in our hearts. Mike says he was a smart, funny, loveable, hard-working man who was devoted to his family, and with whom Mike had a wonderful relationship. Mike feels blessed to have had Moe Gordon as his dad.

So, not much else is happening in our lives, typically a good thing according to the “no news is good news” philosophy. I will say the fall weather has been spectacular. Autumn is my favorite season of the year. For those of you who don’t live in the South and don’t know what tea olive smells like, all I can say is that I feel sorry for you. I wish to all of you peace, good health, and much love in all of your relationships, and until next time, so long from Happy Meadows!

Mike is Giving a Talk This Sunday, Y’all

So, hey there from Happy Meadows. Sorry for my infrequent posting, but it is so beautiful outside that I stay out most of the time. I need to be careful though, as Halloween approaches, being a black cat and all.

This is just a brief note to let you know that Mike is delivering a talk Sunday morning at the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Marietta. If you are interested you can attend in person or on line. I will be there in person, so if you come we can hang out together. You may need to use your imagination a little, though. All the information about the talk is on the church website. Services start at 9:45 and last about an hour. There will be a get-together afterwards for the in-person crowd for further discussion of his topic, The Twelve Step Pathway as a guide to the Heroic Journey. Until then, enjoy!

And So It Goes

So, for now, relative sanity prevails in Happy Meadows, the little enclave where I live with Mike, Judy, and four other cats. Not that crazy things don’t happen here. Now that Mike’s hair is long, there is loose hair everywhere, despite the frequent running of the vacuum cleaning monster. Somehow, Jackson manages to ingest a hair now and then, and on the hair’s way out—well, let’s just say that he has been known to drag certain items in his wake, much to the consternation of Mike and Judy. I will say no more.

But the rest of the world has lost its mind. Mike subscribes to a news feed on line from the Forward, a Jewish news agency. Originally, the Forward was a Yiddish newspaper, but times have changed. As proof that mental illness is sweeping the nation, check out the paragraph below, which I have copied from today’s story.

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania’s closely watched race for governor, Trump stumped for the GOP nominee, State Sen, Doug Mastriano, on Saturday, praising him as a “fearless warrior” with a “base that is so powerful and so strong.” Mastriano also received the backing of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who last week compared Biden to Hitler, and touted an endorsement from an Orthodox rabbi, Joseph Kolakowski, who defended the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and believes Hitler was part lizard. 


In other news, Mike is going to Emory this morning to get his Evusheld shot. This is a COVID immunization for people who don’t develop antibodies in response to the vaccine. While there he and Judy plan to have lunch with Michelle and see her newly remodeled office. Also, Mike’s literary agent says he will submit the book proposal to a publisher this month. It’s okay to cross your fingers, but I don’t recommend holding your breath on this.

I will keep it short today, but only because there isn’t much else to say (or time right now to say it). Except, that we love you all, and hope and pray for the well-being of our friends, family, neighbors, everyone’s pets, and the whole world. Until next time, so long from Happy Meadows.

A Present from a Neighbor’s Dog

Greetings from Happy Meadows! We went through several weeks of hot and humid weather, but it has moderated slightly. Thanks for asking. I think the next door neighbors are getting ready to move, and to take their big dog with them. They have been good neighbors, and Mike and Judy will be sorry to see them go, taking their 2 adorable little girls off to a new neighborhood. The dog is big and has a deep loud bark, but fortunately is fenced in, so he has been no threat to me. Mike and Judy have taken to walking in the morning because of the afternoon heat, which is better for me as well. Of course, I get out at other times also.

Magi, our big black 2 year old cat had his wellness exam at the Extreme Vet’s office, and he is now taking Prozac. He seems to be calmer and less aggressive, not that he ever bothered me—that is, not after the first time. I will say this for him—he is a quick learner. All of our cats seem to be doing very well. Shayna Maidel now goes to the Extreme Vet every week for fluids to help flush out her kidneys. I always ride along to keep her company and try to help her relax. She gets sick on the five minute car ride home every time. I think this is just an expression of disgust, if you know what I mean.

Last time I wrote that Mike found a brass fitting in his soft ice cream about a month after he had a post implanted in his jaw preparatory to having a dental implant. Mike thought it was the post, but it was instead a device that was supposed to aid in the healing of the implant site. Anyway, the oral surgeon said he would autoclave it and put it back in when he checks the post for suitability to go ahead with the crown placement. Mike goes back in about 3 weeks. I hope all is sound in his mouth.

The reports on Mike’s health are all good. It is now almost 3 and 1/2 years since he was diagnosed, and he remains in remission. He had his last infusion in June, but still takes 2 oral chemo meds. He and Judy are starting to get out more. They went to Dallas for a medical meeting, and just got back from Highlands, North Carolina where they go every year for Judy’s birthday. Michelle came over and stayed with all of us 4-leggeds while they were gone. She is a great big sister, and we love her.

So, what is this about a present? As I have mentioned we have many neighbors who walk their dogs. They carry little bags with them to pick up the dog poop. Typically, they tie off the open end of the bag, and deposit it in their trash can in the garage when they get home. Every once in a while I run across such a bag left at the edge of someone’s yard. I suppose this is better than not bagging the poop at all, but it is grossly inconsiderate. I have blogged about this before. Shame, shame, you bad neighbor, whomever you are! I found such a bag deposited next to our driveway by the boxwood shrub this morning. I suppose Mike will have to get rid of it, unless the miscreant who left it there is overcome by guilt and comes back to retrieve it.

School has started back in Happy Meadows as I imagine it has almost everywhere. Michelle resumes her teaching at Emory next week. So, despite minor complaints and imperfections, all is well in Happy Meadows. I hope the same is true for all of you, wherever you live. Until next time, be well, be at peace, and so long from Happy Meadows!

It Came Out in the Ice Cream

Greetings from Happy Meadows! Mike had coffee with his friend Rev. Larry yesterday. There really is nothing like friendship. So, Rev. Larry mentioned that he had not seen one of my posts for a long time, and Mike told me that my fans are longing to hear from me—mostly about how I am doing, but also about what else is going on in Happy Meadows. I am doing just fine, thank you very much. Same for the people in the family. Mike remains in remission, I do believe. He had blood work this past week. I looked at the numbers, and they all looked good, but why should you trust my judgment? He has an appointment with the PA next week. He will ask her about traveling. He and Judy are planning to go to Texas for a convention in July. I hope they get to go. Michelle will cat-sit while they are gone. He and Judy are getting out more, masked as appropriate. In fact they are going out to a fancy restaurant tonight to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary. This sounds like a long time to me, even from the perspective of having nine lives. Michelle came over yesterday to help with the celebration. She always has a little treat for me, such a sweet person. We all went to the Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw, not too far from Happy Meadows. They let me run around on the grounds, but there is a butterfly house that I was wrongly barred from. That’s okay. I will jump at butterflies in my own yard!

On the way home we stopped at the DQ for a treat. As Mike was eating his soft ice cream cone he felt something hard in his mouth. Maybe I am telling this part of the story out of order. So—A tooth that had a root canal filling done at least 10 years ago developed an infection a couple of months ago and had to be removed. Mike then went to an oral surgeon who installed a post in his jaw for the placement of a crown. This was accomplished about 4 weeks ago. Mike is supposed to wait 3 months to let the bone grow around the post, and then have the crown made. So, the hard thing that was in his mouth was—you guessed it—the post. Dental emergencies usually occur on Friday afternoon, late, but sometimes not until Saturday. This waited until Saturday, but to be fair, it isn’t an emergency because there is no pain. Mike will call tomorrow and see what the next step is. He already has a major financial investment in this project, and I hope it doesn’t mean the cats are all going to be condemned to Brand X kibble for the next year or more.

Speaking of the other cats, Shayna’s fluid administration is not going that well, and Mike is ready to take her to the Extreme Vet once a week to get it done there. Magi continues to be aggressive towards the other cats at times, and Mike and Judy may have to give him some medication to calm him down. He also has hissed and scratched at Judy, which is totally unacceptable. He has better sense than to mess with me, and for that matter, he never messes with Mike either. He is two years old now, so he should be calming down and out of his adolescent playful stage soon. We all hope so, anyway. There are times when he is very sweet.

Mike’s book project creeps forward, but I think this is par for the course in publishing. If the book is supposed to come out, it will come out. At least the process has not ground to a halt. Progress is progress.

We have some nice new neighbors across the street, but they don’t seem to have any pets. They do have an adorable baby that they take on walks at least twice per day. Come to think of it, that is a lot like having a dog.

The yard is nice again this year. We are now enjoying the day lilies, lantana, and butterfly bushes. The hosta are also in bloom. On the down side, for the first time we are afflicted with boxwood blight. Mike has been spraying a few places every week. For the most part , the boxwood still looks good. It is the original planting from almost 40 years ago when Mike and all bought the house.

Before I go I should say more about the weather, because isn’t that what people talk about? People Mike’s age also talk a lot about their bowel movements, but happily, Mike hasn’t gotten into that rut yet. Oh yes, the weather. Hot and miserable. And, politics. I am banned from making strong political statements on this blog, so what I will say, in the most non-political way possible, is that our democratic system is under the greatest threat since the Civil War, and I couldn’t be more upset about it.

Well, that’s all the news from Happy Meadows for now. I will try to be more regular in my pronouncements from now on. Be well, be at peace, and be nice to your cats and dogs. I love you all!

We Just Lost an Hour

Greetings from Happy Meadows. We had a mild winter and I got to go out every day until yesterday when it was so cold and windy that only my black nose made it past the threshold of the front door. Neither Mike nor Judy walked to the end of the driveway to get the mail, not that much worthwhile comes anyway. Mostly advertising. Mike’s late wife, Gena, still gets mail. She just was offered an opportunity for free hearing testing. She also gets emails, the latest offering her a supposedly good rate to refi the house. It’s a crazy world where a person can be deceased for 30 years and still be seen as a prospective customer.

Mike continues to work part time and seems to enjoy it. He sees a few patients every week on zoom. I think it helps keep his mind active. Oh, and he just bought a new car, a hybrid SUV (Hyundai Tucson). It is by far the nicest car he has ever owned. Drive it in good health, Mike!

I may have mentioned that Mike has been restricted in his activities because he has no COVID antibodies. This is because of his chemo. His doctor at Emory told him that there is a new product called Evusheld which is a combination of 2 monoclonal antibodies against the COVID virus which is available on an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA. However, Emory didn’t get enough product for Mike to get immunized. However, a friend from his Men’s group called to let him know that Wellstar was well-stocked, and another friend from the group helped him to get in to see a doctor there. A third friend called Mike to tell him he read about the product in the New York Times. Happily, Mike was immunized 2 days ago, and he should be good to go for 6 months. However, he will continue to mask and use good judgment about where he goes. He gets by with a little help from his friends.

Mike is also still working on his book proposal. Michelle came over yesterday to help Mike celebrate his recent birthday (79). She teaches English and excels at teaching writing. She was a big help to Mike yesterday. Thank you Michelle!

We just lost an hour and missed out on our weekly family zoom with the family in Israel, who didn’t lose the hour. Speaking for the cats of the world, this makes no sense.

Shayna Maidel has been found to be in the early stages of renal failure. The Extreme Vet has her on a special diet, which creates a whole new order of feeding in the house. She can no longer have access to the kibble which used to be available 24/7. We are all getting used to this. She also gets subcutaneous fluids. At first it was twice per week, but now just once. Mike and Judy are working out a method to do this with a minimum of trauma to all concerned, and I am optimistic. Maybe eventually this can be managed by diet alone. I hope so, and so does everyone else.

I will continue to post the news from Happy Meadows when we have such. I do think it is worth mentioning that it was so warm that a few days ago that the frogs started singing their love songs. Remarkably, after temperatures 2 nights ago around 19 degrees F, I heard them singing again today now that it has thawed. The tendency for life to persist is remarkable. May all of you persist joyfully in your lives as well as do our amphibious friends. Until next time, be nice to your cats, dogs, and kids, and So Long from Happy Meadows!

Great news!

So, Mike’s results have come back, and he remains in remission from cancer. He will continue on the same chemo regimen for another year until he is rechecked. But his last infusion for lymphoma will be in June. This is the drug that suppresses his immune system, and it won’t be out of his system until early next year. Thus, unless something changes, he will remain isolated until next February. But…there is a new product coming out, monoclonal antibody infusions, from Astra-Zenica, which will give the recipient immunity if they can’t take the vaccine or respond to the vaccine. The product will be in short supply, so he may well not get a chance to take it. If he gets it you may see him out to eat or having coffee with friends.

The holidays are over, and were celebrated quietly but effectively at our house. The cats always love to play with the dangling cat toys that Mike and Judy put on the tree, until we get chased out of the room. We hope you all had a blessed holiday season, and that none of you got too sick. One of Mike’s friends lost his wife after a miserable battle with cancer. And, it has been quite a time for many notable personages to move on to the next stage: Sidney Poitier, Betty White, Bob Dole, Peter Bogdanovich, and others who I am forgetting right now. May all who are grieved be comforted.

I posted it last time, but in case you missed it, my book website is michaelcowlgordon.com. So far no news about the progress or lack thereof on publication of Mike’s book about the 12 steps and the Heroic Journey.

It was ridiculously cold here today, which restricted my outdoor activities. I hear that people father north got bitterly cold weather and lots of snow. Bundle up, y’all! Stay warm and well. I hope to write again soon. Until then, so long from Happy Meadows.