24, 4, 84

I recently had a birthday (as did Becca, Dan, Jay, and Nate Richert, the actor who portrayed Harvey Kinkle on Sabrina the Teenage Witch).  It sucked.  Suffice to say I woke up at 5:30 with a raging fever and it only got worse from there.  The high point was my mother, who drove two and a half hours to take care of me (she cleaned my apartment and brought me ice cream).  I’m 24, but that doesn’t mean I can’t act 4, at least around my mother.

Anyway, I’m doing slightly better now, after taking an entire week off of work and watching everything in my DVD collection, including Kindergarten Cop.  And that was all before I got the diagnosis: pneumonia.  Looks like I was aiming for swine flu and missed.

It’s going to sound like I’m 24 going on 84, the way I follow up a health report with some cat-related emotions, but I can’t help it.  Shadow died yesterday.  She was 18.  I remember the day dad rescued her from herself, rolling around in the middle of the highway; she was tiny, and I named her Shadow because she followed my six-year-old-self everywhere.  Finally, a cat of my own; Amigo never liked me much.  Shadow never learned to meow properly, sounding more like R2D2 than a cat, and she walked into every room like it was her first time seeing the place.  She was always on the wrong side of every door; she learned to bang the screen door when she needed to get inside (“the cat’s knocking again,” we’d say, not thinking anything of it), and let no cupboard or closet stay closed for more than a few minutes.  My parents said it was like living with a ghost: you’d be trying to sleep, and suddenly all the doors in the room would open, one after another.  She never forgave me for moving out, and fell into my mother’s shadow instead.  She drank half and half every morning while my parents had coffee.  My dad buried her in a sunny patch near her favorite window.  She was the best cat of all the cats.

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