In a previous post I talked about being suddenly without a roof over my head, and setting off in darkness for the farm of a friend, cat in jacket, traveling “by thumb”.
I was thrilled at how quickly a ride opened up for us, even though weary from cleaning and three months of trying to get a place to live. Mostly worn down from the identity of being “homeless”, which also felt like “helpless”.
Since our stay at the farm, our temporary “roof” has also included that of a senior who was trading free (but not “private”, as in separate entrance and locking door) housing in his basement apartment for a nighttime presence. As it was described to me, it was about being there in the event of an emergency. A couple of sessions of being present while he wheeled his walker out to the kitchen at four in the morning for reasons only he could understand left me uninspired about this as a way of life.
But I could think of no way to leave and still have a roof over my head. It seemed there was nothing to do but to hang in with the commitment until the end of December.
At the same time, my feline was digging up the worst behavior in his repertoire. Certainly there were chemicals from new carpeting and paint present in the basement apartment, maybe some mold, too. One time I sat up most of the night, struggling to breathe. I was nauseated, headachy, and depressed the whole time we were there. Wynnie, of course, was much closer to the floor than I. Was he affected, too?
Then, during our pre-breakfast walk one morning, he was attacked by another cat. I stood by trying to break up the fight with a water spritzer. When I moved in to nab him he was still fighting mad and unable to distinguish my hand from the other cat. I should have thought that through.
Covering the injured hand, I did my watching back inside, while the old gentleman pushed his urine out to the kitchen, his way of proving he “was not dead”. (I didn’t know that was in question.) Back to my private space, I washed and dressed, trying to keep from fainting until I could get to expert help at the medical clinic.
Fortunately, I was able to use the bandaged hand to hit at the right side of the keyboard that afternoon, and accomplished some writing in an odd sort of way. I am really grateful that both of us–human and cat– healed without infection. I had refused the tetanus shot and antibiotics, so had to listen to a well-meant lecture. As you may guess, I do not have hundreds of dollars to pay a vet for clearing up an animal infection. For myself, I really value the use of both hands to type, clean, and play the piano.
And then, things got better! There was a bachelor pad available right next door. And—it had been there all along, had I only known it. When I was writing the check, the owner even told me she had seen my note in the church bulletin, the previous month, asking if anyone had temporary housing. She had assumed anyone wanting a place for only two months would want it furnished, so had not spoken up about her unfurnished apartment.
We were so grateful to have our own space that the lack of furniture didn’t register. We shared a futon mattress on the floor, which was also a great place to read. I’d say it took about two hours to get back to being ourselves, human and cat.
And, I am joyfully anticipating the 29th of December, when we will be going to a little mountain home I love, belonging to a couple who will be traveling. It has a separate artist’s studio and sauna. There is a gorgeous view of the valley, which is also a south exposure. It shows up in many of the artist’s paintings. I am looking forward to many a sunny afternoon, reading, working, and enjoying their dog and my cat in wintry isolation.
I will be working my darndest to apply internet marketing principles I have been following online. Then of course, I’ll be reviewing my plans for career change coaching.
One of the great challenges will be to make room in my mind for replacing things this year took away—computer, phone, car, housing. A person can only go as far as their mind will take them. I don’t want to limit the supply of any good thing with a poverty mentality.
A crisis can lock a person in place. But, with even the smallest let-up, I intend to be moving forward with fresh ideas, and insights gained from the crisis.
Just because LIFE CAN BE SO INTERESTING!