Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death

Dad

Friday, October 05, 2012
Yeah, I’m on about my damn cat

image
Rube Sunday night, passed out and dreaming and unaware

Rube and I have this ritual: At night after I hit the sack, he’ll climb up on the right side of the bed, stretch his front legs over the pillows and then drape himself over my neck and chest, purring while I slather with kisses his face or head or whatever he ends up sticking in my pucker space. He doesn’t do it every single night, but most nights I can count on him stopping in before going off and doing whatever he and Carol get up to. But he hasn’t come the last couple nights, and when he’s been out from under the beds, we’ve sat on the couch awkwardly or he’s yelled at me for giving him his prednisone. I wouldn’t give it a second thought except for I’ve no doubt he’s still pissed at me for the ordeal at the vet, but I’m also quite sure he now knows that I know he’s dying, and like, say, when a friend tells you they like the feel of weasels down their pants, there’s really no turning back THAT revelation.

I can’t believe I’ve never written about how Rube and I got together: It was April ‘99, six months into living on my own for the first time ever, and I’d just settled in to write a story about a gun show when I heard this obnoxious “REE-ER! REE-ER! REE-ER!” coming from outside. The windows were closed and I thought it was a bird caught in the bushes at first, so I went outside and quickly realized it was a cat, so I psssspssspsssspssss’d fully expecting a cat to come out and not what was essentially a fetus. Picked it up and ran upstairs, and then called anyone I knew who had cats to see what they knew about taking care of a cat fetus. (Also discovered rather unceremoniously that he was a he after thinking he was a she because I’d never had a cat before and all cats were she to me. “Ruben,” in fact, came from “Ruby” because that’s what I’d always planned to name a girl cat. Props to my quick-thinking seester.) After taking him to the office and (someone, not me) losing a valuable photography equipment thing we used to try and feed him some milk, got him some formula and started feeding him by dropper.

Dad, upon hearing after Rube’s first vet visit the next day that the vet thought he was about two-weeks old, promptly said I shouldn’t get my hopes up, that he probably wouldn’t make it. Over my dead body was that going to happen: I was between gigs at the time, so I fed him every three hours like the vet said, and he went EVERYWHERE with me—stayed in the car for job interviews, slept in my shirt during assignments, came to the office with me while I manned the phones on the Sports desk. I not only litter-trained him, but I taught him how to expel waste (not as vile as you might think, although I was the human litterbox for about two weeks until I got him using litter.)

For the last 13 1/2 years, this jerk of a cat has given me more scars in places you’d never believe and has shit in my laundry more times than I count. He never fails to step on my nipple while situating himself to bathe my hair in the morning, and he yells at me when I touch his tail in any way. He once jumped into the toilet and right back out before I had a chance to sit down after a night of drinking MGD, he’s horked hairballs on just about every wood surface I own and poked holes in all my yoga and jammie pants with his claws. He rolls around on the freshly cleaned bathroom floor, huffing the bleach. He beat on his little brother constantly and walks across my keyboard as I’m trying to file my stories ...

before he settles down and curls up to my left, sticking his head in my face and paws over my arm, purring away.

He hears my car pull up and watches out the window while I come up the walk, cheeking the window pane until I get in the door, or did at least until a few days ago. Every tear I’ve shed or ounce of anger I’ve wasted over whatever jackass, he’s settled in on my chest and purred until I can pull it together to get out of bed. (Fun story: The first night TOG ever spent at the resort, I woke to find Rube sleeping at the foot of my side instead of the right side (where he usually slept) because TOG was there. Rube looked at me, and then looked at the passed-out TOG—we’d gone to see The Who the night before and, well, you know—and looked at me again with this look I can only describe as, “Are you serious with this shit!?” There’s something to be said when even your cat knows what a rotten situation you’re in, and I might’ve saved myself about five years of absurdity had I listened, right!?) After Dad died, he looked for him for weeks when Mother would come over; to this day, we’ll be on the couch and Rube’ll put his paw on my shoulder every so often, and dumb as this sounds, I imagine Dad’s telling Rube to say “Hey.”

For 13 1/2 years, this damn cat has been my everything, and now he’s dying, and I can’t do better than try to figure out whether he’s in pain and keep him comfortable because the alternative holds no guarantee and would likely be worse. It’s so not fair.


Posted by Broad4:29 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Either y’all have no standards,

it really is all pr0n sites that link here or you just don’t want to admit you read me, because damn! What’s a girl gotta do to get some comment interaction up in this bizznatch!?? I mean, NO ONE wants to talk about what they hate in a potential partner!?? Or was I supposed to start with mine, and I’m just not doing it right? Don’t let the crickets chirp on me, man!

Or, since I found a ton of other amusing photos as I looked for my shot of bershon, how about I post another pic of me when I was young broad? This shot, taken in I’m guessing June of 1985, had to have been taken either right before or right after Dad came home from one of his yearly fishing trips in the Boundary Waters:


Posted by Broad8:58 AM
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Feelin’ broody (Must be in the air, yo)
I've had some crap about my sister, SC, that I've been processing the past few days, and I was all ready to throw it out there, but then I went to this chocolate fundraiser thingy tonight and had a conversation that really kind of knocked the wind out of me. It was with this nurse who works hospice with end-stage Alzheimer's patients, and I asked her how does she and the other nurses know that the patients are in fact Alzhemier's patients and not just dying of old age. Well, she said, aside from the fact that they've been diagnosed with the disease (which, Ok, duh), the biggest sign is that they stop eating; their bodies just start shutting down and don't really need food anymore, so hospice comes to manage pain. Often, the patients really don't need it because endorphins take care of it kind of, but if they do, the nurses are there, etc. etc.

Now, I know I've mentioned before that Dad's cancer got into his spinal cord and rather quickly killed his ability to swallow, so I of course told her a little bit about that. And she of course hit it on the head that I wanted to keep him around a little longer, but she also told me a little-discussed bit of info: Feeding tubes are often a bad idea, because pumping nutrients into a person whose system is dying off makes it more painful for them. Dad didn't make it to the feeding tube part, but I can buy that as good information. What I'm having a hard time with is that I'm guessing that Alzheimer's is a totally different critter, that it's more of a natural process of the body shutting down and frankly, they've just forgotten they need to eat. But see, up until the week before he died, Dad was asking for food; he kept going for the closet so he could get dressed and he and Mother could go for ice cream. So to me, it says that even though he might've been losing his faculties, the will to live was still there. I mean, Mother tells me that Dad was ready to go and talked with her about selling the house and shit, but this is a woman who swears she's not going to be around in a year. Would YOU believe her!?? Then I start thinking about the night he told me he would have the spinal chord chemo, and I remember being so happy because there was my proof that he wasn't ready to go.

Yeah, I know the cancer got into his brain and all the nurses said he was in a coma at the end and didn't know what was happening to him. But he told me he wanted to live, so how could that have changed? To me, it didn't, and yet there was nothing anyone could do.
Posted by Broad8:49 PM
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
So, when all that’s left of me is love …
dadphoto30.jpg

Lee R. Quinn, June 30, 1934 - Aug. 30, 2001


Posted by Broad6:52 AM
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Here’s why I now tell people I was born in a cabbage patch
Got word the other day that a friend of mine's close relative with cancer has relapsed. Not identifying the friend because they don't want identifiers put out on the Interbunny, so don't ask -- just send good thoughts out into the ether.

Of course, I'm now deeper into that time, especially since Mother and I got into a YOOGE fight tonight that made me want to throw her out of the damn car. (I didn't. But I wanted to, even more than mostother times. Trust me.)
Posted by Broad10:27 PM
Saturday, August 13, 2005
It’s that tiiiiiime of year
So I've been kinda quiet with the feeeeeelings and shit lately, mostly because we're coming up on that time again, and it's just not a good time for the obvious reason. Also? I've been worried about money much more than I usually am. I mean, we know I don't make a lot doing what I do, and that's fine, but I'm not usually THIS broke. It's like, I've started having dreams involving car repossession and shit, and I've NEVER had dreams like that before. Decapitation, yeah (not my own, oddly enough -- used to dream about Dad being decapitated when I was really young, and then Mike, my 21 year-old boyfriend when I was 15. And they weren't, like, getting decapitated or anything; with my dad, his head was dangling on a string from the light in the kitchen, and Mike was in my bedroom without his head), but never money.

Anyway, DtR was supposed to have gotten his "divorce settlement" (snerk), so you'd think he'd want to pay me the $550 he still owes me, which would take care of just about all the niggling little bills, but that would mean he would have had to get divorced in the first place, which we know hasn't happened. As if THAT weren't bad enough, you know how he was uber-coming on to me a week or two ago? Well, now that I kind of indulged him*, he goes all silent. I'm sorry, but excuse me, who the fuck does he think he is!?! This isn't college when I was despondent and on the rebound.

So, how am I going to combat this awful feeling? By changing my hair tomorrow. Don't know how yet, but I told EWK that I need to be shocked.
Posted by Broad7:47 PM
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Before I forget (as if I ever could)
Dad would've been 71 today. Happy Birthday, wherever you be. I love you.
Posted by Broad5:46 PM
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Some things are better left unsaid
Dad had an interesting way of handling the whole virginity issue with me: by not handling it at all, yet not ignoring me at the same time. I was a freshman -- it was June 1985, so I was still one at the time -- and I was all freaked out because my best friend at the time had just lost hers to the degenerate she was dating, and her parents found out about it. (How, I don't remember, but I know they did.) And so we (meaning the family) and I were at one of my cousin's high school graduations, and as Dad and I were standing in the driveway admiring my other cousin's new Trans-Am (Hey! I said it was the '80s), I started talking to him about my friend's dilemma in typical high school drama mode. He listened to me, and then I hit him with it:

"Dad, how old were you when you lost your virginity?"

Yeah, the thought of me asking Dad about anything sexual completely squicks me out now -- I didn't even see the man naked until he was on his deathbed, for Chrissake, not once in my then 31 years of life -- but for some reason, it was important that he tell me. And before I go on, I need to point out here that Mother was a virgin when she got married at 27, and believe me, there's no question that she was.

Anyway, so I ask him, and he looked at me and told me it was none of my business. He wasn't shitty about it or anything, but that was that. It kind of makes me wonder now if he wasn't a virgin when they got married, and he told Mother he was, or if he was just that kind of squirrelly about talking sex with me.

-- Written June 4, 2004
Posted by Broad6:13 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Friday, June 03, 2005
Conspiratorially
As a high school teacher, Dad was always much more lenient than Mother ever was, although I'm sure most Gestapo were more lenient than she was when I was a teen. Because of that, there was never a unified front in our house, and mostly, it was Dad acquiescing to Mother's insane demands -- not the best of situations for a kid to grow up in, but no worse than 100 million other peoples', I'm sure. At any rate, that didn't stop Dad from conspiring to keep me under the radar, if only just to spite her. Like, when I was in lurve with my 21 year-old boyfriend, he covered for me, even though it was clearly not the wisest choice.

Especially cool was that Dad was the type of person you could tell anything to after the fact, and as long as you weren't hurt or hurt anyone else, he wouldn't get all apeshit on you -- like when I was 19 and dating my college boyfriend, who Mother HATED because she found out I was nailing him.
Posted by Broad7:00 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Ending the day on a good note
Being a composition teacher, Dad liked to pick quotes off signs and post them up on the board for his students to ponder. They could be anywhere, of course, but a lot of times, they came off church signs. Not that he was particularly religious; in fact, one time, I was downstairs in his bathroom looking in his underneath the sink for things to read (that's where he stashed his stuff), and there was a book by L. Ron Hubbard. That shocked the hell out of me, thinking Dad could possibly buy into Scientology, especially since he was so fascinated by the Hyles Baptist people and what a fucked-up deal THAT is.

He never censored anything I read, really. I was reading Steven King novels by the time I was in sixth grade -- hell, I asked him for his copy of The Exorcist, and he gave it to me without complaint. And the John Powers trilogy -- The Last Catholic in America, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? and The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God? Required reading. In later years, though, he got all up into those Jean Auel books, a passion which I didn't get.

There were SOME limits to what he wanted me reading; after all, he DID throw away the porn novel I stashed under the love seat in the living room (as well as my next-door neighbor's porn novel she let me borrow). Never said a word about it, but once the carpet was cleaned? Gone.

-- Written June 2, 2004
Posted by Broad5:59 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Dad, revisited
So it's June and therefore Dad month, so I've decided I'm going to replay the stuff that I wrote about him last year, and then on the days that I didn't write, I'll write something new.
Posted by Broad11:35 AM
Monday, February 28, 2005
Holdin’ back the years
I know I ask this a lot, but is it just me, or is Hootie the star of the new Burger King Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch commercial!? You know, "Where the breasts they grow on treeeees ..."!?! Seriously, listen to it and look at him -- I swear it's Hootie, and oh! how the mighty have fallen, because that commercial is about as fucked-up as they come. Whoa.

Anyway, here's a little thing about Dad, since I haven't talked about him lately: Yesterday was Dad's sister's and brother-in-law's 50th (!) wedding anniversary, and Mother and I went to the festivities. Other than it being a completely charming affair, which it was, I got to see their wedding album and discovered that Dad stood up to their wedding. He couldn't have been more than 25 or so if he was even close to that, and there he was, all tall and jug-eared in a black tux. And the hair! Ohmigod, he had a full head of black hair that wasn't cut in a flat top, exactly, but it wasn't a ducktail, either. Almost didn't recognize him; then again, I never knew him when he was that young. It was nice to see, though.
Posted by Broad6:24 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Monday, August 30, 2004
And the world was a better place
Lee R. Quinn, June 30, 1934 - Aug. 30, 2001



Thanks, Dad.
Posted by Broad6:07 AM • (0) Trackbacks
Friday, August 27, 2004
And so it began …
Today, we pick up where we left off with Dad back in June, because three years ago today was the day we brought him home from the hospital for what would be the last time.
Posted by Broad6:01 AM • (0) Trackbacks
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Beaches, Smeeches
Never one to enjoy the typically cloying, typically emotional film like most of my girl counterparts (Tara STILL gets all dopey and weepy over freakin' Steel Magnolias -- "M'Lynn! M'Lynn!"), I generally either scoff and be bitter about being subjected to them or try to avoid watching them (the episodes of ER about either Greene's mom losing her mind or him in end stages of brain cancer notwithstanding, because I loves me some ER -- in fact, in the early planning stages of my blog, I almost titled it "Get Rachel" after the one where Greene takes his daughter to Hawaii. But then I got smart and realized that with a title like that, I would probably also have to wear black all. the. time. and dye my hair black and be, you know, a WRITER all-refined, which is all right, I guess, but totally not my schtick).

So.

After yet another day of feeling like assbrine, I hunkered down on the couch to watch some UPN (Nascar was on Fox, and a gal's gotta draw the line somewhere) but fell asleep for a bit. And when I woke up? Marvin's Room was on.
Posted by Broad7:05 AM • (0) Trackbacks
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It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

100 things
Info meme #1
Typelogic says I'm an INFP.
Check my weekly astrological groove here.

Give it to me, baby.

Pssst ... My birthday's Feb. 3, and I want this, and this, and this ...


The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:



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Broad said: Like I said, my feelings are complicated on the matter, so ... I’m interested, however, in Her Highness’ thoughts on… ...[go].

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