Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nine-day Weekend

We are back in the city with water, power, AC, sewage, and no damage.

Have I had a "Hurrication?" Sort of. We drove eighteen hours to Tennessee, stayed four days, drove nine hours to get back. Ate some bad-for-me-but-delicious food at Krystal Burger, ate some pig at a BBQ joint, had some spicy chicken with black bean sauce in Nashville. Murfreesboro is about five square miles, so we thought nothing of zipping around to check out thrift stores or pawn shops or comic stores or restaurants. Twice Paul and I drove a half-hour to Nashville for gaming with strangers and thrift store hopping. It's a pleasant enough little college town to spend a few days hacking around, but I don't know if I could live there.

Our cat, Zapruder, died on the way back. We don't know how, we don't know why; I just checked on him and he was cold and stiff. We're guessing sheer stress (even though he survived three weeks alone after Katrina) or respiratory failure, since he tended to wheeze. He was only 8. A little fat, but not sick. Driving back, we brought him out at rest stops to eat or drink or hit the litter box, and he seemed okay enough. He did fuss a little at being in the car, but that was normal (he fussed quite often). For hours, we all assumed he was just settled down and sleeping. I even heard him snoring a bit. Twenty minutes outside of our friend's place in Slidell, Cat asks me to check on him... and he wasn't moving. I even had a denial moment of "maybe he's just really tired" until I moved his paw and felt how cold he was, then saw that rigor had set in. Cat asked if he was okay, and I said "I don't think so. Pull over."

I am desperately trying to remember him as alive and a pain in the ass, or seeing him "sleeping" when I discovered he was dead, as opposed to Cat wailing and holding an obviously dead and stinking piece of meat with an awful grimacing expression in a Mississippi truck stop parking lot. It is not a pleasant image.

When Aphasia died six years ago, I lost it. Cat was strong for me then. I need to be strong for her, and I'll get my turn to grieve.

Here are a few pictures to amuse and edify. Somewhere down the line, I will blog about grief in the digital age.

Now Ike is on the way. We may stay with fellow evacuees in Memphis or with old friends in Austin. A friend blogged that Ike's gonna beat Mississippi like he did Tina, which is lightly amusing.

I need to return some emails and blog about gaming; also soon it is time to enjoy some lunch.


Drey said...

That's awful. I'm sorry, man. If that happened to one of my cats, I would lose my shit.

Ken said...

I'm so sorry about Zapruder, Mischa. And out of the blue like that, on the road during a crisis...oh, man. Please accept my condolences and know that I'm hoping you both get through it well. My cat, Thomas, died in early August after a several month struggle with liver failure, and it was really, really tough.

Even just a couple of days ago, I grabbed the front door to make sure it swung closed as I walked through it with hands full of groceries. Then I realized...there's no one to wander out behind me. And I had to stop and cry for a couple of minutes. *sigh* It's a long road. I wish you the best.