Saturday, April 29, 2017

Death, Ninja Kitty, and Zombies



We recently had to have my cat, Boo, euthanized. She was 15 years old and has been suffering from kidney failure for the past few years. It wasn’t unexpected, but it was still sad. I cried a lot. She was a great cat, and also a ninja. (My husband will try to tell you she wasn’t a ninja, but he’s wrong.)
She was also good at selfies.
The weird thing about death is, while everyone expects sadness from the loss, I don’t think anyone expects all the other ridiculous sadness that creeps up once the initial grief passes.

I wasn’t expecting to see her water dish and suddenly start thinking about my uncles who passed years ago, or my grandparents who passed years before that, or my great-aunt and great-uncle who passed even longer ago, and whom I barely have any memories of because I was so young when they died. But I still miss them, even though it's completely irrational.

I wasn’t expecting to become gloomy when reading a funny line in a book about how scorpions don’t vacation at the beach. I probably would have laughed, except that it reminded me of the time my ex and his friends took a pet scorpion to the beach, assuming it would like it because they’re from the desert. Instead, it got too hot and died.

And I was sad.

Almost 20 years later.

Because of a dead scorpion.

I didn’t even know the scorpion, and despite my love for almost all living creatures, I don’t even like scorpions.

Then today we got a card from the vet. I haven’t opened it yet. I’m not sure I want to. Partially because I know it will say something along the lines of “We’re so sorry for your loss,” and that will make me sad again (because my main coping mechanism is pretending the bad things didn’t happen, and I can’t do that while reading a card that reminds me something bad did happen). 

But I also don’t want to open it because the less rational side of me thinks the card says something else. The part of my brain that writes scary stories and wants to buy every book with the word ‘ghost’ in the title wonders if the card actually says, “We’re so sorry, but there has been a terrible mistake. The injection we gave your beloved pet to send her over the rainbow bridge actually created a zombie virus. Please accept our sincere apology.”

This makes me sad at first, but then I start to think maybe a zombie kitty wouldn’t be so bad. She’d stumble around slowly, playfully trying to eat my brains. It couldn’t be any more dangerous than when she was fully alive and ran under my feet when I was trying to walk down the stairs. I mean, I don’t think I can even count how many times cats have nearly killed be by running under my feet.

But then I get sad again, because I know she’s not coming back, not even as a zombie. And neither is anyone else I’ve lost.

And I think this is why death gets harder and harder to deal with as I get older, even though it should get easier with practice. Each time it happens, I’m not just losing someone. I’m adding to the list of those I’ve already lost, and the permanence of that loss seems a little more permanent with each passing year.

It would be better if everyone could just come back as ghosts. I’d love some ghost kitties floating around the house. They’d smell better than zombie kitties. And they’d be less dangerous for my brains.

Good-bye Boo Boo. I'll miss you, ninja kitty.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

This one's going to be short and sweet.

I have a new website!

I'm working more on freelance proofreading and editing, so I figured it was time for a professional site. I'd love for you to check it out, and if you happen to know someone in need of my services, please spread the word.

http://veronica-schultz.com

Of course, I can't make you click the link, but you wouldn't want to make this kitty angry, would you?

Displaying 20170211_191347.jpg
Never mind. She's clearly already angry. You just do whatever makes you happy. 



Sunday, January 15, 2017

We Know Nothing



Scientists have recently discovered a “new” organ in the human body. Stop and think about that for a minute. Really think about it. Humans, in our current evolutionary state, have existed for about 200,000 years. We’ve been studying our anatomy for at least 3,000 years or so, and using relatively advanced equipment like x-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans for somewhere between 30 – 100 years, depending on the specific technology. On top of all that, this new organ wasn’t even hidden. Leonardo da Vinci noticed and documented it, but no one, in all the time since then, managed to realize it might be something important.

But now (just now) we’ve “discovered” a “new” organ.

And yet people are made fun of when they say things like ghosts or magic or species of animals previously undiscovered by science—things we’ve studied far less, and that are far more difficult to study than human anatomy—might exist. They are mocked and derided because so many people think that if these things existed, they would have been discovered already…even though we just now found a new organ in our bodies.

Now, let’s take this a step further.

People, maybe even you, argue and lose friends and family over politics, environmental issues, religion, and any number of medical or scientific theories or consensuses. They hate their fellow human beings over ideas that are far more complicated, have many more variables, and are often significantly more subjective than human anatomy—because they believe they are educated on the “facts” and know the “truth.”

But the experts don’t even know all the organs in the human body, or exactly how they work, when it’s been studied for thousands of years.

Think about that. Really think about it.

And once you’ve thought about it, make a conscious effort to remember it next time you’re about to ridicule, hate, or spread hurtful messages about a person (or a group of people) when they don’t see the world the way you do, or because they disagree with you, or because they’re not on “your side,” or because you heard one side of a story, or because the media convinced you to hate them.

The experts don’t even fully understand the anatomy of our bodies.

So, maybe it’s possible we’re wrong, even when we believe with every fiber of our being that we’re right. Because we’re not experts. We haven’t been studying the things we believe for thousands of years, and if we had, we still may not have the whole story. With this in mind, maybe we should love and forgive more. Maybe we should spread anger and hatred less.

We don’t know everything we think we know.