I put on my work gloves and went out to take care of the dead kitty. It doesn't feel right to leave it's body in the middle of the road, and watch it get ever flatter and get pecked the shreds by vengeful, hungry birds.
The body was more... squishy? stiff? then other animal corpses I've had to handle lately. And it gave off a strange odor, like sulfur or brimstone. It wasn't the smell of rotting flesh, nor the stink of an animal that lacked good personal hygiene. What could it be?
I also had trouble bagging him. I'm glad I brought along a second bag.
Frolic well in kitty heaven, little one. I hope you get reincarnated and have another 8 lives ahead of you.
One of the cats who roosts outside my window was lying dead in the street. I saw it as I walked by, just a door down from mine. It was grey, and midsized, likely from the liter birthed at the start of the winter, which has had a surprisingly high survival rate despite the harshness and snow. It's head was crushed, tongue and brains spilling out onto the asphalt. An unkind sight to see.
As I walked past and onto the sidewalk, I saw the mamma cat and one of her black sons as they sat vigil. Uncharacteristically, they didn't move or twich as I passed. Another dozen and a half feet and I was at my walk, and a small black kitten sat right in the middle of my path, starting at me with it's yellow eyes. It didn't run until I was right on top of it.
Black cats cross my path every day, but this is the first time they've tried to block it.
Add a funeral to that list.
I just got a call...One of my best friends from my teenage years, his mother, a lovely and sweet woman, passed away this Shabbos. This was unexpected, she hadn't been sick.
The funeral is at 12:45 tomorrow in Queens, right in the middle of the two weddings the family has to be at in Brooklyn. Tomorrow is going to be difficult.
There's a dead kitty in the back yard. It looks to be an adolecent, all black, dead for at least a day. No sign of what killed it. I had to dispose of it. Another dead one, and this is before the winter has even started...
My great-Aunt, Dorothy Goldwasser, passed away yesterday at the age of 93.
I'm feeling kind of a zombielike numb.
My grandmother had been suffering from dementia for many years, and I had mourned her long ago. But Aunt Dorothy was mentally sharp till the end, and I was always praying she'd last a long long time.
It's extra sad because she's the last of her generation, the generation of the Great Depression and WWII.
I last saw her a year ago, when I went back to Florida. (I visited her everytime I was in Florida, which sadly wasn't often.) I had a list of questions about the past and the family to ask her next time I saw her; plus photos I had from my grandmother I was hoping she could identify. She spent her winters in Miami and her summers in Potsdam, in the very most upstate part of New York. I had been planning on driving up there this summer to visit her. I was going to do it last summer, but the post-op recovery stopped me from traveling.
She was in NYC only very briefly between the two, but there was a big family gathering for her. Just like the one last weekend, I was the last to be told, and it was held on a weekend that I was already committed to working staff at Anime NEXT. I didn't choose family that time, and now I'm regretting it.
I can't make it to the funeral, either. It's being held in Miami tomorrow. My Mom and Aunt are flying down there for it tonight, though.
One of the cute kittens that frolic outside my apartment lies dead in front of the porch next door.
It looks so sad and still.
I wonder what killed it.
Meanwhile, two others of his liter flank me, frolicking in the bushes. That grey one is staring at me again.
There's something indescribably saddening about looking through cute little baby and child and teenage pictures of great-aunts and -uncles; people I spent my own childhood and adolescence watching grow old and die.
It's a strong and horrible reminder of the inexorable march of time and the way of all flesh.
As by them, so it will be for me and my generation one day.
My room in my parent's house is in the attic. It's nice, as it gives you privacy and a floor to yourself, but it also means you're far more exposed to the great outdoors then you otherwise would be.
Ever since I've moved out, my parents have been increasingly using the attic for storage - not just the closets, but the room itself, so it feels like every time I go up there there's more junk on the floor to navigate.
But I've done my best to try to keep at least a small area around the bed for myself, and to go up there when ever I visit. (Living only a few blocks from my parents means I both visit often but rarely have a need to sleep there overnight.)
The shiva week was the first time I'd been up there since the holidays last month. I was rather surprised to find my bed sprinkled with crumbs, as if someone had been eating on it. Some of my comic books I had piled up for reading had been knocked down, too, and there were other subtle changes.
Over the shiva week, I found myself in my room when ever I needed a rest or a break from the crowds and errands. And while up there, I heard scurrying. That's nothing new, but I was hearing it more frequently and more loudly then I was used to in the past.
We've had squirrels in the attic before, and my dad trapped one last year. It seemed another one had gotten in, and was making itself at home, eating on my bed, reading my comics, and not even paying rent.
But, Sunday, I came upstairs to discover that my squirrel problem had been abruptly solved.
Because there was a freshly dead squirrel by my bed.
After the mourners had left for the night, I got the task of cleaning it up. I inspected the body before I disposed of it. No visible marks, no sign of what had killed it.
Disturbingly, it still had one eye half open in death, just like my grandmother did. Just like with my grandmother, I closed the lid, and with it the last sight its deathless eyes would see.
(I should write about the day of my grandmother's death, but I don't think it's something I'm going to forget any time soon. Or ever.)
I suppose I should be grateful that at least it had the courtesy of dying in the open, and that I found it right away, instead of discovering it because it was starting to rot in the back of one of the storage closets.
But at the same time, I'm still wondering what killed it. It could be cold, poison, old age, anything...
...but it's entirely possible that I'm now sharing the attic with something big enough to kill a squirrel.
And now, today, I was back at my parents, sitting in the upstairs bathroom, when I heard scurrying from the attic above. I've never heard noises like that on the second floor coming from the attic before. It's as if there's something different up there, something louder, something larger...