Monday, October 24, 2005

From the Jim Collins book Good to Great" online, about the experience of Admiral Jim Stockdale as a POW in Vietnam...
"“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

Then he turned to me and said, "This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Then there is being awoken at 2:00AM by a rather substantial nip on the cheek.
I am not a mother cat I sternly tell him.
He is lying on his back curled under my arm reaching up with tiny puff ball paws to pat my nose, and he wants me to think it was affectionate but I know he was banking on milk. He confirms this by kneading my shoulder. I turn over. I am sleepy.

A short two hours later, he is pouncing on my unmoving form, unmoving that is until I pick him up and deposit him on the floor. He scampers over to harrass Rainbow who hisses and complains loudly and then insists on being let out. Feed him to the dog she whines. I open the window for her and she leaves with a loud "rengrratfrmbt."
He retires to the bathroom. Checking out Acorn on the way. Acorn is not amused. She growls. She spits. He backs away. I know this not by watching, but by the lack of the sound of her swatting him. Which is more typical.

Scratch scratch scratch. scratchscratchscratch. Scratch. Silence. A bunch more scratching. The sound of cat litter scattering all over the floor. Sound of claws grabbing the blanket, then suddenly a tiny cat lying directly on my face. Faint dust from the cat litter still coating his long fur. Ewwww. Its time you slept at the foot of the bed.
Or possibly in the garage.

Oh so cute.
Oh so little sleep.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I work in a building filled with engineers where overheard hallway conversations consist largely of technical jargon and acronyms that make little sense and of codewords used to disguise intellectual secrets from passing visitors. Quality problems called fishhooks and chips called Ranier or Lakeport.

Today I heard this:
"After the rooster got in there I'm afraid to give you any.
You know, when you crack the egg into the pan, you don't want a blob in there."

To be honest, I don't know if this was a discussion of chickens or not.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

There is a charming middle aged bald man who we often see on our drive to school out walking four, sometimes five, fairly large dogs.
We have a dear fondness for this stranger and lately I have threatened to roll down my window and call out to him
"Marry me!"

But of course, my children object. They assume I am kidding.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Introducing.... Mango

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Accordion-pleated heart
Bowing my grief to the sink
Like some offering bowl to catch
The tears squeezed out each morning and night
When I brush my teeth, wash my face,
As if she is still perched there on the counter beside me
Waiting to steal drops from the faucet.
Now she steals them from my eyes.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

One last Lydia story.
During the holidays for many years we've hung red plastic chile lights on our front door, and over the years we'd notice that the chile covers would seem to end up in odd places. But we didn't think much about it. Then one year we had a charity go through our neighborhood leaving rolled up garbage size bags at each of our doorsteps soliciting donations. Over the next two weeks not one or two, but eight or ten of them mysteriously appeared in our yard, and I found two on my bedroom floor. I caught Lydia carrying one into the backyard and suddenly it occured to me we had a resident thief. Then one day I came home and found a strange, small rolled up advertising poster for a sports team on my bedroom floor. I cannot tell you how perplexing this seemed. I live upstairs and she would have had to drag it up a tree and across the roof and through a window, but the kids vehemently denied any involvement. A couple of small plastic "Aristocats" toys seemed to keep ending up out in the driveway even though I'd bring them in and wash them. But the kicker... I came home one day and found a yellow rain boot hanging halfway out the window of my bedroom. This thing is at least a third her weight, but the teeth marks in the toes gave her away. She had carried it too from the front porch, across the yard, up the tree, across the roof, and apparently was thwarted when the toe stuck on the window sill.

I suppose I have a choice.
I can view the serum sliding into her veins as taking her life,
or releasing her life into some other direction.
The deflation here becomes an inflation somewhere else. I don't think
the energy just stops. Especially the whimsical part.
But either way I have to say goodbye.
Thanks for your caring thoughts.
It was a good cat life she led. Now its over. At least here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Exponential decline

Been helping my daughter with writing equations to describe the growth rates that go with different types of word problems, how rapidly the bacteria are multiplying for example. Is it (10 + n to the 3) or just (n to the 13)?

12 days ago the vet told us he thought we might have 4 months.
4 days ago the veterinary oncologist told us we might have 1 month.
1 day ago I started worrying about when and whether the vet would be available this week when we'd have to put her out of her suffering.

How do you explain that equation to a child who was counting first on 4 months, then heartbroken accepted that it was just 1 month? But explain I guess I must. Some things don't follow a predictable curve.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?