Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

National Pet Day

Posted by samatwitch on April 12, 2016

Today is – or was, since it’s after midnight – National  Pet Day, so I’m posting pictures of my current rehomed calico, Ariana.

These are my previous fur people.

My last rehomed cat, Tabitha.  She was 10 when I got her and 13 1/2 when she died of a very fast-acting oral cancer.

Samantha at about age 17

Samantha

Samantha lived to be 22.  She was my first cat as an adult. I ‘inherited’ her when she was a very small ball of fur in Trenton, ON. I had to euthanise her two weeks after her late-in-life companion, Matilda, was killed by a raccoon.  Here’s the last picture I have of both of them.

Matilda hugging Samantha

Matilda hugging Samantha

Matilda was a stray who adopted me when Samantha was 17.  Matilda had been abandoned several times within the building and had been living ‘on the streets’ when she adopted us one very cold, very rainy February night.  It turns out she was also pregnant!  Only one of the kittens survived and Miss Molly brought such joy into our lives for the two and a half years she was with us.

Miss Mollyph-10180

A few months after Miss Molly left us, I found Tabitha as a kitten, born in our neighbourhood. Years later I realised that she thought she was going to be an only child – instead she became a young companion for two older cats, one of whom (Samantha) was starting to look a bit decrepit!

Tabitha lived to be 17 and managed to share her life for 12 years with Natasha, my second small Tuxedo cat, who also brought unexpected joy to my life.

ph-10186

Natasha (my Little Rutabaga) and Tija (the Great Radish) actually applied for the Evil League of Evil!

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Christmas Leftovers

Posted by samatwitch on December 25, 2014

It’s Christmas Eve – well, technically Christmas Day but excluding my nap in the chair, I haven’t been to bed yet, so … 🙂  Christmas is a favourite time for leftover food – turkey, vegetables, cookies, tarts, etc.  I also like to think of Christmas as a time to reflect on the past year, enjoy the company of family and friends, and clear up all your leftover emotions, decisions and thoughts so that you can start the New Year feeling fresh, creative and fully charged.  My wish for everyone this season is to have a joyous, loving time – time to relax and enjoy your favourite past-time, the company of loved ones and peace within yourself.  For some, I know, this is a difficult time of the year, especially for those who have lost loved ones this year and are facing Christmas without them for the first time – or the 27th time, in the case of me and my sister. It gets easier but the hole never goes away.

A couple of my friends asked for a recipe I mentioned on Facebook and so I thought I would put my three favourite leftover recipes here.  I love leftovers after a turkey dinner.  When I’m cooking, I always buy a larger turkey, if I can, and make several vegetable side dishes, lots of stuffing, gravy, etc., so I can heat up a plate of leftovers for several meals.  Then if there is a lot of turkey left, I make Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Tex-Mex Turkey Soup and of course, turkey broth for the freezer.  I don’t really have a recipe for the latter – I just boil the turkey bones with diced onions and some mild seasonings, just in case I need the broth if I have a cold or flu.  The other food that sometimes has leftovers is eggnog and I have several recipes for that, but my favourite is Holiday Puffed Eggnog Pancake.

The turkey recipes can be made at any time, of course – Thanksgiving, Easter, whenever you have cooked a turkey – and can be made with chicken as well.  The eggnog recipe is pretty much seasonal but is a great Christmas morning or Boxing Day morning recipe.  You could even use it as a dessert.

TURKEY ENCHILADA CASSEROLE – Makes 6 – 8 servings

Preheat oven to 375F / 190C

6 – 10 inch tortillas or wraps                                     3 – 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cubed

1 large onion, chopped                                            1 red or green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, diced                                          3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cumin                                                           1/4 tsp chili powder

dash Tabasco or other hot sauce                            2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 pkg Old El Paso Hot’n’Spicy Taco Seasoning      2 – 3 cups Tex-Mex blend shredded cheese

1 jar enchilada sauce                                              1 cup Nalley Roasted Garlic or Ranch dip

1 cup salsa

Saute onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat until tender.  Add cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir for 1 minute, remove from heat.  Mix in medium bowl with cubed chicken and salsa.

Spread half of the jar of enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Place two tortillas on top, overlapping.  Spread half the chicken & vegetable mixture, then all the garlic dip and 1 cup of cheese.  Spoon remainder of enchilada sauce over, layer two more tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture and another cup of cheese. Finish with the last two tortillas.

Cover with foil.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove foil  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 – 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

NOTES:  My favourite seasoning is Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic and Chili which is a puree of the three and gives a kick to any dish with just a little bit – eg I would probably use about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe, replacing the chili powder and cumin and part of the garlic.  You can adjust the seasonings: use hot, medium or mild salsa, regular taco seasoning, etc.  You could probably even make this with leftover roast beef.  I have also added grated carrots to the sauted mixture.

TEX-MEX TURKEY SOUP   Makes 6 – 8 servings

1 Tbsp olive or cooking oil                                         1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced                                               2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin  (can substitue 1-2 tsp Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic & Chili for seasonings – see note above)

4 cups low-salt chicken broth                                     1 can condensed tomato soup

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes                                     2 cups salsa

4 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey                  1 (19 oz)  can black beans, rinsed & drained

2 cans niblet corn                                                       1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about four minutes.  Add seasonings and cook, stirring, for about one minute.

Stir in chicken broth, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, salsa, turkey, black beans, corn and cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onion, shredded cheese, cilantro or any other toppings you wish.

Excellent soup to freeze, thaw and reheat.  This soup is good even without the turkey or chicken added.

HOLIDAY PUFFED EGGNOG PANCAKE   Makes 6 servings.  Recipe from Safeway Select eggnog

6 eggs                                                                         1 1/3 cups commercial eggnog

1 cup flour                                                                   3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter or margarine                                        1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F / 220C.

Mix eggs in large bowl with electric beaters until frothy.  Add eggnog, flour and nutmeg. Mix until well-blended but still slightly lumpy.

Place butter in 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Place in oven until melted (sizzling but not brown, so watch closely).

Remove from oven and immediately pour batter into pan.  Sprinkle top with almonds, if using.

Bake in middle or lower part of oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with syrup, jam, icing sugar or cinnamon sugar.

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For Siberia and Jaguar

Posted by samatwitch on November 26, 2014

A beautiful story that could almost be Tabitha’s except that she had never met any of her ‘sisters’ until Monday afternoon, but I know they were there waiting for her and it was the last thing I said to her, listing their names so she would remember when she arrived.

kittenkamkattery

“Look! There’s another one. Beat you good, brudder!”

“Aach…what’s the score now?”

“Three all…”

The two young cats lay on their backs in the meadow, watching the night sky for shooting stars. It was a particularly good night for them – clear and nearly cloudless, the merest hint of a breeze rustling the leaves in the tall elm under which they lay. They had been playing this game since the moon came up, revelling in the mild night air, the fragrance wafting off the grass and, above all, each other’s company.

Jaguar had been stalking shadows through the undergrowth that morning when he had suddenly stopped still and sniffed the air. There was a change in it somehow. Not a scent as such, but a change in the texture and the feel of the air in his nostrils. He rolled his tongue and opened his mouth a little, employing his…

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Followup to My Last Post

Posted by samatwitch on October 25, 2014

I have now watched the video referenced in my last post because several of my friends thought it worth posting so I thought I should see if they had a point.  I understand why they thought it was worth cheering but I don’t agree for a couple of reasons.  One is because I agree with The Belle Jar that it’s exploitive.  I wrote a rant for FB but I have a wide variety of ‘friends’ on there who don’t know me very well and I prefer it to remain that way, so I’m posting it here.

I agree with this author’s take on the video making the rounds. I hadn’t intended to watch it, given the title, but after I read The Belle Jar’s post yesterday, I thought I should before I commented. There are several things that disturb me about this video. The first one is the liberal use of the F word by young girls age 6 – 13. I admit I’m a prude when it comes to swearing. I was brought up not to even say damn or hell but I do and, although many of my friends wouldn’t know this, I have on occasion used the F word. However, that’s usually in times of great pain and/or distress.  After all, if you use it all the time, as an adjective, adverb, noun, verb, what are you going to use when you really need something to express your feelings or outrage!

In this instance, it loses its power very quickly because it’s used so much; on the other hand I guess it still has the shock value the ad is obviously looking for because it’s coming out of the mouths of young girls.

I could probably overlook that – after all I have seen/heard/posted some pretty powerful poems and posts that have used the word in a way that creates an impact.  What I really object to is the expoitation of these young girls, especially the last bit:  One in five women will be raped…which one of us will it be?  Really??? If you had a daughter that age, is that what you would like them to be saying or even thinking about?  I have great nieces that age and I can’t even imagine them being allowed to take part in a video like this.  Knowing their mothers/grandmothers/aunts/great aunts, I am quite sure they will grow up to be feminists and will learn the statistics but I don’t think this is the way.  As someone in the comments of one article said, if a bunch of young girls had gotten together and decided to make this video, then it would have been an entirely different take and I would have applauded their knowledge and initiative.

Posted in Personal, Political commentary | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

HURT

Posted by samatwitch on March 18, 2013

Hurt permeates our lives

Physically through injuries or chronic conditions,

Verbally with words of shame, bigotry or taunting,

And emotionally through death or loss.

I can’t understand why people delight in hurting others.

I know they must be in pain themselves

But does it really make them feel better to belittle another,

To rake their souls as easily as they would rake their skin?

 

Posted in Personal, Writing - Poems | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Autumn Colours

Posted by samatwitch on November 19, 2012

Burnt umber, polished gold, rusty brown stand out amid the variegated greens of the evergreen trees.  Here and there the brilliant red flames of a Japanese maple punctuate the fall colours.  We may not have the same variety or even vividness of eastern autumns, but the West Coast has its fair share of rioting colour, including late blooming roses of pure white, blushing pink and soft buttery yellow.

Leaves are reluctantly bidding farewell to the branches on which they have made their homes for the past few months, creating a thick carpet of gold on the patio outside my office window.   With the rain we’ve had in recent days, they are not as crisp as I like and don’t crinkle as much underfoot as I shush through them, but it’s a sight I look forward to once fall hits.

Living in the rain forest as we do, the predominant colour of any season is green, even during the winter, and the number of shades of that colour always amazes me.

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MOTHER’S DAY – PART ONE

Posted by samatwitch on May 15, 2012

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – at least in North America.  Twenty-five years ago, I was sharing a ‘picnic’ supper of bread, meat, cheese and fresh strawberries with my mother, (step)father, sister and the man she married the following weekend, in the rooftop garden of St. Paul’s Hospital.  It was the last food my mother ate as she didn’t want to eat anything and actually only had very tiny amounts that night to please my sister and me.  My mother had leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, to be exact.  As it turns out, the kind of leukemia my father had died from 35 years before was a subset of AML, although there is no way to know for sure if it was the same strain that just lay dormant in my mother for all that time.

When doctors say ‘acute’, they know of which they speak.  It was seven weeks from the day my mother went in the hospital in Duncan and was tentatively diagnosed with a form of chronic leukemia, until she died in St. Paul’s.  I was lucky, I had a little voice that told me it was going to be seven weeks so I sat down and decided on what I needed/wanted to say to her or things I wanted to share, questions I wanted to ask and, most importantly, what needed to be left unsaid and unsolved but let go.

At the time, I was working on an on-call basis and so I was available every day for at least part of the day and for the final four and a half weeks, I slept and mostly lived at the hospital.  The one thing I could do for her was to type (and I mean on an only semi-correcting typewriter) the final draft of the book she had spent the past few years researching and writing about the women who came to the coast of British Columbia as teachers, nurses, missionaries and helpmates to their husbands.  They Also Came is the title and she spent many hours interviewing women or their families about the lives of some of these brave women.  One of her close friends who was included in the book insisted that my mother should also have a chapter as she and Dad plied the waters of the Pacific Northwest on the Thomas Crosby V, the United Church mission boat that visited lighthouses, fishing villages, and isolated people on the coast.

My mother didn’t live to see her book in print but she did know it had gone to the printer.  All the money raised went to the Crosby mission fund to support the ship’s journey up and down the coast.  Right to the end – and beyond – my mother was giving.  She died as she had lived, with dignity and courage and love for her family.

Posted in Personal, Writing - Non-fiction | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT MAKES ME A BROWNCOAT?

Posted by samatwitch on March 12, 2012

I wrote this for a challenge on the Serenity Board in September 2005, before the movie Serenity came out, but lived up to my name as the Primary Procrastinating Prognosticator of our crew and left it about 1/2 hour too late, so I posted on my blog at the time.

What makes me a Browncoat? To me a Browncoat isn’t just a fan of the television series Firefly. A Browncoat embodies certain strengths and values, such as those portrayed by Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his first mate, Zoë. Strengths and values such as fighting with everything you have when you believe in a cause, never leaving anyone behind, and protecting the innocent and downtrodden. This was portrayed very well by Mal in “The Train Job”, which was the first episode shown on TV. When Mal discovers that what they were hired to steal were medications for a town suffering from a chronic illness, he and Zoë return the stolen goods. In what was for me the defining moment of the episode, the sheriff suggests that Mal had a choice as to whether to keep the goods or return them, and Mal says he didn’t. That scene was what made me a fan of the series.

 I started watching Firefly because I read about it in “TV Guide” and thought the premise sounded interesting, I liked Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite and of course Ron Glass in other roles, and I am interested in different types of science fiction TV. Most of all, I am interested in watching TV shows – and reading books – about people. I don’t really care what the setting is if the characters are interesting, well-developed and true to themselves. This means you need a good writer who knows and loves his/her characters and is willing, even eager, for them to grow and change, as well as allow them to have flaws. Nobody in real life is perfect, so why would we want to watch characters who are? It isn’t even so much the decisions they make, as it is how and why they reach that decision, and what effect it will have on their lives.

Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe is unique, yet believable. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that China and the United States will be the two major powers from Earth and that they will work together to create a powerful controlling entity. And it is certainly conceivable, some may say inevitable, that we will one day have to leave Earth to find a new home, due to our mismanagement. I don’t have any problems with a science fiction world that does not have aliens in it – the Reavers are terrifying as is the Alliance is a different way. And one of the details I really appreciate in the series is that there is no sound in space. I work in a space science facility and that fact alone made some fans of our staff.

Firefly is an easy series to which to convert fans, especially if they are able to start at the beginning with the original pilot. I have three lending copies of the DVDs, as well as one copy I keep for me, and sometimes all three are out at once. I believe that most intelligent people, and people who are interested in science fiction, become hooked on this series because of the excellent writing, the stories and the wonderful characters that inhabit the Firefly world. Once again, Joss has written about a diverse group of people who come together as a family. It turns out this is one of his recurring themes. (I was a late comer to Buffy and Angel – becoming a fan only after I watched Firefly.) Characters who come together to back each other up, even if they fight among themselves, are characters we want to see more of, to stand up and cheer for, and to wish we could be a part of their universe.

Posted in Joss Whedon, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory

Posted by samatwitch on February 13, 2012

I know, I know.  I haven’t posted here lately.  I actually have a post or two I’m working on but they’re not ready so I thought I’d cheat and steal this from my Tumblr account.  It will go along with the others coming.

This young woman has written an excellent article about what it’s like to live with chronic pain, in her case Lupus.  My pain is nowhere near as bad as hers, or as Maurissa Tancharoen’s, who wrote an elegant post on how she lives with Lupus.  The spoon theory makes perfect sense to me, although I think for me it’s more like a cup of water, where sometimes an activity takes a few drops and sometimes it will take almost the full cup, but for me, I’m usually able to replenish it by resting.

I have degenerative disks in my back which also affect my legs.  On good days, I can walk to work in 15 minutes, walk home in 15 or 20 and sometimes even do a 20-minute walk at lunch time.  On the (thank goodness extremely rare) bad days, it can take me 45 minutes to an hour to get from my bed to the bathroom, into the living room to take an Advil and back to bed, in my small one-bedroom apartment.  (I do keep some Advil and a bottle of water by the bed now.)  I’m fortunate that those days are rare and that I so rarely took even an aspirin for my headaches/migraines/ankle problems growing up that I can get relief from one or two Advil and haven’t had to resort to stronger pain meds – especially since Advil tends to make me sleepy.

Although I don’t have to make the same kind of – or as many – decisions as Christine talks about, there are some I have to make.  Do I need to do laundry tonight or shall I empty garbage?  Both cause me pain so doing only one in an evening is the best choice.  If the arthritis I’ve developed in my left thumb and first finger is flaring up and makes it difficult to cut up meat and vegetables for the stir fry I had planned, I’ll probably have eggs or something simple.  If I lean down to pick up my cat, chances are very good that I won’t be able to do much else for at least half an hour, so she better give me good cuddles! 🙂  (And often she jumps up by herself.)

One of my favourite things to do is making cookies to give to friends for birthdays, holidays, as thank yous.  Standing up to bake and leaning over to take them out of the oven are now things I have to consider with respect to what else I need to do.  The same goes for entertaining.  Because I love to do it so much, I will continue, but I try to do as much as possible beforehand, and I take at least one day after to recover.  Fortunately, sitting is something I can do, which is odd for disk problems, but good for me. 🙂  Therefore, when I’m cooking or baking, I sit for a couple of minutes, usually every hour to begin with, then gradually as the day goes along, it’s about five minutes for every 15 minutes.  But when I sit down to dinner surrounded by good friends, interesting conversations and much laughter – always laughter – my cup is replenished at least half-way and that’s good enough for me.

I’m very lucky, in that I have friends who give me cleaning ‘vouchers’ as birthday and Christmas gifts, who come over to visit and empty garbage and recycling, who do the dishes for me after a big dinner, who will go out of their way to drive me somewhere.  Even at work, my coworkers will lean over to pick up something I’ve dropped so I won’t have to.  On days when I’m well enough to sit up but walking is a problem, my supervisor or a coworker will pick me up and bring me home.  (It helps that I live so close, of course.)

But the ‘good’ days still outweigh the bad by a long shot, days where I’m grateful that I can still walk to work and back; that I’m a long way from having to use a cane or walker or scooter; that I can enjoy the salt air, the beautiful mountains and ocean that I can see on my way to work and the park in which I work, which teems with wildlife – bald eagles, flickers, Canada geese, ducks – for most of which I have been foster mother – and currently five coyotes, not to mention all the dogs, other birds, etc.  I have friends and family that I care about and who care about me, a job I like and an annual charity event that is worth every effort I put into it.

Usually I end up with a ‘cup’ half-full at the end of the day (which is how I’ve always looked at life anyway!), and if I don’t, it’s because I’ve been doing something I love – entertaining, baking or spending time with friends – so it’s still worth it to me.

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REMEMBERING MISS MOLLY

Posted by samatwitch on December 8, 2011

I wrote this a couple of months after the death of my youngest cat, Miss Molly.  I can’t believe it’s been that long, but then Tija is 16 1/2 now and I acquired her a few months after this.  Miss Molly brought much joy into my life even though she was with us a short time.

REMEMBERING MISS MOLLY

On September 16, 1994,  I came home to my apartment after a wonderful warm, sunny day out of town, to discover two messages on my answering machine.  The voice was that of an unfamiliar woman.  In a sympathetic tone, she identified herself and told me she had my cat, it had been hit by a car and she was sorry, but it was dead.  The second message was from the same woman who told me not to worry about how late I got home, but to phone them whatever time it was.  Since my two older cats had greeted me on my arrival, I knew that it was my youngest, two and a half year old Miss Molly – my “wee little Miss Molly” as I often called her – and the tears began to flow.

She wasn’t really that small, she just appeared so.  She was actually taller than her mother Matilda, although slimmer, and bigger than my oldest cat, Samantha.  But there was something about Miss Molly that always made me think of her as “wee”.  Perhaps it was her large green eyes, which made her pointed face appear smaller, or just the fact that she was still very kittenish.  Or maybe it was because she was a gift I had never expected and I still have vivid memories of her as a newborn kitten, especially when she was ten days old and I had to feed her with an eye dropper when Matilda took off for the day.

That was the day Samantha officially met the yet-to-be named kitten.  After 16 years of being the centre of attention in our household, Samantha had not taken kindly to Matilda’s unexpected intrusion into our lives and her subsequent adoption of us.  Consequently, Samantha was noticeably wary of this small black and white wriggling object, no bigger than the length of my hand, yet one whose scent designated her “cat”.

I had had Samantha spayed at six months as I did with Miss Molly, but Matilda was already pregnant when she decided to stay with us.   Miss Molly was the only one of the four kittens to survive and I had decided to keep her.

I called Gayle, the woman who had left the message, and her husband Michael came over immediately, carrying Miss Molly, wrapped in a towel in a square rubber basin.  I stood on the top step of my apartment building, in front of a neighbour I had never met, weeping over the lifeless body of my youngest cat.  It was ten o’clock at night and I didn’t know what to do next.  Michael said my neighbours who lived in the house across the street had offered to help me in the morning with whatever arrangements I wished to make.  He pushed back the towel from Miss Molly’s face, but advised me not to turn her over as the other side of her head and her eye were damaged quite badly.  I thanked him and took her inside.

When I entered the apartment, the other two cats immediately sensed something was wrong.  I put the basin on the floor and let them look at her.  Matilda, who had seen one of her kittens die and the other two disappear (they had to be put to sleep), took one look and sniff and jumped back from the container.  But Samantha kept bending closer, finally reaching out a paw as if to move the too-still body of her young companion.  After all, Miss Molly was hardly ever totally still.  She had a seemingly endless supply of energy, always on the go.  My most often-used expression with regards to her was, “Where did Miss Molly go now?”  Although very affectionate, she did not really liked to be picked up and cuddled, usually squirming free in 30 seconds or less.  However, twice in what turned out to be the last week of her life she had actually jumped up on my legs, while I was reclining on the sofa with Samantha on my shoulder, and stretched out for a long nap.

I phoned long distance to one of my closest friends .  As soon as she heard my voice, she asked what was wrong and was it Samantha?  With Samantha being 19, her death would not have been unexpected.  I explained that it was Miss Molly and my friend sympathized with me over the phone, letting me talk and cry.

After a long night, in which I spent a lot of time just stroking Miss Molly’s face and paw, I realized that her body was now stiff and the essence that had made her my “wee little Miss Molly” had really left.  I held her on my lap in the basin and called the other two to come near.  Samantha sat on the arm of the chair beside me, Matilda on the floor – close, but with her back to us.  I sang – or tried to – a couple of my favourite hymns and said a prayer of thankfulness for the unexpected joy and love Miss Molly had brought to all of us during her young life.  Just as I finished, Theresa phoned from across the street to ask me if I was ready to make a decision about what to do with the body.  She and Maureen drove me to the SPCA where, for $15, they cremated the body.

The next day Theresa and Maureen came over with flowers and a beautiful card to make sure I was okay.  They explained how Michael had found Miss Molly in the middle of the road in front of their house, while walking his dog and, ignoring the blood, picked her up and took her home.  He and his wife, Gayle, had called Theresa and Maureen (who are nurses) to see if they could help, but Maureen assured me that Miss Molly must have died instantly and, thanks to Michael, she was not run over afterwards.  Gayle had stroked Miss Molly into a more natural position and wrapped her in the towel.   I shall always be grateful for having such caring neighbours who made such a difficult and painful situation a little bit easier.

I had three days to grieve before I returned to work, but even there it was made more bearable because of the caring and support shown and expressed by almost every one I work with.  Most have cats of their own or had at one time, and most of them have gone through similar experiences.  And most of them had heard of Miss Molly, while quite a few had seen pictures of her.  Nobody laughed at me for caring so much about a cat or belittled the grief and loss I felt.  I truly feel blessed to have been so fortunate as to have friends, family (my sister and her family in the Kootenays sent me hugs over the phone), neighbours, and co-workers who empathized with me and, for those who knew her, grieved with me.

The pain is not so constant now and I look at the many pictures I have of her.  (She was not only photogenic but seemed to love having her picture taken.)  I think about her high-pitched, and sometimes quite demanding, meow – which sounded much like the woman’s cry in the opening sequence of “Mystery”.  I think about how she tried to effect a fierce growl when she didn’t want anyone near her when she had brought home a mouse, or worse, a bird, but the noise she made was so un-fierce that I was always hard-pressed not to laugh even when I was scolding her.  I think of how I tried to stop her crossing the road but, short of locking her in the apartment all the time, which I was not willing to do, I had to live with the knowledge that she liked to cross not just one, but two busy streets to find a quiet yard where she could relax and run around without fear of being chased herself.  I think of how she would follow me as far as the alley, across the street and half a block from home, when I was on my way to work, and cry so piteously (or so it sounded) that I could hear her over a block away.

I remember how she liked to snuggle under the covers with me, or lie on my arm at night.  I remember the time I woke up and found a small pink nose pressed against mine and two big green eyes staring at me, while a small paw gently batted my face to wake me up.  I remember how she would jump up onto the bathroom counter as soon as I started to brush my teeth and try to get her head between my arm and my face.  There are still tears when I think of Miss Molly and her shortened life, but there are smiles when I remember the joy with which she lived, and I do not, for one moment, regret loving her.

Posted in Personal, Writing - Non-fiction | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »