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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Princess went to the Rainbow Bridge today

For almost fourteen years, we were blessed with the most wonderful cat. We rescued her from a shelter in Vermont. She was a wedding present, and we always celebrated her birthday the same day as our anniversary. When we found her, in her cage with her brother, she reached her paw out and touched my nose. We brought them both home, but Hanson was sick, and never got better. Princess was different.

Princess was a love, there's no other way to describe her. She was my unofficial service kitty. She knew, somehow, that I have chronic anxiety, and whenever I walked into a room where she was, she would chirp. If Princess was flopped down on a rug, and I walked by, she would grab at me with a paw, as if to say "Hey! Look at my fluffy tummy, get down here and adore me." And I would, every time.

We moved her from Vermont to Minnesota, then to another house in Minnesota, and finally, to where we are now. And while she hated-hated-being in the car, she knew that wherever we were, she was home and safe.

This morning, I couldn't find her. I went downstairs and she was semi-conscious on the entryway floor. I picked her up and rather than tensing up in her usual "I love you but if you don't put me down I will bite your face off" way, she was limp. I put her gently on her chair, and she couldn't stand. She was disoriented, growling, her ears were back. Princess was in pain.

So we did what many pet parents have to do. We went to the vet, my husband driving quickly but gently, me holding Princess in my arms, our son in the backseat, petting her softly. I already knew, somewhere in my aching heart, what today would bring, but I was still hopeful.

The vet put in a catheter, then brought Princess out to us, after moving us to a larger room. I sat in a chair, holding her, talking to her, while she rested her head on my shoulder. We spent time with her, just reminding her how very much we loved her. Then the vet came back with two syringes. Her fur wet with my tears, Princess went to sleep. Princess went to the Rainbow Bridge.

My beautiful, wondrous, amazing, loving, fluffy cat is dashing around a catnip field, most likely bopping her brother on the nose, and stalking butterflies. My heart is breaking, but I know we made the right decision.

The house is empty. My husband is removing her accoutrements, because he knows I cannot bear to do that. For nearly fourteen years, Princess was my angel kitty, and today, she finally gets her wings.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trump declares today National Day of Prayer

Image from The Frame Problem

Donald Trump has decided Sunday, September 3, is a national day of prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Because when the Superfund sites are flooded, and Trump is planning to cut $1.3 billion from the Coast Guard and FEMA, prayer is pretty much all we have left.

Many of us have been praying since last November, specifically November 8. You remember November 8, right? We thought there was no chance a sociopathic con man with a dead badger on his head would be elected president. And yet, here we are. The smarmiest man in history is occupying the Oval Office, parading around bragging about how big his hands are, congratulating Purple Heart recipients, promoting his own clothing line, and enjoying the love and support of actual Nazis.

So today, we're supposed to pray. A guy who said, out loud, that he has never asked God for forgiveness, told us to pray. Trump asking us to pray is like me giving a TED Talk on astrophysics: I don't know very much about astrophysics, I may have tried to read a book on the subject once, but would most likely misquote it (think two Corinthians).

You know what works a lot better than prayer? Action. Unfortunately for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, our president is focused on action that will make recovering from Harvey, and future storms, harder. He's focused on cutting funding for the Coast Guard and FEMA to fund endless war. He's focused on ending health insurance for millions of people, including people hurt by Harvey. He's focused on cutting the budgets of government agencies that protect air and water quality.

You want to help? Actually help the victims of Hurricane Harvey? Donate money through reputable charities, find out how to send much-needed items to Texas and Louisiana. You can pray while you do that, but remember: Actions speak louder than words. Praying while you sit in your mega-church won't help, anymore than Trump staring at a television monitor, or pretending to give a shit about a little African American girl, or declaring a national day of prayer, will help.

Here are some links to get you started.

Crowd Rise fundraiser by Supernatural cast.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Global Giving.

GoFundMe has a page dedicated to Harvey relief efforts.

There's a story about a drowning man who asks God to save him. As the man is treading water, a rowboat comes by. The man yells "No, God will save me." Then a motorboat approaches, but the man yells "No, God will save me." Finally, a helicopter appears overhead, and the man yells again "No, God will save me." The man drowns, ends up in Heaven, and asks God why God didn't save him. God replies "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?"

A national day of action would have been much more effective than a national day of prayer, but when the president is a cowardly con man, we get what we get.