Hey, guess what? My kitten is dying.
At what point should I have started to take things personally? When my marriage died? My Dad died? My cat died? Or now, while I’m watching the kitten (bought to replace the dead cat) die too?
Is now the time to give up on a lifetime of atheism, accept that there’s a God, and that he FUCKING HATES ME?
The worst thing about it all is that there’s no-one to give me a hug. It’s not The Boy’s job to comfort his mother, so I am comforting him as he rocks the ginger kitten in his arms to ‘make him better’.
But I’d quite like someone to rock me in their arms and make me better. I don’t mean a man. Fuck no. Just someone who loves me. Because I am strong. All of this stuff can keep on coming and I’ll weeble and wobble but I won’t fall down, because I can’t, because I’m a mother.
But it is very, very hard to stay strong. It’s a brittle strength. I feel like I could snap at any time, and yes, I’ll mend, but honestly, it’s getting really fucking boring now, all of this FUCKING mending. I’m still treading water, still just trying to stay alive and on top of work and The Boy and the house and my own sanity. There’s no space to move forwards. I’m stuck, in a tedious cycle of sink then swim, sink then swim. If it wasn’t for The Boy, I’d gladly stay sunk. It’s easier. It’s muffled and murky and warm down there, like the warmth when you’ve wet yourself. It’s wrong, but right. Up here, everything is sharp and bright, and it hurts when you breathe in – cold and sharp.
They say depression distorts your view of the world, and this is true. But some things are better when they’re a little blurry around the edges and slightly pear-shaped. Some things are just too hard to look at, as they really are.
There isn’t anyone to hug me. Family and friends are too far away, all the huggy people at work have gone. So, this is a heartfelt plea to the universe: if the things closest to me could STOP FUCKING DYING, that would be really fucking ace.
Yes. Really. A mere 15 days after I collected her from the RSPCA, the beautiful grey cat – upon whose delicate shoulders rested the rebirth of D – was put to sleep. Her breathing was getting very unsettling, and she had a funny turn one night, so I took her to the vet for investigations. Turns out she had very advanced terminal lung disease.
I know. My curiosity didn’t kill her. But ignorance might have been bliss, since I had to make the decision to have her put to sleep.
I always thought you could call yourself a grown up when your tastebuds matured to embrace coffee, olives and red wine. Fuck that.
You’re a grown up when you have to instruct a vet to kill your pet. In code, because your son is there with you, because there’s no-one else to look after him.
“Yes. If you could keep her in for a long course of euthanasia, I think that’s the right thing to do, if you’re sure…” Fuck.
The last year or so has fucked with the way I react to things emotionally. Because I am very sad, and very angry, but kind of at a distance, and it all feels rather expected. Just another thing. Of course my cat died. She made me feel hopeful about the future, and calm. It’s obvious. She had to die.
And not just die die. We’ve done death – and of a parent at that. Can’t top that. Can add a sting though. This time, I got to be the instrument of death. Yes! A new flavour of shit.
I was obviously a murderous paedophilic politician in a previous life.
But I am not to be deterred. I’m getting kittens at the end of June.
THEY WILL NOT DIE.
So I collected the cat today. The Boy won – her name is Kitty. Which suits her down to the ground. It’s just a shame she’s a sodding cat. Anyway.
The RSPCA took great care to explain that it could take her up to a month to settle in, that she might not even come out of her cat carrier today, that she probably won’t eat much for a few days.
She stalked straight out of the carrier and prowled around the room rubbing against stuff and purring. Then she spied the cat bowl in the kitchen and went and sat in front of it, staring pointedly at me until I filled it for her. She is ridiculously affectionate, surprisingly untimid and has taken up residence in the circus tent in The Boy’s bedroom, lying resplendent on a green satin cushion.
He is overjoyed that she has chosen his room for her bed, and went to bed uncomplainingly for the first time in ages tonight. She hasn’t come down all night. I am trying to be cool about it all, give her space, let her explore at her own pace – but I am itching to go up and scoop her up, bring her down here for a good lap session.
Her breathing really is bad. You don’t hear it in the cattery, with all the other noise. She sounds like she’s purring all the time, and her little shoulders go up and down with the effort of breathing. She’d better carry on doing it for a bit longer yet…
I went to a writing workshop run by one of my clients last week. Writers and account managers from 4 creative agencies, all of us there to pick up their new tone of voice guidelines.
I thought it would be a listening/taking notes kind of thing. Oh no. We had to do live writing exercises. Ugh. I am not a performing monkey. I craft, I consider (at work, at least – you guys get the stream of consciousness shit). And I HATE reading my work out loud to others. Double ugh.
So I did it, and then in the car on the way home, I indulged in a good half hour of self-loathing. WHY did I say that? Why did I behave like THAT? My copy was shit – and had to read it out to all of those PEOPLE! WHY am I doing this job? I am shit at it. God I was ANNOYING in that meeting. Why can’t I be less… ME?
I just wanted to crawl out of my own skin and die.
One of my friends has just started seeing an account manager from one of the other agencies there that day. I’d never met her before the workshop, and my friend and I caught up on the phone earlier this week.
“So you finally met X, then… She said you came across really well in that meeting. She really liked the way you tackled the copy exercises, the fact that you took a different approach, that you obviously thought about it. She really liked you – and she was impressed.”
It’s entirely possible she was being kind. Or that we were in different meetings. Or that she muddled me up with someone else.
I used to be confident about my pure writing skills. The conceptual side of my job always brings out the self-doubter/hater in me, but the writing comes easily. Which means it’s not something I’m especially proud of. There’s no effort involved, it doesn’t really stretch me.
And when you lose confidence in something that’s always come effortlessly to you, well… that’s bad.
I hope X was right.
PS. The cat survived her surgery. She only has 4 teeth left now though. Eep. She comes home next Tuesday…
You know what? Screw relationships and depression and death and anal sex (gotta slip it in, so to speak. I’m plummeting down the search rankings…). From here on in, I’m mostly going to write about cats. Because you know what the internet really needs? MORE CAT CONTENT. Look! I have a new ‘cat’ category and everything.
OK, perhaps not. I’m not going to be able to turn this ship around into the safe, lolsy waters of cats any time soon. The quite frankly juvenile use of the word ‘pussy’ in the title says it all. I am not, at heart, a pet blogger.
But I *am* going to blog about my pet now, to tell you that the vet saw her yesterday and said she’s now strong enough to go under general anaesthetic to have her teeth sorted, and I passed the RSPCA home check with flying colours tonight. Woo hoo! I can call tomorrow to arrange collection.
I haven’t ‘woo hoo!’ed in a long time. This is good. Though I wouldn’t say I’m feeling woo hooey in the round. Calm. I feel calm. And I certainly haven’t felt *that* for ages.
I have endlessly questioned nearly every decision I’ve made over the last year, exhausting myself by working through the options over and over again.
This is not like me at all. I am decisive. One of my big life mantras is ‘commit’. Make a decision. Making the wrong one is nowhere near as bad as making no decision at all and just letting stuff happen. Commit. This uncharacteristic tentativeness, this lack of direction, has driven me potty.
Like, when my husband first left, I got stuck in an interminable worrying cycle over The Boy’s new winter coat. I must have bought 10 or 12, bringing them home then returning them to the shop the next day because they weren’t warm/lightweight/waterproof/washable/green/blue/brown/soft/tough/fleecy/furry enough.
The Coat consumed my every waking hour. I actually cried on the lady in Mothercare at one point because I’d found the perfect coat and there wasn’t one in my boy’s size anywhere in the whole bastard world. Proper sobs.
My friend had to intervene in the end and come with me to buy Just One Coat. From Marks & Spencer, of course. And of course, The Boy survived the winter, as he would have done in any one of the 11 sodding coats that preceded it.
Yeah. I haven’t been confident in any of my decisions over the last year. Little things, like The Coat. Middling things, like The BoyChild. Fucking disasters, like HWSNBN. (Newbies, I can’t link to him in any specific way. He runs through this whole blog like the words in a stick of rock. Go have a snoop.)
But the cat? I am confident about her. I feel nothing but certainty when I think about her. She’s a good thing. She makes me feel calm.
Was ever such a burden of expectation placed on such slender grey shoulders?