Archive for the ‘stories’ Category

To be devoured by cats….or to be a bowl.

So along the same lines as yesterday’s blog, and addressing my own personal end-of-life wishes, I seriously hope I don’t end up as a feline entrée. I am making a concerted effort to not fall down in my house nor incur any grievous injuries if I do fall down. No more rickety chairs, lopsided picnic benches or off-kilter step ladders for me.  Only sturdy appropriate safe step stools, ones with safety rails and maybe an alarm!

Oddly enough, I have had a discussion with close friend(s) on several occasions about personal decisions regarding funeral arrangements and other morbid death and after death themed topics.

Here is what I would like to happen after I die and I warn you, it is a little weird. And probably won’t happen but to me, it is a nice thought, one that kind of tickles me.

I have it on the best authority that cremains (the ashes recovered from a cremation) can be used as a glaze, an earthen kind of glaze, on pottery. That glaze, the cremains, can be utilized in the firing of a piece of pottery.  I am not sure what that glaze would look like but last I checked, I would probably at that point not care.

So I decided I would like to be cremated, and then the  cremains would be used as that glaze on a bowl which would then be used as a cat food bowl. That way, I could continue to “feed kitty cats” after I am gone. I have been feeding cats all of my adult life (and most of my earlier life as well) so I would love to continue doing so after death too.  A legacy!

Not all of the kinks are worked out on this plan, including who would be in charge of the choosing of the bowl, who would make sure I became a glaze, where and with who would the bowl eventually end up with, and which cats would be eating their kitty meals from me? All good questions, right?

I wonder how many bowls I could actually glaze?

I told you it was weird.

Accidents do happen and feeding the cats.

So I have reached an age, one during which many could/would wonder … now what or ….. what’s next? Especially during these times of economic turmoil, real estate upheaval, job scarcity and even less resources, currently affecting so many in this country and around the world. Scary times.

Being alone, with no children, I cannot help but wonder what will become of me. Now that I am in my autumn chicken years, long past being a spring chicken, I cannot help but ask who will be there for me when and if I (1) get sick , (2) get hurt or (3) get dementia. What will happen if I truly do end up homeless and penniless, and ultimately fall through the cracks. It is very frightening and it is keeping me up at night, a bad thing when I really need my rest now that I am getting on in years.

I found myself the other day figuring out how many years I might be expected to live versus how many years each of my cats would be expected to live and when and at what age should I not adopt/rescue any kittens versus my life span. It is probably time for me to only adopt/rescue elderly cats.

I have also on several occasions done something rather foolish in my house, involving the climbing of ladders/step stools and other dangerous objects to accomplish a task, only to lose my balance, flail about and come close to falling or actually fall, which got me thinking. So far, my past falls have not resulted in too much bodily damage aside from the terrible bruise last time on my hip along with both thumbs being sprained and still healing. But what would happen to me if I did fall, with a really bad injury which prevented me from getting up and what if I ended up either in my fenced-in back yard or in my house unable to get up or call for help. I could realistically die there. I don’t have that many people in my life, what with my being single, not dating, not too many friends, well, not any that call me every day to check on me. I have one friend who does that, calls me every day to make sure I am okay, however, I don’t know what he would do if I didn’t answer the phone. He lives far away and doesn’t have a car. I really don’t want to put that to the test , BTW.

Further contemplation of the above scenario made me realize this: my cats would eventually and very possibly eat me. I would still be, even after my passing, feeding them. I have heard stories about that happening and for some strange reason, it was not a disturbing contemplation but one of “that’s okay, how so very apropos”.

I would just want them to wait until after my passing; no early snacking! That would be rude and probably hurt.

Are you alright?

A little story just to lighten up the pathos of the past couple days with regards to my friend who lost everything in the trailer fire. They managed to save themselves, their 2 dogs and the 4 birds. Two of the birds are African Greys, there is a Conure and a Scarlet Macaw. One of the African Greys is named Batgirl. She/he (I believe now we know it is a male) is a real talker. And hilarious. Picks up everything, loves to call the dogs….

Anyway, the birds were put up temporarily in a neighboring trailer/mobile home while my friend found other accommodations for them. Her husband was sitting in that mobile home visiting with the birds yesterday and, as you can imagine, he was upset, distressed and depressed because of the fire and the loss of all of their belongings. He was sitting in a chair, with his head in his hands, next to Batgirl’s cage. Batgirl walked herself over to the side of the cage closest to him and says “Are you alright?”  He says “No, I am not.” Batgirl then says “Are you going to be alright?”  He says “I don’t think so.”

This is Ruby, the Scarlet Macaw

So Batgirl turns away from him, goes up to her/his cage mate, the other African Grey, bites it on the tail and asks “Are you alright?”

Don’t you just love these critters! Neither my friend nor her husband have taught this bird any of this stuff. Apparently,  Batgirl just picks it up on her/his own. So aware, so perceptive, so astounding. I am in awe!

Restoring my faith in humanity – a little!

A blog or two ago, I spoke of several friends who were getting ready to “fall through the cracks”, who needed assistance due to financial constraints, physical disabilities/disorders, and end of life issues.  I feared and knew that the system was seriously broken when hard working people, who through no fault of their own, fell on hard times and were desperate to survive but could not find any help anywhere.

Well, last Saturday, that very person that I had blogged about fell into an even deeper hole of despair. Approximately 6 to 7 weeks ago, I helped move her and her disabled husband into a tiny 2 bedroom (well, one bedroom was more like a closet) mobile home in a quaint little mobile home park not far from where I live. They settled in with their 2 little dogs and 4 birds (big birds: 2 african grey, 1 conure and a macaw). It was an old “trailer” but it was a roof over their heads and it was inexpensive (for the area) for them while they tried to get back on their feet.

I did notice, however, while moving things into a hall closet, that there was obviously a fire at some point in recent time in that area of the hall. There was soot that evidenced a feeble attempt at cleaning. I told my friend that this was not a good sign and then we forgot about it.

Last Saturday, only a few days after her husband was discharged from the hospital due to his recent heart attack and subsequently receiving 4 stents, my friend was outside on the patio doing laundry (the washer would not fit into the tiny trailer), she saw smoke coming out from under the trailer. She and her husband only had time to get the 2 dogs and 4 birds out before the entire place was engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. Mind you, she is on crutches and he has a cast on one foot due to torn achilles and was in a wheelchair.  It was a miracle. But they lost everything: money, ID, her teeth, all their clothes, medications, photographs, books, computer, etc etc etc.

I went by there today to look at the damage. It was obvious to me that if this had happened during the night, and if they were sleeping, my friend, her husband and the animals would not have survived.  A sobering thought and one which I did not want to contemplate any further.

And a note to the owner of that trailer (who is planning on suing my friend): when someone cuts the electrical cord on a refrigerator, it is not a good idea to splice that cord back together with band-aids. Yes, you heard me right…people band-aids instead of electrical tape. Can you believe it!

Anyway, she and her spouse have been on the news every night since. People have rallied and are stepping up to help these two (and their critters), restoring my previously lost faith in humanity. Thank God because I cannot imagine what they would have done if no help was offered. They will hopefully be able to find housing (safe housing), get back on their feet, and get back a little bit of dignity.  And be independent again.

Now if only the State of Florida, Social Security Disability and Food Stamps could figure out what the hell is wrong with their system, and fix it.  Maybe then, when people like my friend, who worked hard all her life and was only asking for help because she really needed it, maybe then the ones who need the help will get it. Even us white people!

I’m pissed about this. Really pissed.


If I were to cut off all of my very long hair

Yesterday I saw a haircut. On Facebook. It was awesome and I would love to see someone who was actually willing and able to cut their hair this exact way. 

First you need to know this about me, I love lizards. Don’t know why. I have a suspicion but that’s another story. I rescue them from the jaws of my cats on a daily basis. If the lizard is still alive, I give them a little rinse in the kitchen sink (like a little refresher to wash off any excess cat saliva) and then I check them for newly acquired furry hitchhikers because invariably the lizard has a mouthful of cat hair and feet with attached streamers of cat hair. Not a good look for a lizard. I remove hair. Then release.

So when I saw this haircut, I had the  instant thought, I would cut off all of my hair for THIS haircut. I could glue red jewels in its head for eyes. It would be worth it. That thought lasted about 10 seconds but oh, what a do! Stopped me dead in my thoughts and my tracks.

Speaking of lizards, a couple of days ago, I was at my computer and saw movement out the corner of my eye. Skittering across my tile floor was a very large, like 12 inches long, lizard who dived under my couch. It took me several minutes and lots of furniture moving to catch him and of course, release him. Not sure how long he was in my house nor when or how he came in. More than likely he was transported into the house via cat teeth transport company. I am guessing he was about 12 inches long originally because without his tail (lost I am sure in the melee of being transferred indoors), he was still at least 10 inches or so. Well behaved though, he didn’t try to bite me.

Several minutes after his release into freedom, I walked over to my couch to sit and in stepping onto my throw rug in my bare feet, I stepped on something wet and squishy.  It was a very large lizard poop. Biggest I have ever seen. That lizard was obviously in here long enough to take a crap on my carpet. Damn lizard!


My Memories on Memorial Day 2012

Today I am remembering my Dad. He was in World War II, fought  in the Battle of the Bulge, received a Bronze Star for his bravery (saving his platoon).  Dad didn’t talk about his enlistment much, at least not to me but may have shared some with his sons.  All I remember is a few things passed on by him, or my Mom or my brothers.  My Dad was 6’3”, very tall and very skinny, and his fellow soldiers nicknamed him “thermometer” especially when he drank tomato juice.  He ended up at some point during the war with frostbite of his toes. He didn’t lose any toes but his toenails, for the rest of his life, were very, very gnarly:  extremely thick, wide, hard as a rock and had a strange grayish yellow color. He practically needed a jackhammer or some such tool to trim them and he more often than not just let them grow, to the point that his toenail could have disemboweled someone/something if they were swiped by his big toe.  I remember visiting Mom and Dad many years ago, and while sitting with my Mom, I saw a strange object on the floor: large, almost 2 inches, curved and thick, in the shape of a quarter moon, looking a little bit like a rough stone kind of thing. Mom says “oh, that’s your Dad’s toenail clipping. There is no telling where those things will land when he clips his big toe”.  Apparently they are capable of flying across the room.

I lost my Dad in March 2009. He had a stroke and while recuperating, cancer was discovered.  And even though my relationship with my parents was so very iffy all of my life, I had to see him while he was in the hospital so I drove up to Georgia.  I am glad I did because even though what happened broke my heart and even now makes me cry, I believe I offered him some of the comfort that he needed and which I am happy to say he accepted.  He died that week, in Hospice but, thank God, only after he got to see and spend a little time with his two dogs that he loved very much. He went into Hospice on a Wednesday,  saw his dogs on following Thursday and he died that Friday.

I cannot even imagine how brave soldiers have to be and are, in order to do what they do.  I cannot imagine killing anyone and being able to think about/deal with it after.  I cannot imagine being a solder and being able to deal with the fear, the awfulness, the stress, the dying and the killing.

Every day I thank God I am a woman.  And I loved the saying “If women went to war and the men had the babies, there would be no more war and no more babies”.  I kind of believe that or would like to.

I miss you Dad.