Sunday, July 27, 2008

WARNING - This Post is a Downer

2008 shall forever been known as the year that my heart keeps breaking. It seems so very long since I have walked without the weight of grief strapping its arms around my calves and sitting it's cold butt on my feet. I have had moments of laughter and clear appreciation of a cool cinnamon scented breeze, but for the most part, my heart is filled with heavy, slippery, poisonous mercury.

My grief started with the sickness of Weasel. She threw-up, constantly. A small grey cat, she never weighed more than 6.5 lbs, but her weight went down to 4 lbs and we knew she was very sick. She stopped eating on a Tuesday in May, a visit to the vet and IV fluids didn't help, and by Saturday, she was weak and shaking and throwing up regularly. The at-home vet came on Sunday and helped us to decide that it was time for our amazing friend of 16 years to rest. Her whole life she wanted attention, always greeting us at the door demanding to be picked up. Always tapping me on the shoulder when my alarm failed to go off, waking me in time for work. She was the cat who paced impatiently, waiting for me to sit and watch a movie so she could curl up on my lap. We still miss her tremendously.

Then in June, my Dad got sick. He got really sick, like take-care-of-your-affairs-sick. He has a rare blood disease called MDS ( He just finished his second round of chemo and is still in the hospital 2 weeks later. All I want to do is be with him and Mom, but they live in CO and I live in CA, so I sit and worry from afar and hold any positive thoughts in my head and heart, which is still broken.

And just as we started to heal from losing Weasel, I found a kitten. It was a hurt grey kitten, just sitting in a very busy traffic lane where I stopped my car (and traffic), chased her as she tried to run with only 3 functioning legs, freed her from the web of branches on the median and drove her to the closest vet I could think of. "Do you accept financial responsibility" they said. What option did I have? To save this tiny creature from getting run over only to have a vet put her under? Of course I accepted financial responsibility (in a time when I have been berating my spouse about not spending any extra money because we have a balloon payment coming.) Of course I agreed to foster her until we find a home. Turned out she had a cracked jaw and a leg that didn't work, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. She came home with me the day after. She was so tired and hungry, she ate almost a whole can of food and passed out, but within 2 hours she woke up, yelling at me, running around the spare room that we had removed all dangerous furniture from and finally snuggling up next to me with a throaty purr whenever I touched her still dirty fur to move her useless leg into a better position.

I washed her with a warm cloth, and held her tiny body in a towel as she dried. But I could not take care of her. Her bad leg dragged behind her, she didn't seem to know it was there, couldn't control it at all from the shoulder down. Then she pooped. All down her hurt leg, all over her back leg, granted she used the litter box, but she was a mess, top to bottom. I realized I was in no position to care for her. We couldn't leave her alone all day when we were at work. If I needed to go to CO to see my Dad, what would become of this injured kitten in a house with three other larger, crankier cats. We had to give her to someone who could help her more than we could. It broke my heart again, opened up the wound of losing Weasel,made me feel inadequate and selfish. We gave her to They were very sweet and understanding (I spoke to a woman at Heaven on Earth cat rescue who made me feel guilty for trying to find her a better foster. That woman was a jerk.) Happy Strays is run by a friend of a co-worker and they couldn't have been nicer. They took Grey Kitty's medicine, paperwork, history and hugged me as I blubbered through the way I found her and why we couldn't keep her.

So my heart is broken again, for the poor handicapped kitten, for my sick Father and my Mother who has to care for him so patiently, still for my lost Weasel.

2008, the year my heart keeps breaking.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monsters Are Waiting

There is a monster in my office. I can’t see him, but I feel him there. When I sit down, he pokes his cold purple talons into my brain and whispers horrible, monster things to me.

“You’re stupid.” He says.

“That story doesn't make any sense.” He sighs, curling his invisible lizard body in my lap and wrapping his slimy tail of doubt around me.

I’m lucky he let me come in this room at all today. He is possessive of his futon. Most days he keeps his force-field up. It is a heavy shield that snakes all through the house. It is filled with undone laundry and dirty dishes, with unchecked e-mails and phones calls that need to be placed. The strong center of this shield has a crest that reads “There must be something good to watch on TV.”

Though he’s not terrifying, because we’ve played together since we were young, I try to keep my distance. And there are days, when he runs out to get a quick cup of coffee, or his focus is shifted to encourage cat-on-cat violence, when I can sneak into my office and sit on my futon. I can work, if only for 10-15 minutes, until he finds me and tugs on my sweater or pinches my neck. Telling me to get out of this room and turn the sprinklers on.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


While looking through piles of family history stuff, researching for my grand plan to write about my Grand Ma, I found this obituary about some relative of mine who passed away in 1922. The lead-in is so awesome, I just had to share it:

"Christy Anna (Henry) Ralston:
Although for some time in feeble health, caused by her 71 years, she was not severely stricken with sickness until 8 days before her death. For the most of three days, as though weary from life's years and cares, she found rest in sleep. She slept peacefully and profoundly until, at length, she sank into the sleep that knows no awakening to this world's scenes and associations."

That is some fantastical flowery language. I absolutely LOVE it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gloriously Lazy

It's a glorious evening. The valley heat has calmed from 102 degrees down to a lovely 76. I'm a little tired, from working all day, from the residual vertigo that still makes the world spin and my ears achey, from being a lazy bum most of the weekend, but it's a glorious evening. Munchy has found the chair that I planted in front of my office window just for her during the office make-over this weekend. Occasionally a subtle breeze catches the wind-chimes on the other side of the porch and makes them twinkle before the night sidles through the window and strokes Munchy's ancient head. She raises her nose to catch a sniff of the outside, of the dirty Valley smog and the green and dusty air of newly cut grass that was burnt in the summer sun.

I've got work to do gentle blog reader, I have bio's to write, poems to find, dishes to wash. Also, I should be in bed by 9:30 to give myself time to wake up at 5ish and get my lazy, spreading ass into the gym. But I just want to sit and watch Munchy enjoying the breeze and my company. I want to flop into the hammock on the porch with Sean on one side, a beer in my hand and swap work stories. I want to meditate in the circular hum of crickets and loud Spanish shouting neighbors. Yup, I just want to be as ridiculously lazy as I have been for the past 3 days, a holiday weekend.

Ok, enough wishin'. Back to work.