Ode to Cat

My cat turns one year old this month, and I love her more than I ever thought I could love another living creature. I love this cat more than my mother. More than my partner. And though my mother would be a little annoyed, my partner is unfazed. Perhaps because my cat loves him more than she loves me.

Cat comes first. Her delight at dismembering roaches, frogs, lizards takes first place over my delight at having a floor devoid of tiny animal guts. Her disgust with hours old cat chow takes precedence over my sad attempts to ration her (expensive) food. Her desire to be on my lap right at this very moment even though I have to get ready for work supersedes my need to get ready for work.

Cats aren’t usually paraded as the most affectionate of pets but it is a goddamn miracle whenever she chooses to hop into one of our laps at the dinner table. The ensuing nuzzle-and-purr I am convinced are mere tools to ensnare us even further and I wish I would resist (especially when she hops off to bring a cockroach home and it inevitably runs across my bare feet) but she is just so precious dammit.

Of course I get mad at her. She destroys the furniture, bites my ear when I don’t wake up on time to feed her, scratches my feet at play, and have I mentioned bringing creepy crawlies into the house? But even in her craziest, sprint-across-the-house-at-2am-for-no-goddamn-reason moments I still manage to lose myself in her huge – eyes (the crazy eyes) and that faint meow so unique to her.

She widens my heart one feline stretch at a time, indulges my need to cuddle, teaches me about acceptance and patience and selflessness. She’s everything I ever imagined a cat would be (plus some other things I never thought of – roaches, again).

Now excuse me while I put some alcohol on my fresh claw marks.

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Milestones and Metaphors 

For my 25th birthday the universe’s present to me was the surprising and unwelcome reminder that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Instead of a relaxing day of doing nothing circumstances conspired to trap me in work. The horror.

But as I lay railing against the unstructured ebb and flow of life, I reminded myself that we are merely leaves floating down the stream of eternity. Day to day struggles seem all-consuming in the moment but time pushes us ever forward. Yesterday’s trials become tomorrow’s lessons.

What is important, I thought, is remembering to take a break from the rapids that overwhelm us and spend some moments enjoying the feel of sunshine. It’s no good jumping from crisis to crisis and ignoring the good bits in between. The good bits are the whole point.

So here’s to gratitude. And a quarter century of living. And paying more attention to the good parts for the next twenty-five years.

In The Thick of Thin Things

How can there be so much to say and so little at the same time? In the time I’ve been away I have lost a laptop, gained a year, put on a dance show, held down a job (in the loosest sense of the word), fought and made up, and finished a clerkship. It feels like so much has happened, but so much of it was little more than everyday detail.

Losing a laptop was the main reason for my absence. Or maybe I’m just hiding behind that excuse because I’m so utterly terrible at managing my time. It’s a toss-up, but I’m leaning towards poor time management because last night I finished off the last season of Doctor Who instead of studying for my exam next week. The trend continues.

My laptop screen just died, the kind of sudden unexpected and totally crippling death typical of myocardial infarctions or CVAs and since it was basically on life support to begin with I (very reluctantly) pulled the plug and ordered a brand new (smaller!) version of essentially the same laptop. Despite my admittedly sketchy history with Acer products I believe in sticking to the devils I know . The new laptop is super light but my fingers keep tripping over themselves. There isn’t enough room to swing a Kneazle on this keyboard.

While on hiatus I also celebrated my birthday, through various meanings of the word ‘celebrate’. The actual day was spent immersed in housework including the deliciously enviable task of baking brownies but also including the shudderingly* unenviable task of scrubbing my shower. The next day some of my friends threw a potluck with card games and wine. Despite not having acquired the taste I’m coming to the conclusion that wine makes everything better. On my third night of celebrations I went out with other friends to suffer through bad rum cream and snail pace service (thanks a lot, Mayfair Hotel).

Before all of that happened (much like my skills with time management, I am terrible at chronology) I slogged through my Obstetrics & Gynaecology clerkship, sprinting across the finish line like the hounds of hell were after me. Which they were. And by hounds of hell, I mean vaginas**. My biggest regret about the medical profession is the constant risk of exposure to other women’s lady parts. And that’s saying a lot.

It doesn’t sound like much to talk about it, but whilst I was in the middle of everything it felt like an awful lot was happening to me because I was so busy. But I was probably only busy because of the time management issues.

So we’ve come full circle.

*(Shudderingly is totally a word, spellcheck!)

**(Really, spellcheck, how is vaginas not a word? What do you think it is, vaginae? Holy crap, it is vaginae.)