I’ve spent much of the morning dealing with Ivy. I will spray her in the face and chase her off the table, and within minutes she’s right back up there. Why doesn’t she seem to learn?
I’ve tried to scold her in a normal voice. I’ve tried raising my voice to get her attention. The only thing that does is scare poor Charlie. Ivy seems oblivious to it.
I have removed all the faux plants from the tables so she will stop chewing the faux leaves.
She is always curious and into things, but this morning she seems to be particularly bent on destruction. Is this a kitten thing? Will she mature out of this?
Yes, I’m a little frustrated this morning. I’m not angry with her. She’s a cat. And that is that.
I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning and straightening and putting things in order. And Monday morning arrives and I’m tired. I slept well, thankfully. But the cold is seeping into my arthritic joints, as it is for many of you I imagine.
I did not even realize Thanksgiving was this week. I thought it was next week. My mind has a hard enough time remembering what day of the week it is.
Things just get away from me sometimes.
Yes, little Miss Ivy Lou, I see you giving me the stink eye. But I love you and no matter what you do, I will still love you. Love is not something I consider remotely conditional.
I grew up wondering why both my parents abandoned me. Then when I was a little older, I wondered why they took my sister and left me behind, an infant, to fend for myself in a world full of strangers.
But I will never have my answer.
Where I felt ashamed, as though I had done something wrong, I should have just felt anger or indifference. Oh, I got around to the anger by the time I was a teenager.
But it’s hard to hate someone you don’t even know. Hate is generated and stoked when all you hear is negative. Eventually you begin to absorb that.
This misguided hate caused me to do something I regret to this day. I’ve probably told you this at some point. Shortly after my great-grandmother’s funeral, one of her daughters brought me a packet of my mother’s things. I think they were photos of her.
But I did not look at them. I didn’t even open it. I took it to the barrel where we burned trash and burned the whole thing, watching as the flames licked away at what was essentially my history.
I was angry that she was making me go through life with people questioning me as to why my parents were never around. And I had no answer for them.
I was angry that my great-grandmother, who had basically served as my mother figure, died and left me, barely 13 years of age, to figure out the rest of the way myself.
Why is one of those questions that does not always have an answer. And often the answer is not satisfactory.
I have spent a lot of useless time asking the universe why. I know there isn’t going to be an answer and the whole exercise is futile.
I have also spent many years chastising myself for burning that packet. I only have two photos of my mother. In one she is about 3-4 years of age. And in the other she is with my father on what I think was their wedding day.
Why oh why didn’t I keep those photos? Why did I act so impulsively?
I burned them in a fit of rage and fear. What was going to become of me? Who would take care of me now?
My great-grandmother was old and tired by the time I was born. She had helped raise her step siblings, then she raised eight children of her own.
She was then left with my grandmother, who for all intents and purposes remained a child herself. When my grandmother was raped and became pregnant she then had to raise my mother.
She never had a chance to catch her breath, much less explore her own desires in life. And when she learned that I’d been left in another state by myself, she was not going to stand for that.
So she sent for me. And what was she to do but take me in? In the final years of her life, she had to begin this mothering thing all over again.
I don’t know how I went from Ivy’s stunts to my background.
Well, yes, I guess I do know how these two topics are similar.
Ivy was found abandoned at about two weeks of age. Ivy had no mother to take care of her, to feed her. She was rescued and bottle fed.
I sit here and look over at her sitting in the sunlight, and I’m not frustrated with her any more.
I think of the tiny kitten that would have died had someone not found her. And it just makes me feel sad for all the unwanted animals and children that are brought into this world.
Not one of them have a say in it. Not one of them did anything wrong except slip from the womb and draw breath.
Ivy is indeed willful. She is inquisitive and funny and stubborn all at the same time.
But no matter what, I love her.
I’m her mother now, and I will never leave her.