Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Signficant Life Moments

Bruno, our daughter Phoebe's cat since she was 4 years old, old enough to organize the adoption of this furry ball has died. We are sad to not have him with us. He was a hairy bundle of energy, positive and negative, depending on whom he was approaching.

Phoebe trained him from kitten hood to withstand the love neck-strangle hold. He was so enamored of this position that he found it difficult to settle down at night unless someone agreed to get him in a headlock. This was fine if Phoebe was around, but once she left for University, it was a challenge to Steve and I.

Bruno could tell time. We have a clock that calls the hours with birdcalls. When the Canadian Goose honked, that meant dinner time and whoa betide the human in the house that didn't trot at a fast clip to the fridge to get his food. The 3 o'clock chickadee-dee-dee meant Phoebe would be home from school any minute and Bruno would pace between the front door and the human in the house who wasn't Phoebe, telling that person that they weren't Phoebe and could they do something about it please.

Bruno's telling time by bird call became particularly stressful to the rest of us when the windows opened in the spring and the birds began to call at dawn. There are bluejays, robins, chickadees and phoebe-birds all outdoors and they are all on this clock. The hours of 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. were very confusing for Bruno and he let us all know that something should be happening, preferably with food.

After traveling with us to Halifax as a kitten of barely a year, helping Phoebe to fit in with new friends, seeing her through the tribulations of being a girl who preferred the games of boys, eventual boyfriends instead of a gang of boys, deciding to homeschool through junior highschool and where to go for university, Bruno turned 15 and started to decline. It was a very tough send off for all of us. Bruno was groomed beautifully and was purring from the affection he was receiving at the end and then he was gone. All of us keep looking around at his stations of the food chain. He had several spots where he would perch to watch all food being distributed. It used to drive him crazy if we shut the front hall doorway because he couldn't sit in his basket on the window sill and see the kitchen counter and table. I am keeping that door open these days because I assume that that is where his spirit resides, keeping an eye out for any action at the cat food dish.

On a happier note, Steve turned 50 last week. He made it! I remember when I was a kid and trying to figure out what year it would be if I lived to see 50. 2010. It was a good number as numbers go, two zeros and a 2. plus it was past the 2000 mark which seemed kind of magic when I was a kid. I turned 50 six months sooner than Steve and we had planned to have a joint birthday party, but life and logistics haven't allowed that to happen.

Steve wouldn't have looked good in a sparkly tiara the way I do, so I made him one with black pipe cleaners and two little light bulbs, because he always has ideas going on in that massive cranium. Regrettably, I have no idea how to wire them to light up. He's the genius, he can do it for next year.

Steve and I spent the morning walking downtown, getting some great steaks and other food items from our favourite shops, picking up a blueberry almond birthday cake, getting two bottles of wine and once we came home, we had naps. I KNOW! What a crazy thing to do on a 50th birthday. Have a nap. But we are old enough now that we can nap when ever we want to and blame it on: old age, tired bodies, not sleeping well or medications. The truth is that we can disappear to our room (together or alone) and just check out of whatever is going on and .... have a nap. It is deliciously luxurious. There is something very decadent about napping in the middle of the day for no good reason beyond wanting to. Probably in 10 years I will change my attitude on this but for now, it's just cool.

50 also means that there are a lot of things we can just opt out of and not have to explain ourselves as well as a lot of things we can undertake because we want to. It's like we have this embossed “You have permission to....” card in our wallets and we can use them whenever we want.

The kids came over after dinner for the blueberry almond cake and to give Steve a gift they had been preparing for for several weeks now.

A watermelon Ukelele. Who doesn't need one of those!?

It was a very nice family birthday day. Steve, you are circled by love, you lucky man.

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