Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,
Jacqui
jacqui

More About Sparkle, Saving Bugs In Pools, and Being My Authentic Self



Thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughts for Sparkle and us. He was/is one of my favorite people on the planet and the loss of his company is hard. I fell in love with him the second I saw him and loved him like that until he died, still do. He was one of my very best friends. He spent every night sleeping by me or on me, and was always on my mind. I shared all of my meals with him.

He talked to me -- he was an Oriental Shorthair, which is basically a Siamese with color, and always came when I called. He was my pal. I wonder if I'll ever be able to eat cheese or drink Snapple without thinking of him. I found myself at a store today buying fuzzy round cat toys, I picked one up for Sparkle before I realized that I wouldn't be able to give it to him and I felt like someone stabbed me with a sharp needle in my chest.

It's hard to explain how devastated I am by his loss when I have so many more animals who I love and care for, but in reading your kind words, for which I am always so grateful, I just know you understand, when so many people, people I'm really close to, don't or just won't.

I'm still in total shock, and because I haven't been home yet -- we were, (still are), at our vacation home in the desert when he died -- it all still feels unreal to me. I know that when I get home and won't be able to see, hear, touch or smell him that it'll be that much harder for me -- it'll be real then. I remember when I picked him up at the vet hospital, when he was sick about a month ago, how no one wanted to try to take him out of his cage because he was so wild, how they came out and asked me if I'd take him out of the cage and put him in his carrier, and how he took a whack at me before he realized it was me and then he started yowling and talking, complaining and asking for my help. He jumped up into my arms and clung onto me and everyone was amazed that this wild cat who wouldn't let them near him just jumped into my arms like that.

I still haven't told Irma or the kids, her kids, yet. I don't know how they'll take it because they loved him, but no one loved him as much as I did. Sparkie was a one person cat, he really only trusted me, and to some extent he trusted Scott. With almost everyone else he would run and hide under the bed, or if cornered in my bathroom, he'd get up on his back feet, raise his paws in the air and act like some kind of wicked little kitty monster. He was really good at scaring people with this trick.

I got him when he was still really little, I only wanted his beautiful, all white, blue eyed brother, Twinkle, (because I have been on this long hunt for the cat carrying the reincarnated soul of my all time favorite cat Mirau with no luck), but his owner wouldn't sell Twinkle without my taking Sparkle as part of the deal, and there was just something about how pathetic and frightened he was, something in his crazy, slightly crossed eyes and the way he held his ears, we called them his airplane ears because when he was mad he'd hold them sideways like airplane wings, that made my heart melt for him.

When I brought them home I put them both in my toilet room. I have yet to come up with a polite or acceptable definition for this room. It's a separate bathroom with a toilet and a bidet that adjoins my master bathroom. It's huge, well, for a room that's just supposed to house a toilet, and a total waste of space, so I put in a bookcase and a small dresser and shelves with lots of perfume bottles and girlie things that I collect, and I wind up spending a lot of time in there reading because of my bladder disease, Interstitial Cystitis, so it was the perfect size for starting out two new-to-the-home cats.

At first they were completely freaked out. They wouldn't be held for anything. They found the furthest corner of a basket on my bookshelf and tucked themselves into it. They were so wild and freaked out that I remember feeling panicked and anxious about having adopted them and asked Scott if he thought I had just made the world's biggest mistake, buying two pure bred cats when I was already overloaded with my rescue babies. Besides I don't really believe in buying pets when so many are being murdered every day at the "shelters" and I was feeling pretty guilty about the whole thing. But I figured I've done more than a hundred families do in a lifetime, in terms of animal service, so I occasionally allow myself to buy a purebred cat or dog.

Every day I would go into the bathroom and spend extra time in there talking to them, just getting them used to the sound of my voice. I'd bring in their food and water and keep tempting them with treats, and little by little they'd come out, circle around me and then run back to their basket. Then slowly they began to let me touch them and then they would sneak up behind me and stand on the back of the toilet and play with my hair. It was one of the longest getting-used-to-a-new-home cat adjustments I've ever been through, and then suddenly they were the kings of my bedroom. They rarely ventured downstairs and would freak out completely if I took them into my office or into Beau's room, but in my room, they ruled the world.

Then, because I was in a poor period and didn't want to take them to the cheap, animal birth control clinic, where we had had problems before, and I was in denial and thought they were too young to get any of our non-spayed, female cats pregnant, we wound up with three batches of kittens. All black, because no matter how hard we tried to save the little white ones that looked like Twinkle, they just were too weak and didn't survive. Scott named these little black cats, the Sparklers, after Sparkle, and I have the consolation of knowing that a little bit of Sparkle will still be there for us in his kittens, but it won't be the same.

Like I've said before, no one is really like Sparkle, he was truly unique. He tried to teach a couple of his kittens to fetch but mostly they would just run and jump off the bed in a great big stampede of cat, scramble around whatever I'd thrown and then look sort of confused at it and paw it around a bit. It was always Sparkle who'd bring the toy back, whatever it was, a tampon, a little fuzzy ball, or his favorite thing in the world, a Snapple ring. I'd make Snapple balls for him out of a dozen or so plastic rings and then tie them together with a couple of twist ties -- that was heaven for him and he would never tire of playing. He also loved pizza and/or pretty much anything that I was eating, no matter how big it was, you should have seen this skinny, little, all black Siamesey looking kitty stealing a whole burrito off my plate and then running away with it, man that was funny to see.

Before I found out he died I had been swimming and thinking about writing an entry here about my obsession with saving all of the drowning bugs that I always find in the pool. I was wondering about how insane this made me, whether it was a massive, neurotic impulse that should be cured, or a wonderful, super-empathic sense of respect for life that made me have to save anything that could possibly still have just that one little spark of life left in it.

I was trying to get some exercise and loosen up my still very-hurting back but I just couldn't relax and swim past the drowning bugs without having to scoop them up and try to save them. There is such a huge reward in scooping someone out of the water, watching her/him cling to my finger, then dry themselves off little by little in the sunlight and then fly away.

There were the usual bugs, and some little jumping guys who I would have to point away from the pool or they'd just snap/pop their way right back into the pool, and then there were these tiny graceful insects of some kind that looked like miniature dragon flies. They were so amazingly beautiful. Their bodies were the most incredibly bright iridescent green, like a shining emerald flecked with gold, and their eyes were red. They were so delicate and beautiful and I was delighting in saving them, watching them dry their transparent wings off with their little black legs, and then to top it all off I found and was able to save a big red ladybug with lots of spots. It was a great day for a gal like me.

I remembered thinking, "Who would get a person like me? Who would appreciate and understand someone who loves even bugs this much, an entomologist? No, an entomologist would want to kill them, stick pins through them, kill them and put them in boxes." I ended up my swim by visiting with an elderly neighbor lady who told me about the swim class the next day, which I promised to attend, and then I went into the Jacuzzi and stood there for a while reading and enjoying my Carrie Fisher book that I had set down and stopped reading when several other books skipped the line and scooted ahead of hers. She makes me laugh.

Then I came inside and Rosa gave me what could only be bad news when she told me that Esther had been trying to reach me. Esther had been trying to reach me for hours, and had left that message with Rosa on her cell phone, (the cell phone that Rosa thought I didn't have the number for and had told me was broken just the day before, will the lies never end?) two and a half hours earlier, but Rosa couldn't be bothered to walk the twenty feet out the front door to the pool to let me know there was an emergency.

Yes, Rosa, my dear friend, the one who shook hands on our newly agreed upon truce and then violated it almost immediately by reporting every fattening thing I bought at the market to my Mother, ("Can you believe she bought a CAKE? Yes, she did Mrs. Hyland, a whole cake and she ate the whole thing", No, I ate a couple of pieces of it and then I threw it out, grr), anything to gain ground for herself in her never ending war for territory in Mother's heart.

If she only knew how futile it was. It only makes me hate her more and I'm the only person who will ever be in a position to give her any money, God, how stupid can a supposedly cunning person be? I don't understand her, I really don't. She plays this terrible and dangerous game of playing everyone against the middle and she's always the one who loses out -- Eunice did the same thing -- how horrible it must feel to be them, what a world of anxiety they must life in, no wonder Rosa's hands are always shaking. I used to do this kind of thing when I was younger and less secure, thank God some parts of my world weary soul are growing up.

I'm rambling, but that's okay, I've rededicated myself to remaining authentic here and in my offline life as well. It wont be easy, living as I do, financially dependent on my Mother for whom appearance, financial success, and all things conservative and proper are everything. I even locked my last couple of entries as if this man my Mom wanted me to go out on a "not quite a date" with, would bother to read it, when he said he doesn't even own a computer and does all of his paperwork, "the old fashioned" way. Still, I was worried about his reading the entry, so I locked it.

I get like this when I'm spending time with my Mother; her desire to find a wealthy man to marry me off to, or to help me find my place in her old moneyed society, seeps in sometimes and infects me with a desire to be accepted socially. Then I start worrying about my clothes and shoes, my hair and makeup, and get self conscious about what I say and how I act.

Fuck, who cares? I just want to be myself, and if I can't be my true self, my authentic, let-it-all-hang-out, swearing, wacky, bug saving, vegetarian, messy, cluttered, emotionally challenged, overwhelmed, too many pet having, wild hair coloring, nude resort, Burning Man loving self, with someone, then how would I sustain any kind of relationship with them? Who would I be? Some Stepford Wife clone of a Marlboro deb girl? No thanks.

Right now I just want to throw open the cupboards and just be myself again. Take me or leave me, depression, ADD, arthritis, loose skin, eating disordered, compulsive spending, gifted, talented, kind, generous, funny, compassionate, generous, unique, maternal; take it all and embrace it, or go away and find someone else to play with. If only my Mother, either one of them really, could accept me this way, it would mean the world to me, but I've got my Beau and my Scott and I've got you and that's more than enough for one lonely, occasionally heart broken, but always hopeful and faithful woman to get by on.

Thank you!

So much love,
Jacqui

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