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To Q8 with Cat

17 Jan

Forgive the length. I pulled these from my Facebook, because all my friends and family wanted updates while I was traveling. And saying “Everything is good” doesn’t cut it for some of them. They get mini novels while I travel.

First leg of the journey is complete…Rochester was awesome all the TSA agents loved Clover. They made sure her crate wasn’t explosive, I got to get a tiny peak at the inner workings of the airport. (It looked very confusing). Said a fond farewell to the parental units.

Hopped on my flight, nothing to report. I sat next to a very boring man.

Everyone is unloading off the plane. I see Clover’s crate which is covered with “live animal” stickers and the like. A gentleman was there and asked if it was my cat. I said yes. I then asked him, if I could take her now or if she had to be processed or something. He told me I could just collect her at baggage claim. (She is in a pretty good sized crate.) EXCELLENT! I was told three or four days ago by a different woman that I would have to get a taxi and claim her at a cargo unit, so this was awesome! One point for the good guys!

My two HUGE bags come out first so I snag them. I have a back pack and small carry on, therefore you can tell there is no way I can carry all that plus Cloverface. I wait….and wait….and wait. I ask another gent where animals are dropped off, he points at a door across the way. I wait, and wait…wtf mate?! After being told to wait “5 more minutes” 6 different times, I went to lost luggage. I am a very patient person. So I quietly waited my turn, as an older woman was freaking out because she left her iPad setting on a seat as she went to the bathroom. A couple of pilots had their bags missing. Finally I get asked what I’m missing….At this point we have been on the ground 40min. I saw Clover and left her. I feel like the shittest cat-mom alive. So as soon as I open my month to say. “My cat is missing” My throat tightens, tears are pouring down my face. I keep saying “I’m trying not to be upset” The pilots are all “Oh no!” The lady helping me, hops sings to the rescue while the old bat shuts up real quick about her stupid iPad. Phones are ringing, walkie talkies are going off. Full on search for a little white cat at JFK. No luck. I cry some more. She was right there! I saw her, I should of just grabbed her off the tarmac. Half hour more passes with no luck, until I hear the woman say “You found her?! Ohh good! Can you bring her to us? Oh thank you!” BOOM I love this woman! Yes…now onward to the hotel!

Now remember I have these HUGE bags, plus a cat. And where the hell am I going?! Hotel shuttle, right. I snag one of the gents who was helping in the Clover search. We load up a cart, and head to the shuttle. We have our small talk, really nice guy. I call the hotel because the shuttles are never where they are supposed to be. Sure enough, we have to wait again. I apologize to the gentleman that I am messing up his day with my bad luck. He says something really insightful, that I can’t remember. (figures) And sure as shit, that shuttle pops out of no where. Farwell! Thank you!

Next to the hotel… my bags couldn’t fit through the elevator doors. My room is awesome. Chicken wings and a slice of pizza is on the way and Clover is scoping the joint out. *phew* This concludes this episode of “Cat to Q8”

Cat to Q8 episode 2. The time in the hotel was boring. Bath, movie, designed a few ads, shower, played hide and seek with Cloverface. She is a master by the way. Repacked everything. I stayed in the hotel for a full 22 hours.

Headed to the airport on the shuttle. The gentleman was the same as last night, so we chatted back and forth. I pay the 5bucks for a cart, which is still too small for all my bags. I get in line to Qatar airways. Everyone and their mother slow down to take a peek at Clover. Even a French family! Le chat! Alloyez! All the attention was nice because people parted for me and a woman from Qatar came to me lickitty split. She gave me short instructions which I already knew but it was nice that she wanted everything to run smoothly. She took all Clover’s papers to start her process. It’s my turn. I have an older gent checking me in. I knew my two big bags were over weight… but he weighted my carry-ons… yeah I had another extra 10lbs…shit… He was telling me to repack them,….  I tell him I know these two are already overweight.. so this one carry-on will have to go as extra luggage. Coo-coo bucks my friends. I tell him “This is my life. I am moving there.” Long story short, he gives me a wink makes me move a few pieces and BOOM! I save $250. Thank you good sir! He has a brother living in Kuwait. Next Clover needs to see the TSA agents. They make me take her out of her crate… they take the crate and have me go through security with her! Security is a bitch already! Add Clover to the mix… so much cat hair everywhere… thank god I packed her leash on one of my carry-ons. I say “there has to be a better way to do this. ” to the agent standing in front of me. He nods like “yeah”… I’m pulling out my laptop, tablet, camera, phone. I’m trying to hold onto my tickets and passport. I have this terrible habit of just setting it down. I feel like any moment Clover is going to piss all over me. I set her down and keep her between my legs so she doesn’t get crushed by anyone. At this point it’s crazy, some Russians are going nuts because they have 10min to catch their flight. All the while Clover is now getting petted by a child who has no parent in sight. “Who do you belong to?!” The Russians are running now, I have a kid petting my cat.. I’m trying to flag down an agent. Finally one sees me…I point at the child and word vomit “he is lost. he is not mine.” I feel like i’m slow motion running away from that circus. I get back to Clover’s crate and they ripped it all apart. He bedding and food is everywhere, her comfort dog thing (You stuff it with things that smell like yourself, so your pet can be semi comforted)… I just kept repeating “just keep swimming”… I put it back together.. put clover inside, said see you soon.

And now I’m sitting at my gate. There are children about… not my friend… so let’s hope we don’t have much crying this flight.

It’s has been a day or so…I have no concept of time at this point. I keep asking what day it is. So for those of you wondering who how the adventure progressed…where were we…Leaving JFK.

We have roughly a half hour before we even board…and of course a line is already forming. This is even before small children can board. Just a mass of people, speaking all different languages crowding together. I never really understood why people did this. We all have assigned seats, we are all being crammed into a tin can, its going to be uncomfortable. Why stand for 45min+ to have that tiny comfort of getting on the plane first? That just means you will have to stand for others to reach their seats or get smacked in the face with everyones bag as they walk by.

I find my seat, I didn’t have to crawl over anyone, so I was grateful for that. We spent an hour and a half on the plane waiting for the take off.

There were only two children that were really crying, but they only were fussy when we have drastic altitude changes. So it is understandable, ear popping and what not. I watched the sunrise and set within an eleven hour period.

I kept trying to figure out “my time” vs “Kuwait time” so I could gauge when and how long I should sleep for.

Once we landed in Qatar, we were shuttled to the transfer/departure hub. I have been to this area twice before so I knew that this could be hell in a hand basket, and with my late departure, I may not make my connecting flight. Now know that I may not make it, how are the airlines going to treat Clover? Will they rush her over? Or will they treat her like other luggage and wait for the next flight out. Which happened last time Meshari and I flew in, we couldn’t pick up our bags until the next day. Imagine Clover, being stuck in her crate for over 28 hours…not going to happen. So when I was on the shuttle heading over to the hub I positioned myself by the door so I could be one of the firsts to jump out. To my misfortune there was a super creeper standing next to me. He must of seen my boarding pass because he was asking “You are traveling alone?” It was kinda obvious that I was. “The middle east isn’t a safe place for a woman to travel alone…” He was not saying this in any helpful tone. Wonderful. He was starting to make another comment when the shuttle came to a stop. I hopped out lickity split and hopped sang to security.

I was kinda an ass and dodged and passed to older men, but I was putting distance between myself and McCreeperpants. I put my bags on the belts to go through the scanners. One thing I like about Qatar is, they don’t make you take all your electronics out, or have you take off your shoes. This allowed me to get a bit more time. I went to my gate and asked the woman there about Clover and if they would have enough time to transfer her over. She directed me to find the transfer desk upstairs…cool upstairs is huge place…by my calculations I had 30min before boarding started. It only took three flicks of a badgers tail to find it. Qatar airways has excellent branding. I ask my question, the women tells me she will find out in 45mins. WHAT?! I have to be boarding in 30?! No, no, no…alesha can’t do the numbers and the time and the sun moving across the sky number zone thing. So I had an hour and half, wonderful! I was about to go back to my gate, but I figured McCreeperpants might be down there so I stayed next to a small group of French gamers. I picked up some words but I couldn’t put together what they were saying. I liked their clothing and hairs styles, it was wild.

Ok onward! So I find out that Clover has been boarded! I board. I stay awake long enough to get the little hard candy they hand out in my mouth before I fall asleep. I wake up twenty minutes later, I had not moved. The candy started doing something weird to my tongue, it was all tingly. Ugh. So I’m struggling to stay awake. We finally land! WOOOOOOO! I’m pumped! Last leg done! I’m here! I did it! Fuck a duck…I still need to get my visa. I’m off the plane for not even 10min and I find my “Eleshea Hall” sign. (Sometimes is nice having a easy last name) The woman was really nice helping take care of my visa, then I was passed on to a gent who would help get Clover. I hand over all the paper work that has been done for Clover. It’s a nice little stack. Grab a cart, wait for bags…wait for bags…When is Clover coming? Soon….wait for the bags some more…waiting. It felt like forever because I knew Meshari was somewhere very close by. BAGS! The bags! Get the bags not even 15mintues later Clover is brought out! Oh this is so wonderful! EEeeeeeee! All my bags have to go through security. We are about to go through the final doors to meet Meshari and Bassam….but no…turn back around, two more security guards appear…we are ushered to a room in the back. Everyone is speaking arabic, its late, the chai is late, the man in charge seems pissed. I sign a paper. The chai appears, head hancho is happy! Woot! Get me out of here sir! Meanwhile Bassam and Meshari saw me being escorted away with these three men, so he is thinking they found my nutmeg (Nutmeg is banned sometimes, it’s just extremely hard to find, and the powers at be can’t decide weather or not it’s illegal or not. So I packed a nice big bottle of it.) or something crazy. But the first gent who was helping me explained that I will have to leave Clover at the airport, they will transfer her to a different building to where the vet is, so she can be checked out…even though I did all that paper work and vet appointments in the states. 5 minutes. “It’s easy, they look at her and sign a paper. It will be quick.” Fine. I go back through security again. MESHARI!!!!! Hugs, one kiss on the forehead. It was so good seeing him. We were both all smiles. Chatty, chatty. Let’s go get Clover! It will be easy and quick.

THREE HOURS LATER…yeah no joke…there were 8+ papers and stamps and signatures and three different buildings we had to go through before they would let us take her. And that vet “Checking her out” that’s exactly what he did. He looked in her crate for a millisecond. Ridiculous.

But Clover is digging the new apartment. Exploring and watching the pigeons.

So this concludes my traveling cat to Q8 experience.

As of now…I have had many lunches, breakfasts, and coffee outings with family and friends of Meshari’s. Today is the day I requested to be left alone. Even no Meshari. Just me. Being relatively alone for 5 months, this change of so many people all the time is really overwhelming.

Wow…if you made it this far! I hope you enjoyed the ride!

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Oswego coming to a close.

16 Dec

This is a bit of ride, so hold tight! Ps. near the end there will be a tiny bit…(kinda) of blood so you have been warned!

My time at Oswego is finally coming to a close. After 7 years, it’s about damn time! My last final was given Thursday, this was my last real scheduled time with my students. It was bittersweet. I even found this gem.

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I laughed wildly as I pulled the desk out of line and slid it to the back of the room. Saying “Not today!” Then the on slot of grading…and grading…and grading…I’m still not done yet. Grading and packing, and packing and moving. Two trips to the storage unit later.Then back to grading, I had to take a break today or I knew I was going to just start looking for every fault instead of every positive in there work.

A nice interruption was a student wanted to take my picture for a project he is doing. I don’t think he has fully developed what exactly he wants to create or do, but he has a general direction. It was defiantly odd being on the other side of the camera.

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My last day official day in Oswego was ohhh so fun filled. It started with grading at home while I waited for Jenilee to wake up. I packed the rest of my bags, and started my last load of laundry.

We planned on going out to breakfast at the Ritz. My car was parked behind hers, and we both had an errand to do, her to the post office, myself I needed to go to the bank. We decided to car pool because we both needed to come back to the apartment anyway. Brush off car. Get in. Turn key. *whaaa* *wha* *whaaa* “Sometimes when it’s cold she doesn’t like to start right away.” Turn key again. *whaaaaaa* *Wha* *wha* I looked to see if I left the lights on. Nope. The engine would just not turn over. I didn’t panic outwardly…mentally I was slightly panicked. I had 4 paychecks that needed to be deposited in the account that had less than $100, with a $138 automatic withdrawal planned for today for loan. I would get to the bank by noon. I would fucking walk if Jenilee wouldn’t give me a ride. That was my solution if worst came to worst. However, getting to campus to drop off my G5 and to pick up student work to bring with me to grade was another matter. On top of getting to Rochester before the huge storm rolled in. On top of, if it was the starter, transmission or what not that needed to be fixed A. how much would that cost? B. How long would it take to fix? C. Did I have enough to pay for it?

Jenilee tried to pop the clutch to start it. She acted as if she had successfully done this maneuver before…apparently not. She said that it had to be something other than the battery. I don’t want to believe her. All I wa$ thinking about wa$ how am I going to pay for thi$?

I added stopping at the gas sation to our errand list. I parked my car and we jumped in Jenilee’s new car. It said it was 8 degrees out. Yeah, a bit chilly. And we headed to the Ritz. Those errands could not wait on a Saturday afternoon.  Post office check. I called my Dad just to ask what he thought and to give him a heads up that I will be running late on my journey home. He said to give her a jump, that it sounded like the cold drained the battery. That was the plan. And if it wasn’t the battery, then to call him back. The fate of my car is yet to be decided, so if this was her final bow, she would be let go. He didn’t want to drive the two hours to get me but he would. To be honest, at this point my car is a death trap. The tires are next to bald, the struts are fucked, and she just started making a new bad sound. I can’t sell her as is because I know, whoever was dumb enough to buy her would surely kill themselves or someone else. I just know how fucked she is so I know how to handle her. (I know it must be so comforting for people to read this.)

Anyway…The Ritz. Cheap good food. Crap coffee which is always comforting. A small town diner with a big heart. I had my normal order. Veggie scramble with peppers, onions, american cheese and wheat toast. I added eggnog french toast. It was a special. Fantastic.

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This meal made me miss Cala. We would spend hours drinking that crap coffee and just shooting the shit.

Next was the gas station. I jumped out with $5 ran in, snagged a Coke, paid and got back in the car. Jenilee gave me a look as if to say “This is important?!” She is a woman of few words. I said “I bet my battery was really corroded last time, so this is just in case.”

We made it to the bank, I went in deposited my checks. I talked with the woman behind the counter, she asked me where I had been. (5 checks) End of semester nightmares and moving. Prime time to ask a few quick questions. All answered, excellent. Jenilee was playing on her phone when I got back in the car. ONWARD.

We opened our hoods, sure enough my battery had a nice little battery acid fro working. I poured my coke all over the sucker. Grabbed a sponge from my car, and cleaned it off, poured more coke to let it set. Now, I would like to comment. Even though my car is falling apart, she has been through a lot, and she carries pretty much everything I need. Food, water, blankets, shoes, extra money …machete …I could live in my car if I really wanted too. Actually, I did for a weekend in Balitmore once…alright off topic. Even though she is a piece of shit…she is the shit! I love her and hate her in the same breath. We have a relationship just like anyone else. I take care of her as best as I can, and she does the same for me. And so it goes…anyway, in the now 10 degree of awesome, we hook up our batteries. Wait ten minutes. Get in my car. Turn key. She starts. I LOVE YOU!!!! YES! We let them run for another 5min then I drive around for another to seal the deal. You know, confirm our relationship.

Load up her up with my bags, and get everything set for Liz when she comes to pick up my shelf. Say “See ya later” To jenilee. I’ll be back in less than a week for my going away/department lunch Friday. Next stop campus. Liz meets me and we grade binders. Easy, easy. Boom, boom. Load one of my suitcases full of student work because there is no way I can get through all their projects in a few hours. I save files and double, triple check e-mails. Everything is squared away in a few hours. Next, dinner? Nope storm is coming in. Race over back to the apartment. Pack my left over food and Clover. And lastly help Liz shove the shelf into her car. I have no idea how she is going to manage to get it out by herself.

Next, the journey home. Normally a two hour trip took close to three. Bad weather, shitty drivers, and shittier roads. Imagine a tiny falling apart car, packed with your all your possessions, your crying cat and yourself driving home. One trip, one last trip is all she needed. I cursed at least every five minutes. I imagined myself dying, getting hit by a massive snow plow. I got pissed after that. A calm rage really, a focused anger. I was jealous of all the big SUVs with their nice tires, the 18 wheelers that never got any muck splashed across their windshields. It’s a really fucked up situation to drive a tiny car in a snow belt. You learn to be very cautious. You realize rather quickly that if anything bad really happens, you will never win. There is no room for error. I listened to Snap Judgement to calm me down. It didn’t work, ass hats everywhere. And the closer to Rochester I got, more of them appeared. I finally made it to my un plowed road. Perfect. So unbelievably perfect. I hoped for the best, drove down the middle, slow and steady. Deer running everywhere. Brake fish tailed twice. Slow and steady. Up hill, down hill, up, down. In the driveway, and park. HUZZAH!

Needless to say, I wanted a glass of wine. But when both your parents are recovering alcoholics, there will not be a wine opener in the house….second BUT…if your parents are recovering alcoholics they may or my not show you what they used to do in the same situation.

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And the cork goes right back in. None of that finishing the bottle non sense.

Now you must be wondering….I thought there was blood…Oh there is…but that happened then next day. Today rather. So stop now, if you can’t handle it.

I dislike doctors. I avoid them at all costs. So naturally when a skin tag of mine started to get caught on my bra strap I knew it had to go. I tried to cut it off myself, I have done it before. A little ice and toe nail clippers is all you need. However, the location of this one on my side under my arm made it difficult to get a clean cut. So today I asked my mom to help. She wanted none of it. I asked again and again. At that point, my brother and Dad had to take a look at it. I got the whole, maybe you should just leave it alone. I told them it sits right along my bra line and is getting pulled at every time I moved. They all saw how red it was so we busted out the exactos. The blade was burned and my dad did the honors. It was a weird feeling, I felt the blade slice back and forth. It didn’t hurt. It was more of a pinch. However, I have a really high pain tolerance…so who knows. I gushed blood from this tiny perfect circle for a good half hour. I kept pressure on it, but whenever I would look to see how it was I would string a leak.

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Until next time!

ps. 26 days!

pss. This is so long I’m not going to proof read…I’m going to bed!

 

 

Further developments…

7 Dec

Clover did so well at the vet. She didn’t cry or hiss. Of course she was nervous, She stayed on my lap as much as possible. She got all squared away with her microchip, and shots. She weighs 7.6lbs. We measured her so we can get the right size crate for her.

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The vet did ask if I wanted to have her blood tested just to see how her kidneys were doing. Three years ago, Clover was drinking a ton of water, which was really odd. I thought it would be best, just to make sure. They had to poke her twice because the first batch of blood they pulled had a blood clot in it.

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She acted as if her leg was broken.

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The test came back and she is clear. There is some evidence that she has a continuos kidney something, something…they vet left a message on my phone. She didn’t sound to concerned about it and didn’t say anything about and options to “fix” this. I’m going back Jan. 3rd to finish up Clover’s paper work so we can figure it out.

My art supplies are all gone, two huge storage tubs and a duffle bag worth of paint, brushes, pencils, carving tools, clay, conte, charcoal, markers, tape, and paper. All gone. It hurt to see them go. Years of gathering and using them. They are like my co-workers, co-workers I like! And seeing them go was good, but there was that twinge of ….I don’t know, guilt? I don’t know why I would feel guilty about giving away awesome water color pencils, but I did.

Th extra monitor I normally use at my workstation has been given a new home too.  And my G5, both good homes. They will be used and taken care of. Jenilee wanted to use the G5 as furniture, but I would rather have someone work on it than put dishes or a plant on him. A part of me feels as if I’m being suicidal, giving away my possessions like this. Some of my books are finding good homes too. I just don’t like the idea have having these great resources and materials just packed away for years, when someone else can enjoy them and get use out of them.

The last day of teaching for me was Thursday…Wednesday was much harder. It was my smaller class, Typography. They were all finishing up their final projects, focused, typing and clicking like mad, Dave Matthews playing in the background. I was overcome with how I am going to miss the labs, my students, this place of creativity. I had to go into 35 to organize their projects and cry. I stayed during open lab till midnight, to make sure everyone was on the right track, and I didn’t want it to end.

I have been saving all my files, and organizing my digital life. Today I’m starting to pack for the storage unit. This whole upcoming week  not only will I be grading like a mad woman, but I will be giving finals and moving! By next week this time I will be heading to my parents house to spend the holidays with them and to visit high school friends. 34 days left…it is flying by.

Finding an apartment is on hold. Meshari and I talked about it, and even though I am disappointed, we are holding off of getting a new apartment. We are going to stay where he is now. We will be able to find something together, once we are both stable. (Paper work, driving on my own, civil ID, work papers, learning the roads) It’s a smarter move.