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How I’m dealing with the BFN



Carpet-lined ledge makes for one happy Euclid.

As I adjust my BFN and the idea that this whole IVF thing might not work, my energies are shifting from obsessing over my uterus to obsessing over the happiness of my cats.

We have too many cats, but are incredibly dedicated to them. Both the Professor and I take the contracts we signed to care for and love these animals until death do we part very seriously. So when cat contention breaks out in Chateau Chelan we go out of our way to restore the peace. Life for the Large Fries* has been challenging lately. My cat, Yum Yum, has been especially growly and seems distant from the group. The Professor’s athletic cat has been especially “ambushy” and his rather dumb cat, Newton, has been extra, well, dumb.

Inspired by Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” we have started to put some serious thought and effort into how we can improve life for the Large Fries. This week we ordered them some new toys and have vowed to have play time every morning and evening to help wear the ambushing cat out and to make Yum Yum feel like she is less the sad, lonely small fry on the floor and more like one of the Large Fries. We also ordered a few toys that will hopefully entertain them during the day when we are gone.

I know she looks a little miffed here – Yum Yum is not a big fan of the camera – but I promise she loves her carpet square!

All this started last weekend, post sad BFN, when I found carpet samples on sale at the thrift store for $2 a piece. I snagged several of the cream-colored ones and cut two of them to line the window ledges in the sun room. The third now lives on the living room floor for Yum Yum, who we have learned is a “bush dweller” thanks to My Cat From Hell.” Not the best decorating statement, for sure, but oh my gosh does it make my floor cat super happy. As soon as I sat it down she was sitting on it. Five minutes later  she was sprawled out on it grooming luxuriously. Such a funny animal.

This weekend I will be cleaning up the sun room and hauling up some old furniture to make some nice perches and climbing places. I know how this is going to sound to you all – like the crazy cat lady – but you have to understand: living with four cats in a small house is HARD. When one is growling all the others are on edge. When another is in ambush mode, everyone becomes a target. When one is acting super dumb because she is not challenged enough all the others start picking on her. It’s a vicious cycle.

So happy cats = happy humans. And a happy Belle = a Belle who can better deal with infertility and the looming prospect of a Plan C. And a Belle who deals better with infertility will in turn produce better blog posts > better blog posts will hopefully make for happier readers > And on, and on, and on!

Ok, no more blog posts for today!

* The collective cat herd at our house are referred to as “The Large Fries” after having rescued “Small Fry.”



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  1. meggola #
    September 19, 2012

    Having lived with two cats who didn’t always get along so well in an 11×14 studio apartment for a year, I totally understand what you’re up to and definitely do NOT think you’re a crazy cat lady! Your cats are lucky to have you!

  2. September 19, 2012

    Our Bruce is glued to any cardboard box that hits the floor. He’s been known to knock a pizza box from the trash can to lie on it. I think he might like a carpet square or two.

    Here’s to a happy Belle!

    • September 19, 2012

      I highly recommend the carpet square. Best $2 I have spent on the cat in a long time 🙂

  3. September 19, 2012

    Belle, have you tried pheromones? We’ve used Feliway initially when we introduced our two kitties and during moves (it seemed to help with the stress). For some it works, but others not so much (kinda like catnip).

    Glad you two have a plan for smoothing out relationships with the Large Frys!

  4. September 19, 2012

    Your pets are your children, especially when you are dealing with IF and loss, and they are totally worth the effort. I had been looking at some books on how to build perches and stuff for cats, and you have inspired me to revisit that idea. Our cat is dealing with a new puppy in the house–she deserves to be spoiled.

  5. September 19, 2012

    Our dogs are most certainly our kids and are totally worth spoiling!!

    Don’t give up hope on IVF just yet….

  6. September 19, 2012

    Your BFN broke my heart too. We are both pulling for you and the professor that the next one works!

    My ex had 5 cats and they loved milk rings. Every jug of milk was like a cat happy meal with a toy included.

  7. September 19, 2012

    I grew up with kitties but also grew into an allergy. It really saddens me that I won’t be able to give my partner a cat. He absolutely adores his mum’s cat who is getting on and gets loads of attention whenever we are there. Our babies will instead be turtles and a sausage dog when we finally move to a pet friendly rental 🙂

  8. September 19, 2012

    I love people who love cats! This doesn’t sound at all crazy to me, but I’m a crazy cat lady myself. Ha! I get new cats as presents for my current cats in attempts to make them happier. 😉 Happy cays most definitely equals happy humans!!!

    And don’t give up on IVF just yet. You’re time isn’t done yet. 🙂

  9. kerry #
    September 19, 2012

    How are the pee stick pledgers doing? Keep waiting for an update on them, and seems strange you haven’t updated. I know BFN’s are tough (I got one myself again this month), but we’re all in this together….

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