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Ramblings by Year

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living with a cat

My entire life has been, “I have dogs, but I love cats, too! I’m just allergic!”

And I meant it. I was certain I was as much as cat person as a dog person. The cats I have known throughout my life have been quiet, purring, calm creatures. I briefly lived with a cat I rescued back in 2000-and..er..something. 2001? 2000? It was when I lived with Kewpie, my first Finnish Lapphund. He was a kitten, and then he wasn’t, and I suddenly could not breathe after I got home from a week away. The friend who was cat-sitting said he wasn’t going to give the cat back because he loved him. Well, that worked out fine, because as much as I didn’t want to say goodbye to Taliesin (now Danny), I legit couldn’t breathe from the cat fur. It was bad. Bad enough that I let him live with my friend. (And he’s still alive today! The cat, I mean. Well, the friend too. They are both alive. So yay all around.)

Enter Abigail.

I have learned a lot in the 6 months she’s lived with us. I have learned that I have trouble handling animals that do not listen and/or obey commands. I have learned that cats can sound an awful lot like whining, crying, small children and that sound brings out a very strong rage within me. It’s a nails-on-chalkboard sort of reaction. I can’t stand it.

I have learned that cats do not listen when you tell them “no”, nor do they care that you don’t want them to do something. And when they are annoyed with you they take it out on things you might have laying around the house – like Yoshi. Or the little urn we have on the piano with Jinx’s ashes in them.

I do not understand cats. I didn’t think they were like dogs at all, but I naively thought they’d be a little more similar. After all, all the other cats I have known sleep most of the day, and like to snuggle and purr at you. Abigail does not do any of these things.

Not that she’s mean. She’s not. She’s quite sweet, but my god is she a bitch.

My neighbours (who have always lived with cats) have said we did not get a Starter Cat. They are right. We were adopted by a poor kitten who was neglected, and abandoned by the humans who “owned” her. She was outside 99% of the time, and for three months, she was alone and abandoned in the shed next door. She was knocked up by a tom cat last summer before she was year old, had kittens, sent outside two days after the kittens were born, and then brought a 5 1/2 week old kitten to my neighbours’ house to be rescued as those humans kicked the KITTEN out, too. That kitten lives with my friend Elissa now and her name is Joy and she is exactly that. Joy. That kitten turns a year old between today and Sunday.

As I write this, Abigail is alone in the back yard, happily laying in the grass. She’s got her harness and leash on. She’s happy out there, but she doesn’t like to be out there ALONE. So she’ll stare in the house until you come outside. Then she lays between your feet.

This is the thing about Abigail. She wants to do what she wants, but she doesn’t want to be alone. Ever. She follows us around the house. She needs to be on the same floor as us at all times. She wants us to pay attention to her, but I have no idea HOW. She doesn’t want to be pet, or played with. She just wants you to… I don’t know. Worship her from afar but in a way that shows you’re paying attention to only her at all times?

I don’t get cats at all.

She wants to be outside, but she’s become quite the scaredy-cat since she’s moved indoors. If she makes a break for it when we open the back door for the dogs, she takes two steps outside and plops down. We aren’t the type of people who like outdoor cats who wander. Abigail is perfectly content in her harness and on leash. She can cover a lot of space in the yard. But she wants us outside with her. And if she’s not outside, she’ll wail at the doors, and windows non-stop.

She’s smart. She can open doors and locks and stuff. Thankfully she can’t reach the doorknob on the front door or we’d be in trouble. She doesn’t care about cat toys, or dog toys. I don’t know how to play with her. Sometimes we’ll just hold her, and bounce her in our arms like we are soothing a baby, and look outside the window. She likes that. She’s weird.

Living with a cat can make me feel incredibly defeated and hopeless at times. It has brought me to tears. Those of you reading this who have had cats or have cats are probably laughing at me and rolling your eyes. She’s so happy to see us, and be around us, but my god, I don’t know how to live with her. Yoshi is terrified of her. Sophie doesn’t give two hoots about her (ha).

But I know she’s probably not quite 2 years old yet, and it’s only been six months that she’s been an indoor(ish) cat. Every month she has slight changes in her personality. She’ll pick a new thing to love and a new thing to hate. She’s also learning. I know eventually she’ll settle into that cat-who-sleeps-all-the-time. But meanwhile, I am frustrated by how hopeless she can make me feel. Dogs listen. They can be trained. They want to please you. Cats want you to please them. I just want her to be quiet and not break things, and stop beating up Yoshi. And maybe… you know, snuggle with me on the couch once in a while.

Cats. Amirite?


PS – Abigail is the only cat neither of us seem to have an allergic reaction to. So that’s nice of her, I think.

it’s not a challenge really, more like a suggestion


So, five years ago (WTF? FIVE?) my wonderful friend Yoj and I did a thing we dubbed Blogust. The idea behind it was to write a blog post every day in August. I didn’t make it through the first two weeks. Heh.

I have been wanting to write more on here for a while. I had lofty ideas at the beginning of the year that I’d at least get 5 or more posts written a month.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Oh, well. So I am reviving Blogust in a new incarnation. I am going to aim for 2-3 posts a week. I’ll be honest with you, if I make it to five posts this month, I’ll consider this a success.

I write a lot more on FB, and I have said this so often…but I hate writing updates on FB. But it makes it SO EASY to just share an Instagram photo, with a caption and post directly to FB than it does to my blog. If I could post directly here from IG, well, I’d be posting on here a lot more often. I don’t feel like uploading photos all the time and rewriting captions. It’s annoying. I’m lazy. When I am home I don’t want to have to THINK when I am online. I play mindless games that entertain me.

I haven’t been writing in my journals much lately either. I need to. I need to get all the words currently tangled inside my head out onto a page in some form or another. If I am going to write on this here blog, I will. I might end up making some of the posts private. It’s not that I don’t want to share with you all, but well, I might not want to share. Sometimes I write, and I keep it all on one place so when I look back, I can see the entire picture that was my past. And sometimes you don’t want a bunch of stuff on the internet for everyone and their kitchen sink to read. Am I right?

This has just reminded me that I need to put the wordpress app back on my phone. That will make posting when I think of something to write easier. Still wish I could like up IG and my blog though.

So welcome to August. Even though I am pretty sure it was mid-June a second ago. We’ve had the crappiest weather this summer. I believe this summer isn’t going to go down as the best in history. Even my garden — sorry, Jinx’s Garden — is suffering from being too soggy. It’s been pretty tragic all around.

But I will write. Or try to write. Because August is my new year’s start. It’s the golden, sunset month. The new school supplies, and last lazy days time of year.

August makes me think a lot. I’m often too inside my own head during this time of year, so maybe putting words out there will help.

At least five posts. I can do this.

Blogust, yo.


I don’t really have a photo to go with this post so here is a photo of Abigail pretending she’s a flower in my garden.

The good news: After four years, I have finally gotten to the point where I am confident I have overcome the trauma I suffered in March 2013. I am no longer broken. I am scarred, but not broken. This means my doctor and I have been slowly decreasing the medication originally prescribed to help glue me together. I am looking forward to being medication-free once more.

The bad news: The first week of a decrease in medication is rough. It varies in difficulty per person, per medication, and even per dosage. And sometimes that roughness sends you into spiral of complete and total hopelessness. There’s no point in anything. There is no hope. No light. No reason.

But it’s not a true hopelessness. It’s false. I call it faux-plessness. Because I know everything isn’t hopeless. I know I am OK. But my brain is currently trying to figure out why it feels weird. My body is looking for extra dosages of whatever it was in those yellow and white pills. I guess it’s looking for the white part, because the pills I’m on now are all yellow.

I feel like total crap this week. From dizzy spells, to nausea, to random bouts of paranoia and anxiety, to a deep, suffocating sadness that convinces me there’s no hope for anything in my life. My head is in a fog. I want to cry one second, rage the next. I feel abandoned by friends that I love, and yet feel a total overwhelming sense of love for my friends that I want to hug them forever.

Up and down. Spinning.

I feel slightly better today than I did on Monday, which was the first day I was on the decreased dosage. Oddly, the decrease before this one (which was 4 months ago) didn’t have the same effect on me. That one mostly effected my sleep. 100mg I sleep like I am drugged, 75mg everything is fine, 50mg WIDE AWAKE HELLO INSOMNIA, 25 mg…. WHY DO I LIFE?! SO ALONE! GLOOOOOOM!!

But by this time next week this will all be gone. I will feel normal again. And as I continue on this dosage until I start to stagger the pills to every second day, then every third day and so on… I look forward to living my life without crippling anxiety and fear in a medication-free zone.

I had worked so hard to take care of myself mentally, after years and years of depression and other mood disorders. I was so proud of who I was and how strong I’d become. And then March 27, 2013 happened and I broke apart. It’s been a long, uphill battle to get myself back into feeling safe and strong again. I have gained the gift of learning more ways to help strengthen myself, and these gifts are what are allowing me to slowly remove the medication from my body.

But right now, the change is frustratingly overwhelming. I know it lasts about 5-10 days for me. It will pass. I know this stabbing hopelessness and sadness in my chest will evaporate soon. Also the dizzy spells. I’d like them to go away, too. Especially with how random they are. I don’t want to work or drive right now because…ugh.

But soon this fauxplessness will vanish and I’ll be right as rain. (Speaking of rain…CAN WE NOT WITH THE RAIN EVERY DAY THIS SUMMER, PLEASE?! Not helping the mental stuff. Also my garden is so soggy the plants are drowning to death. *sniff*)

Existing is exhausting. Good grief.


july 2 2005

I didn’t write about our tenth anniversary, nor did we really celebrate it much because we were still reeling from the loss of Jinx the summer before. It’s a small thing, but since Jinx entered our lives the day before our wedding, this weekend was all about the Jinxaversary more than ours. He should have been 10 when we celebrated 10 years married. We were sad. We were quiet. We grieved together rather than partied it up for our 10 years together. But what makes that weekend special still is how we both felt the exact same way, and spent it together.

I didn’t write about our eleventh anniversary because, well, I’m not sure exactly? I am guessing that I was not in a particularly great headspace based on the ONE blog post I wrote in July last year. And well, it wasn’t long after that that I came to the realization I needed to leave my job and do something else with my life. I can’t even remember what we did for our anniversary last year. Hmm. I know it rained that Canada Day weekend.

This year though. This year is twelve.

And this is us.

We can’t take a serious photo to save our lives. All those couples who have those sweet, smiling, perfect photos of them together, in frames in their homes. Well… we don’t have that. Because this photo right here? From last night? It’s pretty much us in a nutshell. We’re always goofy together. We laugh. We do silly things. And after 12 years of marriage – a marriage that we never thought we’d have because neither one of us wanted to really get married. Like, we hate weddings. A lot. But we did our own version of one and it was fun.

And it was us.

So very us.

Through everything, and I mean everything, we have been through while together, this has been one heck of a ride. We’ve grown stronger together. We’ve become such a strong team together. Even in the darkest of times we have found humour and laughter. We laugh a lot. A lot.

We are silly, and goofy, and snarky, and judgemental (not at each other, but at everyone else. ha!). We went from living with one dog, to worrying about how we’d live with two (Oh, Jinxy.), to realizing we can’t live withOUT two Lappies, to being adopted by a bitchy, yet loveable (at times), cat. Now we are outnumbered by the four-legged floofs in this house and I think we’re full up. No more. We’re done.

But oddly, our little family of five seems just right for us.

Because every year I think about us, and our lives together, and realized that we have always been US together. We don’t do things like others do them. Are brilliantly different than so many others out there. We have our marriage, and our lives together in our own way. And we are so similar to each other that it works. It works perfectly.


We work perfectly.

We fit.

We are so very us.

Happy anniversary to the man who keeps me grounded, safe, strong, laughing, and in love.