Teeter Totter

Zoe keeps zig-zagging between eating like a pig and keeping Alexander-the-new-crazy-cat in check and…things like tonight, where she didn’t meet me at the door, ate only a little, and is sort of standoffish.


It’s not that I want her to die, but I’m getting a little calmer and more resigned to it, and it will be a little bit of a relief. It’s been seven weeks today since her lymphoma diagnosis and it’s been seven weeks where I’ve had tension in my diaphragm every moment I’m awake.


Meanwhile, in non-cat-crisis news, I’m going to see how the Curly Girl method of hair care works for me. I’ve definitely got to do something with my wild curls. So there’s that. It’s funny how something so not-that-interesting (how you wash and style your hair) can actually capture my imagination. It did spur me to actually buy some microfiber turbans. which will be good… I shower at night and end up walking around the house with a headful of sopping wet curls, because even when I think I’ve dried it off, it starts dripping again.

I don’t know if I can justify a satin pillowcase, though to be honest I remember my mom having one when I was little and it is definitely nice to sleep on, both for the decadent feeling and for your hair.

And one of the absolutely coolest things about being single is that no one needs to know if I do sleep on a satin pillowcase (unless I, you know, broadcast it on the internet).

I was wondering today about when I changed from thinking, “if I’m alone and have no one to share it with, life has no meaning,” to “oh my GOD am I glad I’m single!” And I do wonder if I will wake up at 50 or 55 and think otherwise, but meanwhile…

…I’m planning my next trip to Europe once the DAMNED ESTATE SETTLES!

I’m thinking flying into Amsterdam, train to Brussels, overnight train across Germany to Prague, back to Germany and switch trains to go to Paris for a few days and then flying home.

It gives me something happy to think about when I’m worrying about Zoe. Speaking of, better go see what she’s doing.

ETA next day: I am putting her to sleep today at three. I’m not giving it its own entry because it’s breaking my heart and I don’t want to see that post title. Can’t stop crying, even though I know it’s the right thing to do. I will miss having a kitty slung over my shoulder like a baby, and having one who chatters to me about everything. I love black kitties.

Alexander gets fixed tomorrow and I hope that goes smoothly. I can’t take any more animal death right now.


Just the Usual Chaos

The end of a lovely three-day weekend here. I am so glad to get MLK off again — one of the many things I miss about school is having all the federal holidays off. Being a civil servant is as close as I will ever get again to that.

Actually, the sleeping and the no-working part has been lovely, but it’s been kind of a tough weekend in certain respects, some of which happened this weekend and some of which I just started thinking about this weekend. To wit:

1. On Friday I adopted the stray kitty from my sister’s front yard. He showed up the day Boo was put to sleep and he never left. He’s been checked out, he’s fine, he just needs to get fixed. But he is food-aggressive, wanting all the food all the time, no matter whose it is. So I have to feed Zoe in the bathroom to ensure she gets calories and her medicine. And he cries any time I’m in the kitchen and he’s not getting fed.

2. Accordingly, Zoe and Simone are annoyed. The upside is they’re banding together, cuddling, etc. The downside is that I don’t want Zoe to get too stressed, and I don’t want Alexander, the new kitty, to be unhappy either. To this end I ordered some Feliway and some Rescue Remedy. I won’t give the latter to Zoe because she has enough going on but it might help Alex and Simone. It’s being delivered to work tomorrow.

3. I am feeling very isolated and on my own. I should be putting drops into Alexander’s ears but I can’t hold him and get them in — consequently, he hasn’t gotten them. If I had another person around at feline mealtime it would be easier to wrangle and corral everybody, especially with him zooming like a pinball from his dish to everyone else’s. When Zoe has bad days it would be helpful  if there was someone here to support me, help me make decisions, and drive to the vet since she likes the car if she’s being held and can see. Likewise, I have some household projects that haven’t gotten done because I am very, very, very un-handy and I don’t have anyone in-house to help. (So, I have a broken toilet seat, which is trashy and un-fun and reminds me every time I have to pee.) I have some friends who usually help me out with that stuff, but they’re not here, they have their own lives, and they’re sick of me asking. For the time being I can’t hire anyone to do this stuff for me either. And finally, I don’t have many people just to go have coffee with either.

4. Of the people I do have to go have coffee with, one of them I don’t really get along with very much anymore. When you only have a few friends who live within easy socializing distance, and almost none who are single and aren’t therefore usually committed, losing even one is big. Sigh.

5. It’s harder to have people over for dinner when you’re not part of a couple. Your coupled friends don’t want to leave their partners and they don’t want to come together either, because it’s weird to have three people at dinner. And when you have almost no uncoupled friends…

6. The more I think about it, the happier I am I’m not in a romantic relationship, because I have never had a good one and I am sick of the unpleasantness it’s always involved for me. But the flip side of that is that none of the above will ever be solved by having a partner again.

7. Everything above is probably only going to get worse, and frankly it scares me. But I’m a shy introvert who is awkward and socially anxious. So it’s a Catch-22. Yay.

8. Zoe never did start eating on her own again so I had to take her to have her prednisone and her appetite stimulant given to her by the vet techs. Now she’s eating, but of couse that’s one more med I need to make sure she eats (and Alexander doesn’t).

On a happier note, I think I will make a cheese pizza and a salad for dinner and watch a few NCIS re-runs while knitting and having a drink. Back to work tomorrow, which is in some ways comforting. (Once I get rotated to member services it will be a source of daily terror and I will be calling my shrink for a huge refill of Klonopin, but hopefully it won’t happen tomorrow!)

Such Excitement

So life continues apace here at chez chatte malade. Zoe’s been doing fine, except she started throwing up and not eating on Monday. Took a day off and took her to the vet yesterday, where she got a shot of her prednisone, a shot of Pepcid (yes really) and a shot of an anti-nausea drug. They also gave me an appetite stimulant for her — it’s a pill about the size and shape of an Immodium tablet, and she’s supposed to get a quarter of it. Whoa. My sister drove so on the way back I held Zoe and she was so excited to SEE ALL THE THINGS! She was like a dog, looking around all in wonderment.

Last night I scooped her up after my shower and went to bed. I turned to my left and laid her down next to me; before I could really move she had leapt up onto my right side and curled up. She went to sleep and I stayed in a sort of odd position on my non-favored side all night. I’m such an indulgent cat mom. When I got up and fed Simone at 5 and went back to bed (and turned over), she jumped onto my other side and went back to sleep.

I’m a sucker. She has me wrapped around her paw. What can I refuse a kitty with cancer?

She hasn’t eaten, but she is all over the place. She’s had water, and she is obsessed with getting to wander the hallway of the building. It would be fine if she didn’t meow the whole time. Some folks on my floor have a dog and I’m sure he would go nuts hearing a kitty crying in the hallway.

Yesterday and today we had two strolls in the hallway and I foresee another when I go get my laundry out of the dryer. A friend of mine tried to give her her appetite stimulant tonight (because it’s sort of a Catch 22 — she’s not eating so I’m supposed to be giving her a pill, but if she’s not eating I can’t mix it into food). She waited til he let her go and then spit it out. Argh.  So tomorrow we’re swinging by the vet so they can give her her prednisone and the stimulant.

Meanwhile I held her on the balcony so she could survey the outside, which she loved.  Especially the pug out for a late-night walk peeing under us.

I am amazingly calm at the moment. I’ve had a couple of drinks, but even so I’m feeling like I can handle this right now. Of course, ask me tomorrow and it could definitely be a different story.

I may be sick but I am fierce and mighty.


Taking a deep breath

Three days after that post, I found out the littlest kitty has lymphoma. They drained her lungs and put her on steroids and while she will eventually die from this barring a medical miracle, she is doing really well.

Things were utterly hellish around here for a bit though.

Now I spend tons of time cuddling her because she’s a total mama’s girl — and she will jump onto whatever I’m sitting on, onto my lap and then onto my shoulders (either pulling herself over to be held like a baby or sometimes jumping all the way up to stand on my shoulders or back). She struggles to stay on and cries if I try to put her down. I figure the expensive organic cat food and all the cuddles can only help.

Middle-now-oldest cat does get a little annoyed sometimes. And sometimes I end up buried under two of them. I was watching the New Year’s Eve NCIS marathon and ended up spending one and a half episodes unable to move because of felinity.

I also got a cold and lost my voice around Christmastime, and because of vet stuff and whatnot could not be as decadent in the present-buying arena as I like to be for the holidays. Additionally, after Advent I I never made it back to church.

There’s one major reason for this: church is at 10. I can just make an 11 AM service on Sundays, but I have the hardest time in the world getting up before 10 on weekends. Left unchecked I will sleep til 11 or noon, but I can swing getting up at 10. However, without something external (like work) forcing me to get up, I simply won’t do it. I know part of it is psychological: Daytime is bright (hurts my eyes), loud (hurts my nerves), has lots of other people in it (ramps up my anxiety) and requires getting dressed and moving around (my large unwieldy body and lack of new clothes is no fun for that). But part of it is simply that I’m a night person biologically as well as tempermentally.

So there’s that.

I was laughing, sort of, at myself the other day, because my ideal Saturday night is pizza or some other simple comfort food, a drink, a kniting project, a book, and some interesting TV, preferably documentaries or something. I can alternate knitting/TV with reading, and I’m at home, safe and cozy and laid-back.

This doesn’t really jibe with the fantasy double life I have always led in the back of my mind, where I’m sociable and friendly and fun.

Well, I can be sociable, friendly, and fun, but it requires a) having had enough sleep previously, so work nights are out; b) alcohol; c) people I am at least close to the same wavelength as (alcohol can only do much). These three things very rarely coincide.

Now it’s a new year and I’m wondering if some good stuff — like the settling of my aunt’s estate and my subsequent buying of a non-rattletrap car — might come along relatively soon. I’m hoping the cat stays in her status quo and that if I get caught in the next rotation at work I don’t go to the scary customer service unit yet. (Once I do go, I’m arranging for monthly massages and pedicures and lots of vodka for after work, and possibly finding a therapist just to deal with the terror.*)

I’m about to go find a fun knitting project to work on, because I’m all flail-y and unfocussed knitwise, and I was trying to work on something for my sister with some yarn she bought but she bought so little that my options are very limited and the yarn is no fun to work with, so I’m putting that aside again. Alas.

And I just ordered some recipe cards and a binder, so I can organize the stuff I get off the Web and write down recipes from cookbooks where I only like a handful of recipes, so I can send the books themselves on.

Also up for “when the estate settles” — getting an old London Underground poster (“Brightest London is Reached by Underground”) framed to match my Paris metro map and my 1908 Underground map; getting a smallish bookcase to live between the big bookcase and the sideboard; maybe getting a new dining room set that matches all the other living/dining room furniture (ie, is not pine from IKEA).

2011 wasn’t hideous but December kicked my ass, so I’m hoping for some smooth sailing for a little bit. Please!

* When I took the job I didn’t know there was an entire unit dedicated solely to customer service; I figured everyone just had a little sprinkled into their job like at my old place. Also, at my old place we actively discouraged people from coming in; we only wanted stuff done in writing or over the phone, and had very little space/provision for people to come into the office. Here, they actually require you to come in and see us, which means they need to have a whole unit just for that. It’s scary as all get-out to me.