It’s been well over a month since our cat Kumquat passed away, but I still miss her terribly. She was 14 years old. I’d had her for 1/3 of my life. She shaped it, albeit in small ways, but so many and for so long that her absence is dramatic. She’d been with me through more moves, roommates, and relationships than I feel like counting.
She had the coolest eyes ever. They were orange and green at the same time.
She loved playing in the tub. She liked to be chased around, and she would inevitably hide in the tub and her eyes would get huge.
She was very charming, almost everyone who met her liked her. She used to leap to meet someone’s hand if they bent down to pet her. She would snuggle with most people right away.
She loved to curl up next to me, or on me. Almost every single night, she would either sleep in my armpit or directly on top of my head. Nothing made me happier than to be cuddling with her.
After we moved in with Joe, he and I started taking her on walks. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of traffic, so we’d take her out on a leash. She got used to it fast, and our neighbors got a big kick out of seeing her.
After awhile, we realized we didn’t need the leash so much anymore. She didn’t seem to like going too far without us. Except to chase squirrels.
Unlike most cats, who are pretty independent, she didn’t like being without us. We even took her to Vermont with us. She liked the change of pace and seemed quite happy in the hotel room.
But she was old, and sick. The vet did her best, but, her body began to reject the only medication that helped her. She just seemed like she was done. This is the last picture I took of her, a week before we put her to sleep. She got to eat a lot of tuna fish and whatever she wanted—including exploring the forbidden basement—in her final days.
If there is an afterlife, I hope she is spending it chasing squirrels into tubs.
Earlier this week I was sad to see DC Comics announce that Birds of Prey has been cancelled. While the most recent run was not my favorite, the title will always hold a place in my heart as being a trailblazer when it came to teaming up women in superhero comics. But my sadness was mitigated a bit by the long awaited arrival of the original graphic novel Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini and Joe Quinones which DC Comics sent me a copy of this week.
I will never forget the victims, I will always admire the survivors, I am forever grateful to the first responders, and I am still so touched by the response from my friends, and the world, after the bombings last year.
But I’m glad that this day is over. So we can go back to normal.
I was a few blocks away when the bombs exploded last year. I didn’t see anything more than smoke and people running away, so, I am grateful we hadn’t visited the finish line yet. I’m not looking for anyone’s pity or respect or anything because I didn’t do anything or experience much other than feeling pretty unsettled. Obviously, others had it worse.
And another thing, while I’m on it, I get that tragic things happen all the time. But comparing them is a ridiculous thing to do. Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and perhaps my favorite person to quote, said: “…Suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the ‘size’ of human suffering is absolutely relative.” (I don’t mean my suffering, I do not consider myself to have suffered, I mean the suffering of the victims’ families and the survivors). Still, this event affected me personally, so I’m gonna write about it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about what happens in Syria or Ukraine or to anyone else who suffers unjustly. Because apparently you can’t say anything about anything without someone taking it completely out of context just to judge you.
Maybe I want to say something about how you have to be completely insane to ever think blowing up people who are cheering for the world is a good idea. This was the act of two messed up kids who just wanted to blow shit up and make others feel their pain. Not that there could ever be a good reason to blow people up. That will always be insane. I think that’s why the bombing affects people so much, because, no rational human being can wrap their head around why this would ever make sense. Accidents happen. Acts of nature happen. Those things are unavoidable. Someone deliberately decided to do this; that is incomprehensible, and that causes us pain.
So a way to let go of the pain is to stay in the present moment. A way to say “you didn’t achieve anything” to the bombers is to go back to our way of life. To go to the marathon and cheer. I want to remember the good times of the day more than I remember the bad times: We got there early for a good spot. We saw the elite runners. There was a runner from some unknown country wearing its flag. Someone pointed out where he was from and we all cheered its name (this detail escapes me now, I think it was Iran). We cheered for everyone, even the guy in a Yankees shirt. It didn’t matter who it was, on that day, everyone was our friend and we wanted them to finish. A discombobulated runner from Sweden plowed through the policemen situated at the turn from Comm Ave onto Hereford. We all tried to direct him towards the finish line, “you’re so close!” People wore ridiculous costumes. Everyone was in such a good mood. I try not to think about how that moment was stolen from all of us. I focus on how despite that, the amity will keep going, every year.
Next year won’t be about overcoming anything, it’ll just be good ol, normal, Marathon Monday.