Our options; a series of fluids and foods that would give us a little more time with the friend we had spent nearly all of our marriage with. How much time? A week, maybe less, probably not more. Behind door number two lay the heavy burden, the inevitable, the thing we would just be staving off.
The doctor left us in that room to speak of it, our Lulu finding some strength in the nervous agitation a veterinarian’s office brings. Her tail, which had become stationary over the long weekend where we waited for the vet’s office to open, now hit an irregular rhythm out on the yellow-tinged linoleum. Occasionally she would give us a long, forlorn meow, so different from the chirps and squeaks she would harass us with while we went about our daily routine.
Beyond the doors I hear laughter and talk, the excited barking of a small dog, the shifting of crates and papers. Time moves agonizingly slow, yet it’s drawing to a close for our little lady, too soon, too soon, it’s always too soon.
It’s mid-August, summer is fading fast, too soon the world will be cold and dark, the trees will give us a glorious display of fall colors before the world slips back to being barren and grey. But before summer draws to a close animal lovers everywhere should take a moment to appreciate the oft’ maligned and misunderstood black cat.
Autumn is a dangerous time for cats, and black one’s in particular. Many superstitions still effect the adoptability of black cats, something I learned about while volunteering for our local animal shelter. There, black cats would not be permitted out as October drew to a close and Halloween loomed, too often there are reports of murdered felines following the nights festivities. On the home front, we would keep our black cats, Pandora and Fiddlesticks, on “house arrest” till the day and night had ended.
There are many myths surrounding cats, and since they’ve been sharing our homes with us for some 12,000 years, it stands to reason we would take their natural aloofness and general “other-worldness” as a sign of the mystical. Around the world there are tales of felines both mysterious and benign; from the Japanese Maneki-neko, to Egypt’s Bastet, Islam’s Muezza (the cutest story of not wanting to disturb a sleeping cat), or Cat Sìth of Celtic folklore. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that feline persecution and association with the devil began to take it’s toll on the cat population, and black cat’s in particular.
The stigma is fading however, as cat lovers everywhere advocate for the fair treatment of all kittehs and cattos. So, In honor of our sable companions, and in memory of Fiddlesticks the Wonder Boy, I present to you…
After the cut are links to resources surrounding black cats, if there is room in your home for a feline friend, please consider choosing a Raven or Midnight instead of a Snowball or Goldy. Too often black cats are left to languish for months (even years) in no-kill shelters, or euthanized once their term is up in county and city shelters. So, if you’re able, please welcome one into your home, and if one crosses your path, don’t worry, it’s most likely on it’s way to more important things then effecting anyone’s luck.
August ninth is National Book Lovers day; not just stories, but books, the tangible, welcoming feel of one page turning to the next, the heady weight of a longed-for novel, the scent of libraries and book stores, the cluttered shelves of second hand shops just waiting to be gleaned for treasures. It is old paper backs who’s bindings are held together with scotch tape, and hard backs that fall open to that one specific page you read over and over.
I intend to spend the day reading and writing, like most Wednesdays, but I thought I’d also celebrate it by taking a look back at the early books and series that have influenced me and turned me from the path of an average seven year old to a page devouring machine.
August seventh marks a famous sea serpent sighting in 1804 by the crew of the HMS Daedalus. I’ve had a love of sea monsters and giant squid since I first saw 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I devour any sighting or documentary pertaining to the giant squid.
So, in honor of sea serpents and lake monsters everywhere, I present to you…
The Sea Serpent.
From the depths of twilight sleep,
Coils slip and slowly wake,
Unfurling from the ocean deep;
The darkling ocean drake.
Down in the dark and waiting fathoms,
Passed pearl strung maids and whale song
In the deepest, coldest chasm
Stretching several miles long.