This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from ThumperWabbt. Make your own badge here.
at 1200 x 800
100 Things About Me
The Spouse Thingy
Before You Ride...
Motorcycle Safey Foundation
|When You Have That Not So Fresh Feeling...Blog About It!|
Whoa. When I opened Inkblot Books in Ohio, all I had to do was mail in 2 forms and send a few bucks to the state. Very painless, very quick. They sent back a spiffy license, and a vendor’s license number.
I just download and printed off the forms I need to open it in California. Cripes. The state has forms. The county has forms. The city has forms. They all have fees—thankfully not expensive fees, but fees nonetheless. Plus I think I have to run an ad in the classifieds stating I’m doing business.
I just want someone to give me a business license and a reseller’s certificate, and be done with it! I want it to be easy! I am very, very lazy!
PsychoKitty has redesigned his website. He would like opinions on it … some have said it’s too red, some the type too tiny. We fixed the type size, and it doesn’t look very red on this end. But weigh in, tell him whatcha think. His feelings won’t be hurt.
The USAF actually came through with the Spouse Thingy’s final active duty pay on time! They were $500 short, but at least they paid him. He’d been told it could be as much as 10 days late. We can eat! Yay!
December 3, 2003
Two a.m. and I've just had an argument with the cat over who gets to sit in the office chair. Granted, he was in it when I gave up the notion of sleeping (that's what I get for forgetting to take my benedryl tonight, now it's too late...) and wandered into the office to play on my computer, but I nicely picked him up and placed him gently onto his bed.
It's a very nice bed, too. It's a giant wicker basket with a fluffy pillow and a tiger-spotted thermal pad on it. Normally he loves his bed, but evidently not in the middle of the night when he could be getting fur all over my chair.
He was a good sport about being moved, at least I thought so. He settled into the bed and curled up, closing his eyes, but as soon as I got up to go wander into the other room for a minute (oh shut up...I had to pee) he jumped back into the chair.
I picked him back up and placed him on his bed, and before my butt cheeks had a chance to hit the chair, he was back in it. And he glared at me. As if I were in the wrong here. And damn if he didn't do it again -- I started to sit, and there he was, in all his furry glory, daring me to sit on him.
When I picked him up, I wasn't as nice. I deposited his sorry ass onto the floor and sat down as fast as I could.
Yet somehow, I don't think I won. I can see the wheels spinning in his head, evidenced by that almost-evil look in his eyes. I have a nasty feeling that he'll find a way to get his revenge.
I better check the sheets before I climb back in bed...
That’s what was on the clock the last time I looked at it last night/this morning. Four thirty in the freaking morning. I finally crawled back into bed at 3:30, watched TV until my eyes were burning and I thought I could sleep, turned off the TV at 4 o’clock, and started to drift.
Then the thought zipped through my head that we needed to go pay rent on the storage unit.
That was followed by the thought that I needed to remember that, or else we’d wind up having all our junk towed away, which might not be such a bad thing, but it’s our junk and I want to decide when we toss it.
So my brain was spinning, and it took half an hour to convince myself that I would not forget we needed to go pay for storage. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep shortly after 4:30, thinking that I would get up at 8 and feed the cat, then crawl back in bed until noon.
The cat, on the other hand, had other ideas. At 7:30 he plopped down on me, his nose close to mine, sniffing and grunting and generally being a nuisance. He shifted his weight repeatedly, knowing this tends to get me up. Right about the time I was going to cave in, the Spouse Thingy got up to feed him, and Max launched—with full force of his weight on my chest—off to go eat.
So … I can go back to sleep, right?
Max has this annoying habit; it doesn’t matter if he’s been fed, if I’m in bed he feels some pressing need to yowl until I acknowledge him (usually with “Shut up, Max!”) After that, he wanders into the bathroom, makes an incredible amount of noise kicking kitty litter around in his box, and then starts hollering his little head off.
I bought a spray bottle for this very reason, to shut him up.
Max has learned where to stand in the room so he can be as noisy as he wants and avoid the spray of the water.
This morning, I won. He gave up meowing at top volume after fifteen minutes or so, and I went back to sleep, where I had dreams of carrying a baby around in a plastic bag. Yes, a live human baby. The neighbors from Ohio were all there, and it seemed perfectly normal and acceptable that I was carting around some strange infant in a clear plastic trash bag. At some point during the dream I looked at my watch and announced to the neighbors, “It’s noon. I better wake up now.”
So wake up I did. I rolled over and looked at the clock, and it was 10 a.m. Upon seeing that, I was determined to go back to sleep…but Max noticed. He saw my eyes open, and that was it. I was getting up no matter what.
He head butted me.
He snuggled and cuddled and meowed some more.
Seeing the wisdom in getting up before I’d had enough sleep—after all, if I was still tired, then I’d be able to sleep tonight—I threw the blankets back and got up.
The damn cat had this smug “I so freaking won this one” look on his face. He settled down on the bed, and closed his eyes. Visions of jumping on the bed and yelling at him zoomed before me, but I didn’t have the energy. I let him sleep, and wandered off to change.
I’ve been sleepy all day, but knew better than to take a nap.
We ran errands to stay awake.
Sleep would be ours tonight!
So here it is 9:40 p.m., I’ve taken my benedryl…and I’m wide awake.
That cat did something to me, I know he did…
December 7, 2004
Maybe I’m just a little grumpy because I woke up an hour and a half earlier than I would have liked, or maybe I’m just turning into a Grinch, but the barrage of “holiday” commercials is really getting on my nerves. I found it annoying before, but this morning … well, this morning they’re pissing me off with the implications of stupidity and greed amongst holiday shoppers and gift receivers.
So far this morning I’ve seen commercials implying that men must buy diamonds for the women in their lives for Christmas, an expensive car will get a man a little nookie for the holidays, and everyone’s entire December will be made whole and shiny and wonderful with new jeans and sweaters from a wonderfully inexpensive chain store.
Ok, I like the chain store, but…
All the jewelers’ commercials waving diamonds and baubles and necklaces that will be worn maybe twice a year are downright insulting. There’s a commercial for a store that might be local to Northern CA (I’d never heard of it until we moved back here) where this woman wanders through a cocktail party admiring the obviously expensive bracelets and necklaces of other guests, who proudly boast, “He went to (insert name of store…I’m not giving them publicity)!” At the end of the commercial she walks up to her husband and shoves crackers or shrimp or some other party food into his drink and walks off in a huff.
Eh? Because he didn’t just go out and spend the mortgage on something shiny? Did she ever tell him she wanted expensive jewelry? Was he supposed to just guess? “Well, she’s a woman, so of COURSE she wants diamonds and gold and silver!”
And there’s those annoying annual commercials for a national chain… A kiss begins with… Sheesh. Granted, those necklaces they push every year are not my taste at all, but they charge a chitload for something I can go to WalMart and get for 80% less. Or a kiosk in the mall. Or even JC Penney, because they seem to always have stuff at 50% off.
Then there’s the car commercials. Too many to count this year. Using the keys to a BMW as mistletoe. Cadillacs with a Christmas-y backdrop. Buy a Lexus, she’ll love you! In fact, if you don’t buy her the fully loaded bank buster dream machine, she’ll feed you gruel and warm water for dinner for months… Ooh yeah, surprise her with a car! Surprise her with a $900 car payment every month for the next five years!
I know people have been complaining for years about how commercial the holidays have become, but cripes. Do advertising companies really think men are stupid enough to believe they have to buy the really expensive shiny thing to rock her holiday world? Or that their wives would really want them to spend $75,000 on a car for her that she didn’t even get to pick out? Maybe she’d be perfectly happy with the sub $20K compact on the lot across the street. Or hey, maybe she’d be happier still with the perfect book and bath oils selected from her favorite stores. A CD of favored music.
But damn…that would mean he’d have to pay attention to what she likes to read, and how she likes to relax. And we all know that men can’t handle that.
Yeah, insert heavy rolling of the eyes.
And yeah, it seems to me that most of these commercials are aimed directly at men, as if they’re too clueless to have really good gift ideas all by themselves. Gosh…what did men do before TV? Or before advertising became the driving force behind network TV?
Holy crap, did they have to stop and think?!?!?!
And a note to advertisers: Hey. People are not stupid. Men are not clueless and women are not greedy. Well, most women aren’t. The insinuations just make me want to throw things at the TV, and stop buying anything you make.
Except the Cadillac XLR.
Yeah, I’d buy that.
If you drop the price by $40,000, I’d buy it.
December 9, 2004
This thing is the most amazing contraption a person who feels cold from the inside out all the time could possibly own. A heater that doesn’t heat the space of a full room, but just the person sitting in front of it.
Or, as the case may be, the cat.
We saw this thing in Costco, and stood there marveling at the amount of warmth it generated. And the Spouse Thingy kept saying it would be perfect for my office (and for him, since it would mean he wouldn’t have to sweat bullets all evening because I keep jacking up the thermostat.) After some poking and prodding and double checking to make sure the surface wouldn’t get hot (in case the PsychoKitty decided to rub up against it) and to make sure it would click off if tipped over (in case the PsychoKitty decided to tackle it) we determined it was a worthy purchase.
OMG, I think I want a second one so I can out one on each side of my office chair. This isn’t warm like one of those old forced air space heaters. This is warm like a clean sweatshirt fresh out of the dryer.
Since he kept hogging it last night, I can only assume the cat approves, too.
December 11, 2004
I don’t know whether to be impressed by the cat’s intelligence, or pissed off by his showing it off. If he’s not showing off, he’s just a stubborn, mean little chit who hates the idea that I’m sleeping when he’s not.
The Spouse Thingy started work this week. Max keyed into his morning absences quickly; on Day One he felt pressed to wander into the bedroom right after the Spouse Thingy left—sometime around 5 a.m.—to announce that he’d left the house. He stood at the bedroom door and hollered his little head off, until I threatened to squirt him or throw things at him.
Day Two, same announcement. Evidently I am to be made aware that my other half is up and off to work. But after the initial announcement and empty threats of bodily harm, Max curled up on the bed and slept until he felt I need to get up to feed him.
Day Three, the Spouse Thingy did not have to go to work. But when he wasn’t up at the appointed time, the cat began to worry, and let me know. Loudly. And often. In fact, he didn’t stop until the Spouse Thingy did get up. After his breakfast, he felt compelled to pester me until I finally dragged myself out of bed.
The next two mornings, as the Spouse Thingy left for work, the cat continued his announcements. “The Man has left the building,” I’m fairly sure he’s saying. “You may turn over and go back to sleep, until I feel like licking your eyelid or shoving my nose up your closest nostril.” Once I was sufficiently annoyed, he jumped up on the bed, plopped down on my legs, and went to sleep.
And this morning…holy crap. Max started in at 4:30 this morning, trying to convince me to get the Spouse Thingy up. Since he was snoring, he slept in the spare room (the Spouse Thingy, not the cat) with the door closed, so Max has to work especially hard. He stood in the doorway, hollering his little head off, then he would wander down the hallway to yell at the closed door, then back to the bedroom. I aimed the spray bottle at him, but he’s learned where he can stand to avoid getting wet. And then he sits there and mocks me with his little kitty voice, and I’m fairly sure he’s laughing at me.
That furball didn’t shut up until the Spouse Thingy opened the door. And even then, he occasionally popped into the room to make various announcements. As near as I could figure they were, “I have been fed now. And it was very good shrimp and tuna. You should come out and try some,” and “I am going to use the litter box now,” followed by, “I have now finished using the litter box. You might want to light those candles in the bathroom…”
He finally shut up for good when I peeled myself up around 9 this morning.
But…he knows when the Spouse Thingy should be getting up for work. He doesn’t know about days off, obviously, but he’s determined he’s going to make sure he gets him up and out the door on time. And he’s positive I need to know about it; on the days the Spouse Thingy works, I am to be told he left on time. On days off, we’re all to be warned of imminent doom, because obviously if the Spouse Thingy does not get up and go to work, there will be no more shrimp and tuna.
And obviously, I am not allowed to sleep if Max’s little world is not Just So.
So yeah, he’s either very intelligent, very mean, or both.
I think while he’s napping today, I’m going to stand by the bed and holler at him, stick things in his ears, and head butt him. See how he likes it.
No, I won’t.
But I wanna…
Decemebr 14, 2004
My cat gets email.
Actually, my cat gets more non-spam email than I do.
My cat gets email from other cats, which I find both highly appropriate and a little odd.
Over the last week or so he’s received email explaining—in terms generally reserved for small children—what The Holidays are (after all, he did say he didn’t know), a breeding proposal (from some female feline who appears to be unaware that Max is neutered), corrections to his “grammer,” complaints about his potty mouth, and an offer from an older woman who lives in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa—she wants to take him away from the Horrible People who obviously don’t appreciate all he does for them.
I think she’s kidding.
I hope she’s kidding.
But if she’s not…Lady, we appreciate Max, we really do. It’s just that we don’t appreciate him quite as much when he’s howling his freaky little head off at 3 in the morning for no apparent reason. Or when he’s being obnoxious about wanting to be fed his dinner 2 hours early. But we appreciate him, we really do.
My ego is wounded that he has more readers to his blog than I do, and he seems to have an actual fan base…but yes, Virginia, Max is an appreciated kitty. He’s also foul mouthed (yes…he is…just read his blog), unable to fulfill any feline fantasies out there, and he really doesn’t seem to care about his “grammer.”
I don’t think I do, either.
Not that I have anything to do with that.
December 15 2004
In a fit of overbearing boredom, I spent part of the afternoon re-doing kathompson.com. It's all very bright now, though it doesn't have much content...mostly it points here, to the "real" blog. And mostly I did it because I found the blog skin and liked it, and wanted to use it.
See what happens when you're bored?
Bright pink bubblegum things happen when you're bored.
I'd redo this blog if I wasn't so attached to it.
Though I'm still tempted...
Can the world stand more bright pink bubblegum???
I reallllllllly like that bright pink bubblegum...
December 16, 2004
Oidokee...based on email comments and stuff elsewhere, I decided to give the new look a try. If you hate it, comment. If you like it, comment. Just let me know what you think. I can always switch it back.
The voices in favor of changing it all had pretty much the same thing to say: the black was hard on the eyes after a while, and everything will be easier to read on a white background.
I generally don't even like pink, but there's something about this shade that I find oddily attractive. But that's something I can change, too. I can always change the pink to something else.
Well, I think I can.
Maybe I should have gone with bright red and green for the holidays...
A Joke From E-mail, Something I would normally not put in the blog:
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."
"You must be enlisted," said the balloonist.
"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip."
The woman below responded, "You must be an Officer."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."
December 18, 2004
I would have thought we’d need to feel sorry for Max today, but he sure has us surprised. Well, I feel sorry for him, but not when I thought I would and not for the reason I thought I would.
Today, he had a Sticky Person in the house. Better yet, he had one of the Sticky People that he used to watch playing in the front yard in OH, from behind the safety of the window screen. Instead of running and hiding—which is what I thought he’d do—he stayed in the living room and watched, and even let me pick him up to let the little guy touch him.
The Evilness that lived to our immediate left and her Spouse Thingy are in the middle of a PCS (military for “move every three years and we’ll call it a ‘permanent’ transfer”) and were headed through this way, so they stopped by to visit, and we went out to lunch.
[note to Evil Person: close your eyes now, I wouldn’t want you to think I was saying anything nice…]
I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was to see them. Honestly, we both got so excited it felt like being a 5 year old at Christmas. I would have liked to have spent a lot more time with them, but they have a long trip ahead and needed to get as far as they could. Seeing as how we haul ass when we move and go as long as we can every day, I can certainly understand that.
But the funny thing is, after they left Max went around looking for his Sticky Little Person. And when he couldn’t find him, he did the next logical thing—he started looking out windows. It made perfect sense: he used to watch the kids playing in the yard outside the kitchen window in Ohio, so he when he realized they were gone, he started going from one window to another, and it was obvious he seriously wanted to find his Sticky Person.
I think that’s the key: those kids were his Sticky People. He doesn’t like watching the few kids here he can see outside. Right now he’s curled up on the bed, a black and white dejected furball.
December 19, 2004
Christmas must be canceled.
Why? Because it’s not Christmas without ThumpaFudge™, and so far I’ve tried to make it twice this week and failed miserably both times. The first time it came out hard as a rock, and second time it had the consistency of sludge.
Now, I’ve been making ThumpaFudge™ for over 20 years (ok, ok, it’s my Mom’s recipe…but henceforth and forevermore it shall be known as ThumpaFudge™) so you’d think I’d have it down pat. But every once in a while, something goes horrendously wrong and it turns out Just Horrible.
I’ve decided that it’s the humidity.
And the electric stove I’m not used to.
But it’s nothing I’m doing.
Still, no ThumpaFudge™, no Christmas.
Maybe next year.
December 20, 2004
Yep, I overheard a Major Nice Save while in Safeway today… While perusing my choices of overpriced meat for tonight’s dinner (ham, for the terminally curious) a woman stopped near me with a hand cart filled with little things—mostly chocolate and candy canes, a few other odds and ends (yes, I looked…wait a second and you’ll understand why.)
Right behind her came a cart pushed by a very tired looking woman with a small child in the seat. I’d guess he was 4 years old, 5 at the most. And, being a kid, he leaned over and looked in the other woman’s handcart and said “Wow you gots a lot of candy!”
She nodded and mumbled something about needing stocking stuffers.
That’s when I looked up—the little guy’s eyes were wide and he looked horrified—and then I glanced into the handcart. She noticed the look on his face, too, and realized what she’d done.
She gets 10 points for a graceful recovery.
“See, all my kids are grown up, so we asked Santa to skip our house. We buy our own stocking stuffers, that way Santa has more time to go to places where good little boys and girls live.”
The little boy smiled, and his mother let a long, slow breath out.
“I been good,” he proclaimed, and his mother nodded in agreement as they wandered off. The other woman picked up her handcart, and as she walked away she was muttering to herself, “I should probably get coal for my stocking now.”
That was an awesome save.
I can only hope that if I ever jam my foot into my mouth like that I can think as quickly.
In other news: Thumper bought a ham and now has to cook dinner tonight.
December 22, 2004
The Spouse Thingy is on call on Christmas, which means instead of going elsewhere to celebrate with family, we’re staying home to celebrate with each other. And the Boy. And the cat. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a change in plans … and with it came the realization that there had been no plans in place for Christmas dinner.
The Spouse Thingy pointed out the obvious yesterday: “We need to get the stuff so we can fix Christmas dinner.”
Ok, I’m paraphrasing. But I’m amused by the royal “we” there when we both know there was a question there. “So…are you cooking Saturday or not?”
This isn’t to suggest he wouldn’t help. However, between the fact that the kitchen is too small for two people to be in there, much less two people working, it’s not like he’s ever made a turkey and noodles and stuffing. So we both know who will be doing the cooking, and who will be doing the eating.
If he has his way, it’s the cat who will doing the eating. He discovered the grocery bag with the turkey breast in it, and immediately shoved his head in and began to lick the wrapper. Now, if he’s in the kitchen when I open the refrigerator door, he sits there and stares lovingly at it. The little furball knows what that thing is, and he’s just waiting for me to cook it for him.
Yes, the little furball is a typical male.
But yes, cook I will on Saturday. And keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t all turn out like this years ThumpaFudge™.
I’m a member of Quality Paperback Book Club. They aren’t the problem; I love them. They sell trade paperback books at reasonable prices, and every once in a while I get a free one. Plus they always have something going on, where I can buy a book, get one half price, stuff like that. QPB’s da bomb.
My problem? When you mail order books, you can’t actually see the insides.
I bought several books this month, stuff I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I love to read, it beats TV by a mile. But this morning I was going through that stack of books, trying to decide what to read first…most of them have print so small that I can’t read them, period.
Now granted, I’ve hit the age where I probably needed bifocals a year ago, but this goes beyond age related reading difficulty. I couldn’t have read the type size in these books when I was 16 and only had so-so vision instead of my current near-blind state. I honestly doubt even someone with 20/20 vision could comfortably read 400 pages of this type size.
I understand the economics behind it: the larger the type, the longer the book; the longer the book, the more it costs to print, thus cutting down on potential profits. Move to a smaller type size, save paper, save costs, etc. I know this because I’ve wrestled with book layout a time or two, trying to decide what font to use, what size, what the per-book print cost will be, and how that affects the bottom line list price.
But still. If the potential customers can’t read the freaking book, what’s the point of taking it to print???
Yes, I could resolve my issues by dragging my sorry ass to the bookstore to actually take a look inside the book before plunking down my cash, but doesn’t change the fact that tiny print is out there, tormenting the world with its lack of readability. I want to be able to read my freaking books!
.End Rant For Now.
December 23, 2004
At some point after the New Year, we are going to have to buy a new bed. My back is telling me this, and after the last couple of nights, the voices in my head are in agreement. They're all saying "We need sleeeeeep. We need sleeeeeeep."
The cat echoes their sentiment, as my tossing and turning and getting out of bed is annoying the crud out of him.
I've pondered the possibility of a Tempur Pedic bed--one of those expensive viso-elastic things that are supposedly wonderful to sleep on. I've also thought about a Select Comfort air mattress. I'm not sure about listening to an air pump all night long, though I suppose it would become white noise after a while.
The thing is, those are both expensive and the last thing I want to do is spend a huge wad on another bed that sucks.
A traditional mattress is a crap shoot, too. We bought a Simmons bed several years ago, thinking we couldn't go wrong there. It quickly sagged in the middle and turned out to be just as bad as the waterbed we had before that. I've heard good things about Fosters & Stern beds, but again, they're pricey.
Input if you have it, please.
Even if it's just, "Well, a friend of my friend has one and loves it/hates it."
Thumpa needs sleep.
December 24, 2004
I'm pretty sure he thinks that one's for him...
December 25, 2004
BEHOLD THE POWER OF TRYPTOPHANWe ate at 3 this afternoon, and he’s been napping since then; he started out in my office chair, and when I moved him to his own bed he didn’t so much as twitch. He hasn't moved from the position I set him down in, and it’s been a couple of hours.
He’s probably building energy for his night time rampage through the house, or a 3 a.m. concert given just outside the range of the spray bottle I keep on the nightstand.
Either way, he’s a happy kitty, having gotten more than his fair share of shrimp and turkey.
I hope everyone else had as nice a day as the cat seems to have had!
December 28, 2004
Holiday letters—the kind people sometimes stick inside of their Christmas cards—are one of those things people either love or hate. I’m one of those people who actually likes getting them; I like the honest, personal letters, especially from people I keep in touch with, and I even like the over the top, grossly exaggerating life-is-so-wonderful letters. Some are good for their comical value, some just let me know what my friends have been up to (and face it, we all have friends we haven’t exactly kept in touch with, but we’re still interested in them and care about how things are going) and some are barf-worthy, but those hold entertainment value.
I think we’ve only done the holiday letter thing once or twice. The only year I clearly remember doing it was 2002, when we had a lot to tell people but the year had been very stressful (brain tumor, surgery, cross country move, etc) and a lot of people who should have been in the loop were unfortunately kept on the outer fringe simply because of time and health constraints.
So, having done one, I can’t complain about them. I don’t think I would, simply because I like them … but this year we only got one. And that kinda depresses me. The one we got was via email, but that was perfectly okay considering the senders were just getting ready to make a huge move to a Very Far Away Place and it just made the most sense. But still…only one.
I can’t complain about that, either, since we didn’t even send out Christmas cards this year. But the cat…well, the cat has had a lot to say this year (shut up! He has!) so to that I give you:
December 29, 2004
It’s 4 a.m., and I’m wide awake. I went to bed at a reasonable hour—a little before midnight—and was almost asleep when the cat started raising a fuss. There didn’t seem to be any particular reason for all the noise he was making; he sat in the hallway, talking to whomever would listen.
Once I was sure he was just talking and not in dire need of help, I started to fall back asleep.
Then a rustling sound came from near the dresser. It wasn’t the cat, I was sure of that because he was still down the hall, having one of the best conversations of his life. I turned on the light, sighed hard and climbed out of bed, and looked for the source of the noise.
It stopped before I got to that side of the room.
Again, I climbed back in bed and was –this- close to falling asleep, when I felt a thunk at the end of the bed. I waited for the weight of the cat to land on me, but when that didn’t happen, I lifted my head and listened; he was still down the hall engaged in his peculiar one sided conversation.
I gave up, turned the light back on, and picked up a book. I started it at 1:50 a.m. and finished it half an hour ago. Normally I’d be irritated as hell about not being able to sleep, but I wasn’t. I actually enjoyed the quiet—once the cat shut up—and enjoyed the book, something I picked up on a whim today. It was one of those impulse buys, guided by a little voice in the back of my head that said quite clearly, “You’ll love this. It will make you cry and you won’t even mind.”
And I didn’t.
Mind it, that is.
I felt the thunk at the end of the bed again, and it hit me. It hit me hard, and it overwhelmed me for a moment, but I did not cry. In fact, it made me smile.
The last time I felt that thunk was around 1 or 2 in the morning, December 29, 2001. I was mostly asleep then, too, but woke with a startled gasp of “Moe!” and then laid there, knowing what I didn’t want to know, trying not to cry, hoping I was wrong.
But I wasn’t.
One of my most treasured friends, Moe Brennan, had passed away early that morning. There’s part of me that knows the thunk was her, and part of me that knows I was expecting her death, and have just tied the two things together in my mind. Yet I felt the thunk tonight—this morning—and can’t help but believe that wonderful soul, who loved animals as much as I love my psychotic little furball, got the cat all riled up, and then took a swift kick to the foot of my bed, just to get my attention.
Yeah, I know, Max tends to “sing” a lot during the wee hours of the morning. But there’s very nearly always a purpose to it, and he does it in specific places: the bathroom, the foot of the bed, the bedroom door, just out of reach of the squirt bottle. He never just stands in the hallway to talk to himself. When he sings, he never sounds quite as content as he did a few hours ago. As content as he sounds when someone is doing exactly what he wants—scratching under the collar he hates, talking softly to him when he feels like talking back, offering him crunchy treats or better yet, cut up pieces of fresh shrimp.
The thunk could have been me, startling myself awake. The book could have been something I’d heard about before, tucking away the information in the back of my mind, filtering out in the bookstore I had never wandered into before, had never wanted to go into before.
Those would be the rational explanations.
But in the middle of the night, fueled by no sleep and several chocolate covered way too tiny donuts, I don’t think so. I don’t think there is a rational explanation the urge to wander into that particular bookstore, for my cat talking calmly to himself, for the thunk at the end of the bed, for not being irritated at the lack of sleep, especially when the Spouse Thingy has tomorrow off and if I’m well rested, we can go do something.
No, in the middle of the night, I know it’s Moe. I want it to be Moe. And it makes me smile because I know she’s still out there somewhere, somehow, making sure those of us who loved her will never forget her—as if we could—and making sure her sense of humor shines through while she sets about her sly reminders.
There are some people who come into your life and make themselves so welcome and so wanted that when they’re gone, they leave tiny footprints on your heart and on your soul, and while you miss them terribly, you’re just so grateful for having had the chance to know them at all. They leave behind pieces of themselves, yet seem all the more whole for it.
I still miss Moe. I think I always will. But I am so glad that she was a part of my life, even for a brief time.
I will not cry.
I will not mourn today.
I will just be grateful, and give thanks that she touched my life.
December 31, 2004
Dear assmunch who thought breaking into my car and ripping the stereo out of the dashboard would be a Fun Thing to end the year with:
Oh yeah, and
I hope the goddamn thing brings you lots of joy through the New Year, because you sure as hell put a damper on mine.
|design by may; Tweaked by Thumper|