Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day #13 "I'm wondering if I can stand it"

If you're looking for a funny blog this morning, this one won't be it. Come back tomorrow, when I promise I'll be brighter.

Last year, between the end of October and the middle of December, I had to have three of my beloved older cats put down. Waldo had battled kidney disorders for several years; Harley developed an enormous brain tumor; and Jazzminka had squamous cell carcinoma.

All my cats have been rescues, but often I felt that they were the ones who had rescued me. Jazzminka cured my thyroid, for instance. I'd given them all a good indoor life, with as much affection, brushing, and holding as they wanted. Twelve years ago Waldo wandered into my garage bleeding and starving, and never wanted to go outside again as long as he lived. I could leave a door open, and he wouldn't approach it. They had plenty of exercise, for they all loved to run up and down the cat trees and ramps that grace my house. But then, one day, for each of them, it was time to let go.

At beekeepers meetings, I've heard of people who've lost entire hives. There are so many ways in which honeybees can be threatened. The fact that bees have, as a species, survived for countless years (a lot longer than the dinosaurs lasted), still does not guarantee that the hives I'm planning for my back deck will make it.

As with my cats, I can give them as much nurturing as I'm able, and something still may happen that will doom the hive. Right now, I'm wondering if I can stand it. At least with my cats, I was able to hold each of them as they made their transition across the rainbow bridge. But it's hard to hold a bee.

Worker bees in the summer have a life span of five or six weeks. But a hive, the social unit of the bee, can last for years and years. Until pesticides or inept beekeepers get in the way.

I'm going to go make myself a cup of tea and sit in my rocking chair, where Miss Polly or Daisy will find my lap. Purrs help combat sadness. So do sunrises and writing and farmer's markets and singing and reading and having lunch with friends and . . .

Maybe I'm not so sad after all.

Beeattitude for Day #13:
    Blessed are they who love without reservation, for they shall have full hearts.


Ellis Vidler said...

Two years ago we lost both our cats. One, who was at least 23 years old, was a sweet companion. The other, a 6-year old foundling, seemed to have a kink in the brain and bit or attacked at random. But we loved them both. We also have bees, though ours are unwelcome. I think we'll have to take off the end of the house to get rid of them. We're sticking with the dogs now.

Fran Stewart said...

I'm sorry to hear about your cats. Losing even one is hard enough, but two -- well -- just know that I empathize with you.

As to the bees in the siding of your hosue, be sure to contact a beekeeper who has experience collecting unwanted hives. That way, the bees will be gone (be sure to plug up ALL holes) and they'll go on producing honey in a good safe place.