Etiquette

I’m highly impressed with the cat’s posture. Little feet on the plate… I can’t stop laughing.

For the record, I trained my cats, as kittens, NOT to go on the dining room table or the kitchen counters, and they’re generally good about listening because I made it a mandatory thing. Occasionally, I’ll catch them testing me when they don’t think I’ll find out about it. Felines trying to get away with things is the story of my life. 😉

I Didn’t Sign Up For This

I’m having one of those days where anxiety & stress are overwhelming. Two steps away from hyperventilating, overwhelming. No, I don’t need pity or to talk to anyone. I’m safe and will (probably) live to see another day.

I considered calling my doctor or texting someone, and then chose not to do either. I’m that strong friend who will NOT burden you with my problems because if a medical professional can’t fix it, how will you? For me, this is common sense stuff, but I also cannot allow anyone to get too close anymore and harm me, which happened twice last year. Never again will I permit that. Trust MUST be earned. I have never trusted women less in my life, but that’s where I am now.

Kitten is my familiar, and if I’m not okay, she KNOWS. She started shrieking to get me into another room. She brought me toys and gave me her, “Come on, you’ll feel better soon.” look that is the most human expression you’ll see if you’ve never seen humanity in an animal before. I’ve lucked out; the cats in my life have always been exceptionally human (I have also had two dogs that I immediately knew were once human. I cried each time because neither one could be mine.). Each time I’ve implied this, someone else has noticed it and acknowledged that they see it, too.

I followed her and threw toys around for her, marveling at her energy and the heights she’ll reach. She played happily, but kept looking back at me. If I threw a few toys and walked away, she’d start shrieking again. She has the biggest mouth, so when she makes a certain sound, it’s alarming and you run to see what’s wrong. Today, I was what was wrong, and she knew it.

Suddenly, Cat came running down the stairs because she heard my voice. She’s ALWAYS listening for me. Be it noon or three a.m., if I breathe, she’s going to follow me. I can cough and she’ll come to check on me like it’s her sole purpose in life.

I don’t have to doubt the intentions of any animal I’ve raised, but people? People will give you reasons to doubt, to not trust. People who think everyone is innately good are so off base, and I cannot imagine being that level of naive. It’s a stupidity I cannot afford.

We are all different. We all have shit we are dealing with, and things we are doing to better ourselves.

Me? All of the above. I’m not a negative person due to bad days and painful struggles. When I achieve goals, I know I have earned my place. My achievements aren’t false and I don’t purchase my goals.

No one hands you anything in life. Not in truth. Be mindful of invisible strings attached and the expectations others have when you allow them that level of access. Use your fucking brain!

They say domestic cats are still preprogrammed with certain wilderness skills. It’s often why they will sleep with their “person” or “people”. My cats have their own beds and they use them, but when I’m hurting, be it physically or emotionally, they’ve got my back. People? Not so much.

Kitten is my constant sidekick. Writing? She’s next to me. Trying not to meltdown? She will come to comfort me. I know she loves me because she will bust open the door to my room and just stay by my side. She doesn’t stand on ceremony.

Cat is different. She requires an invitation in calligraphy. She had me for the first year of her life, and while she needed a companion so she’d stop attacking me, she officially outgrew this need a few years ago. To this day, she will still crawl into my lap like she did as a tiny bean, and she won’t move. She thinks she’s still about three pounds. She is sweet and sassy, but ultimately they are both fiercely protective of me, even when I’m asleep. They have woken me from nightmares and cuddled close when I feel cold and completely empty. They often treat me like I am the mother cat. The way they greet me is the way a kitten would greet its mother. It’s beautiful and a little sad because I know they were both taken from their mothers too soon. 😦

Not to knock my real friends, but these are my girls. I know they will be with me until the end of their lives. I made a commitment when I filled out their adoption forms, wrapped them up in a warm blanket, and put them in a carrier to take them home. They immediately trusted me. A cat can live over twenty years. Every single day, I pray I have that long with them. They are such blessings and I never worry about them secretly judging me. I already know they do, but I also know they’d kill for me.

I didn’t sign up for all this pain and strife, but I did sign up to love my little balls of trouble. People will come and go, but your cats will stay by your side because they know your heart better than anyone else. That’s unconditional love in the truest form.

Sorry dog owners; I can only speak for what’s mine.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Deeply Emotional Goodbyes

I apologize to all of you for not writing this weekend. I fully intended to complete a post yesterday, but I had to prioritize a horrible Fibro flare and today, despite one of the worst migraines in my life, I forced myself out the door with sunglasses practically glued to my face, on a 30+ minute trek to say my final goodbyes to OGK.

I had hoped there was something that could be done for him, but as I sat with him, I felt his body temperature getting lower and lower, which I know is a sign that a cat is rapidly declining health-wise. I’ve said goodbye to too many not to know the signs.

OGK was abandoned at some point in his cat life in a college town. If you’re a college student and have ever abandoned a cat to the streets upon the end of a semester or graduation, there is a special place in hell for people like you. Cats are a 10-25 year commitment. If you can’t make that commitment to an animal, get a fucking tank of goldfish, but do NOT get a cat and then leave it behind, or worse, move while the cat is taking a walk because you’re stupid enough to allow it to be an outdoor cat. If you’re halfway human, find a no-kill shelter and surrender it, but do NOT toss it out like garbage and abandon it; it is a living being. It probably loved you, if you weren’t a complete and utter douchebag! 

I am personally allergic to cats and proudly owned by two, whom I adopted as kittens. I will take allergy medicine, get shots, whatever it takes, to continue being their mother. There are no excuses. They know this. They know I love them. They know I would walk through fire for them. They are my cubs.

OGK was one of the rare, lucky ones who was rescued from near-death by a family member. It didn’t take him long to decide that he liked me, high praise for a cat that didn’t trust many people, and frightened easily in the early stages of his transition from street-cat to “Royal Highness”. I spent a full month in total, many years ago, teaching him to “own his property” and be the “man of the house”. Every time I saw him, he gained more confidence. It was much like watching a flower blossom.

OGK and I had our differences. He liked to wake me the second I fell asleep (Not good for my Fibro and worse when I had migraines. I have NO patience, and he tested me regularly.), he liked to meow his displeasure at me, but when he needed me most, once in February and again today, he knew I’d be there for him 100%. He knew I could be trusted and that even though I often yelled at him for waking me and driving me insane in those early stages, that I did indeed love him. He understood that I wasn’t truly being mean, that we were just learning things about each other. He allowed me to comfort him when he needed it most. He allowed me to be his friend.

At roughly 3:30 PM EDT, OGK was put to sleep to end his suffering, and my G-d, he was absolutely NOT okay and to allow him to go on as sick as he was would have been evil. He was approximately sixteen years old. But above all, he was LOVED.

I will miss his teddy bear face and his soft ears. I will miss the times he purred just for me. I will miss star-gazing with him and watching the moon with him when it was just the two of us. I will miss saying goodnight to him, when I would whisper “Goodnight my little muffin man, Auntie loves you. Come and get me if you need anything.” I will also miss him keeping me company at times when I am certain I was only good company to a cat.

When I came home this afternoon I picked up my youngest cat and said “Promise me you won’t leave Mommy until you have to, okay?”

Hug and kiss those you love the most. Squeeze them tight. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Not even tomorrow.

SAM_1074
Rest In Peace my little muffin man. 2000-2016

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.