Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rest in Peace, Blanco

Today we buried the best cat in Christendom. Aged somewhere between 13 and 18 years old, Blanco has been with us for 12 years. None of us can really remember Life before Blanco…

Blanco involved himself in every possible aspect of our lives. He was always benevolent, always sociable, always kind to smaller creatures. Our pet doves, our pet mouse, and Marcel the bunny were all nose touching friends to Blanco, who would reach through the bars on the dove cage and pat his little feathered friends on the head.

Head-butting was Blanco’s greeting of choice, and he would approach in a kind, Kingly fashion to touch foreheads with new people and animals. He liked to lie on the couch, reaching down and gently petting the dogs who lay on the floor.

Blanco loved board games and always participated, whether you wanted him to or not. He was certain that the board and pieces had been specially laid out as a lovely resting place for himself. He would lie down in the middle of the proceedings and positively beam his pleasure and general goodwill.

Blanco would rather have fallen from a cliff than to pierce flesh with his impressive claws, but he often used them to grab your clothing in order to get your attention, or move you to where he wanted you to be. He showed them to Tweek, Dot, and their seven litter mates only once, when they came bounding up to him en masse. He raised his paw, claws extended, as if to say, “Careful, children!” He never again threatened any of them, but they had the utmost respect for him.

At his peak, Blanco outweighed Benny, the Chiweanie, and was certainly taller. They were fast friends, playing together and sharing warmth.

Blanco cared for his adopted special needs brother Scooter, grooming him, because Scooter didn’t understand how to groom himself. He was always, concerned, compassionate, cheerful and forgiving.

He had an understanding of shared responsibility with Scipio, the Alpha Male dog, and they always greeted each other pleasantly.

Blanco’s decline was fairly rapid. He succumbed to an evil cancer which consumed his intestine and colon. He never lost his love for visiting us and being close to us. He had lost a great deal of weight in the last three weeks and had been acting “older” for a couple of months, but blood work indicated there was no involvement of his kidneys or liver…yet he continued to ingest less and less, and his doctor suspected cancer. She told me she thought there was a mass in his abdomen, and that in order to know more she'd have to perform surgery. Although he was failing physically, Blanco's cheerful and charitable spirit never waned. Even when forced to take nasty tasting medicine, he merely made a little mad cat face and blew spit bubbles...

This morning the doctor opened him up to determine whether he could have a few quality weeks or even months by removing the mass---however, besides the hideous tennis ball sized mass of twisted tissue and ugly veins at the top of his intestine, most of the lymph nodes in his intestine were already hard and the cancer had moved all the way down to his colon. Seeing the damage made it obvious that there really was just nothing to do---extending his life would have been cruel and selfish.

Seguin and I had held him and talked to him while he went to sleep for the surgery, so we euthanised him rather than waking him up. His last feelings in this life were of drowsiness and lots of love.

Forrest buried him out by the orchard fence.

We will miss him a lot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My wonderful Husband...

I left my house yesterday—voluntarily, I might add—and accompanied Dennis to the Raytheon Fellows Banquet. I had Seguin waiting in the wings in case I chickened out at the last minute, but I made it, since Forrest was there to drive me…I was so proud of Dennis. He is now a “Principle Fellow”, which, from what I gather, is rather cool beans. They read his accomplishments and I was interested to find out how much he’s done about which I know so little. Bless his little heart, he’s just been quietly making that odious commute to work everyday—up to a hundred miles each way, and he’s been a good father and husband and still found time to excel at his job. I was thinking of my grandmother the other day, who was also crippled both physically and emotionally—in some ways much moreso than I—and I realized that the only difference between us is that I have a good, kind, supportive husband, and she did not…

I’m very proud of Dennis. I can’t say it enough. We’ve always known how wonderful he is, and it was nice to see him get some official recognition in addition to our familial fondness.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wampyrs? Oh, COME ON!!

I don't watch South Park very often any more, but last week was hilarious. I love the Goth Kids---I suppose I relate to them, and they seem to be the only people in South Park who are in any way connected with reality...Now come the "vampire" kids. Not REAL vampires, as they point out when they feel threatened, but kids in black clothing from Hot Topic and PLASTIC TEETH, who neither smoke nor drink coffee... The Goth Kids' solution to the vampire invasion is hilarious---try to catch the re-run if you missed it the first time.

The heir apparent to pre-adolescent creepy angst, "Twilight" features a super innocent but intelligent young girl paired up with a pretty, pale vampire "boy" who is actually 90 years old. Well, something had to take up the Harry Potter slack now that that series is winding down...So this guy crawls in the window for cuddles with the girl. He's 90, remember? but of course they don't have sex, because that would relieve the tension that is so necessary for the entire chemistry of the thing, don't you know...insidious crap.

I have some problems with the whole vampire myth, anyway, at least as presented by Stoker, an apostate Catholic who tries with mixed success to pit some snazzy Catholic prayers and sacraments against Count Dracula, but misses the point about the grace BEHIND the sacraments, and I freely admit that I don't have enough interest to bone up on all the rules and regs for vampirism, but I tend to agree with author William Biersach regarding these gruesome undead. It is ridiculous to imagine that a human could be bitten and converted to another species or life form which would live forever unless "freed" by a stake through the heart---at which point the soul would NATURALLY fly straight to heaven because "MY god would never send anyone to hell!". If vampires exist, they are merely the bodies of the damned, animated by demons. Human souls go either to Heaven, Purgatory (and thence to Heaven), or to Hell when they die. They don't hang out and drink blood. A vampire, really a devil, would not be "relieved" and "freed" by the stake, but franticly protesting its return to hell. Not even demons want to be in hell.

At any rate, they are of hell, and not at all romantic, and children should not be encouraged to pretend to be vampires. Or even ALLOWED--upon pain of grounding.

Unfortunately, "Twilight" will be a gigantic success, because most people are utterly stupid.

My own pick for "best" Vampire movie would be "Shadow of the Vampire" starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. Heck, that's creepy right there...put those two guys together with Christopher Walken and Steve Buschemi and you've just cast the four horsemen of the Apocolypse...