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.

.

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:

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

Peace I Give to You

Funeral lessons were drawn from both Testaments.

From the Old Testament, Psalm 121:1-2

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord…”

 

A Song of Ascent, which continues to be quite the personal message, considering Jeff’s emphatic announcement that my baptism one year before his death was more important to him than our wedding day.

When he said, “Now, I know you’ll be alright,” he meant my place in our Father’s house would be secured.

Not premonitious; just a declaration of peacefulness. Jeff reveled in the calm that my soul was safely held and would be accounted for in heaven. The greatest of gifts.

It’s taken me a few years to appreciate this is the eternal promise that kept me going strong through the first few years.

It’s taken me a few more years to admit I have loosened my grip, lost my hold: effectively muted the joy. Despite that, here I am.  With barely any effort on my part, still going forward.

The thing is, I’m ready to revise, now. Just about everything. I want to begin again. Embrace what needs renewal.

2008, down 118 pounds. 2020, I’ve gained 12 back, slowly.

It’s easy to break it into bites that please my palate. That’s only a pound a year!

Except I am now further out away from what should have continued. You see, I wasn’t done. 30 more to go is now 42.

It’s also easy to declare this is what I want. The hard part is action; required.

Then, there’s trying to do too much. Or too much to do, so, not trying.

I know what I must do. I always know what I must do.

There’s really only one way through. But, to take that path….

First things first: reclaim the calm.

Quote for the Week: 2020 09 01 peace i give you jakorte

Music We Keep

There’s a lot to be said about the music we keep in our hearts.

There’s a reason we love the music we love.

It speaks to us on an intimate level, no matter cadence or rhythm or volume.

Jeff kept quite a few in his. Many of enthusiasm.

Funeral planning, I chose hymns he’d always comment on. “Oh, good!” Jeff’d exclaim when the church bulletin listed one of his favorites. He’d sometimes sigh, “Oh.” Thoughtfully noting hymns of importance. Those his mother Sally and grandmother Nannee loved.

“Oh, How I Love Jesus”

There is a name I love to hear

I love to sing its worth

It sounds like music in my ear

The sweetest name on earth

“Jesus Loves Me”

Jesus loves me!

This I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

I don’t think I chose this one. I’ve sung it before, and the pretty melody randomly pops-in to remind me from time to time.

“Hymn of Promise”

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.

I talk to time about my love; my greatest listener.

When music talks to me, I listen for the beats and counts; steady rhythms to regulate my heart, with words that understand.

Quote for the Week: 2020 08 25 what an amazing thing a song is jakorte

Music to His Ears

I didn’t have to listen to AC/DC the entire drive

I don’t dislike AC/DC. The manic mouthiness is a little too raucous for early morning deer-watch drives. Absolutely, better suited to starting off a party right, then keeping you awake on a midnight swoop home.

On M-50, just outside of Tecumseh, Jeff nodded off.

Not unexpected, although that usually didn’t happen until Jackson. I made sure he was solidly snoozing, before I flipped the station, and commenced with a self-indulgent, quiet little country music sing-along.

Jeff shifted, sort of snorted, then settled down, again.

An hour and some later, at the end of the exit ramp in Lansing, I clicked the radio off, and nudged him. “Hey, wake-up,” I tickled his chin.

Jeff lifted his head as I turned the corner, checked his bearings, then turned to me and smiled. “I like listening to you sing,” he stated, sincerely.

The thing is – I can’t sing.

Evidence:

In 8th grade, it was strongly suggested choir might not be my best elective.

In summer theatre, I was given a silent part in Godspell – you know, a mime.

Admittedly,  I endlessly played each new vinyl record (yep, I’m that old) over and over trying to perfect a lyrical breath or catch an unusual beat-part. At some point, my father would reach a breaking point and yell down the stairs for me to stop singing. I always did. Except, for that one time, I decided to hum along. He told me to stop humming, because that as off-key, too.

I can’t explain Jeff’s enthusiasm for my voice, but that’s the kind of thing love does to a person. He once compared my weird warble to the angelic lilt of Alison Krauss.

I told him he was horribly mistaken, but isn’t it sweet how love can taint your ears?

Quote for the Week: 2019 07 30 LOVE hears your song jakorte

 

Not Napping Music, Not

The same evening, between other commercials, I addressed the schedule for our up-coming weekend plans.

We were closely booked, which would require a bit of running. Over the past few weeks, we’d canceled a few social outings.

Among those, one was an overdue family visit. One was a much anticipated ‘meet the baby’ date. We’d previously discussed rescheduling the baby outing for Saturday evening or Sunday after church. When I asked Jeff if he’d been able to arrange it, he said he’d been thinking about that.

“Maybe, Saturday at lunch time, would be better,” he hemmed.

“We can’t, tomorrow.” I answered, quickly, shortly.

Jeff’s brow furrowed.

“We’re going to Lansing, tomorrow.” I reminded him.

“Well, huh.” Jeff scrunched his lips to the side, and puffed out one cheek. “Maybe, we can reschedule that for when I’m feelin’ better?”

“We’ve already canceled, twice.” I pointed out. “We can’t to cancel, again. Besides, the store is already covered for tomorrow.”

It wasn’t always easy to find someone willing to tend shop by themselves for an entire day. We’d already cancelled our scheduled helper’s shift, once, too.

“Mmm… maybe, you can go without me, this once…?”

“Absolutely not!” I popped back. “I’m not going without you.”

I missed my cousin’s wedding in Georgia, because Jeff simply couldn’t make the trip. The advice I received from a non-family member was that he was a big-boy and he could take care of himself for a weekend. I stood my ground that time, too, and refused.

I was terrified enough; always wondering each weekday, if that day would be the day. I can’t even imagine what would have become of me, if I had left Jeff for a weekend, and Jeff had left me forever that weekend.

I badgered my continued opinion. “You can sleep in the car on the way up, and back. It’s what you’d be doing at home, anyway.”

Jeff sat there, lips pressed, two cheeks puffed out.

I’m not even sure he was trying to come up with an argument, but in case he was, I enticed and cajoled. “You can pick the music.” I stated, with unarguable finality, “even if you’re gonna sleep through it all.”

That got a smile. “AC/DC, it is!” Jeff crowed.

“You realize, that’s not really napping music.” I conveyed; fair point.

“Yeaaahhhh,” he wheezed on purpose, followed by a sinister Mutly laugh.

“Maybe, I’ll bring Kid Rock, too. I can sleep through anythin’ and one of us has gotta stay awake for the drive!”

Quote for the Week: 2019 07 23 your people will understand if you can’t make jakorte