Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Time Blues

The closer it gets to Christmas/Yuletide the harder it gets for me.  I have hated this time of year since 1969, the year that my mother died. I was 13 years of age. But I did my best to not let my feelings about this time of year get in the way of providing the best holiday season possible for my family. Poverty was always an issue, but I found that if I started as soon as the new year started in my search for gift suitable items that I could come up with something nice for everyone. Come December the food was the focus with holiday baking and the feast the focus of my work. X-mas eve was gifts time, with a coffee and finger foods party for friends and family to drop by. X-mas day was the turkey feast and often we had guests. It was a family tradition from my husband's side of the family that our feast was open to anyone who had nowhere else to go.

I spent all of my adult life making Christmas for my family. My family shrank as folks died, moved away, or just got their own lives and families and didn't need my husband and I any longer.

The past two years have been two years of sheer ongoing hell. 
Two years where so many things went wrong.
Two years when loved ones died.
Two years when friends were lost.
Two years of severe financial stress due to my husbands unemployment.
Two years of health problems getting worse.

The past year things got worse.
My family fell apart.
We are being forced to sell our home and move.. where we will go I do not know. How we will manage I do not know. This was supposed to be my forever home.
I lost my beloved garden.

I feel very betrayed, and abandoned.

How many losses can a person endure and still be alive??

People ask me about how my children and grandchild are doing. I do not know.
They are not in my life.
It hurts like hell.

It is only recently that my husband has started a new, good job. Not enough time to pay off the bills. 

The TV is a source of misery. All the stuff about family. Family get togethers. Gift giving. Buy, buy, buy.. decorate.. celebrate. Go to this function or that event.. spend, spend, spend.

I am poor, and I am ill. I am housebound. I feel alone.
My best cat died in October. My Princess Squeeky II, my feline alter ego. She has 14. Princess Squeeky I lived to be 16, and died in October as well. After having 30 years of having a Princess Squeeky beside me I miss her terribly. I feel that part of me died when she did: "I am her, and she is me, and together us are we."

My house is cold. We cannot afford to keep it warm. We cannot afford to use too much hot water either. 

There is little comfort in my world.

I find myself silently weeping. I do not know why. My heart is breaking every day.

I am lost. I feel useless, worthless, un-needed and unwanted. 

At least my husband is working. That is one good thing. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30th, 2012

A Fibro Flare Day

There is nothing as slow as a day when the body won't work, but the mind is active and needs something to focus upon.

Today is a high pain day. My body aches everywhere. The soles of my feet hurt when I stand. My entire feet hurt when I walk. My legs stiffen with movement, and cramp if left to rest too long. Muscles feel bruised and weakened. Fine motor control is difficult. My insides have a burning feeling. I've been plagued by heartburn and reflux again. My face hurts. My left side has nerve damage making my teeth ache and cheek burn. My cheek turns red and swollen. My lips and tongue burn. Pain like this doesn't respond well to pain meds. I have to just endure it, cope with it, and try to not bother anyone too much over it. 

The day outside is grey, wet, and cold. Inside the house is dark and cold. It's depressing. 

It would be an easier day if I had brain-fog enough to not think about depressing things.

 I miss my beautiful Princess Squeeky very much. She would be sitting here beside me, cuddled up close. She would follow me everywhere I would go inside my home. I miss her very much. I find myself looking for her, and when I realize that I will never see her again I cry. 

It's been a week since daughter Melody's last attack email. I dread opening my email inbox. What crazy things will she say next? 

I dread the next question some one will ask me about how my children are doing, how my grandson is. I do not know how they are doing.

Life isn't easy right now.
It isn't easy any day any more.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sat. Oct. 27th, 2012

It's been a bad week. 

The dark grey sky and the pouring rain is fitting with my overall mood today.

Two evenings ago, my beloved Princess Squeeky II died. She was going on 14 yrs of age. I called her my feline alter-ego. I was she, in human form.. and she was me, in cat form. I use her photo, when she was young, as my internet ID photo. She caught a virus that caused her to cough, and she coughed so hard she threw up and could not keep food down. She heaved so hard that she tore something inside and she bled inside. She rapidly declined and died. 

I felt so helpless. I could nurse her thru many things, but not that. Veterinary care is beyond our reach right now. We do without many things right now in order to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. It's not easy being poor at any time, but being poor and sick makes the daily struggle ever more difficult. I feel like a part of my soul died when my lovely old friend passed over the Rainbow Bridge. 

The other cats had all said their good-byes that afternoon. They always do, I have noticed. They pay their respects to their dying companion, then they leave them in peace. They mourn their dead. Yesterday we all mourned. Each of the other cats in our family went apart from each other, instead of interacting with each other and congregating on my bed. 

Today, life is getting back to as normal it can be with someone important missing. Squeeky was the boss cat, the one who mothered all the rest. Each morning she greeted me with a happy tail wiggle, a lick of her chops and a dance to remind me that it was milk time. Time for a drop of milk.. and whomever also wanted milk showed up in the kitchen for milk. Since she got ill, there has been no milk dance. Until this morning. Squeeky's sister Gidget was there, waiting for her milk offering.

Life goes on even with a broken heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Losing Another Old Friend

It never gets any easier when a beloved friend in fur and fangs dies. 

Last December old Spooky trotted about the house on the day of his death. At age 16 the old cat could no longer digest his food well enough to not slowly get thinner and thinner. His last day he ate well, chased the younger cats around the house, and purred on the laps of his humans. He fell asleep in a favourite windowsill that evening and slipped away, off across the Rainbow Bridge. 

The year before old Samantha crawled under the covers of my bed and cuddled close. She didn't want to leave the bed except to eat and use the litter box the next day. The day after that she became unable to manage to get out of the bed, so I laid her on a favourite cat bed on the floor beside the heater, close to my bed and covered her with a thick towel. She snuggled into her covers, fell asleep and drifted over the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her to this day. She was 18 yrs old.

I miss them both.

Princess Squeeky II got sick about a week ago. At first she just seemed to have gotten a tummy ache, maybe a hair ball or something she ate or a tummy bug of some kind. Her sister, Gidget and her niece Doris were both doing more hairball barfs than usual. Her brother TigerTail started sneezing now and then.
A virus can be a deadly foe to the old and the very young.

Last Friday evening, Squeeky wasn't interested in her evening cat treat. That got my attention. She seemed OK other than the tummy upset problem. Saturday she went out before I got up, and didn't come back. After a good deal of searching she was found hiding out under the neighbours house, in the crawl space. When I crawled in after her, she lead me out and back home. She seemed to be OK, but again she didn't eat her treats and barfed up a foamy yellow mess.

She kept getting worse day by day. She stopped eating all together and could not be enticed nor forced to eat. I tried a gelatine, sugar-salt mix with a bit of ginger for her tummy by syringe into her mouth. She took it OK, some of it anyways. She was getting weaker but still moved from room to room.

Yesterday she started to cough up blood. She refused to swallow even dribbles of water. She went into a closet where she lay down, blood dripping from her mouth. I do not know why she bleeds or where she is bleeding from. 

There is no money for a vet. I do not know what is wrong with by beautiful cat girl. But I have seen this process before. She is going on 14. Princess Squeeky I was 16 when she died, in October. The next spring Princess Squeeky II was born. That is 30 years of having a Princess Squeeky in my life, my heart, my home. I call her my feline alter-ego.

My beautiful cat lies dying. Today she is accepting the sugar-salt water by drops in her mouth. She swallows some, some dribble through her sore, dry mouth. It is all that I can do to keep her comfortable now. She is very weak today. I was surprised that she survived the night.

It never gets easier, watching a fur baby die. I've done this many times before and I will have to do this again. The slow deaths are the worst, the wasting from cancer or some other illness that takes it's time to kill. Some deaths have been sudden.. hit by a car or a heart attack. Then there are the old cats who just grow frail and just go to sleep and never wake up, with no suffering.

There is always grief. In a very slow death the grief starts as soon as the hope is gone.  A sudden illness is very painful for the human care givers. We are helpless, and the death vigil seems to stretch out time. It is exhausting. A quick, sudden death is a sudden jolt with a jolt of deep grief.

My heart is breaking. Part of me is dying with this beautiful kitty cat. She loved so very much. She mothered every kitten she came across, no matter who's kitten. She took care of her kittens even when they were grown. She even mothered her brother and sister. She loved her humans as well. Very well.

This is another heartbreak, on top of the many heartbreaks of recent months.
I already miss her very much. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22nd 2012

The weather has turned cold and wet from warm and wet. brr. I have a juice jug of turkey soup stock jelly in my fridge that will become a veggy-noodle soup. The hardest part is already done, and that was in making the stock. I have a bag of egg noodles in the pantry, peas and green beans in the freezer, and carrots in the fridge.

I had to go down to a drug store yesterday to pick up some things, and the store I went to has a food area so I checked out the loss-leaders for supplies for the kitchen. They had ice-cream treats freezer with lovely trays of frozen cocktail shrimp.. huge shrimp.. with a cocktail sauce. I love shrimp with that tomatoe- horseradish sauce. I have been craving that for months, so I bought one and it is in my fridge on a slow defrost. I am thinking of turning cold shrimp into hot, since they are more prawns than shrimp. I think that if I cut some into chunks, remove the tail parts ( some of the cats like those) and add the sauce, heat that up, and toss that mix onto some hot spaghetti noodles that it will be quite yummy.

I need comfort foods right now. On top of all the other stresses lately, my cats are sick. They have a cat-cold. Poor old Princess Squeeky crawled under the neighbours house yesterday and didn't want to come out, until I crawled under and got lost in the darkness. She then decided that I needed to be saved and lead out and back inside. The cat flap is now locked. I have been having to coax her to even drink but I am as stubborn as she is. Her brother is sneezing and her sister has a throaty cough. Cat-colds can lead to deaths in the old, the very young, and the already ill. They lose their sense of smell and stop eating and drinking.

I had planned to be down on the grounds of the Victoria, BC, Provincial Legislature today to take part in a rally and sit in against the proposed Endbridge tar sands gunk pipeline. It's one of my "bucket list" items, to take part in a rally like that. But this one wasn't possible. ~sigh~. Oh well. Maybe I'll get one in yet ;-)