a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I thought I was ready enough to put up a pic of Smokey. He deserved that. I wanted to have that.

So I ordered some prints. Some frames. See what I liked.

I was wrong. He does deserve it. X 1000. But I was not ready.

5 years ago last night I found Smokey in the forest after he had been missing for 2+ days. I cannot describe the feeling of relief, joy, heart explosion when I found him. The day after (so today), I spent the day with him on my lap for the most part. He was *not* a lap dog except when he really needed his Momma.

Every year since then I’ve remembered the dates, seen the FB memory pics, etc. and been happy and relieved to have him safe and sound.

Obviously this year is different. And frankly I have tried to ignore FB updates and reminders and notifications. I like the Memories feature actually for reminding me daily of Angelus and Storm. But the loss of Smokey is still too raw, so it sucks right now too.

Indy is a complete love. A sweet, sweet boy who deserves nothing but happiness and joy. And I hope I bring that to him. He makes me smile every day.

But I am still heart broken.

Today was a weird day. Woke up to clear, blue skies after several days of Terminator apocalyptic skies. Took advantage and hiked Indy in the AM so he’d be tired. That’s funny.

Then I saw the weather report that smoke was returning this afternoon. I paced around doing stuff this AM trying to decide hat to do next – versus our routine – so took him to the beach and he had a blast running free with other buddies.

I had a lot of weird energy and still could not sit down so did chores, etc etc when we got back. Then saw the notice that there was a fire just started, in addition to the giant fire already burning. Now…these fires are not technically close enough to us that I am worried about them actually getting here. But the sad reality is no one can predict weird fire weather. Last year proved that.

And then my neighbors all ping me because I am apparently the only person who uses twitter – which gets the fastest updates. So since last year I am the neighborhood watch. And my aunt was texting me non-stop about my dad’s health stuff. So my brain tweaked.

When you have smoky, red, scary skies. And fire warnings. And then they close your freeway….it can seem not so great. I feel getting a little stressed is warranted. I packed up photos and papers, jewelry and collectibles. And my buds ashes and pics and stuffed toys. I kept repeating it’s fine and no big deal as I did these things. Thankfully, Indy seems immune to my stress unlike Smokey and he continued just following me around and playing with his toys.

I walked Indy. Fed him his dinner. Took a shower. Breathe.

Deciding what to pack if you need to leave with 15 minutes notice is not easy. I know it should be. You and your dog. The end. And that’s what it would be. But your whole life of memories is in things, and pictures, and crap. Plus you need underwear and socks. And your vitamins. And water. And a gun. And money. It’s just a fucking weird feeling. And until you’ve had to do it, and more than once, it’s too fn easy to say “oh just leave.”

They stopped forward progression of the latest fire. And our weather seems OK so I should not worry so much. But this reminded me of the last 3 years. And I keep my stress bundled up tightly. Until I have a minute to let it out and cry, or have a drink, or pace. Or whatever.

Adrenalin is a weird thing. Not sure how it effects others. Just know how it effects me. Go Go Go Go Go Crash when it seems you can. But only then.

Indy has been a wonderful, happy addition to my life. For sure. He’s such a lovable goof. And he makes me smile every day. Also.. makes me extremely tired. lol

But I still think of Smokey every day. I still get sad every day. I try not to. But I do. Sometimes just a little sad. Other days, a lot.

I feel like when I am happy and having fun with Indy, I am being…I don’t know the right word…disrespectful?

I also know that is silly. Smokey had a long, happy life. But the loss was great.

I miss that smile. That low ah-roo. That calm, constant presence in my life. Indy is a spaz. As he is supposed to be at 2 years old. But here he is sleeping, after a fun day, and I watch him smile in his sleep. Just like I did with Smokey. And Angelus. And Stormy. And even Shadow. And it makes me smile.

They are all always in my heart. But Smokey is still very much fresh in my memory banks. And I still find myself calling Indy Smokey.

It’s very hard. But we are working it out.

But I miss my guy.

Today is 1 week since I adopted Indy. He seems very happy, and getting used to life here. He loves to rest on the sofa, sleep on the bed, go for walks, play with his friend, chew up toys and enjoying the few treats I am giving him right now.

He is having yucky tummy for the past 2 days. I assume it is an entire life change plus transitioning his diet. So for now – turkey and rice. So that means no happy anniversary special treat today. I bought him a kong for peanut butter and fresh bones. But that will all wait.

But even though he has some diarrhea, his mood is perfectly happy and fun. We are still trying to figure out our communication. Because of the tummy issues, I assume every whine, or stare means “I need to go out.” So waking up and going out at 3am is a thing. And we go out for short walks throughout the day plus 2 in the evening as well as our big AM walk and an afternoon lake or river walk. Not sure I can keep this up lol. Hopefully we figure this out over the next few weeks.

He is a happy, fun loving guy who I think will love his life once routine settles in. This makes me happy.

It’s also the 7 month mark on losing Smokey. Who I still miss tremendously every day. It still hurts. And I’m still sad. Smokey and I were family. Indy and I will get there. But it’s still hard.

I went over a week without crying. Of course, most of that was traveling and trying to focus on friends and comic con. And not getting rona.

I also did not look at any pics of Smokey. Although I did go onto social media daily as I posted pics and tried to respond to comments. But it was all comic con related.

And coming home to no Smokey waiting for me was hard. When I would travel, the thing I would think about the most as I was headed home was yay – seeing Smokey. And no matter how much fun I had while away – I was happiest to be home.

And after getting home, I even looked at pics of other dogs, as I plan on visiting and meeting potential new friends.

I thought about it today. That maybe I was moving through the intense sadness part. Maybe by making the decision to meet other buddies, it was helping. I was also keeping myself pretty darn busy.

Then a neighbor texted me a picture of Smokey today.

I have started wondering if I will ever really be happy again.

I mean..I know I’ll be OK. But happy? I can honestly say at this moment, I do not know. It’s been a rough year. And it’s only mid-way.

I have never, ever felt this way in my life. It’s weird.

In 2022, I lost my best friend. I’ve had close friends lie to me. Give me shit about about a stupid fn politically motivated vax. Forget me. Not even bother to text fn Happy Birthday.

I send texts, I send cards. I ask if you are OK. I won’t ever push to talk but try to make sure you know I am always there if needed. I’ll change my schedule, or routine, or whatever so we can hang out. Or I can be there.

What do I get? Pfft.

So..why should I care? Why should I put any effort into anything other than just being top-level, socially acceptably friendly and nothing more? Cause no upsets but not really care either. Or…just say F it and scorched earth on anyone who gives me shit. That’s definitely another route. My brain says yes to that. But the other side of my brain says just calm down and ignore everyone.

I am sure I will get another buddy at some point, who will help bring me out of the current funk. But any amount of happiness or joy brought about by that should be reserved for that buddy only.

I’ve tried being a good human. And I will continue to try on the top level of picking up litter, and dog poop. And holding doors open. And smiling. And checking Nextdoor for lost dogs. And donating money to help buddies. But I’m kind of tired of accepting the petty foibles of others to have them be shitty to me in return.

Just tired.

Decided to go on a neighborhood walk this AM. Haven’t done as many since it got warmer and I wasn’t walking with my neighbor (and her very fluffy husky). Been getting my exercise from my Peloton – which is great (as great as indoor exercise can be which is meh at best)- but it’s not outside. I truly need outside time. My mood is greatly changed by less or more outside time.

Saw 1 neighbor from the up the street, who has come to my house (driveway) for a happy hour. And whose dog loved Smokey so much. And we stopped and chatted numerous times. And had dinner together with other neighbors. I stopped, skooshed the doggie, called the doggie by her name (indicating I knew her), asked how the human was doing. And she had no idea who I was. It was very obvious in her face and comments. I didn’t even have sunglasses on, although I did have a hat on. But no clue.

Then later on the walk, saw another neighbor whose dogs LOVED Smokey. Loved. And who I talked with many, many times. No recognition. Although, he was on his deck and not right in front of me like the other lady. But once I mentioned Smokey he and his wife clued in.

Good to know I am so memorable. LoL.

But I know Smokey was the star. He really was. But really – I recognize you people from afar. It’s polite. Off the fn list.

I know it’s stupid. And I know I actually do not care. But man…getting my baseline off of broken and sad is not working.


I finally broke down today and turned on the A/C. It’s actually been a very pleasant (aka normal) summer here. A few days with a warm couple of hours in the late afternoon, but it cooled down quickly when the sun went down. And no (knocks on all of the wood) smoke.

But then on Sunday afternoon, I could smell the smoke. And see the haze. It’s from the Yosemite fire, so it’s pretty far from here but it drifts just enough to get us when the wind is right for it. It’s not like the last 2 years where it’s been a fn hellscape. But I finally took an hour to read on the deck on Sunday when the smoke hit so f u.

Then today, I went for a walk. I have not done that for a long while actually. But I needed to get my brain outside. The Peloton is great and all, but I need to be outside. Went out at around 9am. And did I think almost 5 miles. But I was cooked when I got back. Brain fried. So I turned on the A/C. And it’s been glorious.

And then I missed Smokey. Who I bought this A/C for. 100% who I bought this for. Because I can put on shorts and a tank top. And I am not stuck in a double fur coat. To be honest, I would have turned it on for him as soon as it hit 75 outside which means 68 inside. My house has crazy good insulation and stays cool most of the time. But again, I’m not in a fur coat.

The first day I had it on, he plopped down on the floor – inside versus his normal out on the deck where it has cooled off – and just slept. With a smile on his face. I wish I recorded that. I wish I could watch that over and over.

I have never spent better money outside of heathcare for my buddies. And I wish I would have done it sooner. And I wish he could have enjoyed it for at least another summer.

I miss my friend so much.

I am trying very hard. I am. But it’s been hard.

When I lost Angelus, I had Stormy. I was broken, but had to be there for him. And make sure he was OK.

When I lost Stormy, I spent a lot of time with Shadow. Just looking through my pictures from 2013 and I spent my time with Shadow or driving to the bay area.

Then in January I had Smokey. And then in January 2022, I did not. And I had no one.

It’s been hard. I want to cry very day. I don’t every day, but a lot. Every day is baseline sad and it’s great when I’m not.

Will try and forge through today and tomorrow and onward. Going to watch some BBT. And tomorrow I have a BBQ to go to. But right now I kinda just want to throw up.