Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | May 3, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

People who know me well know that there are three things I love more than I love others: I love my husband and family, I love my critters, and I love reading.  I love these things to the absolute point of distraction, which doesn’t require explanation, but you’re getting one anyway.  Having lost my first husband much too early, I learned to never, ever take advantage or forget how blessed I am to have this one.  Not being a mother, all the maternal feelings in this old heart of mine get poured into my animal babies, who are certainly long past being babies.  Reading, yes I love reading very much, too, but more oddly than that, since a love of reading isn’t odd, I love REreading.  I only recently even got a library card, because I want to keep all my books so I can reread them many times.  People who know me well know these things, but they might be mildly surprised to know that one of my fictional loves is science fiction.

My all time favorite science fiction character is Lazarus Long, introduced to the world by Robert A. Heinlein.  In Heinlein’s book Time Enough for Love , which sounds like a soppy romance, but isn’t, Lazarus says, “When the need arises – and it does – you must be able to shoot your own dog.  Farming it out doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.”  I reread this today, because I knew I was going to need it.  

My cats are litter-mates, two sisters and a (formerly) big orange brother.  They are now 17 years old.  When they were considerable younger, they raised a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who never really GOT that he wasn’t a cat, or though he ended up weighing 125 pounds at one time, that he was larger than they.  Rufus, the orange guy, used to easily push Mica, the Chesapeake, off Mica’s bed, because Mica still felt smaller.  Rufe was alpha.  Because we acquired all these wonderful critters close to the same time, I knew long ago that sad times would be coming.  We lost Mica almost five years ago, and I still cry for him.  And today is Rufus’ turn.  

I’ve never had the luck of having my sweet animal housemates gently die in their sleep. I’ve always, with one exception years ago when I was out-of-town and lovinbrotherBill had to do it, had to take them for their final trip and hold them as the light went out of their eyes.  Farming this job out doesn’t make it nicer.  Being there with them is part of the responsibility of sharing your life with animal friends.  But animals tell you when it is time.  Rufus has lost so much weight that he no longer has the strength he needs.  Seventeen is old, in cat years, and his kidneys have failed.  His eyes are sad, now. 

I had intended to trek today, using my poles, but yet another migraine stopped that idea.  (Stress seems to trigger these headaches for me.)  And I had expected to have to leave for another reason, but handled that one via phone;  (this is a hint, and if you’d like to know what it was about, check out Thursday’s edition of the Missoulian.)  But since both of my out-of-the-house errands were cancelled, I spent the day rereading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.  Reading her Facebook page yesterday, I see that Julie’s dog, that they got right at the end of her Julie/Julia blog project, died just a short time ago.  Ah, heck.  We wouldn’t do without our furry friends, even though they rip our hearts out when it is time for them to go.

SO, Rufus has spent the day sitting on the heating pad on my lap, absorbing all the love I can pour into him.  And soon, Jim will come home from work and together we will go to that last appointment.  

I see the sun has come out for a moment.  Wish that made it better.



  1. thinking of you and Jim and Rufus
    take care thoughts are with you
    See you soon…Christi
    I hope you mom is well

  2. Oh Kimberly. I am so sorry about Rufus. I can imagine how hard that must have been for you. But Kitty Heaven is a good place to be!

    Josh loves science fiction! It must have been you that turned him on to it! He hasn’t had much to time to read an “actual” book lately and instead, he has been listening to audiobooks a lot. Especially Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series. He raves about it.

    I understand the love of books and being reluctant to part with them! I have books I have REread at least 17 times! We are running out of space because I can’t part with any of them! I think it drives Josh crazy! 🙂

    I read your blogs often, and can’t tell you enough how proud Josh & I are of you! Keep on truckin’ lady! You’re doing a wonderful job!

    Lots of Love!

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