Saturday, August 16, 2008


Our beloved cat, Tuga, died Sunday night, August 10. He wandered into the road and was hit for the second time in his short life. This time surgery wouldn’t save him as it seemed he died quite instantly. It was a tragic moment as Katrin went outside to find him and found his body on the road in front of our house. We buried him the next morning in our front yard, in one of his favorite spots to lie down and soak up the sun.

We got Tuga in January of this year and neither of us has ever known a more amazing cat. And that’s saying something considering Katrin’s former times working in a humane society. Tuga was as affectionate and friendly with people as any dog I’ve ever known. He would let me roll him over on my lap and stroke his belly; he would curl up with Katrin on the couch for naps; and he would play with Tazzy as playfully as any other kitten. They were remarkable together, as Tuga would leap onto Tazzy from behind and then they would roll to the ground, with Tazzy putting Tuga’s entire head in her mouth as Tuga playfully reared up his hind legs to kick himself out. Or he would sometimes tear around the house chasing the toy that Katrin would slowly drag around. But his cutest habit had to be his obsession with water. We weren’t sure what memories we would make here in Portugal, but one of them will be Tuga following us into the bathroom and climbing into the bidet, begging us to turn on the water so that he could bat it with his paw or try to bite it as it poured down.

He had a short life, but his affection will impact Katrin and me for a lifetime. We will miss him terribly, and mourn the loss that our daughter will never get to play with him as we had hoped. We’re happy that a few of you got to meet him, though. A cat that special should really have an opportunity to touch as many people as possible.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

37 Weeks and Counting

Katrin is now at the 37-week point and looking like a woman who’s about 37 weeks pregnant. She’s gained 11 kilos and it’s all in her belly and now some swelling in her feet. But she’s still quite active and walking with the dogs and doing stuff normally. Not bad for the ninth month. Thankfully August hasn’t been too hot here, so her comfort level isn’t too bad.

We had another doctor visit today and everything continues to look fine and dandy for both mother and child. The heartbeat is normal, the head is pointed downward, and Katrin doesn’t have any abnormalities in her health that would raise concern. We’ll get to weigh the little girl on the 19th and then meet her in-person on or around the 2nd of September.

So far we’re feeling fairly comfortable in this process. Well, I guess that’s easy for me to say…I should let Katrin speak for herself. We know life will turn topsy turvy in a few weeks, but that’s exciting. Largely thanks to our sister-in-law Jen, and with input from our other sister-in-law Megan and my cousin Julie, we are feeling relatively prepared and have a lot of little baby things now taking up space in our home. Many thanks to everyone from home who passed on advice and gifts during our recent trips to the east coast. Wish us luck in these last few weeks and we’ll keep you informed of the big event!