Wednesday will be a day that I wish I could skip. Tonight, as I returned home, I found our oldest pet, our cat, Abby, dead in the street.It looked like she got hit by a car while crossing the street, walking toward our house. At first, I thought it was one of our other cats, Grace. I didn't get too close to look when I pulled over to check. Grace can look about the same in the dark, plus somehow it would make more sense that Grace would be hit by a car than Abby. You'd have to know the cats to know what I mean.So I proceeded to dig a large hole in the back yard.This incident wasn't the kind of thing you let kids see, nor was I going to leave her out in the street overnight. While in the back yard, Grace popped out of nowhere, in what I would describe as a panic for her (which is saying a lot, since she panics when you look at her). At first, I was relieved. Then, I was not. Abby. The cat we got when our daughter was a young toddler. The cat that missionaries used to torment. The cat that had nasty worms when we got her, and the same cat that would hump shoes before we got her fixed. The cat that our daughter has known since as far back as she can remember.I went and checked, and it was her. She was barely gone. It must have happened only minutes before I came home. I buried her in the hole. While I was there handling the burial our third cat, Boo, sat ominously on a large transformer near the area. Boo is a peculiar cat, a Bombay cat with jet black fur and eerie eyes. Somehow, I know the cats, and even the dog, knew. They were all spooked, except for Boo, who was there as if for support. As I finished up, I thought about Abby in silence.We got her from my cousin. They had a litter of cats at their place, and we were suckers. I always thought that Abby was close to abnoxious, a play on obnoxious. She's been a little poo since we got her. Abby was the queen of the house. She didn't take well to Grace when we got her, and definitely didn't like Boo. She tolerated the dogs we've had, with the occasional scrap.Abby used to rub up against men's dress shoes when she was in heat before we got her fixed. The missionaries would tie a short piece of rope to the ceiling fan and let her try to catch it. She got it a couple times, only to get flung across the room. We'd waste countless hours watching her try to catch the red dot from a laser pointer.These last few years, she's been constantly ticking us off. She'd jump up on us, and get in our personal space. After pushing her away, she'd come back a few seconds later, and we'd repeat the cycle over and over again many times. She was stubborn as hell. She would catch small toys, stuffed animals, and gloves during the night and meow over and over again until she gave up or we gave in and acknowledged her gift.She'd sit on the edge of the tub, either enjoying the space between the shower curtains, or watching someone take a bath. You could get her worked up and ready to fight simply by placing your hand near her head. Abby was always present in your space, and would rarely be away for long. Lately, she's been thin from not getting enough food. I found her competing with the other cats and a coupe neighbor dogs who would steal their food. In fact, tonight was the first night I fed all three cats in the back yard with separate bowls, ensuring each got something to eat.In all, Abby was a good cat. Sure, she made us mad at times, and would defend herself when our son gets rough with her, but we didn't have many real problems with her - just annoyances.Today, we get to break the news to our daughter. She'll notice the cat is missing anyway, and La and I think its best that she knows. When I was a little older than her, my cat Fizzgig got run over. I remember what that was like. In retrospect, I only remember the fond times with Fizzgig. He was a bit of a butt, too. But I think our daughter will handle it decently. Even still, I hate to break this news to her.I don't look forward to La and I having to approach this tomorrow. La is already upset by this, and I'm angry. As an adult, I know this is inevitable. I've had many pets die in my lifetime. So has our daughter, when her hamster died well over a year ago. But pets are part of the family, especially cats and dogs, and losing a member of the family is NEVER easy. I wish I could skip it, but feel it must be done. Poor little girl, having to know that she'll never see her kitty again.I'm sorry for what happened to you, Abby. That's an unfair way to die. We will always remember and miss you. Goodbye, girl.
Today I read an article that resonated with me.
If you've spent more than 30 seconds stuck on one of those vicious clickbait "You'll Never Believe #4!" articles, you may have seen one of dozens of "Why you don't see Brendan Fraser anymore" supplemental clickbait articles. Well, I saw one in my news feed today, and seeing as how it was an actual news feed put together by Google and not something sponsored on Facebook, I clicked on it.
It's an interesting interview with the actual Brendon Fraser, with topics ranging from his autistic son, his horse in upstate New York, where his amazing movie career disappeared to, being molested by someone within the Hollywood elite, and much more. At the end, the author of the GQ article, Zach Baron, explains a story Fraser had told him during one of their conversations, and while other parts of the article interested me, this was the part that resonated with me.
In the story, Fraser is trying to explain to Baron why he did a movie called Looney Tunes: Back in Action, as his career started to spin out beyond his control. In his explation, the character he plays is interesting because he is a stunt double for Brendon Fraser. There was something surreal about the actor playing someone who plays himself. But the part that he enjoyed most was being able to punch himself out at the end of the film.
I had never seen the movie, in all honesty. I did find a clip of it on YouTube.
In the years since doing that film, Fraser now views the moment with some introspective clarity. It was around that time that a new Superman movie was floating around Hollywood. There are many stories about that movie script, which eventually became the forgettable Superman movie between the 80s Reeve versions and the Cavil version we have now. Apparently, Fraser was one of a handful of leading actors who were being considered for the reboot. In the end, no one was really chosen (the movie was rewritten and everything about it changed). Fraser, who has been excited for the opportunity, was disappointed that he hadn't been chosen. It happened at a time in his life when he was no longer in control of his life and his career. That same year, he claims to have been publicly molested by a Hollywood big wig, which had caused him to spiral even further into darkness. In the middle of all this going on in his life, he had the opportunity to make fun of himself.
But now, he sees it as an opportunity to express his anger with himself. It was a moment to look at the bad versions of his life and assault it. He could take the person he had become, and take himself down.
He had physically deteriorated, the demanding movies he starred in had taken their toll. He found himself displeased with his work. He had surgeries to try and fix his ailing body. His marriage fell apart. His life had spiraled out of control.
And in that moment of being able to punch himself, as he acted in a role which made fun of himself, he saw that he had become unworth of playing Brendon Fraser in real life as well as in movies.
Reading that part, I understood what he meant.
While I may not have experienced all of the same things, I've definitely felt the tug of aging, and I know what it's like to be unhappy with your work. I also know what it's like to have your life sit just beyond your control.
I know what it's like to feel unworthy of playing yourself in real life. Problem is, I didn't realize that it was effecting me so much.
I talk all the time about that feeling I get where I need to write, and the disappointment of when I can't deliver. I've suffered myself for rare moments of writing clarity surrounded by days and months of pure static. Somewhere along the line, I made myself unworthy of being a writer. My problem may be less a creative lull and more a sense that I have no control over my life. In some way, I'm not worthy of being me.
But I am. I am worthy of being me. I'm not perfect, by any means. But I am blessed to be a father and husband. I am blessed to have a home, and a job (regardless of how much it takes from me). I'm blessed to have people who love me, who I love as well.
And I am blessed to have the ability to write, to express myself, to create and share something of my life.
All I need is the power within myself to stand up and walk forward.