Feline Opine

Murrpey Davidson displaying his abdominal staples after removal of swallowed toy pieces.

A month shy of his third birthday.

Many friends know our cat, Murrpey, had blockages in his stomach and intestine, one half of a toy in each. Surgery was 13 days ago and he’s been on a diet of the same flavor of soft food for the duration.

At some point he figured out it was easier to feed himself than to tolerate syringe force feeding.

Preparing my husband’s coffee this morning, I catch the cat trying to bury his canned food as he might bury his waste.

After they remove his staples tomorrow, I predict the surprise return of dry kibble, which he prefers, is going to go over very well.

©2016 Sandra R. Davidson (text and image)

Learning Love

Your partner will teach you how to love.

Mine brings me fresh, hot coffee as soon as I wake up. When I reciprocate, the appreciation is wordless and eyes find mine with adoration.

When I make sounds of waking, I come to a computer already booted and awaiting my password. I don’t always remember to do the same for him; a gentle smile is my reward when I do.

It puzzled me when we first dated. He locked me in his truck. Each time he hurried off to fill the gas tank or pick up the mail, he checked to see if my door was locked. I asked and he said the prized possession in his vehicle is me and the world isn’t genteel.

He teaches me how to love him, how to show him I care. I’m demonstrative in my own ways, and in those ways I show him how to love me also.

Whiskers

WOn a crowded countertop adorned with a black-and-gold brocade banner, a clear jar rests among cast iron and black lacquer. The jar lid is spiffed up with a colorful image of fruit.

“I know the jar looks empty. Just don’t toss it or wash it out.”

“What’s in it?” Passing curiosity orders he ask.

“Whiskers.”

“What?!” He lifts the jar. His vision is changing so the jar does look empty. He tips it back and forth.

“Remember when we had Simone put down? You wanted a bit of fur to keep.”

“Where did that end up anyway?”

“My jewelry box.” It is a place he is likely to forget and I am likely to remember. “Cats don’t have much fur and the dogs are both short haired. So…I’m keeping whiskers.”

He glances up to give me the strangest look. “How will you know which is which?”

“The longest belong to the Maine Coon. The next and blackest belong to the Siamese. The terribly short belong to one dog or the other.”

He laughs. “How exactly do you find kitty whiskers?”

“All over. The bathroom floor, my side of the bedspread. And the dogs are easy. If I find it in the bathroom, it is his. If I find any others near their bedding, they’re hers or theirs.”

His brows scrunch, “What are you going to do with all these whiskers, woman?”

“I will make a leather bag with a drawstring, one for each of us. Inside will be these and similar treasures.” I am remembering all the mourning lockets through history with carefully preserved hair of a loved one.

He tips the jar several times before coming around the counter to hold me and kiss my cheek.

His own hair I have set aside, a memento from when his hair was long.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Love Without Fear

LIt isn’t Valentine’s Day; breathe easy.

No matter what we hear about “unconditional love,” it is a myth. There are always conditions even if they are extreme.

If you enter into an intimate relationship and you can see the end at the start, there is little point in giving only part of yourself and holding back the deeper self. You’re robbing yourself and the other individual(s).

This isn’t a passing friendship; friendships have different levels. If it is mutually understood to be a short term intimate relationship, then you can edit what you share. Important part: mutually understood.

You have no accountability to anyone but yourself, of course.

A deep relationship is love without fear. You don’t start out on day one pouring out your soul to someone, anyone. When you discover you’re looking for a long term commitment, be sure you’re clear. No hints. Put it out there in plain language. You want to have the other person(s) opt out if that is what they will do later when they eventually understand your implied intention.

Once the destination of your relationship is set at long term, hold nothing back. Love without fear. If you do, the other person(s) will.

Try not expect others, even friends, to love you the way you want to be loved. Again, be to the point if the relationship you have with anyone important to you. Even family. Even chosen family.

There are no guarantees. No promise is fail-proof. Yet you can love without fear through directness and honesty with yourself and other people you care about.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Jerky

I’m Jdating this guy who invites me on a long road trip that includes meeting some of his family. I accept. There is no better way know people than to see them interact with their family. If a person is faking it, the family will be confused at the least and possibly confrontational. I learned this in the most difficult manner and will not make the same mistake.

He has confessed he smokes, which is not a plus with me when choosing partner. He wants to quit. Okay. I know it isn’t an easy undertaking.

Off we go. Somewhere along the way, we stop at a mini-mart/gas station for a…break…and to stretch our legs. I was so relieved. We climbed into the cab of his truck and he casually tosses a round, black plastic container on the dash.

My mind immediately jumped to delusions. Oh, Do Not tell me he chews tobacco as well as smokes. Spitting is a gross habit; almost as gross as placing a finger against one nostril and blowing snot out of the other.

I didn’t hide the astonishment when I asked him. He laughed. He quite happily turned the label toward me. It read, “Shredded Jerky.”

I physically reacted with my head landing on the headrest behind me. He was still laughing. He didn’t miss the “you scallywag” grin and he laughed some more.

I married him.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

The Found of the Lost

Items found at a riverside.

Last week’s curious collection. ©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

We take the dogs to the riverside not nearly as often as they would like to go. My husband ends up with both leashed dogs tugging him, our 80-pound, dark-ages torturers on four legs, because I have a compulsion to pick up human leavings.

I don gloves and carry trash bags, stooping until my back threatens to seize. I mostly find fishing line, sometimes with hook attached; plastic bottles; sandal or shoe, singular; dirty diapers (I did mention the gloves); and occasionally something worse.

Last week we discovered what two seals had already known; the smelt were running the Columbia River. Our female dog was given permission to eat two smelt. She’ll be denied that crunchy tidbit next smelt run since the two fish reappeared in not-so-recognizable form near the front door the following morning.

Then there are the found of the lost.

Part of a dock that broke from its mooring, which I tugged and it tugged me and my shoulder out of place.

The mess my curiosity gets me into could be worse.

Sedum leaves (not pictured); glue stick; green half-dome of a bobber; oak seeds; glittering tackle bead; purple…uh, pole bell; the green figurine high diving snorkeler to which the twine bound its fate with rather powerful firework; and pretty purple polka dot barrette.

We also know what the locals were using for bait. [shhh….]