An Empty Apartment
GRAY MATTERS: Government-Run Health Care

Sad Farewells and Cat Update

category_bug_journal2.gif How many of you have been sad to see the last of your dentist? I was yesterday afternoon.

I'd given him a tough assignment – to make and fit a denture in just four weeks with only another six weeks to make adjustments before I would be leaving Maine. He pulled it off magnificently, but it meant a LOT of visits to his office.

We became friends in that time – the dentist, the hygienist, the assistant, the office manager and I. The visits became social occasions I looked forward to as if it were not the dentist.

Yesterday was our final visit and I was astonished to receive a farewell card with lovely notes from everyone along with a gift card to Starbucks – in case my internet account in Oregon doesn't work out and I'll have to blog from the coffee shop.

I will miss these people a lot. It was hard to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, I'm spending mornings cleaning and polishing the apartment for the new owners. Since I did absolutely nothing of that sort during the four weeks I was packing, I am now up to my ankles in dust bunnies as I clean from the top down.

I'm astonished at how five hours of work – including several short rest periods – tire me. But I have three more days, so it will get done in time for the Monday closing without tiring me too much.

After I wrote yesterday's post, I lay down to rest for a bit and was asleep almost immediately, so deeply that I didn't hear the phone ring right next to me at about 7PM. When I awakened at 9:30PM, Ollie the cat was out from under the bed creeping around the room ready to hide again at the slightest unexpected noise or movement.

He was up and down all night, poking me or walking across me – neither of us slept much - and he threw up twice. I'm pretty sure he just wanted me to be as uncomfortable as he is.

As soon as the sky was light, he crawled under the covers and as far as I can tell, didn't move until I got back from the dentist in the afternoon. He hasn't eaten anything, but I'm not worried about it since he is unlikely to starve himself even if he is unhappy. But like I said, I'm inclined to think he's more pissed off than unhappy, and punishing me for removing him from his home. What a pain in the butt cats can be.

I tried explaining what a well-traveled cat he has become; born in Philadelphia, lived in Greenwich Village, Portland, Maine and now he is moving to Portland, Oregon. He didn't appear to be impressed.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary B Summerlin: Trey's World


What a strange limbo time for both of you. I am thinking of you there in that motel ...

Yes, when I got married and moved to Sweden, I had to say goodbye to a good dentist. I had spent so much time with him, we were practically like family and he and his wife (who was also his receptionist) were even at my wedding! I hope you've gotten some good leads on dentists in Portland, OR.

Dental offices are small communities in which we can become extended members. I used the same dentist for at least 23 years, though I lived and worked from coast-to-coast during those years. Eventually, the dentist took care of my husband, my daughters, and the elder daughter's husband and daughter. I've been struggling to find an acceptable one (I've tried three, so far) to replace him and his staff since he was forced to retired by a medical condition (his neck gave him fits!)

Oh, and did I mention that one of his dental assistants/technicians for the last 20 years had been a school-mate of our elder daughter's?

Ronni, I hope you have much better luck in "replacing" your dental staff than have I. It's hard to match perfection!

I don't think I will become friends with my Dental Hygienist, even though she is a very pretty Oriental. Her accent makes it hard for me to understand.

I went in to see her yesterday for cleaning and a check up. My appointment was for 1:30. I didn't get called in until 3:00 and after x-rays I waited another 30 minutes for attention. My dentist examined me and then the hygienist took over. After a short cleaning the dentist was called back; more x-rays and an order to return to have two cavities filled. I am ready to have them all pulled and stop trying to keep these old teeth in shape to chew.

I am glad you became friends with your dental professionals, Ronni, but I am not feeling too kindly to mine right now.

Yes, I think Ollie is punishing you. Cats do that. After all, aren't you supposed to be their servant?

Centuries ago, cats were worshiped. They have never forgotten that! May the rest of your move be smooth.

Yup, we agree about dentists. Yes,, do tell Ollie he is loved, but it won't hurt him to shape up a bit. Then again, he won't listen as he is too angry at you.

What a lovely vignette. It is easy to imagine how the dentist and crew will look back on these last weeks and feel a bit of pride at a job well done and sadness at your leaving... You have moved many people's heart, Ronni... safe voyage and good luck on your trip out west.

Our cat, Fritz the magnificence, used to punish us when we went on vacation and left him to the care of neighbors.
Upon our return he would disappear and let us endlessly call his name and hunt everywhere for him.
I swear I heard him, tail twitching saying, in cat language, "How do you like it, calling and getting no answer?"
After more than a day, hunger getting the better of him, his regal self would appear and haughtily allow us to apologize.

I am sorry that Olllie is being such a..well, a cat. But then, he will eventually forgive you - after you are punished enough. Take that, oh Servant of Ollie!
Good luck on the rest of the move.

My Mom, Carol and I enjoyed catching up with your moving stories. --Steve

And wherever he goes, he has you. I have tried that logic but cats don't like changes they didn't instigate and it's impossible to communicate with them that it's okay. I love cats and have had a lot more of them than dogs but I have to say dogs would regard it all as a new excitement. For cats, it's pure torture and they do know how to punish us when they are displeased.

You just cannnot please some cats.
I guess I like my dentist, but I will not miss her if I never see her again, but I'm sure I will.

I can see a book along the lines of "Marley and Me"

"Ollie And Me"

I don't like my dentist here in Hilo that much,and I can't abide his office manager, aka his frau, but I do like the dental assistant, who is always full of stories about her kids. I haven't needed any dental work in ages, knock on wood.
I know a good and expensive dentist in Tigard. I have had no problems whatsoever with caps he put on my front teeth more than 25 years ago. And he is a lot of fun, if the years haven't changed him too much. More info at if you want it.

YES YES write the book Ollie and Me...that would be too funny!!! Good luck, Ronni - I hope you continue to be as upbeat as are an inspiration to us folks WHO NEVER MOVE.

Wouldn't it be lovely if cats had a more pleasant way of showing their displeasure than throwing up, or is there a contradiction somewhere in that question? My cat of nineteen years, Hazel, traveled with me from California, to Hawaii, then to Portland, Oregon. (I think Ollie will like it there. Hazel did very much.)She threw up with each move and then settled in happily into her new surroundings. Moving on(and throwing up) was our life pattern together. We said our sad goodbye in the wine country of Sonoma, California, where she spent her last days relaxing in the sunshine and inhaling the fragrance of lavender and rosemary.

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