Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My poor Joe

Some time between 11:00 PM Sunday night and 7:00 AM Monday morning, my old tomcat Joey had a sudden attack of diarrhea on my futon.

He's a good boy. He would never miss the box intentionally. It must have hit him very suddenly.

Yes, it was a drag to have to haul my futon cover down to the laundry room first thing Monday morning. No, I don't have the stink completely out and yes, it's creeping me out. (Note to self: Let's see if those Febreeze commercials are telling the truth about pet odors.)

But most of all I'm worried about him. He's very old. He's still social and affectionate, and as recently as Sunday I saw him playing with Reynaldo (albeit only for a few minutes), so I don't think he's in any pain.

But he's dying. Fading away. I know it. I see it. If he has diarrhea again, or exhibits any signs of discomfort, I'll bundle him and haul him to the vet.

But we're back to this again: Am I doing it for myself or am I doing it for Joey? He's approximately 18 years old. That would be 87 in human years. He hates going outside -- the street sounds and smells terrify him.

But I love him. I love reaching out and touching him, feeling his purr and curly paws against me. I love his gentle soul. I don't want to lose him.

But I don't want him to hurt. Ever. I see that as my job, to keep his life as safe and comfortable as possible.

I hate this.

We still give a damn

Sunday my friend John and I went to see Gone with the Wind, enhanced and on the big screen again
to celebrate its 75th anniversary. We had a great time.

I saw this movie for the first time when I was still in high school, released in theaters for the 35th anniversary. It was the 70s. The audience back then thought Scarlett O'Hara rocked. She was a feminist's feminist.

Then in 1989, for the 50th anniversary, I saw it in the theater again. By then the word "bitch" was being bandied about to describe Katie Scarlett.

In 2014, the prevailing audience sentiment seemed to be that Scarlett was selfish and silly.

I find this fascinating, since the movie doesn't change, but this country -- and our perception of women's roles -- continues to.

I'm still the 70s gal. I still think Scarlett is a tough, brilliant but blind heroine who somehow keeps her family safe and fed in the worst times despite facing unimaginable hardships. I love Miss Melly, too. She's the woman I wish I was. Just as tough as Scarlett, but always in touch with her better self.

And then there's the racial aspect. GWTW is filled with happy darkies serving benign slave owners. The Ku Klux Klan is referred to as a "political party." It's pretty odios. My friend John is black. He was one of 4 people of color in the theater Sunday.

When I saw the movie in the 1970s, there were no African Americans in the theater. But that didn't surprise me because the neighborhood my family lived in was lily white. Every movie I saw, I saw with an all-white audience. In 1989, the theater was all-white, too, and I was aware of it because the neighborhood where I chose to live when I left home is racially diverse.

John said he wanted to see it Sunday because 1) it was an event, 2) because the Civil War happened, 3) the attitudes of the country in the 1930s when the film was made happened, too and 4) it's always good to spend a Sunday afternoon with me.