Tag Archives: peace

the very short story of Pippin.

I didn’t believe that I could still sob like an eight year old kid. But I did. Today. Most of the day actually. Over a stupid, determined, tuxedo, lap-loving, purr-happy cat that I knew for maybe 10 weeks.

We adopted the tiny bugger from Daryl’s school. They have a relationship with the local ASPCA to let the students interact and sometimes learn to care for kittens. The kittens are part of their foster program.

Our first grand dame, Zazu, came from there 5 Christmas’ ago and we adore her, so after much cajoling from Daryl (3 glasses of good wine, and the promise of something naughty), I FINALLY gave into seeing a photo of this new kitten. “He looks a little sick. Like maybe he has a cold or something,” I snorted. “Just a cold, ” Daryl assured me, “He’s on antibiotic. He is THE friendliest kitten I have ever seen there. He came right up to me and sat on my lap, then climbed onto my shoulder to purr. It’s like he wants to snuggle all the time!”

“Okay,” I said reluctantly. Or as reluctantly as I could fake. “But you’re giving medicine, and litter, and clean ups, etc.” Daryl agreed. He takes such wonderful care of Zazu. How could we not welcome more love into our relationship?

I got home from work after 5 the day he came into our home. Daryl had off and got Pippin used to his new surroundings. We have a very small condo, and our initial challenge was going to be keeping the baby from his big mean old sister Zazu.

This kitten was pathetic looking. Runny nose, gook in both eyes, sneezing into everything, including a few cups of my coffee. But something about this cat was special. Something I haven’t seen before in any of my million cat history growing up. He was just LOVE. We kept him in the bathroom all night. He’d jump into the sink and fall sound asleep while his purr motor ran rampant and loud.

As soon as I would open the door, he would follow me like a puppy. He didn’t meow, didn’t bite, and rarely clawed at anything. As I would start the Keurig he would lie on my feet looking up at me. I’d bring my coffee to my sofa perch and he’d hop right up and plop onto my lap. Not in a cat way… but just a plop. Then he’d purr so loud as I stroked his tiny head. It was just what I needed to start my day. So calming. So loving. Every morning as I watched the sun rise and dawdle on FaceBook.

He was peace. At least to me. Not so much to the queen bee Zazz. She finally got to meet him face to face after the sixth day if “cat-solation.” She wasn’t pleased. He went immediately up to her face as if he were the new 8 year old kid on the first day of school. Hey there lady… my name is Pippin. I think you look really neat. I like you! I’ve never known Zazz to say an unkind word to anyone. She doesn’t even meow. Until now. A hiss and a growl that I think even surprised HER!

Pippin backed away as if to say, okay lady, that’s cool. You’ll warm up to me eventually. In the meantime, I have a lap to find. I left them alone that day and when I came home from work, they were sleeping in the same bed (ours) about a foot or two apart. Zazu looking at me as if to say okay guys… “It’s” really annoying me and when can you take “it” back to where you found “it?”

This behavior between the two continued for a day or two to mixed reviews.

Pippin’s cold wasn’t really progressing like I’d hoped. It wasn’t getting worse, but it wasn’t improving either. Kitten snot everywhere. The poor guy didn’t seem to mind. He continued his lap loving, purr mending ways.

I decided a visit to the vet was in order. I wanted to have him checked anyway even though the ASPCA did their routine shot treatment before he was adopted. As soon as I took Pippin out of his crate, the vet held his head (as he continued to purr loudly) and informed me that Pippin had herpes.

“You’re shitting me right?” was my elegant no filter response. Apparently, cat herpes is quite common in shelter environments. Kittens can also get it from their mothers milk. It’s an airborne version that is extremely contagious to other cats but in no way harmful to humans.

Did you say contagious to other cats?

What about Zazu? We’ve kept them separated for several days. They haven’t had any contact really. We still have their food and liters in different locations. Zazz should be fine right? “Unfortunately, your other cat is already infected,” was the vets response. “It’s THAT contagious.”

After getting a very expensive bag of various pills, powders, and liquids. I headed home to explain to Daryl what our next steps were. Pippin hopping in and out of the travel crate like it was an adventure without the least bit of hesitation.

Within a day, Zazu was a wreck. Her eyes filling up with gunk, her sneezing incessant, and she could not eat or drink without vomiting clear mucus. She got depressed pretty quickly and hid in places that were not her usual spots. It was very difficult to see this cat who was never sick, go downhill so rapidly. The herpes had taken over.

Daryl decided to get her to the vet within the week. He brought his own bag of prescription goodies and our home soon looked like the ward for wayward cats with bottle, salves, and liquids with schedules that rivaled any senior living lobby.

With patience, teamwork, and a little time, we got both animals to a sense of chaotic order. We did it together. All of us.

The two pusses even tolerated each other somewhat out of a resolution of we’re all in this together in this tiny little condo world. We can make this work.

Eventually, Daryl and I could not stop this kid from wanting to sleep in between us. He’d climb up and plop directly between our heads, never fearing getting crushed or being uncomfortable. He would stay with us all night. Purring most of it, as Zazu continued her nightly slumber at our feet.

A few weeks later, Pippin began walking with a slight limp to his hind left leg. I guess we just attributed it to him sleeping on it. He’d be running to play with his favorite laser light and he’d sort of trip with it. Way too quickly within a few days it evolved into he couldn’t walk without his back end sliding to the side. He looked drunk. Almost cute… if it weren’t so serious.

Back to the vet. X-rays, and tests and still no answers. New antibiotics in hand, we coached the little guy along. Hoping to see improvement, he deteriorated quickly. His entire back of his body began to lose function. He had to drag himself around. He never complained or looked in pain as he tried to come running to me looking like a funny seal. I had to pick him up to get him to my lap since he couldn’t climb. He had no control over his bladder or bowels. We were losing him.

Daryl made another vet appointment for that late afternoon. I ended up staying home with the little guy for the day. I cancelled all plans on my schedule and decided to wrap him in a favorite blanket of his (and mine) and sat with him on my lap all day. He was semi alert and continued to look at me off and on during the day, his tiny face staring at me as if HE was trying to comfort ME. At one point I even told him that I didn’t think things looked good as I wept and he stretched his paw out and touched my arm. He continued to sleep off and on, hiding his tiny head deep into the blanket. He couldn’t get up to eat so I would take him to his bowl and watch him attempt to stand as he’d flop into his bowl of water. He just looked at me and placed his head on the floor. I lost it. Like an 8 year old kid… I lost it.

I don’t know how animal volunteers do it. I don’t know how they can look at these faces of unconditional love, of painful eyes, of unspoken thoughts and continue to care for or lose these creatures of heart. I give them credit.

The back of my head kept saying to me, it’s only a cat silly… you haven’t even had him for long. Snap out of it! Stop acting like a big baby.

Daryl came home in cautioned silence as he opened the crate and we watched as Pippin hobbled in without question. Without hesitation. To the vet for blood work. We wanted to see if there were any solutions. Deep down, I didn’t believe the day would end well.

It didn’t.

So many of you reached out. So many of you understand this incredible loss of a pet. More than a pet. A family member. One that never really gives you grief. They just want to be with you is all. They don’t judge your looks, your attitude, your mood. They just see your soul and they allow you to see your own.

Thanks for the support. It is truly of value.

And thanks Pippin, for coming into our lives no matter how brief. We love and miss you terribly. 😿

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can’t we all just get along?

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row row row our boat…

A row of summer boats
that want to take us away
but can’t
as they lay anchored in the safety of the harbor.

It is the gentle rolling of the vast like sea
that will give us the freedom to find the destination
as we row row row our boat…

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This is fogged up.

This was a photo I took while Daryl and I were
on a mini getaway in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware last year.
It was off-season.
Not a whole lot to do during a rainy foggy day.

Well almost.

Always look at the world in all ways. Be in your moment. Stay aware. Be kind.

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Last Breath.

And as the silence drew closer still

As if suffocation of spirit wasn’t enough

As if her pain racked body wasn’t enough

Her cracked lips parted

And a whisper struggled from the deepest depth of her heart

To take its place among the stale air around her face

As if pushing her gently from life’s ledge wasn’t enough

As if letting her drug filled eyes blink away saltless tears wasn’t enough

The cruel watch decided with its ever moving hands

As the whirring of machines still ticked

Compassion might win this time

And allow her to sing the finale that every person must know

By letting her parched note tumble into

The soft abyss of her final slumber

Of the beginning

Of her peace.

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a day at Longwood Gardens…

I LOVE Longwood Gardens, just outside West Chester, PA. I decided on a whim that on this amazingly clear warm late summer day that Daryl and I were BOTH off, we should spend some time here. We strolled and sat, strolled some more, then ate a leisurely lunch. Daryl took an extra allergy pill (he truly works at our relationship) and everything was fine until he said at the end of our outing that “Mr. Longwood should be proud!*” I laughed SO hard that I actually cried. I love that silly man.

(the photos are just from my iphone)

SO relaxed while enjoying a spectacular day at Longwood Gardens.

 

Italian Water Gardens

 

Brugmansia (Angels Trumpets)

 

breezed hallway off the Main Conservatory

 

water lily pads

 
 

Chime Tower

 

gazebo outside of the rose garden

 

tea rose... the fragrance was amaaazing!

 

topiary garden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

within the "Eye of Water" pavillion

  
* Daryl is WELL aware that Longwood Gardens is NOT named after a Mr. Longwood.

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rain.

I wish it would rain…

For just today.

Bring clouds of cleansing clarity my way

Soft pellets pushing at the glass

Make certain paths uncertain

with translucent ambiguity.

I want it to rain…

To splash such stagnant sorrow

From my head

Flood tightness from my chest

To breathe the taste of thunder

And shake me ever free.

Please let it rain…

And thrust that sun away

To cloak her sizzling heat

With walls of wet

To hide her glaring stare

I wish it would completely rain…

And soak me in new days

Of gushing purer vibrant thoughts

Of flowing futures

And drenched out pasts

To puddle perfect peace.

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the giving tree.

The cutting of the trees was the last straw. I came home yesterday to a new view.

Apparently the condo association was informed by the local electric company to remove several beautiful white pine trees from around a few of the fatigue green boxed transformers located within the development. These trees HAD to be over 50 years old I’m guessing and provided year round green and sweet summer shade. Now our building looks… what’s the word I’m looking for… STARK! Sure, I understand that the roots of the trees were more than likely cutting power unnecessarily and the branches of white pines are notorious for breaking and causing damage during wind storms, but there MUST have been another way.

There wasn’t.

I relish my shade. I crave it actually. It gives me time to stop. To think. To cherish the absent warmth of the sun. The shade even smells different. I would so enjoy walking through the shade on my way into the condo after a particularly insane day at work. I got to depend on my shade.

I took my shade for granted.

Throughout my life I have always gravitated towards shady people. Let me clarify that. I am drawn to folks that have a sense of peace… a sense of calmness that comes from within. I’m sure it’s my way of balancing out my flair for the over dramatic and emotional bursts of passion that seem to plague me from time to time. In my personal life, Daryl has certainly been a steady provider of shade that I am learning not to take for granted.

At work, however, I have lost yet another tree.

There have been many changes in personnel at the showroom I have called home for close to seven years. I have seen more people come and go than an old episode of Threes Company. In our line of work, the hours and the down time can be excruciatingly cruel. The demands of commission-based paychecks have sometimes been too much for many a struggling salesperson, and they leave or get fired. Just when I think I’m getting used to it. I’m not.

This week, a gentleman that I consider a GOOD home furnishing salesman… an HONEST salesman… a REAL person has decided to take a position in another store as a manager. He’ll be incredible at it. He has an amazing way with people. The new showroom that he is heading to is very, very fortunate. This man deserves to be successful and happy and I wish him the very best in his newest challenge.

But what about MY shade?

I still always find myself gearing up to be constantly “ON” for new and existing customers. It takes a lot of energy to remain positive when you actually feel like shoving a cocktail table where the sun don’t shine (how’s THAT for shade?). Having this man around would always somehow seem to make the day just a little easier to bear. Without him knowing it, his presence had a way of “bringing my blood pressure down.” I’ve enjoyed (and taken for granted) the company of several other trees at work too, but they seem to keep getting chopped down as well, leaving me with saplings, the occasional parasol, and a bunch of dried up weeds*.

I believe I’m selfish and I miss my shade. Hurry up and grow, sweet forest!

*Dear other people at work… this does NOT mean I consider you all dried up weeds by any means (well MOST of you anyway). It’s just a writing analogy with regard to trees and shade. Get over it.

(a favorite book of mine is Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Check it out!)

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