Thursday, July 22, 2010

I think my brain is in summer-mode. I might have to create a sign that says "brain gone fishin'" because every time I sit down to write, I'm paralyzed. words.can't.form. thoughts.stuck.

And yet it's not like stuff hasn't been happening.

For example: the first day of summer vacation, the boys are home in the house, THE TEENAGER (that in itself is worth a year of postings) has a friend over and I have promised to take them to buy a paintball gun after I get home from work. I'm not in the house 5 minutes when Arthur the cat, hearing my voice, comes out to me in obvious distress, strokes, falls over and within minutes has died. I'm crying, Jakob is hysterical, and Satchel is trying really hard not to cry in front of his friend as I stroke Arthur's body in those final few minutes to try to provide some comfort, let him know I'm with him.

I am back home, preparing to have the "cycle of life" conversation with my still crying 8-year old, a mere 30 minutes after arriving from work, having taken Arthur's still-warm body to the vet's, sobbing while trying to get the words out to let her know he had just died and had been perfectly fine in the morning. He started his day like any other: yelling at me to get up already, eating his breakfast, going out for his morning walk around the house, inside again to continue yelling at me, eat more food, drink water, go have a nap...

A side note, my vet is really kookie. And while good with animals, a little awkward with people. But being kind while dealing with my obvious distress, she says that she will have a paw print in clay made for us as a reminder of Arthur. Because surprisingly my suggestion of having Old Artie Carkeys stuffed and put on wheels with a voicebox was turned down.


Nearly two weeks later I get a call from the vet to come collect the pawprint (and pay my final bill). I'm presented with a box, and as I look at what I did not expect, I'm handed a bill - for cremation and an added $30 for this little nugget of beauty.

I stared at it, picked it up, turned it over, tried not to giggle, said "wow, that's really something - but I was under the impression it was a gift?" and then declined the pawprint (they had already sent me two beautiful paw prints on paper, I'm not that cold hearted - just frugal!), the girl expressed surprise that I was being charged since it is normally a gift and handed it back to me.

The house is so quiet now, Arthur was a very bold and flamboyant personality and with us for nearly as long as we owned the house. It feels very different without him.

I can only hope that this is not an omen for how the rest of the summer is going to turn out because day 1 did not exactly start out on a high note.

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