10:01p, 15 april, 2019

I could not have done this yesterday.

Nor the day before, or the
one before that, no.
Even though it meant that whatever
Whatever it is growing rapidly had extra time.
I could not have done this yesterday.

I pulled myself together and made a plan
and altered that plan the second it needed be.
I kept my head,
channeled my fear into anger
Not rage,
Anger, while focused, can be productive.
Rage, always focused, never is.
Always is destructive..

I could not have done this yesterday.
I only hope I don’t have needed to anyway.

3:13p, 15 April, 2019

A close-up of my black cat, Teaz'ka, curled up on my lap, on my pink and orange tie-dye pants and white t-shirt. His head is resting on my left arm.

Waiting in this room by myself with our cat
With Teaz’ka
Ivan Rumpelteazer, first of his name
Cleverly named, loved more than life itself.
I am so angry at you for being dead.
You aren’t here to be with us
You aren’t here to talk to
You aren’t here to be overrun with emotion with me

You aren’t here to console him, to console me. We are alone.

You aren’t here.

Teaz’ka. 27 July, 2018

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not religious, superstitious, particularly concerned with any sort of luck, or Karma. I believe in coincidence and hard work, not fate and destiny. I believe that things happen. I believe that they happen not for a reason, but just because they happen, that we can push things in one direction or another, that we can make things happen, that we have free will.

All of the above being said, I don’t remember the last time that Teaz’ka had a seizure. It’s well before Gary died, and every time I’ve gone to mention it, every time I’ve gone to say “well, he hasn’t had a seizure in X number of months”, I stopped myself. I don’t say it. That second grader inside of me who heard ghost stories at a sleepover and is worried that I’ll now be followed home by a scary, creepy doll, that part of me is worried about “jinxing it”.

So at about 6:15 this morning, before my alarm went off and after only about 3 hours of sleep, Teaz’ka had a seizure on my lap while we were both still asleep. Mojo got up, concerned, and I woke up, took off my CPAP mask, and stroked Teaz’ka’s fur. I soothed him, calmed him, talked to him, kept him from falling off the bed, kept him from scratching me. He finished seizing, was going into the post-ictal state, and then he began to growl. Another seizure. I kept stroking his little, tense body, murmuring to him that he was okay, held him. He came out of the second seizure more quickly than the first, eyes wide, meowing loudly. I scooped up the blankets and top sheet to launder after I get home from work tonight because I have a first chiropractor appointment before work this morning and can’t afford to dump these in the wash and leave them there for 8 hours to mold.

The little dude is pretty much all calmed down now, having marched around in circles for a while, checking to make sure all his stuff is where he left it as he usually does after a seizure. He’s had stuff to eat, some water, even. I managed to get his pills down him, and he’s purring loudly. His pupils aren’t completely dilated anymore, he’s much calmer. I’m not worried about leaving him alone while I go to work.

A beautiful black cat with golden eyes
Teaz’ka, post-post-ictal state, settling down

Babies. 7 June, 2018

Ten. The babies are ten years old today. Oh-six oh-seven oh-eight.

Teaz’ka and Mojo. Ivan Rumpelteazer and Yevgeny Mungojerrie. The $50,000 Rescue Cat and Sgt. Mojohowicz. Stinkerbelle and The Fangster Gangster. My fanged, furry barnacles. My constant companions since you died nearly nine months ago.

My love, you worked from home, were home all day for them, *their* constant companion (whether or not you paid strict attention to them). They taught you their games, taught you how to play Fetch, Human! Teaz’ka became your 3pm alarm, telling you he needed his second dose of phenoxybenzamine.

Since your death, any time that I am anywhere close to being horizontal, there is at least one of the two on me, and usually both. They both sleep on me at night, in the middle of our king-sized bed. They are never far from me when I am home. I worry, now, about what would happen to them should something happen to me. I trust no one to care for them as I care for them; no one. The doors are always locked the second I get home, my phone is always with me. A few very close
friends have keys to the house, just case. I am remiss in not writing out their care plans, their medication schedules, sharing my passwords with those friends for just in case. I’m not sure that I haven’t begun to become a bit more mad than I already am over this.

They are literally the most important parts of my life now, the reason I get up every single day. My friends, my family, I love you but you simply do not need me the way these two little creatures do. This isn’t to say that I do not love some among you more than I can express, more than I think some of you can handle, and I know that there are those among you who I lean upon with a sometimes (and many times frequent) desperate intensity. I know that some of us share a calm when we’re together; that we are a peaceful respite for each other. These boys these *cats* are my respite when nothing else no thing else no one else can help me. When there is nothing but noise and rage and pain in my head and heart these two beings are what keep me here.

For those of you who have met them, have had the pleasure of their small, soft, warm bodies snuggling into you, you get it; you know. I trust their judgement; there is not a single person I’ve allowed into this house in the last nine months who I’ve not felt comfortable around. They are my keepers as much as I am theirs; we take care of each other.

Happy birthday, babies. I wish your Daddy were here.

Two tiny, five-week old kittens in my husband's outstretched hands
Teaz’ka (front) and Mojo in Gary’s hands at five weeks old
Two tiny kittens in a cat bed
Tongue-out Teaz’ka and Mojo resting after getting cleaned up (sort of)
Two much-larger, ten-year old black cats snuggled on top of me
Mojo (front) and Teaz’ka on their favorite cat bed: Momma

Teaz’ka. 31 March, 2018

This was three years ago when Teaz’ka​ was at the Animal Specialty Center​ for his perineal urethrostomy. Here he is, our little super trooper, our little champion, marching around while his Daddy, Gary​, loves on him.

Teaz’ka is doing incredibly well for a cat with many, many physical issues. Thank you a godzillion to Dr. Brian Green and staff of Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital​ for all of your continued, wonderful care.

There isn’t much video of Gary, not in the fifteen years we were together, so it’s little moments like this that make me gasp and smile broadly.

Missing your sweet, sweet face, my love.