Thursday, May 14, 2015

Of Reynaldo and Rosemary

I'm riding the rails as I update this, on my way downstate to meet with my client in their offices. I'm happy for the private time to finally post something.

I've got two loved ones on my mind. One has fur. The other doesn't.

Reynaldo is my skinny beige demon. Ever since last month's trip to California, I've been working very long hours and this has triggered his old separation anxiety. When I am home, he seems to feel we must be interacting. And so he yowls and rakes my hair with his claws and knocks things over and is generally an unrepentant pain in the ass. It got so bad Sunday afternoon that I actually went out, just to get away from him.

He's no longer a kitten. Rey is now 11 years old, so this is not something he's going to outgrow. I've discussed this at length with the vet and we have ruled out any physical cause for this exasperating behavior. He's just Rey. I could try having him shot up with hormones again -- that worked with great success in Summer 2013, when he was extraordinarily destructive -- but I don't want to do that until/unless I absolutely have to. The shots are expensive and who knows what the long term ramifications of hormone injections could be?

The vet says Rey is "aggressively possessive" of me, that we are "unnaturally bonded." And he's also very, very routine oriented. So when his dinner dish isn't on the kitchen floor by 7:00 PM, he freaks out. So I know that in his own little plum pit shaped mind, Reynaldo isn't being bad. He's compelled to act out because he's worried about me and frightened by his disrupted world order. I must be more patient.

Rosemary. My cousin is now retired and wants to come up and spend time with me. I should be happy about this, since Rose has loved me forever and when I was a teenager she was not only a wonderful role model, she was my #1 advocate within the family.

But here's the thing: Rose is a devout Catholic and her divorce of about 12 years ago devastated her. She truly never, ever thought this could possible happen to her. It rocked her world enormously and left her harsh, impatient and intolerant. I truly cannot be around her for more than 4 hours or so at a crack. Her constant carping over everything (Why do I carry such a big purse? Why do I have a shower radio; it's stupid to spend that time in the shower. How can I NOT shop at Costco? How can I waste my time with the news when it's all so sensational?) leaves me depressed, on edge and sad.

So, when she said she wanted to stay with me over Memorial Day, I concocted an elaborate lie. My friend from California is coming in (she's not) and my friend from the Keys is meeting his friend here in Chicagoland and wants to have a reunion (also not true). I explained to Rose that I didn't know what I would be doing when that weekend, so it was difficult to make plans. She was very understanding. I thought I was off the hook.

What I forgot is that she's retired. She doesn't have to be in the office on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. So she wanted to know if she couldn't stay with me the following weekend.


So I lied again. I told her I'd probably have to work that weekend and that California and Key West still hadn't committed to dates/times for their visits. She was so nice, so understanding. She said she completely understood and that, maybe, when this crunch time at work is over, we can meet somewhere for a "girls' getaway."

Her kindness made me feel even more guilty. I hate lying to someone who loves me.

I think I'm on the verge of a universal truth here. When someone loves us, they have a hold on us and we have a responsibility to them -- whether they have fur or not.