Thursday, March 17, 2011

ta ta for now

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night. I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.

The first week of my leave of absence ended today. I stayed up too late, slept in too late, and generally just decompressed. I accomplished a few things, and I sat around mindlessly for quite a few hours as well. So be it. That's what this week was for. But now, I'd like to get a little more serious, a little more disciplined . . . without of course placing any unreasonable or even uncomfortable restrictions on myself.

I hope my dear friends will understand. I love them, but this is a leave of absence for ME and my mental health. It can't be filled up with social engagements and normal activities. I need for it to be a true BREAK with normalcy; a time to float freely and allow myself the time and space to think, reflect, feel, and hopefully begin to heal. I may put on a brave face when you see me, and appear to be "okay," but the truth is, I'm NOT okay. My parents are both dead, and they were my whole family. Sure I have many wonderful, wonderful friends, and other family, who love and support me, and I am SO grateful for all of you. But the next few weeks are about me stepping out of time, to honor the seriousness of my situation, and to honor my parents' memories. Maybe it's hard to understand, and I don't expect anyone to understand who hasn't been through such a thing. In fact, it's good if you DON'T understand in a way because it's not a very fun thing to contemplate. But I hope that everyone can respect it.

I won't be gone forever. Only a few weeks, and you know how time flies by lickety-split. I'll be back on the scene in May, in one version or another. I know I won't be magically healed. It's a long road ahead. But I hope I'll at least feel that my hiatus was time well spent, and that I'll have some amount of clarity and renewed strength to carry on, and adjust to my new reality. Until then, please know that I love you, and I look forward to seeing you later this spring.

So until May -- Adios, amoebas.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

simpler times

I know Godzilla himself emerged from post-war nuclear fears, but he seems like such a manageable threat in light of today's horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Is it scarier if mass destruction is caused by other humans during times of war, or if it comes out of the blue with the unrelenting and non-discriminating power of nature? The capacity for humans to inflict cruelty on each other is mind boggling, but in theory at least, it's also preventable. The forces of nature are undeniable and unavoidable. And even if all our fancy modern technology enables people to have a 30-second warning before a major earthquake, it also means that we have complex nuclear plants that are now imperiled and which may cause even more destruction and misery. At least a giant stomping dinosaur does his damage and then moves on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

millions of cats

How many cats can you find in this photo? (Answer: 28) But seriously, there's an extra cat! After 14 years of two cats, suddenly there's a new fuzzy somebody running around, squeaking, hissing, and being generally silly. She's actually a very good cat: very clean, uses her scratching post and litter box diligently (which is more than some of us can say!). We never really got along when she lived with Mom, but I feel like we're turning a corner in our relationship. She's a million times sweeter and more interactive with me than ever before! Maybe because she has to be, given the circumstances, but she's smart and adaptable enough to know that, which make me happy. Right now, for the first time in the almost 2 weeks she's lived here, all 4 of us are resting in our own little corners of the living room.

I'm very proud of Xander, who has totally stepped up to make sure that Marzipan knows who's boss, and what the rules are, but without ever raising a paw in anger. He's just "there" when she's snooping around, keeping an eye on her, twitching his tail and growling very lowly if he disagrees with something she's doing. And she respects him for it. And I'm very pleased with Mr. G. and the way he's taken little Marzi under his wing. I hear him talking to her in the back room. I think he really loves her, and is coming to love X&Z more as a result. They're all good cats. Zoe just gets a little jealous, and is an aging stink-cat these days, but otherwise they're all shiny little gems. :)

Have you ever read this book? It's a classic from my childhood. It's about a man who sets out to find a pet for himself and his wife, but he can't decide because each cat he sees is prettier than the last one, so he ends up accumulating "hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats." It gets out of control really quickly, and in the end the cats themselves have to duke it out to decide which one is the prettiest. It's very violent, but it does have a happy ending.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have 500 cats now. Actually I only have three, but that's borderline crazy-cat-lady. I brought Marzipan up from San Diego this weekend. As you probably know, she was Mom's cat, and she's quite beautiful and intelligent, but she's also a crazy wild child. The whole drive up she was like a gremlin in a box, crying and shaking the bars of her cat carrier like a prison cell. She even managed to scratch me, and put a snag in my sweater sleeve with her long white arms flailing through the grating. Twice I pulled over to see if she was okay. When I let her out of the carrier, she was the sweetest little cuddle-bug, all purrs and head-bonks. But then the gremlin returned. It was a harrowing drive to say the least.

She's had a crash-course in socialization these past few weeks, living next door with 2 people and 3 other cats until I was ready to bring her to my apartment with other people and other cats. I think it did her good. And she's a strong, smart cat, so I know she'll be okay, but will I be okay? Xander is very curious about her, and keeps creeping back to the kitchen where she's sequestered. Growling and hissing ensues, but I'm the one that keeps getting bit and scratched. Little devil! Zoe seems basically oblivious. Maybe she's too old and raggedy to care. I hope to take down the barrier this weekend when I'm able to be present for any prolonged interaction opportunities. Fingers crossed that I'm the only one who bleeds. Maybe I should treat myself to some edible marzipan to help me get through this stressful time.

time waits for no one

I hate looking at dates, like my blog called "inheritance" below, and thinking about how they relate to my parents' deaths. January 28, 2011. Mom was alive and happy then, remodeling her bathrooms and planning to come visit me in a couple weeks. She was also planning a trip to Cannon Beach, and probably another European adventure later this year. Little did any of us know that she'd be dead just a few days later. I HATE that.