and now for something totally different
by jennifer kiley ~the secret keeper~
phase two of “about” is to take on my greatest passion, which is “writing.” i was told today by my psychotherpist that i am addicted. get this, what it is i am addicted to. my laptop computer. i cannot stay away from her. it’s a compulsion. i need to write. when you hear the words: “just one more thing, that’s all i have to do, then i will be finished.”
if a recorder were turned on just prior to dinner or when it’s time to leave for an appointment or time to go up to bed, that sentence would be uttered numerous times and dinner would be cold; i’d be late for my appointment or totally get the time wrong and think i had to leave at a certain time when actually the time i thought i had to leave was the time of the appointment. i did that, yes i did.
going to bed can turn into 3 to 4 hours later. when i am editing, i have a compulsive need to tweek every minutae. what i present has to be perfect but it never is. my eyes always miss something. how many times do i hit edit? also, i compulsively hit draft. i may be partially superstitious but mostly i am afraid my computer will crash at any moment, without warning of course.
my laptop is new and yet has crashed three times where it went totally weird on me. the screen started snowing and there was a loud buzz until windows flashed somethine across the screen for me to read but, of course, no one can read that quickly. so, you’re never exactly sure what just happened.
so, i am suppose to spend less time with my computer. it can’t be done. it sits next to me on the end table and wants to be picked up and turned on. and there is so much that i need to do on her. so many projects. too many projects, my therapist thinks. she wants me to make lists. i hate making lists.
when i worked as an animal care facilitator for 14 years, lists were put out every bloody day with our assignments. most of which were to process the animals for adoption but while doing that we were responsible for aswering the phones. counseling people on every kind of animal care you could think of. we, also, were required to do adoptions, which i mostly enjoyd. then there were the surrenders. i hated that part.
but i loved working with the animals, helping them to adjust to their new environment. some wouldn’t let you near them. those animals were part of my specialty. i’d work with them slowly, building up trust, just enough to let me sit near them. eventually, they would come closer and closer, until one day they would allow me to touch them. pretty soon, they would be in my lap or spending time in the staff lounge taking lunch with me and sleeping on the couch while i wrote my novel or meditated. this would be both cats and dogs. i did have my share of bites and visits to the hospital but i never could blame the animals. they were so fearful, some of them.
now i have my own managerie at home. my s/o and i have a total of 16 animals from quite a variety of species. cats dominate, though. recently we were given a stray cat we thought was about 4 1/2 mos old. when taken to the vets, we were told she was a year old and pregnant. to our surprise, it was less than two weeks later that she gave birth to three lovely little baby kittens. the sad note, though, was much later into the night a fourth was still born.
these wonderful kittens are just turning two months old. all boys but at first we thought one boy and two girls. it’s been a while since i had sexed a kitten just after birth. there names have finally settled on being Parker, Poe and Carter the special one. Carter, we think is going to grow up to be a munchkin cat. he is quite short in the legs. what an old soul is he.
we think a kitty named Sprout, that we had a long time ago, who died after only living for one year, from Leukemia. we were shattered. she was a very loved kitty. the most affectionate sweetie one could ask for. she followed me wherever i went in the apartment we lived in back then. now we have a house and room for all our animals.
when Sprout got ill, it was devastating. the vet gave her a transfusion. it seemed to make her all better but we had to quarantine her and change our clothes to spend time with her. i worshipped her. she was found as a kitten around New Years. we had people over. we all kept hearing a sound come from outside but when we checked we couldn’t find anything. it was pouring out. finally, someone went down into the alley to investigate. when they returned, they were holding this drenched black and white long haired minature kitten. she was found in the large garbage dumpster. someone had thrown her in there. what horrible people can do.
i went into command mode and called out for some towels and canned cat food. once i had the towels, i wrapped her up and tried to dry her. my s/o brought me an open can of food and i held it in front of her face. she was starving. her little face just dove into the smooshy food and she gobbled it up. i just hugged her to my body to give her warmth as she continued to consume the food. i suggested to my s/o that she might need something liquid. i was sure she must be thirsty. i was in love. i just hugged her and hugged her. i didn’t let her go.
i am not sure how long it took us to come up with the name “Sprout” because we usually make lists of names before we find the name that fits or the animal lets us know which is the right one. the year we spent with Sprout went by too fast and yet i can remember moments of time that she would walk on my knees when i was in the bath. the water didn’t bother her at all. she was always with me. she snuggled with my s/o and i in bed. she loved us both and all our other cats adored her. there was never any problem with them accepting her. she was our baby.
it makes me so sad and angry that she died so young. the night she died, we called the vet and wanted to know what we should do. it was 2am. he told us he couldn’t do anything. so, i sat on the floor in our extra room where we had to quarantine her and my s/o sat beside me. i just hugged her to my chest and rocked her and told her that everything would be alright. she was dying and i couldn’t do anything to save her. both of us just reassured her that she would be alright. she would be met by our other kitties like tigger the first. she wouldn’t be alone. she slowly dropped into sleep and her breathing slowed down until it finally stopped. she was gone.
just writing about Sprout now makes me cry. after she died, i couldn’t stop crying. i was so distraught when she died. she was that special to us both. she was the most loving kitten that we’ve ever know until Carter. we feel like Sprout has walked into Carter. he has her geniune loving spirit. what a darling he is. so very special, like we’ve known him forever.
i forgot what i was going to be writing about when i wrote about Sprout. her presence is so strong. what i was going to tell you was that i am creating an “about” page and on it i am going to add some suggestions from some famous writers giving quick quotes on writing. i will post that on “about” and this i will post on a memorial page for Sprout and an introduction with photos of Carter.
we like to say his name with a French accent:”Cartere.” on the second syllable hold it long and go up with your voice. i want to make a music video of Carter with some footage i took of him last week but my s/o is the expert on editing. i’m only just learning. if it doesn’t make it to the release of this post, it will be added later. thanks for reading and listening. jennifer ~the secret keeper~