Bartlett's 2021 Year in Review
They say the first full year of marriage is the hardest one. But, for us, it was another year that proved we were better together! 2021 provided us with joys and sorrows. But, through it all, we had each other.
In February, John was laid off from IBM. He quickly started a new job a week later as a contractor. The new position allowed him the opportunity to work with AT&T again, a company he spent 17 years with as an employee. He was able to get up to speed quickly, already knowing the ins and outs at AT&T. John continues to enjoy this position and team as he can create and problem solve daily. His manager continues to give him rave reviews.
In February, Chris started his driving journey by getting his learner’s permit. He immediately jumped behind the wheel, driving Jess to cat sits and Dad to the store. In August 2021, Chris got his license, we are so thrilled for him, and now he’s happy to drive everywhere!
The first half of 2021 was a blur of “when can we get a shot,” “where can we get a shot.” But, like everyone else in the U.S.A., all three of us were very grateful to get our first vaccine on April 6th, with our second shot on May 5th. Then, finally, it felt like we could get back out into the world and one step closer to getting back to normal. (if only that were true…)
We said goodbye to two of our kitties this year. On April 23rd, 2021, we sent Dorian (gray) off to his next life. A few short weeks later, we did the same for Eddy (white) on June 5th, 2021. Both lived long lives, offering us so much love and memories. Both of them passed peacefully at home surrounded by their Mom and Dad with the aid of Laps of Love Hospice.
In May, we refinanced the house, allowing us to make some significant improvements and put Jess’s name on the title (it’s official now, no turning back, ha!). The highlight of the year was getting a new central heating-cooling system. And just in time, as a month later, Seattle hit triple digits! (And six months later, we dipped into the teens!) We got new garage doors, new windows for all bedrooms and part of the family room, a new water heater, and a glass shower door. We are so grateful to continue to improve our home.
We had a blast in our garden this summer. We planted flowers, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons, more pumpkins, more flowers, potatoes, and peppers. We experienced the joy of watching our “farm” grow. We would jump with shock at seeing new growth. It indeed was pure joy!
In July for our birthdays, we discovered the joy of Lazy Boy Recliners.
The vaccines allowed us more freedom to get out (well, for a short time, ha!). Jessica traveled to San Francisco to visit her friend Kayla in July. In September, she traveled to Maui to visit her Dad and step-Mom. And in December, she traveled to Pennsylvania to help her Mom and step-Dad get settled in their new home. John stayed home, giving the cats expert care. And didn’t worry. John will get to travel somewhere, sometime… :)
In August, both John and Jess had their first night away from home since their wedding, going to Crystal Mountain for a beautiful dinner. They enjoyed the freedom from the cats (Chris provided them with excellent care!) and daydreamed about taking an RV out to see the country one day.
Jess went full speed ahead in the fall, starting her Feline Behavioral Consulting services by working on the Cat Lovers’ Academy website and taking several more writing and feline behavior classes. Whiskers At Home continues to thrive, turning 12 years old this year. We have a fantastic team of seasoned cat sitters and were able to onboard three exceptional new sitters in 2021. We are grateful for the WAH team to have been able to get through 2020 and come out even more robust.
Chris celebrated six years with Lowe’s Hardware. In October, Chris applied, interviewed, and got a new position in the electrical department. Congratulations Chris!
In November, all three of us got our booster shots.
In the second half of 2021, our all-girl cat house kept us on our toes with their complex personalities and relationships. In addition, they surprised us with health issues that required us to have on average weekly vet visits for the last six months. So without further ado, here’s the update on our girls:
Libby: In the fall, Libby was diagnosed with Small Cell Lymphoma. With the help of an internal medicine doctor, she’s now taking daily steroids and a chemo medication every three days. She thinks she hit the jackpot! Nightly she gets a big bowl of chicken treats (with the steroid, but don’t tell her that!) Since starting the new treatment, she has been healthier, more comfortable, and happy.
Trillian: After a rapid weight loss of 3 pounds and loss of appetite, we found out that she has hyperthyroidism which means she is now getting transdermal ear cream for hyperthyroidism (twice daily Wet Willy’s!) She had an ear infection deep in her ear canal, thankfully now healed. The medication got her back to normal, though we are still working on gaining weight.
Ruthie: has exotic skin allergies, causing her to lick herself bald. An animal allergist prescribed Atopica, which is a nasty-tasting oral med. With Ruthie being the sort that will cut and run (emphasis on the “cut”), we were fortunate that John managed to concoct a treat with Duck Duck Goose, cat-nip flavored Greenies, and freeze-dried chicken from Cat-Man-Do where her medication is hidden. She loves her special nightly treat from Dad made just for her.
Penny: She has recovered from a wound between her shoulder blades, which we believed was caused by our recent foster Sam. It took a month to heal with medication. Penny is currently outstanding, and her hair has grown back.
Beatrice: Doing well! (knocks-on-wood)
Nakia: In July, she surprised us with eye issues we thought would be a quick fix. After six months, eight trips to the eye specialist, and many eye drops, her eye condition is now manageable, only requiring preventative drops every three days. She has a condition called Eosinophilic Keratitis. Besides those eight trips to the vet for her eyes, she got her regular exam and every three months anal gland expression. Without a shadow of a doubt, we can say that Nakia is ready to be done with 2021! We feel you, girl!
Harley: She is healthy and eats like a horse but maintains her slim figure. We're chalking that up as she's crazy with her zooming around and acting like an 8-week old kitten.
For those of you playing at home, that means our seven cats have four doctors between them; internal medicine, eye specialist, an allergist, and their regular primary doctor. I’m now seeing why we don’t have more new windows!! Good thing they are all so cute cause they are drama!
What’s ahead in 2022?
In March, John and Jess head to Hawaii for their honeymoon!!
John is in the process of being hired as an employee from his contracting job.
With a house with 27 windows and only seven new windows, we hope to get more new ones.
Jess officially launches her behavioral consulting services and has two intense 10-week behavioral courses lined up to start in January.
The three of us hope to plan a trip to Disney Land, covid permitting.
Keeping our cats healthy!!!
We love you all and feel so blessed to be surrounded by a loving cat community. We wish you all a loving, peaceful, and joyful 2022.
Love, John, Jess, and Chris