Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day

"Bring it on." That is the best response to this new year that I've heard, coming from an outspoken and brainy lawyer pal from my college.

I have stopped asking my friends if they are marching. I now ask where they are marching. The Boston contingent should make a good showing from the number of people I know who will be on the Common on January 21. I plan to get materials to make our signs this week before there's a run on every art supply store in town. It may already be too late — which would be heartening.

A lot of people hated 2016 — so many great artists lost, Prince, Bowie, Cohen . . . — but personally, it was better than 2015. Still, it was kind of lousy. I don't expect 2017 to be any better but miracles do happen every so often. So I guess I am preparing for the worst while hoping for the best, and reality usually turns out to be safely in-between the two.

If you are not a cat person, you might want to stop reading right here. 

I am glad to say we made it through 2016 without any trips to Angell Animal Hospital's ER, although we almost went there yesterday. Possum threw up his breakfast, spectacularly, around the living room. I missed the show; I wandered in, still sleepy in my cute new Boden PJs, just as my husband was finishing cleaning the rug with Nature's Miracle Spray. Then he made the rookie mistake of putting the bottle away.

I found Possum in the litter box; it's not a good sign when a cat throws up and then rushes to the box, so I was concerned. He left without producing anything and returned to the living room, crouching, rather than sitting, in a weird, uncomfortable way. He looked different, and unhappy, and I take that seriously. I gave up on my plan to spend the morning in my PJs and threw on clothes so we could drive to Angell in a hurry if we had to. I also called our vet, but the office was closed, of course. 

It was on my mind, of course, that we had been watching the wrong cat for an intestinal blockage, and that Possum, not Harris had eaten the elastic from my husband's sleep mask, and possibly the quail Christmas ornament, too. It would be out of character, since Possum is too lazy to smack at ornaments and he rarely does anything with his mouth besides talk and chew, so taking apart a sleep mask is not his style. 

But one never knows for sure. And Harris seems well and Possy was definitely not okay.

As I watched him in the living room, Possum pooped, spectacularly, and then walked away. Now, he is a gentleman and he would only do such a thing in an emergency, when he was really not feeling well. Judging from the size of what he left, he ought to be feeling a lot better.

I looked at Possum. He looked at me, and he did indeed look more like himself. I put on surgical gloves, and found a plastic fork, scooped up the mess in a paper towel, and took it into the bathroom for some Feline Forensic Analysis. (My technique involved a baggie and plastic fork, and a lot of muttering.) But there was nothing in it that looked like elastic bits or plastic bird carcass. Just a ton of fur.

I disposed of it and returned to the living room to spray more Nature's Miracle, which is accurately named. In the kitchen, Possum joined me to demand another breakfast. "Are you kidding?" I said. "You can't eat now. You need to settle your stomach. Ask me later." 

He kept asking, and wolfed down a second breakfast shortly afterward. And then asked for more. He's been fine ever since. Everyone is fine, in fact — eating, playing, napping, and enjoying the new apartment, which has been decorated for the holidays:

You'd never guess that someone's belly is probably full of plastic and elastic. And god knows what else.

In the afternoon we went to tea at the Taj Hotel (lovely) on Newbury Street, and then to a free organ concert at Old South Church. Their Skinner pipe organ is the second-biggest in Boston and can make the floor shake and rattle. Lion would disapprove. 

When we came home, Possum was napping on top of my new pajamas. I slid them out from under him, put them on, and decided to spend the evening reading. Unbelievably, it's still October 24 in Old New Yorker Land. It took me about six weeks to finish the October 10 issue, which had a dense but informative article about Karl Marx that required more concentration than I had. 

October . . . what a halcyon, hopeful time that was.

As I put my PJs, it occurred to me that some cat would probably soon be doing its darnedest to get me out of them again and into the ER at Angell. It was New Year's Eve, and our cats traditionally schedule their health emergencies over holidays. 

"Bring it on," I thought. At least I wouldn't be caught by surprise.

But we got lucky. I fell asleep on the sofa around 8, and turned in early, as four cats were warming the bed. Including Possum, who had snarfed his supper and was his old self again. We missed the ball dropping at midnight and that was fine with us.

I've had insomnia for months (it's purely hormonal) so I'm chronically sleep-deprived. I haven't slept through the night since August 6. I fall asleep easily (in bed, in the car, over long meals, at the movies, during city-hall hearings, visiting family . . .) but I wake up alert in the middle of the night and lie there until I get sleepy again, at about 7, just as the noisy construction projects in the neighborhood get going. So I usually give up, get up, and yawn my way through the day. 

The HRT I'm trying is finally starting to work, though. I slept longer last night. Sleep is bliss! I think about it all the time; few other activities seem as attractive to me as being unconscious. Especially these days.

It didn't feel so great to wake up to 2017, even at a reasonable hour. Oh, well. It will be interesting, for sure.


  1. Glad everyone is feeling better. That is a good beginning to what I hope is a very Happy New Year for you!

  2. May you stay out of emergency rooms in 2017!


Spam goes right into the trash but I appreciate relevant comments from non-spammers (and I can always tell the difference). I do my best to follow up if you have a question. ALL spam, attempts to market other websites, and anything nasty or unintelligible gets deleted instantly. The cats and I thank you for reading — and please feel free to comment on what you read.