I feel five years old

September 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm (anxiety, cats, unhealthy obessions)

Yesterday I was walking home when I saw a cat lying in the road. I told him to get out, that he was going to be ran over. But he didn’t budge. When I walked closer to him, he looked sick, worse than sick, he was dying. I’m not very level-headed in situations like this so I scooped him up and put him in the shade on the sidewalk. He could barely stand for two seconds before collapsing into a furry heap, his small eyes half closed. He was brown and stripey, small like a kitten, but obviously older. I could feel his bones through his sagging skin.

Walking up the stoop to the nearest house, I hoped that he belonged to somebody, that someone could help him. A woman answered the door.

“Do you have a cat?”

“Yes,” she said, looking panicked. We walked down to the sidewalk together. He didn’t belong to her. Her cat was black and big. Her young daughter came outside.

“Honey, thats a kitty,” she said. “He’s very sick.”

She said she’d check on him and if he still hadn’t moved, she’d call animal control. She went back inside the house

I walked back to my house. I was there two minutes before I asked Jacob to come with me to bring the cat some food and water. Perhaps he was just dehydrated and hungry.

We returned to the cat. He had crawled several inches from where I’d left him. I set the food and water down and he looked up quickly and stumbled towards them, but he didn’t drink or eat, he slumped down again. I moistened the food with some water and fed it to him by hand. When he ate, his jaw made an awful grinding noise like he was a broken mechanical toy.

“Don’t feed him like that,” said Jacob. “He could be sick. You could pass it on to our cats at home.”

But he was eating. I kept feeding him moistened bits of cat food, getting my hopes up that he could be saved. He drank a bit of water and then started to dry heave. He stumbled, his small legs crossing one over the other drunkenly. He fell down again and rolled onto his side, his breathing shallow. His small golden eyes were only half open.

“What do we do?” I said.

“I don’t know,” Jacob replied. “We can’t afford a hospital.”

“Its too late for a hospital,” I said shaking my head, hating myself for the tears running down my nose and crashing onto the pavement. “What do you do with a dying cat?”

I asked for his phone so I could could call my mom. She answered and I sobbed into the receiver.

“He’s sick and dying and I don’t know what to do.”

“Who dying?” my mom asked, panicking.

“A cat.”

“Your cat?”

“A cat I found on the street.”

I heard my mother sigh. “Nathalie,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do. Cats die. Cats go outside to die too. Call animal control. Don’t touch it. It might have diseases.”

It felt like a conversation I should have had when I was five.  I had pets that died, but peacefully in bed, or under deep sedation in a clean, white vet’s office. Never like this, out in the open, on hot pavement. It felt unnatural, and terrible.

I said I’d call her later and hung up the phone. I stroked his furry body and tried to feed him. But he wouldn’t eat. It dawned on me that even if I sat here all night monitoring him, it wouldn’t make a difference. This cat was going to die, and I couldn’t change that. I felt horrible.

After a while, I let Jacob walk me back up the street. The cat stayed there. We went to a friends house and watched a movie.

On the way home, I hoped Jacob would go a different way, so I wouldn’t be tempted to look for him. But we drove by the house where I’d left him to die. It was dark. All I could see were shadows.

“I didn’t see him there,” Jacob said. “Maybe he got better.”

He rubbed my knee and smiled. I smiled back, but I was old enough to know better now.

Permalink 5 Comments

Geeking out

August 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm (Geeking out, Harry Potter, Movies, unhealthy obessions, why Jacob didn't have sex with me last night)

So I am pretty much the LAST person on earth who hasn’t read the Harry Potter series. I’ll admit, I thought I was above it. After all, I’ve been reading Literature since I was old enough to reach the adult shelves at the library and I majored in English at a University and it was all very Postmodernish and Romantical and full of woolen scarves and ascot sweaters and Keats. Those are real terms, by the way. I know. I have a degree. And I make $12 an hour.

Anyway, I finally gave in when my boss, in an unusual act of kindness, lent me the first two books when I said I hadn’t read them. I wasn’t expecting much; I’ve never liked fantasy unless it had to do with flesh eating zombies, vengeful ghosts or dystopic future worlds where people eat their food in pill form.

But, my god. I am IN LOVE with these books. First off, the setting is incredible: a magical wizard school with monsters roaming its halls, secret passageways, magic mirrors and an evil cat stalking the halls looking for wrong-doing students. Secondly, the text is not dumbed down too much to make it suitable for kids. I even caught a masturbation joke in the second book and everyone talks in these cute English accents. Thirdly, the books incorporate all sorts of mythic history, which makes my middle-school heart sing.

However, since I have been so engaged and perhaps unhealthily fixated on these books, the following has happened:

1. I was at Whole Paycheck buying a slice of cheese (they sell them that way so poor people like me can sample the Gruyere) to eat with some crackers and a cup o’ noodles I brought for lunch, because I am very classy. When I got to the check stand, I had to fish my debit card out and in the process, pulled both my cup o’ noodle and my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone out and slapped them on the counter while I plumbed the depths of my bag. Seizing upon my debit card, I emerged victoriously from my bag to find the two snide but cute Eastside boys (who were identifiable by their little biker caps and pube-ish facial hair) laughing at my children’s novel and 10 cent lunch. I paid for my cheese bits and left red-faced.

2. A 15-year-old boy nearly fell into my lap on the bus trying to read The Chamber of Secrets over my shoulder, though by the looks of his WOW t-shirt, I knew he must have read it before. I couldn’t really blame him; I’d have done the same thing.

3. I was at a particularly dull work meeting and was doodling little wizard pictures of Harry, Hermione and Ron when my co-worker noticed and asked what they were. I mumbled something about research for an in-depth literary essay on JK Rowling and shuffled my papers and tried to look busy and important while avoiding eye contact with everyone for the rest of the day.

4. I actually hung up on Jacob so I could finish the last ten pages of The Chamber of Secrets.

Now I’m on the third book. Hopefully next time you see me I won’t be firebombing Warner Brothers Studios in a Dumbledore outfit for pushing the release date for ‘The Half Blood Prince’ from this fall to next summer. (But seriously, WHY GOD WHY?)

Permalink 7 Comments