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Olivia 1991-2007

August 28, 2007 Olivia Merriam McClure passed away. She is grieved by her mother Lisa, father Darin, skin-sister Ella and doggie sister Pretty, cat brother Citrus, and the two fish really don't care because they can't see through the algae bloom to even know she is gone.

Olivia was born in a closet in Burlington, Vermont. Born from a stray that my friend Tammy had rescued I agreed to take her in when our friend Catherine's landlord would not allow her to keep her. Named Olivia before I even saw her I took her home and for 16 1/2 years she was my loyal companion as well as my first pet I ever had as an "adult."

In Burlington Olivia was known as the kitty in the bag, as she used to travel with me in a little backpack that I had converted into a kind of baby bag. She and I lived above a little cafe called City Market Cafe. I used to work at the cafe and Olivia and I would stop in and they would slice little bits of ham and turkey for her. At the time I was a waitress at a sushi bar and Olivia was always given fresh salmon sashimi by the sushi chefs when we would pop in together.

Olivia as a traveler:
After our first year in Vermont Olivia flew on a plane with me to Seattle. In Seattle we had many adventures together. She has also travelled cross country twice by car. Travelled back and forth between LA and Seattle by car. Olivia loved to travel and all I had to do was set her box out and she would hop in and make herself comfortable. Olivia in later years loved to vacation in Ojai where she could relax and watch Orioles.

A few little known facts about Olivia:
  • Few people are aware that Olivia has met all the members of Sound Garden
  • Olivia has walked all the way around a building on a ledge 6 stories above street level.
  • Olivia has caught one mouse in her lifetime, in the window well of our apartment in Seattle.
  • Olivia is named after a soap opera character.
  • Olivia was once attacked by a pit bull and when I pulled her out of his mouth and lifted her to the top of a cement wall to safety she promptly jumped down and attacked the pitt bull's face. In retrospect I realize that we were both VERY lucky we didn't get mauled.
  • At age 12 Olivia had hyperthyroidism and was sent to a special hospital in Irvine where she was shot up with radio active iodine to kill a tumor. For 10 days she remained radioactive and I had to flush her poo down the toilet.
Olivia found her final home in San Clemente. She would sit outside by the street and warmly greet passers by. On one occation she followed us on our way down to the pier. Later we discovered signs with a hand drawn picture of a cat looking much like Olivia with the caption "Cat Found ... Possibly Pregnant." We laughed and said ... "gee that almost looks like Olivia." It was, she was returned, and all was well.

I will miss my kitten. I will miss her walking with me down the street, her motorized purr, and the way she would reach out and set her paw on my hand. She was a loving and loyal cat. She will be greatly missed.

Exploring Mariposa Reef


The water is 75 degrees and its just crazy.

"Meet you at Mariposa Reef!" "Call me when you leave the house. See you at the reef."

And so we started to paddle towards the reef. The flattest day by far all summer. Flat and mid 70s water temp.

Diving under we saw lots of Garibaldi, the California state fish. The boards just floated as we took snorkel and mask to check out the reef. I couldn't help but remember this childrens' storybook about otters I read as a kid. They packed their little waterproof bags and would swim to each others houses and play in the water.
I'm a long way from shore. My legs feel very vulnerable just hanging in the water and I wonder if anybody will consider them a tasty treat. I pull my legs up on the board to look like I am just lounging, but really I have just realized that I am in the ocean and other things live here and I don't know anything about this place.