Through the years my hairstyle has remained relatively the same. All one length and red. My big forays into something different were bangs (for all of a year), parting my hair to the side instead of the middle (*gasp!*), and the occasional layered asymmetrical bob (and crimping for Halloween). Thing is, I am suuuuuuuuper lazy when it comes to my hair. I hate taking the time to do much with it besides the basics. Even straightening it is going above and beyond on most days.
I am just now starting to get back into the groove of artsy things since Oliver died. I was at the studio one day last week making plaster molds which took much longer than I thought it would, was incredibly messy, and not really exciting enough to write a post about. But I am happy that once they dry out I'll be able to produce work more efficiently.
Some good news, I did get into the exhibition that I applied to at St. John's College in Annapolis. (I found out that I got in the same day that I found out Oliver's cancer had spread so I don't think I had mentioned it on here) It was not with any of my ceramics work though, the juror actually chose one of my mixed media paintings. I would have been thrilled if the ceramics got in but it is going to be much, much, much cheaper to ship my little painting than it would have been to ship my ceramics! I was really hoping that we'd be able to make the trip to Annapolis so that we could attend the opening reception but unfortunately we won't be able to. That really bums me out because I am DYING to go on a vacation.
I am still waiting to hear if I got into the two art fairs that I applied to. I should hear sometime this week. Ahh! Honestly, I'll be content with either answer, yay or nay. If I don't get in I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and I won't have to shell out $2K+ for a booth. If I DO get in I'll be shitting myself both from excitement and shear terror!
One of Ruby's favorite things to do, especially in the car, is sing. It's gotten to the point where I don't turn the radio after I pick her up from daycare, I just like to listen to what she has to say.
To the tune of
Last Friday I went thrifting with a friend and decided to put myself on a budget of $20. Our first stop was the Salvation Army. I found a couple of pieces of clothes for Ruby...actually 4 things, but I put two back because I felt like they were priced high for what they were ($4 for a t-shirt). It's never hard to find adorable stuff for her. Of course I had to have her model for me:
When I went in to get Ruby up and get ready for daycare she slowly stood up in her crib, her crazy Christopher Lloyd-esque hair flying everywhere, and started handing me all of her 'babies' which consisted of a bunny, Scout, Littlefoot, and a giant triceratops pillow pet. Only after I had all of those in my hands was I allowed to pic her up. As I held her and she snuggled with the armload of stuffed animals:
Me: Hi sweetheart did you sleep good?
Me: Can I have a kiss? (making kissy noises)
Ruby: Yeah (then she kisses me) I love you (followed by big hug) I love you, mommy.
Me: I love you too, baby girl.
So then I put her and the managerie on the changing table and start to look for clothes and I see this:
It's been a week since we said goodbye to Oliver. Already. Gees, time goes by too quickly these days.
Instead of burying him we had him privately cremated and I picked him up last Friday. Having him home again gave me some comfort, even if it was in a box. Sad face. I kept the box close to me while I worked and I'll admit that I even slept with it that night I brought him home. It's strange maybe, and I can't explain the reasoning behind it other than I really miss him and needed some kind of physical connection to him. Right now he's still on the table by my bed where no doubt he'll remain for quite some time.
I've been comforted by watching videos and looking though some of the many photos of Oliver, feeling so thankful that I took the time to take them in the first place:
The doctor left one of those "So Your Pet Died" books and although I originally kind of poo-poo'd it I read it the day after Oliver's death. It made me cry (because pretty much anything did that day) but it had some good tips about remembering your pet. One section asked questions that you could answer that would help you remember your pet like, "How and why did you become your pets owner and companion?" While searching through a hard drive for photos I came across a Word doc in which I had written memories of our other awesome cat, Charlie. Reading through them made me laugh (and cry) but I was so happy that I had it to come across. I haven't written anything about Ollie yet but I will.
I lucky to be surrounded by so many people (in real life and online) that care about me and have expressed their condolences. People that I don't have to pretend not to be sad around, that I can talk with openly, and who'll just let me do my thing, even if it's just sobbing into the phone unintelligibly (Thanks, Kelly). My thanks to all of you, you've made a difficult situation a little bit easier.
This past weekend I simply tried to distract myself as much as possible. Saturday was a Kite Fest at Jacobson Park so I took Ruby and was accompanied by friends. We spent most of the afternoon chasing her as she bolted across the open field, usually so that she could get all up in the business of some random, "PUPPY!!" that happened to be in her field of vision. Apparently a puppy kite is not as cool as the real thing.
What is distracting? Yes. Relaxing? No way, but whatever. I am grateful for my friends and for the fact that it was finally amazing and sunny and warm. If the weather had been gray and cold...well, I probably would have spent a larger chunk of the weekend crying than I did.
Yesterday we said goodbye to our baby boy, Oliver. He was 5.
On Monday an ultrasound revealed that the evil sonofabitch cancer had spread to his liver and bladder so Heath and I made the hard decision that it was time to let him go. He was a strong kitty and had fought hard, but we needed to give him relief. I made arrangement on Tuesday (more on this later) and spent as much time with him as I could. I probably told him "I love you" about 1.2 million times.
Yesterday, while I waited for the doctor to arrive at the house I hung out on the bed with Oliver, read my book, let him play with and eat on a balloon string, and gave him love. The doctor arrived, we took care of some paperwork and then it was time.
Heath and I loved on him and then took him outside. He had always been fascinated with 'outside' but never actually wanted to go unless one of us was holding him. He perked up noticeably as he took in all the sounds and felt the sun and wind. Heath picked up leaves and sprinkled them over his head (he always liked to watch leaves fly around the yard), his claws digging into my shoulder (another favorite activity) as his eyes darted around following the leaves to the ground. Inside we fed him catnip and shared stories of his shenanigans with doctor.
When it all went down it was peaceful. Both Heath and I were there by his side telling him over and over again how much we loved him and how thankful we were that he was our kitty. I felt the soft spots behind his ears, kissed his paws, and ran my fingers through his thick fur. I held him one last time before placing him in a basket and saying goodbye one last time.
Even though I knew this was the inevitable outcome of this situation it is still hard to believe that he's gone. Somehow, even in a house with three other cats and a toddler, it feels empty and like something is missing. I walked into the bedroom last night and looked for Oliver in his usual place, only he wasn't there. I accidentally called Ivan, Oliver and I swear that I heard Oliver meowing last night and it caused me to wake up. I'm thankful that I fell back asleep before grief took a hold of me again.
Oliver was an amazing cat and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I'll miss you forever buddy.