It has been a long week. Asterix died on Tuesday.
He had been very old for quite a while: I think he quit going for walks in the woods in the fall of 2006. Being stone-deaf for probably the same length of time cannot have been much fun, and he had cataracts, too. He had an excellent Thanksgiving mugging my mother for smoked oysters, and the week after he assaulted an innocent endtable (or possibly, saved its life) extracting a shrimp-tail armed with weapons of mass destruction (he ate it for all of us). After that he lost his appetite, except for a chicken liver or so.
When he stopped wanting to eat even them, or cream, or cottage cheese, I knew the end was coming. Friday I did take him to the vet who charged me $90 for blood tests they have still not called to tell me about (they will hear about this), and he was so far out of his depth I realized again he could not last long. He had increasing trouble walking, but apart from being irritated about this he was not in distress. So we followed him around the house and stroked him, and he walked fewer places and said Yarp, and on Tuesday morning he nestled his head in my hand for a while and then I had to go to work. He was quite cold by the time Doug got home, so I think he passed very soon.
Doug and I cremated him in the firepit with more wood than you would think and a lot of olive oil. I don't recommend this for the faint-hearted (start with really a LOT more wood than you think will be needed, on all sides of your corpse). I cried a lot. My grief much better now that he has finished dying; although it reminded me of my (good) home-birth experiences, the same open-endedness was wearing. Now I just miss him.
We have lost Mena in April or May, Digger in June? and now Asterix. Compared to a woman on the Council of Churches whose house has burned down, been hospitalized for a near-by lightning strike, and just lost her brother, it's not been too bad (insert your favorite story about Iraq here).
We have three cats now, all under four. Toby just turned a year, Marten is probably now two and a half, and Willow is somewhere around two. I wish Willow would stop stalking the boys; they are terrified of her. I have acquired one of the diffusers of calming pheromones some blogger I trust and my daughter recommended, but the house is too scattered to know where I should put it. I would need about five and between Christmas and all (taxes, the 108K-mile car tune-up,spaying, $90 of USELESS BLOODWORK, taxes,and wild living) even one seemed expensive. (My bedroom just won the toss. I gave Toby and Willow crunchy treats and plugged it in next to them (maybe I should have bought the spray and just poured it over their heads in violation of the federal usage guidelines). Willow relaxed but then Marten came in and war broke out.)
The snow is beautiful and it is really cold. I could put one of the 2005 photos in for snow but it's pretty much white, with decorative edging on the trees. Sometimes the sun comes out and it is so lovely it's trite.
Do none of these women (Harlot, Juno, TooMuchWool, Julia, Norma, just look at my links in past posts, you know who they are) I admire do anything but knit? I know they don't, they travel, and cook, and go to work, and so forth. Some of them tidy their houses. I do go to work (my boss is away. I am a calmer, gentler, less productive, much happier person)but I also sometimes read and apparently fritter my life away, or I would not be worried about finishing one pair of socks (and a glitten or mlove). DOOMED.