real talk.


Look. I try to be positive and upbeat despite… well, you know. Everything, really. The country is a trash fire, I’m scared all the time someone’s going to whip out a gun and shoot us all up (this is probably why I rarely leave the house anymore), I hate the cold, and I’m weary in my bones.


I try to live in this perpetual attitude of gratitude, because there is a lot to be thankful for. Black Panther is mind blowing. I still love my mini office. I get to drink tea every day. Electric blankets and “My Heat” space heaters are amazing. I have incredible, patient, lovely best friends. My agent is awesome. People make outstanding custom content for The Sims.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws right now. Sometimes I get desperate like that.

The fact is, so far, 2018 has been…not great. These are the main reasons why.

• My sweet, sweet kitty Fi passed away
• I lost my driver’s license. It was a pain to go through the hoops to get a duplicate. In Illinois, you don’t get your license the same day anymore. You get a temp, and they mail the real to you at some point. The post office RETURNED my license instead of delivering it to me. So I get to go through all those hoops again, and hope they don’t return it this time.

The Chicago USPS is awful.

• Depression/anxiety are trying their best to get me, and some most days it’s easier to let them win.
• I’ve already been sick twice, and anxiety makes me feel nauseated almost all day every day anymore.
• I’m not sleeping well due to various factors, such as the aforementioned depression/anxiety, noise, and stress.
• I’m not eating very well, because my appetite has been weird since I’ve been sick. Also, see anxiety/depression.
• My health insurance premium went up. Along with that, I have new copays and other copays that are more expensive.
• My expenses keep going up. Which sucks because…
• I get to go job hunting sometime in the spring.
• The universe decided it would be a really fun time to have a recruiter try to recruit me for the job I’m losing in April. Because I love it being rubbed in my face that I might be stressed out and worried about money in several months time because of weird rules and things I don’t understand. I’m so scared it’s going to be 2006–2007 all over again and I’m freaking out about it.

That’s just some of them. I didn’t even touch the biggest things.

I mean, I get it. I know my problems aren’t super huge. There is a lot worse happening in the world all the time. And the guilt of my frustration and sadness compounds the anxiety and depression…no wonder I can barely eat. Or sleep.

I’m looking at the first two months of 2018 like:

I was so excited to start the year. Now I’m scared of what’s waiting for me.

I’m really praying things get better.

another angel kitty.

Fi in 2003

Fi was my first cat. I’d lived with others, but he was my very own. He was a Christmas gift from Chris in 1999. We had no business with a cat. We were drowning in debt, lived in a loud apartment on the Ohio State campus, and my job was stressful and paid just OK.

His name was Fiona because the person told us he was a girl. They also told us he was healthy. LIES, all of them. Fi turned out to be a boy, he had two types of worms, and was dehydrated. But he was my new baby, the all black kitty I’d always wanted for myself. Once treated, he was great. His sleek shiny fur, his bright green eyes. He was a sight to behold. He was also a bit of a diva. Would get so mad if I got on the computer. And if he was in a place and I came and sat by him, he’d get up and leave. Every time.

But he was so patient with Aidan. Baby Aidan loved to lay on Fi and Fi would just lay there and let him do it.

Squish The Cat!

When Chris and I separated and I moved out, I left Fi with Aidan because he’d gotten quite attached. But Fi came to Chicago to live with me and Adam in 2010 or 2011, and he began purring as soon as he saw me. He remembered me! And he was here in his forever home. And one day, he asked to get on my lap. I lifted him up and told him it was OK. He had no issues asking for and/or taking cuddles ever since.

Fi Relaxing Under the Tree
Fi in 2011

He used to be right by me while I worked. All day every day. Right by my side, or on my lap. Always purring. I miss those days.

Fi’s health started breaking down in 2015, when he stopped pooing in the litter box. And he was puking a lot. We tried everything. Medicine, diet. Nothing helped. After Helena’s sudden passing last year, I took Fi in, but again. Medicine. Diet. No luck. We spent years cleaning up poo. It was mostly Adam. To be honest, Adam did a LOT of the dirty work with Fi, all because he knew I wasn’t ready to let him go until Fi was ready to go.

We knew it was a matter of time. He’d stopped bathing himself, and suddenly he was having a hard time eating the dry cat food (canned food, treats, and people food turned him wild, though). He could barely walk. Adam thought it was time to take him to the vet for That Visit weeks ago, but my gut told me that was not the right thing to do.

(Plus, I’d taken a kitty to the vet only to unexpectedly walk out without her ten years ago, and I never wanted to make that choice again.)

Fi’s mind was well even though his body was failing more every day. He still wanted to cuddle, jump, and climb, he still knew to ask for treats and to be held. He was still trying to follow me everywhere. But his body would not let him do it. His quality of life was declining rapidly, but he still wanted to be around us, he still talked to us, he still wanted to hang on.

Fi in 2013

We knew it was coming, so we spent the past months spoiling Fi and making him as comfortable as possible. He got loads of treats. He got cuddles. We cleaned him best we could, but it was to the point where if we’d tried to wash him too thoroughly, he’d lose hair that wouldn’t grow back. He had a sore on his leg that wouldn’t heal, but we knew a trip to the vet would be too stressful for him. So we dressed it the best we could, which probably wasn’t enough.

I’d put him on my lap and rub lavender into his fur, to calm him so he’d sleep OK. And more treats before bedtime. When I was out from under my weight of work/illness/depression, I carried him around so he wouldn’t have to walk so much on his little leg.

He was stinky all over, but the top of his head was not. I kissed him there all the time. I’d just pick him up and carry him and kiss him until he was done.

Then, it was time. Saturday, Adam found him having collapsed. Fi was gasping. I picked him up and held him as he took his last breaths. I kissed the top of his head. I told him it was OK for him to go, and that I loved him so much. My sweet old man passed in my arms.

I was prepared. He was 18 1/2 years old. He’d been sick for a long time. It still hurts though. I miss him and his cuddles and his little meows. I miss him.

Goodnight, sweet Fi. You had a long life. It wasn’t always easy. But you were so, so, so loved. I hope you’re resting now.

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