Sunday, August 20, 2017

Peru, pets and triggers.

Disclaimer - these posts are for me - I think they help me -  it is my journal.  Please don't be hateful.

Side note - It takes about 2 days before Peruvian mosquito bites swell up and start inching.  Anbesol helps (its for teething).

I have not blogged or even thought of this blog in a long time.  Clicking around I see that I used to blog a heck of a lot - in fact this will be post 781 (although maybe just a half dozen posts in the past 3 years).  I think I just got tired of reading and posting about exercise.  I'm still active but have not raced in a long time.  I think I was probably replacing parts of my life with training and racing.  I'm not trying to fill those voids anymore.  Back to the point - writing (and blogging) has been cathartic for me in the past - so here goes.

Had a whirlwind of a vacation to Machu Picchu this month.  There were 12 of us - my sisters family of 5, another close family of 5 and Kristy and myself.  There were ups and downs (literally - 2 near 14,000 peaks in one day) - struggles, victories  and just a few tears but we all made the 4 day trek - sleeping in tents (35 degrees), hiking up to 10 hours a day, and pooping in holes on the ground.  An adventure for sure.  (I'll try to post more about the trek but you know me and my recent blogging - nonexistent).

I had a couple of alpaca burgers while travelling.

Eat 'Em Up, Cats

We were gone 8 or 9 days.  Kristy had a sweet grad student house sit / cat sit while we were gone.  In the past we have had neighborhood kids come by to play / feed Radley - he gets along with everyone.  I secretly think my sister's kids only come over to play with the cat.  (sorry - this is going to be a picture heavy post).  Scroll down for more text.

He was a runty sick little kitty cat.  But cute as hell.

Once he was well - the runty didn't last long.

He never knew an unfriendly box or bag.

I would ask him what he was up to for the day.  He would reply, "Patrol, eat, and sleep - but not necessarily that order.

He did eventually grow into his ears - it took a little while.

He also grew into his tree.

He had his own bean bag chair.

As soon as I got up for a different exercise he always worked in - he was my shadow.

He was sophisticated - Martini glasses because he ate like a pig and this kept the mess down.

One of his favorite perches on the back of 'his' chair.

Must be Caterday.

Checking in from the neighbors house - He used to make sure the kids next door were doing their homework. 

Big morning stretch.

He did not love the hammock but if I was in it he was just underneath.

One of the rare times that we has not spooning me.

Did you wake me up, did you rub my lamp?

He liked the night stand.  In it, on top of it.

The tree was on a table before we moved - I think he felt like he was in the Amazon or something.  He loved being high up.  He would climb the pine trees at the old house.

Just chillin.

Cat nap.

He loved the deck at the old house and was looking forward to me building him one here.

Favorite spot.

Too lazy to climb the tree I guess.

After 24 hours of flying (fortunately Peru is the same time zone as Texas - so we were tired by not really jet lagged) we arrive back in Austin.  The sweet grad student was right on time - she had volunteered to pick us up at the airport.  Kristy gave her a woven  shawl that she had picked up at a market.  We asked the grad student how the week had been - we had limited Internet and zero cell service for the trip.  We had Facebooked back in forth once or twice and saw that Radley had made himself comfortable on the grad student's backpack (on the dinning room table no less).

The grad student said that she had not seen Radley in 2 days (not a big deal to me).  But then she said that he had not eaten his food - That is a big deal.  The cat woke me up every morning - he got fed sloppy canned food twice a day (please don't judge me on this issue) - he got fed in the morning and in the evening.  I had wanted to feed him at 7AM and 7PM - on the 7's I would tell him.  We even set unique alarms to try to condition him to dinner time.  Well, he would come into the bedroom and basically say - "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!"  He did the same in the evening.  He trained me and was fed on the 5's. 

I was pretty sure that as soon as we got home from the airport he would wake up and come trotting out to see us and tell us about his day and ask where we had been.  That's what he did - almost everyday.  (FYI- he is an inside / outside cat - he has his own door and keys to the house).

Well, he did not come out to greet us.  He has a little Bluetooth tracker on his harness - it is not very precise but we knew he was close by.  Somewhere near the house.  I walked all around the house upstairs and down.  I then walked outside around the house and looked in all of his sleep spots - he had a few.  I thought I had heard a faint meow - maybe we has in the storm drain trapped or something.  Nope, It was the laughter of the kids at the neighborhood pool.

Suddenly, Kristy ran out of the house screaming and fell into the yard crying.

I'll summarize here - The perfect trap and inadvertently been laid for the boy.  Radley never liked a closed door.  Somehow he had gotten into an upstairs closet.  Not good, but not a big deal.  Just a couple of weeks earlier I had locked him in an extra bedroom that I was making up for my sister's family.  He was locked in the extra bedroom from 7AM to 7PM.  I'm sure we was not comfortable and he had relieved himself on a small pillow - when I got home I looked all around and finally found him.  I gave him a hug, some extra sloppy food and threw the pillow away - I told him I was sorry he had such a bad day.  He didn't leave my side for the rest of the day / night.

This time was different.  In the closet, there were a couple of small empty Rubbermaid containers (a little bigger than shoe boxed sized) on top of some boxes.  After the fact, I'm not even sure if the closet door was open or closed - it probably would not have matter.  Radley jumped into the empty container and it slid between the wall and a box trapping him in the container against the wall. 

(I have to know the facts - I guess I am like CSI or something in that respect - this is not the first time I have HAD to do this - I have thought about how this happened and I am pretty sure of the reconstruction). 

Because the containers were stacked at an angle (they were not exactly the same so they could not nest together perfectly)  the bottom container acted like a wedge.  Radley must have jumped into the container - as we is want to do - and the container slid and pinned himself against the wall.

This is were I am struggling - Radley was family.  He brought me pure joy - I love that cat.  And he knows it.  When he was found his little paws were bloodied half way up his little arms.  He was soaked in sweat.  I am sure that he panicked and was terrified.  Every square inch of the wall was clawed bare and bloodied.  The way in which the containers fell with he closet molding to one side there was absolutely no way that he could have freed himself.  I'm sure he panicked and panicked and panicked and screamed and cried until he either had a stroke or heart attack.  I am tormented in the way in which he died.  I hate that he suffered.  I just want to take his pain away.

Now before you say he has just a cat - well, screw off.  He was my cat and I loved him - I have lost a lot of pets and they were all hard - but this one was different.  I feel like something of PURE JOY was stolen from me.  I'm sad and I' mad.

It's complicated -

Not a lot of people know me - somethings just don't come up or need to come up in casual conversation.  Well this has triggered some deep emotional turmoil.  You see, Tuesday marks a significant date for me.  I'm very date oriented - I never forget birthdays, anniversaries or most other dates.  The best way to describe it is that dates on a calendar, in my mind, glow.  When the dates get closer they glow brighter.  August has always sucked.  It will be 12 years on Tuesday since I lost my beloved Sharla (you know - Charlie to her friends - Sorry Charlie - yeah she never heard that one before) and darling Lainie.  Freak'n A - I miss them just as much today!  I hate that they suffered as well.  PURE JOY stolen.

I have no animosity  towards the sweet grad student - I for one know - bad things happen - you can do everything right and they still happen.  Sometimes life is just shitty.

I have already written about all of this in the past. I re-read these 3 posts ever year - they are for me but if you want to catch up - here you go - the wayback machine - Link to the Past.

My babies - the day before.

If you see Kristy or I in the next day or so - Please give a hug.


Lindsay said...

Virtual hug, old friend. I can't imagine how hard that was. I know I'd be a mess.

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