daphnep: (kiddie/cat)
( Aug. 14th, 2009 09:08 am)
Newborn kittens, found in the trash.

"They're probably going to die" you hear, on the phone.

"They're probably going to die anyway," you find yourself repeating, later, in explanation.

But because you have to, you add: "But we have to try, at least."

"What else is there to do?" you ask. "You can't just put them back in the trash."

They are, probably. Going to die. You think this as you hold them mewling in your hand. The thing is, though, you think, poking at a tiny mouth with an impossibly hopeless rubber nipple, it's not dead now.

No, this thing is very much alive, eyes sealed, suckling on the end of your finger. It presses a tiny paw (with slivers of claws) against your hand in an instinctual movement to knead and nurse. It is alive, so all you can do is try to keep it that way, for as long as you can.

Everyone warned, "Don't name them." As if naming them would give them a personality, as if the name would make them more alive than they already are, and hence harder to lose. But the truth is, naming doesn't give anything, it simply confirms what is already there. They already come with everything a name identifies. This one has stripes, that one a crooked, stumpy tail, and the teeny tiny one has long white hairs on his face, like feathers. Two nurse strong and solid, and the third can barely suck, but nurses on the web of skin between your thumb and forefinger just the same. All of them are loud and noisy and insistant that they know best, what each wants.

"It's probably going to die," you say to yourself, but out loud you say "please, baby, just take the bottle. Come on, you can do it." You poke the nipple at its mouth again and again. "Come on, little one." And then when it doesn't, you stroke the little mole-ish creature with a finger. "It's probably going to die," you remind yourself, as it wriggles, blind, up your forearm and falls asleep in the crook of your elbow, its wrinkled little face tucked into you.

You can't not name them, not really. You have to call them something, even in the privacy of your own mind, so you find yourself listing them: the stripey one has eaten and pooped, stumpy-tail has pooped but not yet eaten, and tiny just peed and nothing else. You mix up their epithets so that nothing sticks, refrain from using capital letters (even in the privacy of your own mind), and nothing becomes "official" like a name, but you can't cease from identifying them just the same.

You feel it breath, twitch, and hiccup. Its skin and fur crackle with dehydration, and its nose has gone from pink to bright red. But it wrinkles its face in disgust and turns away when you bother it, trying to drip milk into its mouth.

It's probably going to die, you say, but for right now, quiet and breathing against the warmth of your arm, it is most definitely alive.
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daphnep: (kiddie/cat)
( Aug. 29th, 2008 11:04 am)
You move on.

Or rather, the world moves on, and you find yourself carried along with it. Time is a tide impossible to resist. Swimming against it is pointless flailing limbs.

The other day I was walking down the street, and a car pulled out of a driveway just ahead of me. The window was down and I had a straight view of the driver. She was a young woman with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was beautiful, and she was crying. Her face was pale and blotchy, her eyes were puffy, and her nose was red the way noses get when a person's been crying a long time.

I watched her crying and driving and I wondered what she'd lost.

I wanted to ask her: "What did you lose?"


I've been reading lj rather attentively. It helps a lot, for some reason. Livejournal is like so many rolled-down car windows, I peer inside and see all of you, crying as you drive. I look at you all and remember the things you've lost.

I wish I could fix it all. I want to give it all back. I want to bring your father back, and you, your beautiful girlfriend. I want to bring back the baby you lost. I want to make your cat better, and bring your dog back, and make your father better, make your little girl all better, and bring your own healthy body back. I want to give you a new kidney, you a new knee, and you a whole brand new start. I want Simon back.

But I can't do anything.
The condition of life is suffering, says buddha. So we keep driving, because we have no other choice.
daphnep: (Simon)
( Aug. 24th, 2008 01:05 pm)
As I mentioned earlier this week, my Simon's hepatic lipidosis flaired up again this week when I was in New York. Dan got him in to see the vet, I came back a little early, and I've been treating him all week and giving him drugs and talking to our AZ vet and doing the regular forced feedings, etc.

Well, he wasn't getting better. Yesterday morning I took him to the emergency vet when his legs gave out and he turned back into a floppy stuffed animal like he did the last time, only this time they couldn't fix him in time. He had acute liver failure and I chose to let him die a few hours later.

Dan is in Arizona visiting his family, but [livejournal.com profile] lxbean came to be with us in the emergency room, and [livejournal.com profile] trillian_stars joined me shortly thereafter so I did not have to be alone. I am lucky to have such good friends who care. It is still the crappiest day ever just the same. Ever.
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