cat battle

so i re-did this page. it’s from december of last year when i was in a very dark place and realized that no matter how much i wanted to throw fidgit’s cat out the door for being a jerk…i could not risk breaking my son’s heart.
it seemed relevant to right now.
i am not a cat person.
much of the emotional abuse i suffered as a child was animal-related. pet-related. i wrote about it while my parents were visiting last winter.
it is something i still struggle with.
so
we had one cat–pepper–who we adopted from a humane society when fidgit just had to had to had to have a dog & all that was allowed on our lease was a cat.
i will admit that pepper is good–for a cat. he tolerates my minions & never* poops outside the litter box. he is also an asshole who likes to knock over water glasses & bounce on my bed when i am sleeping, but fidgit loves him.
pepper moved to rural illinois with us.
so then all the kittens started showing up. when i was a kid, that’s how we got new pets, they just showed up.
however, i did not keep the kittens; i took them all to the humane society knowing i cannot deal with cats in a healthy & mature way.
then roscoe happened. he was just hanging out on the side of the road. you know, a country road where seeing a cat corpse is not that uncommon. so there is roscoe, about 8 weeks old, clearly some barn kitten out for a stroll.
i stopped the car & picked him up.
i have a quick bond with certain cats. almost always brown tabbies. almost always rude & lovable all at the same time. usually a little bit wild (i will have to tell you about moose sometime–actually she is probably on my post about my cat curse….)
roscoe was one of those cats.
i resigned that we would have two cats.
unfortunately, roscoe had fleas…which i’m pretty sure is where my current fleaocalypse started. also, he did  not know what a litter box was (being a barn cat) and had to be trained over a few weeks to use a litter box.

then, not even a month later, shortly after i had successfully litter box trained roscoe, an orange classic tabby kitten popped out of the cattails by the pond when i went to hang up clothes. i’m pretty sure she was dumped off as cats often are in the country. there are the barn cats & then there are the dumped city cats. ginger seemed to be the latter. and, iggy wanted her. and i was stupid & tired & too easily worn down by iggy’s ability to work his angle…. i agreed to it against my better judgement and knowing i do not get along with orange tabbies.
and i never was able to bond with ginger.
on tuesday, after much grief & heartache and talking to iggy & the other kids about it, i took ginger to the humane society.
i was right.
i cannot handle having that many cats.
i thought about taking all three in. part of me really wanted to take all three in. end the cat chaos. the cat battles. end my seemingly constant hating of myself for not being able to deal with cats. i mean, taking the cats to the humane society, that’s at least better than shooting them in front of my kids (right, dad???)
while ginger was with us, litter box issues became common–when she would get stressed out, she would stop using the box…and then roscoe would stop as well. i had it fixed though…i had it under control & then my uninvited house guest from hell messed with the litter boxes. she actually put one box outside & shut the door to the others, leaving my cats with no boxes. i fixed the situation as soon as i became aware of it…but it was too late.
ginger started not using the box.
and roscoe stopped using the box.
and i started losing my mind.
i was hoping that with ginger gone, everything would go back to normal.
i don’t know if it was the flea spray…or if the situation is out of my control…or if my cats just hate me, but yesterday, roscoe & pepper (*first time ever) both stopped using the litter box.
and i fell apart.
i spent so long talking myself out of just getting rid of them…all they had to do was use the litter box….
i tried to talk myself back into getting rid of them. this is a big house. a carpeted house. it is not my house. there are too many unfinished areas–dead zones–in the house for a cat to have an accident without my realizing it.
i wanted to give up.
and then i started wondering what kind of example i am setting for my kids. i mean, it’s bad enough when i throw a fit because the cats are cats (yesterday morning i went into the kitchen around sunrise. there is not much natural light in the kitchen & it was rainy out. i did not turn on the lights. at one point i kicked something on the floor–so i turned on the lights to see the jagged bottom of a broken glass jar just next to my bare foot…and broken glass all around me–thanks, cats.)
but what does it say about me if i don’t even try (again) to solve this problem? i have to try again.
so i am cleaning & organizing a room where the cats can be quarantined and re-trained again to use their litter boxes.
i am trying not to ask myself what happens if they keep having accidents?
i’m trying to believe i can do this.
i have to do this.
i have to win a cat battle. i have to show my kids i can be a good cat mom. i have to show my children that problems can be solved…that taking time & having patience are good things.
i have to.

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update: mild to severe alarm

i’m not sure what i have said about my living situation.
in a nutshell, spring of 2016, i was living in manitowoc, wi, renting from a friend. i was looking around the area for property to buy to start homesteading. this is when my younger sister said to me, “i know some available land in illinois.”
she was referring to my childhood home, a large 3 bedroom house on 5 acres. my parents who have m.s. & parkinson’s disease as well as being mentally unstable, were deemed–by my younger brother–unfit to live alone in rural illinois. he drove them down to texas & dropped them off on my oldest sister’s doorstep. so the property was sitting empty & neglected.
around this time, my friend let me know she was kicking me out.
i had no money.
no child support.
no place to go.
so here i am, a glorified caretaker living rent-free at my childhood home. which is a beautiful place if you ignore the constant intensive corporate farming that happens on every side of the property.

all was well.  without my parents here, all the boogeymen seemed to have re-located.
oh, that’s another thing. i moved out of this place the week i graduated high school & over the years had less & less contact with my parents who are so fucking toxic. so toxic.
then
last christmas/new years my parents decided to visit. i did not feel i had a choice. they stayed for two unbearable weeks. go check out my archives from that time if you want to see exactly what happened to my mental health while they were here.
silver lining–while they were here, my mom declared that they would never return.

as it turns out, she planned never to return…my dad, however, is chomping at the bit to come back up here.
i got an email last night from my sister & her husband informing me that he would be coming up here in the fall to visit.

holy fuck.
seriously, i can barely take care of myself & my four minions. i am struggling on many levels.
how the ever-loving  fuck am i supposed to take care of an abusive alcoholic motherfucker with parkinson’s disease?
maybe i sound heartless & ungrateful. but fuck that bullshit. i get it–nothing is free. if i am here, i am expected to let that son of a bitch visit me.

thing is…i’m not known for doing things i don’t want to do. i just don’t. i quit bad jobs. i quit bad marriages. i quit my parents years ago.
and i am not going to subject my children to that toxic fucking monster again.

so i’m looking for another place to live.
which means i will have to find new homes for some to all of my animals…
and uproot & disappoint my children…
but maybe it is for the best. i never could bring myself to think of this as a forever situation. maybe it’s time for the next step of my adventure.

oh! and i need y’all to buy art so i can afford to move…maybe i should set up a fund-raiser page to get money…the great minion migration.

fuck…i hope i can take my goats wherever i am going…if you know an available midwestern property where i can have goats–let me know!

narcissus

he told me
he was a chameleon
yet i still fell prey
when he found his way
into my heart
by mirroring
everything
i loved
about myself
& even some things
i hated
i fell in love
with familiarity
i guess
it makes sense
that i left him
for me.

the story of my ex-husband is a sad story. his story is sad. his childhood was a nightmare. he became a narcissist & a chameleon because he did not know how else to cope. or, that is my take on it anyway.
i realized recently why he seems so attractive to me sometimes. he is literally adopting my personality as his own…or at least one aspect of his personality is mirrored from me. he is adopting my words, my style of dress, how i relate to our children, and even my neurosis.
it kind of blows my mind.
and then i feel really bad for him.
but it isn’t safe for me to feel bad for him.
so, instead, i draw pictures & write pages of verse to try to understand my own experience with it. to try to process my own experience…so i can heal & be stronger.

but, fuck, i wish so badly he could heal as well….

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