Devil Smidge

Heart Attack

I could not spend one more minute in this bastard of a house, so Diane came early yesterday and took me back to her house. I called and asked Janice to please let the dogs in close to dark, as I had left them out to chill in the sun, and to please please please make sure Smidgen was in.

Years ago, Smidgen was attacked by something, maybe a coyote, I don't know. Her side was ripped and I had to take her to Dr. Patch so he could sew her up and put in a drainage tube. That cat never left my side while she was recuperating. And she'd have nightmares, horrible nightmares. Months after the attack, she would leap out of sleep, ripping me or Aunt Tudi a new one as she launched off us, because I really believed she was suffering from effects of fresh PTSD. Ever since then, she's never left the house. She either uses the litter pan, or goes out and under the porch for a quick tinkle. She will sometimes go out onto the porch and bask in the rays of early morning. But she never ever strays far, and literally panics if I don't immediately let her in when she comes back to the door.

I had asked Janice to also let the dogs out this morning, and Smidgen if she wanted to go out. I knew I'd be coming home about an hour or two later than their scheduled bathroom break, and I didn't want to come home to have to clean up dog poop.

I got home around 9:15 this morning, and accounted for everyone except for Smidgen. I called Janice to see if Smidge had been in the house last night. She said no, that she couldn't get her to come home. And she told me that she hadn't seen Smidgen this morning when she let the dogs out.

I lost my mind. I immediately went into hysterics. This cat is more precious to me than all the gold in the world. She is the one who did everything she could to comfort me weeks after Aunt Tudi died. She would lie on my chest and purr, and place her cheek against mind. She does that to this day. Cats don't just purr out of happiness. When they are in pain, even emotional pain (and they do have emotions), they will purr to self soothe. They will purr to soothe one another. And they will purr to comfort their pet humans. This is what she was doing.

I ran. I ran all over the hill, to the edge of the forest and back. I crawled under the house and checked the out-buildings, constantly calling her name. None of the cats who live with me answer to 'kitty-kitty.' They know their names, and especially Smidgen. She answers to Smidgen and her nicknames Smidge and Pretty Girl. Diane and Bobby helped me look. Diane drove down the back road, calling for her and checking the edge of the forest to make sure Smidgen had not been hit by a car and had crawled into the ditches.


And I stopped breathing. I couldn't catch my breath. I could not breathe. I felt like I was having a heart attack. Diane thought she was gonna have to drag me to the E/R. And she would have had to drag me, because I wasn't about to leave the house.

Then I caught a glimpse of a large owl eye peeking at me from under the pile of trash on Uncle Michael's and Janice's trailer. I knew it was Smidge. She had been 25 feet away from the house the whole time, but would not come out. It took me a good twenty minutes to coax her out, she was so afraid. This is how she is when she inadvertently spends the night outside. When she stepped out far enough, I pulled her out and to me like it was the end of the world.

She's in now.

And I can't stop crying.

Two animals have passed since Aunt Tudi died. And I'll grieve when the ones who live with me now pass. But Smidgen. She is different. If I had lost her, they would have had to put me in the hospital on suicide watch. I can't even bear to think about it. I know it may sound stupid to some people, but this is just how it is.

If Janice had told me Smidge hadn't come in last night, I would have asked Diane to bring me straight home. There is no way I could have tolerated being away when Smidgen might have needed me.

I don't care how haunted and tormented I am in this house, I am never leaving it again.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: crushed devastated
  • Current Music: silencia
You poor thing. My heart stopped as I read this. I'm glad she is home. I know how you feel. I watch Carney like a hawk
I'm still just horrified at the thought of it. And I was showing Diane pictures of Smidge when she wasn't such a blobula just last night. The irony was impossible to bear. I won't get over this soon. This day is fucked.

And, yeah, I understand watching Carney. The ones you love are the ones who will kill you grief. I know it all too well right now.
i am SO glad smidgeon is found.

i can't get past people who treat animals as "less than".
"oh it's just a cat/dog/whatever..." i get infuriated. to me they are just like human children and must be treated with the same dignity as human children. we as a species domesticated them and left them without their former natural defenses, and so we have the responsibility to take care of them. / end of soapboxy rant...

truth be told, i am not going to europe until i can take my "pets" with me, which means i need a means to make more than minimum wage over there, which means a masters degree. a lot of people won't get this, so i don't say anything about it, just saying that my beloved animals are a consideration in putting off my vacating these fucked up shores.
The animals are the only reason I'm still in this house, even though it's killing me just a little every day. I would have left everything, belongings, art, old writing, EVERYTHING behind and went straight to England month ago. But here I am. I will probably die before the animals, and even that is an unbearable thought, because I know they won't be treated the same by anyone else.
what can i do to help you? i want to help.

not that i have made any REAL headway in reducing the grandparents stuff here in this house...
Hard to do, innit? Diane's gonna come over very soon, when I'm ready, and help me start going through the house. Then I'm going to Redneckland, aka the flea market, and I'm selling it all, even if I have to bulk sell the entire table. She's Tgoing with me to do that too. Can't do it alone. But thank you, sweetie. That's one of the very few things that suck about the Internet; all your friends are far away.
I'm so glad you found Smidgen. I think the animals give you some purpose, a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to maintain their environment. Grief is not a place - it's a mental state. If you leave the house you still take it with you. There is no running away.

Just take your time and do something everyday to remove something of Tudi's, rearrange a corner, anything, to start making the house more yours and less hers. Hang up more of your art. It's not disrespectful. It's self-preservation. Tudi doesn't need a place to live anymore but you and the critters do.

Diane's gonna come over and help me start going through everything. Aunt Tudi was a bit of a hoarder so most of the stuff in the house is hers. It's a nigh impossible task to tackle. Although the house is mine, I always made sure Aunt Tudi knew it was hers too.
That's great that Diane is going to help you out. I know the house belongs to you. I was referring to the fact that you see Aunt Tudi everywhere you look - it is "hers" in that sense.

Good luck with your car shopping. I hope you have wheels by the end of the week and you can put this whole bad episode behind you.

Sick. I have had a bout of bronchitis that will not go away. But, I'm on the mend. I've been here. Just not commenting much. Mind is fuzzy. You'll be "seeing" more of me.
Im so sorry you had to deal with that today. Diane is such a good friend. Thanks to Diane and Husband, for taking care of our Angelina.
Thank you, dearest. They both put up with me very gracefully this morning when I freaked out. (Bobby isn't Diane's husband BTW. Their relationship is actually nearing its end.)
I can relate to how you felt. I am glad you found Smidgen. Some people may say you're strange to act like that for a cat, but we don't. Those of us who have pets know they are our children. You acted perfectly normal.
Please take care of yourself
I completely understand. I've said, with great seriousness, that should the zombie apocalypse occur, I will shoot someone in the face over my tiny chihuahua, Java. She, like Smidge, was with me when I was recovering from back spasms, and the flu. I dubbed her Nurse Tinydog. And the one time she got outside and was gone with the dumbass hound lab mix, I almost lost my shit too. I kept picturing her running into traffic, or afoul of the occasionally loose other dogs in the neighborhood. I've smacked the shit out of a pitbull who came charging out to challenge my pups on walks, mostly fearing for her safety.
I knew most of you would understand all this. Sad to say, most people around here do not.