my old cat Tazz

I picked Tazz up in 1993 at an animal shelter, he stood a day away from euthanasia.   I lived alone, several miles from my work and life community and I wanted a cat to keep me company.  Tazz has gone through everything with me. Always present with affection and purrs.  He is so old that before my aunt died in 1995, she made a figurine replica of him, which I still display.

At first, I was not sure our relationship could work.  I put him in time out more than once when he climbed up a fabric wall hanging and was unreachable.  I started reading cat books and the vet said to speak his language. When I needed him to behave , such as, stop clawing at the furniture, I began hissing and soon he began growing out of his kitten phase.

Tazz ruined three rugs, a couch, and annoyed the heck out of our dogs, two of which he outlived.  In the last three years, he spent much of his time sleeping with his wife, Honey Bunny.  I am sad to write I have taken for granted that Tazz would always be here. 

So, last week, when he started a rapid decline with only 1/4 of his kidneys functioning, I wanted to do whatever I could to keep him around longer.  He is on blood pressure medicine, potassium supplements, and periodic subcutaneous fluids.  It sounds ridiculous, how can I do this for an animal that has lived long when people suffer without health care.  I know I am not alone.  According to Jon Markman on moneycentral.msn , “Americans lavish $36 billion a year on pampered pets.” 

The only answer is that this little warm bundle of fur is always happy to see me and he is the only creature that was part of my everyday life in 1993 that is still part of my everyday life.  Perhaps it is nostalgia that is motivating me to fuss and just the need to say a proper goodbye.



Cocktails: Mad Men’s Legacy

I tune in to MAD MEN and I feel like I am watching childhood  from an adult’s point of view.  I remember the cocktails and the cigarettes that were present in so many places back then…my friend’s father downing a gin and tonic at lunch with no thought.  Last night Don, the  hero, asked his secretary to stop him at 3 drinks.  Drinks he takes from his office bar as soon as he becomes stressed.

It took me years in social work and education to get the addictive relationship between people and alcohol or any drug really.  And this is how I see it after watching LEAVING LAS VEGAS twice and working with people in rehabilitation.

Dear Alcohol:

I can’t find you anywhere and I miss you so.  You are the only one who can soothe my aching soul with the warmth that caresses my insides while I search to numb the pain by finding love from the outside.  I do not know how I will get more of you or at least enough for today.  There are the old beer bottles that sit waiting for redemption.  I will get up and get them now.  ‘Ooh, I can’t quite do it, my stomach seems to bounce up to my throat when I rise.  Maybe later. ‘

It’s later my dear Alcohol.  I just woke up, ok there are enough bottles for return to buy a pint.

The store was busy, I grabbed you as soon as I could and put you under my coat.


help with addiction:

140 word stories: a day in the life

Turkey vultures ride on the thermals overhead looking for food while I drive below on this sunny day.   They circle the farm fields and I drive by Dunkin Donuts, the antique shop, and into the drive…exhausted, I wait for the Mack trucks to pass and then I walk over the street to retrieve the mail.  I look down to see a beautiful light purple aster with petals spread as the crimson, orange, and mustard yellow colors of withering fall plants surround  it.  I open the mailbox, a bill.  I walk in the house, collapse on the coach, and wake up to my friend’s email announcing a link to cakewrecks.  I click to this blog; decorated cakes gone bad. I guess just professional cakes, my sponge cake that ended up served in a punch bowl in May would not make it.