It's Good To Be Baby Wallace, Even Though Copious Kitty Mucus Causes Snores Like Tiny Trucker After A Hard Night of Drinking (water and tuna juice) and Carousing (with twist tie toys and Katmama's incredibly vile and disgusting herbal compounds):
So big change, oh wow big change is on the move and making itself known.
I've been terribly depressed the past month or so. The kind of depression that will eventually let you out of bed, but won't release you enough to actually get much done. Big grief with the passing of The Hoon. Compounded by grief with Jacinta's illness. And having had a big split with my family, and not talking with them or meeting with them beyond a couple of brief phone calls until I get my bearings and have a deeper understanding of how to handle it all. And money stuff. Oh the money stuff. Kitty bills paid that went well above two grand. In the face of the current economic sandstorm, folks not booking sessions or coming to classes so much.
But then Life always sends life rafts, or at the very least, those little circles of buoyuancy that keep us afloat until we cross paths with a secret island or somali pirate vessel or a pod of whales or we at least gather the strength to paddle like hell toward the mainland.
For the past few weeks, I've been getting extensive energywork sessions. Sometimes three or four hours in length at a time. After class one night, one of the attendees, a retired MD from up north who's been to several classes of mine, asked if I'd be interested in doing a barter. He explained that he'd been studying with Donna Eden for the past seven years, had recently moved to Wilmington, and was looking for knowledgeable folks that he could do sessions for to help sharpen his skills.
I usually find a way to gracefully turn down barters of this kind as really? most folks who do energywork at best can't offer much genuine benefit, and at worst will bottom a person's energyfield out. But in the moment, when he asked I thought: yes. And so I did a shamanic healing session for him, then received a session from him, which ended up turning into three hours worth of deep crying, that moved to a humming sense of calm, that shifted into laughing and feeling like myself again. I've been getting sessions from him every five or six days, and he's taught me dozens of exercises that I've been doing several times a day. And they've really, really, really helped.
The sessions also come with cheese. Really good cheese. Seriously high quality European imported manchego and feta. Because apparently Cost*co now carries all sorts of organic, quality whatnot. And so as I leave my session, he feeds me cheese and gives me a doggie bag to take home. And may I share with you that energywork and high quality cheese are balm for many layers of broken heart and swampy humanness and interrupted connection to the The Almighty Yes?
And then about a week ago, I began dreaming about a small orange kitten. One morning, despite the fact that I've been very clear that I'm not ready for a new kitten, I even sat down at my laptop and researched names, Scottish names, because I've been dreaming about Scotland for months now, and in the dreams, the cat and the country were somehow connected. I made a list of names, which I can't find now, because the names were variations on Aengus, Ceardach, and Dougal, and really, what sort of person names a kitty Norval? And then, Friday night, after teaching a long psychic skills class, and kicking back here at the hacienda with a glass of wine, it hit me: Wallace! And my head and heart lit up with a crackling A-Ha. And although I got that it could have been some sort of neurocytotoxicity due to the very cheap red wine, something else in me said: this is him.
The next day I went to the local bloggers meetup, met all sorts of awesome bloggers. And despite the good humor and warm hearted environment, the Hellacious Depression's ugly cousin, Rapacious Social Anxiety, had my teeth chattering for the duration. And by the end of the meeting, having spread what I hoped were sincere smiles and well wishes all around, I went and sat in my car, frantically doing energywork exercises to get myself calm enough to drive home. I called into the holistic center, said I wasn't going to come in to work. I didn't have anyone scheduled, and despite the fact that I seriously needed money, I just couldn't bring myself to face folks who needed something from me. I hung up, and deep breathing, turned onto the main road, and looked up to see a huge sign looming. The sign said Pet*co. And before I knew what I was doing, I had pulled into the parking lot.
I walked around the little cages sponsored by a local rescue mission, all filled two and three deep with cats and dogs, puppies and kitties, each one more luscious and sweet and plaintive than the next. I saw two largish orange cats, and they banged their paws on the cage every time I walked past. I read their bios, found they were both 3 or 4 years old. I stood there, agonizing. They were great cats, but Jacinta isn't doing so well.
My gut tells me she's got health stuff going on, but that mostly it's depression. In addition to losing The Hoon last month, this past week she also lost the Granny kitty that lived out on the porch outside our front windows. This skinny ancient feline has fiercely, happily been Jacinta's arch nemesis for the year and a half we've lived here, and over a period of couple days, she gently let go and died this past Wednesday. And so in the space of five weeks, Jacinta lost both of her playmates, and had her Katmama turn into a wackadoo who radiates misery and grief and verklpemptness instead of the superfine luscious lovestuff she's grown accustomed to.
So, I stood there at the Pet*co, in front of two big orange fuzzballs. And I got: Jacinta needs a small baby male, someone she can boss around for a while, and eventually mother, and this is not the kitty from the dreams, this isn't Wallace, and it needs to be Wallace, and you need to let go of these guys and leave. And so I left, but then found myself at Pet*smart, just a couple of blocks away, and they had another set of shelter rescue kitties, and then I saw him: Wallace.
Tiny. Just three months old. Exactly like the dreams. I took him out of the cage and held him for ten minutes or so, to see how he felt. It felt kinda awful actually. He didn't much want to snuggle, didn't look me in the eye, did this shoving thing against my chest, pushing away from me with tiny stiff paws. But he purred continuously, and the elderly volunteer said: he's got a reputation at the shelter for being very loving. And I looked at the kinda cranky little feline fuzzball, and even though I felt awful and didn't think he liked me very much, and he smelled weird like a bounce dryer sheet, he was obviously Wallace. I filled out the paperwork, and paid $85 cash from my rent stash, even as my rational mind screamed: what the f*ck are you doing you crazy person because the bottom line is that you are going to be $200 short for rent this month and you've now made yourself $285 short?!? I held my hands over my ears and chanted "la la la la la" all the way to the car, baby Wallace howling in sopranic harmony to the wailing in my head.
When I got him home, I made him a nest out of towels in the bathroom, set up food and water and a little makeshift litterbox made from a box lid. And I discovered: he was a freakin mess. Ears filled with funky dark matter. His frame more than a little skeletal from lack of proper nutrition. A hind paw that was lacerated and infected, a cut scabbed over on his nose. And when I began looking closely, I saw that his tender skin showed signs of inflammation, his eyes hazy with lack of clarity. And then it hit me: I'd just spent part of my rent money for an ill, cold-hearted, high maintenance cat that was fixing to finally send me over the fiery edge of hell and make Jacinta scootch a ring closer in.
I went into my office and wept for a while, tried to snuggle Jacinta, who as usual these days gave me the stink eye and told me to "talk to the paw". And then I set about trying to clean the kitten up. I bought some bacitracin and cleaned his wounds out, used up several dozen q-tips and a bowl of sudsy water swabbing his ears out, which may I share with you took forever as dang them kitty paws and body parts is wiggly. He mostly fought the whole process, but he also purred. He seemed to like having his ears cleaned, and he seemed to sense that I was taking care of him, and he surrendered a bit.
I saw that mostly what was going on was that he didn't feel well, that he'd been ill taken care of, and he was tired, and afraid. I also got that he wasn't contagious, that he wouldn't make Jacinta sick. And I curled him up in a swath of towels, and left him to sleep.
Then I was off to work, one of the dreaded "psychic parties" that I generally do around Halloween. If you picture how a physician would feel as the featured entertainment at a costume party, you've got a good sense of what these are like for me. But I do them because they pay pretty well. And also because on some level they are amusing, like doing several shots of tequila just to watch the room spin. The verbal contract was an hour and a half or so for $200. But by 9:30pm, I was having so much fun, and was such a hit with the group, that they had me stay til after midnight, doing ten minute quicky readings for almost every single person at the party. And as the hostess thanked me and hugged me good night, she handed me a wad of cash and a check, and after I pulled into the driveway at home, I looked at it to find almost $500.
And I sat there realizing that I'd made enough to cover the gap of cash I needed to pay the rest of my bills. And that by not going into the holistic center, I'd given myself extra energy, enough so that I could open my heart and seeing and really be sharp and sweet with the smart, swanky folks that were the party goers that night. And that in the house was a new kitten and sweet Jacinta and that everything was going to be okay.
And so it is. I woke up this morning to find Jacinta snuggled in my arms in a way that she hasn't in weeks. Tiny little kitty squeaks emanated from the bathroom. My emailbox was filling with all sorts of new contacts made from the blogger meetup yesterday. The rent, it will get paid on time. I start my new job on Tuesday. And as I type this, Wallace runs about the apartment on fast, fierce kitten paws, squeaking like mad, he and Jacinta facing off, but finding it just a bit easier every time they come up to one another, him deferring to her over and over, turning over so that he exposes his belly to her, showing her, and me too, that he means only love, and snacks, please, may he please have more snacks?
So what else is there to say really? Except for, of course, several thousand words:
Jacinta and I are having a bit of a bumpy time as we renegotiate our relationship. In the past, she and I had a kind of mother-daughter thing going on. When I found her, she was a baby, only a few months old, and half-starved, and she developed the habit of climbing onto my chest and nursing the armpit or sleeve of whatever cotton shirt I happen to be wearing. And occasionally she'd hang out in my general vicinity and let me scratch her head for a bit. And very, very occasionally she'd scooch into the crook of my arm at bedtime, and she'd hang out for a bit before setting off for nocturnal kitty adventures.
But what I've discovered lately is that despite the fact that we've shared a crazy lot of lovins, and that nobody gives the sparkly kitty love look as much as she does, we haven't ever really hung out much together. She mostly ignores me, mostly doesn't like to be messed with, especially not the love-grippy, slobbery attention that I used to happily foist upon The Hoon, who sucked it up in fierce-purry ecstasy.
And this is proving to be a boggle. Because what I realized today is this: The Hoon and I were hedonists, die hard pleasure seekers who lolled around the house watching dvds, napping, and snacking. We related on the food and snuggle level, and communed together via our favorite vices many, many, many times a day. It's no accident that I've lost 6 pounds since he left this world.
Jacinta however, is more of a warrior kitty. She may have missed her calling as a Green Beret. She could have movies written about her prowess in watching (the granny kitty that lives outside), stalking (the enormous twitchy waterbugs), and pouncing (on anything that moves) upon the enemy (i.e. dust motes, paper wads, twist ties). She is heavily into all things stealth. But snacks and snuggles? Not so much.
But we're figuring it out. I can tell she's a little lonely. She has a bit of a desperate look in her eye when I return home from 6 or 7 hours at the holistic center. I suppose even hard-bitten soldiers like her can get a little shaky when on those long, solo missions.
And so I'm experimenting with the "stealth snuggle" (TM), engineered specifically for my little weasel. I swoop in, and squeeze. Or descend quickly and smooch. Or pretend like I'm going to lay on the right side of the bed and then leap onto the left and execute a swift but meaningful cuddle. And then, like a ninja in the night, I'm gone. So far it seems to be working pretty well for both of us, and since it's the only form of exercise I'm participating in these days, it works on multiple levels.
But still, I miss The Hoon. He's been visiting me in my dreams. Nothing dramatic. He's just there hanging out, usually with Grandma. And he hasn't let me love-grip him yet. But he will. Because he will always be my fatboy of love, licking my hands with that raspy tongue, letting me scratch that pelt until we were both purring.
But Jacinta and I will make our way. We'll find our groove. I just hope it doesn't involve learning to stalk waterbugs . . .