Saturday, August 25, 2007


Long before there was a Pebbles, long before I met Atomic, long before I lived here, I had Max. She's been my furry, four-footed, rambunctious little friend for twelve years.

When Atomic and I moved in together, we changed her name to Monkey because his cat was also named Max. So now we have Monkey and BooBoo, and we love them both.

I was looking forward with both joy and trepidation to the cats' reaction to Pebbles' arrival. Would the critters be curious? Depressed? Resentful? Oblivious? Would BooBoo pee on the baby like he pees on anything else placed on the floor? Would Monkey jump on her like she jumps up on every person she meets? Would we wake up and find Monkey in the crib?

In the meanwhile I've been enjoying snuggling up with one or the other of them. I especially love it when they rest their little heads on my tummy and purr. I imagine Pebbles likes that.

But now, now we're just hoping that Monkey is still here when Pebbles arrives.

Monkey stopped eating last week. After three days, we took her to the vet. They ran some tests and sent her home. The following night, after she still hadn't touched food or water, we brought her back, and they admitted her. A biopsy revealed that she has lymphoma. Kitty cancer. They removed about four inches of her intestine and finally released her Thursday night.

She's still in a lot of pain, and has to be fed through a tube three times a day until she eats on her own again. She's a trooper, though. Apparently the chances (damn statistics again!) are about 30% that she'll go into a full remission with chemotherapy, in which case she might be with us for another couple of years. If not, well, we'll have to enjoy all of the moments we have left with her.
I would really love for her to meet the baby, for the baby to have some memories of her. I know that's not terribly likely at this point, but even if the only memory that Pebbles has of Monkey is the distant sense memory of being lulled to sleep by purring while still in utero, that will be enough.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Old and New

I turned 40 this past week.

Forty. That's old enough to be covered by the laws prohibiting age discrimination, a tidbit I've been giggling over for a week now. When my mother was 40, I was starting college.

And here I am, late bloomer indeed, soon to enter the brave new world of motherhood. My life is about to change radically, which is why I am so glad that so much of it is solid and stable and (I hope) not likely to change much at all.

I've got a nice house and an established career, and that helps. But even more importantly, I've got relationships that have stood the test of time. This baby is going to be born into a crazy but loving extended family comprising people who are related by blood and by love, people whose hope and support really brought her into existence.

We had a party last night at a little Italian restaurant where Atomic and I have been regulars for the last several years. Twenty-some loved ones, including my mom, who came all the way from Arizona, and a friend I've known for more than half my life. They all came out to celebrate what will probably be the last "adult" event in my life for a while (as another friend and mother of a two-year-old reminded me). These friends, who are at all different stages of their own lives, have taught me so much about the world and about who I am. And every one of them has cried with us, hoped with us, and celebrated with us throughout our journey.

Last night, I was blown away by how much these people care about me. And as much as they love me, I suspect they already love my daughter even more. Which seems to me exactly as it should be. Everything I have in my life, everything I've ever wanted for myself, I want her to have even more.

One of my friends gave me a sparkly headband for myself and a little tiara for the wee one when she arrives. That gift summed up where I am right now. I know I still have much that I want to achieve in my life, but right now I'm happily passing the torch, passing the attention, and I'm ready to focus on my little girl.

Oh, and the nickname "Flipper" has now officially been set aside. The Assembly of Grandmothers, Godmothers, and Other Interested Parties ("AGGOIP") has decreed that henceforth our child shall be known as "Pebbles."

Here's to a happy, full life for you, Pebbles. You are already so loved.