Kevin died on August 2. Literally on the eve of my departure. She was killed and eaten by something a little ways from our house. I didn’t know she wandered that far. All that was left was fur; enough to recognize her.
Certainly my mourning is interrupted; the only night I’ve spent at home since, I dreamed the whole night she was tucked in by my side as usual, and it will take more time at home, thinking I see her following me, or sitting in the field, to adjust to the idea that she isn’t here anymore.
My friend says that guilt is a common factor in grief- if there was anything I could have done differently, if I had come home ten minutes earlier, what if she was out wandering because she was hungry. I really wanted her to live out her whole potential life, to go in her sleep curled in a peaceful knot on my bed. I’m glad two of my friends have lost animals that were the closest of friends; they understand.
I’ve never lost any”one” so close to me. I’ve had my little cat by my side for nine years, falling to sleep together for 100s of nights, and I’ve never spent so much time with any”one” or anything. She taught me so much about love. It took me a long time to get used to her (I’m not a natural cat person, but I became one) and learn to accept her, but I ended up loving her so much. And of course, she was just such a cool cat, even though she was getting pretty frail.
It’s a giant loss. I have all the symptoms of grief- can’t believe she’s really gone, guilt and regret, avoiding thinking about it to not let in the loss, crying suddenly at awkward times, like when I see a cat graphic on a T-shirt and remember that I don’t have a cat any more. I feel like my heart is broken and missing a piece, and that I’ll miss her forever, because there is only one tiny cat with a big personality just like her.
I can’t understand this phenomenon. Sunburn? What’s that? After two hours? WTF? Not me. I think I’ve only been sunburned enough to peel three times ever, and all of those involved all day stints in the sun, so ten hours or more of exposure. For me to burn in a morning is unheard of, and I’m not adjusting well. Is it my aging skin or the thinning atmospheric membrane?
Wearing sleeves and pants all day? Are you serious, I can’t wear shorts for consecutive days? Yet, here I am, only three days into a sunny period, and my skin has that reddish tone of brown and slight tenderness and there’s a telltale sun headache to close the case. I suppose this means I should make friends with sunscreen. I’ll start by getting some.
What I have instituted is the midday sun siesta. It should be a social habit spreading across the latitudes as the ozone layer retreats. Doesn’t Australia do this already, shut down outdoor work at midday? It’s necessary to hide from the sun between noon and 3, or more ideally 11 til 4. It’s nice to retreat indoors after some five or six hours of morning work, eat some food, read a little, write a little, and maybe nap or take a solar shower.
These days, I also hydrate my cat and sit with her as she lies in some discomfort, staring and resigned as her body slowly redistributes the cup full of fluid that makes a flabby pouch under her “arm”. She’s very good at siesta. It may have something to do with wearing a chic fur coat all summer that she can’t take off.
Speaking of, I just moved the camper into the shadow of the barn because Kev was letting me know it was so hot, she’s gonna keel over. Ahhh, shade. I don’t have the same view. Now I open the door into the barn door- nothing like waking up to your work- but this will help us survive until we get some insulation between us and the sun.
We have an illness in the family. Kevin started doing this weird teethgrinding thing that sounded like she’s chewing rocks a couple days ago. She would sometimes paw at her mouth, too, even trying to use two paws at once, which made her tip over suddenly. That part was funny, or would have been if the sound weren’t so alarming.
Off to the vet we went, for the second time in eight years. I was worked right up, after being told the danger of anesthetic to a cat that old, totally worried and grief-stricken at the possibility of surgery that could kill her.
Fortunately, she lives on. Fortunately on two counts. One of her teeth is fractured off at the gum line, exposing a nerve, but that’s better than a broken jaw, and can heal over without dental surgery. She is also starting to have kidney failure, which I wouldn’t have known was manageable or wouldn’t have caught in time without this visit to the vet under other auspices. Its normal for an old cat to have kidney issues, and I would have thought it was simple decline due to age if I saw her getting sickly. Otherwise remarkable health, not surprising.
So, she has to have antibiotics, painkillers injected and oral, and she has to go on an “iv” drip every day for two weeks to rehydrate and help “kickstart” her normal kidney function. Continue reading Kevin’s trip to the vet→
My sunflowers in pellets are reaching dome-ward and my pumpkin starts are bursting larger hourly, but I’ve not yet put the seeds in the garden. Luckily, I’ve had my late-garden guilt assuaged by the fact I’m told by all the old locals, that this area starts late and no one should seed before June.
I’m very glad that this seems true, and if I had planted two weeks ago when I should I should have, it would all be lost. We’ve had an unseasonable stint of rain that is hammering early lettuce into the ground and rotting hapless seeds. It has rained every day at least part of every day for over a week, and it seems like two.
This steady overcast drizzle to downpour has coincided with a bout of illness for me. At first I thought food poisoning, but then as a few days turned into a week I sought Western medicine. The verdict: a mild case of giardia, stay hydrated and your body will beat it. Continue reading Sick and rainy→
Turns out Kevin is for sure 19! From a summer litter too, so she’s rounding 20. She’s so rad for being so old. No spring kitten. My book Everything Cats Expect You to Know says that 19 equals 96 “human years.”
Moved the scamper to the new place! Kevin approves. It’s fantastic to sleep every night like camping. The cool clean air is rich, the stars in the extra-dark country sky are magnificent, and waking up in the yellow dawn and mist among trees is sometimes still like dreaming.
I drove to Ontario with my cat. I was going to stay a month so I had to bring her. I also brought two passengers from the rideshare board, to mitigate the environmental impact, maybe. I just couldn’t be a single occupant vehicle for 3000 miles.
It was just during the coldest snap of the winter, when Regina was seeing -35C. Almost miraculously, we didn’t see one speck of precipitation the whole transit. And the coldest weather was scuttling away in front of us, or something, because the coldest my outdoor thermometer ever read was -22C.
My right hand drive caused a bit of a frenzy at a truck stop in Northern Ontario. A half dozen friendly natives were swarmed around, looking at everything inside, asking questions all at once and exclaiming in amazement. They were just thrilled.
We drove the north route as one of my passengers was headed into Quebec. After we left him, the girl and I were sitting up front talking when we passed a big billboard proclaiming “Book Store 75% off” . We sighed together and looked at the time. It was just after six, there wasn’t a chance that a small town book store would still be open. Sigh, alas.
A half hour later, she bursts out, pointing to the right, “Hey that was it! The lights are on! And there’s cars.” I screeched to a halt and whipped a Uey (or the transCanada equivalent), and we went back to it. Open! Until eight! Oh frabjous day!
Kevin is bobbing her head to smell the air as I stir up a batch of bloody meat, liver, and kelp for her. What is that alluring aroma?
I was concerned about Kevin having enough meat on her bones to stay well as it gets colder. She had a little sneeze for a week that made me feel terrible. Seeing as our environment is only partly temperature-controlled, and she’s so skinny, I went on a campaign to fatten her up, and it’s working!
At the risk of becoming a sloppy cat blog, I am being overwhelmed with love for my cat. Everything she does is the cutest thing EVER. I can’t even believe I’ve become a cat person, and I’m so attached to her. Continue reading Purring makes me smile→
Did a tiny batch of canning today with the last hours of stove ownership. Gorgeously blood red plums and some pears, although found peeling the green pears terribly tedious.
Kevin showed her first signs of alarm when the fridge left. I got the WTF meows and tail-twitching suspicious staring at the place where the fridge was. I was surprised at this. Whole house has been in furious uproar for weeks and whole rooms are totally emptied. Even her favorite recliner got taken away, but no, it’s the fridge’s disappearance that gets noticed. She doesn’t even get fed out of it. She just sits in front of the door and gets whacked with it several times a day.
And so: a moment of humour. I didn’t do it! I just walked in and saw this and tried to get the picture before I died laughing. She’s still sound asleep in the After picture.