Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sophie likes the basket, too. She likes it a little too much and has now gnawed through the weaving at every corner.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This was Nick's project last night after I abdicated control of the laptop. I found a site that designs South Park characters because I swear there is a lady at work who looks and moves like one. Anyway, the site was addictive. So, this is us with big eyes, no noses, and legs that don't really move. Nice job, Nick! His first version had me decked out in accessories: a mug of beer in one hand, an iPod in the other, and a camera around my neck. Eerie that he knows me so well...
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
To the family Nurse,
To the patient pet,
Playful when it suited you,
And attitude abound,
You were part of the family,
And my best friend.
I took her to the vet yesterday, both of my aunts coming with for moral support. Up until the afternoon, I had remained optimistic. As Nick put plainly, no matter what happened, Friskey likely wasn't to return to live with Dad. I was thinking that she had become a high maintenance cat in her advanced age, and I would gladly go the extra mile with her providing that she could still have a good life. I watched her waddle around, I listened to her gasp while she ate the can of Fancy Feast I brought with me for a treat, and I heard her scream when I lifted her to leave for the appointment. I guess sometimes you just know your pet, and I knew when I lifted her how the appointment was going to go. I started crying right then. This animal was in pain.
At the clinic, she cried, hissed and growled while the vet examined her. My sweet natured cat was actually hissing. She left the situation open to me, the vet did. She offered that we could do blood work, take x-rays...her statement ended on a higher note than it started, questioning what path I wanted to take since one seemed so obvious yet so painful. I tried to keep my lower lip from trembling as I replied, "I think at this point, the humane thing to do..." and she nodded in agreement and fetched the paperwork. I had as much time as I wanted to say goodbye before they started everything.
I have no doubts that I did what was best for her, and thankfully I had my aunts to reassure me of that in the tender moments just after when I felt like a murderer. I remember so clearly the day I brought her home. Now, I will remember so clearly the day that I didn't.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
For the first time since getting my new laptop in May, I tried to access my external hard drive, where I have stored all of my digital images since 2004. Brenda requested a picture of Buford that I had taken awhile back.
Compatibility issue between 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader and Windows Vista
Wow. Sucky. Looks like I will be bugging my aunts to burn a (few) CD(s) off of my picture files. This week has been mostly lousy anyhow, so why not this, too. I have been attending class at work, class at home, and all the while I have been thinking about what will happen tomorrow. My mind is tired, and I feel sluggish. I have a 750-word essay due Sunday that I haven't even started researching yet. Nick brushes off this concern, says I can crank out 750 words in a heartbeat. True.
I am taking Friskey to the vet tomorrow afternoon. Dad pulled a 180° on me early this week and told me that she seemed fine now. After a week of weeping and making myself okay with the decision, it was painful to hear his words...false hope is lethal. He stopped by the clinic earlier this week to describe the way that she acts, and they suspected that she has the equivalent of human Alzheimer's. They calculated her age in human years at nearly 90. I told him to make an appointment for Friday afternoon when I had my half-day of work. I knew that whatever the outcome of the visit, I had to be the one to take her. I had to enlist the help of my fellow kitty-lovers to go along with me.
On the flip side, I'm a published photographer now! On a whim, I submitted an oldish photograph to a local news station's weather calender contest. While in Florida, I was told that I was a finalist. Yesterday morning I noticed my photograph on a commercial for the calendar before I left. Last night, UPS delivered a package with 15 calendars, umbrellas, a jump drive and a thermal coffee mug. I am July! Since we have so many calendars, Nick thinks we ought to put on up by Sophie's litter box. He reasons that maybe she would like to have something to look at while she "poos".
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I have two weddings to attend this month, the first happening next Saturday. Ever the procrastinator, I decided to go dress-shopping today.
By the title, you likely assume that I will prattle on about foot stomping, audible exhales, and scandalous eye-rolls. You have decided that I enjoy shopping and could waste hours browsing the racks and that I will have lengthened my boutique excursion past the point of sanity.
This was not it at all. Frustrated after finding nary a dress at all at the first store I tried, I left sullenly to find Nick where he was doing his two-weddings-coming-up shopping and shadow him with scuffing feet and Basset Hound eyes. He was frustrated that I should give up after so little effort. I asked him in the car why he had any reason to be upset and would he be happy if we headed to the mall? "I don't want you to do more shopping because it will make me happy. I want you to make yourself happy. You've been talking about buying a new dress for weeks!"
Yeah, but I am a tough body to fit. I prefer a fitted bodice but with a semi empire waist, a wrap dress that doesn't give away too many of my secrets in its deep "V", and A-line skirts. The hem cannot be too long, the sleeves cannot be too short, and I am very picky on how I spend my money.
Well I pouted some more, all the way through target where we picked up household odds and ends and Nick found a cheaper spider-web-getter-outer than he had just purchased, a price difference so inspiring that he justified returning the first and obtaining the second. Backtracking, we returned to the plethora of retail sirens of Greenway Station and Nick suggested that I peruse the store next door to Linens N' Things. Willing to give the exercise another go, I warned, "They close in an hour."
I crossed the threshold and I wanted to touch everything. I am a touch-shopper. Before I focus in my search, I walk the long aisles of clothing with my fingers extended. I have never been the type to wash my clothing before I wear it the first time [Brenda], but just now it occurs to me how much my new clothing has been fingered by other touch-shoppers. Disturbing.
All clothing this time of year is in the pallet that I love most of all: golds, rusts, olives, siennas, and deep orange. At the far back corner of the store, I found a dress to be considered. Faux wrap, 3/4 sleeves, and rouching. I chewed my lip and walked away. So indecisive.
Before long, Nick came in looking for me. I showed him the first dress and he thought I should try it on...maybe that would win me over. Obediently, and perhaps wanting to be convinced, I traipsed back to the dressing rooms. While there, my boyfriend brought additional dresses for me to try, asking that I model them all. I had to tell him to stop looking at one point because I was falling in love with every dress I tried.
For a day shaping to be yet another bad shopping experience in a long line of them, I left that last store buying three dresses that I absolutely could not be without in about twenty minutes. Giddy, Nick sang, "You cleaned up!" all the way to the car. "Let's go to DSW now! You're on a spending spree!"
Later, walking from our last stop of the night, the grocery store, he asked me how much his preferred members card saved me on groceries. To my answer of 39¢, he started his spiel, "WOW! You owe me! Look at how much money I saved y—"
"Don't EVEN!" I exclaimed, waving my dress and shoe receipts in hand.
This was my landscape one morning while doing my homework. I suppose this is how I would feel at four o'clock too if I had spent the entire night running over my parent's faces while they slept, bringing my entire collection of toys to their bed and begging them to play.
Sophie, we've decided, some king of cat-dog hybrid. Every time I arrive home she runs out from wherever she is nestled or from whatever she has been doing to grind her head into my ankles and purr. She plays fetch. She goes ga-ga over table scraps. She chews everything (I recently found gnaw marks on the creamer pump on the kitchen counter). And, the most un-cat-like thing about her? SHE LIKES US.
So rare is it to find Sophie sleeping, I tip-toed over to my camera to capture a series of shots. I loved that she was curled around her ball and that her tail didn't even try to find room in the basket. I came home from work that day and sat down at my desk again. Looking over to the scene so sweet this morning, I found this:
Cat-dog hybrid. I'm telling you.
Monday, October 8, 2007
It is not like I see her all that often. It is not like she is a daily part of my life.
But, I cannot stop the flow of tears. She has brought such a quality to our lives, and she nursed my mother with affection up until the end.
Dad called me on Friday, to tell me that Friskey isn't doing so hot. She misses her litter box, and cries incessantly...sometimes it seems like her front paws do not quite work. He said he didn't feel like the decision was his to make because she is my cat, my ninth birthday present. At the time, I advised that maybe he should take her to the vet, perhaps there existed a treatable ailment...and if not, well we would know what had to be done.
I went to see her yesterday. I crawled back to the corner where she rested and talked to her. She wobbled the foot it took her to get from beneath the wingback chair to my petting hand. Closing her eyes, she leaned back and let me love her, forcing a faint purr out of an old throat. She does not clean herself anymore, and she does not move far before she lies down and dozes off again. Only then did I grow emotional, understand the full choice ahead of me. This animal so dear to my heart, so full of love still, and I had to make the call whether or not she should be put down. So much like my mother, her body is breaking down while her spirit thrives.
I got home and watched Sophie run around, almost like a rubber ball, bouncing from couch to chair, against the wall, to couch...and I sobbed. Such a contrast to the listless animal I had just caressed. I don't know if Nick really gets the tears...I know that I don't. I am an adult, and have taken a lot harder hits in the last few years than an elderly cat...truth is, I do not have a vivid memory of my life when Friskey wasn't there. She was always a constant, a lap cat who loved her family, allowed a little girl to wrap her in blankets and push her around in strollers, and smothered us in purrs when someone was crying. I found myself losing my bravado as I asked to Dad or Nick, or whoever could answer, "Will it hurt?"
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Happy birthday, Sophie! We adopted you six months ago, and the vet that your foster mommy had taken you to said at the time that you were approximately six months old. We stressed for so long about your age, Sophie, often wondering if you would have adjusted better to domestication had you been younger. You did not trust us, often running from the sight of us. I knew you lived here only because your litter box regularly required attention. When I took you to the vet for the first time, I asked Nick to come home and help me catch you. You still had so much "wild" in you. It was difficult for me; I am sure it was worse for you.
We paid extra attention when a pet pro spoke on talk radio on the subject of antisocial cats. We believed that was you, Sophie: antisocial. You wouldn't sit in plain sight of us. You never made so much as a peep. You treated us as potential predators. You are resting in my lap and purring as I type this. My, how things have changed.
You spend a lot of time rolling on your back. People tell me that you must feel secure. People tell me that you must be happy. I know that you are both of these now. I have this picture hanging outside my desk at work. People I don't even know stop to look at it and tell me how adorable you are. Pft. Like I don't know. You fell asleep purring in my arms the other night and I nearly cried.
Monday, October 1, 2007
I am a little under-slept, so forgive me if this is incoherent:
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