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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wow! This thing still works!

It's been rough lately, but I remain chipper because in less than two weeks, I shall finally be moved up into the same apartment as my husband. How awesome is that? We got this GREAT deal on a fantastic apartment--brand new, three bedrooms, two bath, 1450 sq ft, granite countertops in the kitchen with a kitchen island and a pantry...whooohoo! I've never lived in anything this nice. Honestly. There's a movie theatre there wherein they show movies periodically. There's a large pool with a fireplace at one end and a tropical island in the middle. The mailboxes are at the foot of every building, so there's no need to go to one end of the complex to a central mail place. There's a huge playground. My place has an actual laundry room instead of a laundry closet. Man, it's awesome.

Alex had to check out the place for us and sign paperwork as I was at the AP conference. The bubbly salesclerk told Alex, "I just KNOW your wife will love this place! If she doesn't, you can tell her that she's allowed to come in here and SLAP me!" Alex looked at her, blinked, and replied, "Well, see, you don't know my wife. She'd actually come in here and do that...but lucky for you, I think she's going to love the place." Haha! Yup, Alex knows me :)

Both schools the kids are going to are fantastic. They will be taking a huge step up from where we were from, but that's good--they won't be as bored. Poor Jared still thinks a 97% in any subject is "bad." He needs to be more challenged.

The hardest issue we've had to face in the last month has been the death of our cat, Chian, at the age of 17. He had diabetes, failing kidneys, a bladder infection that kept coming back...we know the miracle is that he spent from Sept. until recently with us. The vet thought he'd die by Christmas. But he was happy, happy, happy all the way until the last week of his life, and we had to decide to put him to sleep. Now, some of you out there aren't cat lovers, so you're saying, "what's the big deal?" I reply, "FUCK YOU."

Ok, perhaps I should elaborate.

I have a dog and a cat who are still with us, and I love them both. I do understand what it's like to love a dog. Some dog folks can't get it when somebody loves a cat. Fuck you. Some folks don't get it when somebody loves any animal, cat or dog. Please go die and save us from your presence. No really. Go die.

When Chian wandered up to our door as a stray in the winter of 1992-93, I felt sorry for him. I put out food for him. And then, a few weeks later, I got a good chuckle as I realized that at least THREE other households had done the same for him. This was one clever, streetwise kitty. He walked up to us as an adolescent, full of purrs and cuddles, complete with an ear that had a tiny piece missing from it. We always wondered how that happened.

I had promised the ex we would never go over two cats. Well, Chian won over his heart, and HE made the decision to take him on as a third cat. That's right--my ex, the person who until that point really only understood dogs, realized how special this kitty was.

Whenever we went for a hike or a long walk, Chian was there, and we didn't even need a leash. He'd follow us the whole way out. If we did something he didn't want us to do, like walk along a river (he wasn't fond of water), he'd meow the whole way...but still follow us. He cuddled with us on the sofa, the bed, at our feet while we cooked or did other chores. This cat was awesome. When I took a bath, he'd always be concerned that the water monster would eat me, so he'd hop up on the edge of the tub and pat my shoulder periodically, meowing, concerned.

He gave the same consideration to Ariana when she was born. She had colic, and the other two cats at that time would run away as she cried, fleeing upstairs. Chian would stay with me and walk back and forth with me, meowing. When I finally sat down, he'd leap up onto the arm of the chair, meowing more, patting Ari's little shoulder reassuringly as she screamed. No shit.

Chian also told us when I was pregnant both times. He only did this twice, but right around the time implantation occured, he would curl up next to my tummy and take his little furry paw and pat my belly. Both times, he was spot on. Good kitty.

He was there every night in my bed, all the way until his arthritis took over.

He would lie on my paperwork, come when he was called every single time until he became too deaf, and follow me about the place with enthusiasm. Every time I opened up the refrigerator until two weeks before he died, he'd stick his head into the thing and meow, "Chicken? Please?"

The kids could pull out his fur, walk on him, hug him too tightly, and otherwise do things that would make me feel he could definitely strike back...but he never did because he loved them. He'd just purr. And wait hopefully for the day when they were too old to do such things.

There's lots more. All I can do, though, is just say that Chian was better than just about any pet, cat/dog/hamster/horse that you can possibly name. He loved his family, and he made us all love him back. So here we are, with two kids who have never known a day without this loving cat curling up next to them...following them everywhere...coming to them when they had a hard day and wanted to cry into his fur...suddenly having to navigate this world without their best friend.

And so am I.

Really, if you don't get it, fuck you. You're not the kind of person I want in my life anyway. That cat was worth more than you. But for the rest of you who understand...yeah, well, you'll know exactly how odd it feels to turn around and not see him there.

In addition to Chian's loss, we had a Uhaul back into Alex's parked car. I accidentally sliced my finger nearly off with a pull top lid, and had to go to the hospital for stitches and a tetanus shot. Alex had his wisdom teeth pulled, and this aggrivated a tooth behind them, and it turns out to be also a cavity that had to be fixed. Whatever. Crappy month.

But it's all going to be better now. We found this great apartment. I will be able to be with my husband every night. The kids will have a better school. And all of us remaining now are healthy and happy, including our goofy-sweet dog and our skittish kitty who is stepping up to the plate. Firepaw Mercutio somehow, somehow realizes that all of us miss the other kitty, and he does too. So he's being more social and loving nowadays to help out. Blandine the doggy is clinging more, too. We have each other, and we can pay our bills. And if I didn't know saddness, how could I ever appreciate what wonderful things I have in my life????

So, we look onwards to July. It's so very good. And it's just going to get better.