Thursday, September 30, 2010


Okay, fine, I guess I might as well admit that this whole thing with my cat has me scared shitless.  What a nerd.  What a wimp.  I don't want to leave him, and I can't get interested in movies or books or anything, not even my writing very much, until I see that he is ... well, until he is himself.  I never had a cat before Dorian, and although I've had him now for over six years, those have been blessedly healthy, incident-free years for the most part.  Having his three teeth pulled, and all the anesthesia, anti-biotics, pain-killers, mushed-up food, etc., that entails, is waaaay beyond anything that he and I have previously experienced. It's also beyond what either of us -- and I'm fairly certain I can speak for both cat and myself here -- expected.  He once had dental work a couple of years ago, but it was only a cleaning ... and yes, the anesthesia confused him and made him totter around in a haze for a few days, but it wasn't like this.  He only hid out under the bed that time for a few hours, then woke up and heard my boyfriend and I downstairs talking and singing out to him of treats and fresh food ... and he came down to play and snuggle.  Soon all the trauma was forgotten...

This is more difficult, because if I offer a treat, it will have to be a soggy one, that I have softened with warm water like his other food (canned and "wet" food are available to him here, but he's always hated them); I'm hoping and yet doubtful that he will like this formulation.  Also, for the next 9 days, I will have to remain a dubious enemy of sorts, trying to create a routine wherein I am able to shoot a syringe full of amoxicillin down his throat twice a day.  I feel like this will make his forgetting my transgressions (car ride, entrapment in cat-carrier, abandonment at the vet, etc) much more difficult.  

The thing is, I've always been confident in the fact that if I'm doing what's right for him, and it's keeping him strong and healthy, then the rest will come, because clearly, I love the little dude to bits!  But I've never faced a situation where what I had to do made him seem so very UNhappy.  I mean, not for such a long time.  I'm sure those of you who have HUMAN children think I'm an idiot, going on about all of this shit, but the fact remains that I've never had to raise a child, never had to care for anyone who is very sick, and never had to nurse my beloved pet through much of a difficult recovery.  Just like I have not had a child grow into a teenager who tells me she "hates" me, I have never before had a cat who usually licks and purrs and cuddles with me, who heralds my homecoming on a daily basis with happy meows, behave like he FEARS and/or LOATHES me.  And if it isn't personal, then he's simply reacting badly to what he's been through, and he's depressed and lethargic.  Either way, it's bad.  And I've not had a cat before, and I'm never sure what's a "normal" reaction and what should constitute a call to the veterinary clinic.  My vet is very good, very understanding, and they have never made me feel like a pain or like I was being ridiculous about something ... they are just as devoted to animals as the most loving pet-owner, so that's all good.

I can only effing IMAGINE myself as a mom, now more than ever!  I mean, I keep saying oh, I've never before had a cat, so I don't want to be hysterical but also I don't want to miss the signs of anything that's wrong... If I had a child, for the love of God, I'd be doing this every damn day probably!  Oh the humanity.  And I know that in the grand scheme of everything, it's sort of small-minded and un-important and, well, dumb, to sit and be all upset about the cat not "liking" me right now or being "mad" or whatever.  But it's a perfect storm:  I've had a hard year, I've been alone at home with only Dorian for a companion a lot more than any other year, and we've been best mates in a way, you know.  When I've been sick with my migraines, he seems to "get" it, and he lies by my side in bed, patiently waiting, for HOURS sometimes before being fed or getting a clean litterbox, when I'm able to get up and do these things, or to have a friend come from work to help or whatever.  He's a smart little guy, and loyal in a very uncommon way for a cat, and well, I miss him and don't like it when he's avoiding me.  And when I say that, write it, even THINK it, I know I sound stupid, but oh well, it's true. 

Well, I just replenished his un-touched water and checked on him.  The latter consists of my pulling up the bedspread to look at his eyes and poke or prod him so that I can see how he's breathing, THAT he's breathing.  He usually glares at me, edges away to where I can't reach him (I've always found it fascinating the way that a cat can move to a point EXACTLY beyond your reach, no more and no less, so that you reach out to pet him and your fingertips just miss, haha), and then I go back to my couch where I'm watching TV and not doing anything productive, getting so excited when my friends/family call or come over to keep me company.  What a case I am, huh?   I have to say that it was a little bit funny in the night last night; I was sleeping (not in the room where he hides), but I woke up three different times because I heard him meowing... And there he was, in a place outside my door where I could see him, just staring at me and meowing.  But when I got up on my elbow and spoke to him, he darted back to his hidey-hole.  I pictured a cartoon cat soon to be standing up on hind legs over me with a human-size carrier, or a medicine syringe like the one I gave him, or something (a shiny blade?!), laughing maniacally, hovering over me as I slept.  

OH!  He walks!  He just came out a few times to peer at me with a very serious and stoic look!  He came as far as our living room to size everything up.  This is good progress!  And just in time, 'cuz I'm stirring up a batch of warm water with dry kibble for him, which should puff and soak satisfactorily in a few minutes! MMMM.  I'll keep you all posted.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Yes, I'm BACK!  This is a happy event (coming back to my main blog) for me, as I'm sure it is for my loyal readers reader.

However, I feel all out-of-sorts.  I can't decide whether to take a nap or to try to stay busy ... and I think the latter will lead to mania, with me just running around and starting various projects, which no doubt need to be done but none of which I will finish.  The whole thinking process about all of it just exhausts me, and then I guess I should just take that nap... But I have some new books, and maybe I could read, and I'm just out-of-sorts!

The problem?  My precious baby Dorian-Cat is at the Vet today.  For the whole day.  He's being put under anesthesia and getting his teeth cleaned.  At his recent appointment they found some pretty bad gum irritation and tooth decay starting, and he might have to have one tooth pulled.  I didn't know how prone he was to this problem, but I have resolved to work on teeth-brushing with him.  He will hate it, but it's better than this!!!!  

I had to take my Dori to the vet clinic by 8 a.m. and will not be able to pick him up until 5... I have done this once before, and everything was just fine.  I like my vet, and my cat was great, he did great, and he was sleepy but healthy, everything worked out... But I hate it so much!  It's really obvious to me today how much our lives at home are intertwined!  I got up off the couch and was gingerly putting my feet down, just in case he was lying there, like I always do, because he tends to get under foot.  But then of course, I realized, he's not here!  Then the guys who do lawn work at our apartment complex came by, and they had the loud leaf-blower out, and I jumped up to shut the door, because Dori hates that... but I realized that it won't bother him if he's all the way at the clinic.  I hate this!  It's the weirdest thing ever to be at home with my cat NOT at home.   It's like what?  Why would he be away somewhere?  He doesn't go on play dates or anything, like, without me.  

I do not care if I sound like a poorly-adjusted, co-dependent, over-attached cat mom.  I don't like him to be there, or anywhere, without me.  He only trusts me 100%.  He trusts a few other humans close to that, but believe me, they ain't at the veterinary clinic.  Oh, sadness... Oh, anxiety... I want my baby back!  I must pass the time now, so that soon they will call and the day will be done.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Hey everyone... I don't want those of you who are loyal readers (there are a few, yes) to keep visiting and finding that I haven't posted .... but I've been having a difficult time getting my words onto paper (so to speak) lately, just a hard time all around.  Also, I'm working on a little side project, another blog of sorts ... and once it's "ready" I will be inviting some of you who have been reading and commenting here to come be members there.  More info on that later...  Anyway, just wanted to post and let you know I'm taking a small hiatus from this one (maybe a week to two weeks), but I certainly WILL be back!  xo

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Peace Times Generation

I don't know how to write about today.  It's always interesting to me, especially as the years go by,  to hear where people were when they found out, when they "heard."  I don't remember another event like that, the kind where everybody can talk about how their world stopped and they never forgot that moment in time ... exactly where they were and what they were doing... since I was a child and the space shuttle Challenger crashed.  I was in third grade then, and there had been a plan for us to watch it take off on TV.  TV's in classrooms were not the norm in my school in that time, and when we did have them, it was mostly to watch a tape of something educational.  I don't know that the school even had a proper TV antenna.  I don't remember.  Maybe someone was going to bring the TV into the classroom (because they were always on rolling carts that teachers had to sign up to use and pass around) and show us a recording of the lift-off.  It must have been early in the morning, and I don't know whether we would have been at school.  I just remember that the teacher broke the news to us that there had been a horrible accident, and that the Challenger had not lifted off as planned, that it had exploded.  I believe we were to ask our parents to explain it further to us.  

I mention all of this, because I grew up in a generation that was extremely unique in at least one way.  The kids that I grew up with and I only ever knew peace times.  I mean, there were scuffles and military involvement in different events during my life, yes.  But not like what's going on now.  And not like Vietnam or any war that came before it.  

I should stop here and point out that I do realize a "generation" is defined differently by many different people, and depending on context.  For my purposes, I'm speaking of the kids who came of age, say grew up and became teenagers, with me... Let's say about 7 years time.  My brother is 7 years younger than I am, and his own classmates definitely have their own "generation" with its own music and culture and experiences ... some overlapping mine, but many new and all their own.

I was a Junior in High School when the United States entered into the Gulf War.  Even then,  I don't believe that my generation gained much understanding of what it means to be at war, to go to battle, to face a world wherein bloodshed is being caused by and happening to our own military on a large scale.  If you were someone who had a personal relationship to a soldier or other military member who fought in the Gulf War, that's different.  I understand that having personal involvement changes everything, especially for those who lost someone.  And what I write here is not intended to belittle the efforts of such people in any way; in fact, quite the opposite.   Because if you were like me and so many Americans growing up then, the Gulf War just looked like the United States triumph we were taught to expect.  Even the news was not all that serious (anyone remember the "scud stud," i.e. Arthur Kent?), full of quick justice being dealt by the U.S. before the mighty military came on home to celebrate and laugh at anyone who would challenge our super-power nation.  That is the attitude and confidence, however falsely founded, that I was taught.

I now know that it is a very blessed and unique thing, for which I am full of gratitude, to grow up in such a world, where my country seemed like a safe and mighty fortress in which to live.   My generation never knew fear, not the particular kind that enters into a land and sits with its people night after night, when a nation is at war.

As High School graduation approached for my class and those behind us, many kids announced their plans to enlist in a branch of our military.  Some kids had already entered into ROTC programs.    The woman that I am today is unspeakably  ashamed to tell this, but it's the truth nonetheless:  these kids were usually regarded as the ones who didn't have any other options.  I mean, the general thinking of the day was:  why wouldn't you go to college, or get a job making some money, go get married, etc., after High School?  The only good reason to join our military was because you needed money for college and couldn't get it any other way, or to learn a "trade," as the advertisements promised, because you weren't interested or capable of getting into college or getting a good job right out of school.  When recruiters came to our school and were allowed to set up a table in our cafeteria (but not to approach us ... they could only speak to interested parties who approached them), most kids just ignored them.  If you were seen getting information from the recruiters or talking to them, it was just like this weird stigma... like oh, look, there's a kid who has to go into the military, he/she has no other options.

I did not take notice of this ideology one way or another until years later.  I had my own plans and was very determined to stay on my own "right track" at that time.  No, I was not one of those who made fun of other kids for going to the military or any other reason.  I didn't judge people, as I don't now.  But looking back, I know that the kids were judged.  And I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why.

To learn about that war and so many other aspects of what our country has done, been like, etc., I've had to educate myself.  I did not learn most of the things I feel are very important about our nation's place in the world until after college, when I took it upon myself to ask questions of relatives and friends, to read all the books and other literature I could find, to know this place where I grew up safe and sheltered.

Today, largely because of what happened on September 11, 2001, I live in a different environment, a different world of ideas and ideals.  Now I have lived to see the boys who are of age voice their opinions on what they would do should another draft be put into effect.  Now I have known grown men (and a few women), my former classmates and my friends, who have enlisted.  Now I have communicated with guys from my neighborhood, my generation, all over the world, some who have been sent into battle and some who have not.  Now I'm living in the world that most people have always lived in, the one in which wars break out, the one in which war changes everything, the one in which people go away to serve those of us living here at home, and sometimes they don't come back.  I am sobered and humbled and matured by these experiences and this knowledge.  I have changed along with the world in which I live, along with my country.   I, like everyone else, changed on that September day, for always.

If you are among the many people from all over the world who lost someone on September 11, God bless you.  My prayers and thoughts are always with you, not lessened at all by the time that has passed.  I will not be one who forgets that day.

If you or your loved ones are fighting for us, or stationed and trained anywhere in the world prepared to do so, my heart and thoughts are with you.   I pray that God will bless you and keep you and bring you back home to peace times again.  And I thank you for serving this country that I love.

Friday, September 03, 2010

A Good Week!

This was a much-improved week.  Started out last Saturday (close enough to the "start" of the week for me!) with tickets to the Sox-Yankees game, which was here at home... Home being U.S. Cellular Field in south-side Chicago, for those who don't follow baseball.  It's so sad that, although I've been a major baseball fan since birth, I've only been to "the Cell" (as the Sox park is nicknamed) once since it was named and built.  It used to be Comiskey Park, waaaay back in the day, and I'd been there, but this park is a lot different.

I didn't bring my camera, and I can't believe it now!  I had no freaking idea or memory of the fact that the Cell has these amazing 360-degree views (obviously, depending on what gate you are standing by, the level you are on, etc) of the entire city skyline!  It was GORGEOUS!  The night couldn't have been more PERFECT for an evening baseball game, although the Yankees beat us.  But I mean, this view is breath-taking!  If you come to our city, I guarantee you won't get this view anywhere else except maybe the Willis/Sears Tower.   But of course there you can't take an outdoor picture (at least, not to my knowledge ... if they're letting people go outside up there nowadays, then, no one has informed me!).  

I really wish I'd brought my camera, but see, I was all befuddled by the security measures that allowed only small backpacks/purses/bags into the park.  I read that beforehand, and perhaps now would be the time to inform those who don't spend time with me personally that I always carry a huge bag or backpack with me.  I just can't seem to get away from it.   I have my various magazines, medicines (especially those), my e-reader, etc. etc. on and on!  And I just have to schlep everything and don't mind doing it.  But these days, you have to check on such matters, because many places won't let you bring your huge bag of migraine meds and magazines (haha) into their facility, depending on what it is.  Ok, so I digress as usual ...

So I had packed all my essential crap into a purse (yes, I do own a few, but rarely use 'em) and just didn't know or have the mind-set to deal with the camera.  Oh, and I don't have a camera on my phone, if you can even imagine, haha, because my phone is like 5 years old and doesn't even know what a photo IS.  It's not that I'm cheap or even that I can't trade my phone in by now for a newer model, but ... every time I go looking at them, I get too overwhelmed.  I mean, I really don't NEED all that shit.  I have a great camera, a good mp3 player, and quite frankly, I don't even want that crap on my telephone!!!  I do, however, wish to surf the internet and text all the time with it.  So I don't know, I'll get to that sooner or later... probably later.

Um, so yeah, that was my last-Saturday start to the week, and this week has been pretty darn good.  It was soooo good to get OUT with, like, humans!  I had a really cool person seated next to me at the game.  I mean, my friend Steph, sat on one side, yes.  But the one who was a stranger, well, you never know what you're gonna get, but I got a good one.  I'll tell you about him in an upcoming post, 'cuz he is a Vietnam Vet and actually deserves his own post.

Steph is a friend I worked with for years at my favorite job; yet we hadn't seen each other for like 5 years probably before going to the game together.  And you know what?  It was pretty much like no time had passed.  I mean, we had lots of catching up to do, but we laughed our asses off and just had the same kind of fun we always had.  So it was all good.

I tried to keep my momentum going by getting in touch with friends and family and getting out a little more this week ... yesterday we visited the Lincoln Park Zoo (also in Chicago...Lincoln Park is a neighborhood there).    Oh, I took some pictures THERE, you better believe it!  So I have lots more to write about.  Soon!