Last Call for 2011

It’s early in the morning on the last day of 2011. I’m muddling through another shift and then I think I am going to lose myself in an extra long bath before my next shift and a 90 minute short attempt at sleeping.

I’m not doing well.

I’m used to being alone and I’m used to dealing with loneliness by ignoring it. With a few clicks and keystrokes, I’m not alone anyway. The world opens up and I have friends from everywhere to talk to and confide in. The most wonderful thing about the internet is that there’s always someone to talk to if you look hard enough. Chatting can fill your days and your nights and free yourself from the binds of reality for as long as you want to do it.

But it’s not life. You can’t take the internet with you to bed. I guess you can, but cuddling up to a tablet (coming from the man who hides his tablet under his pillow lest the kitten browse the internet/destroy said tablet all night) or a laptop isn’t the same as having someone near you to keep you from becoming one with the world wide web.

For me, I tend to have a lot of animals around for companionship and I lost the eldest of the current batch this week. Oberon, aka Bubbagump, was my baby since he was about 4 or 5 days old. My sister found him outside her house when she was heavily pregnant with my niece (now 17) and couldn’t properly care for him. He was a tiny thing and he had a club foot (which he grew out of), had an eye infection and could barely walk. For the first couple of months it was three hour feedings and making sure he was alive as my top priority.

In his first year, he broke his leg. Again, stuck together since he had a pin sticking up through is skin and couldn’t walk, I had to lift him to eat and drink and to go to the bathroom. We spent more time than I thought was possible together those years and he grew sick of me after a while because there is a thing as too much daddy.

He developed into a cranky little man but a serious flirt. By the time I moved up to this house he was a crafty veteran of multiple changes in the household and he tended to like the same people I did. I was proud when he’d flirt with the cute girl at the veterinarian’s office, she couldn’t be all bad (even if she was married) if Gumpy approved of her. He had good taste and he remembered her every time we’d go in for yearly shots.

When my sister came to visit with my niece and nephews, he’s watch them and make sure they were safe. He had a spot under one of the coffee tables where he’d spy on them and he wouldn’t go to sleep until everyone was tucked in for the night. A strange thing for a little guy but hey, he was my cat, you’d expect it.

Age wasn’t kind to him though. He developed a thyroid condition and lost a lot of weight. The past couple of years were a struggle just to keep him around and in the end, he caught a nasty sinus thing and there really wasn’t much hope in keeping him alive this time. He was just too far gone. God, I sound better than I am on this.

Time is a horrible thing. I understand what they mean when they say it’s better to remember people in the prime of their lives and not what they were at the end. Gumpy was sick for so long that when I posted his pictures on facebook, I had forgotten what he looked like in his prime. How full of life and personality he was. I need to start remembering that and how he was the world to me for the longest time.

It’s been a rough year. Little changes in the other issues going on my life. Communication lines opened but still hurt and pissed in other situations. You cannot assume my feelings. I’ve reached out to stay sane, but you know, there’s still issues that need to be addressed when my head is clear from this week and that scares me as much as losing Gumpy did.

Too much to think about. I’m going to the bath.

I miss you Gumpy, I love you.

Jim