Dear Athena

Image description: a photo of a sleeping torbie cat.

Dear Athena,

You came into my life in March of 2013. I remember the first time I picked you up. I remember the loving look I gave you and the way you settled perfectly into my arms. I remember being so scared that you would hate me, or that you wouldn’t love me.

You were a difficult placement. There’s no denying that. But, Athy, you were so incredibly loved. Not only by me. Not only by everyone who was blessed enough to meet you. But by your dozens of fans on Facebook. So many people cared so much about my whinybutt!

I couldn’t have been more wrong about you. You loved me, and I loved you. I went in with the intent of rescuing you, but in turn, you rescued me. You saved me from depression. You woke me up from my nightmares. You calmed me from my anxiety attacks. I loved you, my polydactyl wonder kitty.

We went through so much together. Two surgeries. Two moves. The loss of people I loved. Even know I knew it would happen, nothing prepared me for the last time I held you in my arms. Athena, I miss you. I miss you more than I can express. Pet grief is so very real, and I feel that we don’t talk about it enough.

I miss you. I think of you every day. Your last moments replay in my head. I often wonder if I could have saved you. I assure you, Athena, if love alone could have saved you it would have. I know I made the right choice, though I often doubt myself.

Thank you for giving me nearly six wonderful years. I love you.

Image description: a fluffy torbie kitty with green eyes is perching on the end of the railing.

When I Become “That Friend”

It seems that more often than not, I become “that friend.” You know the one I’m talking about. The one who you can never trust. The one who you wonder if she is actually going to see her plans through with you. This has cost me friendships.

image is of a sick and tired nora, getting comfort from her brown and gold tabby.


You see, when I become that friend, I become someone who I never wanted to be. If you know me in the least, you know I’m loyal almost to a fault and I’m stubborn. You also know that I suck at answer my phone so I am that friend who doesn’t return your phone calls. You get upset. You get angry. But what you don’t understand is that I actually find phone calls painful. I have severe phone anxiety and although it’s better now, as a child I would burst into tears if I were merely asked to make a phone call.  Talking on the phone actually has an adverse affect on my health, to the point where I go to great lengths to avoid it and have suffered massive consequences, in all aspects of life.

When I became that friend, the one who has to cancel plans last minute, I kicked myself in the ass. I want to be reliable. I want to be spontaneous. I want to be the friend who you know you can trust to pull through. The one you can make plans with and right as rain, you know they will happen. But my immune system is weak. I can get sick at the drop of a hat. I can get overwhelmed and anxious, and not capable of dealing with even my closest friends. My sensory issues can go into overload, meaning I have to be very particular about how I do things if I want to conserve every last spoon.

I became the friend who would wander away in the middle of messenger convos, sometimes serious ones. People would get upset and angry, thinking I don’t care about them. Thinking I was being selfish. But I randomly fall asleep, because I am ill. I randomly get overwhelmed, because of my autism and anxiety. I sometimes get distracted, because I have ADHD. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you or care for you. It means my body and brain just do their own thing, and I have little control over it.

I became the friend that everyone hates. You know, the one who is always playing with her phone. The one who will sit with her friends while still on her laptop. The one who is twirling her hair, cracking her knuckles, swinging her feet. I need to do those things. It isn’t a want and it isn’t merely me being rude. It’s me trying to function in the world the best I can. I promise, these things help me pay attention to you. Usually. Sometimes I get trapped in my own world and it doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It means that I’m simply overwhelmed and I need to retreat to my safe place.

I became the friend who repeats herself, a lot. I honestly don’t remember saying things, because I’m on a lot of meds and I’ve a scatterbrain at baseline. Please don’t get mad because I repeat myself, a lot. And I also find saying the same things over and over comforting, because they’re words I know and words I can rely on.

And at the same time…

I still want to be your friend.

Even when I’m sick and lonely, I want you to come over and watch The Princess Bride or Ever After with me, two of my comfort movies. I want you to play video games with me. I want you to sit and talk, even if I’m lying in my bed barely able to move and you’re sitting in my floppy chair thing. I want you to still invite me to go out places, even if I may cancel last minute. I want to still hear about the details of your life, even if I don’t answer your emails or Facebook messages right away.

I became your friend who is chronically ill.

But I am still the same friend you always had.

We’ll always be good company

Two years ago today, my life changed for the best. A certain fluffface weaseled her way into my heart.

887086_4668494317003_137958730_oTo say it was love at first sight may be an understatement. She’s been my baby since then. She is completely spoiled rotten. She pulls poses and holds them until I whip out my camera. I have literally thousands of pictures of her from the last two years. She was on “discount” – I paid a grand total of $45 to bring her home from the shelter. I cannot imagine a more perfect little whinybutt for me.

She sleeps by my head when my asthma is flaring, waking me up when I need my breathing treatment. She sleeps where I hurt when my pain is flaring. When I’m depressed, she lets me hold her and snuggle her. She sits on my laptop and “chats” with my friends.

She’s the literal best. She begs for pepperoni when I eat it. When I come home from being out, even if it’s just getting the mail, she whines at me until I pick her up and say hi to her.

I didn’t know it was possible to love a little fluff face so much. I didn’t know it was possible to have such strong feelings for a feline. But Athena has taught me so much and has been my companion for the past two years. Even though I adopted her at age five and she’s now nearly seven, I hope I have a long life with her. I hope we’re companions for years to come. I hope our love stays for years.

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I love how happy she is to see me again after I’ve been out. I love how is content to lay and cuddle with me. I love how sweet and soft she is. I just love having her for my furry companion. I can’t imagine it any other way. Two years ago she wrapped me around her little thumbs, and my life has been for the better ever sense.

We’ll always be good company, you and me, yes together we’ll be.

March 28th, 2013, I went to the animal shelter and fell in love with a gorgeous orange cat. However, by the time they called our landlord for approval the next day, he was adopted. I was sad, but I knew I’d found another cat. I actually wound up adopting his friend living with him in the shelter, Chica. I hadn’t paid much attention to her as I’d fallen for Harry, but that’s okay. I think she forgives me.
I think love at first sight is a bit of an understatement. I fell for her, but still looked and played with the other cats. Nope, Chica it was. On the adoption form for Harry, I wrote “I want someone who needs me as much as I need them.” And while that someone wasn’t Harry, it was Chica, who I renamed Athena. You see, Athena could have been staying at the shelter awhile. She’s five years old and polydactyl. People don’t always want the older or the imperfect cats. She’d also already been returned to the shelter once.
But Athena is everything I could want in a cat. She knew she was mine pretty quickly, even though I  had my worries at first. They are settled now. Athena wakes me up from my nightmares. I must give out some sign in my sleep I’m distressed, because I suddenly have a kitty waking me up and trying to cuddle me. Athena doesn’t let me go to school when I’m too sick to go (which has already happened twice in two weeks, stupid immune system) by plopping down on top of me and demanding I stay in the warm bed with her, fine, you insist.
The poor thing was worried to death about me  when I went to the hospital. Before I’d left, I was too sick to get in bed and was lying on the floor with her blankets. She curled up next to me. While I was gone, she spent most of her time by the door, waiting for me to return. When I came home, I swooped her up and those paws and claws dug straight into my shoulder and she was all over me. Instant face kisses. She then hardly left my side for awhile, but that’s okay.
Reunited and it feels so good…
Athena loves getting in places she doesn’t belong, but that’s because she’s a cat. Athena also loves toys that are not her toys. Her favourites include the plastic Easter eggs from my Easter egg basket. Athena also is found of my stuffed Pikachu and her hairbrush. Little bugger.
I find it very telling I adopted Athena on Good Friday, two days before Easter. Easter is about Resurrection and new life. I had just come out of a serious depression due to my Cymbalta reaction and had been suicidal.  Athena helped bring new life into me. My little Fluffy McFluffyButt once again gave me a reason to live.For a little furry baby, who depends on me for food, water, shelter, cuddles, and a clean litter box. For a little furry baby who needs love and affection, just like all of us.
Athena is the Greek goddess of is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Athena is my courage, Athena is my wisdom. Athena is my inspiration. Hey, maybe because she’s the goddess of mathematics, she’ll help me pass my class, right?
Athena is my beautiful baby. She’s my first cat, and has turned me into a crazy cat lady. But I can live with that. Athena Persephone is my little, furry friend who knows just how much she is loved by both me and my roommate. We’ve forever lost certain spaces in our desks, bookshelves, and various items of ours… but we’ve also found someone who is forever in our hearts.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.
I thank God for giving me my little Greek goddess just when I needed her the most. I thank God for my little fluffy baby, who loves me and needs me. I thank God for my cat, and how He supplied me with my new furry best friend just when I needed her the most. Thank you, God. And thank you Animal Ark in Hastings, Minnesota for allowing me to bring home Miss Athena. 🙂