After we lost Gus, I was very determined that I would never, ever take my kittens for granted; that if he gave me any lasting gift, it was to always keep at the forefront of my mind of brief the lives are, how miraculous it is that Shawn is even alive, and to keep that perspective whenever I got annoyed (which happens, when you have a very smart cat who thinks he’s people). This means that I still celebrate every milestone so, once again, Shawn gets a birthday post.
Today he is FIVE YEARS OLD.
Rather than repeat the usual story, I will talk about this past year.
He did not need more dental work! Yes, he has kept those iconic little fangs, at least for another year.
We have lengthy bedtime rituals now to ensure he gets enough focused attention on him (and god help me if I forget to play his song) or he will not sleep and instead do crime. (He loves crime. It’s his favourite thing next to cheese.) Yesterday he pulled a full papertowel roll into the cat fountain I keep on the counter when the motor stopped running; I can only assume he was trying to fix it, somehow.
I keep three things on the bed for him, or try to.
- An old bra to sleep on (he was a boob kitten, he still finds it comforting).
- The Oodie his auntie Danni got me for Christmas, which he snuggles in when I don’t use it.
- His old SnugglePuppy he’s had since he was still bottle-feeding. No heartbeat running in it but he still likes to curl up with it.
He helps me write books which I hope to sell so I can feed him (he eats moderately expensive food but it’s the only thing that prevents hairballs).
He is Kenough.
Usually I ask people to donate neonatal supplies (or volunteer) at their local shelter in honour of him and Gus. They would not have survived without donations from supporters–from the Miracle Nipple to KMR to SnugglePuppy–and a volunteer (me) to feed them. And yes, absolutely, please do these things.
But I’ve also been focusing on how incredibly fortunate we are simply by virtue of where and when we were born that we are not living in a warzone; that despite my stress and problems, like just finding work and selling enough books to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, I do not have to worry about being bombed, or evacuating, or being ethnically cleansed. I do not have to make decisions like leaving my animals behind, or figuring out how to feed them because there are no supplies.
Sulala Animal Rescue has been doing the hard work in Gaza for years to help the homeless animals, educate others, and advocate for animal welfare. They are now doing so amidst actual genocide. In addition to demanding our government leaders call for a ceasefire and stop supplying weapons used against these people, please consider even a small donation to Sulala, the only animal shelter in Gaza, to support the work they’re doing. Besides feeding the dogs–many of which are disabled–and the cats and the donkeys they’ve rescued, one day they will need to rebuild. Every dollar helps. They have PayPal or you can donate through Animals Australia.
As for us, if you want to help with Shawn (and everyone else’s) costly feeding, I’ve got a sale running on Dweller on the Threshold, the book with him and Gus in it, 50% off until the 19th. Please let people know in your various book circles!
I had nightmares all night so I only slept a few hours; I’ve been awake for ages, so this morning Shawn and I lounged in bed watching videos on my iPad of him and Gus. I know he doesn’t understand it, but he’s still riveted, whether it was them squealing and wiggling as neonates or rough-housing as big kids.
Due to more govt headaches, my medication was delayed, so I’m awaiting that delivery so I can finally take last week’s dose, and then I’m popping out to buy the little prince some Babybels so he can have a cheese platter for his birthday.
Always celebrate miracles.