The Kids Who See Me Through

9 12 2015
im1.shutterfly-14

Love.

Whatever type of leader or person is associated with the quality of decisiveness – well, I was not that person today.

After several weeks of trying to first find a way to live with two cats who were problematic from many standpoints and then trying to find a home for them, the plan was to get them to a shelter this evening.

I had planned the whole thing out including the involvement of the kids and resigned myself to moving forward despite knowing how hurtful it was to my two kids. 

My son told me last night that he would not go to the shelter with me. My daughter would cry in the evenings and again in the mornings and I kept explaining how sorry I was for them and the reason why they had to go. I was set. I convinced myself that there are bigger issues in the world and if this is the worst thing they have to go through, then it won’t be so bad. They are strong and resilient, or so I told myself, and as it turns out, it was more than true.

I felt horrible all morning. I barely slept last evening and by the afternoon, I had to take a break from work to walk outside and take a breath. I sat down and decided that I could not go through with it. The song “What shall be shall be” came on iTunes. I took it as a sign.

When my son came home from school and then soon thereafter, I picked up my daughter from an after school meeting, I spent time with them explaining that we would not have to go through with it, at least not at this time. I expected them to run up to me, grab me in a bear hug and thank me with a last minute reprieve for their furry brethren. Instead, what I received was a resolve from both of them that we had to do this for many reasons that were both logical and true. We went back and forth and then both of them spent the better part of an hour attempting to lure them into their carriers, as they are the only two human forms that these cats seem to trust.

They were unsuccessful and at this writing these two cats will remain with me for an undetermined amount of time, which, if I am brutally honest, I fear will be at least until they go off to college. For those familiar with the Serenity Prayer, (which my son reminds me of), the issue of the cats clearly went from the category of “courage to change the things I can” to the category of “accept the things I cannot change.”

This was a tremendous lesson for me, however. These two kids loved me enough to agree to give up their pets, whom they love very much. They talked about fairness to me and were empathetic to a plight that was not their own. I am a very lucky man because there is nothing more affirming than seeing your own children exhibit behavior that is selfless, resolved and decisive – a quality that I, as a much older adult, am not always great on.

I have, and probably never will, experience a truer or more unconditional love as the one that exists between me and my kids. We struggle and fight and even hurt each other, but we understand and love each other and that is really all that matters. I cannot ask for anything more. Despite all that I have and continue to lose, I have managed to hold onto the one thing that really matters.

Because of my kids, I am not afraid – of change, of the unknown, of death. They are the exact type of people I want to know and grow with and as long as that doesn’t change, there is nothing else to really worry about. Now, I just have to figure out what to do about the litter box.

Until next time,

Marc





The Virtue of Cat Pee

3 11 2015
If only...

If only…

I want to move on. So. Damn. Badly. 

Sometimes, I wish there was a big hand from the sky that would reach down, grab me by my bootstraps – well, wait, I don’t have bootstraps – by my t-shirt shoulders and plop me down wherever it is I am supposed to end up with whatever I have left from this year. It’s the unknowing that gets to me. Once I know, I’ll move on.

I have to move from this house for reasons as emotional as financial in nature. Regarding the sale of this house, I finally seemed to have resolve an issue of one small area that one or both of my cats has continued to mark their territory, or otherwise denote their dissatisfaction for me, the house or life in general. With cats, it could be all three, all the time. I’m sure if they could speak, they would sit me down and say “Marc, to be honest – you’re not exactly the owner we had hoped for.”

This is the one thing that will send me flying off the edge. I have had cats before and had to deal with a similar (and much worse) situation but this time, it is what they represent – a second set of cats that I was not all that enthusiastic about and talked into by my wife in the best interest of the kids.

She knows me well. If you want me to do anything – just add “in the best interest of the kids” to the sentence and I’m sold. I’m a sucker that way.

“Marc, I really think you need to shove this shovel up your ass.”

“Um – I’m not really sure that sounds like a good idea.”

“It’s in the best interest of the kids.”

“Ok, I guess. Which end is best to start with?”

On the day she left, I developed significant neck pain and apparently, she developed a serious set of allergies (though my skin looks like a braille card anytime I take an allergy test).  As such, I am stuck with these cats regardless of protestations. There is no way to rid of them, these creatures who ignore me other than the daily presents they leave just outside the litter box. Every time my son is around, the male cat follow him around like a lost puppy. My daughter is guarded on a regular basis by the female cat. It would be cruel for me to get rid of them, though I fantasize about it on a regular basis. And I make no secret of this either. Both my kids know it.

Haley Joel Osmet saw dead people everywhere in The Sixth Sense. I smell cat pee everywhere – my hoodie, the family room, the waiting room at the doctor’s office. It’s insane. Clearly these cats have a meaning attached to them beyond their nine lives. They represent everything that I cannot seem to rid of  – reminders that there is no clean break, there is no controlling that which cannot be controlled and the dual nature of poison and pleasure – driven by the perception of whom is on the receiving end.

This, in a nutshell, is the virtue of cat pee.

Until next time,

Marc








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