An update

The cat story ended happily – her people found her through a Facebook post and came to collect her. I was honestly kind of sad to give her back, she was such a sweet friendly baby. But apparently she was deaf and blind, and nineteen years old, and her family had been convinced that she was dead after she got out (not unreasonably, given her age and tendency to stand in the middle of roads), and they were so happy to see her again.

So fucking relieved I didn’t hand her over to that shelter.

In other somewhat unexpected news, I found out that I could get really cheap tickets to go see Bee for a little while, because the visa is taking forever to come through and we are both tired and sad and feeling exhausted and need to see each other. Except, oops, turns out the only time I can go is, uh, this week. And I know it’s kind of pathetic to be so completely thrown off by this – people go on visits and holidays and business meetings ALL THE TIME with very little notice – but dealing with a flight that I haven’t actually had, like, months/weeks to mentally prepare for, is kind of…. argh. Anxiety, everywhere. I’m gonna forget something vital or do something terrible or the plane is gonna fall out of the sky, I don’t know, but something is going to go catastrophically wrong, or so my brain insists.

… shut up, brain, nobody asked you. I’m going to go see my awesome partner and it’s going to be good and I actually kinda can’t wait.

that was unexpected

I went out for lunch with my mother yesterday. We went to a local cafe and I bought some yarn, we had a nice afternoon, everything was peaceful and the sun was shining and I felt really happy to be out of the house and doing something. And then we headed home, except as we were driving away from the cafe we saw a kitten crossing the road. But, not crossing, actually, just sort of standing there. A car was heading towards it, slowing down, but not quite stopping, and the cat wasn’t moving.

“I’m going to grab it,” I said. She stopped. I got out of the car and ran to pick up the kitten. I had meant to just carry it to safety on the other side of the road, but when I picked it up I realised that a) it wasn’t a kitten, just a tiny little skinny cat and b) it wasn’t very well. It was terrified, and confused, and didn’t seem to be able to see very well. We thought maybe a car had clipped it and left it stunned and maybe injured.

A few other people had stopped and gathered to see if the cat was okay. They knocked on a few doors nearby looking for an owner, but no luck. I said I’d take it to the vet, exchanged phone numbers with a few of them so they could get in touch if they found someone looking for a cat. I wrapped it in my cardigan and got back into my mum’s car. Did I mention that my mother is the most patient person in the world? She drove to the vet without a second thought.

Of course, we had both completely forgotten it was Sunday. The vet was closed.

We called the RSPCA. They came out, said they thought she was old and arthritic rather than injured, checked to see if she was chipped (no, and no collar either) and finally said they could do nothing for her except take her back to the shelter and see if someone either claimed or adopted her. Yeah, no. I know perfectly well what’s going to happen to a  blind, elderly cat in a shelter and adoption is not it.

So now there’s a tiny blind cat sleeping on my sofa. She’s weirdly trusting, just sat on my lap most of the afternoon. Ate and drank like she hadn’t seen food or water in forever, which makes me wonder if she might have been lost for a few days. I’ve posted pictures of her on missing-pet sites, and tomorrow I’ll put up a flyer at the vet’s and ask if they’ve had any missing kitties reported. I hope, if she does have humans who are worrying and missing her, that I’ll be able to track them down; I know I’d be flipping my shit if one of my cats had got lost, especially an elderly disabled kitty.

I feel so weird about the whole thing, though. Two minutes earlier or later, I’d never have seen her; she might have been hit by the next car to come along, or wandered into a field and never been found. I hope she’s going to be okay, but even if she’s really on her last legs, at least she’s somewhere safe and warm and not wandering lost and alone into traffic, right?

hiding out

via Daily Prompt: Hideout

Bee’s gone back to the US for the next month or so. J’s over there too for a few weeks (for unrelated reasons). There’s just me and Leaf in our house now, and with them gone and TJ-kitty no longer around, it feels so quiet and weird and wrong. And I’m still sick and my shoulder hurts and everything right now seems really overwhelming. Visa applications make my head hurt. Doing all the things I need to do seems like an impossible, Sisyphus-level task.

So I bought more games on Steam than I could really afford, and I’m hiding out playing them obsessively and watching Frozen Planet and petting our remaining cats. If I could reasonably build a blanket fort and hide in it, I would. Fuck this, I don’t want to be an adult right now. I’ll start again tomorrow.

escaping from real life via monster babies

In order to distract myself from pain, cat death, Bee’s impending return to the US, and the world generally falling apart on a daily basis, I have spent most of this month obsessively playing games. Seriously, I’ve racked up like 76 hours on The Binding Of Isaac alone since I bought it, which was, uh… not actually very long ago. Plus Spelunky, which is more like a personal challenge to see how many times I can die in the space of one minute, but I’m sure I’ll get better at it… someday?

I actually kind of really like the aesthetics of Binding of Isaac, which is weird really, because miscarriage and child abuse are pretty much the biggest AH NO STOP LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU triggers I have, and this is a game which revolves entirely around the concept of a terrified child locked in a basement trying to escape his mother, and which has not one but, like, five dead-fetus items you can collect as power-ups. One of which is straight-up called ‘Rainbow Baby’ (which is a cutesy name for a baby conceived after miscarriage or infant loss, for those who haven’t spent as much time eyerolling at pregnancy and miscarriage forums as I have). But, idk. I think I actually find things that are like ‘la la la, pregnancy and birth are beautiful and universal and nothing ever goes wrong!’ more upsetting. That makes me feel like I’m fucked up and broken, whereas this kind of thing is just like occasional ‘wow, they went there’.

But, yeah – I think the thing I like best is the way the player character changes more the longer you play. You start out as a scared, crying child in a basement filled with monsters, but as time goes on and you get better at fighting them… you start turning into a monster too. And I love that. I love how straight-up monstrous Isaac gets as you keep picking up and combining power-ups. I am super impatient to get better at it and get down to further and further levels to make myself even more fucked up.

(I mean, there’s also plenty of stuff in it that’s kind of terrible and/or squicky. And it’s pretty hatey towards fat people, and women, especially poor women, generally, I think; nothing’s said directly, this is a game with very little dialogue, but it’s clear we are supposed to be disgusted by Isaac’s mother, and not in the moral sense.)

… I was going to talk about Spelunky and Rogue Legacy also, but now I’m tired so I guess that’s enough nerdbabble for one day.

Just finally forced myself back into doing the tarot line job thing for the first time in a while (between cat death and a horrible cough I decided to take a week off) and my brain had apparently decided all over again that it was TERRIFYING. Actually, tbh, I tried to start last night but only made it about ten minutes before realising I was too panicky and also too sleepy to actually take any calls.

Anyway, it went… okay. She said so little I really couldn’t tell if what I was saying meant much to her, though she did say some of what I was talking about sounded accurate, and she wasn’t an asshole to me and didn’t cry or tell me anything that made me despair for humanity, so it definitely went better than it could’ve.

So yay me I guess. I did the thing even though it was scary. Now wine and internet and sleep.

did i mention fuck cancer?

Warning for fairly detailed discussion of pet death and illness in this post.

So this week my ancient beloved kittycat had to be put to sleep. It’s only been three days and I miss him so goddamn much.

He had cancer – a tumour behind his eye – and I knew it was inoperable and that he didn’t have long, but the end still came way too soon. And even though I really, really couldn’t stand the thought of him suffering, I still can’t help feeling guilty for ‘killing’ him by making the call at the end that it was time for him to go. He was still so lively, right up to the very end – he couldn’t close his eye or fully open his mouth and yet he was still wandering around, meowing, purring whenever I picked him up, eating as much as he could manage. He was never a remotely chill or peaceful cat, and I guess even terminal cancer couldn’t change that. On the last morning of his life he licked cream cheese off my fingers and made a good attempt at purring. I know he only had a few days or maybe a week left at best, and they wouldn’t have been pleasant days, but fuck, he was still so alive.

I can’t stop thinking about how he looked after the vet gave him the shot. He was so completely not there. It was distressing, and at the same time almost comforting, because it made it really easy to think that perhaps his… soul, mind, essential TJ-ness… had just left and gone off to cause chaos in the afterlife, or reincarnate as a kitten, or whatever. Like. It really didn’t look like him lying there. It looked like… an old cat basket, or collar, or some fur clippings. Something he just wasn’t using anymore.

Anyway, I’m sure a lot of people would think my grief is ridiculous, because he’s just a cat, right? But he was my friend and companion and he’d been keeping me company for ten years and I loved him. I clipped some of his fur and kept it in a little vial; Leaf kept his collar. It’s not the same, it’s not even vaguely approaching ‘the same’, obviously. But I am never going to forget him.