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Archive for July, 2012

The Meow-moir

I’ve just returned to the garret after twelve days away at the Southampton Writers Conference, where I participated in a memoir workshop led by the writer Roger Rosenblatt. In my absence, Hannah and Sam were visited by two of my local friends who graciously fed them, cleaned the litter boxes, and sent me daily updates.

Hannah and Sam engaged in a little mischief – table placemats strewn – and apparently did a little writing of their own while I was gone. My friend Delia stumbled upon this first entry: “Day 1 of Meow-moir writin rezuhduncy. Fud ok. H&S.” Hannah rubbed against Delia’s legs in greeting, and allowed petting. Sam, on the other hand, hid under the bed.

On day 2, my friend Stephanie checked in, reporting that Sam appeared in my bedroom doorway: “Maybe she’s okay since she fed me,” the photo caption read. “But I’m still not coming out of this room!” The following day, he did allow Stephanie to get quite close to him with a plate of his favorite wet food.

Day 4: “Meow-moir writin rezuhduncy writer’s block much napping. H&S.” Sam spied on Delia, then ran when he saw her notice. Hannah looked at Delia between licks of canned food.

The days progressed, and I missed them. I wondered what they did all day and night, how much they slept, if they drank enough water, if they played. I had dreams with them in it. I’d left Hannah for this long a period of time once before, but Sam had not been without me for more than a few days. I wondered if he’d forget me, especially when, two days before my return, he finally let Stephanie pet him. I felt guilty for not being there.

“Day Watever: Meow-moir writin rezuhduncy. Lost our narrative thread. Drat. H&S.”

Upon my return, I found Hannah on the bed – she leaned her head back to peer at me upside down. I touched her forehead with my fingers, then rubbed her back before she hopped away and hid. Sam sniffed at my palm, then ran away for dear life. Nobody meowed. I became concerned about a hard red scab on Sam’s nose – had he gotten into a fight? Or was it something more serious, like a bee sting, herpes, or a tick bite? My mind ran away from me as Sam flinched and whimpered when I tried to touch it.

The silent treatment lasted for a long while. As of today, however, I think we’re back to normal. And that thing on Sam’s nose, whatever it was, has fallen off.

– TLS

How do your pets react when you’re away? Share your experiences and other thoughts below!

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I’ve noticed a real change in Hannah and in Sam these past several weeks – there’s more contentment, peace.

Hannah, who used to become quite agitated by Sam’s presence, now lounges around the garret living room with him nearby. Perhaps it’s the malaise that happens with cats in the heat of summer, but I have a feeling she and Sam are growing closer. Sam sits still more often – for the first time since he was a kitten, he likes quiet time.

More frequently, I’ve been finding the two of them sharing a spot in the living room or bedroom without Sam trying to annoy Hannah and without the ensuing scuffle conflict (that is not to say they don’t still play “the hunt,” a game during which Hannah growls and Sam caterwauls and then Hannah tackles him with one swift pow of her paw, and then they have an all-out brawl for thirty seconds). At rest, Hannah still does not allow Sam’s body to touch her, but the distance between them has gotten a great deal smaller. Perhaps, in another couple of years, I’ll come home one day and find them cuddling.

Sam, 7 weeks old

Stranger things have happened.

In other news, July 4 marked Sam’s second birthday. In the photos, I see the confidence and love he’s soaked in since he arrived at the garret when he was just seven weeks old. I adopted Sam the summer my mother was diagnosed with cancer, because he

Sam on his 2nd birthday.

epitomized life in the face of adversity – he was thrown from a car on the highway, suffered life-threatening injuries, and healed. Back then, and now that my mother has passed away, Sam has reminded me every day of the joy of being alive, and loved. The way he runs to the window at dawn, or snuggles his face against my hand, or reaches his paw to my shoulder – these little moments are big, to me.

And finally, the very good news: Hannah’s most recent liver test has come back normal! After several months of steroids, and tapering, we’re now about to be medication free. She’ll have to have a re-test in three months, but for now she’s considered one healthy nine year old cat.

Happy summer to all~

– TLS

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