Monday, September 6, 2010

Kitties, griefcations, and vegetarianism.

So. For the first time since I started writing NFP, I took a week-long hiatus from posting. Not cool. I know.

The sad truth is that when I'm wallowing in a deep pool of grief, I don't do much cooking. Or eating, for that matter. And since we lost our favorite black kitty last Saturday (originally named Andromeda - and when that felt a tad on the pretentious side - renamed Blackie) to a large, unbeknownst-to-us heart tumor, the week was totally free of the usual foodie shenanigans. I mean, someone sweet brought me a Bahn Xeo, and even that went untouched.

The end was frighteningly quick - one moment, she's breathing a bit abdominally, next, she's on her way out. I urge all my fellow kitty-lovers out there to get regular chest x-rays done of your beasts, possibly yearly. Despite being a healthy, organically-fed, indoor kitty all of her 8.5 years, the cancer got her in the end. Sigh.

Well, healthy except for that belly.

This was the first time in my almost 30 years that I'd had to put a pet down - somehow I'd avoided that most terrible of pet owner responsibilities by foisting cats off on family members or serendipitously being at away at college or wherever when favorite family kitties got super sick. Being directly involved with the whole process both shocked and stunned me, and I feel like I've been deep underwater for days now, processing the whole shebang, staring at walls, etc. Probably the hardest thing I've ever done, being the deciding force about when and how her life would end. But anyway.

Lots of thinking and reflecting, etc, later, I come to the conclusion that I don't love cats. I love the people I see in them. That for me, kitties exist on a similar enough plane of conciousness to me (illusion or no) that I can love them, in some ways, with the same deep affection I show to my favorite people. And it isn't just beasts of the feline persuasion, it's animals in general - I'm a major anthropomorphizer. I've kind of always known this about my brain.

The root of my vegetarianism, exposed. Aha! I've always joked about how I'm veg for health reasons while grabbing my beer (cheese, ice cream, tamari almond, pizza) gut, but in reality, it has abso-freaking-lutely nothing to do with cholesterol intake, caloric balancing, or any of that stuff. That isn't to say I'm totally unaware of my health and diet - I do my best - but when I forswore all future meaty meals at 13, it wasn't for any reason other than feeling a deep connection to my fellow mammals (and avians, fishies, insects, etc). I imagine this is the most common reason to go veg - awareness of the meat industry and both its obviously deleterious effects on "livestock" and lesser-visible consequences to our environment, and thus, us. I wonder.

In happier news, Smokey (Blackie's much larger sister kitty) is 100% healthy and getting more rotund by the day. There's talk of getting a tiny friend for her, with the hope that she gets off her toukas to play. We'll see.

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