Friday, April 20, 2018

I Caved.

After my last adventure with feral cats ended in heartbreak, I swore up and down that I would NEVER do it again. I had myself convinced that they'd be better off on their own than risking the dreaded feline leukemia test, and the inevitable euthanasia that would follow if it didn't go well.

And I stuck to my guns... for a few years anyhow.

Then this happened.


It's been hanging around for a few months, and I was hoping against hope that it belonged to somebody. It sorta matched the description of one of my neighbor's cats, so I kept telling myself "it has a home, it has a home, it has a home."

But it just kept coming around sniffing in the bowls of squirrel food, looking longingly at the sparrows in the neighbor's bush, and acting hungry. So I finally called my neighbor to see if it was, in fact hers, and no.

So seeing it looking skinnier and skinnier, I finally gave up and put some food out. Oh my gosh... it gobbled that food like it hadn't eaten in months - and it may not have. And you know, once you feed it, you pretty much own it.

Oy.



I'm batting about 500 with stray and feral cats, so I'm preparing myself to have my little heart ripped out and stomped on again.

I don't know if it's male or female, but the tipped ear would seem to indicate that someone's had it fixed, and presumably that means it's also been vaccinated at least once - which is a good thing since there's been an outbreak of rabid skunks in the neighborhood.

And the fact that it's not an unaltered male means there's less chance of it having FIV or FeLV. But at this point I doubt I could catch it anyhow, so I'm not sure it's worth worrying about. Once they've been trapped, they tend to become quite wary of those things, so taking it to the vet probably isn't even a possibility unless and until I can get it to trust me enough to get it in a carrier.

So far I've just been feeding it once a day and then it goes along its merry way. But yesterday I realized it's "merry way" wasn't taking it very far, because it was hanging out in a little sheltered area next to the front porch. And late last night when CatMan left, it bolted out of one of the compost bins in the driveway, so I now know where it's been sleeping. Sigh.

Anyhow, a big storm is moving in and it's supposed to pour rain for the next day or two. So I crafted a little house for it out of an old covered litter box that I could never get anybody to use, and put it in the area next to the porch where it's been hanging out.


I also fortified its little nest in the compost bin with a make shift rain cover...


...and put some extra straw in there for warmth.


So at least my little kitty friend has some options for getting out of the rain.

I have no idea where this will lead, but I'll keep you posted. I was so hoping that I wouldn't have to fret over any more outdoor kitties. Oh well... best laid plans of mice and cat ladies.

So that's the news from the funny farm...

Hope you're all happy & well.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Alphabetically Speaking

So April is the month that many brave bloggers are doing the A-Z challenge, which involves writing a post every day, one for each letter of the alphabet (with Sundays off.)



I tried it once, but honestly, it sorta wore me out. Nevertheless, I do like the idea, and I'm having great fun reading Live & Learn's posts.

Anyhow, her post on poetry got me to thinking about words... there are some words that I just like. Some I like for the meaning, some for the things they conjure up in my brain, and others are just fun to say.

So... for no particular reason, here are some words that came to mind when contemplating the alphabet.

A is for alabaster
B is for beckon
C is for calamity
D is for dromedary
E is for epiphany
F is for fanciful
G is for grace
H is for hullabaloo
I is for idiosyncratic
J is for judicious
K is for kleptomania
L is for lapidary
M is for mystic
N is for nefarious
O is for opulent
P is for persimmon
Q is for quintessential
R is for rhapsody
S is for sumptuous
T is for tapioca
U is for utopia
V is for voluptuous
W is for whippoorwill
X is for xenophobic
Y is for yearning
Z is for zealous

I'm sure on a different day I'd choose different words, but those are the ones that struck my fancy today.

What words are you liking today?





Sunday, April 1, 2018

Processing...

A week or so ago, I started a post entitled "The Mysteries of Motivation." I wrote about 3 sentences and then... well... I got distracted and somehow lost my motivation to finish it.


I know it's been forever since I've written, and I'm not exactly sure why. I keep forming posts in my head, but I just don't seem to be able to put into words the things I've been feeling lately.

For some reason, the Parkland shooting and its aftermath really hit me hard. I spent several days sobbing my eyes out. In a funny and sad way, it's wasn't so much the horror of what happened, because it's almost become commonplace these days to turn on the news and hear that some crazy person with a semi-automatic rifle has murdered a pack of innocent people. No... it was more the reaction of the kids that got to me.

Much has been made and written about the eloquence and articulateness of the kids who have been spearheading the #neveragain movement. And listening to them speak does fill me with hope. But the images that really got to me were the videos taken the morning after the shooting, of kids in the streets holding signs and screaming.

There was just something about the raw emotion they were expressing that really tore me up. I mean, on some level, the protests are wonderful... and I'm so very heartened to see these kids channeling their grief into action... but the very fact that they should have to do it in the first place... it's all just so very, very wrong.



And then there was the very distressing news coming out of the Arctic. Not sure if this made it into the consciousness of people who aren't as obsessed with the topic as I am, but back in February, some very strange and unsettling things happened up north. Basically, a surge of warm air burst through into the upper layers of the atmosphere (called a "sudden stratospheric warming event") and split the polar vortex into several pieces. This caused freakishly cold weather to descend into Europe and the eastern half of the US, but it also caused freakishly warm air to surge into the arctic.

There was a general freakout in the scientific community as places that should have been frozen solid and still gaining ice for the season were instead melting in the dead of winter.
I realize this is just one weather event, and one can't necessarily draw deep conclusions from one event, but it certainly felt ominous, and I just don't think it portends well for the future.


You know, waaaaay back in my early 20's I had an experience that sort of altered the course of my life. I was still living with my Ex. It was the weekend, so we had his young daughter staying with us, and for some reason it was just me and her home together. She was about 3 years old at the time, and some event (which I can no longer remember) caused her to melt down into a complete and total temper tantrum.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, I heard my mother's voice come out of my mouth.


I'm sure this is a fairly common experience among young parents, but given the fact that I had recently become an "insta-parent" ... or "insta-step-parent" well, it totally threw me. It wasn't fear of becoming my mother, it was more that it brought up a whole pile of emotions from my own childhood, which, until that moment, I had pretty successfully shoved into submission.

Part of me wanted to have my own little meltdown, but, of course, I couldn't. I mean, really... what was I gonna do? "Sorry sweetie, I know you're screaming at the top of your lungs, but this episode has triggered some unresolved feelings from my childhood and I really need to go deal with them."

Anyhow, in that instant a whole bunch of things became crystal clear to me. Both of my parents came from abusive alcoholic families, and both had vowed that they would never do to their children what had been done to them.


And to their credit, they didn't... sort of.

While neither of them drank or was physically abusive, they both became masters of psychological torture. The thing is... they weren't bad people, they were both just hopelessly trying to outrun their own personal demons... as were their parents, and their parents before them.

The whole experience didn't last longer than a few minutes, but it was like I could suddenly see generation after generation vowing to "not be like them" but never being willing to do the difficult work of dealing with their own shit... and thus dooming themselves to pass along some new and different version of the same old shit to their own children. Because, you know, will power is simply not enough.

So that was the moment in which I decided that unless and until I could be damned sure that I'd dealt with my own demons, I wasn't gonna have children of my own. I just couldn't face the possibility of creating another incarnation of the family bullshit.



So what does any of this have to do with school shootings or climate change? Honestly, for the past 6 weeks or so, I just haven't been able to shake the feeling that we, as a society, have collectively failed our children. It's like we're all part of one giant dysfunctional family, and we're all just, as a society, doing the same things that my own personal dysfunctional family did.

We see the problems, but we can't bring ourselves to face the reality behind them. So we simply dress them up in different clothing and pass them along for future generations to deal with.

I don't know where any of that leaves me. As the title of this post would imply, I'm still processing...



In the meantime, life goes on. CatMan and I have been enjoying long bike rides. The scenery is amazing as usual.






And I even got up early this morning to open the curtain on the front window so Jasper and I could enjoy "Easter Sunbeam Services."


So it's all good. I can only hope that this new generation will be willing to tackle things in a way that previous ones have not.


Happy Easter everybody. May the season of rebirth fill us all with hope for a better future.