Paw Steps In the Stars (Trigger Warning)

Nymph left us today, and the experience is one that I didn’t know how I would feel. Every other loss in my life of such a companion as she was during a time when I had no control in my life even over my own food, I was a child as well not a woman and those caused so much pain as the experience was full of suffering, deceit, and often the death of the animal was a punishment against me. My dear friend Nymph’s last moment was perfect. There is no other word I can use. There is nothing I would chance, except her having been ill at all and as it was, she had a very good life.

The veterinary center that I go to is amazing, the set up protects the humans and the animals, it was a guided journey in absolute kindness. Furthermore I am aware that the staff became attatched to Nymph, her illness effected so many people, not just me. I didn’t have to be alone, M the Carer was with me. I gave her the option of waiting outside during the process but she did not do so.

They set us up in a quiet room, the lights were dimmed which was nice for both Ny and myself. Sprite doesn’t like the darkness but that’s alright. Sprite climbed into the bed they had set up for Nymph and laid down, which I think made it far easier for Nymph to do the same. Ny was curious and wanted to poke around the room. Sprite was not, for the first time in a new place. Instead she and Nymph held one another. It was beautiful. We were there settling in for a good half an hour, this gives the humans and the animals enough time to relax. There is enough time to change your mind if you want, and nothing happens until you, the pet friend are ready.

Sprite and Nymph both met a few nurses, and Sprite for once let people in public pet her without any balking, she just made sure that Nymph was okay with everything. We played music, I set up a play list on my MP3 player and brought speakers. The playlist is the songs that I like, Sprite likes, and the ones that Nymph responded to most favorably. I felt a bit unsure about playing her favorite song at first, during the process but it was fine with everyone. Though Rob Zombie isn’t excactly what was expected I am sure.

I went with her favorite song because for some reason the Devil’s Rejects makes her dance, run, AND play. She had been fighting the Nurse a bit, she didn’t want them to touch her. So I hit play and she put her head on Sprite. I put my hand on her after they gave her the medication, and the first thing that happened was her pain went away. She was awake and alive at that point and I felt her being her again.

Pain changes how your body feels, from the texture of your fur on to the way you hold yourself. Nymph hadn’t felt like her at all for days. This is how I judged her pain, besides asking her. She felt soft, warm, and she purred. Then she was gone. I felt her go but I also felt Sprite’s awareness as I was touching her too. She was sad immediately, and pressed up into me, pleading for a bit. After the doctor and nurse confirmed that everything had gone as it should they laid Nymph back with Sprite and I cried. M the Carer hugged me, which was what I needed at the time. That need surprised me but she was good about my redirecting where she touched me, because I knew she didn’t want to hurt me and she confirmed that.

We sat with Nymph for almost an hour after, I was okay to leave before Sprite, but Sprite literally would not let go. So I let her process and be sad. I knew she was ready once she was out of the bed, even though as soon as I reached for her she jumped back in. We played most of the playlist I set up, and Sprite for a time had her head on the speaker. She is even now very sad. She was alarmed we didn’t bring the body with us, but she does know Nymph isn’t going anywhere else.

My vet’s office will be mailing me a cast of Ny’s paw. I have one of Sprite’s and I will reframe them together. Likely I can use the same frame, since neither cat is giant. I came home, I talked with a few people about some unsavory things but that is life, they were careful with me too and made sure to ask if I was up for the conversation. As it is about Murder, I had to be. If I put that off it would hurt me more.

Then I talked with friends. I realized I was fighting my natural resting patterns and let myself go lay down. It started to rain immediately, which explained to me why I hurt so much bodily. Mentally I feel the same peace that hit me when Nymph felt like Nymph. There was no wrong in this decision, just right. I had the right facility, the right doctors, and the right day and time. Any longer and Nymph would’ve been tortured. Any shorter and she would’ve not been in enough pain and it would have cost her days that she could enjoy. I never expected peace.

I expected guilt, anger, sorrow, doubt, but peace was there.

It was in my rest that the glass shattered in that empty house and the ice cracked further. In that house are my regrets, losses and it is a house on a foundation of pain. The entire house collapsed as I let myself remember every moment I had with Nymph. Her first steps in my house as Sprite greeted her with a big lick and her last morning here with me. Her delight when she realized Catnip is VERY good, and her frustration that Sprite wouldn’t let her pee at the same time. I don’t think we had any bad moments, though our worst was indeed the moment she became sick and I knew I had to take her in. Yet even in this there are so many good memories.

This morning I woke up, and before I could even shift I realized I had a chest full of cat. This left me with a bit of a pain in my back but that’s fine for Nymph.Sprite rarely stays on my chest but after my walk yesterday predominantly stayed with Nymph. She even let her pee at the same time. She dislikes sharing her litterbox, yet it was what Nymph needed. Yesterday was horrible for her, Nymph hurt so much that all she could do was lay with Sprite. Today she was too weak to do much, though she made a valiant effort at hiding from us when she heard me say, “Okay lets get the cats ready to go to the vet.” She went under the bed, not as far as before as we blocked that off but enough that I couldn’t get her, then she went to try and get under the shelf. That was hard to see as her belly was so full of fluid that she couldn’t fit where she should’ve.

Even then she purred for me. She was only wanting to avoid the other people with their poking and their prodding. That was at a minimum too, and that she purred in her last breath is something I am grateful for.

During our settling in time, as I watched Nymph I told her what I think Kitty Heaven is. It is a place where I would love to be myself frankly, not the death part but who doesn’t want rivers of fresh milk full of fat fish that jump into your paws, plump mice that run through rows of catnip, growing everywhere, and where cats are made out of stars?

The storm has concluded it’s fury as I write this, and this is the second time that a storm has mirrored my grief. I will still be sad when I wake up and she isn’t there. I will be sad when she doesn’t poke my feet trying to figure out how I can be so big. I will be sad when I think of the things she loved to do. I will not be sad when I think of the pain she did not feel. I will be happy as I think of her as a cat made of stars, she sparkled even in life and I would expect that she could be no other way in death.

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.

Horror in the Heart (Trigger Warning)

I woke up this morning and sat watching Nymph for a half an hour. At first I had begun to doubt my choice for Euthanasia tomorrow, then I saw it in her eyes, There was no light, just this darkness. The only moments she looked like her usual self were my own fears speaking. The fears are silent now. Those heady doubts that feel like a punch in my gut will return but not for a long time. I went to sleep feeling peace in knowing that I will do the right thing, and that feeling is here today. Every other time I have had to help someone pass on, I have felt none of this. I mean my pets, I don’t mean when I sat and spoke to strangers who were dying or sang to children in the ER as their parents never showed. Those times make me very sad but no, not the same.
It is different because as a pet owner I have always held her life or death in my hands. She knows it to a degree, as do I. I think that is why she trusts me. She knows that this choice is one of the last resort. After seeing her eyes change like in a horror movie I got up, went to the bathroom and as I started the morning feeding routine for the cats and the other things one does in the bathroom first thing in the morning, she sat at my feet and shook, crying silently against me. In agony.
She is due for a pain medication dose in half an hour. M the Carer will be doing that, but, I am worried that it won’t be enough. I understand why people use animals in place of children in their lives. That was never my intention but the feeling is the same. I love Nymph and Sprite so deeply that this wound feels like the same sort of wounds that my baby sister’s illnesses as a child gave me. Each time she nearly died, it stopped a part of my heart.
Looking at Nymph now is no longer a pleasurable exploration of her potentials, but is instead a horrible process as I see the bodily changes. I am honored to know that I acted far sooner than most humans in the face of this disease. Many don’t find out their cat is sick until their belly is swollen from the fluid that FIP forces them to excrete internally. Not I, I felt that heat in her and I felt her stomach and I actually presumed it was very bad.
Not being able to hear her as well today also makes my mind make leaps, and I know some of them are accurate. She is sitting and staring at me. Her eyes are so dark, I understand stories of possession to a degree because the pain has taken away what is Nymph. Nymph is buried beneath it. This listless cat that is quite sad and horribly angry, though not with me the anger is very present with in her, this is not the cat that I loved. It is that cat in pain.
This is the transformative moment that I mentioned I was waiting for, that if this happened I would be taking her in. I knew yesterday the odds were high she would get to this point first because Nymph has proven to be strong. I have learned another lesson from my little Ny, It is not always right to be strong. Sometimes being strong is more damaging than being weak. With weakness and strength there can be only deviation depending on the circumstances. No one is strong. No one is weak. We all simply live with in a moment that defines what we do and how we act defines the perception given our actions.
I say this because I do not ever feel strong, when others see me as such. I most often feel vulnerable, in my mind I see images that Frida Kahlo would love to paint. In my mind I know just how many hard edges I have, and I know now why I cannot see the strength until either after or never. Strength is a perception that others overlay onto a moment to understand it. This does not mean they are wrong, it merely means what I need to understand something is not strength. This may be because I have always been willful, though I am not sure. I do know I am strong it is merely something I don’t see in most people or moments unless it is detrimental.
Another analogy to make this a bit clearer, Roses are fragile. Roses are strong. If a frost comes the roses blooming in my yard will die, most assuredly. In their fragile beauty the petals will fall from the bush, decorating the ground with a visible loss. However, what is not seen is the strength, deep with in the earth the plant still feeds and grows, and soon more roses will bloom, and the cycle starts again. Living on even when there is a loss is what makes the Rose bush strong.
For humans strength comes in a variety of ways, most often physical strength is prized, at least from my perspective of not having any. I know mental strength is as well. The strength I see in Nymph, this fight to live when that is impossible, this is the wrong kind of strength. I see her get stronger around the time of her medications, food, and when she nearly loses it. She fights so hard.
So the horror in my heart is knowing that this valiant being cannot win. She wants to live. She wants to be with me. She wants to be with Sprite. I know that she will not stop fighting for weeks now. She already has fought for a lot longer than the average cat with FIP, and still could degenerate further. The horror in my heart is there, because I love her.
So I will be strong, I will be weak. I will cry. I will wish she had seen snow. I will joy in that she has loved and I will try to not doubt myself and the pain in her eyes will haunt me for my life time.

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.

Why I did not turn to “God”

I am too tired to sleep. Instead I decided to read some disabled blogs. I am not a Christian. I rejected Christianity a long time ago. I do not reject Christians but I do not share your beliefs. My own religious choices come from exploration, to seek what is right for me. Part of this comes from the fact that the God of the Christians was used as a tool to facilitate the abuses I suffered. “God hates you. You must die to please him.” “God hates women who have short hair, and that child has short hair. She must have the devil beaten out of her.”

Two out of thousands of excuses that their God fearin folk used to beat a child. They used god as a reason for why I did not deserve to eat. A reason for my mother to stay with a man who wanted her dead. Before I was aware of my disabilities, I heard often how a disabled person found god. I keep a Jesus figure in my couch for occassions to “find” him and make the conversation stop, with a good laugh.

I do not want to offend anyone, but, I am offended by disabled people always being portrayed as God Fearing White Men. The man who saved me yesterday was Black. I felt comforted by his presence, as if two strong arms held me. Does this make god a black man? Some say feelings of security all come from god.

I am well aware that this conversation is a bit controversial. I respect many people of many religions. I read a blog by Wheelie Catholic with great regularity. I just ignore her posts that are just about god if I am feeling uppity. I am leaving god as a lower case because I am a polytheist. I believe in multiple dieties. Not every person comprehends the notion of one omnipotent and infallible being.

I cannot believe in one god. Instead I believe all religions come from a root need. I need something to put my faith in. I still pray, just to the gods that my brain can fathom. Religion begins with one person, be they a prophet (IE Muhammed, Jesus, Buddha) or a Seer. They see this unadulterated light, they feel guidance from it, and explain what they see. People see the light through them.

Eventually Prophet Seer dies. How do the people still reach the light? They take paint to the window that they looked through, trying to outline what they remember, and what they themselves can see. Over time, through generations, people might add things that are not there. They might try and demonize people who do not see what is there from the same perspective. They might forget some important lessons.

This perspective has let me help people who ARE Christians. I respect your religious choices, and expect the same respect. I may not always have my expectations met, and I am a known idealist, but I will not discriminate. I am reminded with this line of thought about a woman who discussed her life with me.

She was healthy, not disabled, but depressed. She was going to commit suicide and had come to a bookstore to find how to books as well as books on how to heal after someone you love commits suicide to leave with her body for her children. She had sent her disabled child to visit family, so that she would not be the one to find her. She felt drawn to me, she could see me in the shoes of her daughter, productively assisting someone else.

We talked for several hours about her life, and she wanted to commit suicide because she felt helpless. She thought if she died, her daughter could obtain the insurance money and pay for her medical treatment. I debated with her on the invalidity of this thinking, I shared access to resources, and she left with books on how to train cats. She is alive, right now. Her daughter did not lose her caregiver or her mother.

Isn’t suicide verboten to Christians? Don’t you go to hell if you commit suicide?

As if this wasn’t controversial enough, now I am going to bring up Eugenics and Hitler. I am against human euthanasia. I never thought about it, before Teri Chaivo. I was too busy struggling in my own blind existance and praying I could survive. When I heard about how she died I wanted to scream. I wasn’t positive that no one was home in her mind. I felt a sick certainty in my gut, as I had felt the snap of bone in my back, that she had felt each and every agonizing moment.

I began to debate in my mind about the value of euthanasia. It is wrong. I do not need more pressure on me to just die. My own nephew asked me why I am not dead. I explained to him that just because I hurt, doesn’t mean I do not feel joy and that I want to live. I have a lot to laugh about. I have a lot to live for.

I have considered suicide rather recently, due to the pressures of environment. I took away the abuser, and I haven’t thought about death since. I am still fighting to get my pain meds. I am facing another two month stretch without pain medication and this is frightening. I don’t want someone to decide that because I am aware of my rights and will fight tooth and nail for my civil liberties to be respected, that I should die. I do not want people to be put to death or denied treatment because they lack insurance. I was denied proper medical care and it disabled me further, doctors ignoring broken bones left me in permanent agony.

If you help someone die, add pressure to their lives, or even neglect them to the point that they must starve, you are a murderer. Our government is full of murderers in my eyes. When I think on this, I question all of these prolifers. Why is it that they can fight for an unborn baby who may or may not live, but they fight FOR the right to kill me? Most people who contemplate suicide have a reason they feel despondent. Usually there are ways to remedy this.

There is a woman out there whose name I do not remember, I heard about her hunger strike, to fight against improper care. First and foremost, the media victim blamed her, soft peddling the facts. Secondly, problematic patients are often given substandard care. No extra care is given for those with cognitive challenges. Often, when someone reacts with violence they are triggered.

This all forgiving God I hear so much about, the one who disables people for their own good, the one who lets children get beaten in his name. I cannot fathom his reality. The faith of millions of people, lead by a bigot (that would be the Pope), has been open to question. I am not so blind as to presume all Catholics agree with the Pope or even respect him. I am aware that the world is shifting, truths are coming out about the history of the Catholic church. Truths are coming out everywhere about reality. We are on the cusp of great change.

I do not feel hope when someone tells me how they felt god. I have felt my gods just as equally. I do not want to be told I have to be religious or even faithful now that I am disabled, but I do want people to question the Euthanasia debate from a standpoint of their personal religion, as well as a social one. History shows the danger of Eugenics.

Hitler was a gay disabled dark haired Jewish man. He hated himself so much that he tried to eradicate all disabled, gay, non blonde persons, many of whom were Jews. Eugenics were his tool. Washington and Oregon both allow for human euthanasia, and I can tell you now, other states may follow. Are we really going to allow for weak laws that do not require psychiatric involvement (as far as I know, I could be wrong) and for people who are “terminal” to die earlier? It may not sound bad to you, but, what does terminal mean?

I have heard it means a condition that will kill you. I have heard it is an uncurable condition. Does this make spinal cord injuries TERMINAL? Who defines terminal? I often disagree with medical professionals assessments of the condition the disabled live in. I lived in a very dangerous environment, and many people remain blissfully unaware that a respected person is actually an abuser. Many people ignore what to me is obvious. What if a person who hates the disabled comes along and determines that terminal means you are not white, have any physical ailment including Athsma, and must be redheaded? The end of the world comes.

One arguement for Euthanasia is that people are suffering. If someone is terminal, (definition meaning six months to live) they will die. Not true. My aunt has lived with cancer for over 25 years. Before I was born she was told she would not make it to the end of the week. She is still here, she is healthier than many people I know and she IS terminal. She will die from cancer eventually.

Arguements for Euthanasia also imply that the able bodied should have the right to tell me how I feel. You may look at me and see a woman shaking from pain, in a wheelchair who must surely hate life. I feel utter peace. Often, I find my internal balance can over ride the burning pain in my body. When I gave my speech today, I felt energized, I felt alive, and I did not feel like a disabled person. I felt like ME.

Euthanasia is bad. Some people may want to die, but, should they? Euthanasia devalues life itself. Do you think you should be put to death for your challenges? Do you think that if you break your back you will want to die? You might, but, you will over come the stupidity of people who ignore your rights. Euthanasia is prevalent with animals too. We kill thousands of animals, and people protest this. It still happens but there are some against it. Let’s not risk shelters full of rejected humans being lead to the slaughter. Can anyone say Soylent Green?

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