Tag Archives: pets

Oh, the Guilt

I knew that I was entering a toxic living situation, but did not know what to do about it. I was in a similar situation last time I had a roommate. I had two part-time temp jobs and had to get out of my mold-ridden apartment. A woman I used to hang out with was losing the house that she rented because the owner was putting it up for sale, so we both needed a place to live at the same time. I knew better, but I had very little income, a lot of bills, and nowhere to go. I used to hang out with this woman a few times a week, but I’m reluctant to call her a friend. She was very bossy about where we would go and what we would do and she had a very obvious drinking problem. We would make plans to go to a concert or a movie, and she would invariably say “Let’s have a couple of drinks first.” Then once she had “a couple of drinks” she wouldn’t feel like doing what we had originally planned, and she would sit and have at least eight more drinks (no exaggeration) and argue with people or act like an idiot. I have no idea why I put up with that nearly every weekend for almost two years. We had been friends back in college, but then lost touch for several years then started hanging out again. She had a steady (but low-income) job, and with our incomes combined we could afford a 2-bedroom apartment in the small town we lived in at the time. We rented the top floor of a small house that had been divided into three apartments. I knew it was a bad idea, but I really did not know what to do. The roommate I had before that had moved to Seattle and I was stuck in a small town with no steady income.

We made a deal before we looked at the new apartment — we didn’t have to make a decision right away. If we liked it, then we’d take it, and if we didn’t like it, we had other places to look at. Unfortunately, she liked it and I hated it. I can look back on many times in my life where I needed to be more assertive, and this was one of those times. I thought the apartment was too small for the price and just weird. It was painted strangely and the staircase that led up to our unit was obviously thrown together as an afterthought once the house had been turned into apartments. The staircase was tall, steep, visibly lopsided, and it looked dangerous. Once I saw the place, I was fully prepared to just make some noncommittal comments like “Oh, we’ll get back to you, we have some more places to look at” but the ex-roomie liked it and wanted to take it right away. And because that’s what she wanted, that’s what we did. She was always more willing to fight, and I was always more willing to step back to avoid a fight.

I lived there for six months, and in that time we had exactly one day that the hot water worked. It wasn’t even the whole day, but I was able to enjoy a warmish shower for maybe 10 minutes. I complained about the lack of hot water to the landlord a lot, but nothing was done. The basement of the house served as a laundry room, and often it was flooded at least ankle-high. The landlord wouldn’t do anything about that either. The basement was always trashed, but it wasn’t clear who was supposed to maintain it. We had messy neighbors who would just throw trash in there and no one cleaned it up. Garbage would float in the floodwater. I avoided bathing as much as possible because the shower water was ice-cold. We had to use a landromat because of the flooding. Sometimes, when it wasn’t flooded that badly, I would just do my laundry in the basement, anyway.

My drunk roommate lost her job very shortly after we moved in together. That’s when it got really bad. Around the same time, I got a full-time job just outside Seattle. It didn’t pay much, and I had to drive over 50 miles one way to get there. It was the worst job I have ever had (which is saying a lot) and I was under extreme stress every day. Every day I would just get into my car and scream. If I was lucky, my roommate wouldn’t stagger home drunk and coked-up until I was just leaving for work (or after I had gone for the day). When I was less lucky, she would stagger home drunk and coked-up with several other drunk, coked-up people while I was trying to sleep or just relax by myself in the living room after being yelled at and publicly humiliated all day. There were often creepy strangers milling around our place when I got up in the morning. After dealing with an extremely hostile work environment, living like that wore on my sanity. I still hung out with the roommate on occasion, but she got me into a couple of dangerous situations and I moved out and never spoke to her again. I’ve seen her a couple of times randomly. She looks sick and awful and I don’t feel sorry for her. She’s 32 but could pass for almost 50.

While my current situation isn’t nearly that bad, there are some big problems. I was very nervous about staying with this particular friend because she is such a negative person. She has an ability to take everyday situations and turn them info full-on disasters. Even completely neutral situations that have nothing to do with her somehow become huge crises in her world. I’m beyond thankful that she’s offered to let me stay here, but I just knew I’d spend the whole time walking on broken eggshells.

Weeks ago she asked me where I wanted to sleep when I stay with her. I told her that I just wanted to sleep wherever it was convenient for her and I wouldn’t interfere with her daily routine.

“Oh, it’s your house. I’ll sleep anywhere! Feel free to just boss me around tell me where to put my stuff. I’m not picky.” I laughed, and said it in the tone I use when I’m telling a funny story or making a joke.

Two hours later she called me sobbing because she thought that when I said “boss me around” that I had been calling her bossy.

“Is that what you really think of me?!”

I had said it so casually that I didn’t even remember that I had used those words, and I would have used the same words with anyone else I considered a friend. This is the level of sensitivity I’m dealing with.

I thought that perhaps things might change a bit because a week or two ago, one of her best friends “broke up” with her because of her negative attitude. She asked me to give her honest feedback about her personality and actions. I did, though reluctantly. I named a few occasions where she has shot herself in the foot by being so negative. I also reminded her of another incident –when I lost my keys last June and was stranded and freaked out at 4am, she was angry that I did not call her. She yelled at me over the phone and said “Obviously you don’t think of me as a good enough friend.” I was the one who had had the bad experience, but she was the one who got personally offended. It is textbook emotional manipulation. If I had called her, she would have moaned and groaned all week about how I threw off her sleep schedule. Also, I didn’t call anyone, so it’s not like I called everyone except her. It was a very strange argument, and she actually cried and turned it into her own problem when it didn’t affect her at all. The goal of all of this is to inspire guilt or possibly pity.

I don’t respond well to such theatrics, if I respond at all. The new roomie keeps starting drama, in particular with my cat. She already has a cat, so I don’t understand it. I don’t even want to write about it because it is so incredibly stupid that it hurts to think about. She has said things to me that no sane person would ever say ever. She locks my cat in the freezing basement, then gets mad at me when my cat meows at the door. The obvious solution would be to not lock my cat in the freezing basement, which only became a factor long after she offered me a place here. I don’t even want to get into what she says will happen if she doesn’t lock the cat in the basement, or worse –what she says will happen if the cat doesn’t quit meowing. It’s too stupid to document. I said in my last post that she was worried about the neighbors complaining if the cats fought. That is a true but much less dramatic account of what she actually said. She thinks the letting my cat in will trigger an apocalypse and her life and livelihood will be in danger. I wish I were kidding.

My mother used to do similar things, but only after she had brain damage. That’s probably part of why this makes me so angry at her irrational behavior. My mother’s brain-damaged guilt trips wore me down physically and mentally. I was young and trying to establish my own life, but I got sucked into my mother’s illnesses and divorce on top of her excessive dramatics and manipulative behavior. My new roomie is paranoid about things that will never happen and every day some new drama comes into being. I can’t stand illogical behavior. I found another place to stay, but they don’t take cats. Dogs, yes; cats, no. Every dog I’ve ever known has caused way more damage to their home than my cat, so I don’t get it. Heck, I cause more damage to my home than my cat is likely to. Also, she’s declawed (not my choice, my parents declawed her as soon as I went away to college and wasn’t around to protest). I’ve started the Pet Travel Scheme for my cat and don’t want to leave her anywhere else for a while because I need access to her so I can get her to her vet appointments at the appropriate times.

My cat has actually broken out of the basement a few times, and the results were as uneventful as any sane person would expect. The two cats saw each other, but didn’t fight. Because I’m (generally) respectful, I put my cat back in the freezing basement. She sleeps on top of me every night, and I think it was upsetting to her that I was upstairs sleeping on the sofa. I got a little air mattress from someone on Craigslist so I’ll sleep on that. It’s still very cold down there, even with the space heater.

I’ve given up my car, so I’m going to be stuck here a lot. Also, it’s very likely that I have gout, which would explain my freaky joint pain. The doctor ordered blood tests and X-rays because something was visibly (and painfully) affecting the joint on one of my toes. More news about that on Monday.

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Lamster

I am officially out of my old apartment, which is a great relief. I moved out four years to the date that I moved in. I managed to do it without getting an official eviction notice, which I’ll never understand. A bit over a week ago, I received a second pay or vacate notice demanding only half of the rent that I owe. It was either a big mistake in my favor or a passive, half-assed way of trying to make a deal with me. I bailed.

I got everything I need (and many things I don’t) out of the apartment, and I cleaned a bit. I was able to sell, donate, throw away, or give away a lot. I didn’t clean as well as I normally would have liked, but I did a better job than most people would have in such a hurry. I did abandon my bed (the frame broke three  moves ago and the mattress was in bad shape) and a desk. These things were too big for me to carry, dismantle, or transport by myself, and not in good enough condition to sell. I feel a little guilty. I also left a lot of stuff on my porch for Salvation Army home pickup. At least I vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen. I did not leave a forwarding address. I haven’t returned my car yet, and so I was trying to move discreetly to avoid repo man detection. The neighbors can be pretty nosy, but mostly left me alone. One actually yelled to me through her window when I couldn’t even see who was talking to me. “Are you moving? Where are you going?” I just named a random neighborhood and left her with no further details.

My cat and I are still in Seattle and staying with a friend. I’m in a much nicer neighborhood and a much smaller living space. I still have some things I’m selling online. I’ve actually done quite well with selling things. Perhaps I should rethink my career.

I am giving my friend some money for me the use of her basement and sofa, and I’ll buy her some food with my food stamps. This place costs more than twice what I was paying in rent and it’s so much smaller. Living in the ghetto has its advantages, I guess. I don’t see how she can afford to live here.

She actually offered to let me stay here a long time ago, long before my problems got too serious. I could barely afford my first rent hike, and I think that’s around the time she first offered. I’m very thankful, but I really need to get back on my feet. My bank account was charged for my UK passport, so I’m assuming it went through. At least I hope they wouldn’t charge me for it if I’m not getting it! I still have too many things to take overseas. I wish it weren’t so psychologically difficult for me to part with things.

My cat is not happy. My friend has a cat of her own, and for reasons I don’t entirely understand, she’s worried about the cats interacting. She’s worried that neighbors will complain if they fight, which I think is rather silly. We don’t even share walls. The cats will certainly fight, but that seems like a bad reason to keep my little girl locked in the freezing basement. I put a little space heater down there, and I will get some kind of sleeping mat and sleep in the basement with the cat. I’ll have more privacy that way, anyway. Poor kitty. Her meows sound so despondent. She only stops crying when I go down to the basement with her.

I think this will work out for the time being. I really hope that my friend and I don’t have any major personality clashes. We’re both neurotic in our own ways. If it works out better than planned, I can maybe wait a little longer to move to the UK so I can take better care of the cat situation. This month marks 14 years I’ve had her.

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Adventures in House-sitting

Me and the doggie.

Me and the doggie.

I have been rather busy lately, hence my lack of writing. A friend of mine went out of town for a few days, and I was house-sitting for her because she has a dog, two cats, and several fish. It was like a mini-vacation, actually, and she paid my phone bill for me, to boot!

I’m officially a cat-person, but I like dogs, too. I love almost all animals. I grew up with a lovely fat golden retriever, and there are things about dog-ownership I miss. I live alone and my life is unstable. I can’t afford vet bills, so no dog for me. If I hadn’t had my cat since I was in high school, I wouldn’t have a kitty either.

My friend lives near an off-leash dog park, and I went there every day with the dog. The park borders Lake Washington, which is a fun place to take a dog, even though it smells bad. I had a great time playing fetch by throwing the ball as far as I could into the lake, and seeing how excited she was to go out and get the ball for me. She is a very smart dog and understands many commands. She will even shake herself off after leaving the lake when you tell her to. She will also balance treats on her nose. For a cat/rat person, this is an amazing novelty. She slept next to me every night, and became very protective of me when she heard noises outside.

Despite the fun of playing with the dog, I’m once again concerned about my health. I am now out of my other thyroid medication. You can blame it on depression or on my being hypothyroid, but I am utterly exhausted. I went to sleep just before midnight the other night, and struggled to get out of bed at noon. I then fell asleep again at 7:00 p.m. and didn’t wake up until 7:00 a.m. I woke up briefly, and then slept again until 4 p.m. This isn’t normal. I am not lazy! I know that if I had more to do, then I would do more, but I am concerned by how little I do when I have little to do! When I first worked at the technical college where I was an instructor, I slept a lot. I slept, I ate, I worked, I commuted, but I didn’t do much else. Fortunately, I got everything done. It’s been six years, but I keep my reviews to remind myself that I am good at things and that people appreciate what I do. My students really liked me, even though I felt like crap. I was able to give my all for a set amount of hours per day and just sleep the rest of the time. Brain fog wasn’t as big of a problem for me then. I really need proper healthcare so I can function and contribute like I used to. Like I want to. I wish I could take a break from all of this and just breathe and not worry. I don’t want to get yet another job and get fired or freak out.

I am looking into renting a studio where they do not care about your credit rating. Unfortunately, they don’t care about your criminal record either, so I’m a bit nervous about who my neighbors might be. I have not yet turned to a life of crime, though it’s sad when it occurs to you that prison would guarantee food and a roof over your head. But then there’s the prison rape, even for women. Hopefully things will work out for me over the next few weeks.

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Lazy Jane

Lazy Jane by Shel Silverstein

Lazy Jane by Shel Silverstein

I’ve spent most of the past several days tending to my sick rat. In a way, it’s a relief not to have a job because he cannot eat or drink by himself. However, if I had a job (and $50 or so) I would have had him euthanized days ago. I can tell he’s really suffering and there is no chance for recovery.  He lies with his head down and his mouth gaping open while he gasps and gasps for air. He falls over when he tries to walk. His back legs are barely moving and he’s bone-thin. I suspect a pituitary tumor in addition to his apparent respiratory problems. I let him stay with me most of the day. How I wish I had thought to buy a carry sack! His brother (and cage-mate) won’t leave him alone, and he squeaks in pain while his brother grooms him. He’s my main excuse (yes I’ll admit that it’s more of an excuse than a reason) for not going to Labor Ready today. I didn’t take much convincing not to go. Labor Ready sounds awful. And I’m sick, both chronically and acutely. What kind of construction work could they have me do?

I feel a lot like Lazy Jane in the Shel Silverstein poem. Part of me just expects a job to fall into my lap. The scraps of my sense of entitlement tell me that after nearly six years of looking, that something, somewhere will just come along. Part of me believes that my 600-or-so job rejections were just fodder for the amazing, spectacular job I’m destined to get. I consider myself a rational person, but I really, truly believe this even though I know I’m wrong. I am actively looking for employment, but I am not looking with the same hope and enthusiasm that has gotten me through job searches in the past. I wish I could stop letting my depression get to me. I should be hitting the pavement, networking, schmoozing, hobnobbing, brown-nosing, you name it. But I sleep, I make pasta, I watch a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I spoon-feed and -water my dying pet rat. I also cough and wheeze a lot. One of the first things I’m going to do when I get money is get my inhaler prescription refilled. My lungs never quite recovered from the pneumonia bout of 2008.

I have had chronic low body temperature since childhood, and if it weren’t for that, I’d think I have a fever. I am on thyroid medication that should regulate my temperature a bit, but it’s still too low. Not counting hot flashes (I have never taken my temperature during one), I have had exactly one “real” fever in my life, and that was when I was in the hospital with a post-surgery infection.

I have received a number of phone calls from optimistic recruiters, but it seems like these phone calls never lead to anything. I have now twice applied for a job at the company that laid me off in 2007. I had good references there, but my whole team got laid off while our jobs were shipped to India. The jobs I’m applying for are even in the department I used to work in, yet I am getting nowhere with these applications. Calling to follow up is hopeless –no one will let you talk to anyone, and no one will even let you leave a voice mail. I may very well end up getting a minimum wage job at a local fair. That may be more tolerable than Labor Ready. I actually like the fair.

I am unfortunately at the point where I am rationing my own medications. I will run out shortly, and it won’t be pretty. Last fall while I was a graduate student, my medical bills prevented me from enrolling in classes required for me to graduate. Because I owed about $4000 to the University Medical Center, they put a hold on my registration and effectively kicked me out of school. I protested and explained how poor I was, but I got nowhere with them. The worst thing about it was that since they wouldn’t let me register, I was unable to access my student loans. My student loans were my sole source of income, so I couldn’t even make a small payment because they wouldn’t give me the loan money. I explained to them repeatedly that if they would lift the hold on my registration, I would register, get my loan money, and then pay them. Eventually, I convinced them. Unfortunately, they demanded I give them essentially all of my loan money or get booted out of class. I complied, and was left with approximately $40 to last three months. My medications cost at least $60 with insurance, which I could no longer afford. I quit taking all of my drugs. I paid rent and other bills with cash advances on my credit card because I had a $5700 limit and just a small balance.

I was fine for a couple of weeks or so, but then the brain fog set in. Worse, my thyroid became large and inflamed, and I developed a small (but visible) goiter. It was somewhat difficult to breathe and I felt like I was being strangled nonstop. All I did was sleep and go to class. I don’t even remember what happened the first six weeks of the term. My grades were the worst I had made in the program. I promised myself at that point that even if I had to rob a pharmacy, I would never go without my medications again.

I may very well go to St. Vincent DePaul, even though I’ve had bad experiences with them for two out of the three times I have used their services. The second time I went there, the man there made me cry after he made a comment about how ‘people like me’ were always coming in and taking advantage of ‘nice people like them.’ The third (and last) time I went there the woman I dealt with was sarcastic and rude. She acted as though I was poor because I’d spent all of my money on drugs, and even implied as much to the pharmacist on the phone (to paraphrase “Well, she says she’s underemployed, but who knows what she spends her money on?”). Much like in the aftermath of my negative experience with a free clinic, I decided it was too much trouble to bother with them, even when I really needed help.

Update: About 90 minutes after I initially published this, my little rat passed away in my arms. I’m heartbroken because he was the nicest rat I’d ever met (and I’ve met quite a few and they’ve all been nice) but I’m glad that he isn’t suffering anymore. I still feel guilty that I was unable to give him proper care.

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Help me, St. Francis

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi

I feel like the most horrible person in the world.

I woke up this morning to a very lethargic pet rat. Rats usually sleep rolled up in a little ball, but my sweet boy was sprawled out in an unnatural spread-eagle position. I’ve always been an animal lover, and the sight of any animal in pain just cuts me up inside. I held him in my arms and he was barely responsive. I put some yogurt on a plate and tried to get him to eat, but he wouldn’t. I gave him FerretVite (which I often call “rat crack”) and he wouldn’t eat that either. The only time I’ve seen a rat refuse FerretVite was right before death.

I only had $140 or so, and I have no income and I haven’t paid my August rent. I sat around distraught for probably two hours, weighing the pros and cons of taking him to the vet. I knew I had to take him, and I knew that euthanization would cost at least $80. I also knew that in his state, the vet would probably recommend that I have my little guy put down. I thought that if he was going to die, I should just keep him comfortable and let him die naturally. I put him on a pillow with some washcloths, and I tried my best to force-feed him yogurt. I also gave him some water with a syringe.

I decided, as I often do, to take a nap. I slept next to the rat for a couple of hours. When I woke up, he was still plugging along, breathing very hard and lying limply.  I realized that if he died in pain I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself, so I called my regular vet.

My regular vet was unavailable. He was at a convention in Wisconsin and they didn’t have any doctors available until Thursday. I didn’t think my boy would make it that long. The veterinary assistant referred me to another exotic pet vet in a nearby town. I arranged to bring him in right away. The exam alone was $39, which is actually slightly cheaper than it is at my regular vet.

Truth be told, even if I still had a job, this vet visit would have been unaffordable. Actually, if I still had a job, I may not have even had $140 because I would have paid my rent and I’d be left with nothing at all.

So, we went on a little drive. I had to wait a long time because the vet had to see my little guy between appointments. The assistant (who was the most knowledgeable veterinary assistant I’ve ever encountered) told me that he was very, very sick and that they recommended two days hospitalization. That would cost $350-$400 to be paid at time of service, and that was simply out of the question. She also said that I could have him euthanized or I could give him some antibiotics and some fluids, but that his prognosis was still not very good.

I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Maybe this makes me an even worse person than someone who wouldn’t even bother with veterinary care, but I really just couldn’t say goodbye today. I opted to have them give him some subcutaneous fluids and some antibiotics and just see how he would do. He’s only 18 months old (which is a little more than middle age for a rat), and I thought he deserved another chance if I had the power to give it to him.

I bought some baby food on the way home, and he actually ate a bit of it after he got the fluids. He is still lethargic, but he has perked up a bit. I have enough antibiotics for two weeks, assuming he lives that long. My pets are my family and I feel completely useless when I can’t give them what they need. Many women my age have children to provide for, and due to my financial constraints I can’t even provide for a 1-lb. rodent.  Although I have never been interested in reproducing, I often feel bad knowing that if I did, I would probably have my children taken away. I really don’t want to be that kind of person.

I had animals growing up, but my family was wealthy and we took very good care of our pets. I had two friends in high school who came from poor families, and I was often disgusted with the way they treated their animals. I had one friend who had a cat who kept getting pregnant. She kept one of the kittens, but the kitten stopped growing at about two months old. He had really bad respiratory problems and his nose and mouth were always covered in mucous. She wouldn’t take him to the vet. One day, I went to her house, picked up her cat, told her I was taking him to the vet because she wouldn’t. And I did. He tested positive for feline leukemia and the vet recommended euthanization. He wasn’t my cat, so I couldn’t make that decision. I gave my friend the bad news, and she decided not to put him down. He eventually died around his first birthday. I imagine it was a painful death.  I remember being really disgusted with my friend at this point, first because of her failure to have this kitten’s mother spayed, second for her failure to take him to the vet when he was very ill and in pain, and third for her failure to put the poor creature out of his misery when she had the chance. She also put her other cats at risk by having him in the house.

I had another friend with an elderly poodle. The poodle developed a rather large tumor on her belly. She was a small dog, but the tumor was so big that it touched the ground when she walked. The dog clearly needed surgery, but no one was taking her to the vet. Eventually, her family did take the dog in to be put down, but the tumor had dangled from the poodle’s abdomen for several months by that point.

I never understood this behavior, but now I almost do. My cat is almost 14 years old, and I have been fortunate that she is doing well health-wise.  She is an indoor cat, but I do worry about taking care of her over the next few years. I want to do everything I can to ensure she has a comfortable and healthy life. She is my friend and my companion, and I don’t want her to suffer because of my financial situation. It did not occur to me at 17 that my little kitten would be a financial burden to me at 30.  When I finally got a steady job at age 27, it never occurred to me that I would make less and less money as time went on. My situation has turned me into a bit of a pessimist, but I hope with all my heart that this trend does not continue.

I do want to do what is best for my animals, and I don’t see that my situation is dire enough to warrant finding new homes for them. My cat is the only consistent thing in my life. Like I said, she’s family. My two rats do not have long to live, and I understand and accept that. My cat has a few more years in her, and I will not get any more pets until I can afford them. After all, if you can’t afford the vet, you can’t afford the pet.

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Single female seeks inexpensive lodging, no strings attached

I realize and I accept that I can no longer pay my rent. I have begun to do some research about local housing options. The truth is, I will never find a cheaper apartment. So that means I will have to live in a room in a house.

I’ve always been a packrat, and I can be overly sentimental, so it will be difficult to pare my belongings down to one room. Unlike most people my age, I do not have parents who will keep my treasured belongings safe for me, so everything I own is in my possession. Everything left over from my childhood is either in my home or has been destroyed. I don’t have many things that make me happy, so I guess I hold on to what I can.

My initial perusal of craigslist.com postings was disappointing. I found a room in a house owned by a single father who openly declared that he hoped to have a tenant who would be interested in a romantic relationship. It was cheap, but no. I found another room in a house owned by a couple who would let their tenant stay for free in exchange for housekeeping and sexual services. Um, no.

My other obstacle is my credit rating. My credit is currently very, very bad, and that limits my options. Also, I have pets, which limits my options further. I have finally gotten in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer, and he says I should be able to declare in 90 days. I can also discharge my electricity bill in this process, which will be nice. I am not sure if I will have to wait the whole 90 days to get my electricity back. I don’t think I can stay in my apartment that long. Moving into a house would be ideal because chances are they would already have electricity in someone else’s name so I wouldn’t have to pay deposits and whatnot. Moving in the dark will be difficult, though, and I’m sure to rack up many fees because I can’t clean properly in the dark. I have a long-haired black cat and I can’t vacuum.

I’ve decided to get rid of most of my books. More painful is the awareness that I have to get rid of most of my CDs, or at least the jewel cases. I’ve been clinging to those for most of my life. I just don’t like CDs without jewel cases. It seems wrong. Sacrilege. I’m too poor (and too much of a Luddite) to go 100% digital.

I’m terrified (yes, terrified) of living with other people at this point in my life due to health issues, but I see no way around it. I’m hoping that I can find some sort of dormitory-style boarding house where I can have my own enclosed space where my pets can stay, and I will only have to worry about sharing a kitchen and bathroom. If it’s big enough, I may even be able to keep my 12-year-old television.

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