Sunday, August 30, 2009

Memorial of Fiona


Fiona, my best friend, passed away yesterday, after fighting a liver ailment that left her very weak. She and I had only been together two short years, even though it felt like we had known each other forever.

We first knew she wasn't feeling well when she stopped eating about a week or so before it happened. With a vet visit, she was rehydrated and given an IV cast to help keep her from dehydrating. She still didn't eat, but seemed happy enough: on the Wednesday night before she was put down, she came and visited me for attention, rolling around as she did before any of this started happening, purring and kneading. However, her condition deteriorated very quickly the next night: she started hiding, which was out of character for her. According to my mother, she even tried to escape when taken outside, to go hide somewhere and die. Even so, she remained alive until the fateful day, hiding in the bonus room beside mine quietly. While she wasn't very animated, she still meowed to me when I talked to her.

On the last day, she was still hiding in the bonus room when we pulled her out. She struggled to get away when she saw the cat carrier, but not with as much force as she had in the past. She didn't even cry much in there, despite how much she hated what would normally come next. At the vet's office, we pulled her out and I held her one last time, crying like I never had before; she clung to my shoulder, hoping I'd protect her. Even my mother started crying at that point. The vet was able to clear an injection area, and I said some of my last words to her as she injected the anesthesia, in both her hind and fore legs. I'll never forget the look on Fiona's face as she lies there lifeless, and I'll never forget the memories we shared together.

She had many behaviors I won't forget, but it's still a good idea to list them:

  • When I came home after work or school, she would come up to me and nestle into my lap for attention, where I pet her and she kneaded and purred with a big smile. She even tolerated being partially covered by the drawing board I used, as long as she still got attention.
  • In general, she loved getting attention, and would roll around on the floor at my feet for a good foot petting.
  • She loved her toy, which was similar to a fishing rod, but had a small collection of feathers on the end of the line. I wish I would've spent more time playing with her, though.
  • She managed to play with herself, batting mice around and chasing after them.
  • Catnip didn't always have an effect on her, but when it did she acted very wild.
  • In the morning, she joined the other two cats for wet cat food down in the kitchen. It was fun watching them as my mother fed them, and funny when she dropped food on Fiona's head because she stood on the wax paper. Fiona would sometimes lick the can clean.
  • At night, she would come into my room just after I closed the door, then either run up to the bed or the window sill. She'd always eventually make it to the bed, but was often distracted by the pull cords on my blinds. She even broke one of them off eventually. Once on my bed, she'd walk atop me, then lay down on her stomach to get more attention. She often would later go eat, then either leave the room or come back and lay upon or beside me for even more attention.
  • She really didn't like the fan or the air conditioner.
  • When I had the television on, she sometimes watched it with me.
  • Her pupils were almost always fairly small, sometimes three or four millimeters the narrow dimension.
  • Sometimes she would sit on my shoulder or back, or on the back of the chair, when on my old chair or couch.
  • In my old chair, she would nestle into my lap when I had my legs spread. Sometimes, she would also sit beside me. She didn't much like my replacement chair.
  • Her meows were always high-pitched, with a very slight upward inflection at the end. When confused, bewildered, or scared, they became quieter and ended with a question-like inflection. When happy, they sounded very dry. She would rarely howl unless alone somewhere at night.
  • She rarely hid, choosing to be in plain sight much of the time downstairs. We knew there was a problem when she did hide.
  • She ate a lot.
  • She and Sylvie would try to play together every now and then, but their wild times weren't synchronized well; someone almost always ended up offended.
  • She, Sylvie, and Meg would often randomly attack each other, supposedly to only uphold the social hierarchy.
  • She always loved a good belly rub.
  • When not given attention, she would often take the "rabbit stance" and sit nearby.
  • She had the cutest smile, and would almost always knead for a few minutes after laying down while pet.
  • Fiona had really bad breath.
  • Fiona's previous owners thought she was too demanding for attention.
  • Fiona really liked eel and rice, and for a while liked green beans and corn.

There may be more of these coming in the future, but I really don't want to continue this particular entry.

Friday, August 28, 2009

わかれうた - 中島みゆき

With the soon-to-be-passing of my cat, this song came to mind. It really does fit with how I feel:

途に倒れて だれかの名を
呼び続けたことが ありますか
人ごとに言うほど たそがれは
優しい人好しじゃ ありません

別れの気分に 味を占めて
あなたは 私の戸を叩いた
私は別れを 忘れたくて
あなたの眼を見ずに 戸を開けた

わかれはいつもついて来る 幸せの後ろをついて来る
それが私のクセなのか いつも目覚めれば独り

うかれ街あたりで 名をあげる
眠れない私は つれづれに
わかれうた 今夜も 口ずさむ

だれが名付けたか 私には
別れうた唄いの 影がある
好きで別れ唄う 筈もない
他に知らないから 口ずさむ

恋の終わりは いつもいつも
立ち去る者だけが 美しい
残されて 戸惑う者たちは
追いかけて焦がれて 泣き狂う

わかれはいつもついて来る 幸せの後ろをついて来る
それが私のクセなのか いつも目覚めれば独り

うかれ街あたりで 名をあげる
眠れない私は つれづれに
わかれうた 今夜も 口ずさむ

English translation

by Greg Sharp

Have you ever been lying in the street
Calling someone’s name over and over
Twilight, unlike in the stories
It is neither friendly nor charming

With the flavor of farewell
You knock on my door
Wanting to forget farewell
I open the door, without looking into your eyes

Farewell always comes
It comes right after happiness
Is it my habit?
Always waking up alone?

You wear your grief
Running around town, making yourself known
But me, sleepless and bored
I sing the farewell song again tonight

Who gave me this name?
The girl who sings the farewell song
It’s not like I sing farewell because I like it
I sing it because I don’t know any other song

Always, when love is over
The one who leaves is beautiful
The bewildered one who is left behind
Chases and yearns and cries and cries

Taken from here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Old Story: "The Kitsune-Ookami"

This is very old stuff I happened upon while looking through my website's archive. As far as I can tell, it's from when I was in late junior high, around six years ago. It does bring back memories, though. I'm a bit embarrassed to post it, but it's not as bad as it could be.

I am the wolf/fox hybrid. I was created in a lab accident by my guardian. I have been kept in a cage until recently. I broke out in a release of my rage in the form of demonic energy. Beware, for it may happen again. The darkness in my soul has settled, but it'll rise again.

It started off when I was eight. My parents had died recently, and I had be wandering about aimlessly. A kind old man had been sitting beneath a tree. Being as curious as I had been, I walked toward him. He looked at me and said, "Hello, young one. What brings you over here?"
I responded by saying, "I have nowhere to go. My parents died."
" need someone to care for you."
I looked down, tears forming in my eyes.
"Well, I'll take you in."
I looked up at him and smiled weakly, "Okay."

He took me to his huge castle, which scared me. I put my hands over my eyes.
"Don't be afraid, young one."
I nodded lightly and entered.
We entered a long hall. A few of the things he showed me scared me. When we reached the end of the hall, he showed me a door. I pushed the door open, and saw a nice bedroom. There was a red velvet king size bed. There were also a lot of dressers about.
I said, wide-eyed, "Is this my room?"
He nodded lightly.
I ran with glee as I went to jump on the large bed...

The years passed by. I grew into a healthy, strong teenager. I learned by reading books from his large library. I later found his name to be Professor Motoko. It was all good, until one day...

I was walking along, still as curious as ever. I came across this big steel door, which I have never seen before. I tilted my head and walked toward it. When I grasped the black handle, it was oddly warm. I pushed the door inward, a loud, resounding creak occurring. When I walked in, I found it to be a long passage, with a bright light at the end. I walked toward the light, almost intrigued by it. When I reached it, I found it to be above. I looked up and found it to be a large bulb. I blinked, baffled. Turning my head downward again, I noticed a bright green light far off to the left. I walked toward it, only to find Professor Motoko working with some huge black thing. I looked at him.
"What's this thing?"
He looked at me with a crazy look in his eyes, "Oh no, you can't be here!"
I walked toward him. He jumped down and ran at me. I felt a blow to my right as I was knocked into a huge clear chamber with a huge metal band around it, a black cap on top, and wires coming out of it. He messed with a whole bunch of different things, running around the lab like mad. A chain was pulled, a switched was flipped, and a button was pushed.

A bright light enveloped me. A great pain cut through me like a knife. I winced, falling to my knees. The pain became greater as I fell to my side, passing out.

After much time, the blackness behind my eyelids became red. When I opened my eyes, the redness remained. I felt a great power within myself. I found myself growling, my eyes narrow. A great rage started to form, unprovoked. The power started to flow from my fingertips. As I looked at my body, the blue glow enveloped the entire thing. My fingers arched as long, metal claws came from my fingertips. I slowly moved my fingers individually, feeling a great desire to destroy. My eyes focused upon the containment chamber. I outstretched my arm, my claws extended. My arm trusted downward, shattering the side of the big case.

I walked forward, out of the clear prison. My eyes traced the surroundings as I continued to walk. As I got to the edge of the room, my newly formed fox-like ear twitched as a sound entered it. I turned around to find Motoko with a huge rod. He whacked it against me. My energy levels drained, my oversized body collapsing. I passed out.

My body twitched as I awoke, finding myself in a huge metal cage. I leaped upward, my head hitting the top. I charged at the side of the cage, my hands gripping the bars tightly. I managed to rattle it, but was unable to break it. The redness in my eyes grew deeper as my body heated up. The glow from my body turned white as I fell to my knees, my fingers curled lightly. My body trembled as the power overcame me. The red turned to white as everything faded.

When the white cleared, I found rubble surrounding me. My eyes narrowed as the natural light flooded inward. My feet paced forward across the wooden rubble, my balance unsteady. As I look downward, I found my feet to have gotten a lot smaller, as if they were paws. My eyes crossed, only to find a large nose residing upon my face. I looked to my hands, finding that they were similar as before, only covered in a dark orange and brown fur. The wind began to blow lightly, but instead of feeling it against my skin, I felt some waving. I look around at my body, finding it covered in fur with colors ranging from the dark orange to a deep brown with hints of silver. I began to pace again. As my feet went over a hard, round thing, I looked down. My eyes set upon the remains of Professor Motoko's skull. A deep growl resounded in my throat. I shook it off and continued to walk. My body turned to the path leading away from the castle as my feet paced forward.

I took one last look at the ruins through the corner of my eye, before snorting and facing away. My feet began to pace forward, away from the memories. My anger clouded my mind. My thoughts were:

"How could he ever do this to me?"
"Why would he be doing this?"
"Was I taken in to be an experiment?"

The anger never even touched on sadness. As I thought about this, I found myself walking upon all for limbs, my hands transformed into paws. I walked on all fours, as if it was natural.

A hunger formed in my stomach as I walked. I had a bizarre taste for blood. My pacing quickened, the hunger growing. My narrowed eyes shifted about, scanning the terrain for any signs of movement. They spied one bit of movement between the trees. My trot became a brisk walk, then a run as I followed the movement. My body dropped to the ground silently. I felt my legs instantly straighten, my body being forced through the air as I landed upon my prey, a large male deer. I sunk my elongated teeth into its neck, the blood entering my mouth. The taste made my vision tint a brighter red. As my teeth dug deeper, the spine of the neck snapped. The body of the deer went limp. My mouth pulled from its neck and lunged at the body. The fangs dug in as I pulled my mouth from the large body rapidly. The crimson fluid stained the pelt of the animal. As I tore at the body rapidly, more and more red tissue became exposed. Me mouth returned to its side as my teeth into it. I pulled out a mouthful and swallowed...

After several minutes of scouring the deer of its soft tissues, only the bone remained. The hunger had disappeared. A strong urge to rest formed within me. I paced toward a bush and around it. As to my amazement, a gray-furred creature rested behind it. I stepped towards it, sniffing the fur. I found the pheromones of a female being admitted by this creature. Seeing no reason not to, I laid my body beside hers, my side pressing to hers. My eyelids relaxed as my they slowly closed...

After what seemed for days, I felt pressure upon my muzzle. This pressure was odd, due to the fact moisture was left by the movement. My eyes opened slowly, the red tint gone. For once, I felt calm, relaxed. My first sight as my eyes opened, a large gray beast. I felt the urge to jump, yet it subsided as I smelled the pheramones I have noticed from before. My head slowly raised, becoming level with the grey, furry creature's. As my legs began to take my weight, lifting it slowly, the female slipped beneath me slowly, brushing against a tender spot. If I were to still be human, this would be a blushing moment. I looked to my opposite side, her slipping outwards from beneath me in that direction. She lightly touched her nose to mine. My eyes widened slightly as I felt her cold, wet nose against mine. I knew that she has become interested in me, yet I could see no reason why.