Our cat, Jameson, threw up twice in the past couple of weeks. I think it’s more than hairballs but nothing too serious (maybe he ate too fast) and so I went to the internet to do some research.
Armed with said research and recommendations, this morning I laid out wet food and fresh water for Jameson. Thankfully, he devoured the wet food (normally he couldn’t care less), but wasn’t so interested in the water. Article after article cautioned against dehydration in cats and so I thought in my early morning, pre-cup of tea haze, “I should Google how to best get cats to drink water.”
Then I thought, “Isn’t the internet bloody brilliant.”
Then I thought, “Maybe the internet’s not so bloody brilliant. In the old days (yes, I actually thought ‘in the old days’ ) people would have phoned a friend or a sibling or a parent to answer such questions and share such concerns, but now Google is the go-to.
Then I thought, “I wish I had a mother I could phone to ask questions and share concerns with. To say, hello. Hello, I’m lonely, hello, I’m scared, hello, I need you. Hello, I’m happy, hello, I’m great, hello, I love you.
Then I remembered, after I emigrated to San Francisco and before the onset of my mother’s Alzheimer’s, I would phone my mother and make-up questions, ‘how do I know he’s the ‘one?” ‘how long should I roast the beef?’ ‘ is three hours too long for the baby to nap?’ ‘what can I do for M.’s colic?’ I wanted her to feel needed. I wanted to pretend I counted on her. I wanted us to have that kind of mother-daughter relationship.
Then I re-remembered, after my mother had already had several nervous breakdowns and before she would be diagnosed with schizophrenia, the family doctor came to our house and examined my mother, and then talked with my father down in the kitchen. The doctor said, “she needs to feel needed. Do whatever you can to make her feel needed.”
I write about my mother a lot. I don’t know how to not write about her. I think this is how I keep her with me. How I sort through the pain. My mother’s still alive (in her twelfth year of Alzheimer’s and recently diagnosed with uterine cancer) but she’s been long gone. And I miss her so. I have always missed her. And I still need her. You were always needed, Mammy.
Then I thought about V.S. Naipaul and how much he’d hate this post and decided ‘far cue, Mr. Naipaul,’ I’d rather write out of my heart than talk out of my arse.
Here’s Jameson. Tell me he’s not gorgeous: