It’s been over a week now since The Force Awakens (TFA) came into our lives. And after 4 viewings, including the 7-movie marathon on opening day, I feel like I can finally summarize my feelings about the newest addition to the Star Wars saga.
Growing up, I had the sweetest, most gentle cat in the world—his name, ironically, was Goliath. He was there for every milestone, every moment of joy, every pang of sadness, snuggling and unleashing the full power of cats’ magical calming agent: purring. He was loyal and faithful and wonderful. Just like the original trilogy of Star Wars.
Goliath became one with the Force, so to speak, when I was 16 years old in 1999. Coincidentally, that was the same year that the prequel trilogy dawned.
In 2002—the same year Attack of the Clones released—I adopted a feisty little kitten whom I named Storm (middle name Trooper). Storm was the exact opposite of Goliath; where he had been solid black with yellowish-green eyes, she was a cream and gray tabby with piercing blue eyes. His utter devotion and love was answered with her indifference and bitey-ness. Like Goliath before her, she too was a remarkably good snuggler with an even stronger aptitude for purring me to sleep.
Over the next 12 years, Storm and I had an undeniable love/hate relationship. She exhibited violent mood shifts that usually ended with a new set of bloody teeth marks on my arms or legs. In spite of the scar-inducing teeth, we grew into a codependent pair. When she was good, she was heartbreakingly good, and when she was bad…well, most people would’ve put her down. Not unlike the prequel trilogy, if you catch my meaning.
Too mean to go out any other way, Storm succumbed to colon cancer in January. A long-haired tortoiseshell fluffball named Rue joined our family a month later. You won’t be surprised by this point in the post to find that my feelings about her virtually mirror how I feel about The Force Awakens.
When I first met Rue at the shelter (her name was Zeda then…no thanks), it was a wholly bittersweet experience. I was super excited at the prospect of getting a new kitten but I was emotionally exhausted from losing Storm. Rue, to her credit, was ridiculously wonderful on her own accord and gave me no choice but to enjoy her presence…and yet, I came away perplexed. I wanted to love her, there was little reason not to, but I needed time to process.
I got time, as Rue needed her spay operation before we could bring her home. When we picked her up a couple of days later, I made a conscientious effort to look at her with fresh eyes.
Rue, like The Force Awakens, isn’t here to replace the previous “friends” who helped shape my being, but rather to supplement. Some of her behavior recalls that of my earlier loves and my heart swells with nostalgia. Her personality and quirks are uniquely hers, which brings me utter joy. And some of the things she does…well, they kind of irk me. She’s not perfect, that’s for sure. Some of the irksome behavior is just bad and some of it is largely because it falls flat compared to the grand narrative I’ve created in my head.
There’s a lot to love about TFA, and I think I can say now with certainty that I do love it. Even with last night’s 4th viewing, it coaxed tears out of me during several scenes; some happy, some sad. That’s something few films can boast. But cats, man, cats hit me in the feels every time!
Spoilerrific ‘Gripes & Likes’ post coming soon!
Today’s agenda is short and sweet: more shameless promotion of a cute little kitty named Rue.
We added a new member to our little family last month! It’s my pleasure to introduce Rue.
This gal is such a ray of sunshine and impossibly sweet. We considered names like Pippa and Katniss but ultimately settled on Rue since she is small, gentle and excellent at hiding—just like her namesake from The Hunger Games.
In adopting Rue, we learned that Another Chance Cat Rescue (Kansas City, MO) houses 200+ kitties who have been rescued from the streets or off of other shelters’ “death row.” ACCR desperately needed help taking photos to post on Petfinder.com, so I volunteered. Spending a day with so many cats is overwhelming in such a good way; and the results didn’t turn out too shabby either 🙂
My 9 favorite shots are below; full album at my share site.
If you’re looking to adopt a feline friend in the Kansas City area, please visit
Another Chance Cat Rescue (Saturdays 11-2)
7205 Central Street
Kansas City, MO 64114 US
Well, it’s been nearly 3 months since I last posted…amazing how time just sneaks away when you’re not looking. The weeks and months since Christmas have been an adjustment around our house, for the better in some ways and worse in others.
Severus and I flew to Oregon on Christmas Day to enjoy some oceanic therapy. It really is amazing what being oceanfront can do for the soul! It’s also amazing what falling into the ocean can do to an iPhone 6—not good amazing. Fortunately, we still had an upgrade on our contract so my waterlogged, 3-month-old phone has been replaced and I’m back up and running. Here’s a little peek at what that dip in the Pacific looked like.
Unfortunately, we’ve not yet been able to recover the photos/videos that hadn’t yet loaded to the cloud. That in itself wouldn’t be a big deal except that it was our last Christmas with Vampire Kitty. We got frequent reports from my mom (who was housesitting) that Storm wasn’t eating. We had hoped it was a simple matter of her being a cat and protesting our absence. When we returned home on New Years Day we found that wasn’t the case. After several days of syringe-feedings, we took her back to the vet’s office and learned she was losing weight at an alarming rate. On Friday, January 9, a bitey little soul left our lives; melodramatic though it is, I haven’t been quite the same since.
Storm and I were almost like halves of a whole. She was both a BFF and nemesis. She slept right beside me at night, joined me as I prepared for work each morning and greeted me at the door when I arrived home. In spite of all that togetherness—or perhaps because of it—she also lashed out and bit me with regularity. Given all of the wounds she inflicted over the years, I feel secure in saying that we shared a bond forged in blood.
Those first few weeks found me nearly inconsolable. Translation: there was a whole lot of ugly crying! For heaven’s sake, I’ve got misty eyes again now just thinking about it. That’s why it’s taken me so long to get back in the swing of blogging; I dreaded having to write this post but couldn’t pretend like it didn’t happen or have a tremendous impact on my world.
She was just a cat, and she was kind of a jerk of one at that, but she was my little jerk. Things have steadily improved and we’ve welcomed a new little family member that I’ll introduce soon. Still, the Storm-shaped void aches with fluctuating intensity and, like any grief, finds the most obscure ways to resurface.
A lot has happened since I last posted. First, the hard drive on my MacBook decided to die; fortunately, I rescued my files by creating a mirror image of the drive on an external hard drive. So all is not lost, and I’ll have a new HD installed sooner or later.
My mom and I took a trip to Oregon last week (pics coming when I have my laptop again). It was lovely, of course, but I was saddened to see how dry things have gotten. Here’s hoping for a precipitous autumn and winter in the PNW.
Also over the last couple of weeks our 12-year-old vampire kitty has been under the weather. After a couple of trips to the veterinarian’s office and blood tests, we’re not any closer to knowing what’s wrong. Poor girl has been very lethargic and shows no interest in food or playing… though I have gotten in some good snuggles. If you’d be willing to send up a little prayer for Storm, we’d appreciate it. She’s a mean little cuss but we love her terribly in spite of herself, and it’s hard to see her suffer.
Happy Friday to all, and to all a good night.