Thursday, August 27, 2015

First NFL Season Without My Familiar

For those who used to play D&D when they were kids you know that a Familiar is a cat, or bird, or monkey, lizard, rat, or little demon or other creature who keeps you company, hangs around, warns you of danger, can even help fight off anyone who is attacking you, or at least prevent the attacker from surprising or ambushing you.  Our cat who succumbed to cancer last May was my familiar for more than 2 decades.  Dr Desert Flower's familiar was our charcoal gray cat that died of pancreatic cancer in 2013.  She often slept in the bed with DDF when I was traveling, snuggled up to her on the couch, and hung out with her.  Her older sister, our home's very first pet in our very first FHA starter house in Bloomington after renting in apartments for 7 years, was my familiar.  She'd sleep on my chest when she was younger.  And as she got older, she'd sit on the chaise lounge part of the sofa, reserved for her, at my feet, so she could demand petting and be close to her alpha male as it pleased her to do so.

During NFL games, when Da Bears were losing and Grossman, or Cutler, Orton, Chandler, Miller, Krieg, Kramer (man, the Bears have had some terrible quarterbacks who perform remarkably erratic & inconsistently) were spiking the ball because they don't know how to call a play-action pass, or throwing interceptions, or calling time outs because they are not made of the same material that a Manning, Rodgers, Marino, Staubach, or Elway were made out of... I would sometimes (frequently) shout loudly (and often in a disgruntled manner) at the TV, making a comment about my dissatisfaction at the terrible play I had just witnessed.  Meanwhile, Robbie Gould would consistently kick points up on the board, no questions asked.

When I would make a vociferously indignant comment, my familiar would LOOK at me, with a "WTF?" look... "can't you see I was lounging peacefully here at your feet? Do that again...  and I'm leaving, so you won't be able to pet me or bask in my glorious presence."  Invariably, another QB sack later, I'd let out another exclamation, and sure enough, my cat would get up and leave the room, finding a quiet resting spot.  This is the first season in 21 seasons, that she's not here.  We have a little box of her ashes with a sweet little cast paw print of her front paw - the one she'd hold up and out-stretch to you if you were not petting her enough - on the lid.  But her physical presence is missed.

I actually found a posting here, back in 2009, about this same subject:
Funny...  I used to drink cheap beer back then....  huh?

I try not to think about it...  and if I do think about it, to focus on the positives, and what a long and comfortable life she had being part of our family for more than 2 decades.  Writing this post, I think, is an attempt at catharsis... so that I can perhaps make it though the Fall and Winter without going into another severe melancholy... I don't know.  It's not just as simple as "get another cat", since I've found out I am terribly allergic to cats (9 months of allergy shots in 2008 didn't work) and there's no such thing as an entirely hypoallergenic feline.  And I don't have the time or patience for a dog, to have to constantly walk them and pick up their waste after them and keep them safe from coyotes and raptors.  You can't keep a dog exclusively inside, it is cruel & difficult, and it is against a dog's nature to remain completely inside.  And picking up the fresh warm fecal matter of a mammal is incredibly repulsive to me. "You get used to it" ... no, I don't think I would, just as "2 girls one cup", Mr Garrison's "glass bottom boat", and finding all of my neglegent neighbors' dogs' excrement on the corner of my yard near the side walk have proven to me that mammalian fecal matter thoroughly nauseates me.  Cleaning a litter box, every other day, when the litter has masked the odor...  that's easy.  It never involved me having to pick up warm poop with a bag over my hand.

Thanks, sweet kitten, for all of the happy memories.


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