2005-03-20 - 8:29 a.m.

I’ve been feeling utterly ridiculous for my nervous, stressed out being in the last couple weeks. I feel as though people are looking at me like I am crazy…here I am in desperate crying fits of stress, tears rolling down my face, choking back sobs in the middle of work…saying that I just can’t take this any longer and what did I do by saying I wanted to go to Spain? I mean, I am being stupid and crazy and I should shut the hell up because I am WELL AWARE that once I get there I am going to have this fabulously enviable life that most people would never even dare dream about. I know that all my own dreams are being answered in unbelievable levels of perfection. I found this perfect man who loves me more than I knew anyone could love me and I feel the same about him…I am going to have time and energy to pursue those things in life that I wanted to pursue but couldn’t really ever do because I was too busy being a waitress. And to top all that off..I will have a pool, live in a foreign country, have a sea, a lemon tree, a big house done in tile and surrounded by A STONE WALL (Oh god, hermits total dream come true).

I am reminding myself of the ridiculousness created when women who have been dreaming of their perfect wedding for all their life finally get to start planning it and from the day of their engagement until after the honeymoon they are a tizzy of stress and it never made sense to me. Because it is what they wanted after all and I always thought that the planning of that should be fun and exciting…not something that causes tears and stress and complete freak outs.

But I am beginning to understand it.

It is the details that must be pulled together..without which you will not make it to your ultimate dream. It is the details that are killing me, the rules about the cats, the when the where the how I will do this and that and have this all done, tied up with a bow and out of my life in the next thirty days. I truly believe that I am not going to pull this off and that is where the stress is coming from, the horrible, horrible feeling of “I can’t do this.”

It’s mostly the cats. Keep in mind, there is no way I would ever think of leaving them here. Having them with me is the only option and it would have been nice if this would have been a little easier. All this shit I am dealing with, the back and forth, the information I receive that is not quite right, and the knowledge that one little fuck up in the papers could mean their being denied entry into Spain. And on top of all that, I am totally freaked out that one or more of them won’t survive the flight. It is not likely…but it could happen and as is my way, I am dealing with that thought before it happens. It is the minds way of protecting itself. Because I am as aware as my mind is that I cannot handle trauma. I’ve been aware for over ten years now that all it is going to take is one trauma and I am pretty much done for. It’s a complete shut down of myself and I am pretty sure I will never get it back.

So it’s the cats…and this is a no win situation. Were I to leave them here I would be completely devastated and would be a complete wreck for the next five years calling every single day to see that they are okay. I would miss them more than anyone will understand. And by taking them I only have to deal with this until they arrive at my door in Spain. I only have to deal with these horrible thoughts…this might be the last time I will ever sit on the couch with Smudge…this might be last time Squishy cat sleeps curled in my arm…until that day. Then it will be over and they will be back in my arms and I can just chill. But until that day I am going to be a wreck and I am just going to accept that no matter that I think I am being a big, irrational baby.

And worse…no one can understand where I am coming from (well, except my mother and my brothers, they understand these cats and how attached I am to them). No one knows that these cats are as important to me as my own heart is to me. That I don’t consider them separate beings…but part of me. These animals were the first thing that I ever allowed myself to learn to trust. At first I would come home every day and slow way down before I got to my house, I would hold my breath because I was sure that I was going to find a cat dead in the street. So then I stopped letting them come in and out as they pleased and locked them in the house every day when I went to work…but then I would spend the whole day at work on the verge of tears because I was sure my house would burn down and they would all be trapped in here with no escape route. Eventually, all these years later, I am starting to believe that they will never die (unnaturally or untimely)…that nothing bad will ever happen to them. And that has helped me trust again. Without going into details about things that happened to me in childhood..there is no wonder as to why I ended up believing everything in my life was going to up and leave or up and die. So the cats, they were the first thing I allowed myself to form a relationship with, a bond. They were there for those years when I would lay down in the middle of the floor for hours and just try to work through the jumbles in my mind. They would peacefully sprawl out at my side, all of them, so I was surrounded by warm cat bodies…they were always there for me.

It is the cats who I talked to, the cats that kept me going, the cats that I finally learned I wouldn’t fail. It is the cats that made me certain that I could love. The cats that made me certain that I could nurture. The cats that have for eleven years, slept next to me and acclimated to my routines. We have our own little system going on here. I know each meow and what it means, they know their names and they know each little sound I make to them. They know the sound of an egg cracking, they know the sounds of me putting on work shoes (and will run to the door to say goodbye) as opposed to my putting on walking shoes (which they ignore).

Of course they annoy me from time to time, of course they do things that I hate…but so does my husband, my mother, my brothers, my friends. What I have with them is far deeper and comforting and wonderful than anything they could ever do wrong or annoying.

And this is why it is so hard for me. Because I cannot go to Spain, live in Spain, and live this dream unless they are there. And the details of succeeding in that task are getting to me because I am so freaked out by the thought of it not happening. I am scared of every last detail of getting them there. I am even scared that the rabies certificate may not be signed in the right color ink. I am aware that I am driving myself crazy…and that I just need to calmly do everything that I can to get them there. And maybe if I could get a straight answer from any one of the people I am dealing with in this attempt to get them there I could do that…but pretty much these details are being left in my hands…I get a different answer from the government, from the pet service, from the USDA vet and from the Spanish consulate in Washington…and so it is up to me to figure out which is right and in the case that I can’t figure that out, which is the safest route…if one person tells me they need a ten day certificate and one person tells me they need a certificate issued within 24 hours and that the ten day certificate won’t be recognized…well, I am going to get both. If one person tells me I need a different rabies shot and another tells me that I don’t…I am going to get the rabies shot. Because THEY WILL GET THERE.

In thirty three days this will all be over and I can resume normal thinking.

I promise.


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