Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Grief

I've debated whether or not I should plague my readership (however small it may be) with what is undoubtedly the most difficult thing, emotionally, I've had to struggle with in my short life. I have decided that I definitely should. It is my blog, after all. And you don't have to read this post (although I think you should, because everything I write is gold, naturally).

Friskies has been my friend and confidante since I was 10 years old. Although I was the one who got to choose her rather unfortunate name, I never personally took it upon myself to claim her as my cat. She, however, took it upon herself to claim my bed as hers and so our relationship grew. She watched (actually, maybe napped is the better verb here) while I awkwardly made my way through middle school, high school, and puberty in general. When I came home from university she was always there, ready to provide cuddles and gentle indifference. She got kicked out of the room the first couple times I kissed a boy, and she dutifully stood guard at the door until she was welcomed back. Soon after a somewhat resentful chirp and some annoyingly slow stretching and chin-rubbing on the threshold of the door, she would reliably be right back in her middle-of-the-bed station, purring as though she were part 1969 Ford Mustang, muffler-free.
The only time I've had to deal with anything bad happening to her was when she was six or seven and she had to have a small operation to remedy a bladder issue. Now I have to deal with something of a more sinister nature. She has become increasingly rotund through the middle and bonier in the shoulders and hindquarters. Not long ago her appetite started dropping off, so I made an appointment with the vet. I took her in on Thursday and, after having x-rays done, I was told that there was a mass of some kind in her abdomen. It could be either a tumor on her spleen that has just become very large or a tumor that has formed around her intestines, making digesting food difficult. The former possibility is what we are hoping for, because spleens are superfluous organs for cats. The latter is, in most cases, inoperable. Either way, she is in pain. We won't know exactly what the problem is until an ultrasound is done. Hopefully that will be tomorrow.

So this situation is, understandably I think, the only thing I have been thinking about since Thursday. I've had a bit of time to mull it over and get used to the idea of her not being around anymore, although that is obviously the last thing I want. She has been my friend for so very long and I have been so lucky to have her in my life. In fact, we've been friends for most of my life. Normally not a particularly sentimental person, I am surprised by how many things trigger an emotional breakdown for me. On Friday at work before my shift, I was reaching into the cupboard for a mug. A co-worker came into the kitchen and said "Hi, how are you?" and I burst into tears. He was completely stunned and said, after a pause "Can't find a cup?". I then exploded the whole cat story onto him and he stood there, very kindly, listening to me, likely thinking "Wow, that new girl sure is a fruit loop". I doubt he'll ever ask me how I am again!

Friskies has an ultrasound tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, although I haven't a confirmation heard from the vet's office. She is barely eating anything and today I had to actually place her in her litterbox for a pee because her energy is so low that I was afraid she might not make it. She is definitely not herself. It's a very sad thing to witness, the slow decline of one of your best friends. I don't give a fuck if people think I'm crazy for calling her my best friend. They obviously, and unfortunately, have never had the incredible experience of becoming close with an animal. It sucks that I have to make these kinds of decisions now, and deal with this overwhelming sadness, but if this is the payment I have to make for the unconditional love I have received from her throughout her entire life, I think it's more than worth it.
Please, friends, keep positive thoughts for Friskies in your mind. If you're the praying type, I'm sure she'd appreciate that too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the Job

Better late than never to announce to blogdom that I have a job. Yup, I now have a real grown-up person job as a copywriter/search engine optimization expert at a local business that creates websites for real estate companies. I started on June 27th and I'm really enjoying it. There's a lot to learn, but there's always something new to be done, which I can totally appreciate. Plus, they call the "behind the scenes" stuff of websites the "back-end", and I find that absolutely hilarious. Today I brought in pictures of Friskies and GP and me in a little frame to make my desk more homey. I regretted it almost immediately; it's difficult to focus when there's a photo of the most adorable cat on earth staring up at you.

My coworkers are fun. We had Sports Day today (it's a weekly thing) and we played soccer. I suggested starting up a running group and they were completely into it. We'll see how long it is until I've instigated a composting program. It's a very different work environment compared to the last place; they seem to actually like their employees here. There are medical/dental benefits, a gym membership incentive, a new computer payment/loan program, a lunch program (the fridge is completely stocked and we just make lunch with whatever we like) and once a month there's a cake day, to celebrate the month's birthdays. What more could you ask for?! Oh, and there are potlucks every so often, with prizes for most tasty food and best presentation. Needless to say, I'm in it to win it. I think I'll be making lemon meringue cupcakes, with meringue roses to top them. I've already started testing the recipe and I think it's going to blow everyone else out of the water.
It's a crappy photo, but you can still see how pretty they are. I think the only thing prettier than meringue roses are real ones.

General life things have been going smoothly. Not much to report, other than an excellent (albeit drizzly) camping trip to Tofino on Canada Day long weekend. So good, in fact, that after three vigorous washings, my hair still smells like campfire smoke.

My garden is growing at warp speed. I harvested all the broccoli raab (aka rapini, brocoletti, and/or broccolini) yesterday and we had it with dinner today, just steamed. It has so much more flavour when you grow it yourself: broccoli, yes, but with a hint of mustardy spiciness. Man, was it ever delicious. I'm hoping the new shoots come quickly.
There's really no taste like a fresh strawberry straight from the garden, with that shiny tight skin. I can't wait for the similarly sweet taste of the cherry tomatoes I've got growing. They need to get their butts in gear and set fruit already. Same with the sugar snap peas. So much to look forward to!