Tag Archives: pets


Meet Lois. 

 The children had been begging for a dog but while I want a dog, I do not want a dog. My youngest is finally in school and the last thing I want is something else to look after. I’ve picked up enough poop, thankyouverymuch.

Enter Lois. Lois was a stray who lived in our yard with her two kittens. A certain child started feeding her, the kids were begging us to make an honest cat out of her, and next thing she knew it, Lois was at the vet and sleeping in a bed. Even though certain people in this house may or may not be allergic to cats, Lois moved in.  

Turns out, the kids are less than pleased with the turn of events. Maybe you should be careful what you wish for. 

“You love her more than us.” 

“She’s your favorite.”

“You never talk to us that way.” 



Maybe. I talk to Lois in the same sing-song way I talked to the kids when they were infants — helpless and dependent and grateful for whatever attention I could give them. Because Lois reminds me of them when they loved me unconditionally, when they ate whatever I put in front of them, when they were happy just to see me walk through the door. 

In short, when they liked me. All the time. Before they started yelling at me because I bought the wrong kind of rice. Before they asked me not to speak in front of their friends. (“You may not even make eye contact.”) Before the eye roll. Lois cannot roll her eyes. 

The great Nora Ephron said that it would be wise to get a dog when your children are teenagers because someone will always be happy to see you. 

You could get a dog, or you could get a Lois. 


Filed under cats, parenting, pets

A Teaser.

This is how I spent my Sunday:  What’s that, you say? Where are you?

That is a cage with a stuffed cat inside. You get to play with one of these when, instead of preparing for Passover, you spend the day with the cat ladies of New York City at the midtown ASPCA offices getting certified in TNR.

What’s TNR, you say?

Trap. Neuter. Release.

Yup. Three words I had never put together until a vet friend of mine told me about them. There’s a stray cat and two kittens in my yard and I’m trying to get them fixed a humane way so I don’t have 200 kittens this time next year.

In the meantime, I believe the mother cat is pregnant again. She is determined to sneak into my house when I am not looking and lay her babies in the living room.

Have I mentioned that some of us are allergic to cats and I am married to a man who does not believe in household pets that don’t swim in a bowl of water? 

I celebrated National Pet Day earlier this week by secretly giving away the family guinea pigs when nobody was looking. I had no choice. I had to make room for the cats.



Filed under pets

And bunny makes six (if you don’t count the hamster).

Before I got pregnant with Francie we had a bunny. His name was Louis and although I loved him, his life was short and filled with illness. Before I got pregnant with Fiona we had a guinea pig. His name was Lumpy, and although he was an ugly bugger, he had a full, rich life, and even ended his days shacked up with another guinea pig named Trixie, which is a skanky stripper name, even for a small animal. There have been turtles and hamsters and I can’t remember what I came home with before Sidney, but if I am feeling broody, before I do anything real about it, we get a pet.

Meet Bun-Bun:


While she may not be heralding any new human additions, she does satisfy my need for baby talk. When we picked her up at the pound, her name was ‘Twilight,’ but I wasn’t having any of that. I went through a list of brownish items and Bennett liked ‘Latte,’ but that’s hardly a name, so I starting calling her ‘Lotte,’ which you pronounce “Lottie” — as in the singer Lottie Lenya, who absolutely nobody seems to have heard of other than me. (One day I will update my cultural references, I promise.)  But nobody really took to that, so we followed Sidney’s lead, and she calls her ‘Bun-bun.’

It’s not a particularly dignified name. But neither is eating while you crap, and Bun-bun likes to nibble on fresh hay while she sits in her litter box.

Here is her hutch, which M built with help from the kids.


It stills surprises me to be married to someone who can build things. M was the first Jew I’d ever met who knows the names of all the things in the toolbox, not to mention the different kind of screwdrivers. It doesn’t seem quite kosher to me to use phrases like “two by fours” and “I’ll sodder it later,” but M tells me that Jesus was probably a carpenter and was Jew-ish. Frankly, I find that hard to believe. I think his mother was pushing him to medical school and the carpenter thing was just a phase he went through to piss her off.

And now we are eight… well, nine if you count the hamster.


Filed under children, parenting, pets, Uncategorized

Mr. Bennett Pens a Letter… (I received this yesterday)

Dear Mummy,

I really think that it would be good for the family (as a whole) to get (me) a dog, and I would just want you to know that I have been thinking long and hard about getting one (this is why I haven’t been getting much sleep). Here is a list of who and how it would affect everybody.

Daddy:  Good: everybody will be happy and caring for the dog. (I don’t think that he notices how much more responsible we have all become.) Bad: He might be a bit tense around the dog, but over time he will loosen up, over time he will not have as many fears.

Mummy: Good: already loves dogs, will be kind and caring towards everybody and support everybody’s fears (of dogs). Bad: No bad here except for that she might have to unwillingly walk it.

Bennett: Good: loves dogs, all good, will be responsible and caring. Bad: may tend not to share the dog with fellow siblings.

Efram: Good: will help Bennett with the dog, and will also care for it. Bad: None really, except for the he might fight with Bennett over rights to the dog.

I, Lea Geller, will or will not purchase a dog for the 11th anniversary of your son, Bennett Geller.

Will:__________________                  Will not:______________________

Lea Geller                                                                       Lea Geller



Filed under children, parenting, Uncategorized


I have the flu. I got the flu shot, and I still got the flu.

Luckily, I had the good sense to have the worst of it while M was around. I collapsed into bed and only came up for air to watch episode two of Downton. Poor Edith. Poor, poor Edith. She didn’t have the flu, but she did get jilted at the altar. By a one-armed, old man with watery eyes.

Last week I promised myself I would NOT watch Downton looking like a scullery maid. Lady Mary wore one ridiculously marvelous outfit after the other (there was a fuchsia dress that had me gasping), and there I was in my ratty, mismatched pajamas. (Last year I resolved to get rid of all my awful bed-wear and replace it all with stuff I’d be happy to leave the house wearing. Apparently, I’d be happy leaving the house wearing over-sized striped pants and a bleach-stained tartan top.) Next week, I told myself, there would at least be a good nightie, pearls and some lip gloss.

Alas, the flu struck and I have no idea what I wore because I sweat through six pairs of pajamas last night and awoke wearing M’s clothes.

I have quite a bit on my plate at the moment and this was meant to be the week of remarkable progress. There are lists and charts dedicated to the ridiculous amounts of work I was going to wade through this week. Instead, I am drinking tea and watching even more work pile up.

Perhaps Edith would like to trade places. Even if it’s only for a week.

Bennett and two friends are running through the house bringing things to Tracy. Who is Tracy, you ask? Tracy is our new hamster.

Because I need something else that is awake all night and shits wherever it wants to.

I don’t know why they named her Tracy.


I didn’t have the heart to tell them that if your name is Tracy:

a) you were born in the 1970’s or

b) you are a porn star.

I suppose with a name like Tracy you can also be hamster.

Welcome to the funny farm, Tracy.


Filed under children, parenting, Seattle

Dog Days of Summer

This week we are dog-sitting. This is Kaylee, a remarkably stunning and brilliant Airedale who belongs to friends of ours who were smart enough to get the hell out of town for the Seattle debacle known as “June-uary,” which will most likely followed by “July-uary.” (Yes, it’s an official terms that locals use to endearingly refer to the fact that while global warming has its sweaty grips on the rest of the country, it seems to have had no real effect up here in the Pacific Northwest. And June, therefore, might as well be January.)

We don’t have a dog because M does not like them. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that he fears them, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass him, so I’ll just keep that to myself. In fact, as I have said before, I used the dog trick to get M to agree to kids he wasn’t sure he wanted. (“You don’t want any more kids? Ok then, I’ll just start looking for a dog. I’m thinking large and hairy would suit us best. Wait, what’s that you say? More kids are okay?”) To be fair, he was bitten by a dog as a child. On the hand. But then again so was I. On the face. (Not that I’m making comparisons. That would be cheap.)

Mostly, though, he was not raised with dogs, or any animals in the home, so he sees a pet solely as a burden, which it is, and not as an enhancement. And we are busy people, and do spend much of our time wiping the excrement off little people who we sincerely hope will tend to us in our old age. You can’t say that about dogs. But when I announced the dog-sitting gig he did not protest. At least not much.

The boys were understandably giddy. But they were in bed when the dog arrived late last night. Little did we know it, but they left her a little present.

Knowing that dogs work on scent, and that they particularly like the scent of urine, my brilliant offspring decided to leave the dog a little present at the top of the stairs near their room, and mine. Yes, what you see before you folks is a plastic cup full of their – wait for it — pee. Welcome to our home, Kaylee. Here is a small glass of urine with which you may acquaint yourself. (“This way she’ll know us when she smells us!”)

At first we thought it was a continuation of last night’s pranks, but once we dug deeper we learned there was nothing prankish about it. Wow. For two kids who hate this blog and are continually reminding me of it’s devastating effect on their self worth, they really do give me a lot of fodder. They may be little turds sometimes, but they are comic gold.


Filed under parenting, Uncategorized