Apr. 4th, 2010

thejunipertree: (Default)
The decline has started.

I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday is going to be the day. It sucks to think about it, but it's breaking my heart to see him like this. His eating has dwindled down again and he just kind of lies around in various parts of the apartment. He doesn't look comfortable, because he's not curling up like a cat does when it sleeps or even lying on his side. He's usually kind of in the same position he is in my icon, only doing paws under, and when he falls asleep, his head dips down to the carpet. Friday night, I contemplated bringing him in Saturday morning, but he ate a bit for me and lapped up some Cat-Sure, so I felt ok about keeping him with me over the weekend. More time to say goodbye and yes, a bit of selfishness. I wasn't ready.

I don't know if I'll ever be truly ready for this, but I know it's undeniable and I know there's no hope. It has to be done and can't be drawn out any more than it already has. He deserves to no longer feel like this, my poor guy.

One thing that's come up out of this has been seriously irritating me though, just absolutely chafing my ass.

See, I started out with five cats. Four were inherited from my mother, so even though I grew up with them (and brought three of the four home myself, over the years), they were technically her cats. Only one was truly mine. And I somehow got the reputation as someone who would take in strays. I don't know how or why, because once I had the five- that was it. We didn't go over that number. But, the knowledge of me having any cats someone gave people the idea that I would want more, so they always came to me first whenever they had, or knew of someone who had, cats needing a home.

Over the years, my five dwindled away to the two I currently have. And people still ask me if I want to take in whatever poor Scarlet Letters of someone else's lack of responsibility that come across their radar. Fine. I get that. I accept the title of She Who Takes In Strays, even I don't actually do that.

But when it's common knowledge that one of my cats is dying and the other isn't too far behind, the proper protocol is certainly not to ask if I want to take in some of the cast offs I've turned down in the recent past.

For one, my cats aren't even fucking dead yet, for Christ's sake. And secondly, when I do get more, I am going to make sure that they are animals that are a good match for me. My mom's cats were a rag tag bunch of felines who absolutely fucking hated each other and in a small, two bedroom apartment, that creates a lot of stress and drama. And pee. Oh god, the pee.

Me being me, I've thought a lot about how I'm going to go about finding new ones and I'd like to actually pick out who I'm going to adopt, rather then just take in any stray that falls into my lap. I've never done that in my entire life, it's always just been an array of cats who made their way into our household through happenstance. Growing up, and even as an adult, we've picked some up off the street and taken them in from other people. I've never gone anywhere to select what I want.

I used to always say that I was going to get a pair of Siamese one day. When I was little, about five years old, we had a Siamese cat named Ming and I remember him being awesome. I love their snakey bodies and how smart and vocal they can be. But, the idea of putting down serious money to a breeder for a cat when there are already so many in shelters that desperately need homes doesn't make me feel all that good. So, I would definitely go the route of a shelter. In the grand scheme of things, taking two or three cats from a shelter is drop in the bucket, but it's something. Some small good I can accomplish in this world is better than no good at all.

In theory, I would also like to try to find a pair that already know each other, that get along. I know cats who need to be adopted in a set have a harder time being placed, so in addition to rescuing from a shelter, I can go the extra step and get ones that are less likely to find a good home. I've even thought about adopting one with diabetes, because I already have so much experience dealing with it and I know they are harder to get adopted as well, but I really don't know if I'm up for living with that type of issue again. It's seriously hard. So, I decided to not rule that out if I found a cat I fell in love with who had the diabeetus, but I'm not going to actively pursue it either.

An all black cat would be cool, as well. They're also hard to place in homes because people, in 2010 nonetheless, still hold absolutely ridiculous superstitions and the shelters in my area are crawling with black cats. Also, they have the added bonus of their fur not showing up quite as badly on my clothes as Baby's fur (he's marmalade and sheds like he's getting a paycheck for it) or like when I still had Nympho (who was a Russian Blue and very heavy-coated).

Boy cats would be preferable too, as I've always had better luck with them being social and non-reclusive. Polydactyl would be pretty sweet too, I've wanted a cat with too many toes just about my entire life. But either of those aren't deal breakers, by any means. Neither is the all black thing. Or the already knowing each other aspect. They're just things I would like.

So, starting from shelter cat and working down to polydactyl, in order of necessity to me, will be how I go about this. Coming from a shelter is paramount and probably the only thing I won't waver on, unless an absolutely dire circumstance presents itself. But, God. If I could find an already bonded pair of all black, male cats and one (or both) of them had too many toes? It would be like winning the goddamn lottery for me.

It might seem a bit strange to already be thinking about this, but it's allowing me to inject something slightly optimistic on the situation. Something to at least kind of look forward to, instead of all this death death and impending death. I did something similar after my mother died when I almost immediately began donating her clothes and getting rid of her interior furnishings from the apartment. Out of practicality, I needed to make room for my own belongings (and to not be forced to live in an apartment decorated solely in her completely horrendous taste). But, I also needed to have some kind of small focus to look forward to, to keep from going completely insane with grief.

I don't know if that's weird or not, or if it's not properly processing the grief. In all of my books on bereavement and death education, the subject isn't touched on so much. The other direction, in which one clings to the memory of the lost loved one for too long to be healthy, yeah. But, not an almost immediate desire to move on. It feels slightly callous almost, to think like this. But, I'm not erasing the person (or in this case, the pets) from my life. I'm simply making room for the next chapter. I would prefer to not have to do these types of things; I'd much rather have the original loved person (or pet) actually remain in my life and not be forced to face their death and the subsequent grief. But, I can't change the fact that mothers usually die before their children and pets normally die before their owners do.

Is that strange for someone to do? Already being emotionally and mentally bent, I'm never quite sure if how I react to situations is the way I should be reacting, or the way most people do. It's confusing and I feel kind of like an asshole for it.


thejunipertree: (Default)

January 2011

2 345678


Page Summary

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags