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A video for friends.

At the end of the video I said these are my 'frogs' but only Cheesy the Chubby Frog stars in this short vid. ...continue reading "Cheesy the Chubby Frog and Aquarium Therapy"

When thinking about losing Jane, I don't feel crippled by it. I feel bad about that because it's almost like I should be out here falling apart, but I'm not. I feel bad that some reached out but she died anyway. I feel bad about that but I hope they realize they did make a difference. Reaching out always makes a difference.

There's a huge hole where Janie used to be. The house isn't the same at all, but it's still better because she was once here. I think that's what I still feel the most, very grateful.

My heart is heavy concerning my brother. I heard him play the cello, my favorite instrument. I thought I was going to burst into tears. I've never heard him play the cello before, just the violin, so watching and hearing him was rather moving. A long time ago I said I never got to tell him how proud I am of his accomplishments with music and with the children's orchestra. You could see in his face that he loved his job. ...continue reading "Cats and Violins"

There were only two of us but we had a nice time. We didn't do anything formal, just tea and cake. One can make tea and cake sound stuffy if important facts are left out. I had the tea already and she brought Little Debbie's. It was a nice visit though with some catching up as well as learning about one another.

I'm just now getting to know her. Interestingly enough, her mother was my foster mother making her a foster sister when I was a child. Small world isn't it?

It's sometimes difficult to be in the same room with someone who knows way too much about me, especially since I didn't get to pick and choose what she knows.  My sister decided this exposure for me which I find unacceptable and disempowering. I don't know what preconceived ideas she has about me, I only know she seems to like me...and yet I don't trust it. Why? In general I don't trust women. That is first and foremost but there's also the concern of being judged. ...continue reading "Tea, Chat and Trust"

I got the frog and brought it home. It already had a name before he even got here. The name is Chandler Pickle. As it turns out, Chandler is a girl but, who knew? The guy at Petco says I should change her name but honestly, it's even funnier to say the frog's name is Chandler and that it happens to be a girl. I mean really, if she has a problem with her name she'll have to change it when she grows up, just like I did. I'm sure some fat bull frog lawyer with several lily pads and his own pond will take on her case. Until such a time, her name is Chandler which I can't say without laughing, which is the point. I wanted the frog to have a silly name. ...continue reading "A frog named Chandler and the cat that won my heart"

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March 1, 2001 - September 30, 2017
Mary Jane passed quietly this morning.  She was such a good girl.

Mary Jane AustinI could not have asked for a better feline companion

Janie and I spent twelve years together. She was tolerant of most things and up for anything. What a great personality.

The first year together was difficult because we had to break each other in. She was used to going outside but with me she had to stay inside. At first that was hard for her, and me, so I'd give in and let her out because she'd yowl and yowl until I couldn't take it anymore. Eventually she stayed inside and has been an inside cat ever since.  ...continue reading "Mary Jane Austin"

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Mary Jane rests with her hand on my artwork
Mary Jane rests with her hand on my artwork

It takes a bit to accept things and it takes a bit to be able to do what's best for Jane. When she was seen a month ago ?? concerning her condition, I knew she was in trouble but she seemed to get better. She gained a few ounces and things appeared to be looking up, but I understand the road ahead isn't one that can be taken with confidence, not here with me.

I know Jane is 16 years old with feline renal failure. I know there are still things that can be done, but those things cost. What I decided to do, and what I talked over with friends for the last two days, is to surrender Jane to a low kill shelter. I will bring in all her paper work and tell them all that's been done for her here. I will tell them that I'm surrendering her because I know more can be done but not on my income. I don't make enough for the ongoing cost. Even if I moved to a low income apartment, I couldn't afford the care Jane needs.  ...continue reading "Mary Jane in Renal Failure 2"

Funerals have a way of making you think about life in deeper terms and with focused eyes.

Charlie goes homeAt the funeral I ran into 6 of kids that come here. They're going to be at the Hall for my first talk. I'm so happy they're going to be there. The oldest girl is going to record it for me.

I don't think I've been hugged so much in one day. Yes, it hurt and yes I required pain meds after, but I wouldn't have traded those hugs for anything or passed them up. They moved but they are still able to come here and to come to my Hall. That makes me happy. ...continue reading "Adjusting positive focus"

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I feel a turning I can't stop
and the reemergence of pain I can't bear.

She looks through me, laying on the floor on a make shift pouch of blue,
her eyes are in my direction, but she looks through me.
I watch her belly rise and fall as if my own life depends on it,
because it does.
I stroke her head, travel across her frailty to absorb every ounce of pain through my fingertips
like any mother would,
just to see her baby get up again,
to see her pounce, sleep on my shoes, curl up in my favorite chair
or loudly sound the dinner bell.

I hold her close and share my warmth
as if to will her gums pink with life,
make her paws stretch open then close around my finger as before.
but she just looks through me,
spent, she looks through me.

Jane did something today she hasn't done in nearly two months. She climbed on me and licked my face until I woke. She wanted breakfast. I'm also happy to report that her gums are pink! They're pink!!!!! There's a turning in her health, one I had given up on at the writing of the above piece yesterday. I need so badly for her to recover. I said it means my life. Of course I will not die a physical death, but I don't want my connection with Jane to be severed by death. I don't want this to end. ...continue reading "When Pink is Beautiful. Long Term Health Care."

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You are still beautiful Mary Jane
Janie has better moments. She doesn't spend every single solitary moment in the corner any longer, still, her prognosis is guarded.  I didn't want to show photos of her lying down looking really bad, but this here shows her clean yet frail and very thin. She just finished sun bathing.

I have some food coming in the mail that will help her put on some weight, especially since I'll mix it with other things. Her meals will be super packed with vitamins and all the enzymes she needs for a chance to pull through.

When I talked to Dr. D about end of life care for Mary Jane, he was surprised to find out that MJ will not have any invasive surgeries or treatments. If she was 10 years old that would be different, but she's 16 and I don't believe it is within her best interest to put her through that at this age. Our focus is to keep her from dropping any more weight and keep her food high quality. I will continue to do everything that is reasonable and with the best interest of my baby, who is 84 in human years. She has not been dx with cancer. I just used that as an example of having laid out a care plan for a cat that is up in years.  ...continue reading "Mary Jane is my heart"

I'm frazzled, angry, afraid, exhausted. I'm nervous. I feel guilty. I feel desperate.  I want to run. I'm raw, sensitive, trigger happy. I paint. I draw and I move about the house, task to task, without a connection to anything. I'm just in limbo waiting for my girl to either get better or worse. Right now she's holding.

This is the little temporary art area I have set up. It's my dinner table but having supplies out here means I can be closer to Jane.

I work on one drawing then put it to the side and pick up another. I turn the page and do a few lines then turn the page and repeat it. I'm running from myself. My heart is desperate.  ...continue reading "My mind. My immune system."

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