Friday, October 13, 2017

Salvation

I guess I always knew that you would save me. I took you in to save your life and now, you're saving mine.

And now, you brush up against the sole of my foot, your tail soft like a caress. I catch you up and hold you close and kiss your little face and tell you I love you.

And then I let you go.

And when you feel like it, when I'm not looking, you jump up on the bed, and press up against me.

And in my sleep I breathe easier because I feel companioned.

I saved you from dying of starvation or being chucked in a village already overflowing with strays. I saved you and fed you and cleaned your litter and stroked you when you let me.

I saved you.

And now you save me.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Graceful Gesture of Futility

When we meet in the great Hereafter,
will you say hello?
Will you recognise me?
Will you turn to go?

I miss you
I miss you
I miss you
I miss you

And I don't believe
we'll ever meet again

I keep looking for you
in this labyrinth
but you're elusive
you disappear
just around the corner

I run. I scream your name.

But you leave
You don't turn back
You leave me
like you left me
All over again.

Alone.
Alone.
Alone.
Alone.

Alone.



Monday, September 25, 2017

Immaturity

Well what do you know? I went to the gym for the second time in a row. I walked 2.6km. Burned 268 calories. 30 minutes. It's not bad if you compare it to nothing for the longest time. It's a start at least.

I'm wondering though if all this walking gives me energy. I didn't get to sleep until 6 this morning.

Ho hum.

Let's see how that goes.

In the meantime I am subject to epiphany after epiphany.

The character trait I was sent back to battle is immaturity.

I would like to expand on it but I won't. I will simply watch as everything progresses.

Still looking for a good MP3 player to download audiobooks. I want to listen to The Golden House by Salman Rushdie as I work that windmill.

And after that, I want to listen to The Windfall by Diksha Basu.

Oh brother, I just caught sight of myself in the mirror. It reminded me of why I don't look at mirrors. I  have a baby bump with no baby.

The next few weeks should be....interesting.

A milestone

It's an historic day. After sleeping until way past noon (closer to evening, in fact, to evening), I woke up and was productive in a manner of speaking. I wrote a letter and then posted off the whole lot (all six of them) and did some shopping (cat food, pork neck steak, one potato, one bottle of water, one loaf of bread) and then came back and got dinner going. While I was waiting for the potato to bake and the rice to cook, I went to our apartment gym for the first time.

I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, burned about 248 calories, walked some 2.4 km....it was a start at least. I had intended to go every day in this three-day weekend and somehow never got around to it.

I have decided to record an audiobook on my cheap MP3 player, to listen the next time I go. That will help pass the time and stop me from looking at the clock and counting the seconds. I will work my way up (slowly) to an hour.

Any exercise is an improvement over the nothing I am doing now. When I put on my clothes I can't get away from the ample curves everywhere and truth be told, it's probably why I am so lethargic and apathetic.

I wil try for improvements. I will record them here.

After all, what are blogs for?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

All Bets Are Off

It's late and I'm trying to do at least a shitty first draft of one story. I am nearly done reading the Moby memoir which is some kind of wonderful (although I stopped reading it halfway because I wrongly assumed that he had made it and his life would be on an even and therefore boring keel from then on). But now I've picked it up and it's riveting and funny. A sort of ironic, wry and dark humour.

I have been offline for a bit and only turned on my phone today because Rose came and she needs to call me to come down and get her. There were some messages and one missed call - so all in all, not too bad.

Nothing hysterical and vitriol-inducing - I hate condescending messages that purport to be concern but isn't. Rather it's thinly veiled ridicule from a person who is so much more ridiculous than I, who goes on being ridiculous, who has everyone shaking their heads and bracing themselves for the crash, when it comes.

I wrote five letters today. I wanted to write six. Maybe tomorrow, when I finally wake up, I'll take a stroll and post said letters. Maybe.

Everything is up in the air.

All bets are off.

Things need to cohere a whole lot more than they are doing now.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

That Ship Has Sailed

I'm feeling sick and dopey at the moment. Have switched off my phone because it bothers me, and am just hanging out with my cats (one in front of me and one directly to my left, where he can lie and watch me without me watching him), surfing the net, reading my books, and maybe writing letters.

More and more I'm beginning to see that the mistakes I made decades ago, those that I thought I could get over easily, those that I haven't thought off for years, were fundamental wrong turns in my life. I kept rubbing up against failure because I had chosen wrongly. I was afraid of the powerful feelings invoked and so I deliberately turned away and drowned myself in another, that I didn't love, not really, because I thought of it as a way to avoid greater pain.

All the mistakes of my life come home to roost.

Right now, I lie in bed until evening, sick and unable to move, dreaming strange dreams, waking up only to feed the cats and then go back to sleep.

And when I'm awake, I'm distracted, unfocussed, wanting to do so many things at once - wrap presents, write letters, play with the cats - and not doing anything at all. At least, not anything productive.

It's nice to have my phone off. No outside noise.

Nothing to distract me from my loneliness.

If you choose wrongly, if you deliberately choose wrongly, one day you will sit alone, surrounded by cats (who are loving creatures and who try to assuage the pain, but cannot entirely) and feel deep regret.

You will Google the one you turned away from because you were afraid and find that they have gone on to live wildly successful, happy, fulfilled lives, without you.

That ship has sailed.

And you will wonder, what meaning there is in your own, and how you are to draw out your days, in a world full of strangers who become stranger (or maybe it is you who is strange and about to be stranger) as time ticks on.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cat Tails

I'm less than halfway through Moby's memoir, Porcelain, which is fantastic (I'm at the part where he first performs at Top of the Pops and comes off stage seeing Phil Collins looking at him with a mixture of annoyance and confusion - who understood electronic music anyway?) and maybe I'm on UK time because I slept till 1pm - well I woke up a little earlier to feed the cats because they yowled so plaintively at my door - but funny thing, Sheba has taken to avoiding me after Bob. It's like he's nursing a grudge for me putting him and Pablo (but mostly him) at risk, and petting and loving the outsider more.

They come to me when they need food but that's it. Well Pablo comes to me a lot more than that; he curls up at my feet and rubs himself against me but Sheba is aloof and unbending. Think I would like to adopt another cat specifically for cuddles.

We are making our way through Duck & Pheasant Carnilove which both cats hate, but which they soldier on through as there is nothing else on offer. Because of Veronica, they now get wet food twice a day, and try to hold off eating the unpalatable biscuits...but sometimes, they're too hungry and can't help themselves. Especially Pablo. How is he to maintain his increasingly bloated figure on just wet food twice a day?

The cat next door stares plaintively into the kitchen window. She is kept out of the apartment by her owners - in fact, she is never allowed in and except for the brief times when she is fed or her kitty litter changed, she is alone - no human or cat touch. I feel so sorry for her. I want to ask the lady next door if I can adopt her. If she were here, I would finally buy the expensive cat castle so all three cats could have something to play. The balls I bought for Bob are a huge hit with the two other cats.

Tomorrow is a public holiday. I bought enough food to hole up for the duration without having to go out. I don't want to go out. I want to stay in and hang with the cats and write letters and transcribe interviews (so I don't feel too guilty about my sloth) and read books and watch movies.

The works.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Weeping wounds

So I sat through the interview becoming increasingly aware that I should not have showed up with my wounds exposed. I have ripped off the dressing the night before, or maybe it was the night before that, hoping that it would help the wounds dry faster.

But now, the boss of one of the largest digital marketing companies, stared in horrified fascination, as liquid leaked out from some of the holes gouged on my upper arm and threatened to flow on his table.

I was embarrassed. Halfway through I decided to address the elephant in the room, and told him how I had got the gouge wounds.

I got in the middle of a cat fight. Like, literally.

Bob, the stray, who had started off as someone's cat, then got chucked in the parking lot as the family moved out, taking the other cat but not him, the loving boy who could not find food for himself and would have starved to death if the cleaners had not found him and brought him to our condo, one of of the few with a stray cat feeder, who had learned to fight viciously to defend his territory and his females, had fought with Sheba, my own little cat who had fallen from the roof in Taman Tun. Well, perhaps not fallen like Ebony. More like placed by his mother in between my door and gate, in between two dogs, so I could take him him in and feed him.

Although Bob was a fighter, he had respected Sheba and kept his distance, not initiating any fights and running away the two times Sheba, emboldened by his lack of response, attacked and scratched him. I know Sheba scratched him because I fought the fresh scratch marks on his face and behind his ears.

Bob has FIV. Any scratches take a long time to heal.

Anyway, I tried to let the three of them wander around together (Bob was sleeping on the trunk at the end of my bed when Sheba came in growling). Bob growled back. But probably would not have attacked if I had not, on hearing the start of the fight, grabbed Sheba and held him in my arms.

Then, torrents of fury unleashed and in a split second he had scratched and gouged me, trying to get to Sheba. I felt the pain and saw the skin hanging on my arm and the blood start to flow. I screamed and chased the two into the dining room (Sheba had leapt out of my arms, finally seeing what he was messing with) and caught up a broom to separate them. At that, the two ran away to their separate rooms. I locked Bob in his and went and found Sheba in the other.

I dabbed at my wounds, cleaning them with water and alcohol. But it was of no use. Later, while out having my lunch, I suddenly smelled the metallic, somewhat fishy tang of blood and noticed that my kurta sleeve was soaked through.

I all but ran home, and lay in bed, feeling miserable, my arm wrapped in a towel, because it refused to stop leaking blood.

Later, I texted a photo of my arm all scratched up to Sue-Ann and she dropped what she was doing and came over to take me to a clinic to have a shot and my wounds dressed.

Veronica, the stray feeder, who had helped me pick up Bob from the carpark, was horrified. She came over with wine (which I could not partake in, because I was on heavy antibiotics) and changed my dressing for me.

Anyway, Sue-Ann offered to take Bob and as an only cat, he is the most loving thing on earth. I sort of figured out why he couldn't have another cat in the house. It's probably a matter of survival. After all, he grew up with another cat and that cat was picked by his dumb, dumb family and he was left to fend for himself. So he probably figures that competition is bad news.

Anyway, by the time I was at the interview I had ripped off the dressing but it didn't have the impact I had hoped. Instead of healing faster, my arm became swollen and the wounds infected. In fact they had formed an abscess as I learned later, going from the interview to a good doctor who squeezed out the abscess and re-dressed the wound and gave me a fresh lot of antibiotics and asked me to come every day to change the dressing.

I fell sick after that. I'm not sure if it was the wound or the bad air in my office (two of my colleagues that I deal with closely are sick) but I've spent the last two days sleeping in long sweet swatches of time.

I alternate between watching Hallmark Christmas movies on YouTube and sleeping.

Maybe today, I'll get some work done so I don't feel so crummy.

I made chocolate cake from a box (something I swore I would never do, but I wanted to use up the eggs in my fridge) and it didn't turn out all that great.

But never mind. I've stocked up so I don't have to go out for the next few days. I can just stay home and heal by myself.

If I need anything, I have friends who will drop everything and come to the rescue.

I've learned that with my weeping wounds.

Can you opt out?

There was one episode of Happy Days, a Christmas episode, where Richie and his family open the door and peep in and Fonzie is there, celebrating Christmas alone. Until I saw that episode, I didn't even realise that something like that could happen. It seemed like the saddest thing to me in the world.

Which is why it's strange for me now. I make such a big deal about Christmas...start buying presents in July, planning what to buy, getting the cards together, ordering more and more books on Kino. 

And on the day itself, on the day, I'm alone. With my cats (there is no dog anymore, she is in permanent boarding until I figure something else out) and my Christmas tree and the twinkling lights, opening the few presents I haven't already opened.

Can you opt out of a family? 

I guess you can.

Hallmark movies lie to you, they tell you love is forever.

I'm sure it is, but I guess, you're supposed to find that love that is forever. It's not the default that you ended up with, especially if the default has become noxious to you and you, to them.

I have a picture of my mother hanging on my altar, the only family member I have left, the only one that mattered, the only one that matters.

As for the rest, I guess I'll be seeing them around.

Or not.

Probably not.

I have opted out.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The Elements of a Life

What makes up a life? It's all the little things. Funny thing is, in my mind, I keep going back to that uniform shop in Komtar. I've forgotten the name. I am remembering Girl Guide uniforms. I am remembering all these little elements that made up my life, that meant something - the uniforms, the flag raising on Mondays (duty calls), the ikrar we recited.

In hindsight it seems so pointless, so unimportant, all these things that made up my life, all these things that seemed so important, all swept up, all swept away, the elements that you saved, every skirt and blouse and t-shirt and shirt. All those things you cherished as we slipped away.

How do you feel now everything has been swept away, thrown out like they didn't matter, like they were all unimportant?

As your body disintegrates in your fancy coffin underground, how do you feel, Mum, all these memories, all my memories, all your memories swept away as if they didn't exist? In fires, in dumpsters, all swept away.

I miss you and somehow my mind keeps going back to the sky blue Girl Guide's uniform that you bought for me, that you had made. All those clothes you tailored. All the things that made up a life. Our lives.

We were far from rich. I didn't realise that people thought us poor. We always had enough. You made sure of that. When I say I had one parent, one parent, you were the one, you were the only one...and he, only existed in the fringes of our lives, not wanting to be more.

I miss you. I miss those nights after Komtar, doing my homework, dictating yet another edition of The Brief Chronicle. I miss what I took for granted, what I thought would last forever because how could it not?

You held the threads together, they were all in your hands.

And now, do you look down and weep?

Or have you moved on to whatever is next?

I really hope you have moved on. Because what you left behind has unravelled beyond anything you may have thought. It's not good or bad. It's people who are people wanting to be together or not wanting to be together based on who they are and what they want.

We were all so different. You knew we were different. You thought you could make us love each other, regardless.

But. It didn't work.

We revolve in our own circles, further and further apart. Nothing to connect us. Not any more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Let's Not Pretend

Let's not pretend we care when we don't. I know we're supposed to, it's decreed by some sacred law that you are supposed to care about me, and me, I'm supposed to care about you.

But somewhere along the way it all unravelled and I feel guilty that the thought of you conjures up such reluctance in my belly that I think I would prefer anything but contact.

And you will die, because you have to...it's what we all do...we die slowly. Or fast.

It doesn't matter.

If you don't care about me and I don't care about you...will I even hear when you do?

Or will you hear when they find my body...maybe three years later, maybe sooner...because my cats, you know they will cry and maybe alert people that I'm dead, maybe they will eat me...a corpse is just meat after all, who cares?

We were once something to each other. I thought we were much. I thought we were all.

But years and lies and misunderstandings erode what is between us and now...there is just this great empty feeling.

It's like a plug was unstoppered and the water flowed down, down, down the drain...until there were only the dregs, drops of water.

The water has dried.

There is no feeling left.

Only weariness.

Only this great weariness wondering how I am going to fill this life, these years I have left to me, this body which keeps breaking, this hollow heart.

Once I loved you.

Now I don't.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Misunderstandings, real or imagined

I could blame it on the fact that I was tired, nay, exhausted, but then, it wouldn't be the whole story. The truth is, you have become a burden and I am looking for a way to offload you. I find today that no, you didn't lie to me, that you did in fact have chest pains when you said you did and that I simply jumped to conclusions without checking.

And then, I didn't call to check up on you or visit you.

And then, I ignored your calls when you did, in fact, call me.

I am sorry.

I will try to make amends.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I Thought I Dreamed Of You Last Night

You breeze into my dreams but when I wake I can't remember. Was it really you I saw? Were you crying? Did I feel your sadness? Did it fill the world?

You know how grief can be.

It gets quieter...I promise you that. But, no, you never stop feeling the loss. Sometimes the pang wrenches you. Sometimes, it is as soft as a sigh.

You will always remember because you loved. Isn't it wonderful to know that you loved? That in this case it was not half truths or prevarication? That the one true thing in your life was your love for the one now gone?

I thought I dreamed of you. But I only remember as I am about to fall asleep again.

And then a feeling steals over me. In this quietness. In this hush.

In this silence.

I remember you.

For death to be real, it has to seep into your bones. Otherwise you wake up feeling light, before you remember. Otherwise you wake up thinking everything is OK, as it was. Otherwise, you forget.

For death to be real, it must become a part of you.

This loss.

This absence.

That goes on forever. As you search in the dark for what is no longer there.

The ones who see things that you cannot tell you, don't worry, he is still here. They speak to him, they dream of him.

But for you there is emptiness and silence. You hold on so tightly. And then you let go.

You let go.

You let go......

Monday, August 07, 2017

Once Again, This Time With Feeling

I have to relinquish the blame game. I'm just so tired of trying to figure out when and how I was lied to. And it doesn't really matter. I guess, if you could lie, well, I mustn't really mean that much to you. And so I have to take that in, and move on. And relinquish part of my identity and the things that used to go with it.

It's funny how when you believe a liar and you find out about it, you realise that everyone was looking at you with contempt. It's not the liar who is at fault, but you, for believing them. Surely, they say, you should have known better. You should have noted the inconsistencies...where are your supposedly finely honed instincts?

The problem is, you shut these off for some people. Looking at them through this lens is so hard, so painful. But then, once you know they're liars, you cannot look at them through any other lens. Everything they say sounds suspect, insincere. Everything they do, there's a motive behind it. Not one honest bone in their bodies.

No, there is no nuance, no inflection, no middle ground.

You're either all or nothing.

And you my dear, have proved to be nothing.

And now, I have to divorce myself from you, to not answer the phone when you call with your stupid urgent summons, imperious as if you had a right to be.

My life needs a spring cleaning.

And the first thing I need to get rid of, is you.

Friday, August 04, 2017

I Just Want You To Know Who I Am

Here's what they don't know. They don't know that I went down, to where you died, to gather your spirit and bring it back. They don't know that you were in my apartment until your one week was up and it was time for you to transition. Or that I cried so hard every day, willing myself to let you go, but making bargains with God.

I just couldn't love you back.

Everything becomes unstuck when I have a glass of old wine, stuck in my fridge for weeks and weeks as I waited to take that third glass. But I wanted to drink and I didn't. And then I read her book, or at least I started to, that heady mix of everything...that feeling of coming unglued...and then, your name and I knew she was talking about you, only you.

And then I realised that while you were simply intrigued, because she seemed so different, so extreme, so whirling in different colours - basins of blood, cerulean blue, quivering green (a cold sweat covers me, trembling seizes my body and I am greener than grass...) but she, well, she fell headlong into your body, your arms (encircling her in this friendly way, it meant nothing, not really, you were intrigued is all)....and so she wrote about you undisguised...part of the book is wish fulfilment...it is ostensibly about something important but really, really, there you are...her happily ever after, her dream come true, her port in the storm.

Did you know?

Did you suspect?

Did she tell you?

How does it feel to fall, regardless, to know that in falling, there was no net and she could not hope to be caught? How does it feel that she fell, knowing you would not catch her, that you would step away neatly, the way you do...undisturbed by the torrents of emotion, unmoved?

Everything's made to be broken.

It's been a strange day of hitting the streets early, before the jam, to get to my assignment a half hour early, when I expected to be late....and that strange half light that plays on my windscreen, and the blisters on the backs of my feet and a meeting where I spoke but didn't take in anything because my mind, my mind, was awhirl with rainbow and otters and nothing in particular because I couldn't get anything to coalesce.

Why does he sing with his face, stiff, expressionless? Does he know that untouched and untouchable is desirable, despairing?

I am not sure.

I wish you knew who I was.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Stormy, Uncertain Days

Life has become tenuous and death ever hovers at the edges. One phone call to say, "I feel better" could be followed with another that says, "Jenny, I don't feel well, I'm going to emergency."

When I can't find any of the cats, I go crazy combing the house for them. Problem is, when you call cats, no matter how urgently, they don't emerge from their hiding places. And it scares me. It takes but a moment for them to fall into oblivion.

I receive a phone call to say, good work, I'm happy with how this project is progressing. And another two hours later from the same person, panicking because things are not moving fast enough. I can't exhale, relax because they keep me on my toes, uncertain, not knowing how they will swing from one minute to the next. Isn't that an ancient form of torture? Enforced uncertainty?

It's been a while now with everything up in the air, like rice swirling in a bowl of water, a bowl of water with a whirlpool that keeps the grains a-swirl....never resting, never finding the ground.

That's what's going on inside me now.

And this is why I switch off my phone and shut out the world from time to time. If there is bad news, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to know. For tonight at least, let me rest easy without the torturous uncertainties you seem to think are so crucial.

This state of upheaval.

This holding of the breath.

This churning in my stomach.

This restless sleep.

The tossing and turning.

The storm, the calm, the storm, the calm, the storm.

And then death.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

An interlude

This is what's weird. It's like the grief has separated from Ebony and missing him and longing for him, and become an entity in itself. Sort of like, I'm devastated because I'm devastated. And then I feel asleep on a sofa and woke up feeling better. And I took Stella for a walk. And she felt better too.

Later that night...

The apartment seems empty. The cats, my warm, soft, fuzzy presences who hover around me while I'm at the computer or eating, rubbing against me, jumping on my lap, mewing to attract attention, well, they're in a cage at Tanti's. I will be going off to Penang tomorrow and I sent them off to be cat-sat.

Rose did it once, no twice...but after Pablo, she'd rather do anything else but. He climbed on the roof and refused to get down for two days. It was a nightmare for her, although she had so enjoyed the Taman Tun house, the location, the graciousness (despite the leaky roof and mouldy walls), the quietness at night. Heck, she even liked the neighbours.

But I'm truly alone now. Alone. And I don't have my comfort kittens to go cuddle...

So there we are, nothing and I
we have each other
There we are, nothing and I
we fall asleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ebony


What I say over and over again is I'm sorry, I'm sorry...and at first I'm talking to you my darling boy because I wish I could unmake one month ago, I wish I hadn't gone out, I wish I hadn't thrown that tantrum, I wish I had talked...and found out, he was not starving Stella and he was not torturing her so I wish, I wish...I  hadn't behaved so...

And leaving you at home, never suspecting when I came back with the flowers and you ran into the balcony and Pablo chasing you (you hated him), that it would be the last time I would see you, the last time I could have held you (you hated it when I took you up and squashed you in my arms, your fur was so soft and it felt so good to hold you, my elusive boy, my baby).

I didn't even realise when I got home that you weren't there.

It's been a month Ebony and suddenly the feelings rise up, the ones I thought I had choked down, the ones I thought were under control and I'm sitting in that same chair and the feelings pour out of my eyes, my nose, my mouth....I love you, I'm sorry, I love you, I'm sorry....

Come back, come back, come back.

I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to get along without you. You were not even two.

And I know I'll never see you again. And I know you're gone. Gone. Just gone. And you'll never come back....and I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you...oh baby, I miss you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hope Springs Eternal

I have given myself a shake...I am not going to be the victim of circumstances. And neither is my dog. She is young and healthy and loving and naughty. I didn't train her well...an oversight I can amend with the next owner. I have put up an ad for her on PetFinder and in that ad, I stated that I would pay for her to be trained with new owner.

Stella wanted to go see Sylvie, but the guy who adopted Sylvie (and Bruno) says he will not be free until July. Right now he's busy at work and after that, he's travelling. So poor Stella will not get to see Sylvie, not unless she remains with my father in that time. And I'm not sure how willing he is to take her.

She misbehaved yesterday and I did what I should have done long ago. Tied her up and proceeded to ignore her for the rest of the day, rather than give her any attention at all, either positive or negative. It seems to have worked. Today, she is tiptoeing around me. Of course, today, she has also been taken on three walks.

She looks like she is part Dalmatian, part Jack Russell. A beautiful, really smart dog that I have not treated properly.

I tried to buy a folding ladder during the weekend (I needed to change my hall light) but I ended up crushing my fingers in the folds (didn't lock it properly). My big finger on my right hand still hurts.

This has been a strange weekend - and it's OK, it's over now and I have survived it.

The ATM debacle. Li Ming turning up in the nick of time to save me. Getting locked out of my bank accounts because I forgot my PIN number. Inexplicably. Deciding that I had once and for all, better start moving. (mainly because I have run out of time). Reading two Hanah Hunard books and reassessing my life. Miracles from Heaven.

That sort of thing.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Killing Stella

The sensible people in my life tell me there's no choice; that she's just too much trouble. That she's had her chance and now I'm moving to an apartment and I cannot take her and stress over her bad behaviour may just kill my father who's agreed to babysit her until I can get her sorted...her behaviour, her adoption.

I called Stella in after a long, long conversation on the phone. And I started to cry. I couldn't help it. I had to put Arnold to sleep. There I had no choice. He was old and suffering so much. I had to help put Elliott to sleep. Again, he was at the end, the dregs of his life. I had to put that kitten to sleep. He had sporo and there was no coming back from that. And every death wrenched something from me. I wept as I held them and the vets injected. It hurt so much.

But Stella? That's a whole other level of pain. She's still a pup. Not even two. She has so much life in her. Yes, she's destructive and she has no boundaries. Because I never gave her any boundaries. I never found out the right way to train her.

And now this sweet little dog is going to pay the price of my neglect. And I don't know what to do.

She was adopted and returned.

I don't have the energy to give her all the exercise that she needs. And I've been ill. She stays outside...somehow she doesn't want to come in. She looked at me anxiously as I was weeping and then left. Walked out.

I don't know what to do.

Please tell me what to do.

I wish someone out there could help me. I don't want to kill Stella. I don't want to see her die.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

How Stella Didn't Get Her Groove Back

Well, among other things, Stella is back. I received a text from the woman who adopted her telling me they couldn't keep her as she was too destructive. She asked if they could return her to me. Otherwise, they would have to give her away.

What could I say?

Of course I agreed to take her back.

I went to see an animal communicator who told me that Stella isn't bad. She's just a high energy dog and her two walks a day have done little to make even the slightest dent in her energy. That's why she suddenly tears around the place like a mad dog and when she gets these energy surges, she destroys everything in her path. She doesn't mean to be bad. It's just play.

Also because I didn't train her or set any boundaries, she just acts out. So now, while I'm moving, I have to find a way to train her and set boundaries and use up some of that excess energy.

For the past two days, I took her to the dog park near the house (I should have gone a lot sooner) and let her play with other dogs.  I let her run free for about an hour but apparently this was not enough. This morning I woke up to find that she had destroyed the second gate. She had destroyed the first part about a week ago. Which means she needs to be tied up at all times, even if I exercise her. She told the animal communicator that destroying the gate was one way of getting my attention. It doesn't matter if it's negative attention.

Attention is attention.

I should have listened.

Ebony, Sheba and Pablo are in the house. Pablo sticks close to me but I don't know where the other two are. Ebony is in a mood. He seems to always be in mood these days. Sheba comes and rubs himself against me, endures my strokes and then pulls away to go elsewhere. Pablo lets me stroke him occasionally.

Because we couldn't go to the dog park, I took Stella for a run today. We ran and ran and ran - did the usual circuit three times. I think by the third circuit she was actually tired. But am not sure. Because I wasn't. And I think she has more energy than me.

Work is busy. Over the weekend, when it rained heavily, I fell into a drugged sleep from which I could barely stir. I think I'm tired.

In fact, I know I'm tired.

When I'm tired, I switch off the phone or ignore it. I sleep and sleep and rise to the surface only to read some more of my book.

At the moment, it's Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington, a book I picked up at least five years ago when I was on another desk, a desk which came with books to review - although this was a book of fiction and not suitable for review on that desk. I am now towards the end - it is a heartbreaking book and so beautifully written. Can't believe it took me so long to get around to it.

I am thirsty. Think I'll get a drink of water.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Killer Cat on the Loose

I am actually feeling terrified. My loan has just disbursed. I cannot hide out here much longer. This means that I have to start moving to the new place.

Stella has already been given up for adoption. I think she is happy. In the one video and update that I got from her new mistress, she seemed happy. I have to ask for another update.

There is a killer cat in the neighbourhood. One of my neighbours told me that it single-handedly killed at least five of his cats. He didn't believe it. The cat in question looks so sweet that if you didn't see him attack (he goes straight for the jugular) you wouldn't believe it.

I didn't see him attack. I just heard about it from the neighbour who has lost his cats. He saw the cat attack one of his own in front of him....it all seems a little bizarre. The attacks started after another neighbour found kittens in one of her rooms, and proceeded to go amok. She put the tiny kittens in a plastic bag, swinging the bag all over the place (the kittens were terrified and screaming so loudly) and threatened to throw them near the river or some place far far away so their mother would not be able to find them.

I took the kittens from her and they kept me up with their crying for the next three nights (I fed them and ran a wet cloth over their nethers to encourage them to poop and pee and cuddled them but it was not enough; they wanted their mama). On the third night, their mother (who must have heard them because they all have good lungs) came to the back door to retrieve them. Glory be!

But on the night of my neighbour going amok, the killing sprees began. The guy opposite her lost two of his adult cats. He found the body of one but not the other. He thought it was the amok woman who had done it.

Then he lost his favourite white kitten. And then his favourite female grey - also barely out of kitten hood. He saw the demonic cat attack his grey. He watched it and realised...this is the culprit. Not that woman he had harboured so much animosity against. So he came over to my window to let me know.

These are strange times indeed.

Anyway, I have become even more paranoid about my cats. Having said that, Pablo is now outside, Ebony is wandering around the garden and only Sheba is inside, lying down and looking at me, like a  cat model. (the killer cat is a ginger tabby with a collar and a bell).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forgiveness and Strange Times

So I listened to the daily reading today (Catholic Online: Deacon Keith Fournier) and it was all about forgiveness. And I thought about the forgiveness I have withheld in my heart to so many and have decided that today, I am going to make an effort to forgive these people. Even though they have hurt me (and continue to), even though most times they were clearly in the wrong (does that sound very forgiving to you?), even though I'm not a forgiver by nature. More of a Guinness Book of Records grudge holder, a title I seem to guard so jealously.

So phew! Forgiveness. How does one go about that? Are there online resources to help me? I remember seeing a CD called Radical Forgiveness which was being sold at Violet Flame way back when. Now Violet Flame has moved and I don't think they sell CDs anymore. Maybe I can find it online. Maybe I can download it over iTunes.

I saw an old lady under a bridge on Jalan Universiti. Her possessions were scattered around her in different plastic bags. She looked like a decent old lady (reminded me a bit of my Mummy) and it was raining and she was clearly, homeless. It sent such a pang through me. I wanted to stop and help her.

But I couldn't. For so many reasons, including the fact that my father was in the car and we were heading to hospital because he had had such a sharp pain in his chest it had debilitated him for some hours. I wanted to go to the specialist centre but it was closed on Sundays. So we waited at the Emergency (the name must be ironic) while they treated Dadda like there was no urgency about it at all.

So I have to make an appointment with him at the UMSC and ask for Prof Imran to attend to him because that's who Vas has recommended.

Last night I went looking for the old lady. The thought of her sleeping under that bridge in the rain just tore into me. But I couldn't find her. I cried all the way home.

These are strange times. But I figure if I can rescue kittens and puppies, why not an old lady who reminds me of my mother?