clouds clearing, cubs multiplying

Ever since the cat ladies returned to Petsmart - a large chain of pet supply stores here in the US - I may finally reclaim Ian's house from the dozen cats currently squatting there.

I was able to adopt out two from my house several weeks ago, and two more last Friday. Of course, the trick is to not take in more, but Rachel* has been duly warned that from now on I'm going to Just Say No to more felines. And I've purchased the supplies needed to make the outdoor catio 100% inescapable. 

For those who don't know what a catio is, it's a large outdoor enclosure for cats. They tend to look like chicken coops.  Some have an entry through a window (mine does - see photo below, where Tiki is refusing  re-entry to Starlet).  I think she is saying "You Shall Not Pass" in cat language. 


Tiki has since been adopted out to a single older man, who has renamed her Tootsie and is spoiling her.

Also, after a couple of delays, I think I am finally going to move my mother to a better nursing home (aka "skilled nursing facility") soon.  I had a call from the facility today as a heads-up, saying that a room should be available by August.

The new place is only four miles from my current house, and is also convenient to my nieces and one of my aunts, who is my mother's youngest sister. This particular aunt is a pain in the ass, although she's married to someone I like very much. But the more visitors for my mother, the better. I even plan to take Toby the cat and any kitten I can borrow over to see her when she's settled.

Hopefully this will give me more renovating time. Ian's house needs a lot of work, but I am making very little progress on the two worst rooms. I haven't even removed all of the vile carpet from the sunroom, and the bathroom is on hold as the spare bathroom - the one I will need to use when reflooring the master bathroom - has problems. Namely, the valve that controls the water from going to the bathtub to the shower is blooey, and it's so rusted in place that I haven't been able to replace it. 

I also may have a replacement for the Cub - I'm still in the interviewing stage - so watch this naughty space.

Regarding the kidney donation, I have a doctor's appointment later this week, but physical and ethical concerns are mounting. Choosing the person who gets the kidney (if my doctor okays it) is problematic. On one hand, I could donate and tell the transplant facility to choose a recipient. But what if the recipient runs dogfighting rings, or is a neo-conservative, or wears polyester? And my understanding is that the entire procedure is easier to handle when you know the person who's getting your kidney. Perhaps I should call my former Anglican priest. He's retired now, but I can't think of anyone else to speak to. Especially since my therapist decamped. 

* See The Usual Suspects at right. 



Just one. I'm trying to quit.

When I lived in the UK, I began reading my landlord's copies of the New Scientist. There isn't an American version, so it's a bit difficult to explain the content. Suffice it to say that it's written in a manner that I can understand, except for some of the articles about physics theories. 

Last month I read an article about kidney transplants; specifically, about people who donate kidneys for compassionate reasons. Now I can't stop thinking about doing this myself. It doesn't seem that much of a sacrifice - a few weeks of recovery, versus someone dying needlessly after dialysis stops working. 

I found a blog written by someone who decided to donate a kidney. She ended up having to take four weeks off work, but she had no regrets. 

It's difficult to spend a lot of time thinking about the situation, as there's not a lot to consider. I've considered that not all transplants work, and that I could go through the surgery only to learn that I didn't help anyone. But this doesn't deter me. My only hesitation is that I want to make 100% sure of my motivation. I'm not that a big a fan of the human race, so why does this feel like something I need to do?


state of confusion

I apologize to my faithful (albeit misguided) readers for not posting recently. But situations that I usually managed to handle haven't been really in my grasp lately. And I think my relationship with Ian* is ending.

The reason I think my relationship is ending is that Ian doesn't seem interested in speaking to me any more, or even sending the occasional email.  I hear from him rarely, so I haven't been totally ghosted, although it feels that way. I don't think he's found a replacement for me - I think he's just not interested. 

This makes me sad, but it also made me look at the housing situation differently. Ian is someone who is paying about $1,000 a month for my current home, and I am thinking this doesn't make a lot of sense, especially since his wife will want at least 50% of the proceeds when he sells the place.

He has stopped job-hunting and seems resigned to the status quo, and since the airport looks like a nine-year project, he won't ever need another job as long as he stays where he is now. The blowup with his daughter went away without discussion, as Ian admitted she had asked him for money a few days ago. 

Work-wise I am feeling burned out and in need of a vacation, but can't see that happening for at least a couple of months. I still hope to do a cross-country Amtrak trip while they're still available but the one I want to do would cost me about $1,000, even if I wait for the autumn off-season.

I have not seen or heard from the Cub* in quite a while. I'm assuming he has no reason to visit Dallas these days and although we were both well-aware his business here would end, I'm still wishing he'd think up an excuse to visit. But the silence from his end tells me all I need to know.

The news isn't 100% bad though, as I have found a better place for my mother that's only 4 miles from my house. I'm hoping my brothers will assist me with the actual move, which won't start until I say so, but I am thinking they'll be "too busy" or otherwise.

It's about 6.30 here in Texas so it's 7.30 in NY. I just tried to call Ian but both of his phones are switched off. 

* see The Usual Suspects.


go west and misbehave

Although I've been suffering from mid-summer doldrums (I hate hot weather), the depression caused by touring nursing homes (I plan to move my mother soon), and a passive-aggressive, quiet Ian*, I had a remarkably pleasant dream last night.

Initially, I was looking at a smallish rural office building in California with my first husband David*. We're considering it so we can pursue our different careers under the same roof.  It had some nice wood floors but a strangely small walkway to a basement. I went to the back yard which was edged by tall trees, and saw two peacocks fly away. 

Later, David disappears. Now I'm driving around a small California town with Cathie, my friend from college who now lives in Anaheim, who I still see now and then. We're in an elderly convertible and we have the top down.  I spot the opera baritone Thomas Hampson sitting on a park bench. I ask Cathie to let me out as I want to say hello to him, and we end up getting on quite well. We (Cathie, Thomas and a couple of her friends) all go to a restaurant and have soup, and eventually I end up having sex with Thomas in an indoor swimming pool.

Later on though, the weather goes to hell and I suspect that tornadoes are in the works. We (Cathie, Thomas, and the same couple of Cathie's soup-sharing friends) end up in the same smallish office I'd earlier viewed with David although he's vanished from the dream. After a couple of minutes I spot a funnel cloud from the window. We all head for the basement but we can barely all fit on the stairs. But the building isn't hit and we all survive.

* See The Usual Suspects.



arrested development

Even though I don't look at Facebook more than I have to - my employer posts daily and I'm one of three Marketing staphers responsible for composing these posts - I occasionally check out my own FB page to see what my friends are up to. I rarely post anything. My main pursuit is playing Scrabble.

But a couple of weeks ago, I was looking at the photos I had taken during my recent trip to NY and decided to post one. Ian* and I were on the ferry to Ellis Island. I looked reasonably attractive although I had unsuccessfully tried to get Ian to join me, and remember feeling wounded about his refusal. He's in the background of the photo, staring off into the distance. He could be mistaken for a stranger.

Quite a few friends complimented my photo, including a few I hadn't heard from in months. But the very next day, I spotted another reply. It was from Ian's daughter. She is 33, still lives with mom, doesn't pay rent, drives cars supplied by parents - you get the picture.

She accused me of being a disgusting homewrecker and other things. A male friend had replied to her, telling her to behave.  

I deleted the photo but suspected that Ian had already heard plenty about it. This made me wince a bit.

At first couldn't figure out how his daughter had seen it, as I had blocked both her and her mom from my page years ago and changed my private settings to Friends Only. But later Ian told me that both she and her mom had been logging into his Facebook account (who hadn't touched his FB page for eight years) and had been viewing my page on a regular basis. Guess I should have unfriended Ian, huh?

After I deleted the photo, I heard nothing from him for almost two weeks. I was pretty sure that Ian was angry, although when my friend Rachel asked me what he was like during an argument, I had to admit that we had never had this sort of argument before. Perhaps he assumed I'd published the photo as a passive-aggressive gesture. And even though I kept thinking his daughter could use a spanking, I felt bad about the abuse he must have received from her, and perhaps mom as well.

After about a week I sent him an email which went unanswered. Finally, I wrote him a short letter, explaining I didn't know what was going on but assumed that my posting the photo had resulted in some blowback. I mailed it to him together with his latest IRS correspondence, and he eventually called.

He explained that the daughter had been surfing Facebook while the family was at a restaurant, saw the photo, and began screaming at him. They left mid-dinner as neither parent could calm her down, and they even had difficulty getting her into the family sedan. She did not want to ride in the same vehicle as her dad.

I'm pretty sure Ian is still somewhat angry with me. His take on it is that I should have cropped him out to be 100% sure we weren't seen together. But the daughter has no respect for her father and that's not my fault, nor is it my problem. Who hacks into a parent's Facebook account at age 33 and doesn't have a problem with it?

The depressing conclusion I've drawn is that I need to set a deadline for moving out of Ian's house, and to do it sooner than I'd initially planned.

* See Key to Characters at right.