If Only, Now Too

Lately Bugs has been especially affectionate. He’s developed a strict routine where, once in the morning and just before lights out at night, he comes and makes biscuits on me.

It’s always the same. First he sits near the bed and speaks. I put down what I’m doing and answer. He speaks again. I lie down on my left side, with my left arm extended. Not the right arm. The right arm doesn’t work. It’s got to be the left.

Bugs then hops up, climbs on and over me, arrives at the left bicep, and begins.

He makes biscuits with great intensity.  He purrs constantly. A bead of moisture gathers on his nose, drips off, is replaced by another. And another. And so on.

This lasts about ten minutes and then he’s off, usually abruptly and without any reason I can tell. A bird calls, Barney moves in the other room, no reason at all. Sometimes, though, he turns sideways, collapses into my chest, and falls asleep. I like that especially.

So this morning, at one point while this biscuit-making was going on, I actually lost my sense of myself as separate from Bugs. I merged into his soft furriness, his focus, his intensity.

It was a most wonderful feeling.

I began thinking – yes, of course thinking came back, way before I wanted it to but there you go – I thought if only I had had Bugs when I was a child. If only I had had a chance to luxuriate in this profoundly pleasurable way, with just one beautiful being expressing connection and affection, without judgment or reason or justification or explanation, just doing it. The harshness of my childhood, the barrenness, the frustration, the fury, all this would have been eased, ameliorated. I would have known that life can also be lovely, immensely pleasurable, profoundly consoling.

body1 002Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk writes of how traumatized people can heal their disrupted sleep and digestive patterns, hyperarousal, pain and anxiety, depression and illness, by connecting with support and with the opportunity to ease stress-flooding.  To reset physiological functioning not by talk, but by bringing comfort and well-being to the body so ragged by trauma.

Well — there’s still time.

Where there’s life, there can be healing.

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To life, with cats.


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It took a post from our good blogfriend Here There Be Spiders to remind me that as much as I loved my dad, I have never honored him with a post on the anniversary of his death. Which is today, fourteen years ago.

On his birth, yes, but not on his death.

So this one is for you, Eddie, and also for Spidey’s mother, who died the same day.


Edward C. Schnee, zichrono l’bracha

september1 003-cropBugs, in formal wear.

september2 001-cropBarney, also in formal wear.

Remembering is a blessing.


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Second Anniversary

Happy Gotcha Day, Barney.

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It’s been two years . . .

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Every day of which I have loved you.

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You’re even OK with Bugs.

play1 (11)Mostly.

play1 (3)catrun

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No Problem Here

It’s a fresh Sunday morning, cool and green. My tears – and a summer rain much like the one that swept through the day Fangie died – seem to have washed away the heaviness of grief. What remains is a tender soreness, the ache of a muscle well used.

I have also been so comforted by those of you who have remembered Fang. We may never have met one another except through this blog, but, still, we can share memories like that. That is just so heartening to me. Thank you so much for that.

So now seems the right time for a photo-essay in a lighter vein. The other day we broke out Kim’s Chateau Dryden Special Reserve Nipatini.

High?  Me?

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Naw.  I drive better when I’ve had a few.

nipatini 003-cropNo really!  Not high!

nipatini 008-cropWell maybe just a little.

nipatini 010-cropI’m fine now.

nipatini 017-cropTime for a rumble.  (Note Barney’s swishing tail.)

nipatini 018Well, maybe not.  We’re both kind of . . . tired.

A problem?  No.  We can take it or leave it.


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Fangie Remembrance Day

I just realized – this may be World Cat Day to the world, but it’s also the day Fang died. Two years ago.



For those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him, here’s my tribute to him.  I still cry, reading it.

Here’s what Fang looks like now.

fang-grave14 001

  To Fangie.  An excellent boy.


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World Cat Day

Any day to celebrate cats is good, but especially today.   The International Fund For Animal Welfare says so.  Others disagree.  They think World Cat Day is February 7th.

When you have humans, you have controversy.


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Bugs approves every and any day.


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