Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

A day ago, or a few days ago, or every day, a woman was out on her lawn on a mattress that she had pulled out and laid in the center because, “I like to sleep in the sun.” And she was doing just that, she was asleep and the sun was pouring down on her and moving its way underneath her skin and making her brown and warm and smell like the earth, and that’s when her boyfriend came around the corner and covered her in gasoline and lit her a flame. Did anyone even hear about this? I like to imagine that as the gasoline poured down her face and over her body she was dreaming of being a little girl in the bathtub when her mama would bathe her. Except, she was full sized and the bathtub was huge and her mama was even huger. As the gasoline ran down her face and over her hair she dreamed of her mama with a big plastic cup and her hand sheilding her eyes. She was singing “Amazing Grace” and the warm water was running down her cheeks and over her shoulders and the bathtime suds were floating in the water around her. When he lit the match and threw it over her body I imagine that she had a brief moment where she thought the sun was just too hot, and that maybe she should go inside and get a glass of sweet tea, but then the flames burned so fast and so hot that her body turned the heat into cold and she considered a blanket, but was just too tired to get one, and so instead she slept and slept and slept inside the warm sunlight.

Things like this have been keeping me up at night. This, and scenes from the Holocaust that I’ve been reading for class, and the chance images of men and women being shot in the streets of some place far far away from me popping up on screen while momma daddy baby and me had dinner. I don’t think I fear for myself or for pain or for death. I feel peaceful about these processes, that this is just a body and that death and life intermingle and get tangled up and are just more pieces of existence and non-existence. But, I worry about the babe. My thoughts center around keeping him safe, away from fear. I worry, if we were taken away somewhere, carted off in the darkness, what would I do? Could I hold on tight enough, sing loud enough, smile convincingly enough to drown out the blanket of fear? I know that I have to let these things go, that they are outside of my control. I know that I need to just relax and enjoy the softness of his cheeks and the way that his breath still smells faintly of milk. And while I love his sweet rolls and the way he clings to me, I do have an inkling of desire for the days when he will be giant and strong and be able to destroy armies and catch bullets in his hands.

What, readers, are your fears? Do you fear the things that go bump in the night?

When I get restless like this I cut my hair. I had my dear Jessie to help me this time.

This is new.

In the sunshine.


Mon Bebe

More on life later.



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Okay, Deep breath.

I want this blog to be happy and full of love and funny stories. But somehow it always ends up sad and heartbreaking and heartbroken. I’ve been putting off this post because I haven’t been ready to write it, but maybe I should. Maybe I should face it and feel good and enjoy the sunshine again.

On Monday I gathered up the kitten, who’s legs had begun to drag behind her. I gathered her up and cooed nice words and she was sweet and sat in the pet carrier and didn’t even mew. Didn’t say a word. When we got to the vet’s she was good and sweet and didn’t hiss or act too wild. The vet took her out with a little help, and examined her. He told us her back was broken. She had been hit by a car and the wound that I had been looking after, that I thought was a simple scrape from her life outdoors, was a result of that. There was an infection in the bone, in her spine. The feeling in her legs was gone. She was in a lot of pain.

And I broke. I felt like all those things that I’ve lost along the way; grandpa, sully, Tiny, sister-that they were all there in that room with us and they were all gone. Especially sister, who in some way was like the kitten, Bones-that the babe named her, who looked at us with eyes that were scared and knew knew knew that somehow this was the end. And I had to put her down. Because even if I had the $3,000 to pay to have her hips re-broken and her spine realigned she would never walk again, would maybe never recover. And maybe it was wrong that I did. Her eyes were wide and she was afraid. She wasn’t a pet. She was a wild cat and all that she wanted to do was survive survive survive. This wasn’t like when we put Tiny down, who was old and loved us, and was happy that we were crowded around. Bones didn’t want anyone around. Didn’t trust people. Maybe she would have rather fallen asleep outside under the tree and just let the infection spread and never wake up. Or maybe she would have suffered. But would the suffering have been as bad as her fear in that room with us? It was suffocating.

I wonder if this was the last thing. I wonder how much I can take before I turn into something that isn’t me. I build up these little things inside my heart to try to make sure it keeps on going, keeps me up in the morning and making breakfast for the little person. In the vets office, in that room with the kitten, with Bones, something started to break, like I could hear it splintering and cracking and folding over. All I could think to do was say, “Oh god, Oh god,” while little kitten huddled in the corner.

Now, she is buried in the backyard. The part-time lover came with me and he dug a deep hole for her. He lifted her on the soft little blankets that I put in the carrier for her, that we carried her home in, and laid her down in the ground as softly as he could. I sprinkled the dirt over the blankets and wished her a happy journey, safe and beautiful lives forever after.

I don’t know what else to do or what to say. I’d like to just stop for a little while. Or maybe a long while. But I know I can’t. So, for right now at least, I go on for the babe. Up in the morning for him, up at night for him. For a while that will be okay, I imagine.

When she first found us

Her first food

Shortly before our trip to the vet.

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I have switched Kitten Little’s (yes, that is now the ferrel kitten’s official name) food to some kitten chow, mixed with soy milk, mixed with a wet cat food.  He seems to eat everything with gusto and doesn’t complain that he’s no longer ingesting large amounts of albacore tuna.  His little whiskers still lie out of my fingertips reach.  He still scampers if I get too close.  I wonder why I wait for him.  He doesn’t seem interested in getting to know me, other than a food source, and even seems increasingly happy when I put his bowl down and walk away.  He is like all of my lovers; starving, yet fleeting once full.  Kitten Little hisses when I expect too much.

My mother believes that the kitten is a bad omen, that he brings death.  Many years ago a black cat jumped through the kitchen window cut out and into my mothers lap.  She sent it out.  It came back the next day and hid under her bed while Tiny and Cleatus, our big and lovely dogs, barked mercilessly.  The cat followed her like a shadow, it was relentless in its pursuit of her affections.  It insisted she was a cat person despite her allergies.  She had my father bring it to the humane society.  A month or so later Cleatus died of cancer, suddenly and quickly.  Cleatus was big and sturdy and liked to be scratched under his chin.  He was the best hugger because his body was the size of a full grown man, and you could curl up between his paws and snuggle and hug him without restraint.  Cleatus was our first pet loss, and we buried him in the backyard near a towering pine tree.

Kitten Little showed up the day we had to put Tiny down.  His intentions were not as direct, but he made his presence known.  Tiny’s passing wasn’t as abrupt, it wasn’t unexpected.  It didn’t jump into your lap.  He was 14, maybe 15 and took on the presence of a distinguished old man.  He no longer listened when we chastised, he stole food from the table, he farted at will and blamed it on the younger dog.

I guess a death messenger in Kitty cat form seems appropriate.  Didn’t the ancient Egyptians have a cat goddess that worked as a death messenger?  Or was she a protector?  To me, it seems almost one in the same.

Our Sweet Tiny

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