Saturday, July 22, 2006

New HarperCollins/Eos blog site

My publisher has put out their own blog, with information about who they are and links to their various writers. It looks like it will become a good place to get "insider" information about the publishing biz from the publisher's POV.

You can check it out here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our cat died the other day....

One of our cats, Odie (yes, a cat, and yes, a female, but that's what my ex-wife named them a year or so before we met), died last week. She was fifteen years old, and had been in good health until a month or so ago. She began to lose weight and was having breathing problems, and a visit to the vet confirmed the worst: her kidneys and liver were failing, and her lungs were beginning to fill with fluid. My ex decided to have her put to sleep, which was the vet's recommendation, and I agreed with it. She was ready to let go.

I took my son Alex to see her the night before she died. She was happy to see us but couldn't move around very well. After we left, my ex came over and took her home so she could spend her last night at her house instead of in a cage at the vet.

I was a complete wreck at work all morning. I drove to the vet over my lunch hour and cried and cried while I petted Odie and scratched under her chin. When my ex-wife Connie and I were still married Odie would lie on my right side in bed, stretched out against my hip and leg. It was a very comforting way to fall asleep for me, and it's something I miss.

The vet came in and told us how the procedure would work, then gave us some more time with her after administering a sedative. My ex held Odie's chin in her hand while I softly scratched her back and behind her ears. After ten minutes or so the vet came in and got us prepared, then found a vein in Odie's leg. I cried even harder as I kissed her head and told her what a good cat she had been and how much we had loved her, and how much we were going to miss her.

A minute later, Odie died.

We stayed with her a while, drained emotionally, and then I had to go back to work. We planned to bury her but couldn't that night because of heavy rains, so we decided to bury her the next night.

But that night we still had to tell Alex.

My ex came over and we told him together. She read him a poem about pets who had left us called "The Rainbow Bridge," which you can read here if you're so inclined. Alex was upset but didn't cry.

Later, though, when I was giving him his bath, her started to cry uncontrollably. He wept all night, and couldn't fall asleep because he was so sad. He finally passed out, more or less, about two hours after he'd gone to bed.

He helped me bury Odie beneath three pear trees at my ex-wife's house the next night. I was better until we had to leave, and then it hit me again that she was gone and would never be back, would never come out of that cold and dark hole in the ground.

You were a good cat, Odie. I love you and I miss you, and hope you are waiting for us on the Rainbow Bridge.