The big news this month is KITTENS. Meet Criminy and Crivens, whom FunkyPlaid and I adopted in mid-November from Cat Adoption Team. These stray tabby brothers were expertly fostered, so it took them no time at all to adjust to their new home with us. … Continue reading The now of December 2019
About a month ago, we had yet another health worry with Butter Bib (a/k/a Zen). Since then she has bounced back and is in fine form, still going up and down the stairs, and also going up and down the little plastic steps we have by our bed. Now that the weather is colder, I often wake up in the wee hours with her cold nose pressed against the inside of my elbow, like a tiny ice cube melting on me. It is one of Zen’s most endearingly annoying habits … and she has accumulated quite a few of those over her twenty-one years.
Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: pages turning as FunkyPlaid reads in the other room.
Last night, sleeping on the floor of my study with my hand resting under the chin of my aging cat, I had a visitation dream. You know the kind, the dreams we see in movies or read in books, during which all of the details are so vivid that it seems real, it must be real … and then we wake up.
Our other cat came to me in this dream, our beloved mackerel tabby Torgi, and head-butted my face repeatedly, just as he did while he was alive. He brushed up against me and walked over my legs and flomped down next to me, at once distracting me from my distress over Zen and reassuring me that she would be fine. That we would be fine.
When I woke, I felt his presence lingering, the distinct scent of his fur, and the space by my ribcage still felt warm. As an avowed skeptic, I started to file the experience under “Moments My Subconscious Mind Doesn’t Suck” — a thin file, indeed, by the score of nightmares I have experienced. Then I reached for the paw of my still-living cat and let the feeling of the inexplicable wash over us both.
Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “When I’m Small” by Phantogram.
I hear a piercing cry from somewhere in the house. It’s a small house, but sound carries and bounces and hides. I do a full circuit, glancing in all of the usual places, and get halfway around again before I hear another cry, this time … Continue reading Where were you?
Born and forged in hothouse Alabama, Zen is a creature of heat. Throughout this week’s heat wave, she has sought out the warmest parts of our home. Like the corner of the eaves which — despite sounding like a place of great magical power in a children’s book series — is an infernal pocket of breath-sucking dryness. When not upstairs, Zen lounged on her heating pad during our 100°+ days.
I caught her once or twice splayed out on the wood floors, cooling herself off, but then she’d heft herself up and trek upstairs.
This morning, the heat has let up a bit. Zen has found a patch of sunshine. In photos like this one, I can pretend I don’t see the gauntness that has partially deflated her football shape. Zen has always loved the heat, but now she needs it because she doesn’t have the padding that used to keep her warm. Kneeling before her, half-dappled in sunlight, I bury my face in her fur. She hooks one paw over my forearm and kneads, purring, while my fingertips graze the tiny ridges of her vertebrae. Maybe soon, I think, but not yet.
Life That was quite a week, wasn’t it? Someone’s been busy. All I did was go to work, get a haircut, and try not to lose my damned mind over every New York Times app notification. Even my trusty Lamy 2000 fell apart. At least Zen … Continue reading This week.
Life So many things were disrupted this week that I don’t know where to start. I’ll start with the most important: despite a health scare, Zen is okay. On Thursday morning, Zen started to show signs of discomfort due to constipation, and by the early afternoon … Continue reading This Week
Zen didn’t get up to say goodbye as I was heading to the airport, but that’s okay. She has a new hiding place: right in front of the register, underneath the nesting tables. I tried to move the tables and put her bed there, but … Continue reading Day 357 of Project 365: Zen’s new hiding place.
Box: check. Crinkly paper: check. Proximity to me: check. Yep, Zen’s happy. Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: an episode of “Broadchurch”.
Zen can be a great cuddler when she wants to be. Luckily tonight was one of those nights, and we drifted off together for an excellent nap. Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the heater kick on. It’s only 30ºF out there … Continue reading Day 341 of Project 365: Naptastic.