Monday, October 28, 2013

Katt and the Other Kitty

Everyone in the house has been sick except for the dog.  The Husband and the Boy have colds.  I am suffering from allergies exacerbated by the chicken house construction (why oh why didn't I wear a mask when moving all that dirt?).  The Husband is also still suffering from throwing out his back when we were finishing the chicken coop.  And Katt is not well from something we don't understand yet.  And my girlfriend's dog had to have emergency spleen surgery.  Okay, her dog doesn't live here, but it sure seems as though sickness is everywhere.

Lemme tell you about illness in the country.  There is no quick five minutes to the doctor's office when you live out in B.F.E.  It is more like twenty minutes.  Not terrible, but think about last time you were suffering from a cold.  You think, yeah, I can manage to get myself to the doctor's office without killing anyone.  You don't have that option in the country--you have to be well enough to dodge the suicidal deer and raccoons  (Why are there so many raccoons running across the road?!?)  and not turn off the side of the road when you sneeze 8 times in a row.  Or, think about when you go to the doctor and they give you a prescription for a hard-core nasal spray to combat the allergies that have been making your ears pop for two weeks and leaving you gagging from the amount of mucus dripping down your throat.  What do you do when the pharmacy says it'll be an hour?  Do you drive twenty minutes home to wait for twenty minutes and then drive the twenty minutes back?  No.  You spend an hour wandering through the drugstore and packing a shopping cart with all sorts of shit that you never knew you needed because you cannot remember the things you actually might need.

Do I sound a little cranky?  That is to be expected.  Don't get me started on what happens if the Husband's back pain gets so bad that I wonder about whether or not I can get him to the hospital if need be, and remember that there is a narrow twisty staircase to navigate just to get him to the main level.  And wow, if I called an ambulance?  What are they gonna do?  Cut a hole in the building and lower the stretcher out by crane?  The crane that could not possibly get down the gravel driveway without hitting about seventy trees?

And then there is Katt.  Katt was a fairly tough country kitty when we got here.  In the last two weeks, she has suddenly had a personality switch.  She is affectionate, and demanding attention, and always underfoot.  And she paces.  All.The.Time.  She's still eating and drinking.  But her foot slides every once in awhile.  And, unlike most cats, she keeps being underfoot, actually under our feet.  So, I think, I ought to take her to the vet.  OOOO!  Another twenty minute drive over gravel roads with a displeased cat bouncing around the backseat as I attempt to miss the worst of the potholes.  And then the vet thinks that maybe Katt had a stroke, or brain trauma, and that she ought to have blood work and a few other tests done.  Poor Katt.  At least she can still chase Amy when she want to.  But she's no longer the Katt I've grown to enjoy.

I am desperately trying to remember what the City Kitty used to do, other than drive a lot less.  I am haunted by the pretty party clothes and gorgeous and impractical footwear that catch my eye in the closet.  My new ring will likely collect dust with all the other bright and sparkly baubles that go unworn as I miss art shows, spontaneous dinners out, or even hanging out with friends at my favorite bar. 

Going into the bigger town, where I used to live, is about a thirty minute drive with traffic, but mostly on paved roads at least.  But going in to teach a lesson or go to an appointment or visit Costco is suddenly like an outing.  I dress up as much as I can justify.  I add earrings and try new eye makeup. I accessorize with cute scarves and try to remember to change purses so they actually match my outfit.  But, I mentioned driving on gravel and dirt roads?  Your car gets dirty.  Like crazy dirty.  And then you brush up against it as you get out of the car and get a white smear on your clean pretty dress.  Real cute.

You probably wonder if this rant is going anywhere.  It is.

I miss city life.  I feel like Katt, whose personality is changing to fit her new physical limitations.  She cannot see as well, so she stays at home and cuddles with the warm people.  I am throwing myself into making that chicken coop, and baking pizza crust from scratch since no one delivers out here.  I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen, making homemade chicken soup for the boys and canning the last of my peppers, before making that pizza crust.  But I am raging against the change in me.

I recently went to a party that I overdressed for-- I had to carry my high heels into the car so they wouldn't sink into the gravel and mud.  And I bought that crazy town ring.  It is bigger than my thumb.  And I never wear rings.  (Where am I gonna wear it?  To open the chicken coop door?)  Last night, after all day in the kitchen, I decided to go into town at the last minute, so I could sit at a bar and look pretty, and then watch a movie in a climate controlled, bug-free environment.

I am clearly having some adjustment issues.  I ought to learn from Katt's example, but the City Kitty is not as adaptable as Katt is.  I get frustrated and should go for a walk, and commune with nature and appreciate what is around me.  Instead, I dress up and flee into town.

I'll be in town tomorrow.  And I am looking forward to it.

(This clearly isn't over.)


Anonymous said...

If it helps, Country Kitty is having adjustment issues too. I'm missing the twenty minute drives, the mud, the morning mists on the meadow, the smell of woodstove smoke, watching the leaves turn and fall, putting the garden to bed for the winter...... And the chance to say goodbye to Katt.

Jeffrey Stern said...

Ah...the joy of change. Old, familiar routines get tossed into the crapper as we slowly develop the new routines that will again give us a false but vital sense of control over the perceived chaos of our lives. Rage as you think best, hell, it's good sport, at the very least. Remember the liquid breather in the movie, The Abyss? It's like that. You'll flail for a while, but you'll breathe again. Enjoy the trip- we're certainly enjoying it with you.