Monthly Archives: October 2015

Hump Day: Here’s hoping loveable Casey sticks around for a long time yet!

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015
Moncton Times & Transcript

It was more than 11 years ago in April 2004 that my son and I took a trip over to the Greater Moncton SPCA to adopt a friend for Cindy, a female red tabby we’d adopted in September 2003. After six months of being part of the family, we thought she’d like a friend.

After looking at a number of cats, an SPCA worker suggested we check out a big male tabby named Razz who’d been brought in as a stray from Dominion Street in downtown Moncton. Razz was a big boy and, contrary to Cindy, loved to be held. My son held Razz in his arms for a few minutes and immediately asked if we could adopt him. His cool and calm demeanour won me over. He certainly was a friendly guy!

Upon arrival at the house, Razz was renamed Charlie for about 24 hours and then we settled on ‍Casey. So, ‍Casey it was! He eventually won over the very bossy Cindy, who quickly established herself as the queen of the house. ‍Casey was definitely one pedestal below her in the cat caste system which Cindy lorded over. He didn’t seem to mind, though. He was too easygoing to cause much of a fuss.

Throughout the years, it became clear that ‍Casey was more like a friendly dog. When visitors arrived, ‍Casey would plunk himself down right next to them or even on their lap, demanding to be petted. Meanwhile, Cindy either remained under the covers of my bed snoozing away, or she approached the new visitors with caution – never paying much attention to them. ‍Casey was another story, he was Mr. Personality and chairman of the welcoming committee.

Like most pets, ‍Casey had an issue or two throughout the years. A vet bill here. A vet bill there. He was always a big cat, but after switching foods, he began losing weight. He could have starred in his own weight-loss commercial. When I brought him to the vet, I was quite impressed with myself that he was now slim. The vet wasn’t so positive, though, and suggested a blood test.


Well, it turned out that ‍Casey had thyroid issues and would have to be switched over to special thyroid food. He was losing weight because he was sick, not because of the food I had him on. Darn! His food got switched and he packed on the pounds again. All tests were now good. He was a bit overweight, but was healthy otherwise.

Now creeping up on 15 years of age (he was about three years old when we adopted him), ‍Casey‍’‍s appetite changed a few weeks ago. This could be caused by a number of things, including his thyroid condition. It would happen from time to time and would only last a couple of days and things would be back to normal. This time, though, it had lasted two weeks. He was barely eating.

So back to the vet we went and it was decided that he’d stay overnight for observation, blood tests and fluids. Unfortunately, his tests didn’t come back as positive this time. His thyroid was stable, but he was in the third stage of kidney failure. (There are four stages.) He was stabilized quickly and was brought up to about a stage two.

That’s the good news. But he’s still not 100 per cent yet. He’s still not eating well and I’m starting to reconcile myself to the fact that he may not be with us for much longer. What will I ever do without my television buddy who likes to sleep on my shoulder and purr in my ear? Every morning when I open my bedroom door, he immediately walks in to greet me, without fail. When I come home, he’s usually at the back door, too.

He could still be around for quite some time yet, but he’s not bouncing back like he usually does. I’m worried. He’s still purring and seems happy. He can still jump on my bed and on the sofa. But he’s not entirely himself. I can tell. Usually, he starts meowing about 30 minutes before feeding time – you know, just to make sure I don’t forget. Lately, those meows haven’t been coming.

I never thought I would like cats as much as I do. I didn’t want a second one, either, until I was talked into it by my son. But ‍Casey – man, he’s my buddy – a big, cuddly, affectionate dude who just loves everyone. I hope he sticks around for a while – like 50 years or so. I’m not sure what I’ll do without him.

Kelley Mooney to perform at St. John’s United Church in Moncton on Nov. 13

Kelley Mooney - Moncton - Nov 13 2015 - WEB
Click on the photo for a larger version of the poster.

Charlottetown, PEI, singer/songwriter Kelley Mooney will be performing songs from her new spiritual album Still – and other previous hits – at a concert to be held on Friday, Nov. 13, at St. John’s United Church, 75 Alma St., Moncton.

Kelley Mooney headshotShe is best known for her Easter version of Leonard Cohen’s classic Hallelujah and will be performing that song and others from her current album. In 2006, her parish priest requested Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for Easter mass. While Cohen’s lyrics are brilliant, Kelley decided to write verses to reflect the Easter story. Her version has been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube and GodTube combined, and was ranked on two Billboard charts.

Mooney’s current album, Still, came about as a result of a serious illness – ulcerative colitis – which saw her hospitalized for nine weeks, including two major surgeries and a recovery of more than seven months before returning to work. Her experience led her to record a gospel album which includes standard gospel songs such as I Surrender All, Amazing Grace, and How Great Thou Art, together with original songs about her illness and other personal issues. There is a story behind almost every song — and they can be found at Her first album, Tomorrow, won the 2012 Music PEI Country Recording of the Year (it includes Hallelujah) and has been on the CD Baby top sellers’ list since May 2014. Still was recently added to that list.

Still album coverAlso joining Mooney for a few songs (including Hallelujah) is the Chorale Voce dell‘Anima led by Monette Gould, the same choir which accompanied Kelley in her famous 2010 YouTube video of Hallelujah.

Admission is $10 per person + one non-perishable food donation for the Karing Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen operating out of the basement of St. John’s United Church. Karing Kitchen serves approximately 500 meals per day to those in need in Greater Moncton. (Please note: Admission is paid at the door.)

For more information, please contact:

Kelley Mooney

Hump Day: Is it time for new glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery?

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
Moncton Times & Transcript

I remember when someone finally noticed that I needed glasses. I was sitting in Grade 6 class at Aberdeen School when the teacher saw me squinting – likely not for the first time. And I wasn’t just squinting – my face was contorted in a way that made me look like I’d just eaten a lemon.

I’m sure I’d been squinting at the chalkboard for a few months, but at some point it just became too much for my teacher and he sent me to the school nurse (remember those?) who gave me an eye exam. I failed miserably, of course, and within a few days was wearing glasses.

Now, you really don’t realize how badly you need glasses until you put on a pair for the first time. Things actually have shapes and lines and colours! No, seeing blurry is not normal. It was amazing! I never felt badly about wearing them. Seeing clearly was way too much fun!

My prescription has been pretty stable for a number of years, but my eyesight got worse quickly at first as I grew. Let’s just say that I’m very happy for technology, because I’d be wearing lenses as thick as the bottom of pop bottles if thinner lenses weren’t invented. And the one time I ordered glass lenses? It was like wearing a brick on my face. So heavy! My nose looked like it had been through a war every night when I took off my glasses before bed.

The one thing about wearing glasses, though, is that you normally don’t wear them in the shower. Now, I hire people to come in and do some light housekeeping weekly and part of their duties is cleaning the bathroom. Since I know it gets done on a regular basis, I just leave the bathroom cleaning to others.

The other day, though, I happened to check inside the shower for some reason, looked down and then started hearing the sound effect from the scene in the movie Psycho where Janet Leigh starts getting stabbed. I rarely see inside my shower with my glasses on. Usually, it’s just all a wonderful blur that allows me to live in ignorant bliss at the state of the shower curtain liner.

eyeglassesYes, the shower curtain liner. It was disgusting. Beyond disgusting. And there I was staring at it in shock wondering when it went from new and white to, well, a science experiment for a nuclear waste facility. What was supposed to be white was now every colour of the rainbow. Needless to say, I bought a new one right away – and even bought a spare while I was at it so that I could nip any future science experiments in the bud!

I’m almost scared to take a closer look around the house. What else have I been missing? I suppose my kitchen countertops aren’t terribly pretty under all that clutter of small appliances which are rarely used. Sometimes I wonder whether or not I should just douse the house in gasoline and light a match. (Note to fire department, police and insurance company: That’s a joke.)

I’ve often wondered about getting laser eye surgery, but it makes me nervous. I have many friends who’ve had it done quite successfully, but I always think of the worst-case scenario. You only have two eyes – and I would probably be the one guy that it doesn’t work on. Or the doctor would cough during surgery and inadvertently slice half my head off with the laser.

“I have good news and bad news, Mr. ‍Cormier. The good news is that you’ve gone down a couple of hat sizes.” Well, that’s not a bad thing considering I have a pumpkin-sized head that’s difficult to fit a hat onto.

I’ve thought about getting contacts, too, but it seems like everyone I know who has contacts has trouble with them half the time. Their eyes always seem to be drying out. With my luck, I’d fall asleep with my contacts in and wake up with two raisins where my eyes used to be. Well, that would explain all the people pointing at me and screaming at Costco.

I actually do have to get new glasses soon. Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and check out laser surgery. Hey, if I can throw away my glasses and go nude-faced for the rest of my life, it could be worth it, although it would definitely take some getting used to! And if they make a mistake and the laser cuts off too much, at least I can look forward to a shopping spree for smaller hats.