Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Death, please. Thank you.

Why? Why did I have to juggle? WHY?!?

I had some help yesterday in the form of two miniature humans - an 11-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy, brother and sister team. (Christie and Mike, respectively.) They did a lot for me in terms of literal manual labor. That is, their little hands work better than mine, and so they boxed up all of my books and DVDs. Along the way, there was a lot of goofing around, and at one point the girl was laughing so hard that she was crying. Because I'm not up to cleaning my place as much as I was years ago, we kicked up a lot of dust, and, of course, Nike didn't know what to do with herself during the whole thing. With all of the boxes laid out, this place must have been like a labyrinth to her.

Now, I have rules when I'm alone with children. My front door stays unlocked, and my front blinds remain open. Usually, all parties are within view of the window, so if anyone peeks inside, they can see the kids are safe. But after we made a trip to the trash dumpster, I announced we should all wash our hands. So we crowded around my bathroom sink to do so, and I quickly discovered how little room I actually have in there. Mike, after washing his hands, simply tried to turn and walk away...however, his hand ended up colliding with my butt, and I was off to the (medicated) races, asking loudly, "Why are you trying to grab my butt?" As both brother and sister started cracking up, and he tried making embarrassed excuses, I was saying things like, "I'm totally telling your mom that you grabbed an old man's disabled butt," and, "You just wait, Mike. In 10 years, you'll be playing football for your high school team, the quarterback, with all the girls on the sidelines sighing over how handsome you are, and I'll be up in the stands, screaming, 'The quarterback tried to grab my butt many years ago!'"

More silly than anything else.

Now, I mentioned my meds. Being more active, more things began to hurt as the day went on, and it didn't help that on our quest for boxes that I had tripped. I didn't fall, but the act of stopping the fall ended up hurting my feet. More pain means more meds. More meds means less control over my mouth.

Three identical items followed me from NY. They were three tennis balls filled with pennies. "Ummm...Rob? Why do you have three tennis balls filled with pennies?" Well, one of the ways I would try to exercise my hands and arms was to juggle. Adding to the workout was the fact that I weighted the items down, filling the tennis balls with pennies. That, and the pennies stopped said tennis balls from rolling away or bouncing when I would drop them.

I forgot about these items, but we found them in a box during the cleaning/packing process. The kids were obviously curious as to why I had them, and I simply explained that I could juggle them. This required a demonstration. This included me juggling just two in one hand, which the kids thought was great.

But then Christie insisted that it looked easy enough, and tried to juggle. It was a spectacular failure, with her dropping the tennis balls on every attempt. There came a moment when she dropped them and I thought things were going to be destroyed by her efforts. It instantly became an "open mouth, insert foot, chew vigorously" moment when I yelled at her, "Kristie, stop playing with my balls!"

Everything stopped for just a split-second, and then I said, "That's it...I'm going to jail." And then we were cracking up. Personally, I think Kristie then tried several times to get me to say it again, but I fought it. In retrospect, all I had to do was add the word "tennis" to my sentences, and it would have been all better. As it was, I replaced "my" with "the," and it would still make the kids laugh.

In just over three hours, we got a lot done, and I rewarded the three of us by ordering a pizza. I made it very clear that I can't order out for food often, and that they shouldn't expect that kind of thing each time they come by to help. We camped on the floor in the middle of my apartment, had our pizza, and then the kids were dismissed for the day.

As a side note, their mother was called several times to keep her apprised of what was going on...for the most part. And while some our jokes were inappropriate for kids their age, I definitely stopped certain things from happening that would have looked really bad. One, in particular, had me stop and give Mike a talking-to. He was wearing a white tank top, so he shouldn't have been that hot, especially with my air conditioning up full blast and a fan on us. Still, there was a point where he turned to me, lifted his shirt and just ran his hands over his stomach. I don't even know what that thing with his hands was all about, but I rapidly said, "Stop that! Do you know what that would look like if someone was watching this apartment? It looks like I've become a complete idiot and asked you to expose yourself to me in front of my open window, which would land me in jail very fast. Keep...your clothes...ON!" Thankfully, he didn't do it again.

Overall, I kept the kids safe. After about a half hour walking around in the AZ heat, we returned to my place, where I just happen to have some Gator-aid in my refrigerator. These came in the emergency food box I was given last month, and I kept them anyway, knowing I couldn't drink them. I'm glad I had them on hand, because I was able to keep the kids from dehydration with them when we walked in the door. We also took an hourly break, at the very least, so that I wasn't overworking them.

Okay...Apartment was in better shape, kids were watered and fed, then dismissed, and I was alone to relax and shower and...relax some more. And as I prepared for my shower, I took one look at the ulcer on my left ankle and started to fret. It looked bad. But I reminded myself that I had not only tripped, but had been fairly active in my apartment all afternoon. I'm praying it only looks as bad as it did because of that, and not because it's getting bad again.

Stu called as I had just gotten out of the shower. Now it was reality time. Although a lot of good had come from my day, I had tried to ignore the fact that my move to TN was NOT going to include Nike. In the comments of my last post, I was given a link to pet moving services by my friendly neighborhood follower, Valiant Turtle. I followed the link, made a phone call, was given recommendations, and almost instantly came to the realization that I'm never going to be able to afford any of the services. Why? Too many costly and unknown factors.

The pet moving services don't pay for vet services that I need to handle. I am the one that has to handle vet visits and obtain the various documents needed for Nike to travel. If I rely on the pet moving services, (the one that was recommended), it will cost an astounding $350! I'm larger and require more care than my cat, and I can travel for less! If I try to bring her on the plane with me, I not only have to make arrangements for federal guidelines, but also comply with whatever airline I travel with, which remains an unknown at this time. Then, at the last minute, I have to pray that there's room in the flight cabin for Nike. If there are other people with pets, then I'll be competing with them for space. It's simply too much to deal with, especially alone.

What Stu doesn't understand is that I love this cat. Without her being capable of being conscious of it, she has held me together in some of my worst moments here in AZ. When she finds a spot next to me, or in my lap at my computer, and she just sits there and purrs, I'm almost as content as she is. It's heartbreaking to think that I'm going to have to give her up at all.

Oh, I'm going to try and find a new home for her. But I honestly doubt it'll be anyone in this apartment complex. I simply don't trust them. What I imagine will happen is that I'll have to surrender her to the Humane Society, and that will likely spell out her doom. Few people want a grown cat; they want cute little kittens. Nike will end up being put down when no one adopts her.

Besides...I personally believe she will die on her own of a broken heart. At this very moment, she is on the floor, by my front window, probably on the cusp of falling asleep...again. Just whispering her name gets her tail lazily wagging, content in the fact that "her papa" is nearby. If I head for the kitchen to refill my coffee, she will follow me so that she can still see me...

G-d, I love this cat so much!!!

And Stu doesn't get it. His answer is to just get another cat should I move out of his house. Meanwhile, not having Nike around will make his wife a lot happier. Good for her...my heart is breaking, even as I type this.

To my emotional aches are the physical. I am paying a heavy price this morning for everything I did yesterday. I was so exhausted last night that I fell asleep without need of Xanax. But this morning, around 6:00 AM, the pains in my body had me slowly waking and praying for death. I'm thoroughly medicated now, and I still hurt. Not as badly, but still...

"Your birthday is in two days, Rob...Here. Have some physical worries, as well as emotional agony. Happy freakin' birthday."


Arguskos said...

Rob, I've been thinking. I know you love Nike, and don't want to give her up, and I've been considering... what if Katra and I somehow figured out how to get Nike here, so we could watch her until you get your own place? It's hardly an ideal solution, but if you can't find someone you trust, we can try and work something out.

Overall, the main benefit I see is that you won't have to give her up, since we'd gladly return her to you when you have your own place again.

It's just a thought, and I can't guarantee it'll come true, but keep that in mind.

Rob Meadows said...

Buddy, if we could transport Nike at all, then I would bring her with me, Stu's wife be damned. No one is allergic to cats in Stu's house. She's not destructive. It all comes down to getting things done and the cost. I would work on getting things done if I knew the costs were covered, but it's going to take what seems to be an unreasonable amount of money to get it all done.

I appreciate the offer, though.

Arguskos said...

Alright. If it comes to lose her, or I come get her though, I'd prefer to come get her. That way, Nike and you won't be separated long. :)

Rob Meadows said...

Arguskos...Do me a favor and send me an e-mail with some personal information, like your phone number and general location. This way I can call, or, in turn, send you my info so you can call me, and we can discuss various details.

Thanks in advance, buddy.