Monday, July 30, 2012

Letting Go of Good Mojo

The phrase "Life's not fair" has never been more true than it is today.
Photo by Dennis Chunga
Mojo, our treasured NJ rescue cat, mayor, farm mascot and indoor/ outdoor cat, has left us for bigger mouse hunts and filet mignon in Heaven.

When we first met Mojo, he trotted up the porch steps to our apartment in Fort Lee, NJ, looking a bit hungry but very, very friendly. We had guessed that his prior owners had moved and made the terrible decision to leave him behind. I was late for work because I went back upstairs to get cat food, and afterward he followed me down the street, almost all the way to the bus stop. He also greeted Matt at the door when he left for work later that day. A few weeks later (and a mean post-it note from a neighbor to not feed the cat...yeah, right), he'd injured his foot badly enough that it was infected, so off to the vet we went. An hour and $400 later, Matt and I decided he was ours. When we bought TMF, Mojo made the move with us and transitioned from urban kitty to farm cat with ease.

Mojo always greeted lesson students, the UPS lady, and any and all visitors. He sat on (and sometimes got in) cars parked in the driveway. He particularly loved to jump on a car with an open sunroof and surprise the people sitting in it. He played fetch with snowballs and would lounge around the barn while we mucked in the mornings. He was admired by many for his good looks, and loved by all for his charm.

On Friday, Mojo just didn't seem right. Matt took him to the emergency clinic where they discovered a fever and sent him home with antibiotics. He did not improve by Saturday, and that evening we took him back to the clinic, suspecting he had an infection in or near his throat, probably due to getting into a scuffle with another neighborhood cat. The vet thought the same, but we were all sadly wrong. Mojo had a mass - a tumor, most likely - that had grown so quickly that it was obstructing his airway. It was a shock to us because he was only an estimated 7 years old, and never had a breathing problem or seemed lethargic up until Friday. It was clear that his time was coming to a close with us, far sooner than we wanted it to. We made the decision to let him go Saturday evening, and while we are heartbroken, we know we did right by Mojo and made sure he was comfortable and felt loved while crossing to the Rainbow Bridge.

We miss him already, and we know the rest of our little TMF family will, too. He belonged to everyone. Although Mojo would say that everyone belonged to him.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Big Arrival

She's here! Our little girl has arrived.

Let me introduce you to Lyra Aurelia.
Just chillin'
 Actually, she's been here for almost 3 weeks - she decided she just didn't want to be a July baby, so she made her debut in June, much to our surprise.
Before we brought her New Milford Hospital
Long story short, I was suddenly diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, or toxemia in my 37th week. In layman's terms, my kidneys weren't operating as they should, being potentially harmful to Baby and me. The only cure is to get Baby out, and since we were relatively close to my due date, the doctors decided to induce me ASAP. It was a harrowing experience for both Matt and I between the various drugs I was on, my blood pressure being a roller coaster, I managed to get myself a fever when it came to pushing time, and Lyra had the cord wrapped around her neck - twice!  (Clearly this child has embraced her mother's flair for the dramatic.) The delivery was great though, and the end result has been an adorable little package that we're totally infatuated with.

She'll either be a pro rider, a gymnast, or a aerobics were a regular thing in utero and she is frequently kicking and kung fu-ing in her bassinet.
While I'm sure you're not surprised at all, she's already been out to the barn to meet the horses. Topaz in particular is very interested in her, but in a very gentle way. I think she knows this little lady is the next generation that will learn to ride thanks to her.
Smitten parents
It's been almost 3 weeks, and I popped on Zeus today for the first time in several months. He was fantastic and while the work we did was very slow and light, it was a moment of Zen for me and a reconnection with all of the moments I missed. While Lyra is worth every second (and hung out ringside with Daddy while I rode), being able to get back in the saddle was an awesome feeling!
About to bring our girl home
Time will tell if my daughter follows suit with riding. But whatever she decides her passion is, I think she already knows we're crazy about her.

Oh, and how did we come up with the name Lyra, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

When we were looking at names, we wanted something unusual but not weird. We also wanted a name we felt a personal connection with. Phillip Pullman wrote a trilogy of books called His Dark Materials, and the first of these books was called The Golden Compass. That may ring a bell, because it was made into a film with Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Sam Elliott (video).

Why did this book/ film resonate with us? Well, Lyra's a very courageous girl with strong convictions. But each character, Lyra included, has a daemon - an animal spirit guide that's tied to their soul. Matt and I both think our animals choose us, not the other way around, and we have our own daemons wandering around TMF on a daily basis. On further research, we discovered that Lyra is a constellation and its principal star is one of the brightest in the sky. That's when we were sure it was the right name for our little star.