The internet is truly a font of information. Need to know how to replace the front end on a 1953 Buick? There’s a YouTube video for that. Interested in watching other people play video games? There are more streams than any one person could ever hope to watch. There are endless “how to” blogs and videos on every topic you can imagine. The thing is, they should all probably warn you that your mileage may vary.
Every veterinary video I’ve watched in the hopes of picking up tips and tricks for making our daily routine of eye drops and oral medication more tolerable has exactly one thing in common: They each use the most quiet, docile cat imaginable for the demonstration. No hissing, no spitting, no teeth or claws, barely even a head bob while the person fiddles and fools with their test subject. Not one single video I’ve seen has featured an angry, hostile, animal who has had minimal handling and only basic socialization with people.
The other comment, popular throughout Reddit, is that giving medication to cats “can be a two-person job.” Hey, that’s fantastic information and all, but is the expectation that I’m going to hire my own vet tech to drop by three times a fucking day for two weeks or more? Advice, it seems to me, is best when it’s practical.
That’s all a lot of words to say that the best advice available online hasn’t been particularly useful in my current situation. In the struggle just to get the job done, I’ve fallen back on the very old school (and frowned upon by those endorsing the modern, kinder and gentler approach) method of grabbing this poor cat up by the scruff of her neck and getting the treatment done by brute force. I don’t like it. She very much doesn’t like it. I have grave concerns that I’m poisoning what should be our prime time for bonding and trust building… But short of sending her off to medical boarding for the duration of the treatment, I’m simply at a loss of how else to proceed.
I’m ending this week full of anxiety and deeply frustrated.
1. I’ve seen recently about 37 iterations of the phrase “If you see someone shoplifting, no you didn’t” floating around social media. I’m forced to wonder, what the actual fuck is wrong with people? But, they say, it’s just stealing from some big faceless corporation. Maybe that’s so, maybe it’s not, but I know that once you make an excuse for some kind of bad behavior, it gets a whole lot easier to do it – and it doesn’t feel like a very long slide between “it’s just Walmart” to “It’s just someone with a big house” or “It’s just someone with a nice car” or “it’s some random person who has something I want.” Your mama raised you better. Or at least she should have. Cloak it in whatever sophistry makes you feel better about yourselves, I guess, but don’t expect me to think a common thief is anything other than what they are.
2. Still waiting. Here we are 8 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. So, we’re still grinding along with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if the last 30 months didn’t prove that working from home works. All this while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. Gotta love working for the sick man of the enterprise. There’s probably plenty of blame to go around, but since the updated policy for supervisors was published eight weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for not getting this shit done.
3. For a hot minute there in early September, I really considered hopping a flight to London to join the queue. My long since expired passport left that an unfulfillable pipe dream. I’ve since retrieved my passport from its hidey hole and at least looked at the process for getting a fresh new one issued. I like the idea of getting back to traveling on something like a regular basis – mostly to exotic places with proper castles and good beer. The catch, of course, is even with all the other ducks in a line, I’m not in any way sure I would be able to find someone I 100% trust to take care of my neurotic dog while I was away. The cat and tortoise have proven resilient under someone else’s watchful eye for a few days at a time… but since he came home with me, I haven’t so much as left him in a different room overnight. The separation anxiety is probably as much mine as his. I’m sure I’ll spend the money and get my fancy new document, but whether I’ll ever convince myself to use it is another issue altogether.
It turns out some people get bored at home. I’m sure I knew there were people out there who filled every moment going places and doing things, but it never occurred to me that being bored at home was a possibility until I started seeing so many people saying as much. Thanks Facebook.
Maybe I’ve never even considered the possibility because I’ve spent years structuring life in such a way that boredom at home isn’t something that can happen. Here in its penultimate form at Fortress Jeff, I’ve surrounded myself with books and movies and animals, failsafed the power supply, and laid in sufficient food to mostly sustain us all beyond the occasional need for fresh produce. Even if I weren’t working from home, there would be enough around-the-house projects to keep me going indefinitely… and that’s before even starting in on the yard work.
The idea that I should somehow be bored under the circumstances simply never crossed my mind. The world has merely adopted social distancing. I was born into it, molded by it.
Well. Here we are again. I should probably have something controversial or heart felt to plug in here today. I don’t know, maybe the apathy here at the moment is a nice punctuation mark following yesterday’s post on motivation and the lack thereof. That’s probably how I’ll end up justifying it to myself, anyway. You, of course, are free to make your own determination.
The reality is that I’m just looking for a night where I don’t spend at least a portion of the time railing about some fuckery that’s happened at the office. There’s something to be said about not giving them free space in the evening after letting them rent out my brain for eight hours during the day. So much as I’m tempted to rant and rave as usual, I’m just not feeling up to it tonight.
I found myself in a bit of a lull today anyway… I’m not saying that it wasn’t the kind of hot mess you’ve come to expect. I’m in a position for the moment where everything is pushed out and waiting for other people to do their bit – a review, a signature, and bit of bureaucratic hand-waiving. As Gandalf would say, “It’s the deep breath before the plunge.”
It’s the deep breath before the next plunge, anyway. But then there’s the next one. And the one after that. And the one that follows that one right out through the next couple of months. Maybe I should be thankful for the momentary pause… though all it’s really done is ratchet up the anxiety level that it’s not a pause at all and the ominous silence means something has flown wildly off the rails.
Yeah, living in my brain is a laugh riot sometimes.