Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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Kitten Milk Replacer

Did you know they make formula for kittens? They do. They keep it way in the back of the store, down low, so it’s a little hard to find.

Daughter’s boyfriend has a cat named Pumpkin. Pumpkin has had kittens. They are already pretty developed. They are less than 2 weeks old and they are opening their eyes and at least one boy has visible testicles. I think Pumpkin held off pushing them out until she just couldn’t keep them inside any longer. If that’s possible.

Now it’s a first litter for Pumpkin, and she is a young cat, so daughter wasn’t sure how it would go. It’s mostly gone okay, though Pumpkin has decided that the kittens belong in the center of the bed. Whenever they are moved, she moves them back. Clearly a sign that daughter and boyfriend are part of Pumpkin’s family.

Pumpkin is a little bored of kittens. She gets up and leaves them nested in the blankets pretty often. Daughter has noticed that sometimes the kittens are actively nursing when Pumpkin leaves, and this gave her some concern about them getting enough nutrition. So that entailed a trip to PetSmart today to get kitten milk.

Daughter had no money, so I volunteered what I had. I gave her all my cash, which was about $11, and my PayPal card which I believed had another $5. Turned out the PayPal card was empty so that left her short. However the person at the store wanted kittens to be fed and gave her a discount to make the milk powder affordable. I am now broke. I owe the bank for an overdraft, and I am out of cash and PayPal money. (If you’re feeling generous, I’m taking donations, or check out my Patreon or my Etsy.)

I don’t mind being broke for kitties, though I’m a little stressed about it.

In other news, I am at the point in packing where I’m doing laundry. I have a week to go before M-day. M for Moving of course. I’m getting pretty excited. I have assistance lined up so that’s good. Charli kitty will come with me but Mr Momo will stay here. Charli is attached to me and will adjust to the move. Momo took months to settle down after moving here, and we’ve been here 5 years, so he is also attached to my roommates. He would not be happy to move and they enjoy him, so he stays.

Support groups continue online. It’s not optimum but it’s better than not meeting at all. I feel glad to see my friends, and we are in touch by text as well as Zoom. I’m learning to appreciate modern media. I can’t really call it social media, that sounds like InstaGram and Facebook. But it’s definitely new technology.

Roommate L has made dinner tonight. Wonderful pork chops with an Asian flair, and mashed potatoes. I really love potatoes. I will miss her cooking at the new place. But I am told there are volunteers on a 2 week rotation for making dinners, so we’ll see what happens. I expect a lot of pasta, chicken or ground beef, and rice and beans.

I am thinking what to do with my stimulus money, which I’m pretty sure I’m going to get. I have a large bill that I think I’ll pay a chunk of, like half. I could pay the whole thing, but that leaves me with no money for myself. I need to inspect and register the car, pay car insurance, pick up meds. Plus I need new cat supplies for the new place. So, really, there isn’t a bonus for me with this, it is necessary money.

I am still working out the ShiftSmart app. I have emailed support and I’m waiting for a message back. That’ll be around $50 which would also be nice.

So money money money makes the world go ’round, but everything else is going fine. I’m mostly pretty content and moving into the future, just got to finish packing.


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Franklin

I don’t know Franklin, I only know about him.

A friend of mine passed him on the street regularly. He was unhoused. She didn’t get to know him, but he was part of her community. For several days she didn’t see him, then she noticed his belongings scattered about the area where he camped. She knew something had happened but she didn’t know who to ask. Then she found the little shrine in his honor. His friends had bundled up his sleeping bag and set out flowers and candles, a small sign that said “Franklin”, the usual thing you see on the side of the road.

I want Franklin to be remembered so I painted a picture in his honor:

Parts of it I am very pleased with. Considering that I can’t draw.

I am slightly off my meds, and I am weepy. I ran out of the mood stabilizer. I have been crying over sentimental things, like a character dying in a movie. I generally feel pretty stable in my moods but I thought that was just me. I learned in my 20s that big emotion was bad for me so I worked at being understated in my expressions. I thought I was a calm person. I’m not really. I’m quite emotional without my meds.

I wonder, is that a problem? I made art because I felt sentimental about a homeless man. And it’s not bad art, all things considered. I want to make more art. Is taking the meds interfering with creativity? Is making art worth being emotionally raw? Maybe if I lived alone, but surely it would be a problem for my roommates, if I was all over the place.

In a few days I will be stabilized. The meds will have built up in my system and my mood will settle down. I’ll be back on my usual weekly schedule and things will be back to normal.

Funny phrase that, “back to normal”. Normal is a double-edged word in my life. Normal, like neurotypical, which I’m not. Also normal like typical, as in typical for me. Do the drugs make me normal? Is it worth it? I’m not 100% on that, but is that just my mood because I’m off my meds?

Does being on my meds cloud my thinking? Or is it that depression so often feels like truth to me? It seems like seeing things clearly but maybe I am just used to that particular bias. If you always look through tinted lenses, that appears normal. If you take them off, that might be reality, but putting them back on feels familiar and comfortable. Is it really better? I can’t tell.

I feel like I’m talking in circles which is surely a sign that I need the meds. Do I really need them, or do I just think I need them? I mean, joining a gym, looking for a full time job, those are normal things. Making art, not so normal. Yet making art makes my soul happy. Going to the gym is good for my body though. And I need to do it more often. I wonder if I would go, if I was off my meds. I mean, I’ve been off them for about a week and I haven’t gone. Coincidence? Maybe.

In other news, Momo just nosed the dog. He laid down next to me, which was also next to Jack. Charli getting in the middle of everything has driven Momo off. Such a shame, I was honored that he was dozing against my leg.

I have some add-and-pass pages to send out. I’m going to send them to each other. I mean, they have names and addresses on them so I’m going to send the item from envelope one to someone listed on item 2. Ah, yes, add-and-pass. A picture, or in this case a chapbook, where you put your name and address and maybe alter it in some way. Then you send it along to someone else to do the same. A mail art staple.

I haven’t left the house today, except to get the canvas out of the car and put the empty cat litter container in the trash. Today was lovely out. Hopefully tonight will be temperate. Last night was too cold, but today was warmer than yesterday, so maybe. I usually get out of the house to go to a group or a store. I’m thinking tomorrow would be a good day to work out and do some laundry. I want to make more mail art but that isn’t exactly something I can do in public, like at a coffee shop.

Trying not to think in circles. It’s only 9:30 so I’m not ready for bed yet, but I think soon it will be time. Charli the kitty has decided to nap balanced between the back of the sofa and my shoulder. She will be bothered when I get up. Right now she’s purring. And snoring. It’s almost like a sleeping child, that level of trust and relaxation.

Well, I’m off to look at mail art calls and see if there’s anything I can do tomorrow. Wish me luck.


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Working Again

I will be going back to work next week. I don’t know what day yet.

I passed the interview at Michael’s and they requested information for a background check. I know I’ll pass that, I just have to wait for them to do their due diligence. The manager thought it would be 24 to 48 hours, but then she remembered this was the weekend so it might take an extra day. Once I pass, they’ll let me know when I work.

I am also going to talk to W about what she does. She seems to think I could be pretty good at it. I just need more information about it.

It’s finally gotten chilly here in Texas. I know it won’t last, but I’m sure enjoying the cooler temperatures. I like shirts with sleeves. The best part is, the cats have become cuddly. I love their furry little bodies snuggled up against me. Charli has been sitting in my lap.

Charli and Komori nesting in a fuzzy blanket

There has been a certain amount of haggling over the fuzzy blanket. I sleep under it and I don’t mind sharing it with the kitties. However, the dogs also want to lay on it, which I do mind. Frankly, the dogs are smelly and make the blanket smell like dog. I assume cats are also smelly, but to me they have no odor. Perhaps I am prejudiced.

Tomorrow I have a DBSA staff meeting at 11. That seems pretty early but it means we’ll be done early too so the rest of the afternoon I’m planning on making art. I haven’t made anything in a while now, it’s time to get back to it. Maybe take a nap, but definitely make some art.

And do laundry. I should really do some laundry tonight but I’m not motivated. I need clean clothes for the rest of the weekend but the idea of doing laundry is just overwhelming. I’m actually thinking of taking a nap now, except that it’s so close to bedtime.

But I really need to use some of my art supplies. I just don’t have the energy to start now. I am going to settle into the sofa with the animals and watch Ancient Aliens. TV then bed sounds like a good idea.


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Buying a New Towel

I may not be a froody dude, but I sure know where my towel is. Right now it’s in a pile of laundry. No wait, it’s here next to me. No, silly, I now own 2 towels!

I actually own many towels and they are in storage. But these are what the towel people call bath sheets, about 36″ x 64″. It’s almost as long as I am tall. But the older one was getting worn out and starting to fray so I had to acquire another one.

We went to this place called Ollie’s which was a fun trip. If I’d had some money to spare, I would easily have spent about $50. But instead I spent only $6.50 on a huge towel. It’s dusty purple. It’s 100% cotton. I’m very pleased with it. I’m a little too pleased with it.

In other news, my roommates are being pretty cool about the fact that I have no income at the moment. I am paying half my usual amount of rent which I will pay the difference once I’m working again. The only thing is, F keeps saying that now that I’m paying less rent, I need to do more chores, which really means vacuum. It’s like, even though I’m going to pay the difference, I’m his bitch. And we’re going to start with a task that possibly I like least. I think his dom self enjoys making me do things I don’t want to do. But I’ll get over it, it just bothers me at the moment.

And hopefully I won’t be broke much longer.

On the 3rd, which is Monday which is tomorrow, I can reapply for unemployment. Now it will take them some time to make a decision so I won’t have money right away, but I should have it soon. I assume they will pay me. I mean, I did work and I did earn enough to divide by 37. If I did the math correctly, I should get about $250 per week. Maybe a little more. I can only hope.

I just need money in time for my trip. I still need to get my passport so I need to find the money for it and my birth certificate. I thought I knew where it was but I was wrong. Now I have to tear my room apart and see where I put it. This isn’t a bad thing, since the room really needs to be put together more neatly, and I need to see if I have anything else to sell.

I also need to throw away the duffel bag that Charli the Kitty has been peeing on. Yep, she started that again. I’ve been home since December and no problem until about 10 days ago. I thought she was past the whole pee pee kitty thing but I guess not. The duffel bag will never be usable again, so I really need to be sure it’s empty and toss it. Hard to do, but necessary.

Time to find some water. I had a wonderful frozen cherry limeade while running errands today but it’s time to have water. Water is so good for me, even though it has no flavor. I would prefer a coke but carbonation is painful these days so water it is.

And I have my towel handy if I spill it.


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Rainy Day Like Night

It’s raining here today.

Not a gentle spring rain, but a thunder-ridden deluge, including hail. The sky is so black it’s like night out.

I am drinking coffee, grateful to be indoors.

I had plans to go to an art market in Deep Ellum today with my daughter, but she told me yesterday she was sick so I just cancelled it. Now with the weather, I’m glad I did. We’d have been miserable.

My daughter is training her kitten, Rider Die, to be an emotional support animal. She is harness training Rider and takes her out to crowded events to get her used to being around people. So far Rider is doing great, or so I hear. This weekend would have been my first outing with them together.

I’m not sure about the whole emotional support animal thing. I believe there are people who need emotional support but I also know several people who simply use it as a way to keep their pets with them 24/7. At least one of them has forgotten that I remember when her dog wasn’t an emotional support animal, and she used to fret about people who had them. So my girl is working on her cat being one, and I’m not sure if it’s because she really needs one or if it’s to keep her kitten with her all the time.

It’s a coffee and nap kind of day. I’m hungry but I don’t know what I want to eat. Probably tuna. There’s something about rainy days that makes me want tuna fish sandwiches. Or grilled cheese. I should make a sandwich. If I’m thinking about food, it’s probably time to eat.

Charli the kitty just came and napped on my chest. It was comforting. I napped with her. I didn’t need a nap, but there you go, it’s a sleepy day.

I’m nervous about making a sandwich. I mean. my rent includes dinner but it doesn’t really include other meals. No, wait, most days I do make breakfast, often a fried egg sandwich. (I like sandwiches, can you tell?) I didn’t have much for breakfast today, just some cottage cheese and a piece of toast. No wonder I’m hungry now.

I just don’t want to eat more than my fair share, and with no income right now, I can’t buy extra food to supplement if I’m hungry. I can’t hit a drive through. I haven’t even gone to QT for a cold drink. I feel very limited in options.

Well, I need to eat. There’s some cold cuts in the fridge so I’m going to make a chicken sandwich. With provolone. I wonder if there’s a pickle. Then, probably another nap.


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The Best Nurses Ever

I am sick as a dog.

I’ve had the flu shot so it’s not the flu but I haven’t had a cold like this in, well, probably decades.

Yesterday, all I did was sleep. I was sitting on the sofa and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than an hour.

Of course that means now I am up at 4 am because I slept so much.

I felt so bad I went to the doctor. It’s not bacterial so there wasn’t really anything they could do for me. I am now taking 2000 units of vitamin C daily and living on over the counter cold meds.

Yesterday my throat was sore, my face hurt from my sinuses being all blocked up, and my eyes were just dripping. Today I am not in pain though I am blowing my nose every few minutes because things are moving. It’s good but a nuisance.

Throughout this all, I have had the best nurses. Both of my kitties have been affectionate and lovey. Charli especially has been all over me. Momo is more of an onlooker from a distance but he is next to me on the sofa right now and he slept on my feel earlier. Charli was in my lap, in my face, on my chest or stomach, on the back of the sofa behind me but leaning against me. Either she loves these rainy sick days or she was very worried about me.

By far the most touching thing was my roommate L. She made me tea and chicken broth. She let me pick the tv shows even though I slept through most of them. I haven’t had anyone take care of me when I was sick since before I got married. It was very kind of her.

I hate being sick, but I have a great family of choice.


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Love Cat and Better Days

My striped cat, Charli has been all over me today. You’d think I’d been gone for a week or something. (Sarcasm, since I was gone for a week.) She has been sitting where she can see me or touch me all day. When I am not petting her, she is patting me or even poking me with that one claw, usually in the side of the face, trying so hard to get my attention.

At the moment she is sleeping on the back of the sofa. That means I can take a minute to lean forward and type. She is sleeping so hard, just limp with her ribs rising and falling.

Black Momo and striped Charli, who doesn’t like the flash. Yeah I take bad photos

I ordered a recovery workbook called Better Days. It’s a different kind of workbook. First of all it’s rather thin. Then the exercises are maybe a half page of reading and 3 or 4 questions to answer. But I think it will be perfect for my Wednesday afternoon depression support group. We need something to keep us on track but we like to talk. This is more open ended than a lot of the other books have been.

The back page includes a link to a webpage called Punks In Recovery. They have a book about, guess what, punk rockers with mental illnesses or substance abuse issues called You’re┬áCrazy that looks pretty interesting. I might have to order it sometime in the future.

My roommate is making whipped cream by hand. It’s taking a long time. I can hear that he is getting tired because there is more time between the whisk hitting the side of the bowl. Longer and longer pauses. But it no longer sounds like it’s sloshing so it must be firming up.

I have letters to write and “morning” pages to get to. Supposedly they are written in the morning but I just can’t seem to focus early. I am a slow waker. I fall back to sleep without much effort. But I have Recovery International tomorrow at 10 am, so I’d better get up by 9 at the latest.

Then I am taking to car to the shop. When I picked up K at the airport the other day, the service engine light came on. I took the car for an oil change and had them run the diagnostics. I have cylinders misfiring and it looks like I have an emissions fail. Inspection is due in March so that emission problem is huge. But so is the cylinder problem. Though I’m hoping that’s mostly spark plugs not the pistons kind of thing.

Charli has woken up and is fussing for attention again, so I guess I’m done writing.