Update on the Elder Stateman

My cat, Patches, is showing signs of improvement! He has been out and about more than he has been over the past couple of days. Giving him his medications has been getting easier and this morning he showed that he forgave me by snuggling with me on the sofa right afterward. When he settled down, and I could feel him purring, I admit it, I shed a couple of tears. A few days ago, I honestly thought I was about to lose him, and now I’m hoping to have more time with him. And I’m not going to take a moment of it for granted.

Trying to Pill a Cat

Pilling a cat by yourself

is a practice in


Holding a cat

That is wrapped like

A toweled burrito

In one arm

Pill popper in

The other hand.

Trying to wrangle

Him into opening

His mouth.

This morning’s

Double pill dispensing

Took almost

An hour

And left us both


But my stubbornness

Is greater than his

And I know the importance

Of these meds.

I also know that

Success will be

A victory for us both.

I Wish Cats Could Talk

I wish cats could talk. Saturday night, I went to bed with my cat Patches appearing to be acting normally. When I woke up on Sunday and came downstairs, I found him hiding behind the chair in my mom’s bedroom. Immediately I knew something was wrong. Throughout the day, my concern only grew when he refused any food or water. I put a folded rug in the corner where he was so he wouldn’t have to lie on the floor and slid dry food, wet food, and plain water under the chair, so he only had to come out to use the litter box. I did this on purpose so I could monitor his urinary output. He did come out, for that purpose, several times during the day and evening. The most disturbing symptom he displayed was a kind of a moan he made when he exhaled. I watched him as closely as I could, while leaving him alone as well, and felt like he wasn’t in respiratory distress and decided to wait until this morning to take him to the vet. It was a long day and night yesterday because, at almost 17 years of age, I realize he doesn’t have much time left. But the idea of losing him so soon after my mom died was unbearable to my heart.

When I woke up this morning, my anxiety level immediately pegged out at a 10, and I went downstairs not quite knowing what I’d find. Luckily, Patches was still breathing, although the sound was now gone, and his eyes appeared brighter. Calling the vet, I wasn’t sure when I’d be going in. Luckily they were able to squeeze me in at 10 AM. So, off we went. Long story short, and this is why I wish cats could talk, my poor cat has a severe urinary tract infection, hyperthyroidism, and he is borderline diabetic. I had no idea he was so sick, and I feel horrible that, if there were signs, I had missed them. He has to take medication several times a day, and the vet seemed to be hopeful we could turn it all around. When we got home, I looked up hyperthyroidism in cats and was blown away. Weight loss, check. Increased appetite, check. Excessive thirst, looking back on it, check. Unkempt appearance, check. Vomiting, check. Many of his symptoms I just chalked up to him being an older cat and didn’t really think about it. So, that’s what my last couple of days have been about. Cats are stoic by nature and hide any symptoms when they don’t feel good. Patches has proved to be a master of this ability because, like I said, I had no clue he was so ill and I can only hope that the medications he has been put on will provide the relief and recovery he needs. He’s the elder statesman of my little household, and I’m just not ready for his presence to be gone from my life.

Attack Mode

He sneaks up on his prey

In the yard.

Tail wagging.

It has fallen during the storm

And now lies

Unnoticing of the danger

Lurking behind.

Without warning,

My golden retriever


Beaver (?) mix

Hurls himself at the unsuspecting


And proceeds to

Tear it into pieces.

His ferocity knows

No bounds until

The branch lies in

Tiny fragments of

Its former self.

Then he looks to me

As if to say,

“Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?”

When I Stutter — Make Room For The Stuttering


I recently had the privilege to see the documentary When I Stutter, a film by John Gomez. This is a film about people who stutter and portrays how people who stutter actually feel about stuttering, which is not always talked about. It is an honest examination of the sometimes dark side of stuttering, which often […]

via When I Stutter — Make Room For The Stuttering

Outside Heat

Every living species is invested
In the same effort
To stay cool.
Standing outside in the
Heavy, heated air
It is so quiet.
The loose folds
Of my blouse
Billow in the weakly
cooling breeze.
The rest sticks to the
Surface of my body.
I retreat to the cool
Darkness of my home
And try to regain my
Ability to breathe
Which the oppressiveness
Of the open air has
Stolen from me.

The Basket

My mom loved collecting antiques. Growing up I was surrounded with antiques of all shapes, sizes, and kinds. She always joked that if you had five of anything, it was a collection. When I was a little girl it seemed like every room of our house had an accumulation of some kind or another. Years after the computer age started, my mom “discovered” eBay and it was off to the races for her. She would bid on numerous items at one time and the day started to be dotted with bid times. One night I was downstairs watching television, and my mom was upstairs on her computer waiting to bid on some item and all of a sudden I hear a muffled, “God! Damn! Shit!” I rolled my eyes and realized she had lost the item to someone else. But it didn’t mean she lost every piece. One memory I cherish now is the day I came home from work to find the back porch filled with packages containing antique treasures she had purchased on the website. It took almost an hour to move them out of the way of the door, so I could then get them into the house. I always loved opening them and seeing what she had purchased and wondered if anyone would see what she saw in the items. Usually what she bought sold right away so we were lucky or we would have been living in our car.

The last thing she bought on eBay arrived after she went into the hospital and I’ve been telling myself that I had to wait until she got home to open it with her. Even after she passed away this message still rang in my head every time I looked at it sitting on the dining room chair. Today something inside me decided that I was ready and it was time to open the box. I carried it into the living room and grabbed some scissors to cut the packing tape on it. I sat down beside the box and immediately burst into tears. My fingers ran across the surface as I gasped for breath. After cutting the tape, I pulled the flaps back, and more tears and grief came to the surface. I had to walk away from it for a few minutes just to calm down and gather my wits again. Finally, after being patient with myself and giving myself the time I needed I looked inside and pulled out the basket my mom had ordered. It’s a woven wooden basket that is quite nice looking, but it also holds a great deal of sadness knowing that my mom had always wanted one just like this and I couldn’t help but think that she finally ordered one and she passed away before she could see it. Holding it in my hands, I felt a strange sensation. It felt like I had maybe scratched the surface of acceptance that my mom is really gone and she isn’t coming back. Opening the box hurt like hell but I think it was a healing pain more than anything else.