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Rest in peace, kitten
I barely knew the little guy, and I lay next to him last night murmuring, "You're so good. Do you know how good you are?"
I always listen to music when I write because it helps calm me down but right now everything feels garish and mocking and cruel. I’ve landed on Judy Collins Wildflowers but let’s be real—that isn’t right either.
I have my screen blown up really large, the type, because I can’t bear to look at that tiny little face lying on me, above. I was dribbling water into his mouth before he died because he just seemed so lethargic, so dehydrated.
I was on the phone with my mom, and I carried him over to the litter box, and he just—lay down, and then I picked him up and yelled to Ed, “There’s something really wrong.” I saw that his eyes didn’t close. They wouldn’t close. And I screamed, “Oh my God mom, I think he’s dead.” And I ran hysterical into the other room and closed the bathroom door, horrified. Ed got off the phone with his work, and went in to see. I cowered in the bathroom, weeping into the phone.
“Is he dead? Is he dead?”
“He’s dead,” Ed said. “It’s okay, honey. I’ve had a lot of cats. This happens, baby. It’s okay.”
My mom said so many wonderful things, and I felt them, about the kitty and love and the journey of life and, then I said, “Can I talk to dad too please…” and as I was hysterical saying, “Maybe I shouldn’t have given him water?” And Ed was next to me saying, “No, no, no, honey, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
And my dad says, “Maybe you did something wrong. But accidents happen.”
And I straightened the fuck up and said, “No. I did nothing wrong.”
And my dad said, “People, places and things.” Or some shit. I don’t even know what the fuck that even means but as you can see, I have a lot of resentment I’m still working through with my blind head-injured PTSD combat vet father who sure does know how to drop me like a motherfucker. Accidentally or not, the dude can deliver the kick shot.
Ed was trying to comfort me at the same time and then suddenly my dad was no longer on the phone, and I could hear my father say to my mom, “Ed started talking.”
It has always been like that.
Every fucking man ever born. Gotta be about them. “Why are you listening to him?” “Why are you looking at him?”
It makes me so angry. What would happen were the daughter in distress centered for just one minute, just one fucking second? What would that afford? What do you gain when you give grace away freely like that? To me, it is everything. Give it away, my man!
Be like Oprah in this life.
You get a grace, and you get a grace, and you get a grace!
So I will extend that as best as I can, now, once more, and always, to my father and to myself and to my little passed kitty son.
I so often just feel this feeling of wanting to be a good mommy and daddy to as many people as I can in this life and world because sometimes it hurts so bad when you just want that more than anything and if the return response is not right it can feel like a sadistic performance of some sort. I know my dad has it tough. I know, I know. Now do I have to list every kind thing he’s done for me? What a hero he is? I just want to say why I’m hurting. Have that be okay. But yes, yes, yes. He’s done so many kind things. I felt them all. He made me so strong!! Just. There is some aching aching deep part of me that feels like if I were willing to constantly still sycophant all of his bullshit like I did as a little girl, worshipful and ever-nodding, that I would then be—maybe?—worthy of getting that unconditional love that you just crave more than you’ve ever craved anything in your entire life.
I wrote the other day about how I used to take my little earnings as a 13-year-old paper girl (a job I just cold-applied for without telling my parents until Randy from the San Diego Union-Tribune showed up and said, “Your daughter applied for a job?” and they said, “Excuse me, who the fuck are you?”) and I would go to the pet store and buy cats with my earnings. That’s all I wanted. Just cats. I just wanted to love on them and dote on them and pet on them and see if they needed anything and tell them it was going to be okay.
After I think the fifth cat they finally were like, “Okay, Mandy, enough.” They put their foot down, and I had to give the last kitty I got away in front of the Alpha Beta. My parents were always inappropriate and surrounded by inappropriates and I always sought out the secret language of adults and I always wanted to speak back the things the adults said because I learned early on that was a guaranteed way to make adults laugh. So anyway, all that was a preface to say that that last cat I adopted I named “Buttfuck” which I didn’t know what it meant because I was 13 but I knew “butt” was really funny and so was “fuck.” I probably heard it when one of my dad’s combat vet friends was telling some funny joke or something.
My deceased kitty son tonight he was called “Cookies.” No joke or nothing, just a sweet little name for a sweet little cat.
The little kitty who passed away tonight didn’t feel good. He felt really bad.
I tried to grant him the grace that I try to grant those in distress. I like saying different invocations, but one of my favorites is that ho’pono’pono Hawaiian cleansing ritual of, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
The idea is to ask for grace and ask for transmutation of the darkness you feel inside into some greater light that bestows ever greater grace in this graceless world in which we live.
I need these things to survive.
We always demonstrate who we are, and this is a gift that you can keep contributing to. Give as much love. Give as much love. Give as much forgiveness and grace. It’s more valuable than gold.
Okay, yeah, “Both Sides” has now come on. This is what I was looking for.
These feelings that happen—so many memories come back from activating tenderness and softness and vulnerability in your heart (and an ability and willingness to feel them), including the ability to be crushed.
But that’s the journey. Your heart grows stronger.
God bless you, little kitty. We loved you so much. You did everything right.