Skip to main content

Reflecting with Jo

Yesterday I spent several hours holding one of our cats, Jordan, knowing she needed love and attention. It was, sadly, the end of her battle against the ravages of age. I don't know how strange it is, but I spent much of the time telling her how much I enjoyed various things she did throughout life. I whispered to her and told her how much she had meant to me during the roughest patches of life.

She would fade in and out of sleep, exhausted. I've read research pointing increasingly towards emotions, memories, and even self-awareness in animals. I want to believe that Jordan knew how much I loved her as a companion.

Jordan and her sister, Mimi, have been with us for almost as long as my wife and I have lived together. That means they have been through the good and bad with us. I thought about those times a lot over the last few days as Jordan needed more care and attention.

For all my shortcomings, and they are many, the one thing I am certain I have done "right" for and with Susan is the cats. Though many things are on my mind, a litany of past failures and bad choices, I'll never doubt the cats. I will never, ever regret bringing our little pride / clowder together. Jordan and Mimi belonged together, and I don't think any two people could care for them better, or more, than Susan and I have.

Mimi is still healthy and active at 17. I've given her many hugs today.

Comments

  1. So sorry to read about this. My Mooncat died almost 5 years ago, after 16 years. It was my longest relationship with anyone, ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing the link to this. It's comforting to know that we are not alone in our love and devotion to our animals. They love us unconditionally and ask for so little in return.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments violating the policies of this blog will not be approved for posting. Language and content should be appropriate for all readers and maintain a polite tone. Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?"

A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius.

I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include:
Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include She…

Listen… and Help Others Hear

We lack diversity in the autism community.

Think about what you see, online and in the media. I see upper-middle class parents, able to afford iPads and tutors and official diagnoses. I see parents who have the resources to fight for IEPs and physical accommodations.

I see self-advocacy leadership that has been fortunate (and hard working, certainly) to attend universities, travel the nation (or even internationally), and have forums that reach thousands.

What I don't see? Most of our actual community. The real community that represents autism's downsides. The marginalized communities, ignored and excluded from our boards, our commissions, our business networks.

How did my lower-income parents, without college educations, give me a chance to be more? How did they fight the odds? They did, and now I am in a position of privilege. But I don't seem to be making much of a difference.

Demand that your charities seek out the broadest possible array of advisers and board members.…

Life Updates: The MFA Sprint

Life is okay, if more than a little hectic at the end of this first month.

With one month down, I'm 11 months away from my MFA in Film and Digital Technology. Though things might happen and things do go wrong, so far I'm on schedule and things are going well —— though I'm exhausted and working harder than I did for any other degree. Because the MFA requires projects every week, this isn't as easy to schedule as writing. Even researching a paper can be done from the comfort of home, at any hour.

You cannot make movies by yourself, at any time of day. It doesn't work that way. Filming takes time, and often requires a team of people. It's not comparable to working alone on a degree in writing or rhetoric.

The team-based nature of film is exhausting for me, but I enjoy the results. I also like the practical nature of the skills being taught. You either learn how to adjust ISO, f/Stop, shutter speed, and other variables or you don't. You can have theories …