Sunday, November 27, 2005

So Self-Absorbed

I think it is the nature of blogging that lends one to blither on about things that would normally be passed over. Before I started inflicting my thoughts on the internet, and you, my fine friends, I would think a thought, have a feeling, muse upon something ridiculous, and then it'd be gone in the ether. On to the next deep thought or absurdity.

But now, noooooo. I must regurgitate for all who stumble on here, either by accident or design. I really don't feel too badly about it, I mean, we can all chose to go elsewhere. And I certainly care, and care deeply what is going on in your lives and heads. Why else would I keep reading your blogs? I adore your blogs. Not like my poor, dear friends who I go to lunch with each week. They are stuck with my drivel, at least until the check comes. But then, I am also a captive audience to them. Tit for tat. Actually, I care and care deeply for what concerns my friends. Plus, they are screamingly funny, like you lot are.

So. How am I?

Surprisingly fine.

I say that with no little amazement.

When our beloved Maia died, about 2 years ago (9 year-old German Shepherd, waaaay too intelligent for our own good. We had to seriously spell around her. Not joking. Anything to do with food, playing ball or going outside had to be spelled. She had a human vocabulary of about 50 words and phrases. She died suddenly in the fall of '03 from canine bloat.), it took about 2 days for the screaming, hot tears of raw grief to pass, then another 2 months for it to pass into serene grief, where we didn't tear slightly when we came home and weren't greeted by a large pointy nose in the nether-regions. A total of 6 months before we were ready to have another dog (Emma).

This time, we sobbed for all of Thursday, moped for Friday, and Saturday, were ready to consider another furry one.

I don't understand, I really don't. It certainly isn't because we love one dog more. No more than you'd love one kid more. Nope.

Perhaps because we had more preparation up front? In our hearts, we knew that what was wrong with Emma was some really bad shit. Maia was fine until she suddenly got sick, went to surgery, which was a success, and then died, because the fuckers kicked her out of the animal emergency clinic only an hour after emergent abdominal surgery. They put her in the back of the SUV at a bit after midnight on a Saturday, because the clinic closed from midnight until 8am the next morning. Now, they didn't tell us of it, when we called, with a classic case of bloat at 9pm on the Friday. Nope. They had Charles drive the 45 minutes to their clinic, did the surgery, and then evicted them. She opened up on the way back to the vet clinic in Freeport, which refused to accept her, despite agreeing on the phone, re-taped her, and sent her back to a 3rd clinic in Rockford (another 45 minutes). The 3rd clinic, staffed by wonderful vets, tried their best to save her, but she died on the table, the result of her too early discharge. Had she been a human on some heartless HMO, she'd have had better care.

Not bitter. Nope.

Emma received top-notch, utterly compassionate care. Everything right was done, and for the right reasons.

You might say that Maia, being very healthy and only about 11 years old by this time, should still be with us, and we would have never known Emma. What a horrible thought. Yet, we have thought it.

I don't know.

Clearly, the universe is a bitch-goddess, and we are Her bitches.

Heh. Bitch. Female dog. Heh.

Anyway, back to my self-absorbed ramblings:

So, there I am in the shower on Friday and I realize that I just miss a furry, adorable, pain-in-the-ass, shedding, happy, trip-over-her-in-the-dark, pile of fuzz. A pile of fuzz that occasionally pukes in the house and frequently poops, not in the side yard, but on the path where we walk. And a cat.

Damn, I miss a cat.

We lost our pain-in-the-ass, soft, cuddly, neurotic cat, Booger (Ok, her real name was Banzai, but what cat goes by her real name, I ask you?) about 6 years ago. On Christmas Eve, no less, due to a sudden, massive neurologic event, probably a stroke. As Colin was about a year old at that time and Maia was about 5 and we were contemplating a move within the next year, we didn't get another cat. But we've missed one. And then Sara came along. And then Emma. And the move out here, and the timing was just never right

Until now.

Can you tell I'm having some guilt?

So, there I am, only a day or 2 after my beloved Emma is gone and, jeez, they haven't even done the autopsy, yet, so I can't even say that she is cold in her grave (or hot in her furnace, as we are having her cremated), and I am thinking of new pets.

And the name, " Molly."

I broach the subject with Charles and he has had the same shameful thoughts. So, maybe they aren't shameful, after all. Maybe the time really is right. So, he looks online.

And today, we went and met Molly. And then, there was this adorable 8-week-old ball of dark, chocolate brown fuzz with golden eyes that could sleep curled in the palm of my hand, who preferred to hang with the puppies than with the other farm cats on the porch of the home of the lovely people who just happened to have a litter of German Shepherd puppies born 6 weeks ago. Puppies who are starting to wean and will be ready at precisely the time we can devote a couple of weeks to intensive attention and training on the 15th of December.

Unless they need to come home sooner, of course. *cough, cough*

Besides, how could you resist this? (Scroll down and absorb all the gooey puppy cuteness.)

Fate? Chance?

I dunno. I just know that this Christmas, my gift to Charles and his give to me comes with hairballs and chew toys.

Be joyful for us.

I think Emma would be.



Blogger Linda said...

Those puppies are simply beautiful. Congratulations on your new family member!

2:22 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Awwwww!! Adorable!!

And don't worry about the whole 'new dog' thing.

We've always had dogs in our house. The only difference was ours sort of just came along as the older one was going. Almost as if they had some sort of weird doggie radar. We never found them, they found us.

6:46 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh oh oh!!!! This is gorgeous, don't feel guilty, Maia died for no reason, Emma would have suffered terribly and in the end would have died anyway, it was absolutely not unexpected and the kindest thing to do. No guilt, only new loves.

I am so excited! Have I understood you correctly? Are you getting a cat as well? Cats and dogs together are the absolute best, I AM SOOO EXCITED! And yes, I think Emma would be happy as well. Cats and dogs love us in the purest, most simple, most uncomplicated way there is.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your dog emma, I cried for you. Love your blog, reading for some time. We have a 14 year old Lab-border collie mix male dog, his name is "booger", his real name. He gets around pretty good for 14 yrs old, but he has a little bit of arthitis in the hips, hes our baby, I always tell my husband we aren't getting another when hes gone, but I know we will.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh hooray! That is adorable puppyness there. And I am so, so glad that your grief isn't so raw. And did I read that right? Have you acquired a wee kitty, too?

11:38 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Linda- Thanks. Nothing replaces the loss but fuzzy love sure makes life better, no matter what.

Babs- For us, it is the cats who have always come at just the right time. I have the oddest feeling that, while we went in search of the pup, it was the cat who reeled us in. Go figure.

Johnny- Thanks, you help. Still sad, of course. Will be for ages, just ready. Yup. Dog and cat. The kitty prefers the company of puppies and is a completely mellow, purring thing, cuddling in the crook of your arm. The pup (guess I should call her Molly) is happy to be held on her back in the crook of your arm, licking and nibbling your finger as she gazes into your eyes. At this point, we need good tempered and docile. They are around a passle of kids. Their parents radiate health and are the nicest bloody dogs. It will be a looooong 18 days 'til the 15th, let me tell you.

Anonymous- So very nice to meet you and welcome! Your Booger sounds completely lovely. They do get into your heart, don't they. We are simply better people for them.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Teri- Jinx, mon evil twin. Posting at the same time. Yup, cute kitty goodness. (Madison, "Maddie" for short, I am sure, although you always just end up calling them "Kitty" or "Booger" or something like that.) This will get around the whole "how to introduce them to each other" as they already know each other. What serendipity.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Aw! I will be joyful for you as soon as I finish snuffling and wiping my eyes. There is no reason to feel guilty whatsoever. You love the doggies you've had with all your heart, but there are other doggies out there that need you, too. :-)

1:18 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

So adorable!! What a fun Christmas present. And, a great "ground floor" learning opportunity for Colin and to some extent, Sara. We always had tons of pets and my Mom included us in pet maintenance and care at about Colin's age. I was only slightly older when I started my own pet menagerie with a hamster and two guinea pigs.

How fun! do update on the blog about the new pup!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I'm glad you're doing surprisingly well and I'm glad you're getting a new dog and a cat.

Two years ago we had to put down our nearly 18-year-old cat. I just could not *stand* not seeing a cat wandering around the house. I was a wreck. Two days later we went to the Humane Society and got Rusty (AKA the Rustbucket, the Rustbelt, Precious Creature, Mr. Velvet Ears, and Big Fat Kitty). It was definitely the right thing to do.

Pictures of the kitty please!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- Thanks, you. You certainly know a thing or two about those doggies who need you (or in our case who we need).

Stace- I still remember Sasha kitty. Colin is thrilled, I think even more with the thought of a kitten. He has always wanted one. Don't worry, the blog will be filled with stuff about the new babies.

Rozanne- When we lost our cat, I "saw" her out of the corner of my eye for months and months. It was a bit disconcerting but a bit nice. With Maia, we "heard" her for a few months in the house at night. So far, with Emma, nothing. I am sort of sad for that, I must say. She feels more "gone". Pictures of the kitty when she comes home, never fear. You will be sick of kitty pictures.

4:12 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...


Isn't it amazing how caught up we get into each other's lives? How I am crying over a dog I have never met and only saw one picture of? But I am.

I think Emma would be happy for you. The picture of her and all the things you wrote about her show that she was a happy, loving dog and she would want you to be happy.

Maddie and Molly sound lovely. I want pictures now but will wait patiently. And give Emma time, I'm sure she'll make her presence known to you. Kitty (real name Buttons, no, I did not name her) showed up years later when I was feeling terribly depressed and suicidal (thank God for Effexor). I was sobbing on my bed for something and felt her lick my face and purr. Quite weird but very comforting.

4:38 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Oh, good for you! Only you know when the time is right; we'll be looking forward to stories about the new little ones.

5:38 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

"You will be sick of kitty pictures" - DIANA! Go wash that mouth w soap now, you obscene woman!

There can never be enough kitty pics, woman. NEVER EVER.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

When my cat died very suddenly (Dec. 17, 2004), I swore I wouldn't have another cat. My cat was so "one of a kind" that I didn't want another cat, as I knew nothing could "replace" her. Then the vet's office called me -- an elderly woman had died, and her two elderly cats were scheduled to be euthanized as no family members wanted them. Would I take them? I did. Then I saw an adoption display from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and they had beautiful snowshoe male, about 13, who loved dogs (we have 4 dogs). I picked up the cat, he threw his arms around my neck and purred, and he came home that day (he really does adore my German shepherd). A few months later, a stray who had been hit by a car dragged himself onto our doorstep, and guess what happened... a couple of surgeries later, he also lives here. I went from one cat to wanting no cats to having four cats! Sneaky little devils!

I still miss my first cat -- her ashes are beside me at my desk, and I even still get a bit teary-eyed when I think of her. But, I love my new cats, too. In retrospect, I think the nicest tribute I could give to my original cat is to care for a few of her homeless brethren.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Sorry to hear about Emma!

Congrats on Molly, though. And you are not bad already naming the new pet. I know what I would name my next cat. :-)

10:00 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

The puppies are darling. I think that another member of your family is a good thing now. You have a lot of love to give and a puppy will eat it all up. Emma would be happy to know that smiles are still going around. I know you'll always miss her; a new family member does not take away from that fact. Congratulations. And pictures! Pictures are great!

4:07 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- There is something about cats and grief, I think. When I've had one, she always seemed to sense something and would come running from wherever she was napping to comfort, even if the tears were silent and I was in another part of the house.

Listmaker- Thanks. It sure feels like the right time, so I guess it is. And, one should never turn away from good blog material, should one?

Johnny- (murble, burble, bubble)...Done. Gah.

Leigh-Ann- Wow. What a series of events. Lucky kitties, lucky you. Especially your shepherd-loving, hugging, snowshoe male. I think you are absolutely right, it is the best way to honor those you love. (PS, tried last night to leave you a comment but couldn't get it to go through. I will try again but wanted to know I loved the pictures, especially the one of your shepherd on the couch. What a love.)

Cagey- Thanks. Sooooo...What name have you decided on? Just nosy. I think it is fun naming pets.

Beth- I just keep sappily grinning when I think of the new ones coming. Completely distracted by them. The poor patients. Guess it is better than last week's teary "allergy" doctor, though.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

After this experience with my male orange tabby (my first), I have sworn to always have one. They are incredibly cool cats with obnoxious personalities. Pearson came to us already named, but the next one will be named Simon.

Truth be known, I REALLY want a dog, too (am in negotiations with the husband, but we will probably wait til our human Monkey is 3-4 years old). If it is a female, I would want to name her Lucy. See why I totally related to you "pre-naming" your pets? :-)

Nope - pets are not replaceable BUT in my book are a requirement for all households. Thus, the need for a minimum amount of waiting til you get the next one. Besides, you have sent a positive message of "life must go on" to your children.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh Diane, I'm so glad you're doing well and inviting new animal friends into your life!

I snuffled my way through your blogs about Emma, and hugged my own puppy a little harder.

It's funny isn't it, how hard some passings are and how hard some aren't. I blubbered over the loss of Kali for days and I swear I could still see out of the corner of my eye for years after, but I barely remember Mittens.

And the new ones... they know, and they help. They'll look at you with big eyes or sleep on your belly trusting and sharing that warmth. Or chew your favourite shoe and keep you firmly in the moment.

I blather... but I'm looking forward to reading about your new friends. :)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen- You're not blathering, you're making me feel good. I can't wait for the new ones to come, even with all the chewing and knocking things over. You will remind me of this when I write about pulling my hair out in frustration over their antics, right?

7:03 PM  

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