Posts tagged with "Byron"

eight lives left

A lit­tle while ago, Byron stopped hold­ing down his meals, and we’d con­sis­tently find chicken parts scat­tered about the house shortly after he ate. A visit to the vet, along with the usual blood tests, came up empty. It was only an x-ray at the ER that showed a small object lodged at the start of his small intes­tine, block­ing the path of digestion.

It didn’t come as a huge sur­prise. Byron was a relent­less cat when it came to search­ing for food. I couldn’t tell if he’d roam the house for things to eat cause he was hun­gry, or if his hunger came from the con­stant roam­ing. Sometimes we’d find chewed up toys passed through his sys­tem, but more often than not they came up the other end, cov­ered in bile. It was only a mat­ter of time before some­thing got stuck.

cat in cone

The face of a killer defeated by a fur­ni­ture screw.

I try to have a prag­matic view about my cats. Operations of this scale on any sin­gle one are hard for me to jus­tify, when I could use those resources to save sev­eral more (espe­cially when I wouldn’t love a new cat any less). So I left the deci­sion up to Heather, con­sid­er­ing the fact that she’s the bread­win­ner now, and she’s had a stronger con­nec­tion to him ever since she started tak­ing care of the cat’s meals.

It wasn’t a dif­fi­cult choice for her, and she gave the vet approval to oper­ate with­out a sec­ond thought.

Cat at Wintersday

Heather’s spent more hours as his ranger alter-ego, Byron Tightslasher, than any other char­ac­ter. Every detail of his vir­tual per­sona is care­fully cho­sen to mimic Byron in real life, from the pat­terns of his fur, to the tilt of his muz­zle. In keep­ing with his per­son­al­ity, even the ranger pets that fol­low him are named after foods, such as his juve­nile eagle called Drumsticks.

This Christmas, Byron’s “Santa Claws” per­sona includes a snow­fall aura, Wintersday weapon set, wreath back­pack, and Ho-Ho-Tron mini with match­ing santa hat.

After leav­ing Leonard at the hos­pi­tal for an emer­gency oper­a­tion, then find­ing out the next day that he was gone, I was ter­ri­fied that I’d never see Byron again, but he soon came home with a new col­lar and a shaven belly, weak from not hav­ing digested a proper meal in so long.

It’s been a few months since, and he’s rebounded quite well, though a lot more cau­tious when it comes to the things he decides to put in his mouth. I sus­pect he’s learned a very painful les­son about not eat­ing some­thing just because he can, which means by now he’s at least smarter than most puppies.

shaved belly

BELLY NEEDS BOOPING.

I could tell Heather loved my kit­ties, cause she obsesses over their health, projects their per­son­al­i­ties onto other ani­mals, and talks about them cease­lessly (whether it’s to me or peo­ple she just met). She even role-plays as them in Guild Wars 2, her favourite part of every sea­son being the chance cre­ate a new cos­tume. But after see­ing the how much effort she put into sav­ing my lit­tle boy, then nurs­ing him back to health with del­i­cate patience, I’ve started to under­stand that love goes deeper than I real­ized, for both them and me.

nothing lasts, but nothing is lost

It’s been a few weeks since I left the comic book shop. I’m glad to have gone through the expe­ri­ence of being a pro­fes­sional nerd, to have met the par­tic­u­lar set of chal­lenges involved and flour­ished, but I could tell it was time to quit when the stress was car­ry­ing over from one shift to the next, even with days between.

Without the need to run tour­na­ments, or the pres­sure of deal­ing with cus­tomers, I have a chance to breathe again. That means doing my best not to worry about being pro­duc­tive or happy. Just try­ing to feel okay can be enough of a day-to-day challenge.

Cat in Tigger costume

Their spe­cial bond comes from the fact that she lets him get away with more than I do.

Heather and I are tak­ing the next few months off to regain our bal­ance and adjust to our new dosages of SNRIs. Now that I’m in a place where I’m feel­ing more safe and secure, I can tell it’s still hard for me to let go of neg­a­tive thoughts, even when the stim­u­lus is gone. I’m com­ing to terms with the fact that I’ve been fight­ing depres­sion my whole life, and the fact that I’ll likely be on even more med­ica­tion for the rest of it1.

I wish I could turn to writ­ing for cathar­sis, but I’m not strong enough to process the mem­o­ries. Parts of the past are still too recent, too famil­iar, too painful. And some­times it’s hard to think of the per­son I was only a year ago, even know­ing how far I’ve come. I’m start­ing to real­ize that time is what I need most, which means I also need patience and trust from my friends.

Cat and Magic: The Gathering

The only com­mit­ments I’ve kept are my play­group on Sundays, and my Wednesdays with Lisa. Otherwise, I’m lost in Guild Wars; the eas­i­est way to escape and feel pro­duc­tive at the same time is to work on daily achieve­ments by slay­ing dragons.

And that’s how I lost the Autumn. I didn’t even real­ize the leaves had turned and fallen. Now that I’m not work­ing (and I’m the one who always hosts), it feels like I never leave the house. The only reminder that win­ter is here is when the heat comes on, and the smell of dry fur­nace air fills the room. I was look­ing for­ward to the first snow­fall of the sea­son, but the plows have already been out and I haven’t had a chance to take it all in.

  1. On top of the anti-inflammatories, pro­bi­otics, and psyl­lium husks I take every day to man­age my col­i­tis. []

in between

I haven’t had much to say, which is always a strange state to be in. Probably due to the fact that I’m mak­ing a con­scious effort to lis­ten more and speak less. You begin to won­der about the impor­tance of your thoughts, and what really needs to be said.

It feels like I’m between…things. I’ve recently fin­ished off a few projects, so I’m tak­ing a break before I start another pro­duc­tiv­ity binge. Me-time has mostly involved win­ning drafts and cash­ing in wagers. Lisa’s off to Hawaii for her hon­ey­moon so it’ll be a month before I see her again, but that gives me a much-needed chance to spend time with the friends who aren’t part of my reg­u­lar schedule.

cats by the door

 

The cats are into their spring cycles, shed­ding like mad, and sleep­ing by the door dur­ing the day. I’m tempted to cut my hair short again in antic­i­pa­tion of the heat, but I’m hav­ing too much fun grow­ing it out right now. I’ve decided to embrace the length cause I know I’ll get sick of it even­tu­ally and cut of it off, like any other cycle of growth and loss, love and hate.

He Who Cannot Be Tamed

Byron’s over a year old now, which means he’s offi­cially an adult in kitty years. I’ve given up on my dream of hav­ing another big cat to cud­dle, as he’s retained stocky limbs and long tail, but grown into a small and slen­der body.

Dolly more than makes up for that though, even though she’s still a lit­tle sore at me for bring­ing him home. She’s nowhere near as tol­er­ant to my teas­ing as before, but she’s still social and still nes­tles against my chest when she’s in the mood (usu­ally dur­ing naps, never at night nowadays).

he who cannot be tamed

Disguised in this inno­cent yawn is a silent roar from the killer within.

My rela­tion­ship with Byron is very dif­fer­ent from the one I share with Dolly. She’s a cat who appre­ci­ates the love and atten­tion I give her, and she shows me this with every nuz­zle and purr.

Byron, on the other hand, is more of a pet; a cat who’s nice to have around, but who doesn’t inter­act with me on the same level. He has a few social habits — hang­ing out with me when he knows it’ll soon be meal time, or jump­ing on me for a nice rub­down when he hears me stir­ring in bed as I’m wak­ing up — but that’s usu­ally as far as it goes. I’ve tried to nour­ish a stronger bond with him by prac­tic­ing con­trolled feed­ing and mak­ing sure I pick him up sev­eral times a day, but he’s always remained a kitty of his own.

a path you didn't choose

People are for­go­ing their heavy coats for light jack­ets, even a litte skin. But win­ter still lingers in the crisp air, a reminder that it hasn’t been long since those frigid nights, but that it’ll soon be warmer and brighter. On the right days, I can wake up with the warmth of the sun on my face, drive with the win­dows down, and eat din­ner in the daylight.

The cats sit intently by the back door for hours, lis­ten­ing for any birds come home for Spring. They haven’t heard any since last year, and for Byron, that’s pretty much a life­time. Nowadays, I mea­sure time by how much heav­ier feels every day. There’s a com­fort to be found in know­ing that your cats are grow­ing and healthy.

cats eating

 

It feels like so much of what I used to cher­ish has fallen to the way­side. Like I’m relent­lessly try­ing to catch up on sleep, on time spent with friends, on gui­tar prac­tice, on var­i­ous projects, on get­ting to inbox 0. With time now such a valu­able resource, I’ve been re-evaluating things to sal­vage as much as I can. Figuring out the dif­fer­ence between what I truly enjoy and what I enjoy because I think I should, between what I need and what I want.

It’s strange to think that I’ve ended up here, and yet it’s hardly dif­fer­ent from where I was not so long ago. Life is always inter­est­ing, no mat­ter what age you are, and regard­less of how you think you’ve set­tled into it. If you’re doing it right, at least.