sneak up, with love…

Blu’s not feeling great.

While I was struggling to figure tonight out, he plopped in front of my keyboard. Knowing this, I let it go for a bit.

Watching his quietness turn into sleepy eyes broke my heart a bit. He’s always tired. Yeah, I know he’s 9, but 9 isn’t old enough to be old.

About two weeks now, he’s been over-grooming, sporadic about eating, still showing me he’s peeved about Nala. I keep thinking about that part, hoping and worrying about it, too. Was it really the right thing to do? Disrupt HBlu’s one-cat, one-human breed-preference world? Force Nala-Lilly to adapt to my vision of a new indoor world where I knew she’d be safe?

Anyway, Harley Blu has an appointment on Thursday afternoon. You see, when I scratch his lower back (ok, the top of his butt) something goes wrong. He presents like he expects it to be an enjoyable languid stretch, but it’s not. I doubt whatever is happening is not enjoyable to him.

A backward stroke behaves as if I am tugging an invisible string, invoking a jerky head movement. If I stop the stroking, he stops the bobbing. If I keep going, he’ll start with licking and then attempt to bite his own chest. I’m not too concerned he’ll do any self- damage with one canine and 5 tiny teeth, total. It’s still disturbing, though, and obviously quite not right.

I’ve also noticed his tongue slides out to the right when he eats or grooms or occasionally licks Nala after a not-so-playful tackling bite.

She still wants to be his friend and imitates him lovingly. I’m thankful for this because she’s never even attempted to jump a counter or my breakfront. HBlu doesn’t jump.

Amusingly, when he was a one-year old kitten I arrived home to an interesting scene. I didn’t really forget it, but a FB reminder popped up this past and startled the shit out of me.

Trust me, it’s worth the swear. You see, just the Friday the 13th night before, (night at 5:30 sucks, btw.) I heard a small ‘eek’ and a thud and nothing else. I peered through the pass-through and couldn’t see anything amiss. Still the silence was concerning, so I rounded the wall and blinked.

I knew they were sparring, likely not lovingly on HBlu’s part judging by the missing meow voice Nala-Mia was throwing. The octave she lost this summer is more like a breathy “keh-keh,” now.

The over-turned real-retro orange arm-chair reminded me of that time I came home from work and found the exact same scene. Only that was when Miss Fred was Blu’s companion. She didn’t want much to do with him, but he still wanted to be her friend.

Trust me, I’ve reminded Sir Harley of that and admonished him he’s being crotchety like Freddie. I do understand there’s no talking reason to a cat, but I try anyway.

My theory about that day had been the Blu was behaving badly, trying to make the jump from the chair back to the counter. He’s had a few a-little-too-short experiences, which I strongly suspect is why he doesn’t leap much. He’ll do the desk top, if I’m already sitting there. Hasn’t curled up on the dry sink for a while now, though.

Anyway, my 11-14-2012 theory might have been knocked out of the water by the knocked over 11-13-2020 scenario.

Maybe they were playing, too. Blu might have been playing. Miss Fred the Misread likely was not.  

I jumped up for a glass of water just now and found another semi-eerie situation. When Freddie’s health was failing, Harley would wait until she fell asleep and then crawl close to snooze near her.

Tonight, Blu was sleeping and Nala was nearby. I don’t like the comparison.

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The song that lullabye-d Blu tonight: Hallelujah covered by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, of which I could unfortunately not locate a viable share for you.

However, Enjoy this Week’s New Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.)

Nik Kershaw Roundabouts and Swings released 10/16/2020

Dylan Fraser The Storm released 10/23/2020

Quote for the Week:

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-11-17-cats-and-the-same-composite-jakorte.jpg

Copy Cat: Love & Good News

Yes, this has been a stressful day.

It’s been bizarre, as well, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

How do we stay sane? Let’s try love. And good news.

So, this happened Sunday.

Not for the first time, but for the first extended time.

Harley Blu was lap-side first, a little bit lazy, because that’s where the sun was. Nala-lilly anti-spoke up with that octave-crack she acquired when ambushed last summer.

Sleeping so sweetly, on the porch, she screamed so loud she lost a section of voice that night. I shouldn’t laugh, but, dang. It’s just cartoon-funny when she looks at me so earnestly about to ask a question and only oil-deprived, rusted hinge noises come out of her petite little mouth. Trust me, she has plenty of other inflections and she uses them just fine.

Anyway, I invited her up. Patted the chair; showed her it was solid.

She was tentatively talkative using her audible “I’m here” announcement way she does when she’s behind Blu. Such a considerate sweetie. She also rolls when she’s in front. I’d say he’s getting more tolerant, but I really think it’d be more accurate to say he’s somewhat less irked.

She’ll roll, he’ll bite her tummy (ineffective due to his lack of chompers), then, immediately lick the same spot right away. Copy-cat routine with the ear: bite, lick. Weird but also wonderful when compared to the previous hissing and moaning, warning caterwauling.

HBlu huffed and snorted a little when she slid in beside him, but didn’t budge. Sweet Nala-Lilly (who btw is now more often referred to as Nala-Mia) parked herself shoulder-to-shoulder, eventually, laying her sweet chin on his front paw-arm.

Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise’s first pleading looks are pretty priceless. I have to admit I was really just hoping I wouldn’t get shredded in a melee.

20 solid minutes and a painfully sleepy foot for me later, the end result was pretty priceless, too.

Additional Thoughts @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod

Thought for the Week:

The Unexpected Ministry in Misunderstanding (Time to Eat.)

I never fessed up because I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take away the meaning they’d assigned.

What I’d said was, “Five years ago today was the happiest day of my life. Today is the second happiest day of my life, because I can see how very much (emotional throat glitch) he was loved.”

From what I’ve been told, miss-hearings varied from, “how very much Jesus loved him,” to how very much Jesus loves us.”

Our United Methodist Church Pastor was one of the misunderstandees. His own throat-closing confession to an entire sanctuary of mostly unknown-to-him funeral attendees that the decision not to marry Jeff and me was the greatest regret of his ministry career, sealed my lips.

Shortly thereafter, the minister invited everyone to fellowship after the conclusion of the celebration of life for Jeffrey Korte. But, before the dismissing blessing, he also asked if there was anyone who hadn’t had a chance to speak but would like to now.

There was such a complete and awkward silence that if I hadn’t known there were people behind me, I wouldn’t have suspected anyone was there.

Then, it happened.

In a 100% Jeff moment, his picture leapt off the communion rail and tumbled over backwards. The people murmured, the tension broke, and Pastor David took it as a sign.

Paraphrasing, again, it was something that included ‘going’ and ‘eating’  like, “I think Jeff’s sayin’ it’s time to eat,” or “I guess Jeff’s ready to go eat.”

There was laughter and a blessing and then it was over. The funeral had officially ended.

I was advised to stay where I was for a few moments, because there were likely people who would not be joining us at the Masonic Hall who may want to have a word before they left.

So, I stood there, and said thank you and goodbye to some; hello and thank you to others. But, the only ones I remember were the four-in-a-row.

“It gives me great joy that you believe in our Lord and Savior.”

“Jesus was with you up there today and he will continue to be with you.”

“What a testimony to your faith! Jesus loves us -Hallelujah and Amen.”

“Your faith in Christ surpasses mine.”

Then, the witness.

Making our way to cross the church lot, the witness, my mother, spoke.

“You’re not going to become a minister, are you?”

Quote for the Week:

orange.

I’d sighed earlier at the half-read “Box of Butterflies,” by Roma Downey. Rather than re-shelve, I re-homed it to my priority chair-side reading table.

Because, 1. it was only/already half-read and 2. it would be a light enjoyable distraction because 3. I was giving up on the missing missive.

To feed my belly, there was a quick reheat of lemony chicken and roasted zucchini with garlic. To feed my soul, I dragged a zero-gravity folding recliner, my lunch and the book outside. For while I was pleasantly afternoon porch-sitting in the shade of my massive oak, enjoying the lovely light breeze.

Readings, prayers and stories blended, touched me, encouraging an emotional urge to sad-cry. Though, not something I do much, I also don’t reserve them as a resource. No, my tears map; mostly chartered for overwhelming frustration or anger.

When I do give into melancholy, I self-console it’s not entirely squandered time; there is scientific data on the toxin expelling benefit of tears.

To be sure, my dead-end searching contributed, but the reason was indeed sadness.

Yep. I wasted a solid thirty seconds pity-partying, which is a bit of significance. If you’re inclined, go ahead and time thirty seconds. It’s a lot longer than you think.

I sniffled, wiped my eyes and closed them just for a moment being miserable and thinking about Jeff. And, then, everyone gone.

I blotted to remove the refractory glare of still welled tears, Un-smudging my glasses, I began again (because I can’t not finish a chapter, or a song for that matter.)

Soft-stop blink-leaking, something glinted peripherally. I expected to see Blu and his shiny gold collar tag at the screen. When I am out and he is in, HBlu’ll check where I’m at, what I’m up to and yell at me to let me know he’s monitoring. I say hello, tell him I’m fine and he lumbers back to his most recent favorite indoor spot.

I was surprised it wasn’t Sir Harley. It was a flitty thing.

It took another swipe-rub and a second sweep to determine it was a butterfly – in orange.

The flutter-by stayed around a bit. Dipping, rising, dancing for fifteen seconds or so, until the gusty stream took it wherever it was going next.

I couldn’t help but smile.

Orange was my father’s favorite color.

Then, I couldn’t help but frown.

Quote for the Week:

Quarancat-thing

This is Tigger-Lilly.

She started showing up after the only-one-time baby striped thing. The big orange cat has only been by once since TLilly planted herself on the porch.

Tigger’s been routine for a little over a month now. Based on loose evidence, I’ve deduced she is a girl. But, then again, Jeff thought Miss Fred was a boy at first, and he was more familiar with animal anatomy than I am.

This golden tortoise-girl is ear-clipped and collar-less. I suspect she’s somewhere between 9 months and a year, a homeless catch-and-release or hopelessly lost. A shake or an itch will create a Pig-Pen dust cloud. There doesn’t appear to have been any weight gain since I’ve been feeding her, so two homes seems unlikely. I’m also light on the feeding, twice a day. She eats quickly and over-eats to the point of regurgitation if she’s not monitored.

It’s taken three weeks for her to stop jumping away if I breath too loudly, tap my foot or swat at a bug.  She still bolts when I open the door, keeping wide berth, then coming closer again, carefully.

Lill’s way more interested in Blu than me, steadily seeking out his feline companionship, showing no fear – she knows he’s her kind. She follows Sir Harley and I on our weather-permitting, early morning garden walks, jabbering away the whole time. On our way back around the house, she gets louder, mewling impatient tones of “c’mon!” and demanding breakfast.

Blu is alternately ambivalent, jealous, stunned. He’s only territorial now when he remembers to be. She is patient, and forewarning; always announcing herself if she is behind him, always rolling over when she is in view. Her up-front-ness and squeaky approach have greatly reduced HBlu’s confused fused hiss vocal dying-zombie protests.

In the last few days Miss Lilly has eaten from my hand, let me scratch her back for 10 seconds while she ate and has owningly hit my legs with drive-by’s.

She’s persistent with Blu. I’m persistent with her. And, thankfully, Blu is less consistent in his affront.

I’m anticipating it will take at least another month of being/working with TL for her to not skitter. It’ll probably be another few weeks past that until she stays close enough for long enough for me to consider trying to secure her to a vet.

I don’t think we’d have any progress if I wasn’t working from home with a later schedule now, as well.

So, there it is: a happy quarantine thing.

Quote for the Week: