Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Hi, all.

Since I last wrote my mother has become a widow, I have adopted a stray cat, and work has picked up. I have thought about all of you and wondered how you've been getting on as we still slog through the pandemic. I kept thinking I'd pop in to this space to write a bit or, at the very least, read your blogs, but just felt a bit too 'meh' to want to do either, ultimately. For some reason, today's the day. I'm glad to be here now. 

At the risk of airing a bit of dirty laundry, I've been struggling a bit emotionally. Although I did not care for my mother's husband of 38 years, I worry about my mom's well-being now that she's on her own and wish that she were financially able to move closer to me and the rest of her friends and family. As she's a rather private person I can't say how she's set in the funds department. I do know that she's slated to receive her spouse's social security checks, so that is a small yet stable help. I check in with her many times a week to see how she's getting on. She's still in the process of getting through certain bits of paperwork that come with one's spouse dying. In fact, she's over in Oakland at the moment obtaining both a copy of her marriage certificate and a copy of her husband's discharge papers from the Navy. I presume such info. is needed in order for her to obtain the s.s. checks. 

Although I did not want to attend, I and my husband went to mom's husband's funeral. It was held at a military cemetery on the outskirts of Sacramento, our state's capitol. As one might imagine, the day was baking hot---somewhere in the 90s F/30s C--and we were sweating in our dark clothing. I don't know if Covid dictated that the service be short, but it was and mercifully so. As it was a naval service, included was the ceremonial folding of the US flag. I had never seen anything like it before save for maybe on TV. The ritual of the flag folding was interesting to watch, but also, somehow, felt a bit over-the-top. The performance aspect of it---two men talking turns slowly saluting a folded American flag--kind of took me out of the service. However, I think mom appreciated the ceremony, so that's all that matters. 





We're calling him Bart, short for Schnurrbart. 


The above little cutie was found dodging cars and fending off dogs on a really busy road over the weekend. I 'kit-napped' him and took him to a vet's clinic to see if he were chipped as he was found without a collar. He is, indeed, chipped, however the chip has not been registered to anyone, unfortunately. I then posted on our local social media platform called Nextdoor that I'd 'rescued' our man from the streets, but have not received any nibbles as to who the owners might be on said platform. He likely could be a stray as he has scratches across the bridge of his nose and was a bit scrubby-looking when I came across him. My husband and I will foster him for the duration and if no one comes forward to claim him we will likely keep him. He's a champion biscuit-maker, knows how to use a cat box and is generally pretty chill. 

I think he's missing the thrill of the Great Outdoors as he's howling at dusk to be let out. It's unlikely we'll let him roam free again, but we have been taking him out in the garden with a harness and leash on for 'walkies'. -better than a kick a head, as my dad used to say! 


30 comments:

  1. You are back!!!! I am thrilled to see a post from you, and so sorry to hear that your absence has been a difficult time for you.
    I don't think I have ever read anyone say that the ceremonial folding of the flag was over the top - but suspect that I would often find it so (particularly for those whose service was long ago).
    Hooray for the kitty moving into your home and your lives. And no doubt your heart.

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    1. Yeah, I thought that that might sound a bit shitty, but the arm movements of the servicemen reminded me of break-dancing moves like 'the robot' and so forth. His service was during Vietnam, so, yes, it was long ago. It must have meant a great deal to him as he made all the funeral arrangements before dying.

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    2. Not shitty, but honest. I am endlessly glad that my father knew he was dying. The funeral he arranged for himself (and had a lot of fun so doing) was not the funeral any of us would have arranged.

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  2. Glad to see you back but sorry you have been finding things tough. Hope the foot/feet is/are improving. Great that the kitty has found a new home

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    1. Thanks, Susan. My new furry friend is good company.

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  3. First time commenting although I've seen you around the blogosphere, most recently at Mr. Shife's blog. It's been a challenging time for you and I hear you on the "meh" feeling. Everything can seem like too much energy when there's so much going on. I love your phrase "champion biscuit-maker"! I'm glad Bart has landed in a safe place.

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    1. Hi, Jenny! Thanks for your thoughtful comment. We are so happy to have Bart here. Having a furry pal makes a difference.

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  4. So pleased to see you back. I think it likely to take a long time for your mother to work through this, both emotionally and financially. Kitty looks fun. We took a rescue cat that had been roaming wild and it was quite some time before she trusted us. She is still afraid of boots and black shoes, even after 8 years, and only now will occasionally sit on my knee, although she is clearly in love with my wife and daughter and has sat with them for years. It will be interesting to see how Bart settles in.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yes, it should be a long road for my mother. All I can do is tell her that I am available for any and all help/support she may need.

      I wonder who the meanie was with dark shoes that treated your kitty poorly. Very nice to read that your daughter and wife receive cat-love in the form of 'kit-sits'. :)

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  5. My condolences to your mother and I hope all will be well with her. As for the champion biscuit maker (LOL), he's a cutie. I'm sure he regards the leash as a great indignity.

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    1. Thank you, Debra. Bart isn't a huge harness and leash fan, but we can get him into the darn contraption, so SCORE.

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  6. Kitty is your mother's late husband incarnate. All four feet under the captain's table.

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  7. Welcome back!
    Life does have its ups and downs as tis said.

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    1. Thank you, my dear! And, yes, ups and downs and all-arounds. :)

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  8. Hullo, dear Bea! Sorry to read your summer has not been what I'd imagined. The slings and arrows of life have that way with us. May the coming days turn around for you and your Mum.

    It would be great if your new cat gets to stay & I hope Schnurrbart-on-a-leash will grace these pages one day, for that is a sight I'd like to see! xx

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    1. I imagine he dreams of chasing birds, of hissing at other cats over territory and of running like mad from cars. Letting lil Bart enjoy the green confines of the yard is the least I can do. :)

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  9. Hi Bea. We have missed you and I am glad you are back. I am glad you have a new family member. Hope it all works out for you and Bart. Condolences to your mom. Take care.

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    1. Me, too. He's become enamored of the tight space under the sofa, but will come out for scritches and grub when the mood strikes. :)

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  10. Good to hear from you again.
    I live in a flag folding family. My brother and bil served in Vietnam. When my brother died, a group of veterans appeared and took the flag from his coffin and went through the ceremony. Operative word is ceremony. Then they presented the flag to my brother's oldest boy, who served in the Navy for a couple of tours. He saluted, they saluted and gave him the flag. It's important to the people who participate, and we should respect that. Did your mother's husband serve in the Korean war, or in Vietnam?
    Bart is a handsome fellow; may he be chief biscuit kneeder for a long time.

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    1. He's a good'un. There's nothing quite like a furry pal.
      Don was active in the Vietnam era. He was an officer on a cargo ship. I think if Don hadn't spent a majority of my teens and early 20s staring at my chest when he spoke to me & if the navalmen assigned to performed the flag folding ceremony hadn't looked a bit like Abbott and Costello, then I could have connected better to the event at hand. The one that resembled Costello was performing arm movements that were reminiscent of break-dancing, hence my 'over-the-top' comment. I suppose I could have explained myself better, eh?

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  11. Sorry you've been having a difficult time. Likely your mother's adjustment will take time. Can appreciate your concern for how she copes and adjusts. The cat appears to be quite attractive and, hopefully, becomes content with his new life with you.

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  12. Good to see you back. I've been feeling a bit meh about blogging too. I probably should have taken a break. Like a year off. :D

    Bart looks very happy, so I hope you get to keep him.

    Sorry to hear about your mom's husband.

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    1. He's a good boy. I'm glad to be 'catsitting' him for the moment. Although it does look likely that he'll become a permanent guest. :)

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  13. Glad to see you're back. I know a lot of people kind of drifted away. The pandemic had kind of changed a lot of people. Sorry about your mother's husband; that's rough for her.

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    1. Good to be back. I felt I had nothing nice to say & then apathy set in. Having a kitty has been helpful.

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  14. Dear Bea, it's a relief to have you posting again. With the pandemic and with the news cycle that's discouraging for all of us, I think, be with Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I wondered if you'd gone missing because of ill health or depression.

    I'm glad to see that a new feline has entered your life--and such a handsome one also with that distinctive "mustache!" The cat that trained me to be a loving human was Dulcy. We lived together 17 1/2 years and after she died, she gave me not only her deepest affection, but her memoir: "A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story."

    I hope, Bea, that you, too, will have long years with this lovely one.

    I hope also that you mom will be gracious to herself in her loss. You, I'm sure, will be there for her. I have a suspicion that you are an empathetic listener, and that is what most of us needs when a loved one dies. Peace, pressed down and overflowing.

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    1. Hi, Dee. Good to see you 'round these parts. For the past four months, I was sort of operating under the old adage: "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."

      His 'stache is very cute. My husband is now thinking we could call him "Charlie" in honor of The Little Tramp. The name "Oliver" could also fit. He's a good boy, but doesn't come to his name, so I guess it doesn't matter what it is. :)

      Yeah, I can only wait and be of assistance to my mom when she needs it. I only hope that she isn't feeling too lonely at present.

      Be well,
      Bea

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    2. Dear Bea, and for the past two months or so I’ve been operating uunder the realization that mostly this year I’ve talked about my health and people must be getting pretty tired of that! So I just decided best not to say anything until I have something to say that’s more than health related. I’m waiting for some idea do hit me! Peace.

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A piece of your mind here:

Cat tale

I was already slated to adopt a kitty from a local shelter when I came across Bart running around the mean streets of Bernal Heights. I hadn...