I have no idea where she is. (Sophie Stands In)

The best thing about this new computer? It’s conducive to guest posting in the middle of the night because even the keyboard is back lit in the dark. Also, I can take pictures of myself with one paw.Photo_8_2 And the sound? Let me tell you, the most delicate ear is grateful.I get around so I notice that a lot of you will put, “listening to…Neil Diamond’s Greatest Hits!” or something similar at the beginning of a post. She listens to stuff all the time but never puts that in her posts. She should. People might be interested to know what kind of stuff she listens to; the assortment is as peculiar and eclectic as her garden, which is pretty eclectic. Anyway, I am “Listening to…Song to the Moon by The Opera Band” sent by her friend, Jane and it’s quite nice. My kind of music, indeed and a definite improvement over “Adventure Dog” which is also on her playlist. Guess what I found on her desk near my (empty) food dish? This fancy envelope, already addressed to a Ms. Jane G…in Indiana and stamped with quite a fancy stamp and- nothing in it. It’s been there for over two weeks. What’s up with that? Not like her; in the worst of times she’s on top of her friendship game and caring about others.

Me, for example. Out of good food. When I wrote I have no idea where she is, that is figuratively speaking. Literally she’s in bed, finally peacefully asleep (probably because the man came home and the boy left in a huff after she said she was tired of being a mother for a while). Again- not like her. She complains about it, sometimes non-stop, but she goes overboard on those children. While my special dish remained empty for three days she took grief from the boy about where was FOOD while he was writing his final school compositions. Frankly? If I never hear a variation of Autumn Leaves for the next 8 lives, it will come too soon. So a little mother- son break is fine by me.

When I wrote that I have no idea where she is, I meant her head. I haven’t seen her like this before and I’ve known her since the day the planes flew into the towers- she brought me home sick from the Humane Society the night before so we snuggled down on the sofa for a week and she gave me pink drops and watched TV. And in all this time I would say she’s been fairly- what’s the word I want? Consistent. Even her moodiness and the fits and starts have been predictable and always, always she’s the one who is on top of the details. She knows when my blanket is right between comfortable and too full of hair, lawn particles and leaf chips- and she washes it by hand and reshapes it to my bed. She always keeps my special dish at least half full on the high shelf of her desk so I can eat undisturbed by McCloud; he’s still too fat to get up that high. She makes sure the garage floor stays swept out so the man can go to the outdoor refrigerator in his socks and not drag in dirt. She finds and puts all the phones back on their cradles at night while she mutters about the guys. She always has time to talk to people about what hurts them and she always returns their calls right away. You know what? The phone company screwed up the plan when she asked them to consolidate a bill for the two phones and now there’s no voice mail and she’s acting the same way about that that she is about the boy being gone. Phone rings, she glances at it and goes to feed the birds. Knowing full well it won’t go to voice mail until it gets fixed. That’s more like a cat trick, yes?

Anyway, today she got in the car, without a suitcase, and that piqued my curiosity. I’ve been trying to hide my displeasure but she’s usually dragging out of here every so many days with that roller bag to be gone for as many, leaving me to those loud and bumbling guys or worse yet, the house sitters. Who have a damp and crying baby. So today, I definitely took notice and she came back huffing and puffing about two hours later with 7 bags of groceries, including a treat for me and some favorite foods for the guy. This was good news; she hasn’t been to the store in over six weeks and it’s been very make-do around here.

Img_0235Yesterday, June came over and the two of them were happy in the garden for several hours. She is most like a cat when in the garden- she pokes and sniffs through the tiniest changes, notices if a bug has appeared, hears the chickadee tapping in the gourd. (That chickadee is driving me nuts. Tap.Tap.Tap. All day long. She put out this cool wreath of bird nesting materials that her friend sent her and it’s practically right next to the gourd; you would think they would get some grass in there and settle down but no, tap,tap,tap) Anyway, June is small and Korean and a peaceful gardener so she likes it when June comes to help. Yesterday June did a lot of it because she is still a little short of breath. Then they both cleaned out the storage shed in the back where pots, bags of hay, stakes, grass seed, etc. are stored for the winter. I’m not sure why they were surprised to find a half dozen dead mice, a small squirrel and a snake dead in that mess but that cleanup involved a lot of squealing, some gagging and a fair amount of Clorox- I’m sure she’s driven off every mouse in the county and that’s no fun…

And so. She is doing some stuff and then she’s not doing other stuff. She’s not staying up with her blog at all and that mirrors my feeling that she’s sort of self-absorbed right now, although not in a completely bad way. She is not exercising; that’s bad. She gets as far as the porch chair, sits down and there she goes…it’s as though she has a thought and gets snagged there, For hours. Here are some of the big things she’s thinking about: her mother. Bud. Figuring out tickets and flights and times and prices to get everybody up to the U.P. the first part of June for a memorial service. A large building project on the house in Florida. Maybe moving- but two maybes have been on the table for over a year now and it has more to do with the man’s work. The garden. It’s slated to be on the fancy, high brow Women’s City Club Garden Tour this year and she’s supposed to write a little blurb describing her garden. The best she has come up with is “The Random Gardener” and then, instead of writing her blurb she considers writing a novel of the same title, sort of like The Constant Gardener. Except this protagonist is not constant, she’s random. Then she thinks random thoughts about that for an hour and gets up feeling completely exhausted. And not a lot further ahead. I guess that’s the difference: she’s usually moving forward but now she’s sometimes very still and sometimes moving in circles.

Me? I was pretty happy that she brought home my favorite kibble and promptly filled the bowl. The birds were happy when she took the aviary out on the deck and scrubbed it from top to bottom while they talked to the natives- that’s a BIG post winter task done. And the man was happy when he got back from his business trip all tired out and she had a large antipasto plate and bottle of wine that actually got served before it was half consumed by the boy during breaks in Autumn Leaves. He told her about getting trapped at the Atlanta airport earlier in the week and then they watched TiVo-d stuff and I decided they deserved a peaceful night without me slashing at the screen to get out. Last time I looked she was sleeping all calm and relaxed. He was snoring. So was McCloud.

I don’t mind standing in now and then while she gets herself sorted out and finds a direction; she takes pretty darn good care of me so I owe her. But I’m telling you right now, I don’t do linkage and comments will not be forthcoming, except maybe for Max and Rhett, as long as I’m at the keyboard. Which reminds me, her friend, Jen, sort of hit it on the head with her last comment here: “…you are letting the grief spill out of you and still keeping your sense of humor and trudging through the business of realizing that you are still waking up every morning, so what the hell do you do now?” At least today she realized the answer was, “Go to the grocery store and buy Fancy Feast!”

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15 responses to “I have no idea where she is. (Sophie Stands In)

  1. I wish my cat would write posts for me when I’m too busy or distracted or doing my best to get my life back in order – Sophie really is quite talented and I’m just a little jealous. Maybe I can borrow her some time and she can teach my cat the art?

    In the meantime, I’m glad you got some sleep – since that was your advice to me that I’ve been doing my best to follow – and I hope all is going as well as can be expected, all things considered. Don’t be too hard on yourself… everyone needs to get lost in thought every now and then.

  2. I found that very moving to read and remembered what I experienced when my Mum died and realised that I had now come through it. It was six years ago and I’ve got through a lot of anger and emotion and am now at peace as I pray she is.
    God bless.

  3. Sending you lots of love, and worrying about you just a little bit. Do more gardening–it’s so restorative.

  4. Dearest Sophie,
    I had my mom sneak in my picture in her “Cats and Bed” post but she put it last in the grouping and it is on the second page. I am asleep in the picture, but it isn’t with a girlfriend…it’s my sister, Scarlett. I do that when mom’s feet aren’t under the desk for me to warm up. My heart belongs to you. So glad you are not going hungry. I would gladly share a bowl of kibble with you any time.
    With all my love,
    Rhett

  5. Well, now Sophie you’ve taught Rhett how to post. Backlighting on the keyboard and pictures with one button… does this fancy computer have a built in webcam? Ah, yes webcam.. we have one, I will have to freshen it up.

    Working in the soil (fancy name for dirt) is good for the soul and the psyche. I don’t think that “making mud pies” state ever goes away. It must be a genetic human thing.

    The animals around here making all the news. Rhett and his nimble paw pads. The little robin (must be a first time home builder) made a nest in the sticker, holly bush and it is crooked. I mean really slanted. Momma is trying to sit on the eggs but she has lost two. I am going to try and straighten the nest before the storms get here today, fearing for the other two eggs. I think they just fell out when she turned them.

    And then there is Max. He is doing ok. I hold my breath when I feel his skin… I feel a small nodule on his chest, but hopefully this is at the previous biopsy site. He has started a new and strange behavior. I think he has figured out which window is mine. Since I’ve tried to get him to stay out in his doghouse with the nice weather he has decided to voice a protest. He comes to the window, tries to CLIMB the bush to the window ledge and barks hysterically at 1 AM. Then when I go out, here he comes with his basketball and knows I’ll let him in, muddy paws and all. Three nights in a row. The last two were quiet, but only because it was raining. Don’t ever let them tell you an old dog can’t learn new tricks. The bush doesn’t stand a chance at this rate. Aren’t you glad you’re not a silly dog Sophie?

    I checked the library site and “The Random Gardner” is not taken, so a novel is in order. About the child thing. Tell your mom to run away from home once in a while and don’t let the kids know. It’s more fun that way.

  6. Dear Sophie:

    You are the best for keeping us UP with what’s going DOWN. If you can grant that lady a little extra sleep, I think she will come through all this just fine. Let her know that Gratiot Lake wasn’t built in a day, and she can spend some time wallowing here and there, if she wants. Just make sure she’s smiling when she takes off for Vegas. Mr. Out-of-Breath may need a push.

    Love,

    Mr. Out-of-Breath

  7. Dear Sophie,
    You keep an eye on here. Keep her in her routine. Good job at reminding her of kibble and litter. I think, personally, that humans are undernapped. They rush about entirely too much, especially the little ones. A bit of not running around so hard and thinking so hard would do her good. Maybe you can shoulder her into gardening more too. Might be voles out there that weren’t scared away with the mices.

  8. I can’t begin to compete with these other comments…I have read you some time and have been thinking aobut you in all that you’ve had on your plate. Love those cats…must get another one sometime to help me blog and other stuff.

  9. Humans are undernapped? Oh, the truth in that statement! Valderbar, you are indeed a wise feline…

  10. Pawsibly the most purrfect post I’ve ever read. It certainly gave me paws for thought. Great kitty litterature, indeed!

    Tabby or not tabby? That is the question. Perhaps you and Sophie should just stick with some light mousework for awhile. Don’t feel a need to mewve too fast.

    Sending nothing but good strokes your way!

    Speaking of strokes…Hear about the cat who was a tennis fan?
    He had two brothers in the racket.

    P.S. Please forgive this cattiness. Or, punish me if you prefur.

  11. My dearest Sophie,
    Please tell her that Faith and Butterbean and all the rest of them’s Mama is in the same place with life right now. Sometimes it helps to know that wandering minds have company. That grief work is so tough that sometimes even us “together” ladies lose it for awhile…and that’s okay. Give her a big hug from Poopie, who has cried every.single.day this week and continues to wonder when this valley will turn into a peak. She has faith that they all eventually do.

    Love…….Poopsie ^j^

  12. That was too good to be written by a cat…are you sure you don’t have a dog?

  13. Unfurgiven, I gather, by your footprint post.

  14. My cat is an accomplished pianist at 3 in the a.m. but not so great on this keyboard. Of course not, it’s not noisy enough.

  15. I’m so glad we have you to keep tabs on our Vicki. Thank you, Sophie. I know things are tough and a little confusing right now but they will get easier. She needs lots of extra love and attention presently. Please continue to spy on her for us and nudge her to the garden if she looks sad.

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