The road trip will begin in two weeks for the annual camping trip. There is loads (pun intended) to do and loads of packing and re-packing to occur between now and then. Per the norm of the past several years… work is an overwhelming entity in and of itself and won’t slow down anytime soon. I’ve been to two more funerals recently – Joe Boyer died June 11th and then Sherida died June 25th. I am sooooo looking forward to getting into line at the crack of dawn on August 7th and setting up camp. Praying for safe travels. What color will my hair be?
Archive for July, 2006
Bubba was born on July 12th, 1992 so he is fourteen years old today. Other than a brief period while I was doing an internship in grad school and one day a few years ago when he somehow got outside – he and I have been together ever since then. He was born in my house. My partner, at that time, and I were living in Iowa City near the Iowa River and had been feeding a stray cat whom we had named Fred (prior to figuring out that she was pregnant). She stayed outdoors but on that particular morning I “knew” that she was going to give birth. We brought her in and helped her situate herself into a box full of old t-shirts. She struggled like crazy with the first kitten. The second one however, popped right out. The 3rd and 4th were also quite a bit of work on her part. Well, I fell in love instantly with that second kitten and knew that I was going to keep him despite the previous discussion of finding homes for all of them. I named him Bubba and can’t really say why at the time other than it “fit” and has continued to be a name that nobody questions when they meet him. He was dubbed a “yellow tiger” by his first vet but it is easier to describe him as a big orange cat – not unlike Garfield (and he does appreciate lasagna). The funny thing about his size is that he was, I am not kidding either, twice as big as the other three kittens in the litter from the minute he was born. He grew fast too… and has rarely missed a meal in his entire life. I honestly cannot describe how important he has been in my life. He has always “been there” for me no matter what is going on. But even more than that, he has witnessed my “growing up” stages and helped me appreciate and see my own maturing for myself as well. I have learned a great deal about myself through him (and his siblings of course). I am hopeful that he and I will have more time together despite his aging. I am not ready to lose his companionship at this stage of the game. Tonight, we made a special dinner in honor of his birthday and gave him plenty of ‘people food’ treats, I didn’t even make him wait until we were done like normal. I also gave him a new toy (a small stuffed squirrel that I can re-fill with catnip). He played with it for quite a while and then used it as a pillow for a nap. He has allowed his new younger brother, Mr. Whiskers, to play with it this evening as well. He seems to be more energetic and playful recently and is, I assume, adjusting to his more recent grief. By the way, Bubba is quite inspirational with my writing. I know, most cats tend to be “helpful” with activities but I am not being sarcastic in this case. He will oftentimes sit on my desk, next to the computer and either sleep and purr while I type – or lean up with his paws on the keyboard a bit and watch the words appear back and forth across the screen. I promised him I would write about him today and beleive he will appreciate this.
I went to a Western medicine doctor today – not something I do often. I have already heard the news that my thyroid is underactive. I heard it about three years ago. It has been suggested prior to today that I begin on medication, in fact, previous doctors have insisted that I begin medications. I have loads of excuses and some good reasons not to. Today however, I had a wonderful experience with a doctor who listened to me and my concerns. A doctor who did not simply insist that I start medications but actually encouraged me to take my time in researching and deciding what I will do about this. Her lack of pressure and respect for my anxiety around this was most helpful. The fact that my “numbers” around this have gotten considerably more abnormal in three years time frame makes me take it all more serious as well. I am not sure yet what I will do but I am certainly grateful for this doctor and know that I am not afraid to follow up with her on this and other issues that have been too frightening to deal with for far too long.
We have a new addition to our family. Three-out-of-four of our original cats are now deceased. Grunt died Friday, New Year’s Eve on 12/31/04. Indigo died the Monday after Thanksgiving on 11/28/05. Monique died the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend on 05/27/06. Exactly three weeks prior to Monique’s death, knowing it was approaching, we adopted Mr. Whiskers from a local shelter. We knew that Bubba, as the sole survivor of our original cat family, would need a friend to survive the loss of his three siblings. We woke that morning, 05/06/2006, and both had dreamt about the cats. We went to the shelter and looked at hundreds of them. In the last cage we looked into was a skinny gray and white cat with medium length hair who was named “Whiskers” by his previous owners. He was curled up in a ball in his litter box. I opened the cage and he walked towards us and walked up and wrapped his paws around my neck and “hugged” me. I’ll spare you the rest of the details for now but, needless to say, we had found Bubba’s new friend. And that he is. He has not only helped Bubba in the adjustment and through some of the loss, but he has brought a great deal of energy and laughter into our home. His whiskers are all white and indeed worthy of grabbing one’s attention. His original name seemed a bit wimpy though so we dubbed him “Mister Whiskers”. He is almost five years old – practically a kitten compared to his siblings who lived well into their teens and Bubba nearing 14 this week. He is a blessing.
I have recently returned from the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa City, Iowa. I attended a week-long class on memoir writing. I am officially re-inspired to work on the website more. I have more confidence in my “calling” to be a writer and to share my stories. Having had three cats die now in a year and half time frame and multiple funerals to attend, it has been busy again. But this class re-enforced the knowledge that making the time to write is crucial. I have been writing daily for years now. I just need to figure out when, what, and how to share with the public.