Actually more than five things. I mean OMG – I forgot to blog. Not only have I not blogged in a couple weeks, but I discovered a blog post I drafted the end of February and never posted. It concerned death in my house, COVID in my county, cows in my horse pens, rejection, and an upcoming interview. At least I posted about the interview a few weeks later, but I don’t think I posted about the rest. I’m not bothering with all the old Things — we’ve all moved on — but I have included some new Things.
Thing #1) Death happens
Once upon a time a long time ago (around March 2001) a friend and I went to the feed store and were forced to walk past a cage with two kittens in it. Teensy little kittens. The kind with big take-me-home eyes. I didn’t need kittens.
I came home with kittens.
The female was a not particularly striking tortoiseshell. I called her Lili. Her brother was solid black, and his name was Mickey. He was smart, curious, and very much into people, so Mickey was a favorite almost immediately. She was timid, prone to hiding, and so she didn’t get nearly as much attention.
They grew quickly, as kittens will do. Mickey went on walks with me, came when he was called, played games. Lili hid. But not all that well. By the end of 2002 she was pregnant with her second litter (Mickey by that time was most assuredly not the father of either litter). Pro tip: Never believe anyone who claims that cats don’t get pregnant while they’re nursing. Lili spent a few weeks locked up after that second litter, till the kittens were weaned and she could visit the vet.
Lili had also, understandably, become a fairly crabby cat what with all the other cats in the house — mostly her offspring — so for about a year she went off to foster care at a friend’s house. When she came back home to me, she was still a cat still prone to hiding and still a grump — but she was my grump. I had missed her.
Fast forward 18 years.
Within that span of time Mickey didn’t come for dinner one day. I never saw him again. He had been such a cool cat. I was very sad.
Most of the kittens from Lili’s two litters had found new homes and over time the ones I kept died for one reason or another — old age, coyotes, weird illnesses that the vets can never cure. Lili outlived all all of them, the stray cats, a passel of dogs and a few horses, too — all except for my part-timer tomcat, Tux, who showed up five or six years ago and refused to leave.
Lili mellowed over time. By her late teens she had decided that sitting on my lap while I read in the evenings was her just due, and that she was the only one allowed to sleep with me at night. I knew she had become a short-timer when she needed help getting on my lap, and then when she began tolerating Tux on the foot of the bed.
She was just one cat, one of many cats, but after 20 years with me she was a part of my life. RIP Lili Kitty (2001 – 2021).
Tux went walkabout on May 2. I haven’t seen him since. Right now I’ve got no cats at all and I can’t remember the last time in my life that was the case.
Thing #2) Life happens
I wrote in February about COVID here in Catron County, in western New Mexico, USA (the USA is on our license plates because an awful lot of people don’t seem to know New Mexico is a state). Catron County is about 7000 square miles — larger than the state of Connecticut. There’s about half a person per square mile of population, and most of them live in a handful of villages. The rest of us have plenty of elbow room.
We were doing pretty good in February when I originally planned to post, but COVID cases jumped up after then. While our total count so far is 93 cases, we’ve had 5 deaths. That’s way too many, far as I’m concerned. I’ve gotten both my vaccinations, thank goodness, but I’m still wearing a mask inside the stores that request that people do. I’m fond of my mask — it’s from the Strand Book Store in NYC. No relation to me but it’s fun for me to wear it.
By the way, happy birthday Catron County, 100 years old on February 25.
Thing #3) Cows happen – or not
The Thing about cows is no longer relevant (as funny as a pissed-off me chasing a reluctant bull might be). But let me briefly address it.
New Mexico is a fence-out state. You’ve got to understand that fact right from the start. Fence-out means if you don’t want somebody else’s livestock on your land you have to put up a fence to keep the critters out. If you don’t fence, you can’t go complaining if a bunch of the neighbor’s goats come wandering through the garden or a herd of cows chow down on the expensive bales of hay you’ve left on your truck.
I had visitations by my neighbor rancher’s bulls for a while, but I improved my fencing. Shortly thereafter the neighbor rancher rotated the cows, calves, and two bulls onto another pasture a few miles away. Each of the bulls came back at least once since then but the improved fencing proved to be bull-tough. Discovering cattle in my horse pens when I go out to feed in the morning is now old news. Yay!
Thing #4) Rejections happen
A lot can happen in a few months. In April I completely rewrote my crime novel, cutting 20,000 words and rearranging some of the story line. I gave it a new name and also revamped my query letter to reflect the new, improved version. Lo and behold, the rejections have improved as well. Coincidence? I think not.
What’s an improved rejection? It’s a personal note rather than copy/pasted reply. I’ve got some nibbles, too. I think I’m (finally) doing something right. Stay tuned — hopefully some good news sooner than later.
Thing #5) Blog panic!
So yeah, I forgot about blogging and panicked. It seems like months but it’s only been weeks. Still, imagine my dismay when I went back to review what I said in past blogs on this website to discover that not only had I forgotten to post the February draft I wrote, but I had started a blog on another topic on a different website and totally forgot about it! Gah! You ever have one of those dreams where you show up for a final and realize you’ve never been to any of the classes? Like that.
But no longer!
I used to make a lot of To Do lists, but I got really good at ignoring them. Now I’ve got both calendar and Google Keep reminders set up. Not only do I have the intention to post regularly here (and on the other two blogs) but I have digital reminders to nag me.
I hate being nagged, don’t you? Sometimes, though, it’s the only way things will ever get done.
Bonus Thing #6)
This is a bit of a cheat. I’ve been remiss in updating how things are going with Bubbaz and Rosie. Sorry! So I promise that the next update will be about them. Really! I’ve got a nag scheduled!
Supposedly there’s a TikTok of Bubbaz below. Maybe it’ll be viewable. I hope it is. Good dog, Bubz!
@evodevedGood dog Bubz