Friday, June 20

No Light at the End of the Tunnel

I re-homed Rob. 

Well, his foster did. 

It's for the best. 

Ali seems cool and calm again, Al and Luke seem to have become best buddies, and Cass seems sociable, playful and sweet again. D no longer had to break up fights in the middle of his conference calls, and is now able to allocate some time in the evening to play with Ali (D is Ali's favorite human).

But I am heartbroken. 

Rob has always been more like a puppy than a cat, following me around the house, talked and argued with me, and invited me to play just about any game he could think of all the time. He always ate whatever I gave him with much enthusiasm, which heartens me because it takes so much time and effort to plan and prepare their meals. 

Unfortunately, Rob is also a daredevil and headstrong kitten, whose energy level and playfulness overwhelmed my low-energy and no-nonsense girls, who accept an equally playful Luke only because he respects their boundaries. 

I still smell Rob in every corner of the house everyday, and think about how he is settling in his new home. It doesn't help that his new guardian works full-time away from home and has been unable to properly observe his interaction with her other cats to give me any useful information. 

Rob's foster has asked for my patience, and that we allow Rob a little more time to adapt to his new environment. 

It doesn't sound good to me.  

But I am starting to feel a little numb about losing cats. I used to be really afraid of losing Alberto, and wondered how I would live without him. And then all of a sudden, Alberto was gone. And life went on.  It had to; I couldn't afford time for grief. 

The period spanning 2012 and 2014 has seen me losing more than cats; I lost my entire family, immediate and extended, something I saw coming for allowing myself to fail catastrophically as an eldest sister, a daughter, a niece and a mother. 

D has been patient throughout, although I have spared no effort in pushing him away as well. I have always found it humiliating to keep those who don't love me in my life. I never thought I would say this, but I realize that no one loves me, and I love no one.

These days, only the twins, my dark and puckish but terribly adorable and loving nieces write/ text bomb me every few days, and visit from time to time. They turn 11 this year, and are still amused they have a cousin who is a Canadian residing in Hong Kong, and who has graduated from university while their friends have cousins who are little kids in elementary school. They met Celeste for the first time last year, or maybe the year before, and they got to meet Celeste's fiance during that trip. They have not asked me a single question about Celeste after they came home. Their diplomacy impressed me. These were the same kids who, out of curiosity about what people do with their pets after they passed on, asked me if I simply threw Alberto down the rubbish chute, and insisted on peeking into Alberto's urn.

I am still sitting on my 6A short. I had a chance to bail during contract rollover, but I didn't. Sitting has become a comfortable thing to do. 

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Tuesday, June 10


The girls were rejecting Rob, but I didn't have the heart to send him back to his foster family because they were intending to re-home him in another huge household (4 cats and 1 working human being). Instead of returning him, and much to D's horror, I found another kitten with whom he could play and fight.  

8-week-old Luke (short for Luciano) was among a litter of 4 that a family was trying to get rid of as quickly as they could, and the one with the saddest eyes. He was almost an immediate hit with the girls and with Rob.

And I was happy. 

But Ali wasn't. While she had no problem ignoring Luke's existence all together, she couldn't stand the sight of Rob. Seeing him roam freely in the house drove her up the wall and would almost always send her attacking her sisters viciously. Poor Albertina took the worst beating, and soon turned aggressive towards the others. It was total chaos. 

Giving Rob up was an option I had to explore again. And I sounded his foster out while still working on ways to calm Ali down (the entire first level was opened up giving everyone an additional 1000 plus square feet of breathing space; new trees and toys and litter boxes were thrown in to complete the package. I even toyed with the idea of finally allowing the girls access to the outdoor yard which leads up to the roof terrace but decided that that would be an utterly irresponsible thing to do). 

Rob's foster mum was furious, as I expected.  What I wasn't aware of though, was that the family that had initially wanted to take Rob was a friend of hers, and that when told they couldn't have him after all was so disappointed the foster mum had to take 2 personal trips to send in cartons of canned food to make up for going back on her words.

I felt terrible for having caused Rob's foster mum so much trouble. On the day that we were supposed to bring Rob to his new adopter's, I was informed an hour before the meeting that Rob was going to have not just 1, but 4 playmates, and that the adopter could only afford the time to feed kibbles. I broke into tears, and D reacted immediately, as he always does whenever I start bawling, by calling off the meeting and insisting on keeping Rob permanently. Rob's foster mum decided to stick her neck for us, and told her friend that Rob was better off staying put at ours. 

So, I understand her frustration and rage. 

Guilt almost made me withdraw my second request to have Rob re-homed. Given a choice, I wouldn't want him sent away anyway. He is one sweet kitty without the attitudes that British Shorthairs are well-known for. I have been in emotional pain everyday over cat issues since Alberto left, and dying to know the reason for such sufferings.

Rob's foster mum has given me til this weekend to make a final decision. And this time, I would know better than to ask where Rob is going if I decide to give him up. 

Just the thought of putting Rob in his carrier could make me cry, but Ali's hiding out in dark corners throughout the day to avoid Rob sends me to tears too. 

So yes I am really torn.

I am still holding my 6A short, and starting to wonder what got into me. 




 Rob and Foster Mum

Rob and Luke

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Tuesday, May 20

This is Water

I like David Foster Wallace, and readily identify with him. He reminds of my Dad, who 20 years ago, at 47, had hanged himself for reasons he had chosen not to divulge to anyone, at least not anyone I know.

It alarms me how the people I identify with tend to kill themselves...

But I have always loved C.S. Lewis, and that's gotta be good.

6A Short
My 6A short is still very red, but looking much better now than a month ago. I decided a hard stop is in order. Definitely not bailing right now. Call me stubborn or stupid or one of those who shouldn't trade, I am happy to sit on a trade that I have neither the time nor energy to monitor on even a daily basis.

We took in a rescue cat whose foster mother named Cookie and whom we decide to call "Rob" (short for Roberto). Shan't post pictures in case I have to return him to his foster after the 2-week trial that ends next Monday. Rob has a sense of humor that is seriously lacking in my 3 standoffish British Shorthairs. The 3 girls expect the tiny guy to be initiated the exact way they were when they first joined the family. But Rob JUST REALLY WANTS TO HAVE FUN. My girls will have none of that. So, it's been difficult. The 3 girls promptly turn into cats from hell whenever Rob is allowed out of his room to roam the house. So, we'll see...

The Rogue Tenant
The dashing pilot has kept me occupied for the past weeks and is now the number one suspect for the return of these mysterious nerve pains that have plagued me and stumped general physicians and specialists for the past 20 years. 

Both D and our agent had a hard time getting the pilot off their backs since 2 months ago - I blame it on their tendency to be overly trusting, giving, and responsive to nonsense - and I stepped in to convince Mr Pilot he is better off staying til the end of the contract term, which is 6 months from now. He was scheduled to handover the apartment today (he was welcomed to, if he left a check before he handed over the keys), but notified our agent yesterday that he would stay til the end of the contract term. Yes, he most certainly messed with the wrong landlady. I can be a professional debt-collector! Hur..hur...hur...

I'll be on my guards from now on. It's a down-turning market - if my nicest tenant has attempted to profit from it (I would have let him off the hook, knowing full well what was cooking, had he not sabotaged all but the first viewings in a bid to discourage further viewings that disturb his relaxing evenings, and had he not patronized our agent who has become a trusted friend) at our expense, I am sure it's just a matter of time before the others get on board...

Job Application
I applied for a humble junior executive position at our AVA's Animal and Pets Sector, and they had promptly rejected me. I really shouldn't have said in 2500 words how much I love cats.

I fear if I don't find a job, or see green pastures, mountains, humongous lakes (I hate the sea) or snow soon enough I'll implode.

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