Letting Go

There is a new kitten in this house. Like Nymph she was born in April. Unlike Nymph I found her on Ebay. Literally! Her name is not Kashi, she ignored me when I tried, as that name is very unique. I think however it is wise she didn’t choose Kashi. Between Soda and Cereal stealing words from things such as faeries and Sanskrit I would have the most accidental brand name theme. Sylvani tried to answer to Sprite, however she was convinced to try another name. Sylvani, like Sprites and Nymphs are also faeries.

She has adapted well to the household, arriving in a manner that had us both stressed out. Then with about twelve hours of home time she endured a party. It was a fantastic party actually, and I had more fun with hoardes of people in my house than I thought I would. My friends oohed and awed over Meat cake, each one was impressed with the delicious gluten free cake, and yet after it was over I found myself sad. It felt unaccountable so I sat and thought. This was naptime, so I also slept a bit. It was a dreamless sleep.

I realized watching Sylvani peak out at my guests, too shy and still overwhelmed to say hello, reminded me of Nymph when people came over. Nymph would have been this same age but hardly would she have been this size. It became clear to me with in hours of having Sylvani here that Nymph was sick the minute she came into my home. My fears that Sprite gave her the illness faded, though now that is a risk. You see Nymph was abnormally small, so small in fact that I was worried for her. Sylvani is on the small side for her age too, but is almost as big as Sprite. She is far lighter, Sprite is softer.

Nymph purred but her purr was strange. My little purr factories are very good at their jobs, producing purrs nearly twenty four hours a day. Her first hour here, Sylvani purred and napped with me. Nymph did too. Nymph seemed to purr backwards in a way, it is hard to explain but I am left to think that she had other things wrong with her. She was so tiny, so fragile. She was a cat made out of faery dust and love. Too fragile to last in reality.

Sylvani is solid. I have no fears for her future as plagued me constantly with Nymph before I even knew she was ill. I have some residual fears because of the loss of Ny but Sylvani does normal cat things. She knows how to play. Sprite has not had to teach her how. She knows how to jump, though she can’t quite make the food counter. She likes to headbutt my ankles and stretch up to touch me. Her beautiful eyes are bright and shiny and she is curious.

Nymph wasn’t all that curious. Sprite literally taught her to pounce and play. Sylvani is creating her own methods of play with the existing toys. Did you know a laserpointer needs no human? She has been flinging it and pouncing it. She found the truest method of dot defeat.

I talked with M about this for a while, and he said nothing much but did comfort me. There were no words of wisdom needed beyond, “You were afraid to love Sprite, you were afraid to Love Ny, but you don’t seem to hold any fears for Sylvani.” My fear for Sprite was that I would be homeless and could not feed her. This came to pass, though not at all in the expected manner. My fear for Nymph came to pass. It seems my subconscious does a very good job of creating reasonable fears.

I could not see Nymph as an adult cat. Sylvani being nearly identical to Sprite with the exception of the angular nature of her eyes may help but I can see them together in a fear years, Sylvani coming with me as a service animal. I could see Nymph as one but her passivity worried me too at times for a service animal is not always passive with their person, at least with my method of training. Service animals are a balance between proactive and passive.

I find myself no longer so worried that I had failed Nymph in some invisible way that only I was aware of. I find myself mourning her still but not as much. Sylvani is healthy. She is not so small that I worry about her dying because of the surgery to have her spayed or nuetered. She’s a girl so whichever applies. In fact she has managed to kick Sprite out of the sunny spot, without so much as a hiss.

Sylvani and Sprite are most likely related with in a generation. Either Sylvani is Sprite’s Niece or Sprite’s mother lived a long time while producing offspring. This is based on more than their looks. Sprite spent a time in the same Shelter that I found Sylvani on. Via Ebay yet still a shelter. Sprite was found in a similar fashion by said shelter. Both cats were adopted just after being put on the short list for euthanasia. They have similar dispositions so far, though Sprite has shown far more meanness in her life time. That cruelty to people was survival. She was the least likely to find a home, Sylvani’s issue with homes was age discrimination. Too old and too young at the same time.

So I am taking a breath, and I am letting go. I cannot hold on to Nymph out of regrets and sorrows that do not belong. She got what she came for here, and she gave me something I needed too. It was the same thing. Love. Nymph reminded me to love myself. It isn’t the inspirational cat with a disability story, for there was no point of her being ill and suffering that was inspiring. It was simply the soft way she walked through life. She didn’t let her pain stop her from being the gentle soul she was. Knowing how much she hurt all the time makes me sad but, I hear that is true about people when they realize I was literally born in pain. It makes them sad.

I have another post about my mother that will come out soon but for now I am going to watch the cats ruin the rest of the marshmallows. They started this during my nap last night, but apparently Marshmallows are delicious to both of them. Sprite has a history with them, but she prefers the minis. Sylvani adores the big ones. She has flung them, turned them into pillows, and her face when she first bit into one was priceless. I was there for the first taste. It took her a while to decide that the flavor was great! It’s time to turn on some lights and open the curtains and have a day. A day of cat play!

Catnip: My Readers

In my head the title of this post has all sorts of cool robot sounds and lights, it’s half transformer and half comment terminator. Well respondinator. I am still sad, I am still grieving, but I am functional by my normal standard again. I also am well aware I cannot go back and respond to the individual comments of support right now. I know that no one expects me to either, though I try to reply to every comment posted on this blog either publicly or privately. I believe you took the time to write me I should respect that. There are just so many.

I read each one. Each one made me feel loved, supported, and sometimes when I wanted to give up I came and read more of the comments, over and over. Each comment is valuable to me. Each comment is treasured. Every moment when I questioned how much more I could take, there was someone there supporting me. So I could keep going. i could make good choices, I could handle the stress because if I needed to cry, I could either email some of you personally, most of you in fact, or I could write here and I would be supported.

In fact that is just what I did after I realized that I am not alone. I have people here in person and spread across the world who are friends, family, and even really awesome acquaintances that if I really need them will spring into action like emotional support super heroes.

You each are my heroes, you may not feel like it when you seek out words of grief, but groping in the darkness is all there is sometimes and just trying has helped me. I didn’t once get so low I felt suicidal. I didn’t once doubt that there would be another day of living or the value of such things. I didn’t once doubt that I could survive. I did doubt that I could survive without losing my sanity, but, sanity is over-rated anyway.

So this is my reply to each comment. Thank you for your support. I know that though there are only a few words when someone faces loss and they all look the same when you are the one who has to say them, they don’t look the same when being heard. When you really mean it, I know. EAch of you really meant it. In fact, knowing the real support was out there sheltered me from the false support of my enemies, frenemies (I try to avoid having them but some people just don’t let you), and cruel strangers who didn’t understand.

Thank you. I am truly honored to have such a network of fantastic people in my life. I am honored to give you the hard won award for being awesome on this blog. I won’t name names, because the record speaks for itself. (Eventually when there is a certificate for this I will email each of you a copy as well)

Explosions (Trigger warning)

For some reason my chest feels like it is exploding. This is a feeling related wholly to emotions, not a physical one though they feel similar. There is a tightness there, and I feel as if there is a metal coil compressing me into a corner and I must run. I have some unspeakable need, it is unspeakable because I have never actually felt this need before. I have no clue what it is. I think it may be a hug, but I don’t know. It may be the need to cry, but I don’t think so because I am doing that as I write this.

This sensation is so very strange to me. I know what brought it on, and it may just be two forms of overload in one, emotional overload which is in the realm of PTSD and then sensory overload with a bit of an overlap. You see I feel a hint of this every time I find out a child has been violated in any way, and I already dealt with this today. I wrote a submission for a survivor’s anthology of letters. This means I laid open my heart and looked at the core for the words, and that always shakes me. On top of that in the morning Nymph will be going to the vet and will not be returning. Sprite is very upset, I am very upset and I would not have managed this weekend alone. M the Carer did more than her job.

I tried watching a movie, but it made this vice worse. I am new to knowing and understanding that I am different and I find it a struggle to know that each time I do this, writing this sort of thing publically, I am challenging conceptions. I find it painful, because I don’t understand and that knowledge adds this time to that sensation. I am proud that I am able to write and pour my heart into this world, so that the love I feel can be given to others in need of that.

I also hate that my words touch others who are wounded. Why? I don’t want them to be hurting in the first place! I am rocking as i sit, I don’t rock often, but I am stimming because if I stop then I will burst more.

Maybe this is empathy for how Nymph is feeling? The crushing fluids in her body that are suffocating her, rotting her? I feel guilt too because I went out today. I went for a walk as she is giving off this horrible smell that I know is very bad. Sprite was given the chance to come with me and almost did but went and laid down with Nymph with such resignation. She is hurting too.

A part of me thinks nothing will fix this sensation but time.

A part of me loathes my visual thinking.

YOu see whenever I talk about Nymph being given release from her intractable pain, which the medications no longer are helping with and relieving her of a torture that could go on for weeks I see her laying in the vet’s office, I see them giving her the medications and I see her dying. I can see it. OVer and over again.

I also cannot stop this. When I think of just Nymph I see her first time getting on my bed by herself, as she jumped up and down. I see her dancing to music, making me laugh as she does so. I see her surprise when Sprite pounces her and rolls her over, then bathes her head to toe. That is Nymph in my head. Euthanasia gives a more horrible image and this is where the trigger warning on this post started. I see the dog I beat to death because I had to protect my sister, I see the bloodied remains of the cats and dogs my father ran down out of malicious hatred for all life, and I see myself in the middle of a pool of blood, staring at my aching hands, which always ache when I am sad, and wondering why I wasn’t allowed to go to that bright light space, but had to keep on living even though I hurt. Even though my neck was broken. I see it all at once.

It makes me queasy.

The music in my head is easier. I am trying to set up my MP3 player with music that Nymph likes for tomorrow. I am not sure what her last sounds on earth should be. She likes Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal, but mostly me singing but I think I may cry too hard for that. Do I take a sound recording of myself? I am very tempted by a few songs I know she adores but they aren’t socially acceptable for this sort of thing, and may be a bit too macabre and I don’t want to damage my own needs by giving her something that will help.

Do I include the Rob Zombie with the Celtic Woman? I don’t know.

Maybe what I need are answers. I did sleep earlier, the rain that fell forced me to do so.

Oh yeah on top of this my toilet has sprung a leak. SO my bathroom floor is wet and of course Manager Fail decided to Fail like the label given. Thankfully he’s going going, and almost gone.

I was surprised by his kindness when Ifinally got him to come and see what we needed (new seal) when I told him why he could not touch the cats. He’s a nice man but incompetent with  his job. He has cats, new borns and none of his cats are over the age of FIP’s supposed immunity. He was horrified and told me if I need anything to ask. I know better but he meant it in that very moment.

I did get my brain to stop going over the things that I have to replace, that was sending me into panic attacks.

So what do I need?

I have no freaking idea.

Euthanasia (Trigger Warning)

I am not pro Euthanasia. I think it should be illegal for humans and pets to be discarded willy nilly. Euthanasia however has a special place when it comes to the suffering of animals, and if humans ever value minorities and the disabled, humans. Yes, I am well aware that cats and dogs are put to sleep for being unwanted and unloved, and that is a part of this conversation I am having with myself. You see, today it became clear to me that if Nymph is here Monday with her dull eyes, her silent meows because she just can’t take the pain caused by making a real meow and if she no longer purrs at all, I will take her in. We will reassess Wednesday if she is still here Monday and is okay enough that this is in her best interest.

Even considering this step is not in MY best interest. I realize part of what is in the house and what is under that ice, from my discussion with myself about fragility. Under the ice is the feelings I locked away after killing my dog, to protect my sister. In as little detail as possible for my sake, it was not humane but he had taken a three year old girl by the throat and so I did what I had to do. I can go into more detail but why? Even thinking of that hurts me. Especially the reasoning and the fact that we had raised this dog from a puppy, and I still cannot fathom why he attacked my sister.

In the house are the feelings related to every lost pet, every lost self, every moment of agony that I cannot quite accept was real. All the things I talk about, and there are more things that I am not sure really happened on the surface but I know deep down these “things never happen here” happened to me. More evidence that the crimes we westerners associate with third world countries happen here, and to the supposed preferred female archetype too.

I think a bit of my issue here is the location of my vet’s office. The first time we went in I had a serious flashback, I could still talk and was aware it wasn’t real but I spent most of the time seeing two worlds, and I think I may have “stumbled across” the location of the murder my father comitted. I am not able to explore that memory fully, it’s still distorted and my brain won’t process it when I try. The only way to force it is dangerous for me, so I won’t do it. I already know EMDR and also just going to the place where I was triggered? Very bad.

Still, back to the choice at hand. Nymph is dying a horrible and painful death. I decided that when the pain is there and she has no her left, if her body won’t stop going I will stop it. This time it will not be in my backyard. This time it won’t be an animal lost to a toddler left alone in a swimming pool that thought the kitten should swim, this time it won’t be an animal spreading disease because he was dumped instead of taken to the vet, though loving people did treat his expensive illnesses and then he left and returned to me like a ghost, this time I don’t have to watch her suffer for months on end because I and my cat don’t merit medical treatment. This time, she still ends up dying. The screaming in the house is me, screaming because how can I watch someone I love die? Agian? Humans, animals, even flowers before I understood them as others do, at least enough that seeing them cut doesn’t hurt me but it still can make me sad (though I worked as a florist so flower genocide haunts me at times) This is what is in the house.

Under the ice is my self hatred. I don’t talk about that very often because I don’t actually have a lot of self hatred and it tends to be fleeting. I am not a bad person despite being forced to do things that hurt my soul. There are sounds I never will forget, there are screams of pain mine and theirs that I can’t escape, so I put them away under ice and the house. There is no one or the other and that is a bit scary but the cracks are memoriy itself. They are a different form of rememberance, perhaps more violent or more gentle than the flashes that twist me into knots, I don’t know.

For Nymph this choice came down to a single thought, do I want her to stay for me? No, I want her to just die so she stops hurting. I want her to go, even though that pains me to want, because I love her. That’s when I knew that if she needs help letting go, then yes I can choose death over more painful death. Sometimes cats who are sick hold on to a point where no medication eases their pain, we’re on the edge of that already. I lived two years without pain medication and suffered. I won’t let her go days or weeks that way. I love her.

The second thought on this was, is it wrong? I thought I would say yes to myself, but the answer, though complex and a struggle to get out of my head? No, it is not wrong to let her go. It is wrong to make her suffer because I am afraid of feeling guilty. There is no way for me to escape the guilt at this time. No matter which choice I make, I will feel guilt.

Moments of guilt, is this soon enough, did I wait too long? What if I act too quickly? What if Sprite never forgives me? What if Nymph haunts me? what if? What if? I had to stop that sort of thinking and put it into terms for myself. If I were in a world where there wasn’t any morphine, an I couldn’t take pain medications would I have continued to let myself live? No. Ny doesn’t have as many options as I do, so I will help her. There is no cure for this disease, and Sprite, her share in this is also leading to yes.

I never wanted to have to make this choice again, but at least this time it wasn’t the choice of the giant dog vs my sister. It wasn’t life or death, just death and death.

Sprite is trying to keep Nymph happy. Yet she has hidden from her a lot more today. Sprite is crying for her. She woke me from my nap because Nymph was making that silent scream face, Sprite asked me to help her and all I could do was hold them both. Nymph has yet to leave Sprite’s side for the last day except for when Sprite goes somewhere Ny no longer can follow.

The purring thing is also misleading, which is why I am worried I may miss the cue, but I speak cat far more fluently than I do human, even typing this is harder for me than glancing at my cats and having an entire conversation. My self doubt is a part of grief and any time you choose death, even when it is one death over another, there is guilt. I feel guilty for Rose, because I feel her death though inevitable as she was alive (which I had to change from is to was) was preventable at this point in time. I feel the degradation she and I faced from the carer agency we shared, as well as the doctors we saw played a part and I am angry.

Nymph does not have that. I wish her vet was my doctor infact because he has treated us all with greater kindness and he hid nothing from me. He did ask me once if that was okay because he didn’t want to make it worse and I told him the truth, upfront hurts less than me trying to guess between the lines of discussion.

So back to Cat’s purring. Sorry this is so jumpy, my brain is not letting me flow as much because this is an active thought process not my more common secondary rehashing of ideas. I think the difference shows as those tend to be a bit more orderly. Screw order! Cats purr from pain, happiness, fear, and all sorts of emotions. Most often love and comfort. Cats purr to heal. The fact is, each purr feels different and when I touch Ny and she starts to purr, it is still love and comfort purr. Her pain purr is a ragged gaspy purr, it is a sad purr that doesn’t feel soothing. Still, those big golden eyes of hers are greying over, and I can smell her scent changing. That bothers me. Being super smell sensitive I liked her scent before. It was like ice cream. Sprite smells like sugar cookies.

The effect of her purr starting to change has not happened yet, which is how I know she will still be there in the morning. I sort of hope she and Sprite share my feet again, each one wrapped around them because that was a gentle way to wake up but I also keep waking Nymph when I cannot tell if she is alive. This happens a lot more each day. I have told her if she just wants to let go she should but I don’t think she can yet.

So Sprite is holding her. She has washed her every day, tucking her up against her side. She curls around her and Nymph wraps herself up closely and just closes her eyes and I know, if she no longer can rest that way I will do what is right, even if it is not what I want and in other situations I find this sort of thing abhorrent. This sort of pain and incurable disease, this sort of suffering is what Euthanasia was actually meant for. Is it murder? I honestly think in this case, especially since I can and WILL ask Nymph, as I have once already, no. Will it hurt and will I doubt that sense of no? Absolutely.

Some of the things Nymph has told me in the last few months we have shared:
1. You taste good, can I have milk on your hand again?
2. I want up! Can I get up too? I promise to not bite Sprite more?
3. Oh, it’s bouncy! (Twice, once for my stomach and once for my waterbed, she proceeded to jump up and down on both for the next hour)
4. Bug! Bug! I’ll get it! I can do it! Rawr! Aww… bug got… bug! (She then squished it under her paw, it was a spider.) Bug stopped moving.(She licked it, made a face) Bug is gross!
5. Soft, warm. I like this. (insert purring that out purred sprite as she stuck her head against my back and curled up next to me the firsttime) Okay I sleep here. (Sprite sleeps there, she wasn’t thrilled about that)
6. I love you.
7. Play? Here’s toy! Yeah!
8. I like hands. Yeah, put your hand on my head. See. I like this.
9. My tail is stuck again! Why doesn’t her tail get stuck?
10. I’m a big girl, just like Sprite.

Nymph has made me and Sprite very happy. That first moment when I met her, I was so surprised by her. I had begun to fear that I would never find a cat that was as cool, amazing, intelligent, or unique as Sprite. My two fae match their name sakes in ways. Nymph with her long thin legs, her adult size tail which is already longer than Sprite’s tail, and her big eyes and ears. She looks like she belongs in a fantasy novel to me, the cat companion to the heroine, her own stylized beauty perfect for such things. Of course Sprite was in the Golden Compass so her beauty with it’s delicate ethereal quality was already immortalized for all to see.

I still find myself imagining what Nymph would be like all grown up, and I regret knowing she wouldn’t ever be much larger than Sprite. Sprite is actually just a tiny bit bigger than Nymph, lengthwise. Ny was taller, and when they sat eating it was Ny’s tail that reached the second shelf down, that’s about a foot. Her tail stretches past her front paws and she has enough tail for two. Right now she has it wrapped all the way around her like a portable hug.

She doesn’t play today, because it hurts. Last night she hunted her last bug, and went for the string toy for a few moments, before the pain stopped her. She tried so hard to hide it but you cannot hide such things.

The part of this that is harder is when I cannot keep my tears on the inside, she still tries to make me happy. I know she knows she is dying. Sprite even told me so. When I asked her why she wasn’t sitting with Nymph, “I don’t want to see her die.” That was what she said. “It makes me sad. Make her better.”

I have come to a realization from this however, about heart break. Hearts do not break, they shatter. They are glass flowers that grow on the vines of our souls, and when we feel healed it is because it is a new spring time with in our minds and hearts. It is because we have regrown a part of us. That is why we are never the same, that is why at times we miss things and feel those shards of glass, they are there beneath the Heart Tree, evidence of the lives we have lived and the chapters that we have written. These shards can cut us but they also hold things of beauty. So though my heart has burst with sorrow, it held more joy than any heart I had before.

I am going to start looking for a new feline on my birthday. I don’t think I will want to. I however must take care of Sprite, and Sprite can handle a month of being alone before she starts to get depressed. I want to find a new companion by her birthday. I also know from experience with her that a month is how long she tends to openly mourn. Therefore, though I will never actually stop mourning, I will do what is best for Sprite.

I know I don’t stop mourning, I just don’t cry as much and remember the happy little moments like when Nymph decided the best place to sleep was in my miniature roses, and I woke up to find her coated in petals. Or when she then brought me a rose the next morning, having decided Roses are really great to pounce AND tasty. She took most of the actual roses, leaving the buds and laid them all around me. Sprite being allergic to roses had no reactions so she did not take part. When I can remember those moments and smile without tears, then I am once more living.

I haven’t managed to do that for Snowball, the kitten my brother drowned. Though as an adult I realize, A could’ve drowned as easily as he was without adult supervision. I am grateful he did not, and I know he has never forgiven his error. I think I have, I just don’t forgive my anger at him, he was three. My mother? Not forgiven for that. She should have been watching him.

I haven’t managed to do that for Sweet Thomas Feline, diagnosed with FIV, feline aids, he turned out to be misdiagnosed and was going to be euthanised. My step father dumped him on the mountain. Tom was found by a classmate, though with no color and this predating microchipping, she had no idea he was my best friend. In fact this classmate was kind to me about my horrible sadness. She was the first person to tell me it was okay to cry and to see that tears tend to mean bleeding for me. She wasn’t a friend but she wasn’t cruel. When Tom returned and I called the tag to find out who had had him, she and her parents allowed me to keep him. They didn’t ask for money but were glad that their cat who disappeared was my dead cat and that he loved someone so much he would walk for six months to return to them. Tom didn’t die with me, instead he chose to not move with me one last time, he was old and hurting and there was a lady, I thought she was ancient but likely not, she gave him a home indoors with REAL TUNA. I have yet to remember his face in the window the last time I saw him as he watched me walk away, the window was open, but he stayed inside and yet he was sad to see me go. He may still be alive, though I doubt that. With her his medical needs were taken care of and he was safe from cars, dogs, storms, and so on. In fact Tom became the father of several generations of cat in a town and is essentially their patriarch. Tom is why I believe in steralization. Someday I will tell you how I obtained this cat, who was a champion apple head blue point siamese. It was an adventure.

There are Philip and Lily, Minerva, Backlash, Fox Meowder (yes after the XFiles character Fox Mulder) and so many more. There were each of the kittens that didn’t make it, and there was Colores’ last litter, who died because their mother did too. She may have turned up in my biology class actually, on my dissection table. I did not dissect the cat that looked like my missing cat, I could not. I failed the class over it. I have no regrets. My biology teacher showed us pornography, home made, because that’s of course human reproduction. The school never ordered cats. My cat wasn;t the only one that looked like a missing pet.

Still, as an adult I have been able to protect my cats, I have been able to fulfill their needs. With Nymph I had to ask for help, and with Sprite once before too but I can do that. In fact if I had not learned to ask for help for them, I would not be here today because I learned to ask for me too. In a life of regrets about how my animals were treated because I could not care for them, there are no regrets about the treatment of my cats as an adult.

I also have seen another cat suffering with medications to keep him alive, feeding tubes, and I have had the horror of this cat asking me to kill him. “Just let me die”. I have seen the light lost in his eyes for almost two years now. This cat, is six pounds. His body was meant to be twenty pounds. I think of him when I see that same look of agony in Ny’s eyes. I regret being unable to save him from years of agony. Is it wrong to save Nymph weeks or months? Days? My heart answers, no, because that is love.

Another lesson in love that I am learning.

Lesson the First: Love is not pain, as I learned before.
Lesson the Second: Love means doing what is best for someone you love, even when you aren’t sure you can live with it later, because if this is truly an act of love then it is selfish to not meet the need no matter how sad it makes you. This is why people can break up and still love one another. This is why a mother can go hungry for her children. This is why sometimes you have to say no. It may make you unhappy to do so, but if it is what is right then do it out of love.

Of course that lesson isn’t learned yet and it is one which others claim in defense of horrific acts. In those cases that isn’t love. In this one, deciding that she should not have to writhe in agony and scream for weeks? That is an act of love. It is another piece of the happiness I have given her.

This picture was taken just as I finished this piece. Essay/Decision making process. Now you know how I decide even what to eat. Intensive mental exploration.

This picture is a symbol of love.

a small white kitten curled up with a larger silver and grey cat on brown carpeting. the kitten is a calico with orange and grey spots with a white under coat. Both cats are about the same size and make a spiral.

Hush my sweet, sleep so sweet, true is love and true are you.

A Light In The Window

There is a light in the window to your soul.
The rose it blooms brightly in that light.
The light is a fire that none can match.
That light flickered out tonight.
It was not tears that drowned it for you were of joy
It was not pain that muted it, for pain did not destroy
It was life itself that took it, as life with you fled.
To your God I bit thee go
To your heaven I bid thee go
My heart wishes you safe passage
I know you would not wish to end so soon.
So I will plant a rose on the morrow, and I will remember you.
You had your thorns
You had your fire
I will burn up the town as we did together
I will not forget you
You who saved me from a loneliness I did not know I had
My friend, my companion, until your very end.

Nymph is still alive, but there is another loss. One I knew was imminent but I let myself deny, for as long as a person is alive there is always one more day in the human mind. I have mentioned my friend Rose before, though not by name. Names matter when you are living but when you have died no one can use this information against you, though nothing bad was ever said only good. Rose was my neighbor, and she died tonight. I would not have known for a few days except that her family has also befriended me, and I was told tonight that I am family by her standards and so we will continue on, I support them and they me in our mutual grief.

Rose was a fire. She was someone that could always make me smile, she always had a good joke and even when she was not happy there it was, this spice. She had none of the cliches of people her age that the media shows. If anything she was better at being alive than me. She taught me a great deal, including the fact that it’s okay to be lonely. She didn’t let my numbness when I moved in push her away but instead decided I needed her and that she needed me. She taught me the safe places to wheel around, she taught me how to navigate a few parts of side walk that are terrifying to us both. Together we took on the world.

I will miss her. I will miss Brownie aka Brown Dog. I also knew she was sick. I knew that she would not live forever, and a part of me prepared. Yet I am a bit stunned, not numb because numb doesn’t hurt like this but more in shock. She and I had plans tomorrow morning, we were going to go out because we both needed it. She hadn’t seen me for almost a week, because of my own illness and the issues with Nymph. I had decided to deal with it and spend time with her. She is important to me, and always will be.

Rose, upon seeing my butterflies and action figures promptly made me six more butterflies and offered to make matching swords for them. She thought it was a brillaint home decore scheme and we talked about comic books and movies, we talked about life itself. Rose even met my mother and once she knew this woman was my mother offered to be a surrogate. I told her that was what Sprite was for and she thought it was a great idea as we make better friends. She taught me some things about being alive too.

I just found out. I did not cry infront of her son, because he is barely holding on and therefore I could not hurt him with my tears. I helped him escape the locked gate, one to which only two people have a key. Rose also was an advocate, and she and I took on the established acts of stupidity by the apartment manager often. She would do it her way, which is more direct fighting and I would do it mine with written complaints. When the manager saw us together he would go into hiding when he could. I enjoyed our talks. I enjoyed her dreams. They were contagious too.

Rose also made sure I was eating when I was between carers, she is the friend I may have mentioned in those early posts after Him. She knew I was in trouble and even now she told me in the year we were friends she has never seen someone change so much. I was like a plant with no water when I came so she made sure I had what I needed. This went both ways, and Rose also always respected when I needed to be alone. That is rare in a friend and someone as extroverted as she.

So I will plant a rose in my yard for her, once it is the proper season. I will never forget her, but I also may take some time off of writing to mourn. I will keep everyone updated on the situation with Nymph and if I get sicker that too, but nothing else for a time. Even those updates may be belated. I need to be sad. Rose was like her name, sweet, beautiful, and prickly. She was perfectly matched and she loved the cats.

Brown dog tried to come to me as soon as he heard my voice, I was offered his keeping. I did not accept but was honored to be chosen as well. I will see Brownie again, and Rose’s son. He is my friend too. He thinks I am amusing and likes to make vampire jokes because of course no vampire is as giving as he thinks I am. I may be that giving, I am not sure. It doesn’t feel like giving from here to love people as much as I do them. My mind is full of images of Rose, moments, there weren’t any bad times. We disagreed but we did not fight.

I also know that I will pass on the light she gave me, for it only grows with each person loved. It was Rose’s idea that I try to get another cat after the “monster cat” as she thought of William was gone. She was instrumental in my getting to love Nymph, something that also helped me to feel more alive.

To those who love someone as much as she, there is no real death but life in memories.

Cat Has Fever

Nymph’s prognosis is grim. I put this off for a few days while I couldn’t sleep. I just kept focusing on her needs and mine, so I managed to get some sleep down and she’s stable I think. Her fever hasn’t dropped but it’s not getting higher and she’s a bit more able. However after spending every penny I had and borrowing more at the Vet’s office, it was all to know that unless we have a ten percent miracle, my friend is going to die. I can’t keep her from behind dehydrated or in pain, and that makes me cry. I am trying to spend most of my time holding her but she is so hot she literally burns me. My hands are red and sore from her heat, 105 sometimes higher. This is when being temperature sensitive is really a curse. It’s not the shower, hot days that I miss. It’s not being able to hold her for as long as she need.

Thursday we go back, unless she gets sicker, and the vet will see if the mass in her lymph node was just an infection. However the vetrinary hospital, which I will be writing about soon because they have been more than just doctors but a support system for me, they did everything they could to make sure this wasn’t something we could really treat. The minor chance that this isn’t FIP, which I will let you google because I just can’t do the link thing right now, that chance is one we are taking. If she doesn’t get better on Thursday and there is really no hope, Nymph will not be coming home with me at least alive. I am trying to figure out what I can do for Sprite now, and I know the answer for myself is time.

Sprite keeps staring at me when I cry with shock. She has a fever now too, though hers is minor and may just be allergies I feel rather broken. I would give the world to make it where neither of them had illness ever, no pain. Just as I would for my sister or my brother or my friends. I have decided to ask the vet if they can use Ny’s body for science, if she passes. It’s a pretty slim chance so I am mentally preparing but I can’t stop hoping. Hope is the worst feeling I have ever experienced. It feels so good until I look at the facts. I would rather not hope and be wrong. I would give everything that we are just wrong and the anitbiotics cure her infection.

I am honored by a few people, which I will post about again with the hospital but one of the vets, the Ultrasound specialist, she was willing to not charge me full price so we could make sure that Ny hadn’t eaten something that wasn’t safe for her and it wasn’t just a perforated intestine. Which would be more expensive, but she wouldn’t be sentenced to a painful death, the only real risk there is either no treatment and I had found places that might help or anesthesia. Then there is the person who never met me, but they donated medications for Nymph. These medications are easing her pain, and have returned some of the brightness to her eyes though she is still just laying there. Then, there is every doctor at this hospital that took a look at her for free, only one is getting paid for that. There are the techs. Each of them made sure she was comfortable, though they did comment that she is such an obedient girl. If she lives, I know she has completed her sit training. She didn’t even fight during the ultrasound, or when they had to shave her stomach. The sicker an animal is the more it fights, especially things that hurt. That’s nature. Nymph showed them her brilliance and strangers responded to try and help us.

Still the persons I owe the most too over this, they are M. Of course you knew M was involved, he dropped everything to help. Then there’s my sister of choice who was willing to cost her family money and then some to come out if I need her. I just have to ask. I know that I am blessed, I don’t use that word often but even through the pain ahead, because I am still not doing well at all, there is no reason I cannot be honored and loved. It feels so odd to me to find love in this situation. When Sprite was electrocuted we found hate, anger that I was poor and dared to have an animal in my life, and so much pain. There was no solace, there was no comfort, and there was no love.

Nymph also turns out to be photogenic inside and out. Her ultrasounds are the type you want in your textbooks. I gave permission for them to be donated, if this does indeed turn out to be FIP for the simple reason that this would be the more rare type. The one that is harder to diagnose. The one that lets her live longer. I am going to go hold her now, and after we know I have more decisions to make. Someone even offered to buy her a burial plot, though I don’t know what to think about that. I am confused by the entire mourning industry for pets where people wear their animal’s ashes or get diamonds made with their DNA sequence entwined with the stones. It’s confusing and overwhelming but I can see in some ways the comfort that can be offered.

I know too when I get my ultrasound in a few weeks I’ll be thinking of this. I just hope my pictures are as easily read as hers. Nymph has lived up to her name, bringing sweetness as all good faeries should. Sprite does too, Sprite is far more mischevious than I ever let on but right now she’s mostly staying with Nymph. She’s protecting her from the things that would upset her and I have never seen her love another cat this much. I told the staff at the Hospital about their meeting, how there was no hissing or growling and the one time there has been it was Nymph not sharing food, and they said that just proves how rare a cat she is. If she survives she will be a service animal, because she has also been comforting me in the little ways. She is still mimicking Sprite. I know Sprite is fine because she is still playing. It hurts to watch her try and get Nymph to interact more than with the foodbowl or waterbowl. Ny watches but won’t jump up.

The final thing is, I have lost animals before. I have lost people before. I am confused because I never cried this much over a person or any animal,. I don’t cry. I did over Colors. I did over Snowball. Then Cookies but no human has brought me to tears except my Grandpa Murray. I have been called a monster for this but if I can love so much that it makes my heart explode before anything is wrong that I know of then why is that? I know Nymph was either born with this disease or at least had it when she came here, I know it isn’t my fault. I am not self blaming as is my tendancy but I feel like something inside me is being pushed too far and I can’t figure out what will happen if it breaks. I think it’s my heart, but I thought that was already broken. It isn’t loving that hurts though, it is not being able to protect her.

One persons Courage…

You hear about it in the news, inspirational articles, and in the whispers of people discussing someone’s life. Sometimes you hear it to your face. “You are so courageous.” I have been facing my fears lately and there has been some courage yet, most of what people tell me is courage is merely a will to live. Is the Will to Live what makes us couragous? Does this invalidate courage?

When I hear about someone being courageous, brave, or something along that line the picture in my mind is a bit gender normative and sexist. It’s a brave soldier in a black and white movie with bombs exploding behind him rescuing the little woman and running away from gunfire without breaking a sweat. I am well aware this is a very skewed image that remains in my mind. I use this image to invalidate my own experience often.

How can I be courageous? I just didn’t give up. I didn’t notice it until tonight. Giving the speech about my Thirty Seconds, I was reminded it is courageous to save a life. I found myself afraid of those words. Why fear courage? I think it is the responsibility to be something more than human that the media shows us courage is. Batman is couragous. He’s a super hero. I am just a small and broken woman at the end of her endurance trying to make it through every day.

I am trying to teach myself what courage can be, beyond the black and white John Wayne dreams. I am trying to teach myself that courage is simply living. Transgendered people who have the courage to go through the change, to live in the sex that fits their minds and not their bodies are courageous because it is their will to live. They can die for being who they are.

How terrifying it must be to have to pee in public. How terrifying it must be to go clothes shopping, to go out and feel that fear… what if someone figures out who they are and in their ridiculous hatred they attack? That is courage. It is also horribly sad that we live in a world where it is not a hate crime to attack a trans individual. I didn’t know that until recently, I thought that it was a hate crime. It should be. Living without a legal saftey net, living without basic human respect, and living without the ability to be accepted by any other minority (except for some of us who actually do care) takes courage. There are trans persons who are unable to live as they wish, because it is too dangerous.

It takes courage to live at all. It takes courage for the college student to go to her late night class, because she hears all the warnings about rape. It takes courage for the woman who was date raped to speak up, risking victim blaming and slut shaming. It takes courage for the teen mother to take pride in being a mother, bucking against the stereotypes about teen mothers. It takes courage for the disabled man to go up a flight of stairs on his hands and knees to see if his able bodied friends and family are alright after hearing a gunshot. He couldn’t escape if there was a killer. That is courage.

To revile the word courage is to revile the act of living. It takes courage for our students to go to school. We live in a world where the terror of school shootings is very real, where the hate that a disabled student feels can destroy their minds and their souls. We live in a world where there is no safe haven. It takes courage to raise a child with disabilities and to love them. It takes courage to admit that you are disabled.

It takes courage to say that you do not want to see a movie because it is full of sexism. It takes courage to be a Womanist. It takes courage to be a Feminist. It takes courage to be an advocate. It takes courage to write. It takes courage to cry. It takes courage to go out, knowing discrimination is waiting for you. It takes courage to date a person who is of another color. It takes courage to love someone who is of the same sex.

In a world as full of toxic messages, it is cowardly to defame courage. To hold the power to inspire one person is enough to change the world. To inspire countless thousands? That is a gift unparalleled. Forgive me for feeling that I was unworthy of the word courage.

I have been courageous. I am courageous to write about my time as a Victim. I am courageous to have ideas and to share them. I am courageous to start a business during a Depression.

You are courageous too. I am sure you can list ways you are courageous. I would like the comments on this post to be dedicated to your courage. What have you done that is courageous today?

Today my act of courage is to start planning the wedding ceremony for two young women in love. My acts of courage in life will include officiating their wedding ceremony. I do this with pride, and to honor their love and the courage it takes to stand up and proudly say, “I am Gay, I am Pagan, and I am in Love!”

Thank you for your life. Thank you for your courage.

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