I can still name most of the cats I had as a girl There were dozens: scrappy outdoor toms; sleek indoor beauties received as birthday gifts; strays; babies born of the strays mating with the scrappy toms; inherited cats with names; new and nameless baby kittens. I loved them all, my parents allowed them all. Our home also, at various times, sported an aquarium filled with sleek scarlet betas and gossamer guppies, a hamster cage, and mixed-breed ankle-high dogs. One time we even rescued an infant rabbit around Easter; we named him Cadbury and he lived for 3 days.
My father buried all our pets. Each pet was uniquely mourned, and their deaths recalled as easily as their names. Scarecrow was poisoned and then drowned in the pool. Sassy’s kidneys shut down after 15 years with our family. Miss Kitty spent her last hours in the cat house outside that Papa built for the cats. Killer was my 14th birthday present and died in Papa’s arms 17 years later. Buster died of heat stroke while we were on vacation. Mooch was found one late summer day hiding in a closet. Papa held her at the vet’s office as they administered the shot, took her home and buried her before returning to work. I came home that day from registering for my first high school classes to find a pink teddy bear on the kitchen counter with a bookmark tucked between its paws and a note from Papa written on the back about how much I loved Mooch and how brave I was to make the decision to have her put to sleep and end her suffering. I still have the bookmark. I read the note the day after Chester died.
We never had a big dog. There were a couple attempts, but Momma preferred cats and small dogs, and since we were never lacking in pet love, I always saw owning a big dog as something paired with adulthood. I would dream of my large canine, though. I would own a Rottweiler named Chet who drove in the back of a pick-up truck with me on various adventures. I would adopt a blue eyed Siberian husky and name it after some mythological character. My dog would be large, loyal and never leave my side. My wish was granted in Chester.
I hadn’t set out to adopt a large dog when I found Chester. Instead I was considering a medium sized dog among a litter at a pet store. The dogs were adorable, but yappy. I didn’t care for them. I stood in the area where the dogs being considered for adoption ran and played and charmed potential buyers into taking them home. The white puppies were trying very hard. They rolled over each other, barked, jumped, shook toys; they did everything a dog does to win over a human. Chester, a lone pup, sat quietly off to the side, watching the other puppies play. He was plump and fluffy. His ears pointed straight up and his eyes, hooded by a layer of furry skin, were soulful and a bit worried. Chester’s eyes were always a bit worried. I approached him, gathered him in my arms and buried my face in the folds of neck scuff that surrounded his sweet face. His mouth opened to reveal a pink tongue dotted with black spots. He was so odd looking; I had to have him! The playful pups were forgotten and the strange worried creature came home with me.
A conversation, a sailor and a homemaker. We never address the tension.
- Him: oh man, i met the portland version of you last night. i was on my heels. witty retorts and all. i can even see her baking in years to come.
- me: I sent her. I have minions everywhere. The domestication begins ;)
- Him: i wasn't kidding about that girl being distilled from your sauce
- me: She was a early 20s divorcee too? What are the odds? :)
- Him: i'm talking like WHOA. i kept staring at her face and seeing whisps of you. (that may have been the muscle relaxers...car accident yesterday)
- me: So my twin, was she a gorgeous sharp tongued genius like myself or just a pale comparison because you miss me? But seriously, where did you meet her? And how random, I rarely am one of those people who have twins out in the universe.
- Him: identical cheek bone structure. identical wit. curvy in all the necessaries.
- me: I like her already!
- Him: i spend most of time throwing random witty shit out into the universe. 40% goes over peoples heads. when i find a girl like yourself, who keeps up with me? it makes me all fuzzy. The ex could never keep up with me. large problem in retrospect
- me: She kept up with you enough to keep you going for a while, the regular sex helped take the edge off I'm sure
- Him: tis true. and the outdoor adventures and forced health in the kitchen
- me: And not to be wretched but it's not a marathon to match wits with you, so that can't be the only thing making you smitten. those of us you are fond of do it with aplomb and you don't want to fuck B. (unless you do and if you do can I watch? hot)
- Pablo: ew
- me: you're wrong. hot. And I don't even find B attractive.
- Pablo: you're exceptional. but we are our own island, there are many in this world with a narrow perspective, and i'm finding that no matter how illustrious the cleavage, i can't find myself diving in the dumb pool (much) anymore.
- me: All right, I'll bite. Especially now that I spend a good chunk of time with the type of Christians who take a lot of pride in how little they know about the world. I swallow a lot of bile these days. blah blah love your neighbor blah. We are exceptional. Even if my father does not find me so. And tells me.
- Him: he got a dumb streak in him to say that.
- me: meh, if his greatest regret is "raising unexceptional children" he is totally overlooking ALL THE YEARS HE WAS AN ALCOHOLIC...great parenting dad.
- Him: i think that the best part about our people is that we are trying to acheive breadth of perspective, not simply a heightening of stature and cash money hos
- me: although breadth of perspective AND cash money hos would not be remiss...ask anybody.
To soothe myself when I’m fretful I lightly tap each of my fingers to my thumb: pointer, middle, ring, pinky, pinky, ring, middle, pointer & repeat until I feel better.
oh my! This is the tic I developed after doing biofeedback therapy for panic attacks. When I get anxious look at my left hand and you’ll see each of my fingers lightly tapping my thumb in order….FASCINATION that I’m not the only person who does this!
You know who DOESN’T like Irish Car Bombs to celebrate St. Patricks Day? Irish people. Primarily because of the ill named drinks referencing a really dark period for them and St. Patricks Day being an opportunity to remember the glorious dead. But cute!