Dec 3, 2007

The Blur of Small Things

by Rene Allen

Today is December 3rd and I can hardly believe it. So fresh is my memory of writing my first essay for this blog on January 1st, almost a year ago, that I can only wonder how the days and months passed with such a blur. What do you do with your time, girl? It is a perpetual question.

But to Marsha who started ANWA Founders and Friends, I say thank-you. It has been a privilege to participate with such tremendous writers and women. To them, I also say thank-you. I love your ideals, your conviction, your commitment to true principles. I feel I have made friends in many ports.

As I write this evening, I think about the day’s activities. I am an early riser – this morning it was 5. I like getting up early. Thanksgiving Day, I woke up at 4 a.m. thinking about everything I had to do. The house was quiet, it was dark outside. I heard the gentle splash of raindrops on a skylight. It rained for twenty minutes and became a gift for getting up early and wondering how to make the day nice for my family.

This morning, there wasn’t any rain. I got up because the cat was throwing-up. There is a typical sound a cat makes when it is dislodging hairballs and other stuff that shouldn’t be in its stomach. I can hear it in my sleep. So I followed the cat around for an hour with a roll of paper towels tucked under my arm while the other two cats who weren’t throwing-up watched. Finally, the poor thingcurled up in a pet bed in the room where I write. By then, it was 7 and I knew we were going to the vets.

"Just do a drop-off,” said the receptionist at the vets office when I called. “We’re having a little emergency around here, today, so it’s better if you just drop your cat off. Can you do that?”

I worry about this cat, a gray and white tabby named Scrappy, because she continues to lose weight. The weight loss started when Sputnik joined the family, a white exotic shorthair show cat from my sister who wouldn’t get out of his carrier for the judges. “Too shy,” my sister said. “Do you want him?”

It was a chance to bury a hatchet. If taking the cat meant we forgot past differences, it was worth it. A white fur ball came and Scrappy decided anything that looked like he did with a flat face and all that cat hair couldn’t be a real cat. She was thinking he was some sort of alien and that she didn’t eat with aliens. She’s lost four pounds.

The drop-off turned into a stay. For two hours and $241. After x-rays, lab work, a shot of something so Scrappy would stop throwing-up and a bag of special, prescription only cat food, I left. What was wrong with the cat? Small kidneys. I took her home, fed her and she’s been fine.

The other two cats smelled vet on her and left her alone to her special formula food.

After the vets, I finished decorating the Christmas tree. That took two hours. Then, I took a nap because I got up so early. And ate lunch. And cleaned the family room. And put up empty boxes that held Christmas decorations. And talked to my mother who fell down last night trying to catch her cat. She is 86. It isn’t good to fall down when you are 86. “I can hardly move today,” she said. “That darn cat.”

Then I ran errands, came back and made supper, watched television waiting for my husband to come home from work. Now I’m writing this blog and wondering what I will remember of today, tomorrow. How do I stop all of these things I do from getting lost in the blur of passing days? Will I remember that on December 3rd, the cat threw-up at least fifteen times? That I finished decorating the tree? What will I remember?

Perhaps I will remember this time of year the way I remember parts of a symphony, how some are powerful and others gentle, like the Thanksgiving rain. I will remember that rain because the night before I prayed for rain. I will remember the vet who took care of my cat because she is supposedly retired. Her husband bought a yacht in the Caribbean and she spends half the year there. She returns to Tucson for hurricane season. I liked this vet and was sad when she left. It was great to see her today.

I won’t remember that on December 3rd, I finished decorating the tree. But I will remember this year we had a new tree because the old one had provided nesting material for one too many pack rats so we got rid of it.

I remember those things that resonate with me, with who I am and what I love. And when I remember, I am thankful. So to Marsha and all my ANWA friends, thank-you for a great year. Though the days blur, though nearly a year has passed, there is much to recall with pleasure and satisfaction.


  1. Has it really been almost a year? I enthusiastically say amen to Rene's last comment. I know each of my sister bloggers better because of this shared experience. Thank you, Marsha, for thrusting this upon us. You made it easy.

  2. Rene, I love your poetic descriptions: "I heard the gentle splash of raindrops on a skylight," for instance.

    I've discovered that cats can take over human lives. One wonders who owns who. Thanks for a delightful telling of an anoying problem.
    Also, how true it is that the older we (make that 'I') get the more the days 'blur'.

  3. I remember thinking in my younger years that I could never forget each milestone in the lives of my children. I soon learned why we are admonished to write things down!

    I love the way you use words, Rene. Lol...You conjured up a rather unpleasant memory of discovering hairballs on the carpet in the middle of the night...with my bare feet. Ugh!

    I hope your cat is doing better.


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