Sunday, March 22, 2009

Still here...

It has been a week of sorrow, denial, anger, guilt. There have also been moments of acceptance and relief (that she is not suffering.) I have also felt profound gratitude that I had her for the time I did.
I have been doubled over with the finality a couple of times. I still wake up expecting to find her nestled next to me. My co-workers have been very kind and family and friends have offered up support in ways unexpected and appreciated. All this and still, day to day things get taken care of. Food gets cooked and eaten, clothes worn and washed, work gets done. I breathe, smile, create, remember, cry, laugh and wish she were still around to remind me that her food bowl is not sufficiently filled. I know it gets easier, it has in some ways. I am taking it day by day, minute by minute.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saying goodbye...

Angelina, asked in a recent post how others mourn. The topic has been on my mind a lot lately as I am dealing with the passing of my cat, Sibella. I realize to some, animal deaths and people deaths are entirely different things. Often times more signifigance is attached to the death of a person over an animal. For me it isn't so clear cut.
I grew up on a farm and was exposed to many endings, planned and unplanned. My family raised cows, pigs, chickens and ducks and rabbits and horses. There were also turkeys and goats and the odd sheep could be found every once in awhile. We had dogs and cats aplenty not to mention the mice and owls and frogs that lived in or around the barns. Cows and pigs and chickens and rabbits were killed for food, sometimes cows would die giving birth. One horrible summer one of our barns caught fire and some cows died. One mama rabbit ate her babies. My bloody cousins shot frogs. Cats would get hit on the road, kittens drowned in water troughs. The spector of death was everywhere.
Lots of farm folks have a really practical view of life and death based on their experiences on the farm. For most of my relatives connected to the farm, death was either a good thing: freezer full of meat or an inconvenience: disposal of a body. For me, it would be a time of tears (even for the *&^%$#@ turkeys that I feared) and a ceremony of sorts. Pretty much every critter got a name or some phrase like, "gray mouse that got squished into a hay bale." I would say a few words like, "You were a good mouse and I am sorry you got squished." If it were a pet, more words. My brother and I would bury the smaller animals behind the hen house. I wonder if the people that own the property now have discovered the cemetary back there.

Human death was no stranger either. My Mother's older brother, Randy, died when he was 16. She was a couple years younger and idolized him. His passing tore my grandfather up so much, he turned to books and alcohol to escape. My Mom and Grandmother relied heavily on each other until my gran's death when I was in high school. My Mom wears the sadness of the loss of her brother (and later her father and mother) like a custom made undershirt. It's there always, just under the surface. Happy times always have a twinge of sadness. I remember hearing Auld Lang Syne when I was a kid and my grandfather telling me what it meant and his eyes filled with tears (possibly due in part to the amount of alcohol in his system.) Later, I realized that the feeling I felt when I heard that poem/song was similiar to the feeling I felt my Mom must feel constantly.

Over the course of several years my granparents all passed away as well as a much loved neighbor girl that babysat for my brother and I. I felt the solemness and the sadness of the funeral services but chafed at the rigidity and the religious posturing. I resented the ministers making the death of someone I loved an occasion for preaching. About two years ago, I was at the funeral of one of my Dad's aunts. Though divorced from my dad, my mom had kept in contact with this aunt and she attended the funeral. It was a typical funeral for that side of the family, heavy on the fire and brimstone. People getting up and talking about what a good church going woman she was. Her faith in God, yada yada yada. My Mom stood up (in a room full of her ex husband's relatives) and told them all how the last time (only a week before) she had taken this aunt out to lunch and how they had laughed and how my aunt had been flirted with by a "very good looking older gentleman" and how she had blushed and patted her hair into place. I just hugged my Mom when she sat down. She was the only person to really acknowledge the humanity of my aunt. She told of the flesh and blood person where everyone else seemed more concerned about tallying up another soul for heaven.
I think our culture is so far out of synch with nature that death is seen as something to be avoided at any cost. By adopting that mind set we often alienate (unintentionally) those that are nearing the end. Wow, so much more to say but I am so very tired tonight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

She's gone....

I miss you Sibella, so very much. You will be out in the garden amongst the catnip. The mighty huntress of small insects. A new star in the sky tonight.

***Sibella wasn't eating at all last night and was obviously weakening. A very kind vet that does housecalls came and helped her onto the last part of her journey this morning. She was calm and peaceful and so beautiful at the end. Before the vet came there was a bit of a sun break. She wanted to go outside. We sat in the sun together. I am really grateful for those minutes. I feel so lucky to have had the time we did together.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sibella update...

After a very rough night Saturday with Sibella, I was pretty much resigned to taking her to the emergency vet clinic to be euthanized. Sunday morning she seemed a bit perkier. She ate small amounts of tuna which was more than she had eaten all weekend. I kept setting small goals for her like, if she gets up to drink some water and have a wee in the next 45 minutes I'll wait a bit longer or if she responds when I say her name I'll wait...all day Sunday that went on. I went into work today and finally got the call from the vet's office. Kidney failure AND a urinary tract infection. The vet said if it were based just on the blood work she would recommend euthanizing her, but since there is a UTI that could be skewing things she thought it could be worth it to treat the UTI with antibiotics and keep her hydrated with sub-cutaneous fluids and keep her appetite up with a stimulant. Of course they wanted to keep her there for 4 days to the tune of $450-$750. In reality what is happening is she will be at home and be given injections of 150ccs of fluid from an IV bag daily. So, I am cautiously optimistic that the treatment for the UTI will clear up some of the issues and then we'll manage the kidney disease issue for as long as possible. It is so hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes. I vowed after a long drawn out ordeal with my rabbit Chloe that I would never subject an animal to pointless treatments but here I am in the thick of it and I might very well be doing that. Just so everyone knows, Sib sleeps a lot by the heaters, she is as comfortable as I can make her and she is able to walk and is more responsive (it seems, fingers crossed). She seems frail and that is heartbreaking but dodders around and she isn't as vocal as she was on Friday and Sat. My thanks to those that left comments earlier. Blaize, once we've gotten to the other side of this ordeal I will be asking for some advice on food. Thanks!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So Sibella was obviously not feeling at the top of her game last night. She is a very vocal cat and she was even more so than usual. She had also adopted a rather peculiar sleep position that she does when she isn't well. Add to that ruffled fur and sunken eyes I knew there would probably be a vet visit in the offing. Sure enough, I took her in today. It sounds like she probably has kidney disease. They drew some blood and took a urine specimen and gave her some sub-cutaneous fluids and an appetite enhancer. I will know more on Monday.
Before the appointment,I had to run an errand this morning. When I came home, she was on the arm of the sofa (near the front door.) She didn't move when I came in, her head was tucked under and I couldn't see her breathing. I touched her and she didn't respond for several seconds. I thought she had died. She finally gave a disgruntled "Mrrffff" and moved reluctantly. Whew! I am hopeful that if it is kidney disease it will be manageable for a long time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Today was beautiful. I heard at one point it was around 63 F. I haven't heard what the forecast is for the weekend but I do hope there is sunshine involved.
Not a lot going on right now. I decided to hold off on the trip to London. I really wanted to go and London is a fun (but spendy town.) I have been eating away at my vacation time (also known as PTO or Paid Time Off) since it has been slow. Leaving early a couple of times during the week. I don't have enough PTO to take off for as long as I would like (2.5 weeks.) It seems silly to go over for any less time, considering the costs ($ and environmentally and physical wear and tear.) For now I am content working on some artsy projects, watching Torchwood, the very last bit of Angel, gearing up for the fencing class (I am so excited) and thinking of taking tap. The garden needs my attention and I have a stack of books to read. Life (at this moment) is pretty darn good.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Green Day (not the band)

So, I hear the Hummer division of GM is up for sale. Hello? I can't believe that it still exists. My fingers are crossed that the Humvee goes extinct. Just sayin'.
Another slow day at work. I left three hours early. This is really getting old. I did manage to get all the packages to the post office this afternoon for the mushroom love giveaway.
I have been feeling kind of betwixt and between lately. Partially due to the weather. It is unsettled as am I. It is getting time for some big life changes. I can feel it. Upheaval, decisions, changes of all sorts I can tell are in my future. I swear some days I don't know who I am anymore. Interests and things that I thought defined me no longer seem important. I feel like I have outgrown my life here. I want more. Not necessarily things, though a bigger house would enable me to do some of the things that I want to do, like art workshops. I am craving action, colors, passion. I live in my head a lot. I like a little reality in my fantasy life. I'd like an adventure.
I have never, ever thought about moving to California but I dream about it now. What is up with that? I don't really have a clue what I would do there so while I am not saying no, I am just not acting on it immediately. I am thinking about going to London for a week or so in May. A week is probably all I could get away with then. I have a place to stay, transport and all and there are some an events I want to go to. I need to find out how much airfare is right now and if tickets are still available to the show.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Devotchka, James Marsters and Elvis Costello, random pictures and bit of rambling nattering.

Listening to a bunch of random stuff this afternoon like Big Country. Ooh, now it's Ring of Fire...think I'm gonna skip Johnny for now and move on to Van the man, Morrison-Brown eyed girl...I got into the fencing class! It starts on the 31st. Tues and Thursdays. Oh yeah, I am really psyched. ACK! Jezebel by Iron and Wine- a bit too dark...Onto Style Council...oh yeah. Back in high school.
I don't scrapbook and normally I turn my nose up at "ready made" elements like a lot of the scrapbooking stuff for sale. I do however have a thing for paper and I do go through the bargain racks at the local craft store. This Deco-ish paper caught my eye.
Cozy little corner on a gray day.
The finishing touches going on the mushrooms to be sent out.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Signs of life...

Camellias aren't my favorite flower but since tea comes from a particular Camellia they are OK by me.
Daphne-This is what heaven smells like. Lemon-ish but so much more. The closest I think I have come to the scent is the Luna candle by Archipelago. I think that blend is lemon verbena, lavender and thyme. This Daphne is near the front door and quite large. It is quite warm today (not sure how warm, probably high 50's) and the smell permeates the front steps. The postman commented the other day. He wondered what smells so good. It's the Daphne.
Spring is definitely on the way. Whoo Hoo! I've been in a funk, but today with the warmer weather, sunshine even on my lunch break, the Daphne, the daffodils starting to bloom and the new Lane Community College catalog things are looking up. I am signing up for fencing. Yep, it's something that has been on my list of things to do for a couple of years and I decided now is the time. I am excited. I hope I get in. I am also taking a belly dance class in between now and the fencing class. I don't think I want to really get back into belly dance but I do enjoy the exercise and camaraderie.
Hope your Monday is going is well. Happy March!