The day has come, the moment in time when my life has become that much smaller. A place in my heart has been hollowed out and has left me forever.
In 2000, two things happened, Hubby and I received our first posting and was sent across the country to a small town attached to a large base. I spent most days alone; Hubby was in the field and away more than he was home.
Our neighbours were less than friendly and the other military wives treated me like a leper because I had no children. I had no family, no friends, and I was utterly lonely.
Shortly before we arrived to this horrible little base town a stray cat was being knocked up and had a litter of kittens that were taken to the tiny SPCA in this town. January of 2001 Hubby and I got to meet one of those poor homeless kitties.
She was so tiny, she could fit in the palm of your hand, but she had a purr that could rival any motorbike engine. I walked around the pet store that was affiliated to the SPCA and kept some of the kitties. This tiny creature laid on her back in my arms and purred for the hour that the clerk allowed me to stay.
The clerk finally insisted I put the kitten back with the others when it was past closing time. Without pause I said I wanted to take her home. I was disappointed to find out I had to wait a mandatory 24 hours. Reluctantly I placed her in the cage with half a dozen other kittens that were at least twice her size.
Each and every one of those kittens hissed at her and she curled into a ball in the far corner of the cage. Alone. I thought of her all night, how lonely she must be feeling when the others wanted nothing to do with her. The next day I was there again at the store picking her up to bring her home.
I named her Ninja, after a motorcycle with one of the loudest engines, and she became my constant companion. She was funny, and loving, and so stinkin’ smart. She was so tiny and for many years never lost her kitten size and appearance. Many vets thought she was only a few years old when she was at least ten by then.
We would play fetch with her favorite silver ball that she had had since she was a kitten. But it was only a good game of fetch if I could get the angle right and lobe the ball down the stairs for her to chase. Otherwise, what was the point? Most times my aim was poor and I would end up fetching the ball and tossing it again for her.
For the first few years of her life we lived in a house where the cheap linoleum flooring would bubble up whenever the furnace would kick on, so she was forced to stamp her feet to get over the hump of the raised floor. That heavy footed walking was something she never got over. You could hear her stomp down every hallway she walked.
And in her first year when she cried nothing would come out. Not a peep. It was only after that first year that she discovered her voice and she used it to the best of her abilities.
Ninja would come when you called her, and when I talked to her she would squint her eyes at me and tip her nose up getting in close to my face. When I sang, she would promptly put her front paws on my mouth, or just run away. Everyone’s a critic.
And when she got older and started losing her hearing, she would sing so loud it would echo off the walls and drive me insane. But every night she would cuddle up next to me and I would hold her until morning.
The arthritis started in her shoulders making chasing balls and laser beams too painful. When it reached her spine and hips it took everything she had to move, and everything I had not to break down. She could no longer clean herself and would often end up peeing on herself in her litter box because her back legs were getting weaker by the day.
Ninja girl started going blind making it imperative we didn’t move the furniture around. When I held her she would put her nose on my cheek and rub her face across mine. She would lie on my chest and rest her face against mine.
Her last week her breathing became increasingly difficult and walking as visibly excruciating. My Ninja Girl no longer had quality of life and her suffering was apparent.
On Monday April 6th at 4pm we took her into the vet. I needed to be certain and asked the vest to examine her first. They listened to her heart and did x-rays. The x-rays were when we all knew we had hit the end of the road. Fluid had started to gather in her chest which was the reason for her labored breathing. Nothing could be done anymore.
At 4:44pm I held her tight in my arms until she took her final breath. I felt like it was my final breath.
We came home to an empty house, a place where everything seems wrong.
I miss the heaviness of her on my chest, the purr she put me to sleep with.
Mornings are difficult for Hubby, the two of them had their morning routines. Night’s are difficult for me, because she was always with me at night. From dinner to bed she was with me, on me, around me. She waited for me to come to bed and would curl up with me even before my head hit the pillow.
Our lives were forever changed when my beautiful sweet Ninja girl came into it and will never be the same again. I will feel her absence for the rest of my life.
I survived to the end of the month! I’m surviving the lockdown. Sorta.
This month has been crazy to say the least, is it possible to live an entire year in just 28 days? I feel as though I have.
Let’s start with the events of the month. I released two books, Mechanical Dragons: Air and Mechanical Dragons: Reunion. Both went off without a hitch. Mechanical Dragons: Fire and Water did extremely well in a steampunk themed bundle and has since been marked down to perma-free.
That is of course unless you go to Amazon; those greedy bastards won’t let me put anything up for perma-free.
“What indie author? You own all the rights to the book and want to give it away for free? Well we say heck no! Why tiny little indie author if we let you do that we won’t get our pound of flesh!”
Or so the conversation goes.
So if you do happen to drop in to pick up your free copy and it’s still marked at .99cents, just hit that price match button forcing Amazon to give it away for free and I will shout.
“You shall bend to my tiny indie author will you big money grubbing ass monkeys!”
Then the last thing this month was the live event I ran on the 27th with six other authors. It went much better than I thought it would, I’m very pleased. Huge learning curve and will make adjustments for the next launch.
The one thing that was supposed to be done by the 30th, I could actually say the single most important thing that needed to be done was the completion of the next book. Tor, book three in Blood Magic, was supposed to go to the betas on Monday. But two weeks ago I had to push it back because I was about 50k short for words.
Well I didn’t get any writing done and I’m still 50k short and it goes to the betas on the 6th of April. I can’t ask for more time, it highly unprofessional and its old habits creeping back in and it not only angers me, but it saddens me.
Here’s the thing, there has never been a moment in my writing career where I said, “I don’t want to write. I just don’t want to.” Yes there are days where I don’t write a word, and there are days where I just can’t write a word. Those days are normally because I’m stuck.
Call it writers block if you like, but the fact is I just didn’t know where to go next. But I have NEVER said, “I don’t want to write.”
At the beginning of the month we were put on lockdown. The funny thing is isolation never bothered me. I would joke that I had been training for this for my entire life. Because I really lived as though I was on lockdown. I enjoy my time to myself. Yes, I’m social, but most days I don’t leave the house.
It has been an absolute unexpected surprise to me that this has happened. The lockdown has caused an extreme side effect with me. I feel more isolated now than I have ever in my life. I feel trapped and it has made me unable to concentrate. I don’t believe I’m coping very well and it’s showing in everything I do or rather don’t do.
I have tried to sit and write, and I have spent my time staring at the page not able to. All I want to do is sleep. That’s it just sleep. It’s not that I don’t want to write, I do, very much. It’s not that I’m stuck, I’m not, I know exactly where the story is going. I just can’t seem to get my brain to move forward. I just want to sleep.
This entry is the longest thing I have written in weeks. Weeks! But I can’t muster enough to even feel nervous about not getting the book done, because all I want to do is sleep.
You see, here is the just of it all. There is a difference between being isolated because you want to be and because you have to be. I’m sure everyone is feeling the same thing.
We’ve all had those weekends were we didn’t get off the couch and we had no problem with it. But now we’re told we have to, and it’s pure hell. There are so many people out there that aren’t listening. So many people that are making things so much worse for the rest of us.
I’m risking slipping into a depression because I’m doing as I’m told by staying inside, limiting my contact with others to the bare essentials. I’m not going to crowded dog parks, crowded elbow to elbow Walmart’s, or having fucking dinner parties! Because I want all this to be over. I need all this to be over.
If we all just do our parts and stay home for two weeks, two weeks! Then we can get back to real life that much quicker and I can go back to just my regular old anti-social self-isolation, with the option of leaving my house.
That’s all I got.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay INSIDE!
I have a tendency to ramble when talking to friends. I figured why not share my ramblings here with you nice people!