We got a call on the lost cat ad. Keith and the kids went. I reminded them to offer a reward. A little boy had made a nice cardboard house and bed for the found cat, and would have loved to have kept it, but his parents said no, if the owners didn't find it it would need to go to the animal shelter. So Keith gave him $10 and thanked him profusely. The little boy had been very happy to have found our cat and to have $10. When they got back I said "That's not Simba," and Keith said "I know."
This new cat was a big pain and I've never really liked him and he's caused trouble and damage and messes and could never retract his claws well, so he would put them in my pants leg (meaning, often, in my own leg) to get attention and not be able to take them out.
I thought it would be no big deal, but the emotions that swirled around that kinda kicked my butt. Like a little whirlwind full of trash, I see bits and pieces but can't focus on any one thing. It has guilt and the passage of Kirby's youth, it has the waste of having worthless pets who do more damage than good, with an overlay of all the increasing city ordinances (most of which we ignored) about pets, and my wishes he would've just died and not cost us a hundred dollars, and twenty other vaguer feelings and factites.
When I started this post I thought I would write "Took the cat to be put to sleep, went with Marty to the Jeep place..." This outpouring surprises me too.
Keith took me out to eat. I had already come home and made more margarita than I usually drink and then kinda wished I had filled up the blender. It didn't help. I ate all the potatoes at Souper Salad--two salad bar potato salads, potato soup and a baked potato. It felt like potatoes could magically absolve me and cleanse my soul. It helped a little.
Since Marty has had the Jeep we've been getting it to an optimal point before the 15 days are up and the government-imposed warranty is up. We've been driving around and leaving jeep or parts-of-jeep here and there, going back later, and to this point it's
wiring installed for towing a trailer
(dealer reimbursed us)
got a copy of the key: electronic anti-theft bizness, had to go to Jeep to get the code and back to locksmith
(I paid $52)
zipper on back window of softtop not working, left the top at Rader Awning for a new zipper
($150ish, Marty will pay)
window ding, spreading crack--rock hit him Sunday, crack growing about 2" a day
(insurance paid in full, $65ish)
It's all great for Marty, and I like spending time with him, and I learned to really stabilize my hair and not look down at the road out the open side. He has a full hard-top and doors, but as little girls strip their Barbies first thing, it seems boys strip their jeeps. And I was impressed at how well he could tell what needed to come off to remove which parts of the top to leave at the awning shop. All those years of transformers and Bionicles really showed.
All week there was the vague plan for me and Keith to go to dinner with an old friend who lives in northern California and we haven't seen for years. Keith knew him when they were very young, three or four. Then they were in the SCA together in the 1970's, and we were going to go out with him (and maybe his girlfriend, it was unclear) and two other couples we've also known since 1978 or so. The plan kept not coming together and then Marty and Holly asked us if we wanted to go with them and some others to see Hancock.
So we did.
And I realized somewhere in there that I would rather be with my kids than with my old friends who are childless. The friendships are still there, but for me to say no to my kids (even though they're all grown enough to drive to the movies and pay my way (Holly paid Keith's way; Keith paid for me and Marty, because we showed up last after picking up the Jeep from the auto-glass place)... I LIKE my kids. I want those times with them, while it's still possible to have them.
The time we spent with those other folks (the ones who seem not to have had dinner without us, anyway, so no loss) was when we were young and energetic and also childless. None of the others had children, and I know they would've asked us about our kids and we would've told glowing wonderful stories of a job in Texas, a new Jeep and a job at a Persian restaurant, a serious boyfriend and lots of photoshop artwork and a desire to work at a flower shop, and the response would've been dismissive or critical. Maybe not. Maybe it's the dead cat guilt talkin' in my swirly mind.
When my kids are grown and gone, will I still prefer friends who have children so they'll understand what's important to me? It's not that I don't enjoy hearing the news of my childless friends. It's cool! I just don't like their attitudes toward children and teens.