“I Wanna Live With My Cinnamon Girl…”

Saturday, December 14th, as I prepared to embrace my newly declared routine, I thought, “I know, what I need is a cat to sooth my sore neck and and comfort my lonesome heart.” I had been thinking about getting a cat. I have spent hours talking to the indentation on the couch where Phil had spent much of his last four years. Not once did the indentation (or Phil) answer me. I imagined (I currently reside in Imagine Nation) a cat might be more conversive.

I was determined to adopt an abandoned cat. Happily (not so much for the abandoned kitties), you can now peruse available cats online while firmly implanted in your own couch indentation. I’ve always been hyper-emotional, so actually going in to a shelter was not a good idea. I knew that visiting the shelter could have the negative effect of transforming me into an eccentric cat lady (visions of Grey Gardens danced in my head) with a house full of cats. So, I opened up my laptop, went directly to Google and searched “cat adoption Albuquerque.”

In keeping with my “Night Before Christmas” theme: and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Cinnamon devoid of any reindeer. She was available, after being abandoned in a parking garage ( I can think of few places more terrifying for a cat – a parking garage being the modern equivalent of a room full of rocking chairs). She was being fostered by a local used video game store as a part of my community’s Animal Humane Association’s “Cats in the Community” program. Without bothering to change out of aged sweatpants and a stained top, I jumped into my car and drove directly to the store. In a rare lucky break, sweatpants and stained tops were the attire sported by most of the other store patrons. As I walked in the door, I was greeted by a friendly sweatpants-clad employee who asked, “Can I help you find something?” I responded “a cat.” He immediately went in search of Cinnamon. It was love at first sight on my part; Cinnamon wasn’t quite sure of me.

Cinnamon, greeting me at Gamer’s Anonymous.

I spent about thirty minutes allowing Cinnamon to get to know me. Various shoppers came and went, greeting Cinnamon and ignoring me. When there was a break in the shopping traffic, I asked what I needed to do to adopt Cinnamon. The store employee got a member of the Animal Humane Association staff on the phone in order that they might interview me. I was asked questions about my home, including its current animal population, and put on hold while a background check was done. While relaying this story to my children, they were relieved to hear that I had passed the background check and been okayed for the adoption of Cinnamon (my son-in-law did ask if she used to be a stripper – I let him know that beyond her name, little was known about her past). The staff waited while I went to get the cash required for the adoption fee, as well as a cat box, litter, litter scoop, food and water dishes, food, toys and a perch/hide-away. I returned to the store, presented the cash, signed numerous documents and then headed home with Cinnamon and her accoutrements.

Cinnamon, two hours after arriving in her new home.

Cinnamon and I had a Merry Christmas and have had a dozen good nights since. And while she doesn’t seem to understand what I say, and I don’t understand her mewed responses, we continue to happily converse, our conversations accompanied by the many cinnamon-themed songs that best-friend Shari has supplied daily. She will have absolutely nothing to do with the cat perch/hide-away that I purchased, and adorned with fluffy crocheted mats. She prefers to perch on my lap or the tops of cabinets and book shelves. She sometimes sits on the Phil-indentation spot on the couch; at which time I remind Phil of how much he always enjoyed having a cat on his lap. I don’t hear a response, but I’m sure he smiles.

Life is good!

Cat perch/hide-away, untouched by cat paws.

New Routine

It’s Friday the Thirteenth, and I’m busy establishing a new retirement routine. So far, it looks a lot like my previous routine. I’ve returned to write a Friday blog post now that I’ve regained use of my right arm (function was severely restricted following removal from my VERY long driveway , via shovel, of record-level Thanksgiving Day snow). Our Thanksgiving Day meal went on as planned with the added requirement of guest-provided massage to the host’s serving arm.

Now, imagine this driveway with 8 inches of snow on it.

I’ve decorated the house for Christmas. I’ve cut back from my usual five to six boxes of Christmas decorations to about four boxes. I experienced a moment’s sadness when I realized that the decorations had been up for almost a week and I was the only one to have seen them. Happily, the workers from Gas Appliance Repair dropped by on Thursday and only charged me $110 to admire my decorations (and let me know that my gas fireplace would not result in my death from carbon-monoxide poisoning). Life is good!

Ho, Ho, Ho

This week, my friend Shari, her sisters, sister-in-law and I lamented our increasing loss of neck function, with a coinciding increase of neck-related tingling and pain. This threatened to discourage the “life is good” mantra, until Shari’s sister-in-law, chartered the DUDS (“Drink Up Degenerate Shriners”) club which is advocating wine consumption as, if not a cure for degenerative disc disease, a very effective distraction. We all immediately submitted our names and MRI results for membership consideration. This brings me back to my new routine activity and its similarity to previous routine activity.

For years, lacking the creativity to write original song lyrics, and inspired by the success of Weird Al Yankovic, I’ve changed a word or two in well-known songs to arrive at lyrics more in keeping with my day-to-day experiences. My most well-known (sung to the tune of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”) is: “Smoke on the Pop Tart; a fire in the toaster.” I’ve never got past two lines as that was all the flaming Pop Tart in the toaster inspired. The pervasive neck pain of my fellow Baby Boomers inspired the following (sung to Joseph J. Lilley’s tune and building on Frank Loesser’s lyrics for the song “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle”) :

I’ve got spurs that don’t jingle, jangle, jingle (because they’re on my cervical spine; with a few on my heels). As I go riding my mobility scooter along. And they sing, ain’t you glad that you’re a senior? As you wish you could move your head from left to right.

And that, my friends, is why I’ll never be a famous writer.