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Astro is still here

It was not expected. It was something unexpected. I went to New York City and when I got back, home to Houston you know, Astro was here waiting for me. This was unexpected because I’d convinced myself, nearly to the point of acceptance convinced myself, that he was going to be gone.  

And though how he might ever get out and away I do not know, I half-expect him gone each and every day upon my getting home from work. This day will be the day at last, yes. I close my eyes, always closing my eyes, and I picture in my mind behind closed eyes my house with all its assorted vulnerabilities. A broken front window, something breaking a front window and out he goes, or a person kicking in the back door for what could only be a disappointing robbery for the robber, or the landlord coming in unannounced for o I don’t know, decades-overdue maintenance on my townhouse, maybe.

It could happen.

I worry about these things, all of these things and more, and my worrying makes no sense, you would agree it is senseless, so I worry about my worrying. And meta-worrying is worse, exponentially worse, than regular worrying is something I’m told or else it is something that sounds like something I might be told but what if it is precognition instead?

Like this: In the future, I do not know when, sometime after now, something happens and Astro gets out and he does not return to me. This event is a huge event and it is devastating to me so it is a kind of explosion sending out shockwaves into time in every direction, even in this direction into the past which is my present and that is what I’m picking up on right here and now which is causing my worry.

I think I’m over-thinking. 

I got back from New York City on Monday. Astro was up in the window watching me. I came inside and I picked him up and I thanked for still being here. I was grateful and I am grateful. Astro is here.

Comments

  1. My dear fellow, from personal experience I know there are an infinite ways of overthinking anything. Shall I demonstrate? Number one...........etc.

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    1. I haven't started posting conversation between my and Astro (or me and a frog), so I'm still just this side of the end-point of overthinking, I say. I'm sure it's coming eventually, though.

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  2. One of the upsides of having a cat who goes outside whenever he wants is that he comes back multiple times each and every day.
    Meow, he says at the door. Let me in and pet me and let me climb on something tall and go to sleep there. Let me eat my kibble and do the foot-dance as I drink water out of the flower-vase. Let me be adorable enough to get Briana to feed me some tuna.
    The down side is the knowing that one day he just won't come back, like Kitters before him.
    We have discussed this and decided that we like this way best, and the cat seems to agree. In fact, the cat is here because one night he showed up in the back yard and meowed his little head off until Briana, who wasn't quite over Kitters' disappearance yet (will either of us really ever be?) let him inside and fed him some of Kitters' kibble from the back of the cupboard.
    It can be a little nerve wracking sometimes, and my opinion of drivers who do conspicuous displays of speed in the neighborhood has deteriorated to an even lower place than it was previously, but he was getting around the neighborhood OK before we even met him, so I don't worry too much.
    He likes to hunt, and so far has caught one bird that we know of, and fairly regularly murders a rat from the neighbor's yard. He used to leave them on the door mat for us, but lately has wised up a little and leaves them in the back yard where he knows I'll see them.
    What he's going to do when we go to visit Brenda on Thanksgiving we haven't worked out just yet, but I have the feeling he'll be OK.
    Did you know that Astro could be famous for a week? The Professional Left Podcast posts a picture of an Internet Kitty of the Week on their website each week, and if you email them his picture it could easily be him one week. I have so far got Charlie, Sammy, Molly & Tikal, Kitters, and Fiona & Lenny to be IKotW's there, and they have a picture of Zsuzs' cat Squeaker that they haven't used yet.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. My ex's favorite cat wandered off and never came back, and I think I'm too much of a control freak for that. Maybe in year 2, I'll allow Astro a little more freedom.

      I'm not sure he'd handle freedom - or fame - very well. I can only imagine if he got famous on the internet. he'd be unbearable to live with!

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    2. And really, how much more famous would his picture there make him than his picture here already has?
      They're really good podcasters though, and I try to mention them to folks who I think haven't heard about them.

      -Doug in Oakland

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    3. One of these days, I'm going to take the time to get into podcasts. One thing at a time.

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  3. When we returned from DC after like five days, my mom's cat bit her.


    Someone was mad huh?

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    1. I've heard stories like that before. Astro has been very good since I got back. Apparently, it runs about 50/50 - leaving for a while means they'll either get angry or get clingy.

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  4. Look at that cute little adorable mouth saying hello!!!! Nothing like being greeted by our fur family.

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    1. It wasn't until later, days after I took that pic, that I realized his mouth was open and tongue sticking out in that pic. It's one of my faves. Astro seems to like having his picture taken, somehow.

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  5. I know it's silly of me, but I can't imagine life without my dog, roogr. A close friend had to have his 12 year old (blind, in kidney failure) dog put down a few months ago. Since then, after seeing just how badly it has affected my friend, I have constant thoughts about all the ways it MIGHT could happen to mine. I told my son at a family gathering last week that I hope I go before roogr and was harangued for the rest of the day by everyone for even thinking such. Roogr turned 9 August 17th. The average life span for a GSD, according to the AKC, is "seven to ten years". My mind has been in overdrive trying to plan against; to prevent against, that from happening to my best friend in the world. Fully confident that that "I" can cheat Death on his behalf. Okay ... on my behalf. I'm a very needy fuck when it comes to him. Here's hoping Astro remains safe ... and at Home with YOU for a very long time to come.

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    1. Yeah, I've never had a real pet before - box turtles, tarantulas, and beta fish, as it turns out, aren't pets that get one emotionally attached, as it turns out.

      So this feeling of attachment, where as soon as I got him, I started worrying about the clock counting down to his expected life span, is something new.

      Cats tend to live longer than dogs, and considering the age of other members of my immediate family, I'm likely to have big losses before he goes. So I'm going to try and hold off worrying too much about him yet.

      I'm going to outlive him, probably, and that's okay. Maybe I'll be so senile then that I won't notice that the cat I'll have replaced him with isn't him.

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  6. I enjoyed your time shifting thinking. As you know, a cat was used in the famous (in certain circles) thought experiment by Schrodinger. He could have used a rat. More appeal with a cat I guess.

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    1. I've thought about Schrodinger because Astro has an old computer box under my bed that he hangs out in sometimes. When I don't know where he is, I call his name, and I can hear his tail hitting the side of the box. Which would have ruined the experiment, I guess, but Astro never has really understood quantum physics.

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  7. You feed Astro well, amuse him and clean his poop out of a box, don't you? He ain't goin' nowhere. That cat knows when he's got a good thing going.

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    1. I really think he'd come back if he got out, but I don't want to test it, especially since he refuses to keep a collar on.

      He's ridiculously spoiled.

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  8. I have one that looks a lot like Astro, but he is missing a front leg. Doesn't slow him down, though.

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    1. That's amazing how that works. I've seen dogs missing two limbs who still get around well. Meanwhile, I bang my finger on something and I'm almost completely unable to function for a week.

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  9. We had 4 cats for, like, 20 years (a mom and her first litter of three), and the first several years they were inside ALWAYS. Then we moved, and where we moved at first (temporarily) was in a house with a window that was open ALWAYS. They became outside cats and three of them were cool with that and the fourth one, the most independent, vanished completely within the first couple of days.

    About three weeks later she reappeared suddenly, haggard and scared and hungry. She became our least independent cat after that and survived at least another ten years.

    We laid the last of that litter to rest last year. It was a good run. :)

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    1. That's a good story. Everybody's telling me good stories like that and it's making me think perhaps I've been too paranoid about a cat's ability to go wander around and come back.

      I'm new at this.

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  10. He's a beauty....and look at those feet. So precious. Of course you worry about him when you are away and of course you are both happy to see each other when you come back. You are not overthinking it. We always worry about those we love.

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    1. He's pretty fantastic. I'm starting to accept the fact that he's not going anywhere. I've just never had a pet before that couldn't be kept inside of an aquarium. Technically, Astro would fit inside of an aquarium, but he wouldn't be happy about it.

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  11. Astro is so cute! I love that first picture! He's saying, Dad, where have you been? LOL! My cat, whenever I would go away, I had to pick him up with a towel when I got home, because Falco, would always pee on me! He got over it in a couple of days, but he always had to show me, he was upset! LOL!

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    1. That is my favorite picture of Astro. He doesn't normally look that crazy.

      I'm not even sure he was upset about my being away, honestly. Maybe I should pick him up with a towel next time I leave, though, just in case!

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  12. My cat, Spock, is mostly an outdoor feline and at times he like to disappear to several days. Just when I start to get worried he shows up at the back door meowing quite loudly.
    Since my family and I live in a subdivision with police state tendencies my concern is that some a-hole will get upset and have the animal control folks take him away as he does his wandering.
    All that being said, I know in the back of my head that if something happens to Spock finding him will be next to impossible.

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    1. That would drive me batty. I can't stand not knowing. My ex had a cat that lived with us who wandered off and it really bugged me, not knowing if he was out there.

      Of course, living in the gay side of town like I do, we have (literally) thousands of stray cats in the area, and they all get well-fed.

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  13. What a face full of character! I have moments too where I worry about Raven somehow getting out and being kidnapped, but the joke would be on the kidnappers when they realized that all she will do is eat and pee on their rugs. Still, I love her, and anytime I don't see her for a while, I go searching, just in case. I usually find her asleep in a sunny spot somewhere.

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    1. That's funny. Astro was a stray that was found by a co-worker. he was chipped, and they tracked down his original owners and called them - and got hung up three times.

      When he's bad, I tell him, "This is why people hang up when they get a call that says, 'We found your cat!'"

      He's not that bad. Someone might keep him.

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  14. "This event is a huge event and it is devastating to me so it is a kind of explosion sending out shockwaves into time in every direction, even in this direction into the past"

    Hey that sound familiar, I think we had a short comment thread about that at one point. Good to see logical things are still functioning as expected.

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    1. I get a lot of my ideas for posts from the comment sections of other posts. Sometimes without even remembering that's where I'm getting it from...

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  15. I hope you waved randomly when you came to NYC... you know, in case I was looking in that direction.

    I, too, am grateful that Astro waited...

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    1. I'm surprised you didn't see me. There weren't many people around the week I was there. Give or take a few million, I mean!

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  16. I'm not sure if this makes you feel any better, but I think the animal instinct for a stable food source alone would probably bring him back. We had a family cat who started as a stray. We began leaving food out for her, she began returning on a regular basis, and then one day she came into our house and basically just stayed for like 11 years.

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    1. That's what people are telling me. I think I'm less paranoid about it than I was before posting this, oddly enough. The stories I'm hearing are encouraging.

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  17. Red lost his beloved cat Jose Cruz what must be almost 20 years ago now. Jose was a beautiful black and white, a complete squirrel bane, extremely affectionate, graceful, undemanding, quiet, never required a litter box, never tore up the furniture and must have only shat in the neighbors' yards. Who could ask for more in a cat? He was only 9 at the time and Red still laments the lost years. Somehow he hopes Jose just got lost one day and found another even better home. Someday there will be a new feline at Casa Red - probably Jose Altuve this time!

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    1. See, that's what I'm worried about. The problem is that I've never had a "real" pet before, and the real pets I've been around have all escaped and never returned.

      (I say "real" because I have had turtles a'plenty, and an ex had tarantulas and scorpions, etc.)

      I don't want to subject myself to something I'm still going to be mourning in two decades.

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  18. I am glad this chapter has a happy ending. Astro looks very happy to be at home.

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    1. He has slept near me ever since I got back. I don't know whether that is a happy ending, but it sounds as though he's happy to have me back.

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  19. Our cat, Angel, goes out daily and always comes home. She's about 18 years old and I think she's content with her life. A cat loves you because they want to not because they have too.

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    1. 18! That is way longer than I intended to have this cat around here. I might have to start leaving the door open after all.

      I'm partially kidding. I had always thought that cats lived to be the same age as dogs. My ex (who currently has a 16-year old cat) explained the truth to me, so I went into this Astro thing sort of knowing it could be a very long term arrangement.

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