Of Citizen Kane, Cold Water, ECT, Birds, and Cats

I like birds. It’s hard to name a bird I would say that I do not like. Well nigh impossible. The same is true for all animals. However, cats and dogs speak to me on another level, one that is difficult to relate to one who doesn’t own any. I’ve only had two dogs in my life, one is asleep next to my wife. The cats, all four of them (thus The Hub of Five Pets), are scattered about the flat. Two are next to me on the couch, one is looking out the window at the snow and birds, and “Impy,” the runt of her litter and tiniest kitty here, is high up on the cat tree. It’s good for her ego, to be up there. There will be pictures at the end of this entry. It’ll be the best part. Kitties!

But birds. They are an issue every morning. Every evening I put out water and dry cat food for whatever stray cats that some mother-fucking piece of human excrement abandoned for people like me to care for. Sorry to send a sentence with a preposition. Anyway, a few of us who take care of them the best we can. This is a long story, but I’ll spare you, dear reader. After finding homes for two strays over the past four months (good thing, this winter would have killed them) I thought that maybe the food and water I was putting out was unnecessary. Sort of a memorial to cats now passed on. However, last night the snow got my attention and my eyes made it to my back “stoop” where the food and water is kept. The water was partially frozen over, but it was more mushy than anything, from the falling snow. The dry cat food was covered in a thin layer of white. Sadly, a cat I’ve never seen before was making the best of it. Lapping at the water and making a hole in the snow to get to the, “Meow Mix.”

Yes, birds, I know. I’ll get there, bird lovers.

It’s difficult to put into words how heartbroken, furious, and contemptuous of the human race this sort of thing can do to a person. At least this person. The cat was too apprehensive for me to open my back door and offer fresh food and water, but at least she had something. It wasn’t easy to look away, but drawing back the shade set the cat into a skittish and jumpy disposition. We let her be.

I fell asleep watching, “Citizen Kane,” with Nancy and woke up at 7ish this morning. There was a fresh blanket of 4″ of snow. A few minutes of work later and the stoop was shoveled and there was fresh food and water down for any cats who happen to need it.

Birds.

But every morning, it’s not the cats who need it. They hide (I shoveled out a place for them under my back stairs) during the day. I’d like to think that someone takes them in, that they have a home. Incidentally, I say, “they,” because I’ve seen two different cats out on bitterly, dangerously cold nights. Maybe they do have a home, and I’m distracting them from it by feeding them. Experience tells me otherwise. That these are forgotten animals. It happens here in the projects more than any decent person could find it easy to accept.

Now we get to the birds. Mostly starlings and sparrows and Black-capped chickadees and sometimes even a cardinal or pack of aggressive blue-jays. Hard to believe, but even a robin. Seagulls come in, as we’re not far from the coast. Usually when it’s stormy. They’re all just as hungry as any stray cat. And in the morning, with the cats mostly in hiding, or hopefully home, they gorge on kitty food. If any cat catches and eats one of these birds, she’ll be getting her, “Meow Mix,” in a roundabout way.

The Official Bird of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...for a reason. They're everywhere.

The Official Bird of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…for a reason. They’re everywhere.

I appreciate having the birds around. Revealed out the kitchen window is a wall of red brick, the building across the way. Snow is falling lightly, and birds are there. Are they happy at their unexpected meal, I wonder?

Well, we live in the city. The pigeons are kept away by screens the housing authority put over all the attic vents. They used to roost there, and their numbers were significant. Now, they are rare. It makes me sad, I’m not sure why.

My heart is full of melancholy these days. Having just read the police blotter of my local paper, I found out that three “kids” ran down my street, knocking the mirrors off of all the cars parked on the street. Why? I suppose there was nothing on television. People have enough problems. A Dunkin’ Donuts down the street reported that an employee stole all the money out of the cash register. I’m pulling for the employee. She probably needs the money more than the donut shop, but what do I know. The world is full of people who smile and are affable and gregarious. Particularly in this snow assault. It just won’t stop falling. My blood is cold, my hands are raw, my feet are always wet as the snow on the bottom of my jeans melts after I come in. I don’t care, though. Well, the raw fingers make things difficult to do, like picking my nose and typing this entry.

What I do care about is the necessity to undergo “shock” therapy in order to fight clinical depression. I’ve six sessions planned just for February. Outside of memory loss, I’m fine. But the depression is tenacious. Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) usually works well. It will eventually. I look forward to the eventually. Onward. A lot of people think ECT looks like this…

Fiction.

Fiction.

But it’s like this…

It's like this. You sleep, you wake up, perhaps with a slight headache. Wonderful nurses get your juice and coffee and yogurt and granola bars. 2 hours later, you go home.

You’re asleep, you wake up, perhaps with a slight headache. Wonderful nurses get you juice and coffee and snacks. 2 hours later, you go home.

But enough of that shit for right now. That’s just life, and we all have something, don’t we?

Right now, a pack of starlings is feasting, flying up and down, hovering and diving. Hovering and diving. Inside, warm and feisty (truth be told, they’re mostly sleepy or sleeping right now) are the Pets of the Hub. I mentioned I’d show their pictures.

Impy's mama. Saved on the same day. A great screech on that cat. Lovey.

Impy’s mama. Saved on the same day. A great screech on that cat. Lovey.

 

My Little, "Impy," saved from under my stoop in the pouring rain almost 10 years ago now.

My Little, “Impy,” saved from under my stoop in the pouring rain almost 10 years ago now.

This cat kept my father as a pet. They were very close. He's doing OK now, but it just feels that he should be with dad.

This cat kept my father as a pet. They were very close. He’s doing OK now, but it just feels that he should be with dad.

The only dog here, our Annie. She is pure love.

The only dog here, our Annie. She is pure love.

The most unpredictable cat here, a lot of personality, looks for trouble, and is very adorable and loving.

The most unpredictable cat here, a lot of personality, looks for trouble, and is very adorable and loving.

Those are the pets that make up The Hub of Five Pets. They are my everything and my all. With Nancy, my world is now revealed. I’m cold. Some more shoveling, pills to take, and a nap. Then Sunday. More snow coming and ‘gulls blown in by the storm. Life is anything but boring. When one finds it monotonous and dull, then you know something is wrong. That’s how I see it, at least this morning. For what it’s worth. Good day.

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About Darren W. Lyle

I'm certifiably insane (I have the paperwork), collect old typewriters (got one?), am 43 years old, and am divorced. I've five pets, of course, and have thoughts. Some aren't good, some are. some are funny, some are just there, but I'll post them when I'm of a mind to.
This entry was posted in Autobiography, cats, ice, life, love, movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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