The past few days have brought a few things into focus for me. We had a really nice Thanksgiving and rest of the weekend with friends and family. It was good to spend time with the kids and strengthen our bonds a little each time. Teresa did some housesitting and dog watching and it seems like she is making a nice little niche for herself.
Yesterday, we had a guys’ afternoon. Mike and I watched the lackluster soccer match and then went to play Kan Jam with some other fellas at Bobby’s house. It was my first time jamming the cans in a bit and it was a lot of fun. It was a really nice afternoon here in Phoenix, too, which made it really nice. I’m very fortunate to have a good group of fellas to relax and throw some frisbee with every so often.
It was a bummer that a couple of our brethren were not able to make it, but this is what life tells us sometimes, isn’t it? Slow down, take it easy when you can, and know your limits. The last couple of days really showed me that understanding limits is so important when you are the age I am now. As I have shared recently, my health has been a bit compromised due to a respiratory virus (and yes, I know everyone is experiencing these right now). Apparently, I was not as healed up as I thought, and my cough is back. Friday night it had a bit of a vengeance and didn’t let me sleep much at all.
The last few weeks have been so busy, I guess I forgot a bit about taking care of myself. I burnt the candle at both ends and now am paying the price. When I go back and re-read the blogs from this year, I have a sneaking suspicion I have been leaving more than a few clues for myself when it comes to listening to my body. I need to listen to myself better and be willing to say no when I want to say yes.
Writing about the cats yesterday made me think more about how much I miss June. She was such a beautiful and loving little cat. Sure, she liked to bite a little bit, but those were love bites. She had a playful side that was so fun to watch and be a part of when she allowed it.
When she was a kitten, she used to sit on the edge of the bed and watch when Ryan and I played Nintendo. One day, I was playing Monopoly by myself, and June was perched in her usual spot. She was clearly watching the pieces move around the board. From my vantage point behind her, I could see her tracking the icons on the screen by the tiny movements of her head. This was in 1998, probably, and I’m guessing our TV was probably a 27”. This was big enough at the time, of course, but if you can picture that size screen, you will be able to get an image of what I’m sure you know happened next.
I could tell she was getting close to springing, and she lunged toward the screen with quite a bit of force. The impact of her small body hitting the glass was audible and she did that thing that cartoon characters do when they are flying through the air and hitting a wall. There was only about two feet between her and the screen, so there wasn’t far for her to go, but both sets of her legs splayed out to the side and she sort of slid down the face of the TV.
I couldn’t stop laughing but I was also worried that she had hurt herself, so I got up to see if she had possibly knocked herself out. Of course, she was fine, though. I found her sitting there between the bed and the TV stand casually licking herself like all cats do when they do something that would embarrass the rest of us.
I miss that little soul so much. She died in 2013 when I was in New Hampshire for work. We knew it was getting close, but I choose to believe she waited for me to go so that she could get on her way, too. It sucked being so far away and feeling that pain. I was very proud of Hayden for taking care of her, though, and making sure she had a good spot in the backyard near where Scarlet is buried.
My friend, Michael P., always says the best thing when someone posts on social media about the loss of a pet. He says, “They are family.” It is simple and true. They are family and June was my companion through a lot of change and tumult, but she always liked being near me.
Damn it. I miss her.
As we head out of the first real holiday weekend and get closer to December, I just want to put out there to all of you who read this that I am here for you if you need me. These can be rough times for a lot of people and when you are feeling that grey, gloomy stuff, please know you are not alone. I get grey and gloomy, too, and I know how hard it is to ask for help. Please do, though, if you need it.
Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday, so expect a little bit about him here at Ergonomic Mischief. I talk about him a lot, I know, but I am excited to be able to celebrate his birthday a bit here. If you know him, you know why.
As promised, I do have some more of The Trees coming out and I’ll probably start five more sections on Tuesday unless something major happens and I need to write about it. You never know. The world is a wonderful place and full of surprises.
See you tomorrow.
Rhondi will argue for Ollie, but for me, she was the best cat ever.