A eulogy.

You don’t understand. PJ was a Titan. PJ stared down the barrel of a gun and never flinched. He rescued children from burning vehicles and led entire caravans of refugees to safety. PJ questioned authority and incited revolutions. PJ swallowed violence and poverty and coughed up sparklers and ragtime music. PJ knew tricks, and performed them when he felt like it. He was devilishly handsome. He played the piano. PJ would purr moments before you would even touch him, he loved you that much. He loved me. He was a Yankee cat, betrayed by Southern hospitality. He would greet you every single time you stepped through the front-door, it was the one sure thing.

So today was the first day in 18 years that PJ didn’t greet me when I came home. It’s strange. It’s different, mourning a pet that you grew up with when you no longer lived with them full-time. You’ve already grown accustomed to long chunks of time without them, and then one day those long chunks of time become forever. (Will he visit me in my dreams the way his mother does?) PJ, you were a better cat than I am a human, and that’s not really too surprising, because you were a very, very good cat. I will miss you.dscn3746

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We move like cagey tigers.

Last night we came as close as we’ve ever come to cuddling.  I slept on my stomach, and he slept curled up in a ball on the backs of my knees.

Yes, it’s blog-worthy.

An animal story.

Today the weather was gorgeous; when I got home I laid out on our deck and started to read a book but quickly dozed off with my left ring finger positioned in such a way that it hurt like the Charles Dickens when I woke up an hour later. Is that a run-on sentence? I watched a squirrel scitter across the fence which circles our back yard. When I was in middle school we had a pet squirrel. His name was Buster. One spring morning my dad was working in the back yard and these two baby squirrels ran up to his leg and wanted to play. He put them back in the woods and returned to work, but minutes later they were back. Their mother had been killed by a car (we think) and they were orphans, happy, scampery orphans without any fear of man. All of this happened while I was away at softball practice (or some similar middle school happening) and when my dad picked me up he had an ice cream pail with these two baby squirrels in it. We named them Chip and Dale, but eventually one of them died so we had to rename the surviving squirrel Buster. He became our pet. And when I say pet, I mean it. He loved us and we loved him, and we cuddled him and played with him and taught him little squirrel tricks. He was not dirty, he was not vicious, he was a friend. One day we had to let him go back into the wild. It was sad, but the right thing to do. The first night after we let him go he stayed right there in his squirrel bed. Maybe the second night too. But eventually he remembered that he was a wild creature, and he climbed up into a tree, and then he was gone. We would see him from time to time, but he wasn’t a pet anymore, and we weren’t friends of his. It was man and nature, back in the original order of things. But we would always remember him and years later some of us would write about him in our blogs.

So there, even though I am tired and would rather take a very early bed time, I went ahead and told you a cozy little story about friendly forest animals. Now off to bed, all of you.

NoNoWriMo – Day thirteen.

I’m losing ground. This past weekend killed my word count. As of yesterday I should be, if properly pacing myself, at 20,000 words. I am at 15,000. Thursday marks the half-way point, which would mean 25,000 words. I might have to go into recluse mode soon, if I’m to catch up.

Also of note, tomorrow is a bittersweet day. If we’re thinking of what might have been, tomorrow (November 14th) would have been Pepper’s 17th birthday. I miss her. :'(

My seldom is like no one else’s seldom.

I think I’d like to go back and visit my 14-year-old self and pat her on the shoulder and say, “Girl, everything will turn out fine.” 

Sometimes I wish my 34-year-old self would go back and tell present-day me the same thing.

 

**

These days I have really been missing Pepper, our cat who passed away this past March. We have some pictures of her posted on the refrigerator, and every time I see them I kind of crumple up inside, remembering how precious she was. She doesn’t exist anymore, and that is something that I haven’t quite accepted yet. I really loved her. Grief is a slow walk.

 

**
I’ve started listening to more public radio and less music. I think I might give up painting and focus on writing. It’s not as if I’ve painted in the past five months anyway, and even then I was never terribly good. I would like to finish reading more books, and improve my vocabulary, or more importantly, my ability to access that vocabulary while speaking. I would like to learn something again. 

The purpose of any of these changes is not to pose as an intellectual–that’s what my glasses are for–but to return to that neglected side of my brain which requires THOUGHT and not INSTINCT. I almost always favor instinct, and perhaps it is time for a change.

Sometimes I don’t remember what a brain is, anyway.

Today at lunch I had a hamburger and read two chapters from Ramona and her Mother. When I draw I will use my left hand.

 

** 

 

In case anyone was missing the ’90s, I’m pleased to announce that pop-up ads have returned in full force.

Fondly.

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    Breena Wiederhoeft
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