Thursday, September 20, 2012

it's not raining

Frodo: "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."
Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
  - Frodo and Gandalf in the mines of Moria,
The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring

It's only Wednesday and I'm done - stick a fork in me. Please let it be over. This week can not come to an end fast enough. Here are a few of the highlights from this week.

Sunday, I discover there is extensive water damage to the backside of the house between the exterior entry to the basement and Oliver's enclosed porch.This will cost lots of $$ to fix, $$ which is not there. And the rainy season is coming any day now.

Monday afternoon I got the definitive diagnosis about my mom. She has cancer in her lungs. I don't know any other details right now, but that was plenty to knock the wind out of me. About 12 years ago she survived breast cancer. Now she's 78 and has significant heart issues to contend with (prior cardiac arrest, permanent A-fib with an extremely elevated heart rate, etc.) and so cancer on top of all the heart stuff feels very daunting. Prayers for her and my father would be greatly appreciated.

I have some significantly stressful stuff going on at my work which has required a lot of emotional and cognitive energy.

Tuesday night I wasn't able to sleep much. Too much stress from work. I got an email from my TNR mentor, Nancy, stating she has a perfect barn home for Brown Kitty, if I want to relocate him. The idea of relocating him right now, with everything else that is going on in my life feels way too much, however, deep down I think it might be best for him and for Oliver. Will I be able to muster the emotional energy to step into relocating right now? I don't know. Seeing how Oliver antagonizes him really worries me. I really don't like cat fights. Saying goodbye to a beautiful feral cat who calls my yard home feels agonizing.

Wednesday morning, I'm scrambling to get out the door to meet a friend for breakfast. I notice Oliver has a big patch of fur missing from his rump and there's blood. My heart sinks. I so worry about him spending so much time outside with all the dangers associated with living outside. I instantly wonder if he's gotten into a big fight with Brown Kitty. I didn't have a lot of time, so I vowed to look him over more thoroughly when I returned.

After I returned I give Oliver a thorough inspection. He has a big piece of fur missing. He had cleaned the wound so there was no longer any blood, just missing fur. The very weird thing is, the location of this missing fur is the EXACT location where he was missing fur from some other incident prior to my knowing him. This time around there is a lot more fur missing than there used to be. He's not missing any fur anywhere else and otherwise seems to be in good spirits.

You can see in the very first picture I ever took of him in Jan, 2011 he has a mark on his rump, where he was missing some fur and the fur undercoat was showing.

Jan 23, 2011
Here's a fuzzy shot of his butt from a year ago, you can see the same injury in the same location as the current one, only it was much smaller back then.
Sept 7, 2011
He lets me touch spot without any problems. I just can't figure out what happened and how come he would have more missing fur in the same place as before. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. I so worry about him. He's been spraying more than usual lately, I'm guessing in response to Brown Kitty's defiance of staying in the yard and eating at the feeder rather than going away, as Oliver wants him to do.

Every other Wednesday afternoon I have a meeting in Seattle, I drive down, attend my meeting and then pick Laura up in downtown where she works and we commute home together. Today the car decided to die right in the middle of the street in downtown Seattle during rush hour. Oh the joy! Of course there were many drivers honking their horns, upset at me for blocking traffic, like I was choosing to park in the middle of the road!

The car was dead. Dead. Occasionally I was able to get it to turn over a bit and it revved high and belched tons of black smoke before it died again about 3 seconds later. After about 15 minutes of blocking traffic I was able to get it to run enough to drive it to the nearest parking space where it made a horrid sound from under the hood. About an hour later the tow truck arrived. And another few hours later I was finally home.

The last time my car stranded me was back in May of 2010 (Theo's big adventure) when I had Theo with me and no carrier, only a harness. Thankfully, I didn't have any kitties with me this time, just Laura, who hopped a bus home so the kitties could get their dinners close to on time.

The car was towed to the shop and I took the bus home. We only have one car, so when it's down, we're down too. I fear the worst for this car, but I can't complain, the poor thing has provided over 256,000 miles (411,992 km) of faithful service. It's been amazingly reliable and a great car. I'm still hoping that maybe it can be resurrected, but I'll find out tomorrow.

The long winter rains of the Pacific Northwest have a way of zapping all my energies and replacing them with endless despair. Mother nature here doesn't believe in four seasons, we go from the sun and nice of summer to endless winter drizzle with no transition. Usually this switch happens in early September.

Tonight, as I was walking home from the bus stop, I had a moment of gratitude. I was thankful that it was not raining. The very same moment of gratitude carried me home on Monday night, even with my heart heavy with the news of my mom. My heart is way overwhelmed with sorrow, grief and worry, and yet thankfully it's not raining.


  1. Sending you and your family lots of purrs and purrayers, Phil. I'm sorry to read the news about your mom, though I know there's nothing I can write that will help in any way.

    RE: the house/water problem: Aacckk! My sympathies. My townhouse basement has a leak that the condo corp. technically isn't responsible for, since it was caused by something a previous owner did next door, 10 years ago. I'm screwed. I have my fingers crossed you'll be able to make the repairs without remortgaging!

    RE: brown kitty: It seems, from what you've posted, that it would be in his and Oliver's Highest Good to rehome him. Better that than constant cat fights, injuries, stress, etc.

    RE: the car: Yikes! I'm glad I don't really need one, though I miss the convenience. I hope repairing it will be worthwhile--it might not be, guess you'll find out.

    Sending lots of Light. Seems that Life dishes out all the cr*p at once, doesn't it?

    Here's to better days ahead.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about all those things happening in your life... and all at once too! :( I am very sorry to hear about your mom :(

    Have you ever tried a spray gel called Vetericyn? We use it at the cat shelter for skin wounds and it is a non-toxic gel that will help heal all sorts of wounds and hot spots. I pump a little on my fingers and apply to kitty skin. You can google it or find it at your local pet store. It may help Oliver....

    As for Brown Kitty.... I know it is difficult, but you may want to give him a chance for a safe new home. It may be in his best interest, expecially with winter coming and Oliver is determined not to be friends.....

    Prayers and purrs from me and my gang (minus 1.... I lost Morgainne yesterday) :(

  3. Sending you a big HUG for all you are coping with presently. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. purrs and kitty kisses.....

    We are very sorry to hear about your mom - we hope that she can be pain free and you can all find some peace with her diagnosis.

    Ack to the house - having just replaced the a/c, we feel your pain.

    We know relocating Brown Kitty would be hard, but maybe best for least you would have the peace of mind knowing where he is and that he is safe.

    We are sending some long distance sunshine and hope that your days get better (and that the car can be resussitated)

  5. So sorry for all your trials and troubles. Any one of those would make life challenging. To all come together really seems like too much. Sending you sunshine, prayers and good wishes.


  6. oh no, my heart is just breaking as I am reading this. I am so sorry about your Mom and am sending my most heartfelt prayers. We went through the same with my mother-in-law ((((hugs)))
    As for everything else...I just can't believe how much hardship you are going through right now and my heart goes out to you

  7. Phil I am so sorry about your Mom. I know this diagnosis is really hard to hear. You are all in my prayers. I agree that it would be best to relocate Brown Kitty. Hard but best for all. Oliver just isn't accepting. As for the house and the car...Grrrrrr....things just seem to come in a landslide sometimes. I'm glad you found a moment of gratitude. It will give you strength. Sending a big hug, Linda

  8. When it rains it pours...hugs to you and Linda. Can't think of anything else I can do :(

    My aunt has lung cancer. I know what that diagnosis does to a family. You hate to part with Brown Kitty, but I think a new home would be best for him. Perhaps you can visit? Is the water damage anything a tarp can protect temporarily? We'll keep our fingers crossed on the car, but you certainly got your money back on those 256K miles.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom.

    I can only sit here and hope for better things to be coming your way. I always try to remind myself that with out the darkness we could not truly appreciate the light.

  10. I'm adding my prayers to the rest...we're here to listen and give you all the support we can.

  11. Keepng you in my will get past all this.
    Jane xx

  12. Oh, my friend, I'm so sorry that life has chosen this moment to do this to your family. The fates converge and all your problems become big and unwieldy at the same time. I will be beaming good thoughts your way, keeping several for your mother, and some for Oliver. My wish for you is strength to do what you have to do to reach the other side of all this, stay yourself, and able to do what you love. We'll all be thinking of you.

  13. Phil
    I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles. Bad things do seem to come in bunches. It's very worrying and depressing to hear about your mom. It's also harder because you are so far away.
    Sounds like there may be a better home for Brown Kitty than your back yard. That is something you can definitely do, although Oliver could have just as easily tangled with some other cat.
    Fingers crossed on your car. Sounds as if you've gotten a LOT of miles out of it - maybe you can get a few more.
    Well, as you say, the rain did let up. Purrs and prayers for you and yours.

  14. Adding my prayers for your Mom. This would probably be a good time to get rid of one or both of the cats --lifts one burden at a time, so as each decision is made you can focus on the next. One day at a time. I'm always telling myself this but it's easier said than done.

  15. Sending prayers or support for you and Mom. Life is so difficult sometimes. I have had similar stress. Laying in bed staring at the ceiling, on with the light, pick up a book, lay it down, off with the light, repeat, repeat, daybreak...
    These are the times the furs give back. Knowing we do this small good on the planet can lend us the energy to keep moving. To keep one foot going then the other.
    They will gain from being re-homed. And then the next chapter of good works will begin
    Purrs Headbonks and prayers!

  16. I am so sorry. You and the family furred and human have really really had a bad awful time. One thing after the other. My prayers will go up for your mom and your dad and you and your entire family, fur and otherwise. The minute I hit publish, I will start.

    I know how saddening it will be but Brown Kitty really does need to go to his new home that was found for him. I know how you feel however. Don't think I don't. He has adopted you but Oliver and his family were there first and claim you. Oliver can't be blamed and of course nor can Brown Kitty. As your friend Devan said what you have to do to get to the other side of this. We will all be right here praying you through it.


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