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.

pulling weeds and planting flowers

Few people have been able to fill the void lately. The ones who do sing to me the unashamedly erotic songs of John Dowland and help me test new decks.

Through it all, I’ve been trying to take five breaths every now and then, inhaling and exhaling a little more fully than usual. Trying not to live like it’s a friday every day. Trying to figure out if I should apologize for using your song to score the moments I shared with someone else. Trying to reconcile my old Taoist beliefs with my new Buddhist views. Trying to be happy with the person I am, instead of letting discontent drive self-improvement.

house in the woods

 

Frigid winter days are teaching me patience and vulnerability. Some are easier than others. I’ve been working with the fickle swings instead of against them. Otherwise, it’s a constant struggle when trying to impose static order on inherently unstable processes. The hard part is making plans when you don’t know how you’ll feel from one day to the next.

Jesse arranges

Back in the day when we were doing covers of Frank Ocean songs. One of the most recognizable things about Jesse’s room are instruments strewn about.

The greatest test of my progress so far will be an acoustic show Jesse asked me to play with him on Sunday. Anxiety has been getting the better of me lately, and the prospect of having only two nights of rehearsal does nothing to assuage this.

I’ve been keeping in mind that we were able to pull off a decent performance last time when I didn’t know the show was going to happen until a few hours prior; one of those exercises to foster positive experiences and combat negativity bias. Fortunately, Jesse is a great frontman to be behind, cause he commands the attention of anyone watching, also taking the attention away from nervous fingers and live jitters.

cat and girl

 

The journey of self-discovery has been difficult. When there’s a history of trauma, it’s inevitable that an uncomfortable feelings get stirred up every now and then. I take care of myself by making sure I see the important people on a consistent basis and living in those moments. The little ways to heal are found in both the experiences themselves and the time one takes to internalize those experiences.

This is how I learn that self-compassion isn’t self-pity, and that most people bring less kindness to themselves than to others. To get on my own side, I’ve been visualizing myself as a child, just as worthy of care as any other. I would wish the best for that little person, and it helps me understand that I should wish the best for myself as well.

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.