The failure this week was all about the cat. The cat that came to me from the family that lives next door. Twinkle is the name of the cat. This name came along with the cat. She is an amazing cat. And she straddles the fence between one life being lived on one side of the fence and another being lived on the other side. The vet thinks she is a year old. She has been with me for 6 weeks now. In that time I have spent much money on her care and relied on the goodwill of my friends and family to ensure that this beautiful creature is fed, watered and scratched behind the ears. I have also begun sneezing more and my eyes itch more than they used to. I have, as well, expanded the quality of conversation between the neighbours (who I affectionately think of as the Von Trapp Family) and me. Now instead of "Hi!" we say things like "Is Twinkle over with you?" Or from them "Would you like Twinkle back now?" or "It's great! we get to play with her all day, and then she goes over there to live with you!" All true. And while I have suddenly increased my living expenses (Not insignificantly) I don't mind. It is a gift - all in all. To have a Twinke in your life. So. Where's the failure?

Vet visit. Outdoor cat. (I thought kitten) Pregnant. Oh no! She can be fixed with the addtional euphemism of adult fixing (which is to say...there are babies in her and if we proceed in this manner there will no longer be) Both the vet and I agreed about what needed to happen. Twinkle was a stray. We cannot - in good conscience - bring more kittens into the world...yada, yada. But wow - did I suddenly feel gross? Did I suddenly feel like I was being yanked into an ethical dilemma that I had  - up until this moment - managed to personally circumnavigate. WIth respect to a woman's body, I unequivocally believe in her right to choose. But what about a tiny little cat? Just hanging out in the neighbourhood. What if the neighbours hadn't found her? What if they had then never approached me to consider taking her in? There would have been a litter of little Twinkles - wouldn't there? This was a horrible feeling. I decided to go ahead. But I did feel like a failure. And this is interesting as I am  - I profess - more interested in failure as a concept or event that happens outside of feeling. And yet it would appear that, at least in this instance, it was the feeling of failure where the failure lay - not the event that gave rise to it.

On the day Twinkle was set to go to the vet, she gave birth to 3 still-born babies on the neighbours porch. The kids found her. Poor little Twinkle. So. Off we went to the vet. Nature resolving my personal crisis for the time being. And now Twinkle is free to roam all the back alleys she wishes; as she has been innoculated against all manner of outside things and fixed to keep the possibility of baby Twinkles at bay.

Animals give room to the inner "should of could of" voice. Animals -  like all those whom we love -  open us up to failure. To being a failure? Not sure. But to watching the things we "shoulda, coulda, woulda" done better... Absolutely. But then again if you are lucky enough to have a Twinkle (or any manifestation of love in your life) then they will jump on your head and purr in your ear. Regardless. So this week is about Twinkle and the failure I feel in caring for a cat.
10/17/2011 10:33:44 am

Im curious how your neighbors felt about your decision to make a "choice" on Twinkle's behalf. Or if they knew...


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