Tuesday 14 April 2009

Grey matters...

Last night I listened to some "relaxation" tapes. They're not tapes, they're tracks. (From a CD, to my computer, then to my mp3 player.) They were from a friend, who used them for pain management and, when I first started using them it wasn't for managing pain; rather, as an aide for calming my brain, to try to lessen (or, hopefully, be free of) anxiety. Lately, though, as you'll know, ye olde faithful reader, pain management is precisely what I've needed, so they've been useful.

However (ah yes, the inaugural-in-this-post "however"), rather than concentrating on the words of the lady with the nice voice, my mind reverted to the day our hugely beloved Harvey died. Thursday 13th October was the day in 2005. He collapsed in the kitchen; he just... fell to the floor, he didn't move. Ma phoned the vets', I picked him up, which was distressing and we went as fast as we could to save his life. It's quite difficult, though, to do that, to travel up to the speed limit in traffic hold-ups when the colleges and schools are emptying: the time was about 4:30pm.
Harvey still wasn't moving; I was cradling him in my arms, sobbing, while shouting at the cars to MOVE!! They didn't, unsurprisingly. Why would they? Because a red-faced bint told them to? Hm. Only a few days earlier, I happened to read a "First Aid for Cats" section in a cat book. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation isn't for everyone, I know but frankly, if it means my cat will stay alive, then I'll feckin' well do it, no second thoughts. And that's exactly what I did. I had to. Fur, fishy breath (most cats have that, though, don't they...?) and my tears didn't make it easy. I tried and tried. My Dear Ma was keeping it together, not crying but wanting to. I tried so desperately to keep him alive but I saw his eyes: his pupils dilated suddenly and it was clear he'd gone.

A few minutes passed before we finally got to the surgery and we both knew there was nothing to be done, that they'd say "I'm sorry" but hearing it doesn't make it easier. They we were, Ma and me, crying so much on one another's shoulders, holding tightly on to each other. (I have a pair of lovely brown cords - shh - and they're good to my behind, make it look great. They're about an inch or 2 too short. I wore them that day and haven't really worn them since, stupidly scared that the same or similar might happen to another of our beautiful cats.) Harvey had lived with us for little over four years and it wasn't enough.

He'd previously been homeless, i.e. on the streets, nowhere near enough food, bad health and other factors and all of this contributed to him being extremely frightened; it took weeks, nay months for us to gain his trust. And when he did finally trust us, it was magical. He returned to/became an incredibly affectionate boycat, so grateful, like he couldn't believe we could love him so. That's one of the reasons we found it so difficult to understand, so to speak.
The trouble, though, with a cat which has pneumonia, is that it is susceptible to colds and chest infections and Harvey had many in his short time with us. He was only seven-years-old. Ish. They couldn't be sure but he was too young to die, I think that much. He had a heart attack, a pretty hefty one. (This post isn't all about cats, death of a cat and brown cords, honest.)

And that's what I thought about last night, what happened 3 1/2 years ago. I was 23. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet, so much time has passed since that grey day. Warm and cloudy and grey. I don't feel 27 and I don't really look it, either. Which is a good thing, I'm now realising. Apart from the "Are you at school?" questions. Because, in certain instances, if that were true, some things might be illegal.....
The aspect of this which really (yeah - REALLY) frustrates me is that I've done little more than at that time in 2005. Well, that's not counting the driving bit, because I can drive, just not qualified to do it without my truly SUPERB tutor, Mr. Bikeman. I've got a bus on my own, though it was scary. I've spoken on the phone to a delightful, wonderful, not-bad-on-the-eye-AT.-ALL. man - D... I've done some stuff. Just not what I'd hoped I would by now. Gigs, pubs, drinks, holidays abroad or on my own, wicked late nights out with friends ending up who knows where. And now I have grey hairs. I pluck them out, obviously. My hair is so dark, if I allowed them to stay where they fester so brashly, they'd be as easy to spot as an elephant in the room. Except the grey wouldn't be the elephant. It'd be unwanted highlights. Free, though... but no, they have to go, as sure as I'll one day go to Glastonbury. And T in the Park. And a doves gig.

A few (now it's not even three) years in the future and I shall be 30. Tomorrow - Wednesday - is the day of my hospital appointment. I don't think I'll come home post-Mirena but maybe I'll have a date for me to go back to the pre-Mirena girl (who am I kidding? You? No... dangit). But I'll be post-it. Except not very, very flat, yellow or sticky on one strip on the back which, actually, isn't very sticky at all...

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