Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kim, I don't deserve you....

I am with an amazing woman. She is sensitive, gentle, caring, and incredibly understanding, but that's just the beginning. Read on, if you care to...

Yesterday Sean brought CC (my grey cat) over to the house to be with us. You might remember that CC (who is a pampered princess) lived outside for a time while I was with Denise in NC. She was once lost for three days, after which she showed up while I was outside calling her (which I did until I was hoarse), coming from the general direction of the chicken coop (where I had already looked several times). I don't know if she just enjoys hiding or disappearing or if she gets scared and freezes.

So I was understandably gun-shy about bringing her into a new home with big dogs and territorial cats, but she missed me and I missed her, and it meant one less animal for Sean to care for. I put her, her food/water, and her litter box in my office. Sean filled the litter box with the World's Best Cat Litter, which is far less smelly or messy than the clay stuff we have for the other cats. My plan was to keep her locked up until she relaxed and became accustomed to the house and to the boys. I asked them to please not let her out, and I latched the hook high up on the door. I didn't want the dogs to corner her and terrorize her (or worse).

This morning, first thing, I went to check on her. The boys had been up for a little bit, and I was going to let them come see her and pet her. I couldn't find her. I looked everywhere, including in the Booda Dome litter box, in the closet, in the crib, everywhere. It's a rather small room, so there weren't many places she could be. The other door was secured, and the windows were shut. My heart sank.

Finally, Tom told me that he had come into the room (standing on a chair to open the hook) and that CC was "gone". I got upset. I woke up Kim, before I was going to wake her (she worked late last night and is working tonight and tomorrow morning). I thought she might be able to help me find CC or just listen to my anxious story. In my mind, CC was permanently gone and torn apart by dogs. I was upset with Tom. It had been a bad night last night, trying to get them to bed, and it was just a continuation of my feeling that I was a lousy excuse for a parent and didn't deserve kids.

I pretty much melted down, walked the property, and then holed up in my office, crying. I was tired and frustrated. I wanted a break, because Kim and the boys went out looking for CC, too. She came up to check on me, and the fear in her eyes was tangible. She was hoping that this wasn't going to tear us apart. She has the same fears that any single mother has--will anyone be able to love me and my kids? Will I ever find a special someone with my package deal life? Of course my love for her and the kids had not changed one iota. I was simply upset--which was to be expected--and at a loss as to how to keep Tom from acting on 5-year-old impulses to do the opposite of what he's told. (I've decided to get a locking doorknob or a deadbolt so that I never have to wonder again.)

I went off to my scheduled hair appointment at 1045 after calming down and after talking to her at length. She made the boys apologize to me, and I accepted their apologies.

My hairdresser and I got on the subject of my new life. It was one more scary moment in the day, because I already lost one hairdresser who turned out to be a very narrow and prejudiced fundamentalist who preached to me while I sat, captive, in her chair with dye in my hair. (I thought of my grandmother, who was the most religious woman I ever knew and who never cut her hair or dyed it. A woman's hair, according to the Bible, is her crowning glory and shouldn't be fooled with. I wondered what my grandmother would have said to this hairdresser who routinely cut the locks of women and who dyed them a myriad of colors.)

Despite this fear, when Sheila asked, "So what made you decide to move in with your friend?" (I'd told her about my new address and Kim and the boys.) I said, "Well, she's not my friend. She's my girlfriend." I held my breath. She said, "Oh Doris, don't worry! I don't judge, and I have many friends who are gay - family members, too."

After we talked a little bit about Kim and the boys, and after I told her about Kim's profession and so on, she said, "Now, do you mind my asking Kim's last name?" I told her and she squealed. "I know her!" she said. "She's wonderful! She signed off on my husband's EMS certificate when he passed his tests." There's so much I don't know about Kim's previous life working in ERs. She apparently had some 400 EMS personnel working under her medical license at one time, back before she moved into urgent care. As it happens, Sheila and her husband love Kim and had wondered where she ran off to. I told her that maybe we could have a cookout at our place this summer and invite them and their children out to hang with us. It was definitely one of those "small world" moments.

It also gave me one more assurance and perspective on who Kim is and what people think of her. She apparently was known as the most level-headed, down-to-earth, and competent ER doctor in the area. How is it our paths never crossed? God knows I've been in enough ERs. I was so proud that she was my partner that I was beaming. Not only is she a wonderful friend, partner, and mom, she is also quite the doctor.

So tonight, while she was at work, when the boys and I discovered CC hiding in a small wooden game box inside the very closet we had scoured earlier, I felt incredibly small and ridiculous. I had made a huge deal out of my missing cat and had made this wonderful woman feel like she might lose me because one of her sons misbehaved. Of course I was NEVER thinking of leaving, it never even crossed my mind, but she was afraid, nonetheless. We've both been hurt enough times to worry.

I spoke with Kim (after I profusely apologized to Tom for not believing that CC was simply "not there" when he went into my office, and to both of them for having been grouchy all day). The boys and I all giggled over the way CC had been curled up, hiding in that little box. I figure she must have just been really scared. But with Kim, I was just worried that I had blown it, that I had activated too many of her fear centers and anxieties. I felt like an ass, getting all emotional and not just waiting it out. It was symptomatic, I think, of my fatigue and pain lately, but that's still no excuse. I just need to CHILL OUT. It's my first weekend without grad studies, however, so maybe the stress just hasn't left me yet.

I'm going to do the smart thing now. I'm going to get some rest and be ready to grovel some more when Kim gets home (though she doesn't expect it, I deserve to grovel a good bit more). I want to make sure she knows that she is #1 in my life and that I'm not perfect (which I think she knows - LOL).

I love that woman. I want to make sure she knows it. I intend this to be the last committed relationship of my life. She is just the most incredible woman.

You hear that, honey?



the walking man said...

I have said it before and I will say it again and believe it until the day I move people are just flat out weird.

Doris said...

Yes, Mark. We are! I was never a cat person growing up. My daughter got me into cats, and they seemed to like me. It was the beginning of a lifetime of weirdness for me :-)


Maggie May said...

I am so pleased that CC showed up I think it is a natural reaction to the possibility of having lost to a much loved pet.
I would have been frantic if it had've been one of my rabbits!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Ruth D~ said...

CC's home. All's right with your new world!

Daryl said...

Cats .. they really know how to hide and stay hidden .. and Worlds Best Litter is truly the best .. expensive but worth it .. glad CC let herself be found .. now stop beating yourself up .. xo

Syd said...

I am glad that you found your cat and apologized for the fervor. It is understandable when a beloved animal is missing. No need for endless mea culpas though.