The late Grand Ducal Feline, the sorely missed Princess Rannveig I. August 1994-April 20, 2012.
As suggested by my post title above, things have been on hold here at Stollen Central for a few weeks as real life has intervened in oh so many ways, getting in the way of virtually all gaming and painting since before the Easter Holiday. An endless morass of student projects that have needed reading, grading, and commentary (the worst papers usually require more of the latter), an unforeseen and expensive problem with replastering one of the kitchen walls, etc., etc., etc. Hopefully, after this weekend, with another batch of mostly mediocre student papers, things will relax a bit and some time will become available for more fun things in life once again, like wargaming and continuing with Neu Sittangbad.
Saddest of all, we finally had to make that tough decision late last night to have our aging and ailing cat 'Rannveig' put to sleep at the all-night emergency animal hospital, following a diagnosis two months ago of advanced cancer in her chest and abdomen. It was not unexpected, and we had considerably longer with her than our veterinarian gave us reason to expect in February, but finally confronting the inevitable was difficult.
Named after a character in an Icelandic saga, Rannveig was a great companion with an absolutely huge personality, who lived with me for over 17 years. She actually shed tears when I returned from Norway after a year abroad in 2000, to pick her up at my parents' house and move on to Minneapolis, Minnesota with her. My wife and I also credit Rannveig with bringing us together in early 2001 because the Grand Duchess was the only woman that Rannveig tolerated for longer than a few minutes. The stories I could tell, but Rannveig and Sonja became fast friends when the latter immediately began speaking German to the former when they first met after a morning of skiing in February '01. In any case, Rannveig finally allowed out toddler son, Young Master Paul, to pet and stroke her as she purred yesterday morning while the two sat together on the kitchen floor after their respective breakfasts, so I like to think that she left us on a relatively good note.
Please watch for additional firefight results and new orders from the generals von Tschatschke and de Latte respectively right here later in the week!
A few days later. . .