Bad Mommy! BAD, BAD, BAD!

I travel.  A lot.  Most of it for work, but sometimes, for myself.  When I came home from my most recent trip, my Jane was clearly ill.  And it turns out that her issue would have been completely preventable if I had been home more…and perhaps paid better attention when I was.

See, Jane is polydactyl, and the claws on one paw had grown into her pad, necessitating stitches.  And a big ugly bandage.  And meds.  Lots of meds.    poorJaneBad mommy missed it.  Bad mommy thought everything was fine because whenever she was home, Jane came over purring and wanted to cuddle.

And bad mommy was wrong.  Once it was clear that Jane would recover, I spiraled into a major funk, wondering how it could possibly be fair for me to have not one, but two, cats, when I am out of town part of almost every week most months.  Plus, even when I am here, I am out of the apartment a minimum of 13 hours most days.  So what right do I have to have pets?  Clearly, I can’t take care of them properly.  And so on – you get the picture.

Yes, I got over it.  Both Jane and Nutley are rescues, and I know, in my heart, that I take great care of them, and that they are happy with me.  I remembered that these things happen to all parents, of human and of animal children.

So, what’s the big lesson?   You can decide for yourself.  I’m just going to keep a closer eye on Jane’s paws.

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September 11, 2001

Yes, before you say it, I do know it is not yet September 11; not yet the anniversary of that day we all remember with such sadness.  But today, for whatever reason, I was thinking about that day, and musing on something I learned.  74651d1315288532-twin-towers-twin-towers-img

We all have stories, many of them tragic.  This story is just a small part of my day, but one that changed me for the better, though I did not see that for a long time.

After we saw the towers fall, after I reached those most important to me (or they reached me), after our office closed, and while I was making the long trek home (a story of its own, for another time), I spoke to a friend on the phone.  Someone who, at the time, I would have called a close friend.   She asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was headed home.  She then told me that she and a number of others were going to a mutual friend’s house, and to get home safe.  She said good-bye, and ended the call.

I went home.  Alone.  I spoke to a few people on the phone, cuddled my cats, dealt with work calls (what a day to be on the emergency beeper…), and after a while, stopped watching news coverage in favor of bad movies.   And wondered why my friend had not said “come join us”.

It was a long time before I asked her that question, and her answer was basically that I should have asked to come, or just showed up.  I was deeply hurt, and said so – and she did not understand why.  And that she did not know me well enough to know that neither of those were options for me, especially that day, told me a lot.  About her, but eventually about myself.

How could I have someone I considered a close friend with whom I had shared so little that she did not have any idea that I needed to be invited?  That I always wonder if I’m welcome?  And how could I could I consider myself a friend if I was withholding those trusts?

So, now, at least to close friends, I tell all.  I mean, after all, what do I have to hide?  I am the person I am, and if you’re sharing your life with me, the least I can do is the same.

But still, I like to be invited.

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