Monday, not feeling very well.

Whoops. So the big walk yesterday? The lovely one in the park with the dog? Just one problem. THE FIBRO STEAMROLLER. Yep, today I am paying for my excess, with every muscle aching as though I have the flu.  It doesn’t make sense (so much about fibro doesn’t) but it apparently has something to do with the way that people with fibro don’t get rid of lactic acid in their muscles properly. Or something. That’s what the latest research says, anyway. All I know is everything hurts. Even my hair hurts. My eyelashes hurt, dammit.

Today the weather has turned and is threatening a storm later this arvo, and that doesn’t help either – barometric pressure and joint pain being connected as I have mentioned before.  Boring boring boring. I really need to find something else to write about but at the moment my life is about the little bit of university I do and the rest feels like just a whine about pain, with the occasional bit about the neighbours. That’s really all I do, that and go to the doctors.  Apart from that I’m exhausted.  This is my life right now.  Vertical and ventilated, remember, just need to accept that vertical and ventilated is a good day.

Mr B has been busy today: because it looks like we might get some rain, and because the right amount of time has passed, today was the day to scatter the seeds over Miss Kit Tern’s grave.  There will be a mix of blue flowers including swan river daisies, cornflowers, delphiniums and our old favourite, nigella damascena – love-in-the-mist.  That’s been my favourite flower ever since I asked my Nana what they were called. She had the blue variety planted on both sides of the path from the shed to the back door at the house in Leeton, under the mulberry tree and grape vines, and every year they would self-seed and come up again.

I only learned about the other possible colours – pink, white, lavender –  when I saw them on a seed packet a few years ago, and I don’t care for them very much. The blue of love-in-the-mist is part of the attraction.  That, and their hardiness: once they’re established they seem to manage pretty well on their own. We have some growing near the back patio that get the occasional splash when Mr B waters the carnivorous plants, but otherwise are coping in a dry season so far.

(If I was downstairs I’d dredge up some photos of artwork I did when I was at TAFE of some embroidery I did based on love-in-the-mist; but I’m not attached to that hard drive at the moment.  AAAAAND that reminds me that I really ought to be tackling the ^@%!*^&%@^%# sewing room anyway… )

Miss KitTern’s Last Day – from Mr Beloved, and from me

Friday was difficult.  We knew it wouldn’t be easy – here’s how it went from Mr B’s point of view:

0102 today
We cut it a bit fine, and almost hung on too long. The kidney problem is becoming more pronounced day by day.

The vet comes to us tomorrow [later today] at 2PM.

Currently, the cat is outside, being a bit too absent-minded to come in and sleep with us.

I’ll get up later and see if she wants to come in. Time to get used to a cat-free bed now.

0829 today
We just shared breakfast for the last time. Miss Kitty Wannabit (for such is her name when food is to be had) enjoyed some choice bits, given by hand, as is the custom.

She’s now washing her paws, prior to lying down next to me for a snooze.

You’ll be the last cat we have, Tiddy. I couldn’t get lucky enough to find another cat who didn’t hunt wildlife, and who was so appreciative of tummy-tickles.

The dog will spend time over the next few weeks looking for you, just like she missed the puppies from next door. Dammit, I will still wake in the night to hear if you want letting in or out, and I’ll wonder why the familiar lump isn’t lodged between my feet.

Your hairs will show up amongst anything textile for ages to come: light hairs for the dark fabrics, and darker ones for whites and pastels.

I’ll sigh as I set down another serving of your leftover biscuits for the bandicoot. Bandies live a bit over three years, Tiddy. This one could very well be the sixth, seventh or further generation descendant of that one I saw you playing tag with, on the back lawn, on a summer evening fourteen years back. You’ve always been popular with the bandicoots, for your nature as well as the biscuits you let them borrow.

And tomorrow, we’re looking for a grevillea for that sunny spot by the west wall of the studio, to show where you’ll be from now on, poor old worn-out darling. There won’t be any more trouble with the stairs, or painful embarrassment for both of us as you slip away mentally for a while and forget how to get out of the house for a piddle.

The little blue wrens which flitted, nervous but unthreatened, past your unconcerned gaze, will visit once again, but you won’t be there.

We’ll have photos. We’ll have memories. Perhaps it’s kinder that way. The old, limping cat with the wandering mind will be remembered as the little scrap of fluff who, on her first night, insisted on showing me that A Kitten Sleeps In The Bed, Not A Basket; or that athletic young cat who leapt at a butterfly, missed with her forepaws, and followed through by twisting her back and clapping her hind-paws together in a last-ditch attempt to catch the Fluttery Thing.

The line “Let us go then, you and I” will just be a bit of T.S Eliot. I loved how you’d get up and walk down to the studio with me when I quoted the line, even though it was probably body-language and intonation that got you going.

I might say the line, just once more, as we head for the sunny spot…

1500 today
The Fee-Arse Dog even kissed her cat goodbye, between the sedative and the syringe of green stuff that brings down the curtain.

It was quite peaceful, and the old darling slipped away without fear.

She’s wrapped in one of my t-shirts now, beneath that spot where she loved to bask in the sun.

We’ll toast her memory tonight.


From my point of view:

Even from the very first day little Connie appeared in your life, Miss Kit Tern, you were such a tolerant and forgiving cat.

You teamed up to look after me and Mr Beloved – no one ever had to sleep alone.

And when the time came on Friday, you were such a good girl – you didn’t want to go, but you were still a good girl.  But I know keeping you around any longer would have been for our benefit, not yours. If someone could have offered me a magic pill to make you well again and give you a few more pain free, clear minded years with us, I would have jumped at the chance.   But we couldn’t let you suffer – I saw that so clearly when the pain left your face and you stopped hurting when the vet gave you the sedative – I knew then that we had to go ahead and let you go.

I’m so very very glad that Connie was there – we were worried that yes, Connie would keep looking for you; but because she saw you slip away, she was with us when she saw the pain go out of your eyes when the sedative kicked in, she kissed you goodbye, and then after the green needle she knew that you weren’t in there any more, that there was just a kitty shell left on the couch, that cat-cat had gone away now.  She knew.

So apart from a brief trembling fit on Friday night, when I think Connie was scared that she was going to be sent away too, so far so good.  It’s the humans that are having trouble coping.   I washed up your milk bowl for the last time and didn’t know where to put it and burst into tears.  I’ll take your last packets of food up to the RSPCA later, because at the moment opening the cupboard and seeing them makes me cry.

And now – back to other things that I have to get through – the essay for uni, the groceries… but all without your little cat feet and enquiring “prrrrow? .

I miss you, Miss Kit Tern.



(PS:  Toowoomba people – if you need a vet I cannot recommend Creature Comforts Mobile Vet highly enough – Jules was so kind and compassionate, and took her time with our poor old cat and with us – she saved us so much stress by coming to our home for Miss KitTern’s demise. Jules Harboe, 0437 VET VAN.)

It’s been… a week. And Constance is Seven!

Hmmm.  I am somewhat dizzy and snuffly with a cold that I think I picked up whilst out among the Hu-Mans this week.  (Yep, I was using a Star Trek: The Next Generation character reference there, for those who spotted it!)

Haven’t got much done this week.  The highlight was Mr Beloved’s long anticipated trip to the radiologists for a sub-acromial injection – that is, an ultrasound guided injection of local anaesthetic + cortisone to alleviate the bursitis in his shoulder (caused by falling UP the stairs and inadvertently shoulder-charging the house, some time back in January.)  I dragged myself out of bed expecting that I would need to drive him home from the appointment  – only to find that he was nearly BOUNCING with joy as he left the building!

The initial relief was mostly from the local; we’re hoping that it will continue to improve as the steroid does its work.  We’re both astonished at how effective the shot has been –  he’s had restricted movement in that shoulder and arm and lots of pain for MONTHS.  And now he can move his shoulder again and lift his arm to get into jackets and so on – amazing!

So he’s been working on the studio: (Clicky for biggy)

Caity's desk
Mr Beloved's desk

And – we almost missed it – our baby girl turned SEVEN this week!

Connie on her first day with us

Wasn’t she the cutest little teddy bear of a pup?!

She FLIES! With her favourite new ball

She does more for the household’s happiness and well-being than just about anything else.  I often joke to my psychiatrist and psychologist that poodles should be supplied on medicare!   She went to the groomer this week so is looking particularly fluffy and her teeny little toes are shaved.  We still have fights about her being brushed but she prefers her own coat to anything else, so we have to leave her fur long in this cold weather.

It's almost impossible to get them both looking at the camera...

Miss Kit Tern has been very tolerant of this rumbustious addition to the household.  Neither of them are good at posing for the camera, though.

On the agenda for this week: more book sorting (will it never end?!) and a trip to The Department That Controls Our Lives with bank statements to prove that we have spent ALL THE MONEY on getting the house fixed, so please don’t think that we are earning vast amounts of interest on our savings and reduce our pensions.  Sheesh.