It is difficult to gauge when to start counting for three awful things.  In this last month of August, we have had several events to choose from, unhappily.   Perhaps in thinking this way, we start to “group”, hoping that the three have past and we can now breathe again.

An acquaintance recently died of colon cancer.  It hit me hard.  One of our art community,  I did business with her once a year.  She was 45.  The guilt crept in; at that age I was fighting the same damn thing, and came out the other side.  She never had a chance; by the time her cancer was diagnosed, it had moved to the liver.  She must have not had a history of this in her family like we did.  Colon cancer moves so slow initially;  this problem had been with her for some time.

Days later, Glenn’s mom died.  While we were in St. Louis taking care, my Mouse disappeared, and was never seen again.  Going on seventeen years with her, my son wailed.  She was my sister!  We spoke today about his luck in not losing many family members in his lifetime.  But many had been lost, he just never knew them.  Into my forties, I had three living grandparents.  He only ever had one.  Never knew the others.

So I thought the loss of my Mouse was it, ending the chapter of three.

1-pics from garrett's camera, glenn and lee 331

She had been around so long, it was unbelievable that she was not here.  Expressive with her white mittens, subtle with a voice more like a scratch in sound than anything else, her presence was everywhere here.  All her places.  All our routines.  At four PM we met at the pool every day to wind down.  She slept with her head on my pillow and we breathed in and out each others exhale.  We held hands.  We were bound at the hip.

The hole in my heart was so huge.  Mouse wanted to be “only kitty” and expressed this idea many times.  We had two other males for short times, they died, one from urology problems and one was bit by a snake.  They were barely tolerated by her.  After Dice died, we promised her that she could live out her life as the only.

Almost three weeks after Mouse’s disappearance, I called our vet to find out the costs of the series of shots and neutering for kittens.  Wanted to compare the price with that of the adoption fee at the shelter.  Had no idea to get kitties this soon.

Someone had found three kittens and a nine month old mother in a zipped up bag at the solid waste site.  He brought them to our vet, and they took them to adopt out.  The receptionist said they had been checked, had a feline leukemia test, were well socialized, weaned and potty trained.  And six weeks old!  We went to see them with our broken hearts.  They had such amazing blue eyes.

frida and carlos                                                  Carlos                                                                          Frida

There was a lack of communication between the two vets in the office.  We were sent off with adorable kitties, Frida and Carlos, Carlos with a little leaky bowel trouble.  They said there was nothing to do until their twelve day booster shots appointment.  Not true.  Carlos died in my arms after being with us six days.

We arrived at the animal hospital with Frida and dead Carlos last Thursday.  They kept her, streamed liquids into her.   They apologized for mistakes.


Above is Frida about five days ago.  She is not near this fat now.  We are rotating holding her and pushing all kinds of foods and water.  If she survives we will be bound at the hip as well.


Which have been remembered, but not implemented.  Same old story.

We were a Girl Scout troop, and my mother, the artist, was the leader.  There was an art competition.  My mother saw something in me.  One of the things remembered from my childhood, where there was not unlimited money, there was always money for art supplies.  Not sure if my sisters ever took advantage of this loophole.  I am thinking not.

The entire troop entered drawings or paintings into the GS competition.  Cannot remember why I was unhappy about this, but I was.  Having done a charcoal drawing named “Fuzzy and Friends” featuring our cat nursing her babies, I had lost interest and didn’t want to finish the thing.

fuzzy and friends

The drawing looked a lot like this photo; the position of Fuzzy, and the arrangement of the nursing kittens.  It also looked like this photo because there is no context for the group.  The family on the gray carpet is kind of suspended and unattached to any reality.  My drawing also looked like this.

Being forced to finish, and being a stupid kid, it is as clear as yesterday.  I drew in a horizon line about mid-paper, and then zig-zagged a loose line around what was supposed to be identified as the floor.  Then I smudged it with a stump, so the lines would be less distinct.  Done.

That’s the way it stayed, and was entered into the competition.  It won an honorable mention.  The commentary on it?  The judge said it was very good, but it looked unfinished!

That was not the only lesson learned here.  A friend, Janet XXXX also entered.  She did a gouache.  It was of two wild birds interacting.  It won first place.


Her design looked similar to the one above.  It wasn’t quite as complex.  Looking at the entry, it was familiar to me.  We’d had a meal at her house before;  I remember the dining room even now.   And the design of her entry was on every plate used at the meal!  Oh the unfairness of it all!  And come to think of it, learning stuff like this is probably why scouting was good for me.