I have always wanted to write. Covid-19 caused me to be unemployed and with plenty of free time. I hope what I share is relatable and/or entertaining.
When a Chinese Hooded Rat Won My Heart
I rescued a rat. There was a time I had wanted a snake as a pet. I went out and found a young Boa Constrictor at a pet store. I brought him home and took the advice of the pet shop employee on how to care for the snake. That was a mistake. Had I purchased a care guide, I would have known it was better and safer for the animal and myself to use frozen rodents to feed the snake. Obviously, not while still frozen, but the best way was to avoid using live rodents. I did not realize this and believed the teen aged pet shop employee that feeding the snake live mice was best.
Sweet Mia... Best Dog Ever
I bought my first house when I was 42 years old. I had moved for a job from Ohio to Georgia. I started in an apartment and decided it was time to invest in my own property. As soon as I found a house I thought I could call a home, I made an offer and signed a mortgage contract. I had a big yard behind the house. The next logical step, in my mind, was to get a dog.
Luna, Luna Lou, Looney, Lunatic
I did not get my cat, Luna, from a rescue organization or shelter. I still consider her a rescue, however. She was part of a litter born to my ex-girlfriend’s feral cat. Technically, the mama was no longer feral since the ex brought her in from her previous apartment, but she displayed all the typical feral behaviors. She kept hidden and was distrustful of most humans. I was one of the humans she seemed to trust so she let me see her kittens and hold them. I’ve always been fond of cats. Except for two short spans of time in my life, I have always had a cat. When Luna came into my life, she ended the second span of several months without a cat. I had told Melissa (the ex-girlfriend) might be ready for another cat, but at the time I had a roommate with a cat allergy. I also wasn’t sure I was ready for another cat.
The Hero of my Story Has Always Been Mom
My mom has always been honest with me. She always tried to explain things directly, but in an age appropriate manner. I was aware of the stork story, but I knew it was just a story. I knew it a young age. My memory of it was that I actually understood it as well. That is one example of my mother’s honesty. It did not always produce positive results, however, at least not in the moment and sometimes later that honesty would cause me some emotional struggles. This isn’t to say she was or is at fault for any of my mental health concerns. I do not see it that way. It has more to do with how I allowed myself to think or feel about her words.
Pepe the Magnificent
Pepe was the first rescue kitten I had ever brought into my life. I suppose one could say all my cats were rescues, but until I found Pepe at an animal shelter, all my previous cats had been given to me by friends or acquaintances. He was also the first cat I chose to bring home when I already had a cat. Luna wasn’t yet a year old when I thought I should find her a playmate. I had a roommate at the time and she also had a cat, but hers was around 14 years old. Her cat’s name was Cat. There is a story behind this, but it isn’t mine to tell. Cat tolerated Luna. My roommate and I were glad they mostly got along, but Luna wanted to play and Cat wasn’t too keen to play with her. This sent me on a quest to find her a playmate.
Learning to Live on
A son should know his father. This is a statement I have heard many times in my life. I’ve heard it and read it in fiction and it has been said to me as intended advice. Of course, any child should know their father. That first sentence doesn’t ignore this, instead it relates it to the person hearing the message. I’ve also heard it said that a daughter should know her father. I do think a better way to express it is to use the word child. Regardless, if it is possible and safe and healthy for a child to do so, they should know their father (and mother, of course). My perspective is as an only child, but I know that siblings can have very different images of their father. I cannot address that. I know it is true, but I have no direct experience.
Excuses for Bigotry, Hate, Racism and the Misunderstanding White Privilege
I cannot speak for the marginalized. I cannot express how they feel or fully understand what they’ve experienced. My face is the same as those who would mistreat and oppress them. My face will be a question mark for those who don’t know me. I could be someone to hold his hand out to help lift them up or I could be someone who would step on their fingers, maybe even shove them, so that they fall back down. It isn’t the same as those who see black skin and assume they’re a criminal. It isn’t the same as those who assume Asians are submissive or spread disease or that they are enemies. It isn’t the same as those who look at anyone who doesn’t look like them as inferior… as things. It isn’t the same as those who see someone transgender and ignore that person’s true self or create an identity that isn’t real so they can excuse their hatred. It isn’t the same because so many have done so much to prove time and again that those stereotypes aren’t accurate. For those who look like me, however, there have been so many who have done so much to justify the fears from marginalized peoples.
How I Use Mindfulness to Keep me Honest, Avoid Emotional Debates, and Search for Commonality
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind this is my personal journey and I try to explain how this works for me. I am not a mental health professional. I cannot offer professional advice. If you are struggling, I recommend you reach out to your doctor to find the appropriate treatment for yourself. If you’re not in therapy or haven’t consulted a doctor or therapist, this may be helpful, but you need a professional to guide you. I do see a therapist. I follow cognitive behavioral therapy. It works for me. It may not for you…