Friday, 27 April 2012

Listening to her tiny heartbeat

My Cat is holding my Chocolate hostage.

Ever so delicately, she has one paw over my Cadbury's Dark Chocolate with Roast Almonds.  Claws retracted, not even crinkling the foil, but effectively preventing me from breaking off another delicious square and indulging in the rich, bitter treat I adore so much.

Because no one disturbs the Tabby when she's happy.

So love her paws.  Soft and large, compared to her tiny self.

If the Diva Dana is on your lap and you desperately need to visit the powder room.. you had best hope that she is distracted by something and leaves of her own accord.  Because no one disturbs the Tabby when she's happy.

Longing for a cuppa tea, but the Tabby has taken up residence on your shoulder.  Just ask, anyone else will make it for you.  Because no one disturbs the Tabby when she's happy.  

Need your coat to go out in the freezing, sleeting rain only there is an adorable girl cat, curled up on it and purring?  Well, get creative with your wardrobe, there is always the old coat my Dad wore back in 1965 stashed at the back of the cupboard. Because no one disturbs the Tabby when she's happy.  

Need to leave for work, but the Diva Darling is sitting on your shoulder and giving you toothy smooches on your nose?  The phone is next to you, call the sleeping wife two rooms down, who will come and give the cats breakfast so that the Tabby Diva girl will be leaving your shoulder of HER OWN ACCORD... Because no one disturbs the Tabby when she's happy.  

Diva SiDana, ruler of the household, has become interested in my typing, abandoned my chocolate and leapt delicately onto my shoulder, leaning her chest and cheek against my face.  I can hear her heart beating, so fast... and hear it slowing down as she becomes content and comfortable.

Cats calm us down, stroking their fur, watching them sleep, and now it seems I calm the evil, dominating shoulder cat down as well.  

My cat.  Her slave.  Is good.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A total Squeeeee moment!

Luth said the loveliest things about me, last Sat.

*fade back to Sat afternoon*

Our coach had commented that a visiting Mum was considering (read as, being told she should, a LOT!) joining our hoop class.  This ended any other conversation as we Hoop Girls bounded gleefully over to where this innocent lady was sitting, waiting to pick up her son.  Hoops in hand, we exuberantly described how much fun she would have playing with us and how much we would love to have her join in.  She must have a very practical and calm mind, as she asked us what it was we enjoyed most about hooping.  Straight to the core of finding out "why" she might consider joining.

Various replies were about how thrilling it is when you master a skill you have admired or the fun of performing, that it is so fluid and full of movement, when Luth put her arm over my shoulders and said this.*

"My favourite thing about the class is watching someone who said she just wanted to learn the skills and never, never go on stage, as she didn't like performing, to see her go on stage for the first time to introduce an act, then do her own small hoop act, then join in a full group performance and now to be choreographing her own duo act for Cabaret.  That is exciting."

I so blushed and so felt amazing - Luth is such an amazing person, talented, brilliant, fabulous hooper, terrifyingly good on the trapese, efficient and all around awesome, to hear that and hear it from her felt pretty special.

It helped me realise that I HAVE grown, I HAVE improved, not just in Circus skills, but it my general confidence, belief in myself and willingness to be part of a community.

Luth has zoomed off onto her own career now, as an event manager and part of the Solid State Circus touring group.


This term, they are touring Victorian schools!  This is Solid State Circus's advert for their school performances and workshops for the kids.  I love these workshops, where children get a chance to learn a few circus skills after seeing some amazing tricks performed by Luth, Hemlock and Ty.

I am printing off the advert for Princess to take to her school, plus another for her best friend, cos I know how much joy I get from watching these performances and playing with circus toys, like hoops, juggling balls, diablos and flower sticks, so I want to help other people, have as much fun as I do!

And maybe... they will develop a little more confidence, like Luth described the changes in me over the last four years.

*I didn't have a tape player, so this is from memory, not her exact words.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Slack Mum

Schools back tomorrow - and I don't wanna send her!

It seemed such an enormous amount of time for the Princess and I to spend together, two whole weeks.

We made plans, we were going to do some painting together, go for a ride, she was going to teach me how to play Zelda on the wii, there would be a holiday in my home town.

Saturday and Sunday, we indulgantly gave to ourselves jammie days and the energy we regained from that showed me just how exhausted she and I were. 

Monday was her maths (and philosphy, cos that's how she rolls) tutoring and three of her friends for a sleepover, so no Mama/Daughter time expected there.

Tuesday could have been a relaxing TV night, curled up together with cats, the remote and lots of cuddles, but I got an exciting invite to the Cabaret Meeting, for our next circus production.  It was a glorious evening of suddenly remembering there was a Me behind the Mama.  All adults.  Stimulating conversation.  Many kittens.  Cos kittens are fun (It was held at the house of a vet nurse, who obviously brings her work home... he he he)  This was very exciting.  I may have become rather caught up in the idea that I am still a person of my own, having been part of the Mama/Daughter team for so long, so intensely, now. 

So Wednesday!  Time together!  Shopping together day!  We were so tired, I slept all morning and she played her computer.   We went up the street and decided we would rather go back home.  I slept some more.

Thursday was another separate day, we both had friends over.  The kids sat inside and were quiet, while my friend and I put a rug on the front lawn, got the stereo out and played with our hoops.  Who are the grownups?  I'm confused?!

Due to funerals and other issues, our trip to my home town was cancelled.  Four days of... Princess and I not getting dressed.  We paraded around in our dressing gowns and I read while she played computers.  BAD MAMA!  However, at the end of it, I had some of that energy that I had been missing for so long.  And Princess had some truly amazing Minecraft designs.  That's creative, right?

Finally, I can report we snuck in some giggly family time, where I thrashed their tushies at Upwords, but Unca D. won the championship round of Wall Game.

2nd Tuesday, at a friend's from Mother's group,  a most enjoyable day as the two girls found a common ground with their iPods and the delighted voices were wonderful to hear. 

Wednesday, funeral. 

Thursday, painting D&D figurines as planned, but I spent my time with Miz Z, working on our future games. 

Friday was supposed to be an amazing trip into the city with her friends and their families to see Labyrinth on the big screen!  Car trouble turned this into watching Mirror Mirror at the local cinema, which was glorious fun, and a sleepover at my house.  Mirror Mirror has inspired in me a need to watch more Bollywood and find that random class in Bollywood dancing that I did once.  SO MUCH FUN!

Saturday I had an amazing class at Circus, where I realised how wonderful my physio is and I Danced! I danced like I used too!  I haven't been able to do that for decades!  Physio is a very good and wonderful thing.   I also realised I need to get my act into gear and find a new chiro...  Princess had lunch with Unca D and then we zoomed over to her best friends new house, where we helped them unpack.  Then came home and crashed big time.

Now today... the last day before school, she has one of her longest term friends coming to visit and I will not have any time with her.  

She is happy.  I am happy.  There are smiles and hugs and I love you's.  I think I need to change my game plan.  I think I need to focus on little five minute moments together.  Rather than big chunks. 

I'ma gunna go brush her hair.  Cos I love doing that, it'll take five minutes and we can be together. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Dungeons and Dragons

Thursday afternoons are sacred.

The Princess and I pick up one of her best friends, *We shall call him Lance* and we enter a magical world, where imagination rules and nothing is impossible. 

Unless Miz Z says it is, because she has the final say in all things Dungeons and Dragons.

My daughter and I love this role playing game.  We love exploring new characters, giving them a backstory and breathing life into them by our actions and reactions.  We love finding out what will happen if you do knock on that ancient door/attack the white dragon with strange blue fire/wander into that mysterious cavern and thinking up ways to resolve the challenges set to us by Miz Z.

The thrill of trying out strategies to attack creature that don't even exist in the real world, the fun of working together to use our skills best in team work, the triumph of watching the children work out mathematical problems over and over again, without (much) nagging.

Pretty shiny dice of all colours and designs, with glitter encased in their heart or speckles that look like the night sky.  Figurines to be painted according to one's personal image of their character or fantastical creatures that we befriend or defend ourselves from.  The thrill of walking, every week, into a Realm of Legends that has been decorated to look like the interior of a castle.
shiny pretties

Last night, after coming home from the funeral, we got a call saying that the shop where we play has had to unexpectedly and very suddenly close, but to still come in and discuss where to go from here.  The sadness of walking in and seeing the scenery and tables dismantled, the tears in not only the eyes of the staff, but so many other players who had made it their second home.  Watching one group play on the floor, with pillows brought in and high spirits to share.  People were buying the tables that had taken hours of decoration and letting the staff know they were doing it to ensure it would be safe should it need to be returned to a new venue.  COMMUNITY!

So many hugs.

So much determination that this wonderful community that had built up would not be torn apart.  I walked in, with the plan to take on the Dungeon Mistress's role that had been Miz Z's, and continue to run our games from my kitchen.  To find that nearly every gaming class had done the same, very much like the community was decentralising in order to save itself until we could reform.

Miz Z. spent two hours with me, explaining how best to DM for younger children, ways to cope with changing numbers and helping me feel less terrified and overwhelmed.  She is wonderful and perceptive and fun and I will not miss her as we will stay in touch and I am so delighted about that.

 So onwards!  I have much reading and writing ahead of me.  Creativity, fun and maybe I'll find the time to fish out my old Dungeon Master's cloak...


A sad day, a very emotional day.

More family funerals.

For years, we have discussed another trip down to visit Trickey's Maltese Aunts.  Years. 
We even discussed doing it on Good Friday weekend, but ended up cancelling.  Why?  Pain, a friend cancelling our Sat/Sun visit, exhaustion...

Then I get on Facebook and read that one of the Aunt's has died that day.

Which made me feel really sad/stupid/angry at myself that we had put it off for so long. 

Hubby and his brother are the children of the youngest sibling, we'll call her ... no I can't give her a false name.  Everything I know of her is linked to that name, because I have never met my MIL.  Rosa is the family tragedy that still makes them cry to this day.   Which is possibly another reason we stayed away,  it's not nice to know that every time you visit, you will bring on memories that make the Aunt's cry.

After my Princess was born, with her face so blatantly a lighter haired version of Rosa as a baby, that the Aunts and Uncles remember so fondly from their childhood, it got better.  Smilier. 
Then Rosa's long lost adopted daughter appeared and then took off, betraying the family, causing more tears and Then...
My depression and lack of more children made things difficult and the visit's tapered off.  The Princess stopped looking so Maltese and her German heritage came out.

Trickey's German Dad came back into the Maltese Family's picture, unwilling to reunite with his son and new adorable granddaughter, but okay with visiting his in laws.  Until... and no one will tell me what happened, but something happened and the crying began again.  Nice Bloke.  There were many visits around this time. I was very much a confused-in-law.

*sighs*  This is not the post I was trying to write.

At the funeral, which was calm by our family's standards, we caught up with so many cousins.  Heard so many stories.

Cousin R. told us that she always looked forward to Aunty Rosy visiting, because she was so lovely.  Aunty Rosa (which is what I tend to call her, having heard her called Aunty Rosa more that any other term - even though she is my husband's mother) kept her figure slim, always had her hair done and a little makeup on.  The smile that lit up on Cousin R.'s face showed how warm and happy these memories were, as she finished off with "and Aunty Rosy smelled so lovely." in an adoring and affectionate voice.
I treasured this up to tell Princess, as I have so few stories of her Nonna to share that are happy.  Cousin R. also described a photograph of Rosy with her sister, the recently departed Aunt, that I had never seen.  She was saddened to realise that we only had 9 pictures of Rosa, which I had spent many years scouring the Aunt's photo collections for, borrowing to get copies made at the local photo centre and then returning.  Addresses were shared and I have hopes for a new picture for my still heartbroken boys.

30 years ago.  30 years ago my Trickey and his brother lost their Mum.  All that is left are these impressions Rosa left in people's hearts.  I am crying as I write this, because they needed her.  How could she leave them?!  Cousin R. said she loved those boys so much, that she never would have left them and we talked about the trauma's Rosa had been through that would have driven her to a state where suicide seemed a choice.

Cousin R. also said both boys had never heard the word "No", though she rushed onto say that they were well behaved, not complete rascals.  I am quite aware that the word No is foreign to my two boys.  For all the difficulties they went through, growing up in the Foster system, learning to be self reliant, learning how to choose who to trust...  When they are feeling safe, secure and happy, there is still an element of surprise when I say "No". 

Cos the Female Matriarch Figure doesn't do that! What's up! 

As the Princess says it...they are used to hearing, "OK, dear."
"I want to drive my 2 yr old brother down the very steep driveway in a go cart I am testing out."
"OK, Dear."
(Some scars are usually pointed to on the younger brother during this story)
"Can I have a chocolate eclair for lunch?"
"OK, Dear."
"I want to take my horse out riding all day, see you!"
"OK, Dear."
"Mum, I'm going to see what happens when I put explosive fuel in the incinerator and light it."
"OK, Dear"

Hmmmmm. ;-)

I have no idea if that is what Rosa said, but those boys still go ahead as if they have the permission to do whatever mad thing takes their fancy.  Love them both so much.  Pair of brats.

Talking to Cousin F., he had been with Trickey's Dad the day he died. (Both work in the same industry in a country area)  WOW!  He had administered CPR until the ambulance came, then he was so overwrought, he just patted the Evil Step Mother (the accurate name I am going to give the woman who would be my step mother-in-law if Trickey's Dad hadn't abandoned and legally divorced himself from his son - I will never understand or forgive him for this and every day I offer up thanks to the foster family that took my boy in) on the arm and said he was sorry and had to leave to cope with what had happened.    Just wow. 
Of all the family, only Cousin K. came to Trickey's Dad's funeral, partly to be there for Trickey and partly to make sure the bugger really was dead.

Talking with Uncle V. and Aunty T. is always a highlight of our visits, they are definitely my favourites.  I really have to struggle with their accents, but as long as they don't have too many of the other Maltese family around, I can manage.  When there is more family around, they start interspersing Maltese with English and this is my cue to sit, with a polite smile and just enjoy the atmosphere. 

A hug for Uncle M., husband of the recently departed Aunty D.,  and he was so pleased we were there and made sure we got to speak with each of his 7 children, the cousins. 

Cousin M. and Cousin J. both had long car related conversations with Trickey, which is male bonding and just good fun.  Cousin I. found out that we live near a remote control plane flying area he visits and got our addresses to call and visit when he comes up.  Cousin P. was curious to know how we found out, as no one knew how to contact us.  When I replied through Facebook, his eyes got sad and he said how one of his children had found out through social media, even though he had asked the family not to say anything for a few days, so he could personally call each person.  (SO MANY relatives!)  In our case, it was good.  I am sad for the child who found out her Granma had passed on via the internet, though.

I mentioned to Cousin K. that I had spent too much of the past year catching up with families at funerals and we decided to host a family reunion some time this year.  I am Excited!  Too many relatives for any one house, so we need a hall or park...but I don't trust the weather, so I am hoping to find a reasonably cheap hall. 

And yes.  I intend to bring circus equipment.  Cos it makes people smile.

R.I.P. Aunty D.  You live on in my memory as your kind words of advice with my newborn, your enthusiastic smile and your openly welcoming us into your home.  

Sunday, 8 April 2012

A tribute to the soon to be departed Isaac Cat

So one of our boy-cats, Isaac, is 19 this year.
Over the last few months he has really started to look old.  He climbs up to his sun-filled corner and settles into a sunlight absorbing sleep.  The difference I have noticed is that he takes nearly half an hour to slowly go from standing to curled up.  He will stay there for the whole day, ignoring feeding times, choosing to eat when he feels the need, putting all his activities, such as drinking massive amounts of water (kidney problems) and going to the toilet in any random place, into this one waking session.

The sun came out, with a warm breeze last week, so I migrated all the cats and myself to the patio for a day of indulgent reading and sunning.  Isaac found the sunniest spot, as is his heat-sink like tendency.  He then attempted to clean himself.  Going slowly around and around, in an attempt to bend far enough to clean his side, it took about ten minutes before he got one good lick and then he gave up and went to sleep.  The sun moved after an hour.  Isaac DID NOT get up and move to the new sunny place.

This is when I started to worry about him.  Is he in pain?  Is it arthritis and is he miserable, or is it just hard to bend, but he's happy?  He has become very bony since he stopped regular meal times a few weeks ago.  Considering he is Top Cat and the other two wait for him to finish before they touch the food, this is quite a change.

Thus, it is time for a vet visit.  It make be fine.  He may simply need treatment.  I am not feeling this, however, so we have prepped the girl-child who likes to curl up with the purring Burmese and squish him under her blanket, the way he likes best.  She wishes to come with me on Thursday.  I will allow this.

Easter Child this morning with the 19 year old Isaac-cat draped as far over the couch as he can without falling off, so he can be that little bit closer to the heater.

We tried feeding him fancy tuna and other things, but he prefers his (already fancy) cat food, so that is as it is.
Isaac's favourite things in life is heat and when he was younger and we used to use the fireplace a lot, he would sleep as close to the fire as he could.  Embers would fall on his fur and he would let them singe him rather than move away.  He would become too hot to touch comfortably.  One year, after a particularly brutal fight with the neighbour's cat, we lit the fire every night for the wounded boy to indulge in as he healed. 
However, last night, he stayed on the couch.  The fire we built for him, smoked out the lounge room for him, had Trickey climb on the roof to dislodge the ancient bird's nest from the chimney so we could have this fire burning, did not bring him out of the slump he is in.  Eventually, I put him on the ottoman and moved it closer.  The purrs began.

I want his last week to be happy.  I want the girl to get her time to say goodbye, making her video's about Isaac.

I want to make Trickey realise how guilty he should feel that he chose this horridly annoying, irritating, indecisive, un-affectionate cat to be his, then promptly ignored him for the next 19 years because he is not a pleasant cat to be around.  Left me to clean up his messes, since nothing I did could teach him to go INSIDE the kitty litter, he preferred to sit on the edge, go over the side and then kick as much kitty litter around the laundry as possible.  After many years, I trained him to go on the floor next to the litter and considered only having to clean up that each morning an improvement.

Sleep in's were never something I lost when I first became a Mama, as this kitten had taken them away from me a good 9 years earlier.  He liked to get up at 5am.  If I didn't like this, he would crawl under my neck and start ripping my hair out from the soft skin at the base of the hairline with his very sharp kitten teeth.  Were I so rude as to lock him out of the bedroom, he would howl, shred the carpet, rip the plaster off the walls and walk along every shelf, knocking everything off.  Thus the name "Isaac Newton".  He tested gravity on a regular basis.

Izsie would howl to go out, and when you opened the door, run away, frightened of the door.  Or maybe the open, empty space out past the door.  Then howl again once you had gone away.  Then, when he did go out, if you waited long enough, he would do NOTHING outside and immediately howl to come in again.  When you opened the door, he would right away in fright.  After he had finally decided 7 door openings were enough to convince him there was nothing scary inside, he would re-enter.  And within seconds, howl about wanting to go out.  So I would chase him around the house, trying to put him out, with him slinking into every crevice, under every chair and couch, for hours.  As Julia Roberts said it best in "Pretty woman", Isaac was a "slippery little sucker".

After about a year, Isaac was only coming home 2 nights a week.  Using my incredible sleuthing skills (sitting on the garage roof and watching like a freaking cat stalker) I deduced he had made a friend of the older lady two doors down and behind us.  She fed him.  He let her pat him.

BETRAYAL!  Isaac would never let me hold him for more than the 5 seconds, 5 seconds of tolerating my cuddle in a forced way. Trickey and I began to call this Isaac's way of paying "rent".  He walked away from pats, never allowed me to have him on my lap and then demanded to sleep in between us every night, fighting Tayo-cat, Fruitcake-the-insane-cat and Bilbo-the brother-in-law's cat until they gave up and went and slept elsewhere.  We had a water bed at this point.  Trickey was a bed hog (it was a long time before I developed the confidence to assert my rights over half the bed) and often rolled over on the little black Burmese that is Isaac-cat.  I could tell when this happened as our little heat-loving furball would purr loudly enough to be heard through the bulk of my Husband's body and the mattress.  He loved being squished.

This first year, when he was still tiny, Trickey did adore him and would insist upon not disturbing the kitten's sleep.  Not good for one's romantic adventures.  This did not endear me to the cat that was already giving me pain, sleep-deprivation and frustration.

Isaac at 16 doing his famously adorable "face snuggled into tail" pose.  Don't you just want to pat him and pick him up and love him?  Yeah, well, bad luck, cos he'll just struggle and howl and want to be left alone, thank you very much.

Isaac was highly unco-ordinated.  And cross eyed.  He liked to pick fights, but usually ended up at the vet's afterwards, due to his inability to see where he should be attacking.  After a few years, our lovely vet, Geoff, taught me how to treat his wounds with rock salt and water, drain an abscess and generally be a war-zone cat vet.  It amused SOME members of the family to watch Isaac attempt to climb a fence and fail, falling and not landing on his feet like the cliche cat would, but it just hurt my soul. 

Isaac was about two when we bought our lovely home.  We debated whether or not to move him with us, or to ask the lady he spent most of his time with, if she wanted him.  It seemed cruel to split them up.  We had gone to her house once to ask, but she wasn't home.  So, we thought we would move the first load, the heavy furniture and try her when we returned.  Reaching our lovely, new dream home, we opened the truck and saw two glowing yellow eyes, right at the back, still on the couch he had crawled onto for a nap, earlier that day.  Terrified and very unimpressed eyes.  For once, he stayed still to let us catch him.  We decided either Isaac or fate had spoken and the Black Burmese would stay with us.  We took him into the house, closed the doors and put him down, expecting to pat and sooth him.  He was flying the minute we let go, zooming to every window, smashing into them in a panic driven frenzy to be out.  It broke our hearts to see him like this.  Nothing we could do would calm him down.   He huddled in a cupboard for several weeks, with us joining him and feeding him and cleaning up after him (ewwwww).

Isaac didn't like any of the other cats.  Tayo-cat was Top Cat, and he deferred to him, but was not friendly.  When the Diva Dana-Cat came along, he looked at her once and proceeded to ignore her until Tayo's death removed his Top Cat protection from Tayo's adored Dana-girl-cat.  The Isaac-cat thought it would be fun to pick a fight with her after this.  Dana-cat is not just a Diva, who requires all of my devotion (and my pillow), she is also an excellent killing machine.  Isaac returned to ignoring her after his very sound thrashing, but more carefully, never approaching her again, and still tiptoes away from her.  The interesting change in his behaviour after this all out brawl, was that he would now join in the community fighting when our cats were defending their territory from neighbouring cats.  However, she allowed him to eat first.. as she had always done with Tayo-Boy-cat, but not with the affectionate smooches she gave to Tayo.

He simply ignored the other new boycat, Charlie, even when Charlie-the-very-silly-still-a kitten-at 6-years-old cat would wait until Isaac was asleep and leap on him, hoping to convince the much older cat it was playtime.  This amused me.  Not so Isaac.

And the Princess (who loves him) tells a story: Isaac was banned from sleeping in her room after one too many peeing in the corner incidences.  The one too many involved peeing on all her stuffed toys and caused a massive wash and re-arrange of her room. (she still loves him)  Isaac was not very impressed, he quite liked sleeping in the room with the child who would squish him under her pillow and always ensure he was covered with many warmth storing blankets.  Not to mention the warmth she gave off herself.  The Black Burmese boy learnt that Mama would open the door at bedtime to read a goodnight story to her adored Princess (who loves the horrid Burmese Boy-Cat).  He would zoom in and jump to the chair, onto the bed, curl up instantly and start purring decadently, in the hopes that we would be to impressed with his decisiveness and adorableness to move him.  It worked occasionally.  Cos the Princess still loves him.

Isaac had a redeeming feature.  It didn't show up until he was 15 years old or so, but it was a big redeeming feature.  It is to do with why the Princess loves him so very much.

My darling child has been living on the verge of exhaustion for many years.  She didn't really get the hang of this "sleep" thing.  She'd worked on "interrupted naps during the night sleep", the "waking up screaming sleep", the "occasionally falling out the bed sleep", the "nightmare sleep", the "too scared to be alone and curl up with Mama sleep" and the "can't breathe properly so can't sleep" versions.

For many years, I had been going to sleep with all four cats carefully separated on our bed, since that would hold the doona down and Trickey the Doona-thief was thwarted in his nefarious night time thefts.  It also reduced the nocturnal all in brawls.  Dana, of course, was on my pillow. Or face.  Or draped over my neck.  Cos I don't need to breathe as much as she needs to be allowed to do exactly as she wants.  Tayo at Trickey's feet, Charlie on my legs and Isaac in-between us. 

Then we bought a heater for Princess's room.  Isaac promptly defected.  He started curled up at her feet, next to the heater.  During her waking moments, she would bring him up to her pillow and snuggle with him for comfort.   He wriggled until he was under her neck, his head in her hair and something magical happened.  Princess slept.  Not quite through the night, but better sleeps.  Longer sleeps.  She adored him.  Princess started claiming him in the afternoons, carrying him to her bed, setting him up on the pillow and then using him as headrest while she read.  Isaac thought this was bliss.  Before she went to school, she would ensure he was covered with layers of warm blanketing and caused many a family discussion by leaving the heater on for the Heat Sink Cat.


Contented Isaac-Pillow-cat comforts the sick couch bound Princess.  

He made the Princess happy.  He lets her pat him and hold him and love him, in the ways I had hoped for from him and never been granted.  This made him part of the family and not just a cat I fed and cleaned and cared for because it was my responsibility.  Isaac appreciated the Princess with affection and devotion and not just as the food and heat source he had previously considered us.

It made it alright.  She has banned him from her bedroom at nights now, but she still sleeps better.  And they still have the couch for squishy cuddles.

Trickey is forever forbidden from ever choosing another cat for our family.  Because he chose Isaac due to the pet shop intending to put him down, as absolutely no one wanted him.  I approved of this, as all my cats are rescue or shelter cats.  It didn't occur to me that such a reason for choosing a pet could backfire so intensely.
We went to pick him up and took a box in with us, to carry the new"family member" home in. For some reason, I was carrying him.  Upon leaving the pet store, walking past the newsagency that was next door, Isaac promptly escaped this box, zoomed into the newsagency and hid under the most awkward shelf.  The shop owner had to remove the shelf for us to re-claim this little, black bundle of joy(?).  An appropriate beginnging to a life of causing irritation and frustration.
I choose cats because I fall in love with them.  And they like me.  These cats become family members who bring us joy and love and are fun to watch do their thing.  Princess and I will choose a pair of kittens when the time comes, a pair who adore each other and play with each other.  And us. 

C'est la vie, little cat.  You have been... interesting.  Like the Chinese curse.  But you smoothed out in your old age.  The scars you gave me are fading.  The walls have been repainted.  I did the best I could to make your life a good one.  But I don't think I am going to miss you much.

Princess will though.  And that is a good, final tribute.  You will be missed.

But maybe, she won't have to start missing you this week.  Who knows what the Vet will say...

Edit:  I forgot the most important story of all.
During the phase when Princess and Isaac were happily snoozing together, Princess had her first school camp.  We prepared for every eventuality we could, down to driving to the camp site before she went, so she was familiar with it.  Off she went, on the big bus, with me waving her off, big grn on my face, right until the bus went around the corner, then I fell into the arms of her best friend's Mama, bawling my eyes out.  The one eventuality I hadn't considered was that Isaac, the cat who had previously never attached to any of us, or our friends, had truly become Princess's cat.  He was fine until bedtime, when he wandered into her empty room.  He looked all around the room.  He came back out to us and gave a sad meow.  Back to her room, sniffing and wandering and howling, so sad, so lonely.  We cuddled him, we patted him, we tried to snuggle him in her bed.  He continued to howl, a despairing sound.  This was the moment when I finally accepted him.  Finally felt all the stress and misery he had caused me was forgiven.  Because he missed my baby as much as I did.  He LOVED one of us.
So, we found her dressing gown, wrapped him up in it, put him in her bed, turned on the heater (of course) and he finally settled down, snuggling deeply into that dressing gown that had his girl's scent on it.
So cute.  So pleased with her when she came home.  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Cookie Monster of the Book World.

Lately, all I want to do is lose myself in books.  Like a Book obsessed Cookie Monster.  Bookie Monster.  "Letter B!  B is for Bookies... Nom nom nomnom."

I think I am simply too drained to live my own life.

Which is a shame, cos it's pretty exciting right now.  Costume meeting for the Macabre Cabaret tonight.  Costumes!  So much more fun that real clothes!  I can spend days and weeks planning a costume that I wear once or twice, but organising my everyday clothes to look less frumpy?  Nah, I am totally rocking the middle aged housewife look. :-p

So the last few weeks, I have managed to read (... or devoured words of pages with an intensity I haven't felt since I first discovered fantasy novels and had to read them ALL AT ONCE):

The Hunger Games.  Cos if it is a book before the movie, I read before I watch. 

The Mortal Instruments trilogy.  So wow.  So love the angst and agony and mythology in this series.

Magic Flute.  Eva Ibbotson has been a favourite author since I first bought "Which Witch?" from the Scholastic Book order forms in Primary school.  In the Magic Flute, she manages again to combine practicality, sentimentality and intensity in my favourite era in history, the early 1900's.

I have minimal interest in books about real life.  Unless I am on a research bent, then I devour them voraciously, leaving a messy trail on undecodable notes in my trail, that I never collate into anything readable, and don't remember the results of a year later.

I am a very unfinished person.

And, there are a few chapters of the Mortal Instruments trilogy left, the four sleeping tweenies are still quietly sprawled out asleep all over the lounge room floor... I think I'm going to sneak in some more reading time.