The Way Home?

CricketEditing
Cricket helping her mom copy-edit.

Last Tuesday, my cat Cricket died. She was about 20 or so years old. I got to be with her all day and into the evening, at least. My little Queen Bee.

She was the last of 12 (13?) critters in my animal family. I kinda lost count of how many critters I had, because, well, I can’t count too good. *wry laugh* I started doing rescue work, and ended up with a lot of new animal friends. (<—sucker).

Cats: Sid, Nancy, Forest aka Loki, Lettuce, Smelly Cat, Cricket. Rabbits: Rowan and Charlotte, plus a guinea pig named Bubble Piggy, and an (also adopted) hamster named Russia. And some fish and a couple of captive-bred leopard geckos I got from a herp expo. I’ve got a gazillion pictures I could post, and about that many more on actual film. Want to see? Nope? Fair enough. (Maybe just one more?).

CricketSnuggle
Cricket and (Diva!) Lettuce.

Care to hear about the million and one things that made them all the best critter companions ever? I didn’t think so.

It goes without saying that I miss them so much. All of them. Even Smelly Cat, the old stray who showed up on my doorstep crying pitifully, being outrageously skinny, and in the end stages of renal failure. (And, yes, he looked just his more famous counterpart!)

Cricket had to be everywhere I was in the house, so not having her around is just beyond comprehension. About half the time, I don’t even believe that she’s gone.

I always made a joke of the fact that my livespace belonged to my animals, not me. One of my animal rescue colleagues came over one day, and told me that when she died, she wanted to be reincarnated as one of my pets. But, with all of them gone now, I realize that my living in a house was a lot more than just making sure that my animal friends had a plethora of toys, litter boxes, gourmet food, comfy beds, hidey-holes, playpens (for the rabbits and guinea pigs), and the majority of  my own bed space.

CricketDND
Cricket hiding out until her mom came home.

 

Any house, apartment, etc.  was, and is, expressly for my animal family. Now I’m sitting here in this current too-empty house, and wondering what the point is of living in one place, surrounded by four walls. It’s basically a fancy container to hold all my stuff. Even after all the downsizing I’ve been doing, I still have so much crap. I can’t bear to donate all of their cat beds and toys and food bowls and kitty crates for travelling.

A long time ago, I dreamt of my beloved cat Sid…one of those cats that’s almost like a soulmate…and he was waiting for me by the ocean.

I think of that spot all the time now. In my quiet house as I stare at all my crap I can’t bring myself to get rid of, but at the same time, wish I could just set fire to.

I stare at one of my pictures by Landon Richmond. The one of a little girl in a red-and-black scorched apocalyptic-looking world, using a phone booth. The text in the print says “Can I come home now?”

And I want so badly to go home. But I don’t have anybody to call. Or anyplace to go. Or any money, for that matter. So, every night, right before I go to sleep, I visit that spot by that grey, stormy ocean, with a garden and a forest and lots of magic and magical creatures and definitely some wild horses. And Sid there, still waiting, by the salt-frosted roses.

And everybody else warm and happy and fat and non-smelly in the dappled-sun garden.

I didn’t want to make this into a blog about how much I miss all my critter babies.

I just wanted to put out into the universe somehow that I hope to see them all again. Even in this disjointed blog entry. To finally have a place that feels real. A place that’s safe, where everything makes sense, and a place that I actually belong. I just want that place to exist, somewhere, in some dimension out there.

I’m waiting, too.

CricketMouseToy
Cricket waiting patiently for the toy mouse to pop out of the cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a long way down…

Or maybe we never really rose up.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many bleak television shows. (But, that’s not an apology, mind you.)

Coming off of watching The Killing, and now wrapping up the last of Torchwood.

Really hitting me about having to be human, especially looking around at the world.

I never really realised how I always felt like an outsider, but my awareness about being human has shifted over the past month or so. Or maybe just remembering how my awareness used to be when I was a kid.

Trees were amazingly vibrant friends.

Plants sang to me.

To recycle a phrase that’s probably grown cliche (or a borrowed quote from some other human somewhere), I felt their pain with all the “intensity of a thousand knives” hitting me all at once. When trees were being cut down, that pain that I felt was excruciating and unbearable. I wanted to scream with the agony I felt. Sure, you could probably chalk it up to just being an imaginative and sensitive kid, but it didn’t erase how I felt. Especially when I had to be the plant murderer (i.e. mow the grass, trim plants, etc. *wry laugh*). I would be standing there with a pair of hedge clippers just sobbing my little kid heart out. (Yep, I was a weird one!)

I tried. I tried to adopt that normal human insensitivity to non-human life forms. For a while, I succeeded in turning it off. In building up a fortress of protection. But the older I get, the more that fortress crumbles. And I’m back in a morass of emotion, and conflict. It’s like being a teenager, but even worse in some ways.

Animals look at me with souls of the ancients…tolerant, loving, inscrutable, and, sometimes, (rightfully!) angry and/or scared of me as a human that’s come bumbling into their midst. And I love them for it. Because they should be scared and angry.

Yesterday, I saw the article about the whales beaching themselves in Florida. And it was so unemotional. “Why,” I screamed. “How?” “What the f*ck are we doing about it?” And, the answer is nothing. There’s no change we can implement soon enough. Even if we did (and do) care, it’s not enough. There’s nothing we can do.

Because we are human.

And I have never been more ashamed of that fact than right now.

I don’t want to live on a planet without bees and birds and animals and trees and plants and water and oceans and fish and whales and everything else that is a non-human life form.

Akin my (faulty?) memory of Medea (from when I was in middle school), when she talks about being underwater and the fish eating the flesh from her bones until she is pure and white, that’s what I feel sometimes.

Like I want to strip off my human skin and transform into an animal. Or a bird. Or even the air, or an unknown fantastical elemental. Anything but a creature that’s linked biologically to the human race. Enough with cell phones and social media and television and money and stuffy stuff and banal work and being hated and being insulted and put down and being ignored and losing…everything.

And, yes, I know that’s not possible.

But that’s what I wish. have wished since I was a child. And that I could fix things. Help make people around me understand. Help make sure that evil doesn’t win. Like so many kids, maybe, I wanted to be a hero.

But now I just feel helpless.

I am a coward.

I am weak.

I am so very tired.

 

 

 

How to Die the Eco-Friendly Way!

 

 

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”–Albus Dumbledore

If I die, I’m not sure how I would want to be disposed of–definitely with an eye on the environment, though. I went with the modern-day interpretation of Egyptian burials for my beloved animal companions, but I’d like to be buried at sea (I’m reminded of a quote from my favourite piece of literature when I was a kid–Medea–but I couldn’t locate it on the internet. Something she said about her bones being made clean and white by the ocean. Who knows what I’m actually remembering, as it’s going back to when I was eleven or so.)

 

Anyway, here’s the usual linkys about the most green, eco-friendly ways you can be buried. According to the internet, at least.

 

Interesting article about the whole natural burial process. http://www.beatree.com/

Another Info Site: http://www.greenburials.org/

How to be Eco-Friendly when You’re Dead–The Atlantic

The Urban Death Project

Green Burials from Everplan

Proposed Burial Concept

Until then, the Bios Urn

More about Green Burials from How Stuff Works.

 

What about you? Would you choose this as an option? (While you’re deciding, make sure you have things like living wills and advance medical directives and things like that. These will protect your rights if you become mentally/physically incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself.)

Scientific Takes on the Death Process (Alas, sans the sexy transexual doctor for your last moments!)

“So, come up to the lab/And see what’s on the slab.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc80tFJpTuo

Linky links:

“Life After Death? New Techniques Halt Dying Process” http://www.livescience.com/40481-resuscitation-long-after-death.html

“Scientists Say ‘Life After Death’ May Be Possible, In A Way” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/life-after-death-science_n_5945000.html

“Your nose knows death is imminent.” http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2014/oct/01/your-nose-knows-death-is-imminent

“What happens to your body after you die?” http://www.scientificamerican.com/video/what-happens-to-your-body-after-you-die/

“What happens to consciousness when we die?” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-happens-to-consciousness-when-we-die/?page=1

“How do animals become zombies?” http://www.scientificamerican.com/video/how-do-animals-become-zombies-ins2012-10-30/

Do zombies exist? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-zombies-exist/

So, make sure to complete a  living will and have your medical/physician records include DNI and DNR orders. More info below.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/consumer-health/in-depth/living-wills/art-20046303

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/wills_and_trusts/article7.asp

In case you don’t “go quick”. There are actually many “right to die” activist groups all over the world. I’ve provided the links to a few, below.

http://www.deathwithdignity.org/

https://www.compassionandchoices.org/

http://www.worldrtd.net/member-organizations

Or, maybe this will be up and operational by then! LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_Coaster

Food for Funeral Parties…

To follow up on yesterday’s blog post, I’d thought I’d also incorporate it into this week’s “Friday Food” blog…

(Excerpt from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.)

“Look, food!” said Ron.

On the other side of the dungeon was a long table, also covered in black velvet. They approached it eagerly but next moment had stopped in their tracks, horrified. The smell was quite disgusting. Large, rotten fish were laid on handsome silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal-black, were heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in furry green mold and, in pride of place, an enormous gray cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words, “Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington died 31st October, 1492”.

Recipes courtesy of the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/funeral-food-recipes-photos_n_4576791.html

“The Last Supper” by Tom Junod http://www.esquire.com/features/food-drink/huge-food/funeral-food-0311

“Ten Customs around the World”: http://www.thedailymeal.com/funeral-food-customs/111513

Here’s the link to the book mentioned in the above article:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/311378.Death_Warmed_Over

A handy map, listing funeral foods by (U.S.) region: http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2014/08/beyond-casserole-mapping-out-the-countrys-funeral-food-traditions.html

Southern Funeral Foods: http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2010/01/traditional-southern-funeral-foods.html

Funeral food, Texan-style: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2010/07/top_5_funeral_foods.php

Jeez, there’s even a page on Pinterest about funeral food: https://www.pinterest.com/legacycom/funeral-food/

Guide to Sympathy Meals: http://www.usurnsonline.com/grief-loss/sympathy-meals-funeral/

If you got to pick out your funeral feast, what foodstuffs would be on the banquet table?

Dark poetry for today: Covered in darkness

Goa

petitemagique

covered-in-darkness

Covered in darkness

 –

Hollow eyes, a distant stare

Consumed by sadness and grief

Overflowing with despair

Death would be a relieve

 –

Cold heart, a fake smile

Broken by failure and unable to cope

Drowning for quite a while

Deprived of all hope

 –

Feelings numb, a bitter mind

Tortured by frozen memories

Long lost desire to be kind

Living and breathing, such futilities

 –

Vanished strength, no more fighting

Captured in a never-ending horror story

Exposed wounds keep on bleeding

There is no one who can save me

– 

Naked spirit, stripped of all

Never knew any happiness

Lost wings, sure to fall

I’m just a soul, bounded by shadows

and covered in darkness

Just Patty

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