Tuesday, March 21, 2017

That Which Does Not Kill Me...

No, I haven't died.  Just in case you were wondering.

The world is a strange and confusing place, and I seem to be floating back and forth between 'strange' and 'confusing'.

                                              (Mike Twohy)

I've often read/heard this quote by Nietzsche, and it annoys me every time.  However, right now I'm hoping it's true, because otherwise I'm going crazy instead of getting stronger.

I was really hoping that 2017 would be a better year than the previous three, and it still might turn out that way.  So far, though, it hasn't had much to commend it.  Both our rent and my student loan payments are going up in April; not through the roof, but enough to make things difficult.  There was a fire in our apartment complex a few weeks ago. While our apartment wasn't damaged, it was a really scary experience.  My in-laws in Florida are having serious health issues, and we are worried about them but can't do much from California.  We had to put our oldest cat to sleep (her "In Memorium" is the post before this one).  And ALL of this stuff happened in March!  It feels like the Garbage Truck of Life is dumping on my house... again.  I really wish it would lose my address.

Fortunately, better things are also in the works for us.  We are getting ready to start house hunting, and we are going through a national non-profit organization called NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America), which will allow us to avoid having to come up with a down payment and closing costs.  I've only got three more museum classes to take before getting my certificate (the next one starts in April).  I'm working on a new horror short story.  And I just colored my hair a pastel smokey sapphire blue!  The color looks pretty good, although I didn't quite do it right so some of the hair underneath in back didn't get colored at all.  But, hey, I can always buy another box!  :-) 

At this point in time, I'm sort of content just to float along and see what happens next.  I don't really feel like doing anything, as in being proactive about the future, other than the house hunting.  And even that is really something I need to do because the extra rent will be an extra hardship, especially since the new owners are grousing about us having pets.  The past couple of years have really tired me out, and I need some downtime.  So right now, I'm going to sit here in my office, listening to the German Gothic band Faun's Totem album and smelling the freshly opened daffodils I bought at Trader Joe's, and just BE.  

And if any of you would like the Garbage Truck of Life to visit your house, just send me your address, and I'll be glad to send It along. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

In Memorium: Scathach/Pachamama, 2001?-2017

She was a beautiful tortoiseshell cat, originally known as 'Spitter', mainly because she would hiss and spit at everyone, especially her former human.  When we met her in 2004, she had been living on her own on our apartment complex property for about two years.  She had had at least three litters that we knew of; we had one of the kittens from the first one.  That summer we noticed her taking her three kittens to drink at the pool, which is next to our living room window.  We started bringing them water so they wouldn't drink out of the pool, but of course, that turned into bringing them daily food as well.  She never meowed at us; instead, she hissed.  We soon learned to translate these fairly well:

"Hiss." (Oh, it's you.)

"Hiss!" (We're hungry, feed us!)

"Hiss! Hiss!"  (You're late, where's our food?)

"Hiss?"  (More, please?)

"HISSSS!!"  (Don't try to pet me, you idiot, I'll rip your arm off!!)

We named her Scathach, after the Scottish warrior woman who trained many of the great warriors of Celtic mythology.  It seemed fitting, as her weaponry was rather formidable, considering she weighed only around six pounds.  However, she never once actually scratched or bit either of us, although once she did warn Martin off with a hiss-and-swat when he tried to pet her.  He got off VERY lightly, with only two tiny pinholes from one claw instead of a shredded arm.

While she still had this litter with her, she got pregnant again.  The five kittens (four black females and an orange/white male) were born just over the fence from our bedroom.  Three weeks later, when construction work was threatening the tree she had sheltered them under, we brought them in and set up a nursery in our master bathtub.  (Thank goodness we have two bathrooms!) Scathach willingly followed, and graciously allowed us to stay while she raised her babies.

Well, we found homes for two of those kittens, but Scathach and the other three stayed with us, along with the older two that were still with her and the one we already had.  (The new orange and white kitten was Chango, whose 'In Memorium' is posted here.)  It didn't take long until she stopped spitting.  The day she climbed into my lap, settled down, and started purring, I held my breath in disbelief, afraid if I moved she would hiss and run.  But she didn't.  After watching her continue to nurse her last litter for months, even after being spayed, we changed her name to Pachamama (or Mama, for short), after the Inca fertility/earth goddess.  Over the years, she has never stopped being "Mom" to them, running to see what was going on every time she heard one of them cry, growl or hiss.  Since Gandalf took over as king of our 'herd', she has also been affectionately referred to as the "Queen Mum". 

Then, this last Sunday morning (the day after the one-year anniversary of my mom's interment), Mama came up to me crying; she couldn't close her mouth and was drooling all over herself.  We rushed her to the vet and he found a HUGE tumor in her upper jaw, wrapped around an infected tooth.  We all felt she probably wouldn't survive surgery, so we let her go while we were there.  I am honestly surprised she lived this long; we think she was around 16 or 17, and  was down to 4 pounds, all bones, organs and skin.  She has been 'forgetting' to use the litter box for the last 4-5 months and was pooing on the carpet frequently unless we led her to the box.  Unlike the other cats we've lost, we didn't think she would want to be buried up on the hill in the local regional park (our private 'pet cemetery'), so we put her in the back yard where she can watch over the place she lived all her life.  It feels really weird not having her here, but once we knew she was suffering there was no question about the right thing to do.  

Rest in peace, Mama.  May your children who have gone before you greet you with love.  And may Bast and Sekhmet welcome you with honor to the Field of Reeds!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 2017: I'm SO Goth..."

Once again, Morticia Addams says it all in her own unique way:


I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!  Why can't more people be like her??