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June 25, 2015


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I am sorry.....I just joined. And, out of 4 articles, two were on Fia. I thought I was joining a good retirement blog site.

Remember, some are pet lovers, and others are not. Some are pet haters and others are not. I am just a pre-retirement lover and I can handle a para or two on pets, but we have to move on! Just my 2 cents.


What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing.


Enjoy all of your posts! Retirement finances, travel tips/stories and mostly Fia! Thanks for writing it.


Let's see....I've been reading your blog since 2007 and here is the list of categories you've covered since then:

Contributing Retirees
Money Mondays
Photo Fridays
Random Musings
Traveling Tuesdays
Wellness Wednesdays

I don't see anything about pets or animals in any of that. Do you? (other than the once-a-year dog sitting you sparcely mentioned). I think your first commenter on today's article, Kenny, is a bit rude. Don't you just love it when our readers start telling us bloggers what to do and what to write about? I think Kenny is the one who should be moving on IMHO.
Cheers Syd. Always great to read whatever it is you write about because each and every one of them are a gem! Especially the ones in The Wall Street Journal and the US World News.
Kudos on your relationship with Fia. Nice to see you finally 'settling down'. Pets make our lives so much more rewarding.

Retired Syd

Joy, Brenda, and Cindi: Thank you! Yes Cindi, I do find Kenny's comments a bit rude also--job hazard I guess--if you think of blogging as a job, which I hate to do! I agree, pets do really round out our lives, don't they? They tap into some tenderness in our hearts that we love to feel.

Kenny: Well I love to have new readers--so welcome! Hopefully you can read posts that are more up your alley in the other 460 posts I've written over the last eight years. As my About page describes, I started this blog in 2007 to chronicle my transition to retirement and share some of the joys and challenges of that transition. Over those years, I've received over 4,000 comments from readers going through similar transition issues. I've learned so much from my readers.

We've had some interesting discussions too. If I post something of a political nature, I expect some debate. If I post something about investment strategies, I expect to receive comments which discuss different approaches. And I always love when people share a little bit about their lives with me, either in the comments or in emails sent to me privately. But I will probably never understand why a handful of commenters bother to write just to say they don't like my writing and are not going to read it anymore. As I've said before, I don't take attendance.

In general, as you see in the header, my blog is about the unfettered pursuit of happiness--unfettered by the constraints of working for a living. In that spirit, if reading my blog doesn't make you happy, you should not waste your time reading it. Life is too short.

Debbie V.

I love you story about your "affair" with Fia. Looks like she fell for you from the start. So glad you have succumbed to her charms. You two were meant to be. Thank you for sharing.


I'm so happy Fia's story had a happy ending! I don't know if cats feel sad, but I'm pretty sure they feel contentment... just look at her beautiful face.

And, to those who don't like your occasional post that isn't focused 100% on retirement, oh well. I guess you'll just have to refund his subscription fee.


Sydney, those of us who have been your followers for a while now love to get a 'fluff piece' on occasion. I gotta say, my hackles went up when I read Kenny's attempt to shame and bully you. Brene Brown has a wonderful book on shaming and how to handle those people. And you did a wonderful job! I don't handle bullies very well and it is a treat to see how adept you are at it. Kudos to you for not just deleting his message and for letting us in on some of the difficulties of having your own blog.
Fia is one lucky lady. My doggies have been fabulous company since I retired at the age of 43.
I'm serious, does 'Fia' stand for something?

Retired Syd

Angela: I'm not totally sure about her name, but I think it might be a nickname for our neighbor's daughter because the names are close and it was her cat (Thompson is her brother's cat). More guilt now . . .

Chris Loverseed

Beautiful story - she looks so sweet!


Fia is lucky. And boy does she look sweet.

No Nonsense Landlord

Great story, I wonder about pets when i retire next year. I am a dog person, always having a dog (or more) for all my life. Since I want to travel more, I may skip a few years after my current one goes...

I look forward to retirement at 56, and at the same time I am nervous...


Syd - I'm sure your having a really good time, but we miss you!

Retired Syd

Frangipani: Thank you! I've been spending all my waking hours on the piano lately. But I leave on Tuesday for New York, where I will be piano-less for a month. I'll try and squeeze some posts in between plays, jazz clubs, and walks in Central Park!

Diane C

SInce I know it can be a while between posts, I generally don't read the comments right away. Then when I'm jonesing for some fresh Syd, I go back and read them. That doesn't sound too stalker-ish, does it?
So, I just saw snarky Kenny's silly post. Good thing I didn't see it sooner, because I'd have cyber stalked him and beat him to a pulp by now. So sorry that his was the first comment on this post. Can it be deleted or can he be blocked (since I know beating will accomplish little)? As if you have any obligation to mold your personal blog to his preferences. Sheesh.
Hope you're having a great summer, Syd (Kenny who?), but do come back and tell us about it some time. And please give us photos and a Fia update ;-)

Retired Syd

Diane C: Thanks so much for your nice comment. I'm running myself ragged right now in New York City. So I guess I'm kind of on another blog-cation.

Hope you are having a great summer too!


Stevie Wonders

I wound up adopting a cat for a similar reason. She was an only cat, then her former owner got two more, which she hated (she hates any other cat or dog), so she ran off and made herself homeless! Luckily, another neighbor fed her for awhile outside until I figured out it wasn't her cat either, as that neighbor also had two (indoor only) cats. She seems happy to be my only pet. And the original owner was glad she found another home.

Your New Fan

Fia is a lucky girl to have found you and is loved by both families!

LOL at: "Now my sadness was replaced with guilt—I had officially stolen the neighbors’ cat."

That's happened with us a few times when we thought cats were abandoned or lost and they showed up. Then we realized we were stealing other people's pets (but only after they showed up over and over to eat and/or came to us sick or injured and required medical care). There was one case that a neighbor saw us taking our beloved Mandy to her annual vet appt. and this guy yelled "Hey! That's my cat! I was wondering what happened to her." He wanted to make sure we weren't taking her to the pound and when we explained we'd already had her for a year and it was time for her annual check up (we had fed her 6 months prior to that) he said that she ran away when they got their dog. He said she looked great and as long as we were keeping her that we could have her. He ended up adopting another cat that wasn't being properly taken care of who didn't mind his dog so he felt it worked out for everybody.

There was another time when a cat showed up and hung out at our house all day and would come inside to take his kitty bath and nap on the sofa. We were grilling outside enjoying Margaritas one night when this woman showed up calling for Riley. She turned the corner and saw him in my lap in the garden and she exclaimed "So this is where you go!" We introduced ourselves and she said she kept putting him on a diet because he kept getting so fat (oops!) and I guess the less she fed him the more he came to us for food. We apologized and explained that we didn't know if he had a home or not and wanted to make sure he got proper care and she said it was nice to know he had people who loved him that he could visit. We didn't steal him but missed him terribly after we moved and worried that he got proper feedings after we left. My guess is he'd say he's not. ;)

Oh, and I retired at 39 and don't mind kitty conversation and kitty pictures along with retirement conversation.

Retired Syd

New Fan: Oh my gosh. I'm thinking our kitty is doing what that kitty was doing. She has gained weight since being with us and despite cutting her food down, we're not having a lot of luck trimming her down. The vet told us, based on what we are feeding her, it's likely she's getting food somewhere else too. These smart kitties . . .

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