On Friday, we said goodbye to the sweetest dog ever, and it hurts so badly I feel like my heart is being crushed by an iron hand.
I have just gotten the shock of my life, you guys. If you were to tell me the sky was falling, I would be less shocked, totally not kidding.
A few weeks ago, we got one of those DNA tests for your dog, because we’ve always wondered what breeds Freya is, right? Quick swab of the cheek, send dog-spit to lab, chew fingernails for a couple weeks, get confirmation, go on with our lives.
Except in this case, the confirmation has just BLOWN MY FUCKING MIND.
So just to refresh your memory, this is our Miss Freya:
I am finally at the end of three or four weeks of craziness: daily practice for our show; playing the show (no pics of us have surfaced yet, but here is my set of Bella Morte shots); having my mom as a houseguest for a couple days on her way to a vacation with her sister; going camping; having my mom as a houseguest again, after her triumphant return from Durango, Canyon de Chelly and points north and east; and a fairly crazy few weeks at work that are still ongoing.
And in the midst of all this, we’re integrating the kittens that no one wanted to adopt (you’re missing out, seriously), keeping the dogs entertained, and pretending to clean the house occasionally.
I’m not gonna lie; I am wrecked.
I mean, our show was pretty good — I wasn’t too nervous, I didn’t screw up too badly, the sound was killer, and most of the other bands were great people and made with the serious rocking.
And camping was crazy good. I love when it gets down to the high 40s or low 50s, because I sleep so well in the cold. And the dogs had a blast, and our new gear was just exactly what we needed, without being heavy or expensive or fussy, and it was a delightful 2 1/2 days with some of my very favorite people, and I can’t wait to do it again as soon as we possibly can.
But despite these pockets of awesome … I am looking forward to a few days of nothing much to do, and long days in which to do it.
Since no one wanted to adopt our kittens — or, rather, could adopt our kittens — it’s pretty certain we’ll be keeping them. I am simultaneously happy and anxious about this — happy because, well, kittens; and anxious because for one thing, if the animals organize an uprising we are fucked.
We’ve been slowly introducing them to the other cats using the methods suggested by the behaviorist we engaged to help us with some of Miss Freya’s issues (a story for another time), and it’s been going as well as can be expected: Perdita is wary, Agnes is pissed, Ix is indifferent and Windle’s excited by the new range of food he can steal.
The kittens themselves are thrilled by all the new things to smell and new kitties to play with and new places to hide and the way they can get up to top speed, round corners by digging their claws into the carpet, and end up in a whole new room in just seconds. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, loving it.
Earlier in the week, we let the kittens go as far down the stairs as they dared, while the dogs waited anxiously on the landing, separated by the baby gate. Only Mr Grey went down, curious but cautious. Then Friday, while I was at work, Loki let the dogs come upstairs to meet the kittens properly.
I’m so pissed I missed this. Apparently it was super-cute and no kittens were mauled in the course of the love-fest.
So I guess we have to come up with names now. I personally favored Marmalade and Dumpling, as befitting an orange cat and a pudgy one, but I think they may end up as Trillian and Arthur, unless anyone has a better suggestion — and supposing we can remember to actually call them that.
So we still have Mr Grey and Miss Orange.
They’ll be finished with their kitten shots on Friday, and their immune systems should be stable a couple weeks after that, so they’ll be ready to go out into the world.*
So far, my plan to find someone (or a couple someones) to adopt them has come to naught.
I get it. Everyone thinks, “Oh, well, Mr Grey and Miss Orange have a good home Chez Loki et Suriel, so they’re already saved. If I want a kitten, I’ll get one from the pound, where I’ll be actually saving a life.” I get that. I really do.
But at the same time, it makes me sad. I wonder how long they’d be stuck in a cage, lonely and unpetted, at our local rescue, waiting to be adopted — supposing the rescue can even take them. They’re not wee tiny baby kitties anymore, so they’re not quite as cute as they were ten weeks ago.
I wonder, if we end up keeping them, how good their home with us would actually be. Given our current four other cats and two dogs, integrating two spazzy kittens into that group will be stressful and difficult — for everyone involved — and will probably mean frequent hissing and flying fur.
And I love these two kittens, but I wonder if they’re really meant for our house. We didn’t rescue them thinking we’d keep them — six cats really is beyond the pale — but there don’t seem to be any viable options out there. Or any options that wouldn’t break my heart into a million pieces. We saved their lives, so I feel responsible for them, y’know?
So yeah. If you think a kitten or two would be a good thing to add to your life now, let me know. They may not fit in one hand any more, but they’re still super cute.
* They’ll still need to be fixed, obviously, but in terms of general health, they’ll be good.
So we rescued a couple kittens this weekend.
We took them to the emergency vet to verify that they didn’t require extremes of care (they don’t), that they can eat solid food (they can) and that there was nothing major wrong with them (so far, so good). Three hours later we were ensconcing them in the upstairs bathroom, where they seem to be settling in. Yesterday I set up a webcam so I could keep an eye on them … and really, who doesn’t like watching wee baby kitties running around? Only people with hearts as black as a really black thing do not enjoy wee baby kitties.
Despite epic amounts of cute, I am fighting not to keep these little guys. We’ve already got 4 cats and 2 dogs, and I just can’t see us with six cats. People already call me a crazy cat lady; I’m pretty sure six cats would put me well into “insane cat lady” territory. (And why is it just me? Why doesn’t my sweetie get any “crazy cat guy” flak? I ask you.)
So we’re going to get them checked out by our regular vet next week, and start their vaccinations, and then we’ll try to find them a good home.
Do you need a wee tiny kittie?
More pics here.
I’ve been trying to compose my thoughts for a post about the loss of our beloved Carrot, but the words just piled up in my head and wouldn’t come out in any coherent fashion.
He’s been gone a week, and it’s been the hardest week … pretty much ever. I’m fairly certain it’s because of how he died. If he had been ill, or old, it might not have been so hard. We would have done everything we could to save him, and while his death would still hurt, it would be mitigated by the knowledge that we’d done all we could.
But when he climbed, unnoticed, into the clothes dryer, there was nothing we could do. When Loki found him, there was nothing at all to be done but try not to collapse under the weight of a whole world of grief and guilt and pain. I feel like I’ve spent most of this past week crying. I’m still not done.
I’ve been going through pictures today, and watching videos, and remembering our fearless, endlessly curious, dog-loving, snuggling cat.
I’m remembering a particularly awful day at work that was blurred and fixed by a small orange-and-white cat crawling up onto my neck and purring so loudly it drove everything bad away.
I’m remembering the way he used to drape himself across my shoulders and try to nap.
I’m remembering him chasing Freya like it was the best game ever, and I’m remembering the look of delight on Fenris’ face when he realized that here, finally, was a cat that would play with him.
I’m remembering a cat who could be kind of a bastard sometimes, but who was loved and petted and snuggled regardless, and who will be badly missed, every day, forever.
And yes, I’m posting this on my birthday, but I finally felt able to write something … anything … about the way our new year started, and today has definitely been colored by that, and denying it or ignoring it wouldn’t have helped.