Category Archives: cats

Something Strange Happened Yesterday

Well, I finally did it. I drove to the Flats and handed over Poppy for euthanasia. On the way I said a lot of prayers and tried to convince Mom that this was the right thing to do for everyone, including Poppy. I felt so badly for her. She was drooling, forgot that she had food in her dish, didn’t bother with any of the cat boxes, which were spotless, btw, and kept getting harassed by Snippet. At 20 years old, she did not need a young whipper snapper of a small dog thinking of her as just another toy. I could look at Poppy and know that she wasn’t thinking straight. On top of it, she was skin and bones. No matter how much she ate–and we gave her two cans a day–we couldn’t put any weight on her. Peeing in Micki’s downstairs crate sealed her fate. It was just time.

The drive to the Animal Protective League (APL) was uneventful until I got off the highway. That was when I realized the APL was in the Flats. For all you non-Northern Ohioans, the Flats is an area that runs along the Cuyahoga River and has a lot of businesses, factories and tony restaurants and clubs. It was the first part of Cleveland that was settled in the late 1700s. It is very easy to get lost there because the streets wind around the river bank and there are hills that bring people up and down from other parts of the city and back home again. In addition, it’s one of the few places that still has swing bridges. They are so cool! I’d kind of hoped I’m see a ship navigating the water as I drove through the maze. Alas, no ships, but for once my GPS got a Flats district address right, even though I didn’t do exactly what it said.

I got there and told the clerk that I wanted Poppy euthanized. I told them that she was 20 years old, she was drooling, had some sort of infection in her guns, had licked her fur into giant mats that she wouldn’t allow anyone to comb, etc. They said, “Euthanasia. That will be $35.” My eyes bugged out. When I phoned them–twice, no less–there was no mention of a fee for euthanasia. I thought they’d do it for nothing since I didn’t want cremains. Would they rather I let her lose in the area so that she can get killed by a car? I’m on frickin’ MEDICAID, for Christ’s sake! My mother just died and her retirement checks haven’t started coming to me yet. I said, I’ll give you $20, but that’s all. Thanks, Poppy. I won’t be eating anything soon. I had to split the $20 between cash and an almost maxed out credit card. Just peachy.

I went to see my shrink before the trek to the APL. I was 20 minutes late because I’m still learning how long it takes to take the girls out, get them watered and fed, sit with them while they eat and then take Micki out again to poop. I still have to wait for her to poop since she’ll look around and see what else is going on before she feels like going. *sigh* That’s about 10 minutes spent waiting for her.

Finally, Micki does her duty and I can hurry up and get dressed. I’m really glad I took a shower the previous night because that saved around another 20 minutes. I knew that I’d see the shrink, but I also wanted to stop where I get my music supplies and show my lyrics to the sales guy who’s quite knowledgeable about things musical except music theory. Now I’m wondering if I showed him the right one. I went through my WordPress app as opposed to the browser. The WordPress app is annoying in that it doesn’t show the finished post. It shows the HTML of the post you were editing until you hit Preview and then it will show not the final product, but the edited product. Oh well. I’ll show him again later. It will give me an excuse to go back.

Like I said in another post, there’s someone I’m working on and that would be him. I don’t know what I’d do if someone called me a Cougar. I think I’d probably say, “Oh well. Just because he’s half my age doesn’t mean a very nice man should be ignored. There aren’t many left in the world and he’s single. There are even fewer of them. I told him on a previous visit that he’s been messing around with girls. It’s time you got yourself a woman. I wore a nice, little dark pink camisole top, blue jeans, sunglasses, dark reddish-purple lipstick sand black sandals. Under the cami, I had on a pink bra that, because I’ve lost weight, doesn’t quite do what it’s supposed go do. Therefore, I have to work on it a bit to get it right. Regardless, I made sure that I was noticeable. He liked the lyric that I had on my iPhone. When I left, he said, “It’s always nice to see you.” I smiled because that made me feel better and that also means that he’s getting to know me. I think he’s got an old soul. Then again, he’s also a musician and I’m used to that. Slower wins the race, in this case.

So, after I leave the music store, I drive to the Shoreway. It’s the beginning of rush hour, but traffic is moving east and not west until the split that goes to the West Side and the other to downtown and the airport. Now that was backed up. Still, we made it there by a little before 6p.

I really didn’t want to put Poppy down. She was such a spirited little devil! Even as an older cat, she was spirited, but in a gruffer way. For some reason, she looked as though she was in a permanent scowl and would accost anyone who’d dare mess with her. It was just a front, though. She was as gentle as ever. But picking her up made my skin crawl because she was all skin and bones. No animal should ever be that thin. I’m sure there was something very wrong with her that we didn’t take her to the vet to get straightened out. Most of the reason is that we thought the other cats were eating her portion. Then, when all the other cats died, Poppy really upped her intake. Still, she was skin and bones. Even the bones felt like they’d break under too much pressure.

Even after putting down my last $20, I wasn’t allowed to be with Poppy when she made her transition. That hurt. I really wanted to be there with her and not all alone with people she didn’t know. I’d been talking to her a lot on the drive there and talked to her some more when she was on the desk, knowing I’d never see her again. I told her that it would all be over after a few minutes. Then, she could run, jump, chase mice and butterflies all she wanted. Best of all, she’d be with Mommy and that would make both of them happy.

So, I said in the title that something strange happened to me today. I got off the highway and made it into my garage. I shut off the engine, but after that, I have no idea what happened. I fell asleep right in the Puppy Van with the garage door open. I don’t even remember closing my eyes. I didn’t wake up until about 11p and realized what happened. It scared me a little, especially since I don’t even remember closing my eyes. I’m not on any meds during the day that I haven’t been on already for ages. Falling asleep in the car while in the driver’s seat is something very new and potentially dangerous. OnX, get thee to the Sleep Disorders Clinic pronto!

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A Letter to Mom and a Prayer to God

Mommy,

You’ve been gone almost three weeks now and I am an emotional mess. I know you didn’t want to die. You tried so hard to come back, but the doctors couldn’t fix what was wrong. At least, those couldn’t. How I wish you’d listened and sought a second opinion about having the aneurysm clipped, but you didn’t. Now, there’s nothing anyone can do.

This is the one time I think you can truly understand my pain. It’s the same pain you and your brothers have experienced. The difference is that we lived together in the same house for most of my life. Everything here reminds me that you’re not here and never will be again. The urn containing the remains of your shell is beautiful. I think you’d be pleased. Why wouldn’t you? You can see everything and both the boldness and subtleties of your exquisite taste are evident. Teddy helped me choose it.

Poppy the cat

Poppy a few years ago when she wasn't quite as senile.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m writing for more than just mere small talk. I don’t know how to do this and I sure as hell don’t know how to tell you, but I am going to get dressed and drive to the APL to have Poppy euthanized. She’s 20 years old, can’t take care of herself and isn’t using her cat box anymore. Cats are so much more expensive than dogs. I’m finding it easier and less expensive to care for the canine crew than for one, very old cat.

Truth be told, Mom, some of the choices you’ve made over the years are coming back to haunt me financially. I don’t know how I’m going to survive until your retirement starts coming in. When it does, I don’t know how I’m going to keep Medicaid without the special needs trust that you kept putting off setting up. Maybe my lawyer can figure something out. Wesley has been a little cold and doesn’t get that I’ve lost the person who shared more of me than anyone in the world. Then again, he’s a man and it’s different for them.

Getting back to Poppy, I pray to you and to God that you understand that I need you both in my life. Church is man-made. Religion is man-made. Trusting that there’s some entity out there that is larger than I am is an act of faith. God, I ask you to please, please help me hold up. I feel as if I’m going to fall off the face of the world. Worse, I don’t think I’d mind doing so if I didn’t have the girls to care for. Mom, I am happy that you are reunited with loved ones who preceded you. But I also know that you’re concerned about me. Again, I ask you and God, please, help me be strong and remain that way. Please don’t take me away from this world yet because Berry, Micki and Snippet only have me to depend on. I haven’t made a will for myself yet.  I need to be here for them.

God,  You took my mother away earlier than anyone else in our family. You have graciously allowed us to live into our 90s. I can’t even pretend to know the reason. Maybe you needed an excellent educator to teach the small souls who will one day make their appearance on this plane of existence. I’m clueless. I just want her back even though I know she’ll never be back, at least in the form she was in when she left. I’m trying to accept that, but please give me some time. I am a lost wretch who hasn’t been found yet. I’m blind and I can’t see yet. I hurt so much that I think I’ll split in two from the pain. So God, please, please allow Mommy to soothe me once more. If that’s not possible, then I have to accept it, not matter how much I don’t want to and can’t right now.

Perhaps this is more suitable to the job I have today: God, please keep me safe on the highways and streets I must travel so that you can receive Poppy’s soul. Please help me have the courage to stay with her during her transition and allow her spirit to scamper freely among the fields. With these words I pray to you, God. Amen.