in loving memory: sir halitosis maximus

Kitty Smirk

Dear Hal,

I spent the last hour or so carefully cleaning your spot in the laundry room. I threw away your blanket and that heated bed I bought for your old man cat bones, swept up the telltale black hair you’d left behind. Mopped. Not to erase you, but to remove the evidence of the suffering you went through at the end. Two cancers are really more than any one furry little guy should handle. But still, I thought we had more time. When you wouldn’t lift your head for a dish of cream, I knew it was time. I hated that knowledge. It hurt so much.

I tried to stay with you, in that spot where you spent your last night, curled up beneath the cabinet. I stayed as long as I could, but my body is not young anymore. I feel like you’d understand that. I couldn’t stay for the whole procedure at the animal hospital, either, because my heart doesn’t feel as young and strong as it used to. But that, you wouldn’t know much about. You stayed you until the end, until they gave you a shot and let me hold you until you fell into a deep sleep, your pink little tongue poking out between your front teeth and your breathing slow and steady, finally done with the pain. They took you away and I sat in the car and cried until I felt like I would be sick.

My grief at losing you is compounded by guilt, but I think that’s the way with humans. I’m so terribly sorry for being impatient with you. It’s a character flaw that runs pretty deep. You drove me nuts, you know, refusing to drink out of anything but the dripping sink. I’m sorry, too, for that last litter of kittens that caused you so much stress. Like I said, I thought we had more time.

Thank you for being a good friend. You healed a very deep hurt the minute Elana and I brought you home from that shelter in New York. I remember you slept next to me under the covers that night. What a weirdo! You stayed a weirdo, in the very best ways. Thank you for purring this morning when I petted you for one of the last times. It’s such a little thing, but I couldn’t bear the idea that you’d go out remembering only pain.

Telling my son stories about you will be so bitter sweet. I’ll always remember you.

I miss you. I love you. Thank you. And I’m sorry.

Love,

Me

baby loves bananas and pot roast (there are no tubes in me!)

There are no tubes in me!

one

Untitled Charlie turned a year old a couple of weeks ago and if you’ve experienced life with a one year old, you’ll understand why I haven’t been updating frequently. He doesn’t walk more than a step or two yet, but he stands all on his own, in the middle of nothing, and it’s taking longer and longer before he realizes what he’s doing and sorta freaks out. Seems like progress to me.

He says Mama (which means anything from, “I’m sad/hungry/tired/angry” to “If you don’t turn on Frozen really soon, Imma let you have it, woman!” and Dada (which means, “Hey! There’s my dad!”), and he meows at the cats and gives high fives and knows what the monkey says and what the elephant says (complete with swinging trunk arm motion) and what the duck says but never, ever will he do any of those things when you want him to do it for the camera or another human being. Because of course not.

He loves to slap his knee to Grandma’s Feather Bed and I find unending delight in that. He hates snow.

He hasn’t had a tube feed since Sunday. Yeah, you read that right. He’s eating all on his own. I told the Dork Lord that we couldn’t even *discuss* having a second child until our first one was eating without the help of modern medicine. I’ve since revised that to, “until I forget how oh-god-kill-me hard having the first one was.” I have a very, very keen memory.

And besides, I’m pretty crazy about the original model.

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got milk?

We’ve been told that if Charlie will drink cow’s milk when he turns a year old (in FIVE WEEKS OMG), that will hasten the removal of his G Button. It doesn’t have to be cow’s milk, but it certainly makes life easier if he will drink it and eat other dairy products. Kid already loves his yogurt and cheese, so I decided to do an early experiment. Keep in mind that Charlie has not accepted any liquid by mouth, with the exception of water, since he was a couple months old. No juice, Pedialyte, breast milk, formula, whiskey. NOTHING.

Mama has reason to hope he will be off his tube before the summer.

ten months

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