Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We put our cat, Mickey, to sleep- one week ago tonight. He would have been 17 in June. The grief has been a bit overwhelming, hence I haven't been able to blog sooner. We knew it would come eventually- but it seemed as if when "eventually" arrived, it went so very quickly. He was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease about two years ago. The vet told us then that the treatment would only work for one and a half to two years and then it would stop working. And it did. And there were other complications of old age...and we just couldn't watch him get really, really sick and suffer. We did get the full two years, and I don't regret one moment of the spoiled life we gave him. He was so very loved and he knew it and I know that he loved us back.

He got to die at home. It will cost us an arm and a leg- but my one regret with Max was that his last "thing" was a traumatic trip to the vet. I didn't want that for Mickey. So, after we made the decision- after a weekend when he started to fail and quit eating and had blood tests that showed some wonky stuff....we asked the vet to come to the house. And she, being the kind-hearted woman that she is, did. We got off work early and spent the afternoon with him. It was the shortest afternoon that lasted forever. His passing was peaceful...for him, but not for us.

Marty said I should start to blog and remember him. No blogging could do him justice. As much as I have loved all my pets with all my heart, Mickey was larger than life. I don't know- there was just something about him. He had enough personality for nine cats. And in this last year of his life- he just got "bigger." He would sleep on my arm at night- he had his little bedtime routine and if it was off- you heard about it. He would wait for me on the bed- sometimes, he would give up and go to sleep with Marty- but as soon as I got to bed- he would come over to my side, lay on my arm and have to be tucked in to bed with me. He would wait for us on the toilet while we took a shower. He would walk around the house with his "baby" in his mouth- hollering if we weren't paying attention to him. He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED going outside on the balcony with me when the weather was nice- we have spent the last two summers out there together, it won't be the same without him. He loved catnip and treats. He liked only "fishy" food which made his breath STINK. He would let me give him meds, but he would fight his daddy. He would sit on his daddy's lap when he was at the computer and "make biscuits" in his lap. Sometimes he would sit next to me, gaze adoringly at me and purr and drool. It was hilarious. In his later years, he became a total mama's boy. It's hard to believe that the first month I had him, sixteen years ago, he hardly came out from under the bed. There are so many memories....

When we lived in Asheville, he used to sit in the corners of the apartment and yell. I honestly think he just liked the acoustics and the sound of his voice. One night, there was a storm- a bad one- and in the middle of the night he came running into the bedroom, "Meow! MEow! meow! MEOW!meOW! MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW!!!!"- he was a wreck! He kept running back and forth between the bedroom and living room yelling. Finally, I got up to see what his problem was- I flipped on the light on the back porch and there were NINE cats out there. I told him, "Well! No wonder you're upset!" He would chirp at birds. He loved to go for rides in cars (until he got to the vet, then he wasn't such a fan) He was always so vocal. He would answer you when you talked to him. He would hum. If you asked him a question- he would reply, "Hmm." It was so funny. If you were sitting at the dining room table, he had to sit there too. He always had to be in the middle of everything.

He and Max were amazing when we came to Seattle. They did very well during the move, I think because we were altogether. Our little family. I remember being on the phone with Marty before he moved out here, and Mickey was sitting in a chair across the room washing his bottom. (He really preferred to wash his butt in front of company....) I was watching a nature show about birds on PBS and he got distracted and actually sat there, with his leg straight up in the air, and watched TV for TWENTY MINUTES. I couldn't believe it. He always perked up when birds were on TV.

Mickey loved our apartment we have now. When we were moving, I would bring him over to get used to the place and he would get mad at me when we had to go back. He really loved it here- the windows, all the space. We had to put bricks in front of all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets because Mickey figured out how to get into the cabinets, but he couldn't get out.

When he was diagnosed with IBD, he had to have an ultrasound and other procedures. Being as old as he was, he didn't handle the anesthesia particularly well ( he takes after his mom that way) The night we brought him home, he was so spacey, he would forget where he was. He was sooo tired. He almost fell asleep in his water dish. I had to carry him around to help him. He was my baby.

There are soooo many memories. They all blur and blend, and hit me at odd times. The Mickey-sized hole in my heart is enormous. I miss him so much. I think it's harder because when we lost the other kitties (Trinity and Max) there was always someone to come home to. Now, the apartment is hugely "empty." I was in the other room when they actually gave him the shot, but I felt him go. I know that sounds weird, but I knew the moment he was gone.

We still look for him. I still leave closets open, shut doors that don't need to be shut, move bricks that aren't there. I have to resist the urge to look for him if I haven't seen him in awhile or to call out to him as I leave or come home. It's astonishing how deep that little four-legged furry guy got into our hearts. I can't believe he's gone. I can't believe how much it still hurts. Last night, I just wanted one more chance to hold him. But not in this lifetime. We love you and miss you, buddy. I hope wherever you are- it's full of sunshine and catnip and you are happy with Max and Trinity.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Anonymous, about Good Friday...

....I am intrigued and perplexed by your comment. Who, pray tell, were you referring to? Please elaborate.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good Good Friday.....

Well, I woke up tired and in a mood. I was so cranky, I couldn't even stand to be around myself. And that's the truth. It's holy week and believe you me- I was feeling about as far from holy as you can be. But I sat down for my quiet time this morning anyhoo- and I just told God what was on my mind. I told Him I was tired and crabby from meetings, and rain, and fittings, and rain and work stress, and rain, and art walks, and power fabric shopping, and art for Stations of the Cross and all that jazz. It's been a very busy week. I told Him I knew I should be all spiritual about holy week, but I just was SO NOT THERE. So I asked Him to help me out. I wasn't specific and I didn't know what to expect, but this is what happened....

First, I realized it was my friend Amy's birthday. Of course, I wished her happy birthday on Facebook. Duh. I'm with it. But I really love her and thought- what the heck, I never use all my minutes anyway- I think I'll just call her. She's helped me through so much spiritual stuff and loved me- how could I not? So, I got her voicemail and left my message and thought- that was that. But, no. She called me back and we entered into a huge spiritual discussion like we like to have (I miss it so much, and Marty always makes fun of me because when Amy and I talk- it's every couple of months for HOURS- for the record, today's call- 1:31) and I was so blessed to be able to encourage her and help her. It was at times a very interesting's a topic- "Church and Beer"- discuss.
Basically, her church is putting on a production of Godspell as an outreach. It sounds like it won't be embarrassing church drama (thank goodness, y'all know how I feel about that). This church has a lot of artistic types and they meet in a bar (I think it's brilliant) and through a miscommunication with the bar it's been discovered that the bar intends to serve beer at the shows. She was having quite mixed feelings about it. So- we chatted and I told her this is what I think- let them serve beer and let the people Jesus really would have hung out with see the show and be blessed and loved on and have a good time OR....don't serve beer, have a nice holy huddle of mostly church folk and their friends having a good time by themselves. Us four and no more...again. Thoughts?

So after my thoroughly enjoyable chat with Amy, which I think encouraged both of us, it was back to work. Then Marty and I had to figure out when we were going to see the art at the Stations of the Cross at church. We decided not to go to the Taize service tonight, mostly because I have been out almost every single night this week and we're going out tomorrow night and I'll be at church for about 4-5 hours on Sunday and enough is enough, you know? So we decided to go early and then I could go back to work. Well, I don't know what prompted me, well, yes, I do- that Holy Spirit- he's a wacky one. But I asked my muslim intern to go with us. She is adorable and smart and fun and I love her to pieces. She's visiting from Turkey and since she's been here- she's seeing and experiencing as much as she can. She was dating a guy a while back and she went to the catholic church for a service with him. And when she told me about it- I told her, well- not all churches are like that- and we had a nice little discussion about it. So today, I thought- why not? I knew she wanted to see my art and Marty's art and so I said- do you want to go? And of course, being the lovely and open person she is, she was very excited to go. So off we went. And I had the privilege of telling the story of Christ to my intern. I wasn't out to convert her or anything- it just became apparent that she had never heard the story of Jesus (which must have made that catholic service REALLY confusing) and it helped her to understand the art so much better. I'm sure I bungled stuff along the way- but I just told her the story as we went and she was very interested and open to it all. She didn't fall on her knees weeping to be baptized or anything, but I had the privilege of telling her the story of my faith. It was really COOL. And she really liked it.

So that's my day. It turned out to be fairly redemptive after all. It had nothing to do with me except for me asking and being in tune to opportunities. Suffice it to say, I am in a MUCH better mood now- although I'm still pretty dang skippy tired. I think I'll go "polish my halo" before bed- ha, ha, ha.

Happy Easter y'all!
(Or as they say at the Seattle Public Library- Happy "Historical Low Usage" day!)