A Life Blinks out

Last night when I got home from work, I found Oliver had died. I don’t know what happened as when I left for work at 4:00 he was snuggled down into Mike’s arms biting his nose. I would have to say he either threw a clot, had a heart attack or a brain lesion.

I will miss my kitty who used to live in my tennis shoe- He had a long, happy life here with us for many years and was one of my core kitties. I am so numb right now, I can’t even cry.

“Go gently into the night, my gray and white prince. Thank you for all the love, all the laughter and all the snuggles and headbumps. Thank you for gracing our lives with your presence. You will be sorely missed and forever loved.”

It is a time of loss all the way around. It is part and parcel of being in the rescue portion of cat care. One great lady who also rescued, has recently died. Kari Winters was a quiet, wonderful force and friend to feline and canine. I have done something that I hate having done to me. I have taken a great poem and rewrote it to fit her life. It drives me crazy when folks do that to one of my poems about horses- but I would hope the original poet Mary Frye would understand.

Do Not Stand at My Grave
(With my apologies to Mary Frye)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I no longer sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain.
I am the fields of strays, hunting their game.
I am in the early morning hush of purrs,
I am in the graceful crush of silky fur,
Of beautiful cats who capture the light.
I am the glow of the eyes piercing the night.
I am in the catnip when it blooms.
I am with you in a quiet room.
I am in the tomcats when they sing.
I am the laughter when kittens find string.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there — I do not die.


Early Morning Greeting

Excited yips pierce the air. At the entrance of the dog park, Gretchen, our 7 month old German Shepherd mix is beside herself with anticipation. I have the coveted chucker in my hand, and she loves chasing the tennis ball.

Her leash is tucked securely in my pocket. I don’t need it, as long as I have the tennis ball chucker, she gives me her undivided attention. Inside the enclosure, Jake, her buddy waits anxiously. He wants to run and Gretchen gives him that opportunity. She flies after that ball. Jake, is a gentle golden retriever just under 2 years old. His owner Pam has been recently diagnosed with brain cancer. He lets her know when seizures are immenient. But right now, his focus is on Gretch.

I fling the ball into the enclosure, and although the two gates to the dog park are open, Gretchen does a complete, all out run around the entire outside of the dog park. Her head is low, her ears are tucked back and her tail helps propel her as she runs. As usual, she captures everyones attention when she runs. One dog owner comments “You should have named her torpedo.”

The only time I hear those excited yips is just prior to our entrance into the dog park. She chases the ball until she drops and dogs can come and go during the ball time, she pays them no mind. Her concentration is on the ball.

Pledge Fabric Sweeper (for pet hair)

Saw this new product in the supermarket and decided to give it a try. I can’t say that I had much luck with this product and perhaps it is because I have so much cat hair all over the house.

I found the sweeper keeps the pet hair outside the roller, regardless of how many times I swept side to side as instructed (to push the cat hair inside) I even tried circles but that didn’t help. It just made a bigger mess.

I think I will stay with my spiral curry comb. It does a much better job.

Just Meandering

Today I turn 54 years old. When I look back on my life, I don’t see any accomplishments that would make me newsworthy or inspire my parents to be very proud of me.

I live a simple life, I struggle sometimes to get by like most everyone else I know these days. I don’t go on long extravagant trips, spend money gambling, drinking or drugging. I try to follow the basic Bible Principles, but my life has been relatively quiet for the most part.

I see behind me instead of accolades for scholastic achievments, or scads of friends wanting to just spend time with me…I see a line of kitties that were able to gain a foothold in a world they did not ask to join. I see them brought to health and sent off to live in a forever loving home. I recall with fondness the emails sent over the years from grateful web-surfers who stumble on to my kitten-rescue.com and are able to take what is offered there and apply it to their situation and successfully raise a feral or stray kitten into a loving companion.

One such surfer said that my site “demystifies the process and takes it from complicated to loving and simple.”

I guess in the long run, that’s not a bad legacy to leave behind.

Anger Management

This year, I sent my mother a gift basket from a reputable company I found over the Internet. Imagine my surprise when my mother informed me the gift basket I paid a good price for contained old, moldy and rotten fruit, bad chocolate and smelled! I am in the process of writing a not so nice letter to this company as soon as I can contain my anger. I want my words to carry the weight, not have my anger burn across the pages. I work hard for the money that comes into this house and do not spend it foolishly. The website showed it received good traffic but I should have done a search for complaints against it first. I think they are going to be sorry they heard of me, after I get through with them.

What’s Past is Past

My ex-husband called today. I wish I could say that he called out of the blue, but it is coming to close to a painful anniversary for me to believe that he called for no reason.

He is now in Oregon, thankfully over 6 hours away living on a ranch of sorts taking care of the place while the owners travel.

We didn’t bring up Jeremy in our conversation, but I sensed he was still hanging on the grief of long ago. You can never forget the loss of a child, I don’t care how many years pass, it never leaves you. For him, after our son died, Don shut down much like a clam at low tide. He didn’t weep, he didn’t scream, he didn’t mourn, he just became withdrawn and quiet while I kept pushing him farther and farther away from me each day.

I have a feeling that on the day of Jeremy’s passing, my phone will ring again with Don on the other end. I hope, perhaps by then, he will be able to voice his grief, held so closely in check all these years and then be able to move past it finally to find a life again.

I will tell him that not one day passes that I do not think of our son and a life lost. How I wonder how Jeremy Ryan would have turned out, and what kind of mother (and father) would we have been to this boy? I will tell him that on the day of his death, I will once again visit a local department store, buy a toy for a young boy and then sit outside on the bench looking for the right boy to give the gift to. That is how I honor the memory of my son. I make another little boy happy in order to stop the unhappiness that could so easily take me away on that day.

I wish Don the peace to get through the day and the strength to understand that not all things are under his control. Not me any longer (thank God) and certainly not one little boy with long legs and a shock of red hair who didn’t stay with us but instead moved on to play with the angels.