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Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 has Arrived

A new year, and exciting beginning what to do with it, what to write about it even though it has just begun, time still passes and life is constantly lived, day by day. I could look at it as part of looking back. This same time in this last year, Panda a kind tuxedo cat passed a bit earlier then it was expected, aspirin and animals do not work together to well. The consequence of giving a cat aspirin only one time was apparent once the cat died. The aspirin does not move through the system quickly enough for an animal to handle it so in the simplest terms she was poisoned but not intentionally. It is a sad story but still the ashes remain from this loving cat near my mothers bed in her room, still today.

That was January it came and it ended, on a sad note, though it was also a time for celebration as my sister had been married, eight years on the 16th of this month. one of the more high notes of this new year of 2008. In the end we survived January and through February, with not to many incidents. March went off without a hitch or at least that is the story to tell.

Interesting to note, that February through March I was in Cincinnati, Ohio staying with a friend. So when Panda passed I only heard about it did not see it occur. Though I was glad it did not get any more insane in that month.

Survival of the fittest it has been said, and the first quarter of the year has come and gone the pets we have today still survive, with a few additions besides. When Fluffy passed, early on this year it was thought there would not be another like him and still there is not as the story goes, he was an amazing animal, it is to bad he had to die so early on in his existence. Once he had passed and the initial pain dissipated, fortunately Mona was found and brought into the home. To help my mother cope with the pain of loss of something that is so dear as Fluffy was to her.

And as the year progressed, April to June, July to August and September through October all was well, once November came around things changed once more. Not for the better I am sorry to say, The beginning of the month all is fine, seems like it will be a great holiday, fluffy will have his first holiday experience, we will all come together once more as a family, or at least that was the initial plan. As tends to occur, things change, and some for the better while others for the worst.

The days moved on coming closer and closer to Thanksgiving, the holiday expected to be a celebration of plenty, the history goes, as a event of remembrance of the pilgrims and the indians coming together for a feast. In thankfulness it exists, and the expectation is usually the same, dinner with family, spending time with in laws and all the fun thus associated. A gluttonous feast on a bird and its stuffing, food aplenty, stomachs not up to the task.

We sit, eat, talk and eat some more, all seems to be going as expected, until my cell phone rings just as I was finishing my third plate. Its my sister, she had called, knowing that she should call in only an emergency whether person or pet. I answered as you would expect, I needed a break from the food anyway. We started talking, and she says, "it is an emergency Fluffy is dead, he got stuck in the gate and I tried to help him out! He finally came out but he was bleeding out his nose and ears. I did not know what to do." as was my duty I had to share the information with my mother, the fact that the kitty, who for the first time this year, nearing the holiday season had died unexpectedly. On the day of supposed thankfulness, instead it was a day that will live on in infamy. Such a small kitten to die so suddenly, so sad and heartbreaking, he was once a near farrow kitty, born to a stray living with my stepfathers mother along with six or seven other cats mostly farrow. One of which was sick by the name of Kitty Kat, feline aids an elder male cat, along with Daisy an Older Cat, lived most of her life outdoors but succumbed to domestication certainly by choice. Besides daisy there was about five other felines on that property and now there is none.

Immediately after becoming aware of the news we departed far earlier then we usually would, there was crying and much sadness about the vehicle as we traveled the two hours back home. When we had covered at least thirty minutes of the ride back we stopped and it was requested that I call the house and see if there was any way we could get the kitty to the hospital. Thanksgiving, of course no one is open but an emergency clinic a full thirty minutes from the house and without a car that becomes a lot more. I had done some searching on my cell phone for emergency animal services and had received some information from the local police department. The problem was the fact that my sister did not have a car at home so unless I could find someone to give her a ride there was no way she could get the kitty to where he needed to be. It donned on me, a neighbor of ours a few houses down, has seven kitty's in her home, and I had a cell phone number for one of the sisters in the house, the possibility came to mind that maybe, one way or another she could help the situation if even just a little bit. Rapidly I put my plan into action, dialed the number and was fortunate that at least one of the sisters answered. I explained the situation best I could to her, and asked if she could at least check on the kitten. There was no car available sorry to say but there was that one thing I could do is at least have her check on my sister as I am sure even beyond the passengers in the car, she was in disarray, confused, sad, hurt, unsure. Many things traveling through her mind at the same time at a very high pace. Panic, confusion, hard to say what she was feeling at the moment, perhaps just shock, as such things tend to occur in your own mind in light of such emotional situations. Eventually after I was put on hold as she walked over to my sister and the house, she confirmed the suspicion, that surely there was no way to save the kitten now, Fluffy's' life had ended. I did all I could but was not able to save the kitten, perhaps only help my sisters sanity by having someone there to comfort her after all was said and done.

There passed November, a loss over a holiday, and the coming home to a lifeless corpse of a once active kitten, we buried him eventually a few days later in the same house that he had been born, a hole deep in the backyard besides an aging garage and overhanging willow, in a box in the ground resting soundly forever. To be only remembered in memory and in pictures may he rest in peace. Perhaps in rebirth, he will be in a home, to experience the holidays, not as fluffy perhaps but as the once farrow cat that found a home even if for a very short span of time. His spirit lives on in my heart as well as the hearts of my family. Regardless the pain of loss, it seems it is better he ventured onto the spirit realm. So that chapter in this year comes to an end or does it? November had passed, Christmas was coming and a the New Year 2008 was right around the corner.

Once we had overcome the loss, and had buried that sweet kitten, it seems almost immediately, we acquired another kitten, this time from the SPCA in Monterey County, her name Mona a sweet tortoise shell kitty. Recently she just enjoyed her first holiday season in our home. Though fluffy will never be forgotten Mona is surely a blessing. She has helped my mother overcome some challenging times, and she has come out better for it.

So November passes with a loss, December comes around and all seems well, until a letter is received, addressed to my sister, informing her that our Grandfather Bill, has passed the 12th of December, he had been a part of the family for so long recently I had gone and visited him along with my Aunt Sharon in Oregon, at the time he seemed well, I will admit though, I should of seen him recently. When I look back I wish I could of been there for him in his last days, but as it goes things don't always go how you want them too. Learning through letter as my divorced father felt it necessary, it was just another hit on an already difficult season. I think about it, and perhaps his liver finally gave out. For so many years of drinking are not without there consequences. He had been clean for quite some time, my guess is, that even though he had stopped drinking the damage had already been done it just caught up with him. So December twelve days before Christmas my Grandfather passes. Sadness, hurt, becoming far to common in this year 2007, which is why I can only hope that 2008 turns out for the better.

With his loss, though sad, Christmas was just about here, things almost started looking up until, my stepfathers mother, Alice passes in her sleep. I cannot say I knew her well but I knew her nonetheless, I had helped in fixing the kitchen floor in her home while she was in the hospital recovering, advanced diabetes was the culprit here. At the very least she died in her sleep, no pain just an endless nap. She lived a full life nearing 90 years, it is to bad it had to end before she reached 100. I must admit, besides fluffy, that was the only funeral I attended. What a funeral it was, a storm in Salinas, the worst in so many years, pouring rain and blowing wind upwards of 40-50 mph. Her place of rest a graveyard on the top of a hill only a few miles from this home. I attended yes, but it seemed so appropriate that at the hour of the final burial the storm seemed to be at its worst, making it nearly impossible to stand as the wind blew furiously and the rain not falling down but sideways, and later what felt like hail. All of this as Alice was laid to rest the final time in a grave upon a hill. The family I knew little of, understood less of, I joined for a feast at a local restaurant. A restaurant where a previous co worker of mine now called her career. I met the family from all walks of life and throughout the west coast of the United States, it was odd, seeing as the first time I met them was at a moment of such sadness. What brought them together, was the death of someone they loved dearly.

Once all was said and done and Christmas finally arrived, so much had happened so close to the end of the year, you could say it truly was a year that will live on in infamy, a time of loss.

We come to the New Year, 2008, looking back realizing, that even with the loss there was still much to be thankful for. Difficult to see the light at the end of such a dark tunnel. The choice must be made to see what is good, remember what is sad, to focus forward is certainly a choice. Even with loss one cannot live in the past, and so I made that choice, I chose to put my focus forward and to make 2008 the best year ever.

Thanks for Reading, And I wish you the best in this new year.

Ray

1 comment:

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