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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 15, 2010

Covered In Oil
Tuesday. A sad day yesterday with, I suspect, more than a few more of them to come. I kept doing things and looking at places reacting as I would when Emmy was here. Bringing a bag of groceries in from the car. She would usually greet me, looking for a good scratching as she stretched out on the rug, but when things were being transferred into the refrigerator she became particularly attentive. Going into the bedroom, glancing at the bed to see the place she was sleeping. Well, this will go on for a while. Yesterday wasn't much fun.

I guess I knew by Friday, maybe Saturday, what the result would be if I took her into the vet's, probably why I chose Monday instead of Saturday, hoping the symptoms didn't imply what the symptoms implied, hoping she might still turn around. When they hide, they're hurting. When they don't eat, the usual reasons for not eating are grim.

I talked back and forth with the vet for some time probing for options. A sonogram, an operation, a chance the tumor wasn't malignant. How much pain and grief was that, only to end in a few days as it would end in any case? The problem is I was the one who had to decide. I was the one who brought her to the vet. I've always been the one who courted her trust and this is how that trust came to an end. That's OK. That's the way it works, but it doesn't make it any easier.

One minute she's here, one minute she's not; a game that's played by all: cats, fish, pelicans and people. I'm sure this sense of personal mortality and loss is there at the root: the mystery, the unutterable mystery of being here at all. We all end staring at a veterinarian's wall, running the last run, breathing the last breath. But enough. The more you say, the less it means, although it may be therapeutic.

Lunch today in Danville with Mr. McQ down from Salem and a bunch of the old APL crew, then another lunch tomorrow in Oakland with another group who couldn't make it today. Should be good, get me out of the apartment. Breakfast is done, the sky overcast, the temperature cool, but it will clear up later. I think a bath now, something I tend to neglect more often than I should now that I'm retired.

They don't need to know that.

Yeah, but I evidently need to be reminded of it.

Later. OK, Mr. McQ was thirty minutes late arriving at the BART station where I went to pick him up and then drive on to lunch in Danville, but we arrived to find four ex-APL'ers waiting on us at an “English” pub, the atmosphere nice, the waitress rather attractive even without the low cut dress. Low cut in the sense there was a portion of the brain that wondered how they were held in place, if the laws of physics were somehow being violated. Odd sort of a thought to have, given the circumstances, I'll write it off to aging testosterone and leave it at that.

Mr. McQ is down visiting from Salem, as mentioned, the discussion (these are all ex-techies) revolving around the old company, how they no longer have server-desktop expertise at the corporate level and what the job market is like, what they're new employers are like, the usual never ending stuff. Enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Back now (of course), some thought to get out the door for my walk. Feel better than I did this morning, although I'm still having the same flashes of memory - looking for Emmy on the bed, checking the food dishes on the floor (they've been cleaned and stacked away in a cupboard) to see if she's finished her food, automatically looking here and there before doing whatever to be sure I don't inadvertently do something to freak her out. The biggest no-no has always been the vacuum cleaner. I'm thinking of rolling it out, shock my apartment manager and maybe shock myself. Automatic stuff, nothing too terrible, but interesting to see how your behavior has been modified over the years to fit in comfortably with your cat.

Later (but not much later) still. OK, a bit of a reset, clear the head. A walk down to the ATM machine to prepare for breakfast and lunch tomorrow, not much of a walk, but enough to say it's done for the day. I'll come up to speed tomorrow. Oddly the right arm grew tired fairly rapidly, a camera with a larger lens in hand, but nothing I haven't shuffled along without effort a hundred times before.

I passed three cars parked on Euclid near the corner of Grand yesterday while I was walking, each with a green parking ticket on their windshield. Hmm. Why was that? Walking back I finally saw the no parking, street cleaning on first and third Mondays of the month sign, faded, barely legible. I might well have missed it myself, but whatever I might have done, the three owners of those cars have to be upset.

Oh, a photograph of two pelicans feeding just off the white columns. Nice to see a picture of two that aren't covered in oil.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Carnaval parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 8 at 1/200th second, ISO 200.