Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heads & Tails #5

Today's theme is PETS

I have been blessed by the company of some really phenomenal, loving cats. A turtle named Bobby Jo, too, but the cats have really been the stars. Rather than just toss a spotlight on one, I'm going to walk down memory lane and list them all. Except for the last three, they are all waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, and I look forward to seeing them happy, healthy and whole again.

BIG TOM -- a pure white tomcat who, after his untimely death at age 4, became known as "Big Tom" because of the arrival of …

TOMMY -- a smaller white tomcat with a black ear and black tail and my best friend when I lived at home

SNOOZER -- a calico who was one of the most curious, chattiest cats ever

TROUBLE -- an all-black cat, kinda dumb, but very even tempered

ANNIE -- an enormous gray and white long-hair who held everyone but me in disdain

WILMA -- a skinny calico, completely crazy, completely friendly and terrifically patient with me as I gave her a thyroid pill each morning

ALLISON -- The most affectionate cat I've ever had. You could wake Allie out of a sound sleep by scooping her into your arms and she'd still purr, even as she checked who was holding her through half-closed eyes

TARA -- a valiant soul. Tara bore the scars, both physical and emotional, of abuse when I got her. Considering how she'd been treated, the dignity with which she carried herself was enormously touching. Helping her learn to trust humans again, and giving her a peaceful life through the end of her days, is one of my proudest achievements.

BILLY -- Big, big hearted, melancholy and quite beautiful. Along with Tommy and Wilma, he was an all-time favorite and still a little hard to talk about.

JOEY -- As gentle as he is enormous

CHARLOTTE -- My girly-girl, she not only is always grooming, she loves to sit on the toilet seat and chat while I'm putting on my make up each morning

REYNALDO -- A whirling dervish with a huge appetite for life

For more information, or to play Heads and Tails yourself, go to Skittles Place.

One of those little things that mean a lot

I've been trying to remain cheerful. I have much to be thankful for: THE CUBS (!), my niece and nephew, my job, my friends … However I am confronted by a health problem and it's true -- that does cast a shadow over everything else.

I am fat. I am getting fatter by the minute. I may be fatter now than I was when I began this post. And it's not fair. While I've been eating better and working out more vigorously, I'm also taking an anti-depressant. Until my results of my bloodwork come back we can't be sure, but my doctor is reasonably sure that's what's causing the problem.

So at first glance, I have my choice of being miserable or being as a big as a house. I know it's really more complicated than that, but until we get the bloodwork back, that's the information I have.

Yesterday I took a vacation day and I kind of unraveled. No Cubs baseball to bolster my spirits, I went in search of new bath towels. It was really hot yesterday and I hate hot weather. It's SEPTEMBER, for pity's sake! Why is it still so hot? I went to two stores and could not find what I wanted (pink towels with a darker accent color). I'm fat. I have a mosquito bite that is driving me crazy. My body hates me. The Brewers won. And I can't even find towels. All the stores had were solids. Pale pink. Deep pink. Bright pink. But all solids!

My best friend made the mistake of asking, "how are you?" I told him.

He started to piss me off with achingly reasonable talk of other medications and other options. BFD. The bloodwork won't be back for a week, and in the meantime there's still no baseball, it's still too hot, my arm still itches so bad I want to chew it off, I'm still fat, and I STILL CAN'T FIND NEW BATH TOWELS. (I admit this willful, encompassing anger over things I can't change just may be one of the less attractive aspects of my personality.) He wisely abandoned this topic.

Within the half hour I got an email with 11 attachments. He sent me photos from Dillard's, Pottery Barn and Bed Bath & Beyond's websites, pictures of towels that fit my description. The Dillard's towels by Tommy Hilfiger were even on sale!

Then I was happy. He knew that at that moment all I needed was to be left alone to recharge and to do something nice for myself. I may still have been fat and itchy and hot, but I was also understood. There's tremendous comfort in that.