2007-04-12 - 1:19 p.m.

Why I feel better about making my cat chicken than I do about just giving him chicken from a can. Also, things I miss from my old life and things I don't miss from my old life.


I've been cooking chicken for Oscar for months now. It started because he wasn't eating anything at all, which is a really bad thing considering that with this illness he has been dealing with, he had lost half his body weight and was severely underweight. Also, because he is now diabetic he has to eat when he has his insulin shots. So. At some point in the past when we were trying to tickle his appetite the vet suggested a piece of raw hamburger and not only did it do the trick...Oscar ate the hell out of that raw hamburger, he ate so much that he made himself sick. Anyway...I knew I wasn't ever going to give him raw meat again and chicken breasts were the first thing I saw when I walked into the meat section so I grabbed them. I hold my breath when I am in the meat section so I have to be quick about things. He loves the chicken and it is the only thing he will eat on a consistent basis.

People may wonder how I, of all people, can stand over a stove and cook my cat chicken. I often wonder too. I've never cooked meat before and for the first weeks that I was performing this task I held my breath and opened every door and window near the kitchen. Now I only have to open one window and I breathe (albeit shallow and away from the chicken steam). I prefer this. Why? Because I can buy free range chicken. Because the chicken that goes into those cans of cat food probably had an awful, awful life. The free ranges chickens that I cook for my cats probably had it a bit better. Would I prefer it if my cats were vegetarian? HELL YES. Of course. But the fact that they are obligate carnivores makes me an obligate provider of meat. It's something I have to deal with. And since I have to do it, I would rather I am causing the least amount of suffering to the chickens that must feed my cats.



Things I miss from my past life.

I miss walking. I miss walking in the rain and the snow. I miss quiet. I miss walking in the quiet. I used to take a walk almost daily. There were times during the day when it was very very quiet in the village I lived in and those would be the times I would walk. I especially liked to walk when it was snowing. I liked to get bundled up and walk for a very long time. I liked to walk so long that my toes would freeze and then walk more so that they would unfreeze and become warm.

Walking here is just not the same for me. I have never felt refreshed after a walk here. Even when I walk along the sea. There is nothing pleasurable about walking here, for me. Nothing. It is loud and chaotic always and the air never smells or feels quite right. I hate it. I am crawling out of my skin with hating it.

I also miss waking up early. I could wake up early here, in fact, I do wake up early here...but I am always too reluctant to be awake so I force myself back to sleep. There isn't much for me to be awake for here. I have a certain amount of things I have to do in a day, cleaning and exercise and it's getting to the point now where I think I would be happy to just be awake for five hours a day just to take care of those two things. Back home if I woke at 4 am on my day off I would be happy. I love the wee hours and I love being awake in the wee hours. I would make coffee and read and write and sometimes clean and then when the sun had risen and the children were no longer littering the streets and were safely tucked away in school, I would go for a walk. Then I would work in my yard planting flowers, tending to flowers...or in the winter, shoveling snow or just laying there, in the snow. I could do all those things here (except snow related activity)...but I just don't want to. I don't want to be awake during the wee hours here. And I don't want to work on the yard here and I especially don't want to walk here.

I don't miss working...AT ALL...but I do miss certain things about my work. I miss the hour before we opened and I miss the hour after we closed. I miss the routine of my job and I miss the dance of being a waitress. I loved busy days when I could get into my zone. Days like Fridays when there were just four of us on the floor and we were busy from start to finish. Fridays because all four of us carried our own weight and everything went smoothly. Fridays because the four of us, Kathy, Tricia, Donna (or before Donna, Pam) and I knew one another's movements so well that we could have done our jobs with our eyes closed. I miss those hours before and after we opened because. I miss walking in to work and how at ten to the opening hour we would all migrate to the round table and we would all just sit there, rather silent, and gather our energies. We all knew that as the day went on there might be less than civil moments between us, but in the pre-open moments we were all very connected. I miss that hour after we closed for much the same reason. We would all migrate back to that table and we would sit in a rather stunned silence for a while. Then someone would say something, probably a smartass comment, and then we would all be laughing and smiling and make our unspoken apologies for whatever incivilities we made during the day. I miss rolling silverware because in that fifteen minute span of time we would all just talk in a rush...four girls sitting around a table spilling their guts for fifteen minutes. I need to spill my guts right now. And I don't have any silverware rolling time in which to do it. It's not the same spilling guts over the telephone or in an e-mail. It's not even the same if I were to go back now and roll silverware for fifteen minutes. You have to have progressive gut spilling to really get it all out. And the people you are spilling to have to understand you well enough to know what gut spilling is serious enough to worry about and what is just routine, getting it out, gut spilling.

Oh...what else? I miss, probably the most, being in charge of my own life. I still feel like a child here and it is getting to a detrimental point. I never felt like a child when I was a child so it is really difficult for me to feel this way as a 33 year old woman. I need to regain the strength I once had. I need to reclaim my independence.

So there. I spilled a little gut.


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