A Snapshot of the Last Days

The last week of my time off was not perfect. The hives continued to be horrible, and also appeared on my arms and hands, though with less ferocity, so I decided I would just stay in bed all day and do nothing for a couple of days. This was the best decision ever, and bed was a magical place where I enjoyed holding Vale in bed while different versions of La Vie En Rose played on my Billie Holiday Pandora station (Louie Armstrong and Edith Piaf), and watching her sleep while I ate breakfast (cooked by Dad) in bed.

 

 

I propped my laptop on my breakfast-in-bed table from Ikea, answered some emails, surfed the web, blogged, cuddled with Vale, and took it easy for two full days. Fiona, my faithful feline friend, joined the party and insisted on crowding up against Vale in my lap, or hovering underneath the table like she did when I was in law school. I was reminded of how she’d accompany me for hours while I read law school assignments and studied for the bar. She (and Ophelia) were our babies first, and turned 10 years old in a flash.

While in bed, I contemplated the importance of family, slow moments, and the little pleasures in life. I texted my mother frequently, and thought of how difficult it must have been for her and my dad to be half a world away from their family for decades.

Little V Meets the Kitties

Our cats have been our babies for over 10 years now, and we were a bit concerned about what their reactions would be to a new mini member to the family. As soon as we arrived home from the hospital, we made efforts to pay attention to them and encourage them to be nearby.We predicted Fiona would be jealous and Ophelia would be anxious and depressed, but so far, things are much better than expected.

They both purposely avoided her initially. Neither would approach her and Ophelia seemed to abhor even the scent of her on my hands; she cringed and shrank from my attempts to pet her the first couple of days. The first day, Fiona worked up the courage to come close enough to sniff Little V’s head, but appeared to be repulsed by the scent, and quickly turned and ran. Eventually, habit got the better of Fiona. She wanted to continue her cuddling routines, so she tolerated the new presence, along with the occasional fussing and screaming at night and stayed curled up close unless the screaming grew too prolonged and loud (which didn’t happen too often). On the second or third night, curiosity set in and she actually tried to climb into Baby V’s cosleeper on 5 occasions. Although I doubt babies or cats are dumb enough such that accidental smothering is any significant risk, it seems a universal rule to prohibit cats from sleeping with babies, so we redirected Fiona’s attentions to be safe.

 

Ophelia has not taken to Baby V as well, which is unsurprising. She has not been as anxious or depressed as we feared, though she is still a bit distant. She hides under the bed more than usual, but of course will still emerge when treats are presented. In the past, my little glutton has actually been depressed enough to turn down treats, so I consider the present state a win. Sometimes, she even seems perfectly content sprawling out in the sun, and after a week, she no longer shuns pets (probably has gotten used to the smell of Little V). As is always the case with poor, sensitive, Ophelia, these things will take time. It looks like Fiona and Little V may eventually be good buddies though.

It Was Coming Right At Me!

Cops have been in the news for murdering innocent people, raping women, beating their wives, and killing dogs. Most recently, goats have been the target of law enforcement. Because you know, heroes in blue certainly can’t be expected to behave like normal fucking human beings and deal with animals in a non-violent manner. Barking dogShoot it. Hissing catShoot it. Don’t know what to do with stray kittensShoot them. Somehow, mailmen, door-to-door sales people, and girl scouts can navigate the dangers of domesticated pets without resorting to deadly force, but cops can’t seem to fucking figure it out.

A Portland farmer was upset because an asshole cop killed his goat, which had inadvertently escaped through a hole in his fence. The farmer came upon the cop and his poor goat, who was bleeding and gasping for breath. The cop was not embarrassed to actually state, “‘Yeah, it was either me or the goat” because he was intimidated by the goat’s size. Maybe if you can’t fucking handle a goddamn goat, you should not be allowed to have a gun or be a fucking police officer. The owner of the $1,200 goat from New Zealand who sounds like he smokes a lot of weed responded, “Man, there are 7-year-old kids that deal with these goats. Infants that deal with these.”

There you have it. People deemed America’s heroes are more cowardly than children and infants.

In other news, a more recalcitrant goat attempted to headbutt police officers who were encroaching on his marijuana patch, but was (surprisingly) not harmed during the drug bust.

Refugee Family Reunites With Lost Cat After Epic Journey

I consider myself emotionally balanced most of the time, though I am prone to sentimentality over cats and rage over matters involving violations of human and civil rights. I think pregnancy has slightly magnified these tendencies of mine and today, I came across a moving story that encompassed both of these issues. Cats, human rights violations, and pregnancy were a trifecta that really pushed me over the edge in this case.

The Guardian shared a story of an unfortunate refugee family who had to flee Iraq due to circumstances of violence. They could not imagine parting with their family pet, a beautiful white cat (though I am partial to black ones), so a mother, five children, and their beautiful white cat named Kunkush left Iraq and headed to Greece together in November of 2015.

100,000 refugees arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos that month, and according to The Guardian video (below), “Kunkush was scared and got separated from his family.” This statement is written in big, unmistakable letters in this compelling video of human and animal resilience. The family had to move on, since Greece was merely a brief stopover point, and they did not yet know where there final destination would be, as is often the case with victims who are displaced by war.

Kunkush was located in a village nearby several days later, and was picked up by a veterinarian. After two months, a volunteer traveled with Kunkush to Berlin, and a search for his family began.

It turns out, his family had relocated to Norway, and in February, Kunkush was reunited with his family. This video (you have to watch it) is so incredibly touching, as it shows the loving reunion between Kunkush and his family after a long and seemingly impossible journey. The mother can hardly wait to get him out of the carrier, and once he is in her arms she cries, “Kunkush, my life! My darling!” as she kisses him. I almost fucking cried at work watching this damn thing.

There is nothing more beautiful than a happy ending like this; a family forced from their homes under tragic circumstances finds a new home, and their beloved cat makes it home to them under the most improbable of circumstances. You can read more here.

Yet, for every miraculous, beautiful moment, there is some ugly, vile, person with cow shit in the place of where their heart should be to tear it down. The story was posted by And My Cat on Facebook:

While many enjoyed the story and shared positive thoughts, many of the comments were imbecilic, egregiously ignorant, and reprehensible.  For instance, Exhibit A, Rita Maji DeLisi, a royal cunt who enjoys Ohio sports commented, “Sad…pathetic owners leave pets behind. Get yourself a statue next time. You don’t deserve the love pets provide.” Another equally cunty Facebook user apparently agreed with her and liked her garbage post.

 

Not to be outdone, Exhibit B, Corrina Peacock Ashley stated, “They shouldn’t have left him!!!” and Exhibit C, Bettyann Brunette Lilley called the family “pieces of crap” and “fools” for leaving their fur baby. That’s right; in reaching an unprecedented low, Lilley actually called children fleeing from war “pieces of crap” and “fools” because they lost their cat. It is truly un-fucking-believable.

First, maybe if Rita’s military was not bombing the shit out of Iraq and murdering civilians over there, this poor family probably would not have had to fucking flee to begin with. It’s easy for compassionless, disgusting north Americans to judge a family under these circumstances while stuffing themselves full of Doritos and Pizza Hut in the safety of their own homes, which have never been damaged, destroyed, or even threatened with foreign bombs or troops.

Second, it’d be nice if these fucking idiots would do the world a favor and learn to read. The video clearly indicates the cat was scared and ran off. He was not abandoned for fuck’s sake. If they were capable of reading even at a second-grade level, they would have learned from the video that Greece was not this family’s final destination. In all likelihood, they did not have legal status to stay in Greece indefinitely as undocumented aliens and search aimlessly for their runaway cat. Rita is possibly the type of American who supported Trump and his abominable wall and seethes with hatred at illegal immigrants, but she somehow expects this family to overstay their legal welcome in Greece to search for a fucking cat. Does this make any goddamn sense?

Even if the poor cat were in fact abandoned, is it too much to ask to have a bit of sympathy for a family literally fleeing for their lives? Let’s not forget that refugees drowned in Turkey and even Lesbos, where this family landed, and cats are not known to be the best swimmers. Maybe at that point, the family was relieved Kunkush had at least run away on land and not died. It’s easy to judge another human being, but no one really knows what they would do if forced into the same situation of war, violence, and displacement. But I suppose that’s far too beyond the mind of North Americans living their revoltingly militaristic and supercilious lives, marked by extraordinary obesity in both a metaphoric and literal sense – the overindulgent, masturbatory corpulence of the self-righteous American manifests itself both mentally and physically.

In sum, fuck these people.