No cat after all

I made about as many calls as there are no-kill shelters in New Jersey, hoping to find a shelter in that state that would take Woody’s mother’s cat. None of them wanted an 8 year old altered female cat, white with a brown tail. I was shocked as the shelters I work with here would take such a cat. And I had been able to arrange a place for her in Provincetown.

So we figured it was down to NJ Friday and spend the night in lodgings in Midland Park, pick up the cat next morning, deal with his mother who would be crying and upset and Lady, who’d lived with my mother-in-law since she was a kitten, seen very few other people and was going to be terrified. We expected her to yowl all the way back to our house.

Well, Woody’s mother [who’d asked us to help] called yelling at us that we were trying to take her cat from her and nobody was going to take her cat. The next morning, Woody called her back, hoping she’d be more rational. She wasn’t. She is going to keep her cat and the facility and everyone else be damned. I understand that she is very attached to Lady, and Lady to her. It’s probably the only love in her life. She’s not friends with anyone in the facility.

A good friend, Paul, had a sudden stroke this week followed by another seizure when he was brought to Cape Cod Hospital. Fortunately he was taken by ambulance the next day to Brigham and Women’s in Boston. He’s in an induced coma. His husband, Dan, is in Nova Scotia – he’s Canadian and that’s where his health care is. He’s been having trouble with the immigration people the last times he’s come here. They are really vicious now. When I had to deal with them decades ago when I was married to my French first husband Michel, they gave me all kinds of grief. Nasty bigoted people!

The news about Paul was bad at first, but there are now some hopeful signs. Nothing to do but wait to hear. Dan hopes to be here in a week.

Another friend, one who was been close since 1972, found her partner had hanged himself. I feel surrounded by death and danger.

I got the long poem contest I was judging off to Ann Arbor Tuesday and have written four poems since then. I wrote a piece for Bill Moyers, for his No Choice program on women before Roe v Wade. All the seed orders have been sent in. Now I’m working on two perennial and summer bulb orders – calla lilies, dahlias, begonias, acidanthera. Dale and I will deal with those next Monday. There’s a tiny, tiny bug flying around me right now – while the temperature is freezing outside. What is it? Where did it come from? I have no idea and it’s too fast and too small to identify. At breakfast I was watching the red bellied woodpecker [ridiculous name; it does NOT have a red belly but has a very red head] work the pine trees looking for larvae or eggs. I bet the woodpecker has a name for this bug.

I’m writing little essays to answer questions for a book about poets who won major Hopwood awards while at the U of Michigan

I’m reading Alexie Sherman’s memoir YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME. I find it very moving. I met him years ago and liked him. I had a similarly complicated relationship with my mother. I also come from poverty and had to escape my family and abandon my neighborhood and the kids I grew up with including lovers in order to become who I could be as a writer. I have always carried some guilt about that. And know I’d do it all again.






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