Sunday, October 4, 2009

They Make it a Home

I'm between two anniversaries. One bad, one good.

A year ago last month, I lost my little friend Sophie. I adopted her as a kitten 14 years earlier, and she was with me through thick and thin, tears and laughter, marriage and divorce, move after move...until it was time to help her travel across the "Rainbow Bridge"; a place you learn about when you lose your pet and your friends are desperate to help you feel better.

There were some positive things I tried to focus on: There would be no more litter box to clean. No longer would I step on those gravelly bits that I swear she intentionally clutched between her little toes so she could scatter them throughout the apartment. Cat hair no longer collected on the furniture, on the floors, or on me. I could breathe better at night and my eyes weren't so itchy. I didn't have to rush home from work...or from anywhere, for that matter. And that was just it. I didn't have much reason to be home, period. She wasn't there to greet or to need me anymore. She was gone.

My house didn't feel like a home without her, but I couldn't replace Sophie with another cat. I didn't want a cat that wasn't her. I thought very briefly about getting a pet rat (company without being too tied down - the best of both worlds perhaps)...until I learned that they leave drops of pee wherever they go (ew!). I decided instead to swing in the opposite direction towards a larger commitment. I'd get a dog. Looking back, I can see that I was a little impulsive about it, but at the time I felt it was the right thing for me to do.

It was a year ago now that I met my little 8-year-old, 9 pound Chihuahua mix for the beginning of the adoption process. I fell for her immediately. By mid-October I passed a home inspection, and then brought Lucy home with me Oct. 30th.

And so now I have hair all over my floors, my furniture and my clothes. There is grit (of all kinds) tracked in from the great outdoors, I have itchy eyes, I don't sleep well for fear of rolling over and squashing her, I have to rush home after work to feed and take her out for her walks, however miserable the weather....and I couldn't be happier.

I have a wonderful reason to come home again. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It Could Have Been Classified as a WMD

I had to take a late train home today. It's one that is always filled to standing room only, but I got there in time to grab my seat of choice: right by the door. Fresh air at every stop, and first off when it pulls into my station. Perfect.

A pleasant looking, well-dressed senior lady climbed on board through my coveted doorway a moment after I'd sat down, only to hop right off again. Must have realized she was on the wrong train, I thought to myself.

I should have been so lucky. Seconds later - far too soon - she climbed back on and started to sit next to me only to rise, yet again, and exit in a hurry without looking back. This time it was clear why. She'd dropped a bomb outside the door and then dragged it back in with her...and she knew it.

So much for my fresh air.

It was vile. It hung in the air like a thick, invisible fog, and damned if it didn't adhere itself to me before I had the chance to evacuate to a safer zone. She disappeared the very moment it hit me, so there was no need to even consider staying put to be polite. I jumped up and hurried myself to another section of the train, but it was too late. It had taken hold. It clung to me for at least two stops, and for the entire ride all I could think was:

1) The people left behind at the point of impact - did they think it was me? Did they see the real perpetrator at all, or was I the only one they noticed sitting there until I suddenly bolted out of my seat to escape the scene of the crime?

2) What about the people sitting in the area where I landed? I could still smell it...could they?!? Had I dragged it along with me as though it were my own?

3) If germs can be spread when people aspirate from within by coughing and sneezing, what then of this kind of aspiration? Was I now at risk of contracting whatever it was that had taken hold of this lady? (Hello, my name is Debra and I'm a Hypochondriac...)

I suppose it helps a little that this was not my usual train so I'm not likely to see many of those riders again, but still...should any of those people ever read this post: It truly, TRULY was not me!