It’s Memorial Day and I don’t usually think about it much. I am today. First off, before I get too self-involved and offend anyone for trivializing an important day, for those of you out there grieving or remembering family or friends who were lost in the line of duty in any of the many wars, for right or wrong, my heart goes out to you. Loss is a horrible, powerful reality of being alive. We are equipped to process it no matter how horrible.
Now, to make it about me and my loss at the moment.
There’s been this stray cat hanging around my house for a couple of years. I thought it was a girl and honestly I thought it was somewhat of a bitch. She always seemed very entitled and had an attitude. Obviously I had anthropomorphized the cat and created a codependent relationship. I had a thing, a dynamic, with the cat. I liked having it around. I hadn’t seen it in a week or so and she showed up a couple of weeks ago looking bad. She was skinny, losing her hair in clumps, not moving much, not grooming herself, convulsing a bit, having a hard time breathing, just a mess. She was howling for no reason. This is a feral cat. I couldn’t just pick her up and take her to the vet. I haven’t even touched her in two years. I got a trap, the nice kind, trapped her with some food and brought her to the vet. He said she was a he and that he had been neutered and he had a horrible upper respiratory infection. They did tests and I left him there until morning for the results because if I hadn’t and he needed treatment of some kind I would have had to trap him again. He’s not falling for that twice.
The blood test came back FIV positive. He could have been beginning his slow decline. I didn’t know what to do. I tend to deny death at all costs and would’ve taken the little guy home in hopes that he got better and had some more years in him. There was no way I could consistently give him medicine or care for him. I couldn’t even touch him. The vet said he recommended euthanizing him but I couldn’t quite handle that until he told me that the cat would eventually crawl away somewhere and die a slow painful death alone. So I made the difficult choice to have him put down. It was awful to bring an empty cage home but I think I did the right thing for the cat. It was a horrible mature decision that I hated.
I am haunted by that cat. I guess it’s grief.
I saw The Avengers. I liked it. I related to the Hulk.
On the show Monday is the young and harshly judged Bo Burnham. I judged him. Turns out he’s a thoughtful, tormented professional entertainer. It was a great talk. On Thursday, the lead singer of The Hold Steady, Craig Finn, hangs out, talks, plays and sings. Also on Thursday, I tracked down Tony Clifton at a rehearsal for some upcoming shows at The Comedy Store. I had never met him. It was just what you would expect.