On Saturday I packed up my car and drove to Virginia to begin a new chapter of my life, free from the clutches of Lord Winter, in a land with no ice or snow.
Yesterday, my wife and I adopted a cat. I named her Gwendolyn Stacy. She spent the last two years in a shelter, being passed over because she stayed curled up in her bed while the other cats ran out to fawn over the visiting humans. Sarah visited her a few times before I moved out here, and during one visit a random person warned her that this cat would bite or scratch for “no reason at all.” So far, I have sustained no bites or scratches, and Sarah has one tiny scratch from her first visit.
When I met Gwen at the shelter, she let me pet her, but she stayed curled up the whole time. Within an hour of getting her home, she was exploring the house. She even slept on the bed with us for a bit.
Gwen is a total sweetheart, and I’m glad to welcome her to our family.
If white dudes would stop talking for fifteen minutes and listen to the voices that we constantly yell over, we might learn something about how other people experience the world.
So, white dudes, especially the ones who are straight, cisgender, Christian, middle-class: Stop brosplaining to Muslims tonight and try to educate yourself on how frightening it can be to exist as a Muslim in America. Exercise your empathy muscles.
Mostly just stop talking.
In the summer of 2002, my sister wanted a dog. We met a sweet Labrador puppy at the animal shelter, and she agreed to come live with us.
My sister asked me to give her a name that wasn’t a canine standard, so I called her Neese.
Neese had a powerful tail. There was a short table by the basement couch where we played video games. If she came downstairs to see us, we had to pick up our drinks because she was so happy that her tail wagged like a destructive force of nature, knocking everything to the floor. Sometimes she joined us on the couch, and sometimes she just said hello and went back upstairs.
When my sister got married and moved out, Neese stayed with our parents for a few years, then rejoined my sister when they bought their house. She hated walking on the linoleum, but the first time I visited, she ignored it and came right up to me when I walked in, tail thumping against the wall.
Even toward the end, when her arthritis made her avoid getting up to say hello, her tail would beat against the floor when I knelt down to say hello.
Last night, Neese went to sleep for the last time.
Goodbye, pup. You are missed.