Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Cat Mommy's Guilt (Blogging, smoking and crying)

I wasn't going to blog today. I had decided today was one of those days where I said 'screw writing' and took the entire day off from it so I could nurse my cat to health. But I'm a writer. It's how I express my emotions. And Freya needs to rest without my constant hovering.

Today those emotions are relief, happiness, and trepidation topped with an avalanche of guilt.

My sweet kitty Freya has suffered a collapsed lung. I'm heaving great sobs of shame as I write this. My head throbs from the hourly tears I've cried since I learned of her injuries.

I've been letting Freya off her harness. There is nothing she loves more than exploring outside and chasing birds. And we have a small problem with swallows trying to take over our attic. I thought, "One doesn't keep a mouser tied up, why should I keep a bird huntress on a leash? Besides, it makes her happy."

Yesterday around lunch, I checked outside, which I do frequently, to see if she wanted to come in. She was waiting silently by the door. She came inside without a word. Very unlike her. She talks a lot for a cat. She was FILTHY.

"Oh my God, Freya," I said. "What did you do? You SO need a bath. You're not getting out of it this time. Where were you?" Not a peep from her. I continued to babble at her about what a mess she was. She was walking funny.

You know how cats have that effortless grace when they walk? Freya made it look awkward-like she was tiptoeing gingerly. She headed downstairs. She'd descend two steps, stop and rest. Two more and rest.

An awful thought stuck me, and I don't even know where it came from. Someone once told me that animals look for a dark quiet place to die. So I brought her back upstairs to watch her. That's when I noticed she was breathing heavy--and with every breath her flanks quivered. We left for the vet immediately.

When they told me it was a collapsed lung, I knew it was my fault. Nobody could tell if she'd fallen, or been attacked or hit by a car, but it doesn't matter because it's my fault for thinking SHE would be okay roaming unfettered. SHE was a smart cat.

But I think my friend Colleen is right. Knowing how Freya avoids traffic and strangers, this was probably not an accident. I remember the mark on her back--One long muddy curve in the precise shape and width of a bicycle tire. Somebody, perhaps one of the many kids in this neighborhood, or maybe my crude and creepy next door neighbor, went after her and deliberately hurt her.

Pure speculation. Nobody knows what Freya endured before limping her way home.

When people find out that Freya got hurt because she was wandering freely, they say 'lesson learned' and 'at least you got her to a vet in time'. It isn't that comforting unfortunately. This mistake could still cost my precious angel her life. She's not out of the woods yet.

I can't help feeling this is probably some kind of karmic butt-kicking. This is for all the times BEFORE I had a pet (Freya and Sully are my very first pets ever) when I would roll my eyes and think "It's just a pet...Why get so upset over some animal?"I can guarantee you I'll never say THAT again.

But yes, there are lessons learned here.

1) Trust my instincts with my cats. Rhonda is right. They will tell me what they need.

2) Never think it can't happen to me/my pets. Just because cats are intelligent, doesn't mean the people around them (including me) are.

I never had children, so I guess i never really learned this one before, but...

3) Sometimes keeping the ones you love doesn't always mean doing what makes them happy, but it's doing what is RIGHT for them--for their own protection. I need to be a more responsible pet owner. For Freya and Sully's sake.

I'm just praying it's not too late.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Rest for the Wicked

I guess it's official. After going to EPIC meetings for over a year,writing consistently for the Edmonton Paranormal newsletter, and taking a position as writer for 'Entities Unknown', I have joined Edmonton's coolest paranormal investigative team in a new capacity. I am now the 'Client Liaison'.

When Ehren first approached me with the idea, I balked. I didn't think I was qualified to talk to people on a regular basis. I consider myself a little reclusive. While I'm accustomed to complete strangers approaching me and telling me their life's story, I never understood why. I asked him, "Does this look like an approachable face?" To which he replied, "Well yeah. You DO have an approachable face, and you're easy to talk to."

Oh. I guess the angry teen-aged headbanger I once was is buried beneath my laugh lines. Well!

So I thought about it. Why not me? I'm spiritual and sympathetic. I strive for professionalism and I don't judge.

Besides, this means only an hour or so of my time each week. I just have to keep in touch with clients through e-mail and facebook. Yeah, like I don't do that kind of thing anyway. This will also mean going on the occasional investigation and hearing great stories about real-life ghostly encounters.

So aside from writing novels, blogs and paranormal articles, I get to experience the paranormal world firsthand. Guess I can't say my life is boring anymore. In fact, I'm incredibly busy these days. But you know what? I kinda love it.

Photo by:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apologies to Nietzche

I made it through 'Birth of a Tragedy.' I learned that Nietzche took 114 pages to explain the Ancient Greek grunge scene. It wasn't easy, but I'm glad I did.

Now I'm reading Seventy-five Aphorisms, and guess what? He really is a genius, and I'm feeling pretty sheepish.

Here's some of what I've learned:

Reader's Bad Manners--A reader is doubly guilty of bad manners against the author when he praises his second book at the expense of the first(or vice versa) and then asks the author to be grateful for that.

The Worst Readers--The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the rest.

The Sharpest Criticism--One criticizes a person, a book, most sharply when one pictures their ideal.

Ouch. I guess I deserved that. He's right, though. It was rude of me to judge him on what was his first work. Especially since I'm probably going to be a victim of my own line of thinking.

I take back what I said last post and will finish reading the basic writings of Nietzche with an open mind. Having said that, I end this post with my current favorite quote from Germany's beloved philosopher.

Opinions and Fish--Possessing opinions is like possessing fish, assuming one has a fish pond. One has to go fishing and needs some luck--then one has one's own fish, one's own opinions. I am speaking of live opinion's, of live fish. Others are satisfied if they own a cabinet of fossils--and in their heads, "convictions".

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nietzche Drives Me Nuts

I dislike Nietzche. Not because he's a pompous misogynistic, anti-Semite. No. I dislike him because he makes me feel like an uneducated yutz. I'm so frustrated! How am I supposed to learn anything from this guy if I can't understand what he's trying to say?

Here's an example, taken from The Birth of Tragedy: "One need only to reflect more deeply on the linguistic difference with regard to color, syntactical structure, and vocabulary in Homer and Pindar, in order to understand the significance of this contrast; indeed, it becomes palpably clear that in the period between Homer and Pindar the orgiastic flute tones of Olympus must have been sounded, which, even in Aristotle's time, when music was infinitely more developed, transported people to drunken ecstasy, and which, in their primitive state of development, undoubtedly incited to imitation all the poetic means of expression of contemporaneous man."

To which I reply..."Huh?"

As a writer I can't really wrap my head around works so badly in need of an editor. Wordy much? Grammar would be nice. Notice that it's one long sentence? I have to read stuff like this several times before I get the jist of his babbling.

I'm starting to think;

a) He was making a concerted effort to be as academic and snooty as possible. He had a lot of critics, and maybe this was his way of saying, "I can use bigger words and sentences than you. Can you hear me now?"

b)Or these are the rantings of a complete lunatic. After all, he did die a demented recluse.

I hear all the time what a genius he was. I think the emperor has no clothes. Do people applaud his musings because to admit he confuses them means they feel as stupid as I do? Can someone enlighten me?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yowls Well that Ends Well.

Ernest Hemingway collected cats. According to him, one cat leads to another.
Like tattoos and other forms of pain. How did he get anything writing done with all that caterwauling? That would be like me trying to write while listening to Megadeth.

The cutie in the photo is Sully. He is the latest edition (we hope) to our family, and the current reason for my exhaustion. Funny how alert one becomes when awakened from a deep sleep by low growls outside the bedroom door.

Being a relatively new pet owner, I was unprepared for the hissing, biting, screaming and territorial posturing involved. The cats were bad too. I think Freya secretly watches Bruce Lee movies.

But it's Day Four and I see a light at the end of the tunnel. They spend a lot of time close to one another without any freak outs. But I don't think I'm supposed to know that. It's like they deliberately howl in unison the minute I walk in the room-just to milk it a little. Because aggravating the human is fun.

You know what I've learned? That my cat Freya is a domineering, loud, little bitch that doesn't care if you're bigger than her. It's HER way or NO WAY.

I wonder where she got that from?