There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you – Maya Angelou

First a little background history: I used to have a friend, whom I will refer to as Ms. M. (Melodramatic, Manic and Manipulative are words you can fill in there).  I have known her for a couple of years. At first she was a good friend.  Yes, she did have her issues, but don’t we all?  We used to do things together and go for walks together and have great conversations. Yep, those were the good old days…

But then last summer things began to change.  She decided to stop taking her meds. I understand her reasonings, because the side effects were causing her bouts of great depression.  Maybe it was because she never took her meds regularly anyway and the constant flux of taking them and then not taking them caused this.  I don’t know.  She decided to stop cold turkey instead of weaning herself off them.  And she decided on a vitamin therapy plan. Hey, nothing wrong with that idea, as long as you actually stick to it, but just like her meds she was inconsistent. Anyway, she became obnoxious, loud, vulgar, and suddenly she started hanging out with the bad boys and sleeping around – which was totally against her religion – and suddenly did not have time for me.  When I called I was frequently interrupted by another incoming phone call that she just had to take.  I would wait on hold for several minutes before I finally hung up or she would say she would call me back and never would.  I eventually stopped calling her.  I figured she would call me when she had time for me.

The problem with that logic was that she did indeed call me – but weeks would go by without me hearing from her then I would hear from her several times in one week, because she needed a favor.  I gave her multiple rides and was always promised gas money and never given any.  She would totally trash her apartment and then ask me to help her clean it up at some last minute occassion like friends coming over for dinner, some inspection, or such thing.  She even started lying to me and getting me there under false pretenses to get me to help her clean.  It was crazy!

At first I gave in to her demands, hoping that she would get her act together and things would get back to normal.  But her demands became more and more frequent and still there was no sign of friendship, except a gift at Christmas.  That gave me hope.  But then she threw rocks through a couple of windows of a car, that belonged to a friend of hers, when she became beligerant with him and he and his family kicked her out of the house.  She called me to tell me about it.  She laughed about it and there was nothing apologetic in her at all about it.  This is when I became afraid of her.  What if I refused to help her?  What if I ended my friendship with her?  Would she also vandalize my car?  I was genuinely worried.  I dreaded her phone calls and tried to ignore them, but she was extremely patient and would call me multiple times in a day until I finally answered the phone. I started trying to lay boundaries and I tried to give excuses, but she never got the message and now her needs were always an emergency and it put me in a bad place: like she had her 6 year old daughter out late with her and they needed a ride home, or she had a concussion and needed to go to the hospital.  What kind of friend would I be if I said no?

She actually peed in my car – TWICE – and laughed and laughed and laughed about it.  Never once did she apologize or offer to pay for a professional cleaning.  I was extremely upset by her lack of care about this. Friends just don’t do this.  I was always taught that if you damage someone else’s property you were responsible for paying for it. Period. I would have been happy with a sincere apology. I got none of it.

Anyway, a time finally came when I got the courage to actually say no to her – TWICE!  The second time she sent me a text message: “Were not frds anymore dont ever call me again.” I practically did a happy dance.  I shouted hooray!  I was done!  I could move on!  I was free!  Except for one small detail…As was par for the course, she left a bunch of crap in my car.  There was going to come a time when she would want it back.  I held onto it for a week as a courtesy, but did not hear from her.  Then I took it to a place that has programs that we go to and dropped it off there, letting the director know that it belonged to Ms. M. and would he make sure she got it next time she showed up? He agreed.  Two more weeks went by, and I was sailing!

But then came yesterday. She called me three times and left voicemails.  She said she wanted her stuff back.  I texted her back and told her where she could pick it up.  I thought that was the end.  Nope.  She texed me again and again that night.  It wasn’t about wanting her stuff back.  She wanted ME back!  I forwarded her text message to me about not being friends anymore and she texted me back 3 or 4 more times!  So, I finally decided to say what I have been wanting to say to her for months.

Well, this morning I awoke to 3 more text messages.  She wasn’t getting the message. Then she called me several more times throughout the afternoon.  I did not pick up.  Again I forwarded back her message of not being friends and finally she sent me a text that said “I hate you!”  I laughed!  There was a time in my life that something like that would have really stung, but in this case, I was done!

So, why is it that she can’t seem to understand that we ARE done?  Why does she feel the need to keep pursuing this?  When she texted me some weeks ago and ended our friendship I was ready to move on.  She isn’t.  How do I get her to “get it?” Do I still worry that she will vandalize my property?  You bet I do! I can only hope that if she comes near me or my property someone else is there to witness it.

In October our cat Kinnie became severely ill and nearly died because of a brand of food we were feeding him. He ended up with acute renal failure (severe kidney failure). He was taken to the vet – twice – where he was misdiagnosed – both times – and when he became so severely ill over the weekend he was rushed to emergency care, where he finally received the correct diagnosis.  He had to stay overnight at the vets for three nights. He has had several blood tests since then to monitor his renal function and has had daily subcutaneous fluid treatments over the last five months.  Poor Kinnie has had to be quite a pin cushion.

But, Kinnie is a sweet kitty with a great disposition and tolerates all of this well. He was a rescue kitty and we acquired him at 6 months of age.  He is now almost 2 years old. He is still very kitten-like. When he got sick he did not play or eat, but now he has resumed his playfulness and continues to get into mischief every chance he gets. Sadly, this incident has taken several years off of his life according to the vet, but we are still grateful he has survived and we look forward to him being around for a few years yet.

Unfortunately, the vet bills stacked up a lot faster than we could have ever imagined.  We were already $2500 in the hole before he got a diagnosis.  We did actually have an emergency vet fund set aside, but it was quickly spent even before he got to the emegency vet. Fortunately for us, our vet made payment arrangements with us.  Though we have made payments every month, we have also had expenses every month like new blood tests ($113), lactated ringer solution ($30), plus all the tubing and needles…

In addition to our already stretched vet bills, we had another illness in another pet within the last couple of weeks. It was a painful and frightening trauma for our poor Clyde to go through.  We spent two hours at home doing everything we could trying to help him, but it became apparent there was nothing we could do at home.  Again, we had to rush him to the emergency vet, where they worked on him for several hours, to no avail. It became clear that no matter what they did, nothing was going to save him. It was heartbreaking watching him go through this and heartbreaking to make the decision, but there was nothing more that could be done and we simply had to put him to sleep. Clyde was a sweety, and we did our best for him, but in the end he just had to go to the Rainbow Bridge.

Edited:  This article was written 3 years ago and I would like to add what is going on now…Oct 2016.

Kinnie was receiving subcutaneous fluids for about 1.5 years before the vet determined that he had maxed out his potential and the fluids were no longer needed.  Our Kinnie had long recovered in terms of weight, energy and playfulness. He was off the fluids for almost 6 months before he became ill again.  Back onto the fluids he went.  This time he was diagnosed with final stage renal failure and was given about 1 year to live if we kept up the daily fluids and gave him a special renal support diet.

He was only on the fluids for about 3 months before the needle became too painful for him to quietly sit.  The needle was also causing bleeding with every prick now.  It was clear Kinnie was unhappy and was starting to avoid us when he knew it was time for the fluids.  He had lost so much weight that he was nothing more than a bag of skin that held his bones.  I began to worry I was going to come home, or wake up, and find him dead any day. We made a mutual decision to stop the fluids and let him eat whatever he wanted in his last days and just to let him pass in peace.

But, Kinnie being the miracle cat that he is, survived.  He eventually gained his weight back and began to be playful and cuddly once more.  It has been about a year since his diagnosis of final stage renal failure and he shows no signs of illness from what we can observe.  His last set of tests were over a year ago, which read poorly, so I do not know what his tests would show now, but I am not worried about it.  This miracle of a cat is on his 3rd life as far as I can tell and I am happy to say he is alive and well so far.

Edit: Oct 2018

Kinnie continued to be happy, playful, cuddly, loving, and funny until May this year when he suddenly took a turn for the worse. He just stopped eating drinking and using the litter box almost overnight. We just knew that this time he was saying goodbye. Though I do not allow pets in the bedroom, I made an exception for Kinnie just for one one night. He slept quietly on the bed the entire night between me and my partner. When I woke up the next morning I looked into Kinnie’s eyes and it was clear this was to have been his last night with us. I called the vet, made an appointment, then took him in to send him on his way to the Rainbow Bridge.  Kinnie was my miracle cat. But besides being a miracle, he was a truly special cat in many ways…

He would stand on his hind legs and reach up to indicate he wanted to be lifted up and held. His favorite position to be held in was on his back as if he were a human baby. He had two favorite toys in his entire life: a little pink pillow and a little homemade “squid” with a bell in it – both of which he played fetch with and no other cat was ever permitted to play with. He was very communicative and expressive in the sense that he made it clear exactly what he wanted. He chattered at the crows outside our window, who loved to tease him. He would sit in the window and watch for me to come home and come running to greet me at the door when he saw me coming. He preferred to be held by me over anyone else.  He had a beautiful dark and light brown marbled tabby coat with golden eyes. His purr penetrated me and brought me peace.

In the end, we spent about $7500 to save his life and I still owe $1200 after he is gone.  He was worth every penny of it!  I would never trade in the money for a shortened life. I am quite sure I would not do that for most of my pets, but Kinnie was special.  He was my soul cat…my heart cat. I will forever miss him.

Over the last few days I have read post after post on the case of Zimmerman and Martin and how this has become an issue of racism.  I have not actually read the news stories on this, so forgive me if I have the facts mixed up, but from what I have picked up from the posts, Zimmerman and Martin somehow ended up in a fist fight.  Zimmerman ended up retreating to his vehicle, where he was advised to remain.  But instead of following instructions, he took it upon himself to grab his gun, exit his vehicle and shoot Martin.  If, in fact, this is what happened, this is plainly and simply a matter of a man, who in the heat of the moment, shot and killed an unarmed man – not in self defense.  And I believe he should have received prison time for his actions.  But, he did not.  He was set free.  There are a good many people across our nation, for many reasons who are angered by this and feel justice has not been served.  I am one of them. 

The story above is explained without talking about race.  It is about two angry men, one of whom ends up dead.  And this is what the foundation of this story is.  But, as with all stories, there are details that “color” the story (pun not intended).  If we add in the fact that Martin is a black man and Zimmerman is white/Hispanic, then the story takes on new meaning in our society.  Ah, this story is about racism.  And truly, this is what most of the posts I have read have been about.  The accusation is that Zimmerman was let go because of White privilege.  Martin, the dead man, apparently was not entirely innocent because he had a history of violence, perhaps even a rap sheet, and he allegedly attacked Zimmerman first.  So, the victim in this case, became the aggressor.  Some people thought he deserved what he got.  Even if Martin is guilty of all of these things, Zimmerman had still retreated to the safety of his car.  At this point, the story could have turned out very differently.  Martin could have been charged with assault.  But, then it would still be a story about racism wouldn’t it?

You see, regardless of the outcome in these two scenarios, it is a story about racism.  But what if Martin and Zimmerman were the same race?  There would be no racial argument.  So, why is there now?  Is this truly a story about racism or is it a story about injustice?  What exactly did go wrong in that courtroom?  Why in today’s society do we assume it is about race? 

I think it is because racism is alive and well in our country.  We would like to believe we overcame it, but we still have people who cling to it.  Some white people still want to hate anyone who is not white, and some black people (and others) are racist against the white people.  It really is a shame we have all this hatred.  Imagine what we could accomplish as a society if we just let go of all this hatred and just started working together.   But, I think that is still far off. 

Whether the Zimmerman-Martin case is about racism or not, I think Zimmerman should have gotten prison time.  He got out of his vehicle against advice and shot a man resulting in his death.  This is an intentional act.  If people can go to prison for accidentally killing someone, then Zimmerman should certainly have gone to prison.

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