As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, I’ve been out of the blogosphere a little bit of late. Sorry for sticking you with no one but Lance for so long, but I had some pretty crazy stuff going on. However, for some pretty depressing reasons, I should have plenty of time to blog for the forseeable future! Here’s what’s been going on with me.
The Internet Ate My Homework Post
In my last post, My Boyfriend’s Mother, Me Thinks made the observation that the BF is weird about money, as evidenced by the huge blowout we had over the groceries (see Snowboarding, Sickness, and a Breakdown at the Grocery Store). I have given this idea a lot of thought and even started a blog post about it…a blog post I had nearly finished, but when I hit save, I learned that my computer had disconnected from the internet and the entire thing vanished. This was a 1500 or 2000 word post (and full of pretty insightful shit, if I do say so myself!) so I was extraordinarily bummed to have lost it.
Fortunately, at this point it’s been long enough that I think I can give it another go…see the “upcoming posts” section at the end of this entry for others that I’ve been cooking up and will finally crank out for you all.
Fucking Furlough The Recession Hits Home
As this recession has started and, according to the news, become ever more painful, the BF and I have had many conversations about our finances. Despite the not-fabulous shape we are in as far as credit card debt and student loan debt, we have both always concluded we are lucky to have good jobs and make enough money to pay our bills, albeit not as quickly as we would like. Well, that’s all been changing.
First, while the BF got a raise, it was less than half as much as he was expecting and a fraction of the industry standard for his field. He is fucking pissed at his company and the new plan is for him to start applying for a lateral move in another state in January 2010. Second, as you may or may not know, I work full-time for one of the state universities in Arizona. Well, the legislature just did a mid-year hatchet job to our budget and in order to make the cuts, I (and all the other employees at the university) must take 12 furlough days between now and June 30. Now, as most of you have figured out, if I was very, very frugal (and didn’t let the BF shop with me) I made precisely as much money each month as I spent. For me, 12 furlough days equals about a $1200 reduction in take-home pay over the next 5 months. Not good for the old budget, though I do get Thursday off this week and Monday of next week (which I promise to use to write a bunch of posts so I have something in the can for next time!). Then, speaking of budget- (and heart-) breakers…
My Cat Died Hailey Quiet Heart
Although my cat Hailey had been diabetic for about four years and has had other health problems (she had 9 teeth pulled a year and a half ago and also had a blocked anal gland a couple of times, which is not a sexy ailment) her death last Thursday came as quite a shock. She was fine a week before – we have photos on our camera proving it – and even two or three weeks prior to that we have video of her literally frolicking with a toy.
Wednesday morning she didn’t eat her treats (she had to eat when she got her insulin), so I gave her wet food, and she licked some of the gravy but didn’t eat anything. Then she didn’t eat anything Wednesday night and she also was not drinking or using the litter box. She also didn’t come downstairs at all which was strange because her favorite thing to do was follow the BF around and gaze at him lovingly. Her crush on the BF was one of her distinguishing characteristics – the others included the “Hailey hover,” which meant that she would kind of half sit down and half stand up when she couldn’t decide which she wanted to do, which was most of the time; the headbutt, one of her favorite ways of showing affection; and reaching up and tapping you on the shoulder when you weren’t petting her enough or if she wanted attention. Mostly she did these things to the BF – we always said that he was her boyfriend, too.
I brought her in the bedroom to sleep with us Wednesday night, and she didn’t move at all. The next morning she looked awful and still wouldn’t eat, and at this point we were trying to give her grilled tilapia. The BF and I both called in to work and dropped her off at the vet. A couple of hours later, we went back to visit her and talk with the doctor.
The vet said that even aggressive therapy and all the tests that would need to be run might not work, and she would have to be transported to the emergency clinic every night because she would need constant monitoring. Now the BF and I had talked about this before we went back to the vet and I was amazed by how much he was affected – I think he took it harder than me. She was wrapped in warm towels and he was holding her like a baby. He was crying and said that he would pay for everything, that he would drive her wherever she needed to go and give her all the medicines the doctor said she needed. In the end we agreed that we would treat her symptoms for 3 days and then we would make a decision. And of course the BF and I would split the cost.
The vet called at 5:30 and said that she was worse. A lot worse. I said I would call him back and the BF and I talked again. We decided to let her go, and when I called the vet back, he said she was definitely suffering and it was the right decision, so we drove down there to see her off. I was devastated but not too surprised that she went so quickly. She was many things, but not a fighter, and she just seemed so tired. We called her “quiet heart” because she was the gentlest cat we’ve ever seen.
The house seems empty now, even with our other pets still here – I said to the BF the other day that it is strange that something so small could fill such a big space. She had so many favorite spots – the blanket on the couch, the top of the love seat, the purr pad in front of the glass doors, the top and bottom of the stairs. She got her insulin twice a day, so nearly every morning and night of the last four years has been punctuated by giving her treats and attention. It is hard to believe we don’t have to do those things anymore. Her sister seems fine but they were always together – we feel like at some point she will notice that Hailey is gone and wonder how she will take it.
There was magnetic poetry in the room where we put her down, and someone had strung together words saying that heaven is a warm soft quiet place. We are atheists, but hope that is how she felt during her last days because we loved her so much.
Needless to say, aside from the emotional devastation of having to let her go that way, the last thing I needed to get after a pay cut of $1200 was a bill for $1100. However, I had an economic epiphany that may alleviate some of our financial concerns. Namely, I am registered for 9 tuition hours this semester which enables me to borrow again, so I may be able to pay off my credit card in one fell swoop and then save a little bit before my in-school deferment ends and I have to start paying again. This is good news. We are also looking for a smaller, cheaper place to live that is closer to my work, which is also good news. And I have decided to make the best of my furlough days by writing a ton of posts for Honey and Lance – good news for you! Here’s a taste of what’s upcoming:
- The Grocery Store, Part Deux (an analysis of the BF’s financial inclinations)
- Sexual fetishes (that’s right, the BF’s into golden showers!)
- Jealousy (this one’s been in the works for awhile)
- Our Valentine’s day plans and much, much more!
In the meantime, you might also enjoy: