Honestly, I didn’t mean for the front page of my blog to be a litany of the death of my pets.
Today I found out that my cat is dying.
It’s not totally unexpected; she’s been unhealthy for about a year now. She has not been ageing well. First it was the fleas taking it out of her, then she had cancer and had to have surgery to have it removed. We, my family and I, were told then it may come back at any time… but you always think that won’t be soon, don’t you? The next time she went to the vets everything was fine and she just needed to be booked in to hospital to have her teeth cleaned. The vet said she was fine. We all breathed a sigh of relief. The cancer wasn’t back.
Today she was labouring when breathing so back to the vet again. I only found out now that this had happened. That the vet had x-rayed her and found cancer in her lungs. It was moving fast. We could have a week, we could have two months. But either way we are going to have to put her down.
I hate that I’m not there with her. I call her my cat but she is the family pet and she lives with my parents. I’m just a little too far away to be able to see her when I want. I hate it. And I hate that I won’t be there to hear the final verdict when she goes back to the vet on Monday. And what if the verdict is something immediate has to be done? What if the last time I saw her was the last time?
I never seem to be there when those that I love pass away.
I have been working for a year now and to be honest, it still feels as new as it did September last year. Although realistically, I am becoming more involved and more independent now. I’ve had a couple of really stressful weeks at work with a pile of deadlines to chew through, but I think I like being that busy and productive. I like feeling like I’m really contributing to my company now. Since coming down to the lower dosage of my medication, combined with weeks of therapy, I feel more focused and less easily distracted. Of course I have my bad days, and a long list of ways my anxiety still frustrates me and hinders me, but otherwise it’s OK.
It’s been a trying month financially too. As I hit the 12 month mark of my tenancy in my flat, I had to renew my contract, and thankfully my rent didn’t increase. I have however had my insurance to renew, and internet/phone line rental to renew , and meanwhile I’ve failed my driving test yet again so I’ve had to book another theory test and have another few months of driving lessons to fork out for. I’m also going on holiday next month. Which is now looking not quite as feasible as it did before. Europe is expensive. I need new luggage. That is expensive. I need travel insurance. Another expense. It’s all piling up in an altogether uncomfortable way. I had to dip into my permanent/long term savings which felt very wrong. I’m already nervous for Christmas and all the associated expenses.
Adult life is pretty tiring and a little stressful right now.
In more positive news-
- I was worried about leaving my fish when I went away but I have arranged for various people to fish sit for me. :)
- My remaining fish are alive and well, and both tanks are still stable :)
- I recently finished up a big part of one of my projects at work, after months of work :)
- I’m still sticking with the happiness planner though I’m starting to find it hard to fill out every day… :/
- I’ve been sleeping much better since reducing my meds. And ok, I’ve also cut out coffee or coke during the week (only allowed on Friday or Saturday) and I’m being better about going to bed at the same , early time :)
- I’ve been doing yoga every week and it’s great :)
- I start Japanese classes again soon! A little nervous, a little excited :)
- Did I mention I’m going on holiday soon? ;)
I lost one of my fish yesterday .
That morning I was feeding my fish when I noticed a strange creature in my tank. At first I thought it was a piece of plant, but then it started to move. Much panicking and frantic googling later, I thought it may be a nymph. How one of those got in there I don’t know but now I was scared. This creature was not harmless like the snails, and could attack fish of its size. Which is all my fish. I summoned my courage to fish it out with the net. Then threw it down the sink. Then ran the tap for ages to make sure it really went away. Then poured some bleach down. Just in case.
I don’t think I’ve been that freaked out by something since that time I discovered cockroaches could fly…as one was flying at me.
I thought it was all over but then that evening I spotted it: a fish, stuck in one of the plants, staring vacantly out of the tank, not moving. I tapped the tank and it didn’t react. With an ominous feeling, I phoned my dad , who advised me to poke it. I put in a long stick and pushed it gently. It was stiff and unreactive.
It was dead.
Worse, as it came free of the plant and turned about in the water, I could see it had been partially eaten.
The nymph must have attacked it, I theorised. Perhaps the nymph ate it’s way out the fish, my dad suggested.
I thought I was going to throw up. I had to catch this half dead, mauled fish, and throw it out. I had to deal with my failure to look after it. My guilt. It had only been three weeks. This was one of my newer fish, at least, and then I felt even more guilty for my relief at that. Poor little fish. I cried a little. I panicked- what if this was just the start of it? My father listened patiently to my freaking out, then turned me over to my mom to deal with. My mom tried, but even after we talked, I didn’t stop freaking out all evening, and I lay awake for ages as every time I closed my eyes all I could see was the hollow stare and gnawed gut of my dead fish.
This morning, my fish were scared. They wouldn’t come into the open water , even for food. They were hiding amongst the plants and ornaments. They were shoaling together, not daring to separate . I felt awful. And even more panicked- is this because they’ve realised they are down a number and they think there’s something in the water picking them off, or is there actually something in the water picking them off? Was there another, bigger nymph? It was hard to leave the house this morning.
I’m suddenly scared for my fish. Nature is so very brutal. I knew my fish weren’t going to live long and were not likely to die of old age. I read those warnings when I was researching. But I didn’t expect such a grizzly scene.
Thankfully, when I came home tonight my fish seemed more relaxed, were less tightly shoaled and swimming about in the open more. And everyone was accounted for.
I hope it’s over now.
Monday, 29th August 2016 – I decided to make the most of the bank holiday and go on a little trip. I’d actually been planning a local walk, but one search led to another and when I stumbled upon a route along the North Yorkshire coast I knew I had to go there. I love the sea! And the weather looked like it was going to be ok. I was supposed to leave early and make a day of it, but I didn’t feel well when I woke up. I wasn’t planning on going, but in the end I got fed up with my moping and decided to just go and do whatever I could manage. By the time I’d made the decision it was already 11am.
I was going to Scarborough. I was going to walk along the coast in the direction of Finey, and see where I’d end up. Then pray that public transport would pull through and get me back to Scarborough so I could get the train home. There very little planning involved today. I wanted to be a little spontaneous, a little adventuress, and ok, maybe a little reckless too.
I got into Scarborough at around 1.30pm after a hideous, crowded and noisy train ride. There had been a kid sitting next to me who was whining the entire time, as well as kicking the seat, kicking me, and sprawling out across the dividing line of our seats. I don’t know which one of us was more relieved to reach Scarborough. I walked from the train station to the beach. Which was, of course, packed. Everyone, their entire family and their pets were out. Of course I wouldn’t be the only one wanting to go to the seaside on a beautiful bank holiday. Still. I was nervous now about how much I would enjoy this. The walk took me along the south sands and then there was a steep climb up into the cliffs. I…hadn’t been planning on going uphill. Another plus for this walk had been it seemed fairly flat. Thankfully once up on the cliffs it was fairly flat. I followed the edge of the cliff towards Clayton sands. It was hot as anything- I’d been prepared for a chilly but clear day, and was overheating in too thick leggings and double layered t shirt. It was a perfect day for a walk by the sea though. The sea was jewel blue, the sky bright and clear, the cliffs lush and green and the wildflowers were blooming. The walk got a little different once I was nearing Clayton sands as I had to go inland and then ended up in a forest for a small while. On a muddy, slippy path. Still, it soon opened up and there was Clayton sands. I stopped for an ice lolly and food. Then carried on. The walk so far had been reasonably quiet, but still there had been enough people out. As I drew away from Clayton sands there was no one. Just the sun, sea and me. It was perfect.
Soon there were holiday cottages to my right. And before I knew it I had made it the whole way to Finey. I hadn’t expected to last the whole way. I was going to give up at Clayton sands, but it had seemed such a shame to give up halfway, and actually checking bus and train timetables revealed I still had a ways to go before the last train. So I’d pushed on. And made it. I scrambled down from the cliffs onto Finey brigg. Then took off my boots and followed the beach back to civilisation. I had perhaps been overkeen to take my shoes off when I did as the way started extremely rocky and slippy. Thankfully I eventually reached soft, yellow sand. I ran into the sea and played a little in the surf, letting the water rush towards me and wash around my ankles. It was late (around 6pm) and the beach was blessedly quiet, and the light was low…it was so beautiful. I felt so happy. I wanted to stay, eat something, watch the sun set there as I played in the water, but…
Of course time was ticking so I reluctantly headed in land. I had ages to wait for the bus to Scarborough, then I had a wait for the train home. So I went to the south sands and got some cheap chips, ate them looking at the beach, all lit up by then.
Then I slogged home by train, exhausted, a little bored, sand in my shoes irritating me. But it was worth it. It was a lovely day, and it was good to get out, and I just love the sea so much and am happy I managed to get myself to it at least this once before the summer ends. Tomorrow, back to work and the usual routine. Which if I think about it now I am not looking forward to of course. But I spent a whole day not thinking of any of that, not even thinking about my anxiety , or even feeling anxious. It was wonderful.