Four Cats and a Funeral; or A Foreshadowing Dream

I had a dream on Sunday night. I dreamt that my Grandfather had just died. He’d already been eugoogalized and put into the ground. The dream took place, primarily in someone’s garage where Dead Beat Dad, and my step-monster, (we’ll call her Gigi the Home Wrecker, because well, my Precious Nieces #1 & #2 call her Gigi and she HATES it. That’s a good enough reason for me! I suspect the “home wrecker” part speaks for itself.) were selling off my grandfather’s possessions. There were a number of valuable items that were being sold for a significant sum of money.

I do not remember what kinds of items were being sold, but I do recall that there were some items I wanted to have and I didn’t have money to purchase. I remember arguing with Dead Beat Dad and Gigi the Home Wrecker about the fact that it wasn’t fair or right to sell these items to complete strangers when there were family members who wanted them. Dead Beat Dad did waver some in his determination, but Gigi the Home Wrecker bullied him, as usual, until he agreed to her side of things and refused to allow the items to be taken by family.

In one corner of the garage was what I could only refer to as a cat farm. Imagine a four foot by six foot miniature farm, made of Legos, complete with a farm house, a barn and fields and pastures. And with-in this miniature farm were about 250 tiny cats. (Think “Pussy” from Rick & Steve, but the size of a snail.) The entire set-up, cats and all, was being sold at this Garage Sale, and in my dream I was very disturbed by the fact that these poor living beings that had just lost their care-giver were being sold of to random strangers.

Me: “You’re selling the cat farm? You can’t sell the cat farm! That’s just not right!”

Gigi the Home Wrecker: “What’s wrong with it?”

Me: “They’re living creatures that need to be taken care of. How could you possibly sell them off to complete strangers?”

GtHW: “What else are we going to do with them?”

Me: I’ll take them back to California with me.

Dead Beat Dad: “There are 250 of them. You can’t possibly take all this back on the plane!”

He was right, of course. Taking the Cat Farm was just not an option. I could see that I wasn’t going to win this argument, so I left the garage. I went to my luggage and retrieved two portable pet carrying bags. I went and found the four cats (two of the cats belonged to Dead Beat Dad and the other two to Vengeful Mother) that were wondering around the property and stuffed them in the two bags and took off for the air-port. I may not have been able to prevent them from selling off Papa’s things that I wanted to keep, but I took their cats. Somehow, that made up for it all.

The four cats were as follows:

Puff The oldest of the four by far. “Puffer” was a cat that Gigi the Home Wrecker‘s younger son had found abandoned somewhere when I was four or five years old. When I was about eight years old Puff was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia. She suffered greatly and developed huge tumors and open soars. GtHW couldn’t bring herself to have Puff put to sleep for a long time and so Puff suffered far more than she should have been allowed to. Dead Beat Dad finally stepped in and had Puff delivered from her agony.

Angel The next oldest Cat. Angel was surgically attached to Dead Beat Dad, always on his lap, or on his shoulder or lying on his butt at night. Angel was Dead Beat Dad‘s cat. She was only three or four years old when Puff went away, which must have been a great relief, as Puff and Angel were not friends. Angel lived about 16 years. I don’t really know what finally killed her (I assume old age, though 16 isn’t old for a cat.)

Muppet A cantankerous old fart of a kitty. Muppet was Vengeful Mother‘s favorite. She obtained him from a close friend whose unspayed cat had a litter of kittens and they needed good homes. Muppet caught her eye right away and while VM had no intention of taking in any more pets (we had a dog and that was enough) she came home that day with the little guy in her purse and a bag full of cat supplies. This was 1990. Sadly, Muppet had to be put down a few years ago. I don’t really know what happened to him, I just know that VM came home from work one day to find him flat on the floor, very lethargic and weak of voice (something he was not at any other time.) For several years before, Muppet was stinky, and his ears itched and he produced a significant amount of disgusting ear wax. He’d gotten ear mites and VM did nothing about it because, she said, she couldn’t afford to take him to the vet. It always bothered me, but there was nothing I could do.

Miss Kitty Of the four, Miss Kitty is the youngest, and the only one still alive. She, too, has had her share of health issues, but so far she’s hanging in. Miss Kitty is two years younger than Muppet. For some reason Miss Kitty was a big eater. She got to be very fat! When my beastly child came along a year later, she was lazy and too fat to run and therefor quite often the victim of Scared Kitty‘s youthful exuberance. (Scared Kitty is afraid of all people he doesn’t know. He hides behind my recliner every day when I come home from work and when my former roommate of six years comes over to visit he hides from her until he determines she’s not leaving soon, at which point he comes out to investigate and realizes he knows her already. But that’s a whole lot of story for another time.)

Eventually, Miss Kitty got so fat that her stomach hung almost to the floor when she walked. It was at this point that VM determined that Miss Kitty needed a diet. VM put Miss Kitty on a new food that was designed for overweight felines. Miss Kitty almost immediately got sick. She’d throw up every time she ate (Perhaps Miss Kitty should be renamed Bulimic Kitty?) VM took Miss Kitty to the vet who ran tests and determined that the poor thing had developed food allergies to all traditional fillers used in cat food. He then gave VM a special prescription dry food which Miss Kitty should be able to eat. Miss Kitty did not care for this new food, and as cats will do, refused to eat, preferring starvation over bad taste.

In fairly short order Miss Kitty went from being a complete porker to so thin you could count her ribs. VM was very worried. It happened to be around the time that CPA Sis was graduating from University so Miss Kitty went into the kennel to be cared for and tested/treated at the same time. The situation was dire. If Miss Kitty didn’t eat and keep down some nutrition very soon she wouldn’t live. The Vet ordered, forced feeding by way of a plastic tube in her nose and down her throat.

So there stood nurse #1 with poor little tubed up Miss Kitty in her arms while nurse #2 popped the top on a can of the wet version of the food the vet had prescribed. The very moment those vapors hit Miss Kitty’s unblocked nostril she went nuts! She squawked and squirmed until nurse #1 let her down. Miss Kitty immediately accosted nurse #2 who put the can down on the floor. Miss Kitty went to town. She wouldn’t even stop eating long enough to allow the nurses to remove the plastic feeding tube.

Today, Miss Kitty gets gourmet, prescription, canned food (Veal and carrots, to be precise – the stinker eats better than I do) to the tune of $1.50+ per can and she eats 2/3 of a can a day. She’s a nice healthy weight, and last I heard was very youthful and spry!.

Well, I’ve gotten a bit off track here, so let me re-group. This dream, on it’s own, is just one of many random somewhat bazaar dreams I’ve had. But it was different. Usually when I wake up from one of these odd dreams I feel fine and it amounts to, “Hmmm! That was a weird one.” This one was different. Yes, the dream was weird, and the conversation with my therapist that came from it was even more weird, but this one was more than that.

I didn’t say anything about it to anyone, but I knew. I knew that this was the day that Papa would finally be relieved of his misery. This was the day he’d receive his eternal reward for all his Heavenly work. This was the day he’d be reunited with his wife whom he missed so desperately. As the day wore on I began to think perhaps I was wrong, perhaps he’d be spared to see another day. I was sitting at home at about 9:30 in the evening reading Dad Gone Mad one of my favorite bloggers when Ex Con Older Brother popped up on my screen on Instant Message.

Ex Con Older Brother: Dad just got home from the Reunion and on the way his sis called…

Me: Papa?

ECOB: Papa just died.

ECOB: Oh. You already knew?

Me: No. I mean, I did, but no. I dreamt it last night. You’re the first person to tell me.

ECOB: Wow.

I do not now, nor will I ever claim to be psychic, or have ESPN or be telescopic, but every once in a while, things like this happen, where I just know something even before anyone has told me. In this case, I don’t know if it was better or worse that I had the “forewarning”.

So, on Tuesday night, I told Deb my therapist about this dream and the fact that my grandfather died the next night. I talked about his life, and his children and the two sides of him. But I realized there wasn’t a whole lot to say. Yes, I’m confused or conflicted about my feelings and I don’t really know what’s what just yet. Then she asked me about the dream.

It brought up a lot of things. Old feelings about Dead Beat Dad and Gigi the Home Wrecker and how they came to be together. About the cats, and who they were important too and my feelings about them not being properly cared for. There was a lot of similarity between my parental units’ lack of proper care for their animals, and their lack of proper care for me.

I could go on for hours about Vengful Mother‘s neglect and her self-deception, believing that she did well, by me, and about Dead Beat Dad‘s abandonment and inability to find his way to a healthy relationship with out guilt and depression. And I probably have a lot to say about Gigi the Home Wrecker and the parts she played in destroying my childhood and in making me the confused and somewhat imbittered man that I am today. But I think perhaps that’s a rant for another day.

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