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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dear Tribble, 1998-2014, rest in peace.

Another sweet cat has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and a gentle, loving soul has left us. Yes, I do firmly believe animals have souls. I have looked into too many pairs of feline eyes to doubt that.

Tribble was a quiet cat, a real snuggler with a nice loud purr. Back when he shared my bed instead of my husband, he liked best to have his head on my pillow so he could purr into my face. I had to hold his paws to keep him from making bread on my neck because that hurt.

He never met a stranger. He'd come greet anyone who came into my home, and if you'd pet him or give him a treat, he was your friend. He asked no more - but sometimes he demanded. My husband got himself trained! He started giving treats, and at last every time he'd go into the kitchen, Tribble would follow and stare at him with the unblinking intensity of a hunter. If treats did not appear, he's meow in a loud, harsh, tomcat voice - the only time he meowed at all.

I heard him hiss once, in his entire life. Hester smacked him for no reason one time when he was just walking by her, and he gave her a look that said, "What's your problem, bitch?" and hissed at her. And kept walking. He was one laid back cat.

Tribble had me trained too, but then I'm easy that way. If, when he was in my lap, I spent too long knitting, he'd grab my wrist to make me pet him. I never minded. Sometimes he'd grab with both paws. He was a love to cuddle.

Of the litter of three tiny kittens I adopted in El Paso in 1998, one is left - Kira. Chakotay died of cancer at age 9, and now Tribble has passed of simple old age. His loving kitty body just wore out.

I hope they have nice laps wherever he is, and I hope I get all my cats back when I cross that bridge. I couldn't find the source of this quote, but my friend Krys told me this: Those of us who share our hearts and lives with creatures whose lifespans are so much shorter than ours have great courage.

I can't imagine living without cats.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A-at LAST - I'm writing in this thing again

The blog has lapsed this time for many reasons. The first, and the reason it usually lapses, it that I lead a quiet life, so there's not much obvious in it to write about. Second, we had to let our home internet service go because our budget was very tight. Frankly, we weren't making ends meet. Of course writing blog entries at work was completely out of the question, and there just wasn't enough time to go somewhere with free wi-fi to do any writing.

I got a real library job again, so finally I'm earning enough money for my disabled husband and myself to live on. We finally have internet at home and TV again. I hope we can get a landline next. I truly detest cell phones. Yes, I do have one. They're a regrettable necessity these days, but I have the kind you buy minutes and load them on the phone. I long for an unlimited phone conversation, one in which I don't have to worry about how long it's lasting.

So now that I'm getting decent money again, we're slowly getting caught up from the two years where we were desperate. We owe lots, and it'll take a while to catch up, but now we can do it. And, wonder of wonders, I'll have paid vacation leave again. Not that we can really go anywhere, but time off with money will be such a treat by itself, I don't care.

The low-paying job I had was zero stress, but the stress of not having enough money to pay the bills more than made up for that. I've been buying makeup at the dollar store and clothes from thrift shops. Mind you, I do find thrift shops fun - it's like a treasure hunt - but sometimes it would be nice to go after something specific and actually be able to go up or down a size in the same item when the first try doesn't fit. It will also be nice to replace and repair broken things - our camera, the passenger side visor in the car.

While a very low-stress job has that to recommend itself, I swear I could feel my brain deteriorating and my library skills fading away. My new job will expect more of me, but the people are good to work with and committed to being pleasant to each other. My mind has kicked back into gear for the assorted challenges of a technical library, a type I haven't worked in before.

On the writing front, the progress on Annie is going slowly but surely. When I'm done with the second draft, I have two other half-finished projects I want to complete. By the time Annie has been run through my writing group, I'll have those done and will be able to do the third and last draft with a fresh pair of eyes. I have a romantic suspense and a historical romance to finish up, then the fantasy series that has grown and evolved until at last I feel I can do it justice. I have three partial novels to choose from to start with, and won't know which one I pick until I actually pick it.

So how are these for titles? Shall I choose Danath of Klarden, The Windwalker's Tale, or Dawn of the Wolf? We shall see.