A Not-So-Story A Day May #19

*Depressing Post Alert*

For any of you who have followed this blog for a long time, you’ll know about our previous cats. All new followers probably don’t, unless you actually like reading through 2-3 years worth of blog posts. 🙂 So for a short version for everyone new to the blog, my husband and I had three cats. For 12 years. Lexus, the mama cat, and Jupiter and Isis, her two daughters. Lexus developed mammary cancer, which eventually spread to her lymph nodes and then pretty much everywhere else in her body. Jupiter, who had a heart problem that we managed well for five-six years, also developed a tumor in one of her mammary glands, and after that was removed, she developed two tumors in her lungs. Now, both of those cats passed in 2012, two months apart.

Fast-forward to 2015, and by now we’d figured that we really dogged a bullet with the bad genetic lottery concerning this family of cats. Alas, that seems not longer the case. Two weeks ago I felt a lump on Isis, on her lower belly. It was small, and while we try to consistently feel her belly for any lumps (for the past three years) she’s not a lap cat. But, she never has been, unless she’s feeling like it and even then rubbing her belly was not high on her list. Isis does like to curl up with Tim between his knees at bedtime, or she sleeps on my pillow, above my head, so she can be a snuggler, plus being 15 has mellowed her out a little. Anyway, the lump. We made a trip to our wonderful vet, who recommended surgery, which I expected. Isis got an EKG last week because she does have an age-related heart murmur, but my vet wanted to recheck her heart so there would be no issues with anesthesia. Today, she had her surgery.

We’ve been staying positive about the whole thing, and I’ve been doing well … until last night. With Lexus, her surgery gave us another 7 months with her, and she had five tumors and one entire side of mammary glands removed. (A ten inch incision is pretty much the entire cat, btw) Now all I could think about last night was how her sister, Jupiter, had one small tumor removed, and died three months later.  I keep thinking about how she’s the last of the original three, and we’ve had her since she was in her mother’s belly. I held this cat when she was one week old, and she’s been my cat ever since. I don’t know what I would possibly do without my vocal, grumpy, sweet girl, who, like her mother and sister, purrs loudly and uses her vocal chords often. Our current two kitties purr, but it’s a quiet purr, and they aren’t very vocal cats. I’m not sure how I would even adjust to that kind of quiet.

Now, you might be thinking, well, Isis just had surgery, like 12 hours ago, and a sample of the growth was sent off, and the biopsy results will be back in a few days. You might think, why even worry about it being cancerous when you don’t have 100% proof that it is. The problem lies with felines. You see, for all you dog people out there, canines get growths sometimes. They develop warts and cysts, and benign tumors. With cats, the malignancy rate is about 90%. Couple that awful fact with an established family history of heart disease and cancer, and the odds are not in her favor. Sure, my vet cut out the growth and the four tiny nodules that were developing, and got the tissue ahead of it to cut off the chain, but that does not reassure me. I did chuckle when my vet called me after the surgery and said Isis ended up with a four inch incision. Caring for Lexus after her surgery three years ago will never have me worried about incisions again. (Seriously, ten inches. On a cat!)

I haven’t cried in a few hours, so I figure that’s got to be something. Of course, I had a pretty sleepless night, since Isis gets Hangry, and she couldn’t have food or water after 10pm. She fussed at bedtime, after bedtime, and started walking around, yelling at me and one of the other cats about 4am this morning.

Right now, she’s lying on her favorite blanket in our bedroom, pain pill in her system so hopefully she’ll get some rest tonight. I did manage to get this awesome shot of her this morning. She’s not and has never been a fan of getting in the cat carrier, and while it’s easier these days than it used to be, she found a bit of the old flare of defiance and got behind the headboard. Then, one of my facebook friends made the greatest comment about the picture, saying it looked like Gandalf’s “Fly, you fools.” face. I think I’m going to need someone to photo shop a wizard hat on her.

I'm not getting in that carrier.


Story A Day May #18

Confession, I really felt like doing anything else than writing, at all points of this day. However, in the spirit of the challenge, and challenging myself, I knew I’d feel worse for not posting a tale, and like I’d let everyone who has been kindly stopping by down. I apparently also needed some extra sleep, since I did not get out of bed until noon, on my first day of having two off days in a row from my job. I also didn’t leave work until 12:20am and got to bed at 2am, with a house full of animals morning feeding in between sleeping for eight hours, so that might have had a little effect on sleeping late. So without further procrastination, enjoy today’s entry!

May 18, 2015

The sound beyond the silence, she was once told in her lessons. If you wait long enough, concentrate long enough, push past the barrier, then you will hear. It won’t be quiet anymore.

Too many times she had come to the circle of trees. So many that she’d lost count. The first time she failed to hear the spirits, she felt the hopefulness of the recently initiated. After a dozen times, she began to feel dismayed yet kept coming. There were times she cried. Times she raged. How could she be worthy of such a gift? The ancient spirits were cruel, or laughing. Both.

She’d never be good enough. Never be blessed enough. But still she came. Each day, an hour before sunrise. When the world was painted in that strange bluish tone, and the nocturnal creatures were preparing for sleep, and the diurnal ones were preparing for the day.

She stood among the trees, eyes closed, on what she didn’t know was her ninety-ninth morning. She felt worried on the walk here but the moment she broke the circle, it melted away like snow on the coming of spring warmth. Something felt different inside, so she waited.

Waited.

Waited.

The moment she felt peace with not hearing the spirits became the moment the world stopped. Silence like she never experienced. She couldn’t even hear her own breathing.

She heard the whispers.


Story A Day May #17

Not really sure about this one today. Inspired by a little bit of spontaneous/obsessive cleaning in the office at my work. I s’pose it is more poem-y, free-form than a story. Who cares, right? Maybe someone, but I’m cool with it.

 

May 17, 2015

I found two more. We had three, but I found two more hiding in the trashy junk stuffed in the desk organizer.

Pink, Purple, Red, Teal, and Blue. Five gel pens, all together now. Multi-colored click tops peeking out from the first section of the organizer.

Scissors in the back. Tall. Red and black handle complimenting its black plastic home.

Highlighters next. Lime Green and Fluorescent Orange. Neon Pink … two Neon Pink. One big. One small. Left side suits it best, I think, in a close-knit family unit of blinding color.

And treasure for me. Dug out among the heaping pile of old and crumbling rubber bands, crusty paper clips, tiny screwdrivers, a half dozen mechanical pencils, random keys forgotten for years, a handful of tarnished pennies, and the bits of detritus that collect in the bottom of things–three shiny coins for the taking. 

 


Story A Day May #16

First, if we all haven’t seen Mad Max, then we should stop reading, go see it, and then come back. Just Sayin’.

Second, I got an inkling of a story while passing Cave Hill Cemetary on my way to work. It’s on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and if you ever come through Kentucky, it’s a beautiful place to visit. Chartered in 1848, it has a Civil War burial section, as well as offering walking tours. Anyways, enough history lesson and on with the fiction!

May 16, 2015

It stood, almost a lone sentinel. All the others gone by decay or age. There were only five others around the meadow. The house was long gone, but the stone markers were still there. A few of them nearly covered with weeds and wild strawberry plants.

The two nearest to it were slowly dying. It could feel their strained life. Not enough moisture these days, or nutrients, and no human souls came by anymore. But it didn’t much care, for it had stood for a hundred years, and it would stand longer. Proud. Healthy. It knew others would grow eventually; seeds dropped by the birds or the wind.

It still remembered the day he came. It was growing through a tight space between two flat stones. It had not much life left, as the dry, stamped down earth offered no room for it to flourish. He’d knelt, a looming shadow, and traced a finger over the trembling leaves. It had only six then. He said, You’ll never hope to grow here. With a stick and his fingers, he gently dug, unearthing the shallow roots.

It could remember the short-lived panic as it left the earth. But the panic was for naught. It soon found itself in a new home. Dark soil, full of all life, encased it. It could breathe again. There were towering ones nearby that gave encouragement. And always, him. He watered and sang, and when it grew big enough, he sat beneath it.

There were long stretches of time when he went away. It would wonder if he’d return, sometimes thinking that he wouldn’t, only to be happy when he did. As the decades passed, the man spent more and more time among his stone fortress, among his fields, and always the majestic oak tree.

When the General passed, surrounded by family, they buried him at the foot of his favorite tree.

And so it stood, proudly watching over the one who saved him.


Story (Anecdote??) A Day May #15

Tomorrow, I will have an actual story. Promise, precious. Today, I’ve got an amusing list:

Things Talulah Brings Into The Living Room

I swear, no depth of counter space is enough for this leggy girl. Once, I walked out of the kitchen through the dining room, and had to do one of those double takes as our dog was standing atop the buffet. I don’t know how she got up there, and she made Zero noise doing it, nor did she knock over any photos or the vase of flowers. What a clown dog. Anyways, many of these things are seen as she is trotting by us while we are sitting on the couch, items hanging from her mouth while she gives the most casual look possible. (I promise, we aren’t trying to kill our dog). I generally only took pictures when it wasn’t life threatening. 🙂

A large, serrated bread knife, carried by the handle.

A gallon Arizona tea container.

Scissors

A roll of potty pickup bags

An empty 24-case pack of Dr. Pepper cardboard

Her 3-legged brother, dragging him across the floor by his collar

Various pieces of tupperware, dishtowels, and pot holders

Mail

My new book of checks that I insanely left sitting on the edge of the counter right after I opened them

The ‘wipe our feet’ mat from the back porch

Photo May 15, 7 35 47 PM Photo May 15, 7 35 55 PM Photo May 15, 7 36 01 PM Photo May 15, 7 36 09 PM


Story A Day May #14

Ah, technology! Whipped this up while on break at work. Emailed it to my phone, copy & paste, and voila, story. 

I was reminiscing a bit today about my old WoW days, and my favorite mount, the albino drake. Loved that thing. 

Enjoy, everyone! 


May 14, 2015

Jesselyn knelt by the bedrolls packing the last of their supplies. Krane came back a few minutes later with a pot full of water. He dumped it over the low flames, the charred wood hissed and spit water droplets in protest.

“Have you got everything?” he asked.

She nodded. “We are fine to leave.”

He gave her a guarded look. “We’re fine once he gets back, you mean.”

“Don’t be a hard ass. I sent him off to eat. He’s been going too long between meals lately.”

“We haven’t?”

It was her took to give him a look. “It is not the same and you know it, Krane.”

“Fine, but he’s been away since before dawn. It’s nearly noon.”

“Drop it!”

He shrugged, but left it alone. The warrior paced around the small clearing that had served as their campsite for two nights. Jesselyn tried to ignore him. She tried not to worry about her darling, out all alone, circling the area in an attempt to find suitable nourishment. He’d been pushing himself too hard lately, and not just because they’d had to flee three days earlier from a large group of their enemy.  She glanced at Krane’s back, studying, as she always did, the scarred line the ran down from the back of his left shoulder to his elbow. She asked him once about it, and all he said was that it was a hell of a fight, and sometimes his arm still bothered him. When it was cool or damp.

Jesselyn admired him in a way. Especially his armor. As a warlock, she couldn’t wear anything heavier than thick cloth layers. At the age of ten, she tried on her father’s gaunlets, and his chainmail shirt. Within minutes she felt the incredible weight of it. The weight of all that a warrior carried. The face to face combat, the closeness of a kill. The metal blistered her skin, and when her father found her minutes later, he wasn’t angry, but upset at the pain she felt. He’d hoped for another warrior in the family, and as her older brother left to learn with the hunters of the wild woods, he’d really hoped it would be her to carry on his legacy.

Her mother had been a caster – a mage. Mage, she thought with more than a touch of conceit. Damn mages and their damn fireballs. “Phew, phew, phew,” she whispered, imitating the hand motion. “Silly mages and their ridiculous showy spells.”

A breeze kicked up. She heard the flapping before the shadows of his great wings darkened their site. Jesselyn stared at the descending albino drake. He landed with grace and immediately hopped towards her, gleam of excitement in his red eye.

“What is it, boy?” she asked, and then took a step back. “Eww. Benji!”

“What’s the matter?” Krane came dashing over.

“Benjamin! I’ve told you a hundred times that we do not play with our food”

The drake averted his eyes. He gave a shake of his neck, and the limbs of the troll shook. They heard his cursing. Neither of them spoke troll, but they could pretty much figure out what he meant.

“It’s rather amusing,” said Krane.

She gave him a dirty look. “Do not encourage him.”

The warrior reached out, ran a hand along the young drake’s long neck. “I still don’t know how a warlock managed to get herself the loyalty of one of these. How long have you had him?”

“Four years. You should be happy that he’s carrying us both,” she said.

“I am.” He stood next to her. “So is he going to eat that dreaful excuse of a troll, or am I chopping its head off?”

Krane started to draw his sword. Bejamin let out a squawk and hopped away. He pawed at the ground.

“Benji, sweetie, just eat the damn thing,” said Jesselyn.

He began chomping on the troll. Within seconds nothing remained, and the drake stretched his neck out and belched.

“Disgusting,” she said.

“What’s disgusting is that name,” said Krane, carrying their supplies to the drake. “What the hell kind of weird name is Benjamin?”


Story A Day May #13

Flaaaaaaaaash Fiction. Can we guess it’s short today? I’m still happy with it, and today’s inspiration is brought to me by our dinning room artwork. 🙂 We have a collection (prints, obviously, as we wish we were rich enough to collect art!) of those vintage European spirits ads. Enjoy!

May 13, 2015

The lady in the green dress came by again, I told him.

That’s okay, he told me back, she’s just offering you something tasty.

But what about that cat? He’s got mustard-yellow eyes, and long whiskers. Longest I ever seen. He sits in front of that red disc, a halo of cryptic symbols. Black claws poking out just enough to curl around his perch.

He laughed. He tucked his walking stick under his right arm, grabbed the glass of beer so large he needed both hands, and issued me a wicked grin. At least he’s not that pointy green devil, he said before taking a lick of froth. His aperitif is bitter.

At least, I echoed. But is there nothing to save me?

The woman in white will save you. She used to be a swan.


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