Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Taking cats by the horns

Ok, this has just gotten silly. Orange cats are a menace! Apparently, the little cat that adopted us and we named Lucy is actually named Frank- we should have had a closer look! Our neighbors were out of town and something ate all the cat's food, so he came over here for a full belly and a warm bed until they got home. As soon as he saw their truck pull in, his whole demeanor changed and he went home.

It was kind of weird.

Even stranger is that our neighbor living across the street in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Texas grew up in El Cajon- I grew up in neighboring city Santee! Small world.

So, once again we found ourselves down an animal.

It didn't last long!

Introducing Jynx, our actual new family member. We went to the shelter on Monday, and she came home on Tuesday. She was found mid-January under an RV with 4 other kittens. She's only 11 weeks old. Our crazy chaotic house is a little much for her, but I'm sure it won't take her long to fit in. She was the most outgoing kitten in the room at the shelter.

Toby's already decided she's his new best friend (they won't have actual contact for a while yet, but he spends a lot of time hanging out by the play pen where she's getting used to everyone). She's not entirely sure he's to be trusted, but she's curious about him.

And poor Asha, our older cat. When Steve had her fixed as a kitten, they found she'd already gotten pregnant. It's made her extremely maternal. So even though she's not sure she likes having another animal in the house, she's very interested in the new baby.

I think everyone will be just fine.

PS Anytime Frank wants to come over, he's still welcome. We've all agreed, though, that from now on anytime an orange cat shows up, we'll assume it's temporary!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sometimes pets are such a pain

My mood is slowly improving, and the world is not looking as bleak as it was a week ago. Part of the reason for this, probably, is that we have a house guest/new family member. It's difficult to actually pin down what she is because we're waiting to see if anyone claims her. 

I'm thinking she's a new family member. 

Sunday evening, Steve called for me to come out on the back porch. I'm starting to understand what that tone of voice means. A skinny ginger cat was sitting in the carport meowing at him. Our son decided to go visit the cat, and she was very friendly. It was getting dark, though, so we came inside and assumed she'd go home. 

When we went to bed, "Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!" Outside our window. It was below freezing, and there's predators everywhere. A smart cat does not announce her presence to coyotes! I took some old towels and blankets out so she could curl up in them, and a small bowl of food thinking maybe she was hungry and would shut up and go to sleep if she had a full belly. She took to the food like she hadn't eaten in days, but did not shut up. 

It was a long night. 

Come morning, I thought surely she'd gone home. Nope. She adopted us. 

Anyway, long story short, she's now living in the lounge in the dog kennel while everyone gets used to everyone. Right now she's exploring the lounge while the dogs are in the bedroom with Steve. Even Asha's not too upset about the new member of the family. 

But then, Toby happened. 

Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, he was outside for a long time. He came to the door barking, ran down the hall to the bedroom (where Steve was), and, according to Steve, started freaking out. Steve looked and he was covered with ants! We got him in the shower, and Steve washed all the ants off him and we thought it was done. 

Silly us. 

He was still pretty wired, but seemed to settle down when I gave him a treat. Then, we went to the bedroom because it was time to have a soak in the spa. Until Toby threw up, twice, and then went comatose. Seriously. No response, just laying there eyes glazed over. I was pretty sure we were about to lose him. 

It took 40 minutes before he started coming right. He's fine now, but he gave us one heck of a scare. 

I've walked all over the yard, and can't find the ant's nest he got into. We're thinking it's under the house, so this weekend's project will be to block up the dog's access to get under there. 

Damned dog. We love him. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Probably better just to walk away

I’ve been fighting a serious bout of depression for the last few weeks. It’s hit me hard and is persisting much longer than normal. I've been plagued by the failure of everything lately. Seriously, even things that aren't in my control, but did well in the past have suddenly suffered catastrophic failure as soon as I become involved. Every time I think I can start to deal, though, “friends” on social media post some pretty hateful things that throw me back under the tires of self-loathing. 

First there was the American rant- all Americans are horrible people that think they rule the world. This person has met me, in person, several times and knows that I do not believe that America rules the world nor deserves to. It was a bit of an eye opener, though, to see that she really thinks so little of me.

Next was a “friend” who has been bugging me a bit lately with all her Republican HOORAH FOR US posts and religious zealotry. I posted that the medical system is so broken that if I had to go to the hospital, with my insurance, it’s a death sentence because we cannot afford to use our insurance. I took my son to the doctor for a rash, which they misdiagnosed, and they charged me $700 after the insurance paid their part! $700 for a misdiagnosis while insured is crazy! The second part of my post was discussing the fact that schooling is so expensive. My daughter went to trade school and is now in debt for years for a certificate that is close to being useless. I went to finish my associate’s degree at an online school who lied to me about the cost, after 6 weeks (not even a full term) the bills started showing, and I quit before it got any higher. It took me months to pay it off, with nothing to show for it. Anyway, this “friend” replied, in no uncertain terms, that I really didn’t matter because she has Medicaid which pays for everything.  She also received federal grants to go to school, for free- probably why she’s dropped out so often. I was explaining why socialism isn’t the evil she thinks it to be, she was arguing that it is the worst possible thing people can do. If you don’t get the irony, leave a comment and I’ll explain.

Then, yesterday I was starting to feel like maybe it was ebbing when yet another “friend” posted an article. I refused to read the article because the title was something along the lines of, “Your anxiety doesn’t mean you can be an asshole.” If that wasn’t enough to convince me not to read it, one of the comments underneath (among a list of “Yes. This!” and “Totally agree!”) said, beautifully, that maybe telling someone battling with anxiety that they don’t deserve friends is a bit too harsh. If anyone actually thinks I’m being an asshole while I try to talk myself off the edge because no one else even notices, then I’m sorry, I’m just trying to survive. So, you know, go fuck yourself darling.

The latest is the death of an icon, David Bowie. It is sad that he’s left the world, but that’s not really what’s so damned depressing. The worst part of it is all the people in my life who are so upset about it, their world is shattered, they can’t even! Yet when I ask for help because the dark place is calling, when I post that I’m seriously considering that cold dark place, no one gives a shit. Not one. People who know me, personally, care more about David Bowie than they do about someone they used to call friend. That’s the most tragic. But at least I know where I stand.

Last night, I was trying, again, to explain what it feels like to Steve. I tried to explain the all-consuming loneliness that defines my depression. I told him that I’m always lonely, no matter what. He said, “I hope I help.”

“Even you cannot stop it,” I told him. “You can’t fight the loneliness that lives inside my head.” Because that’s where it starts and stops. It’s like there’s a black hole in my brain that sucks up all the good so it never reaches me. There’s no fighting that.

While we were having this discussion, the dog, Zack, looked on with an air of derision. He was happy being allowed to sleep in warm peacefulness under a fleece Dr. Who blanket in the air stream of the heater. My battle with loneliness was a minor disturbance on his psyche. He does not understand the concept.

The dog can be so judgmental sometimes.