Sunday, August 26, 2018

Letting Go, "Finding Marnie"

My apologies for not posting in a while. It's been a crazy, crazy time for us, and to be honest, the one med I'm now on for various chronic pain conditions is knocking me for a loop.

I am going to be weaning myself off of that medication over time, with my doctor's supervision. I'd rather get the shocks/zaps from the TN over feeling like a bloody zombie. I'm unable to work due to a constant *brain fog*, and my vision is messed up to the point where I am scared to drive - both symptoms are side effects of this medication. I'm not myself, and I HATE it. I want to be able to think without my brain skipping like a broken record. 

This medication has also made the stress of August worse... It magnified everything for me.

The fridge decided to give up the ghost on July 31st. It didn't owe us anything, it was Nanny's old one, and we inherited after she passed away. It was about 20 years old too, and the brand isn't even made nowadays. So we got a new one, although we had to wait a week for it to be delivered.

It's chrome, and I think it's so PRETTY! It seems larger than the old one but I'm not sure why. Probably because there's a lot more room on the door?

The fridge dying we could handle... The next one was pretty awful, mainly for Hubby.

The engine in our dear sweet big car, the 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood, suffered a fatal blow when its cam shaft started going. It was at our mechanic's place (Tim) at the time, so he was able to look things over.

It's not worth getting another engine for her. We may get two more years out of it, five if we don't drive it too much... Since it's Hubby's main vehicle, we decided it was time to let it go and look for a new vehicle.

So far, no luck. Hubby is now using my main car, my itty bitty Focus, as his main vehicle. Yeah. He's being razzed a bit for not driving that 19 footer. LOL

The third and final one was the toughest for all of us......

Last weekend, we noticed something was off with Amber, our kitty. She wasn't eating much, but drinking a lot, and she was unable to control her bum. She was constantly messing on herself and everywhere else.

She deteriorated so fast... One day she was fine, the next, she wasn't. We did our best to help her, but nothing worked. We decided she needed to go to the vet... And I didn't expect her to come home.

Monday, August 20th, 2018... Amber crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 8:55 a.m. in my husband's arms, and he stayed with her for a while afterwards. Our veterinarian thinks she had either liver failure or kidney failure, or a combination of both. (Both will make a cat go downhill in less than a week) He said we did the right thing, any attempts to help her and prolong her life would have made her miserable, and she would have passed away anyway.

Knowing all of this didn't help me at all. For the last 8 years since we adopted her, the last six since Noelle passed away, Amber has been my constant companion... She was always nearby if I needed her - cuddles, a meow, or just seeing her helped me a lot with the anxiety issues and depression. She was *THE* cat that was here the entire time I was writing, editing, getting rejections, and everything else for Stricken. No other cat was here for it. She was my writing supervisor, my beloved writing buddy too.

I started crying over the weekend, spent my birthday on the 19th in tears, and haven't really stopped bawling at all since we realized we may lose Amber. Knowing she's gone and won't be coming home really, really hit me hard. So hard that I said no more cats for a while. (This is really strange for me, because I have *never* been without a cat my entire life)

My poor mom called to wish me a happy birthday and wound up getting a blubbering mess instead of her oldest daughter. I know I worried her, a lot... Mom knows how strongly I bond with my cats, and she knows how much Amber and I loved each other.

We didn't talk about getting a cat much, other than I said I wanted a rescue kitty from the shelter or a foster home (I am a firm believer in saving a life, or more than one), and I wanted all new stuff for the new cat, *IF* we decided to get another one.

Meanwhile, our son was going on about how much he wanted to see Amber... I don't think he fully got that she was gone for good, not until we had to sit him down and explain it to him in detail. This in turn, upset him, because Amber was his buddy too. He'd play on his Wii upstairs and she'd nap on his bed, or sit on his windowsill and watch the birdies and meow at anyone outside. 

He finally started asking, then *nagging* to get another kitty. He missed having one. So did I, but I wanted time to mourn my sweet Amber properly, and to start moving forward.

Friday night was when I realized what was going on with me regarding the medication I'm on for the trigeminal end of things, and I discussed things with Hubby on Saturday morning. 

He told me that I don't seem like myself because I don't have a feline counterpart. Not exactly his words, but that's what it basically comes down to. I need a cat to love, spoil and talk to, and Amber's passing meant I do not have that. He said that we could visit the shelter when I'm ready, and not beforehand.

It was a tough decision... I kept thinking of Amber, and the more I thought of her, the more I cried. 

At the same time, I knew in my heart that's the place we'd find a kitty for us. I wasn't sure when we'd find them yet... Or if I was ready.

Saturday, August 25, 2018: We arrive at S.H.A.I.D. Tree Animal Shelter to visit their cats, unsure if we're going to adopt one or not. I wanted a cat about six months to two years old... Old enough to be big enough so we wouldn't have to kitten proof the house, but young enough to be silly and playful.

Unfortunately the two I had been looking at on their website had already been adopted to loving homes. All of the other cats were either really small kittens, feral, or at least 8 to 10 years old...

Except for one particular fluffball. She is a four year old black and white cat, with an unusual coat. Plus she started meowing the instant she saw us, rubbing her face along the bars of the cage and demanding attention. I put my hand down to her, and she smooched it. Several times. The lady who was helping us, Vicki, said the kitty was brought in by a loving owner who could no longer keep her due to lifestyle changes, and it was done reluctantly. (I don't know the circumstances, I didn't ask) 

This big ball of fur kept talking to us and demanding attention while we were being greeted by the friendlier kittens. One had the runs, and although she was friendly and loved attention, she wasn't ready to be adopted out yet. She wasn't even six weeks old yet. The shelter doesn't like adopting out babies younger than 8 weeks, unless the person adopting will foster them first, and if they're not well, they stay in the shelter until deemed healthy. 

I went into the other room, and met a few other cats, while this particular black and white fluffball kept talking her head off.

Hubby reached down to her, and she started kissing his fingers, and licking them... Which reminded us of our old sweetheart, Birdie. She was a big licker. LOL

We finally asked if I could hold the talking kitty, whose name turned out to be MARNIE. Vicki placed her in my arms, and Marnie instantly settled down, started purring and snuggled in as if to say "MINE!". 

She also gave my son a lot of kisses. 

That sealed it. Within twenty minutes, I was signing the adoption papers, and Marnie was in the carrier, ready to go to her new home. 

Discovering one of the "Kitty TV Portals".

The instant we let her out of the carrier, she did a little exploring, but went upstairs, into my son's bedroom, and pretty much stayed there the entire afternoon. Wherever he went, Marnie followed. She really, really bonded with him first, although she is loving up to Hubby and myself.  I don't think she's stopped purring since we let her out of the carrier. She's unsure of things, but happy to be out of that cage and with people who are spoiling her to bits.

She knows where her food and water are, and the litter box, but so far has either hung out upstairs with our son, or as you see in the photo, on Amber's old perch in front of the kitchen window, by my office. Each time I look over there, I see a really, REALLY fluffy tail.

It looks odd right now, considering Amber was a short hair, and had a skinny tail. Marnie's is ultra fluffy, and almost looks like a skunk's. One of my old school chums, who is a veterinarian out west, told me he thinks she's either part or full Maine Coon Cat. No problems on my end, I love Maine Coons, although I'd be happy if she was just a regular domestic longhair. Seriously, her tail fur is at least 3 to four inches long, so is the fur on her body... It's really soft and silky too. Noelle had soft fur, but had nothing on Marnie. 

I will always love and miss Amber to bits... It's been eight years since Birdie passed, and I still cry over her... BUT it's time to let go and move on. Amber would understand I cannot live without a kitty to love and spoil, and knows how hard life is on a cat without a home. She was a homeless kitten when Nanny brought her home in 2005... She turned out to be a sweetheart, the most laid back cat I've ever met. She will always be my baby, my writing buddy and monitor kitty, but since she's no longer here, we need someone else to fill in the hole she left behind when she passed away. I am still crying over Amber, and I probably will for a while... Grief has no boundaries and no time limit. 

Marnie seems to know we needed her, like she needed someone to love and spoil her. She is always talking to us, always smooching, and never afraid to ask for some love... Which we are happy to give. I needed a cat to love. She needed a home. 

I'll keep everyone posted on how things are going with Marnie. I'm not expecting her to be a writing supervisor or Monitor Kitty - that was Amber. I am expecting a lot of zaniness, and lots of silly revenge for things like leaving her alone all day, Marnie style. 

Life just got really, really interesting. Let's see where we go this time. 

I leave you with one of my new favorites... Thank you Lorrie for introducing me to GODSMACK.... "Under Your Scars".