2011 – A Year in Review

Much like 2010, for me 2011 was a year of growth.  There was change and heartache and uncertainty, but there was also much to celebrate.

When I was much younger, I always thought that life would be better, easier, when I was “older”. Then I got older and it wasn’t any easier – in fact it was harder – and I would tell myself that life would be better when [insert reason here]. Now I’ve realised that this is just life, and with the great losses also come great wins – that life is sometimes incredibly painful, but it can also be extraordinary.

This thing that I’m living, this is life.

And so I present my wrap-up of 2011 –

There were babies born

2011 was the year that some very special babes came into this world.

In January, a dear friend had a very special, brave little boy – a little boy that I am very much looking forward to meeting in a week.

In September, my lovely friend Little Miss Moi had her little Harrie – and just as I do her big sister, I completely adore her.

In October, I found myself with a nephew – a little brother for Niece Posy. Nephew Posy is the most handsome little man, and I am smitten.

Friends moved away, new friends were made, current friendships were strengthened

Living in PosyTown, people come and go frequently, and 2011 was no exception. We said goodbye to friends throughout the year, and while it was sad at the time, I know I will see them again – and I know that one day soon it will be our turn to move away. We made some wonderful new friends throughout the year, and I feel that current friendships (both near and far) have gone from strength to strength.

There were trips interstate

Mr Posy and I didn’t take a lot of time off in 2011, but we did manage to get down to Melbourne in March/April for Niece Posy’s baptism, and to Sydney in June so Mr Posy could attend a work conference, with a couple of extra days on the side to relax. Both trips, while short, were exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries.

The C-word, Part II

While 2010 was the year that we discovered my mum had breast cancer, 2011 was the year that we beat it with chemo. It is of course still early days, but the worst of the battle is over.

There were great achievements

After four years in my current workplace, in April I finally won a permanent position – the position that I had been “acting” in for nine months at the time. I have a terrific team, and together we had an incredibly successful work year – cyclones and all.

I completed a second triathlon (the same beginners triathlon that I completed in 2010) – but I managed to shave FIVE MINUTES off my previous time. I felt like I was going to die on the last leg of the run, but, somehow, I stumbled over the finish line.

Weddings were celebrated

My childhood best friend got married in August, and I had the honour of being her bridesmaid. The wedding was a beautiful affair, held on their family’s property.

I was also fortunate to watch another dear friend get married, in a gorgeous ceremony, with a fairytale reception outside under the stars.

A new addition

Always one with my feet firmly in the dog-loving-camp, nobody was more surprised than my cat-loving Mr Posy when I finally agreed to us getting a cat. PosyKitty arrived in July and wormed her way into my heart. She is truly the sweetest little thing, and Niece Posy is completely obsessed with her.

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2012 is already shaping up to be another big year. Mr Posy and I are heading down to Sydney this weekend – for a very special little boy’s baptism and 1st birthday, and to celebrate my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary.

There are big things on the horizon for the Posy family this year, and I cannot wait.

A new addition…

There are two types of people in the world – those that like dogs, and those that like cats. I’ve always had my feet firmly in the dog-loving-camp; Mr Posy on the other hand has always been a cat-person.

The last (and only) time I had a cat was when I was 4 and we lived on a farm. The kitten attacked me, and I’ve been afraid of cats ever since. Bizarrely, the crazy rooster that used to attack Mum and me every morning didn’t leave the same emotional scar. I guess it’s not every day that you encounter a rooster.

Cats are spiteful little creatures. Sensing my dislike for them, they’d be sure to rub against my legs or perch themselves in my lap when I’d visit cat-ruling households. I’d be paralysed by fear, too scared to move, waiting for the cat’s next move, where it would surely slash me. I wasn’t just afraid of cats, I was terrified. A fear I didn’t share with a lot of people… “You’re afraid of cats?”, they’d question, incredulous. “Oh well, you know, I was attacked… by a pack of feral cats… when I was much smaller,” I’d mumble in reply.

Mr Posy has never pushed the issue of getting a cat. We have PosyDog, who is rather cat-like, so I figured that was a good compromise (considering I’d originally wanted a much larger dog, like a Boxer or a Shar Pei, but Mr Posy wasn’t a fan). Apparently, having a dog that has cat-like qualities (such as sleeping on the back of the lounge or on bookcases) is not the same thing as having a cat.

It all started back in February, when a friend, the lovely Miss B, sent me a picture message of a friend’s new kitty – a British Short Hair. “She’s gorgeous!” I exclaimed, “Don’t tell Mr Posy I said that…”. The seed had been sown.

A couple of months later we were out for dinner and drinks with these friends, where they later invited us back to their apartment for coffee and to meet their kitten. I could feel my anxiety rising, but too embarrassed to admit that I was scared of a kitten, we accepted the invitation.

Oh em gee.

The kitten was ridiculously cute.

Thanks to a few too many wines, I made the mistake of making the off-the-cuff remark that “I could handle a cat like that”. That was all Mr Posy needed to hear. I’d somehow agreed to a getting cat.

For months, I would curl up on the couch only to find Mr Posy researching kittens and breeders on the iPad. He was obsessed. I’d never seen him so excited about anything. Finally, he found a breeder with a little female lilac British Short Hair. “Yeah, okay, she’s pretty cute”, I reluctantly agreed.

This was how I found myself at the airport on a Saturday afternoon, a week ago, to collect a kitten.

“Do you want me to take her out of her crate, love?”, the very friendly attendant at the cargo delivery bay at the airport questioned. “Oh jeez no!” I exclaimed. I was terrified. I didn’t want to take her out of her crate. What if she scratched me? Even worse, what if she ran away? How would I explain that to Mr Posy (who was at work when the plane arrived from Melbourne)?

I got PosyKitty home, and out of her crate. She didn’t attack me. This was a good sign. PosyDog wanted to smell her butt – PosyKitty hissed at her. This was not a good sign. I started freaking out.

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have expected PosyDog and PosyKitty to be best friends straight away. PosyKitty had just been taken away from her parents, shoved in a cage and put on a four hour flight, and then plucked out of her cage by somebody new (and equally terrified of her…) in a completely foreign destination.

I needn’t have worried. A week later and they’re completely smitten with each other.

As for me and PosyKitty…  Well, I’m still constantly afraid that she’s going to turn on me (much to Mr Posy’s amusement), but she’s wormed her way into my heart. She follows me around everywhere (she even tried climbing into the shower with me), and snuggles into bed with me.

I still maintain that I’m not a cat-person. I’m just a PosyKitty-person.

Three

Today is PosyDog’s birthday. As the title would suggest, my furchild is three. Hiphiphooray!

Mr Posy’s work colleague told him we should just hurry up and have human children. I can’t imagine why.

PosyDog came into our lives at a very sad time. Our previous dog (an Australian Silky Terrier) had a penchant for frogs, and an even bigger weakness for toads. We thought after the first toad (and an emergency trip to the Vet), she’d have learnt her lesson, but months later she went back for a second cane toad, and she died in my arms. She was five. I was distraught. Heartbroken. I didn’t think anything would fill the void in my heart.

A few days later Mr Posy told me that he’d been in contact with breeders all over Australia, looking for a West Highland Terrier puppy (we wanted another Terrier, but not a silky – my girl was one of a kind) that was available then and there, and he’d done it – he’d found our new puppy. PosyDog (then, really, PosyPuppy) joined our family a week later. My heart still ached for my silky, but the puppy-cuddles helped.

PosyDog has had a rough three years. She wasn’t even six months old when she broke her leg and had surgery to have a pin inserted. Not long after her third cast was removed, her allergies started. She was allergic to herself. Her Vet tried pills and sprays and dietary changes, and when that didn’t help, they took blood to determine exactly what else she was allergic to (the list is a mile long), so that they could send away for allergy treatment. This meant injections every day, then every second day, then every third day and so on and so on, until we found ourselves finally at monthly visits for allergy needles – with the odd visit thrown in part way through the month for stomach problems, or ear infections. Surprisingly, she loves visiting the Vet.

She came to me at a time when I didn’t feel I could love another pet again. She wiggled her way into my heart. I can’t believe that today she is three. Happy Birthday, PosyDog – I love you.

Things that go bump in the night

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PosyDog is afraid of the dark.

My once-perfectly-toilet-trained dog began messing in the house while we were sleeping. I couldn’t understand it – she knew where her “toilet” was if she needed to go when she couldn’t get outside, and it didn’t seem to be a problem during the day while we were at work.

I consulted my vet during one of her regular visits for her monthly allergy needle. “Do you think she has an infection?” I asked.

Hmm.” She prodded PosyDog’s abdomen. “Everything seems to be fine – she’s not showing any signs of discomfort. Perhaps you can get a urinary sample from her, and we can check it out.”

A wee sample? Who was she kidding? My dog will “go potty” when you let her outside and give the command, but I knew she wouldn’t be cool with me trying to get her to whiz in a pot.

I racked my brain. The Vet had suggested it might be behavioural, but it didn’t make sense. She wasn’t showing signs of other problems, she was her happy cheerful self, and extremely obedient otherwise.

One night, it clicked.

I was locking up for bed, when Mr Posy turned the laundry light off.

“When did you start turning that off?” I asked.

“A couple of weeks ago.” He could see the cogs in my brain turning – “PosyDog doesn’t need the light – it’s just wasting electricity.”

“She does need the light,” I countered. “She’s scared of the dark.”

At this point, it was a wild guess, but given she’d started messing in the house around the same time Mr Posy had started turning “her” light off, I was willing to put money on it.

I explained my hypothesis to Mr Posy. He was doubtful (and even argued that he would rather clean her mess every morning than leave the light on!).

We eventually came to an agreement that we would trial leaving the laundry light on overnight for a week. If she started using her toilet again instead of messing in the house, it was because she was a scaredy-cat, and too afraid to venture into the laundry in the dark.

Mr Posy is looking into night-lights for PosyDog. My bed-wetter (house-messer?) is no more.

I won’t deny the sweet sense of satisfaction I got from being right. I guess reading The Rosetta Bone is finally paying off.