The State of the Reader: 2/14/18

<–The State of the Reader: 1/31/18          The State of the Reader: 2/28/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 1

Books DNF: 1

  • Shadow Stalker Part 1 by Renee Scattergood – I knew the main character was going to be a “chosen one” paradigm, and I’m fine with that, but after finishing the first part, I’m going to leave it there.  I think what got under my skin was her foster father/trainer told her she can’t stop him when he messes with her mind to calm her down, and that really rubs me the wrong way.  Mental meddling is an invasion, and if someone doesn’t want you to do it then you respect that.  Also the fact that he’s been doing it her entire life without telling her (leaving her to figure it out) bugs me, too.  I get why he’s doing it, but it’s still troublesome.  There was a character named Sephir, so…that was pretty cool.

Finished: 2

Title: Saga, Vol. 8
Series: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Date Added: July 2, 2017
Date Started: February 4, 2018
Date Finished: February 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 4 days

The cover of Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona StaplesMedia: Paperback

Do you even have to ask if it was good at this point?  Saga is quite possibly the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read.  It’s amazing how something that can take place in space involving aliens can be so “human” and relatable.  The ending to this volume is almost literally the polar opposite to the ending of 7.

Title: Krim Du Shaw
Author: Talia Haven
Date Added: February 16, 2016
Date Started: February 14, 2018
Date Finished: February 14, 2018
Reading Duration: 1 day

Media: eBook/Kindle

One of the most original stories about unicorns I’ve read.  No light and fluffy to be found here; it was short, sweet, and brutal.  For six pages and $0.99 it has an impact you feel in retrospect.

Currently Reading: 3

Title: All’s Well That Ends Well
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2018

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: ?

Just plodding along.  The scene I read was short, and I don’t recall anything of great import happening therein.

Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018

The cover of The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrauMedia: Paperback
Progress: 48%

I just read a chapter before updating this.  it’s not that it’s not interesting; it’s more that I don’t have this book on my to-do list, which means I save the reading of it when I have some spare time, so you can guess how that goes.  I’m hoping we find out what the titular “Diamond” is soon.

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017
Date Started: December 30, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 52%

I was this close to declaring this DNF more than once, but then something pulls me back in.  I want to know what happens when the titular character and his burdens reach the Shining City, if they ever do.  If worse comes to worse, I’ll just skip to the end to satisfy my impatient curiosity, and I won’t count the book as read.

I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day.  I’m not particularly fond of the Hallmark Holiday in good circumstances, and mine this year were less than ideal.  My Twitter and Facebook peeps know this, but we had to put my one kitty cat down last night.  He became sick very quickly, as in he was seemingly healthy at Christmas then sometime in January he became lethargic and his stomach swelled up.  I took him to the vet and then an oncologist where he received chemo and a prednisone prescription.  Unfortunately, his appetite never returned, he looked consistently miserable, and last night he threw up on his food when I presented it.  He looked like he couldn’t get comfortable, nor could he walk more than a few steps, and he was wheezing.  I planned to call the vet today for an appointment. 

When my husband got home from bowling and I was laying in bed, I heard him underneath it, vomiting and struggling to breathe.  I called my husband to help me get him out, and we laid him in the bathtub, utterly listless while I called the emergency vet.  I was borderline hysterical by this point since I had an appointment early today that I couldn’t reschedule, though this fact did and does nothing to alleviate my current guilt.  So I helped load him into his carrier bag and of course couldn’t sleep anyway. 

The call came not too long after.  The tumor in his stomach was too big.  He was struggling to breathe, and his heart was failing.  It would’ve been selfish to let him suffer, and I had a feeling yesterday when I came home.  Back when he was healthy, I would sometimes pick him up and say, “Hey Kin-mei, you gotta promise me you’re never going to die.”  Of course he never answered, and while I of course knew this day would come, I still dreaded it. 

When my husband got home, I went nonverbal for a bit.  It was just easier not to talk (I’m weird…I don’t know if that’s an INFJ thing, but when something tragic happens, I need to process it on my own.  I…could probably write a whole post explaining why I just stop talking, but I don’t feel like it right now).  While at work, it was easier to be distracted (though I received a ton of notifications from wonderful people expressing their condolences), but now that I’m sitting in my apartment without him here, it’s pretty fucking terrible. 

I’m sorry I’m shitting on my State of the Reader post.  You didn’t come here to read about my dead cat.  I’m angry I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I’m angry that I didn’t go when I should’ve have.  I should’ve been there with him, and there’s nothing I can do to take that back or change it.  I’m angry I can’t explain to Cid (my other cat) what happened.  I’m angry that he’s probably wondering where Kin-mei is, and I can neither tell him, nor would he understand even if I could.  I’m angry he died covered in his own vomit and with a messy bottom.  He didn’t deserve that.  He was so fastidious about being clean.  I’m angry that it doesn’t matter what one “deserves” and that the universe seems completely devoid of meaning.  I’m angry that even though his existence obviously meant so much to me, in the grand scheme it means nothing.  He was SUCH a good kitty, but in less than a hundred years, he’ll be forgotten, and I’m angry that no matter how upset I am about this nihilistic fact, it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t change anything.  I’m angry that I can’t just fucking believe in something that would make this pain go away.  I’m angry that I can’t believe in any of the “rainbow bridge” or “heaven” stuff that so many kind people have mentioned, even though I want to believe it so goddamn badly.  I’m angry that so many humans are complete wastes of air and pieces of shit, and even the ones who aren’t still contribute to the destruction of the planet, but we have the potential to live 5-6 times longer than creatures who will love us unconditionally, and we do not fucking deserve it.   He was my first kitty, my grumpy old man, my bishie baby, the king of the house, smarter than some people, and I miss him so much it hurts.

A picture of Kin-mei, my beautiful orange kitty

Kin-mei 6/2003-2/14/2018

Next time I promise a regularly scheduled State of the Reader post without the sads.  I would love to talk about books or whatever for a distraction.

<–The State of the Reader: 1/31/18          The State of the Reader: 2/28/18–>

45 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 2/14/18

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 1/31/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. You have my deepest sympathy. I have been there with my very first own cat, who was the most human cat I ever knew. We actually carried on verbal conversations. She died 35 years ago, and I still have anger at the vet who was responsible and at myself for not taking her home when my instinct told me to and for not being with her when she died. It changed me. All the indoor cats I have loved in the decades since have died in my arms.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The guilt is the absolute worst. Mine has mostly dissipated as time has gone on, and when I’m not home it’s not as bad, but sitting here on the couch, his presence is still very much a part of the apartment, and his absence is sorely missed.

      That has to be the worst feeling because you’re second guessing yourself in a way that will never be resoled. I’d still be angry, too, if a medical professional was the cause of it. Of course we’re only human and mistakes happen, but we hope and depend on those we entrust our pets to to be able to care for them as we would if we had the medical ability.

      My husband is dealing with being in my car again for the first time after rushing him to the ER while he was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t go due to my own health problems, and that was a major guilt factor, but I’m thinking it might have been the best for my mental health.

      Even with this, I would still adopt another senior cat if I had the means to care of them in their old age. They deserve to have someone who will love and care for them, and there are so many who don’t have homes. My remaining cat is very playful and currently needy. He’d do so well with a kitten, so in the coming few months that’s going to be a major consideration since he deserves to have some companionship especially with me and my husband gone most of the day at work.

      Thank you so much for your kind words! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Quite sorry for your loss. Your kitty looks like the sweetest thing ever, and I can only imagine how devastating it was to lose him. As an owner of an aging cat with his own set of ailments, I absolutely dread the day when his time comes. But I rest knowing that he’s had a good life with us, and I’m sure that yours did too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was such a good kitty. Absolutely brilliant and outsmarting us at every turn. I wish I could say you can emotionally prepare for it, but you just can’t. I used to think about it all the time, knowing very well how devastated I would be. I wish your kitty many, many more years and that his ailments are manageable ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  4. UGH, I’m crying over here for you. Losing our furry family members is the WORST. I’m so sorry you lost your baby. I understand ALL of your anger. The end of a life always sucks no matter how it happens. Death is messy but do not blame yourself. They can’t tell us whats wrong and where it hurts and he would NEVER blame you for any of it. You made the best, most humane, decision you could for him. I always wish I could believe in the Rainbow Bridge too, if anyone deserves an afterlife, it’s animals. Instead I think they leave paw prints on your heart and leave with a piece of your soul. All my love. <3<3<3

    Liked by 2 people

    • I knew if anyone could understand it would be you. We’ve bonded over fur baby posts so many times, even though you have puppies. I also think the “cat people vs. dog people” contest is ridiculous. While I lean more towards cats, I pretty much fall in love with every dog I see in person and on the internet. I love animals even the non-cute ones. Even the ones I’m not that into like ferrets and sloths. Like I’d still stop and help an injured one because they deserve our help.

      I’m in a bit of a better place now. Writing that was cathartic, and I’ve had time to go over everything in my head and, well, build up the defensive, cynical wall, because that’s how I roll. I couldn’t let him suffer for my own selfish reasons, and he hadn’t been himself in a weeks. It just amazed me how fast it happened. Like a month ago, he appeared fine, but they’re so damn good at hiding it from us if he was sick/getting sick.

      Ugh, right? They freaking deserve heaven, and part of me is like, “Well maybe?” because rationality is NOT an aid right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather know the truth and believe in science, but…goddamn it. Oddly enough people saying it to me hasn’t bothered me like it does with people, and I’m not sure why. I also think having another cat to care for has helped, and Cid has been SUPER needy, so I still have a fur child to expend my love on.

      Thanks so much for your understanding ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course! ❤ I'm glad you're starting to heal a little bit. It will definitely take time. I will good naturedly argue with a cat lover over cats vs dogs, but to be truthful, having cats is so much easier lol. If I don't have someone to check on the dogs for me, I've got to make sure I'm home within less than 8 hours to take them out. It can put a cramp in plans for sure. I would definitely be okay with there being a heaven for animals, science be damned! 😛 Cuz like I said, they totally deserve it.
        Unfortunately, I've had to make a quick decision for the good of my furry family member more than once. The first one was my first dog, a Cocker Spaniel, started breathing really funny seemingly overnight. She sounded like a 500 lb pig. The vet was positive with was throat cancer without doing anything but an xray. My sweet dad, we didn't have the money for chemotherapy but he told me not to worry we would find a way. But after talking to the vet, it was quality vs quantity and she was old already. So at 15 I had to make the decision to let my best friend go. It sucked so hard and I'll never forget it but to this day I'm still proud of 15 year old me for being able to make that decision. It pains me every time I hear someone won't make the decision to let them go because they're not ready for it. You're never ready, but in the mean time, someone you love is suffering for your in my opinion, own selfish reason. They give us SO much love, the least we can do is let them go before it hurts to much.
        Sorry to get all sappy on you again! It tugs all of my heart strings when someone goes through this and makes me remember every time I've had to do it myself. You're clearly a magnificent person because you put your own needs and feelings aside and took care of your baby. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I feel like I goodnaturedly argue the same. I love animals in general, and while cats are easier to take care of, dogs are more outwardly loyal. They’re such lovable goofballs, and I’d totally adopt one if I had the time, space, and energy. I WILL have my bulldog and name him Lord or Sir Winston one day.

          You’re never ready, but another being shouldn’t suffer for your readiness. That’s not fair to keep anyone alive because you can’t let go and they’re in pain. I really feel bad for my husband, because he’s the one that was literally there. I had an early appointment that I couldn’t cancel so of course I felt supremely guilty, nor did I get much sleep anyway, but he had some flashbacks next time we got in my car, since that’s the one he took.

          Now that it’s been about a week, I’m still sad thinking about him, but I’m currently working on a photo album of all the pics I had on my phone, and one of my coworkers did some photo alteration magic with a picture of him that I’ll post soon. She said she’d color it in, but tbh it looks great just the way it is. Animal lover peeps are truly the best ♥

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I know I expressed condolences on Twitter, but I’m incredibly sorry for your loss. I know they meant so much to you. My oldest cat is 14 and I’m dreading the day something similar happens. I’ll be a fucking wreck, as I’m sure you are right now. Perhaps a memorial tattoo is in order?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, it’s like I would even think about the day because obviously I knew it was coming, but even knowing doesn’t lessen the blow. It’s something you just cannot emotionally prepare for, which sucks even more. I mean if you could, it would mean you were an unfeeling monster, but then again you wouldn’t deal with the terrible feels.

      I’ll need to post it, but my one coworker made this AMAZING minimalist, black-and-white picture of him. It honestly reminds me of the Obama “hope” poster. I think I’m going to get the picture it was based on printed out and framed to put on my bookshelf. I would get a tattoo if they weren’t already all planned out.

      What’s scary is how quickly he went downhill. We bought him this puzzle box for Christmas and he was all about it, then maybe the last week in January it all happened and then by mid-February he was gone. He was old, but prior to the swollen belly, he wasn’t even acting/showing his age. They’re VERY good at hiding their illnesses though. Oh kitties…I wish you could talk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That picture sounds great and I can’t wait to see it whenever you’re ready to post it.

        When I lost one of my cats the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, I just woke up to feed them and saw them laying on the floor behind the couch. I assumed they were asleep, so I went over to tap them with my foot and wake them up, but he was stiff as a board. It never crossed my mind that he had died in the middle of the night. My heart sank, I went into hysterics, and didn’t know what to do. I just sat their freaking out. He had nothing visibly wrong with him at all and we were playing and hanging out the night before. Cats are weird like that. So now, 9 years later, I still wake up every day thinking one of my three cats are potentially dead somewhere and the first thing I do is go around the house looking for them. It’s… weird to talk about.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Holy god…I can’t even begin to express how terrible that must’ve been. I’d be paranoid as fuck, probably waking up in the middle of the night to check on my cats just to make sure. I’d be checking every morning, too, because I’d never want to experience something like that again and/or be caught by surprise by it. I mean, I was pretty blindsided by Kin-mei’s death, but at least I knew he was sick and even if it wasn’t something I was focusing on, it was in the back of my mind and the night it happened, I had a feeling it was. Cats keep so much crap to themselves.

          Even though you know it’s going to happen one day (god willing not as traumatically as that), it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s an…odd heartbreak. Like I’ve never dealt with one like it before. It’s different from losing a close relative (obviously), but it still leaves a void, because there a presence you had every single day. Kin-mei was great for my anxiety, too, because he’d knead my chest when I was having my tachychardia issues, and he was super intelligent like “outsmart humans” intelligent. Me and the hubs always said that if he was able to outsmart us to get something (so long as it wasn’t dangerous), he earned it.

          I am really happy that no one I know has pulled that “It’s just a cat” bs though there was this one troll on a FB group I’m in that tried that. I was past the point where my emotions were raw, so I just thought it was funny/sad that someone would purposely go to a cat lover page and troll people posting about their deceased fur babies. I reported him, because, well assholes need to be reported. Not only that, he could legitimately cause some people emotional harm.

          The weirdest thing that’s happened though has been when he was first sick and in the hospital. The woman I adopted him from responded to a comment I’d put on this article bitching about calling pets “babies” because it’s an insult to parents, which I disagreed with. If you don’t want to call your pet that, perfectly fine, but you don’t get to dictate others emotions. While she’s arguing for why a pet isn’t a “baby,” I”m currently paying for hospital care and planning what else I’m going to do for him, and it was just messy and irritating.


    • I’m definitely doing a bit better after a few days, though it’s difficult sometimes being home because this is where he always was. I also have so many pictures of him on my phone. What’s just crazy is how fast it happened, but my one coworker said that her cat was very similar. They’re so good at hiding their sickness until it’s (almost) too late.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it so much ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I know I already bugged you on Twitter, but I’m so very sorry for your loss. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes 😦 I’ve lost several cats and dogs in my lifetime (some under very stupid fucking circumstances) and it never gets easier. They weren’t just “pets”, they were like part of my family.

    My first instinct is “quiet mode” when life sucks so I think I know how you feel, my friend. Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything I can do to help!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am SO happy no one has said that nonsense to me. He was my grumpy old man, and I loved him dearly. I didn’t care how grumpy he got; that just told me he needed to be left alone. He was introverted as opposed to my extroverted Cid lol, so I understood why he’d go in the other room to get away from us noisy humans.

      I think it’s like “I can’t think of anything good and/or funny to say, and morbid humor is how I deal with things, but now is not the time to do that, and I hate showing emotions and I don’t want to say anything that will make the dam break so I think I’m just gonna keep quiet.” I also become quiet when I’m really tired, because words are hard something. I wish I could just completely communicate in signs and/or memes instead of having to explain what’s going on in my head.

      Thank you so much for all the nice things you’ve said. I appreciate it more than I can say ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad people realize pets are family! Aw. They all have their own purr-sonalities, for sure. 🙂

        I hear you there! My emotions have been ruling me lately so I’ve been quieter than normal online (I’m always quiet in real life because words are definitely hard). I don’t want to explode on anyone who is just trying to help me, so I tend to just shut people out when I’m feeling miserable. Sigh. I do like communicating in emojis sometimes, haha.

        I consider you are a good friend, and I think you’re an awesome person! I’ve always got your back 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s awful, you poor thing. I don’t blame you for feeling angry, life is unfair! Please look after yourself, and don’t blame yourself, it sounds like you had a lot of love for Kin-mei and that’s what gave him a great life, and made your time with him precious. Lots of love and hugs to you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Feel so bad for you and your loss of “First Kitty.” Even though of course they die it simply never gets easier…Also, I completely understand the going quiet mode. Just started talking again myself after 4 months of saying nothing to a soul…Not always easy to live in silence but sometimes the world and one’s sorrows need this sort of respite. At least to my mind… Best wishes, and thank you so much for your heartfelt comment on WAGblog today. I deeply appreciate it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much…I go back and forth with it. When I’m not home, it’s much better because he was always here. My husband had his sad flashback in my car since that’s what he used to rush him to the hospital the last night. We’ve been showering our remaining cat with love and attention, because he’s been really needy. It’s interesting because as much as it hurt and still hurts…I would still adopt an older cat if I had the resources to care for one. Because they deserve to have someone love and take care of them in their old age. I would’ve done anything for my grumpy old man and almost bought him a heated bed. I’m glad I didn’t now, because he would’ve never gotten to use it.

      One of my favorite bloggers reposted that, and from the moment I started reading it was harrowing. I hate how people with mental illness are treated in the US. I have my own issues, but I’m lucky enough to be able to pretend to be “normal,” which no one should have to do. You purposely wrote down all the information they would need, and it didn’t even matter. I don’t know what if anything you’re doing or going to do in the aftermath, and I neither want to assume nor suggest, but whatever it is, I hope you’re in a better place and are able to do what you need for the best existence. I read the first part while tired, so I didn’t write as much as I wanted, but I had to at least say that. Our culture has the disgusting habit of making the horrible things that can happen to a person their fault when it was clearly done TO them. It messes with your head, which is doubly foul when you’re already dealing with mental illness. You’re already probably questioning yourself and then you have someone you should be able to trust taking advantage of that.

      All the best wishes!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I am so utterly sorry for your loss. ❤ The passing of our fuzzy family members feels like it takes a chunk of our hearts with them when they go, so I can totally understand the anger, and even the silence. No one can tell you how to grieve, so you do whatever you need to right now to work through the pain. I just hope the feeling of guilt lifts soon for you. I understand it, I've struggled with it before with the loss of a pet, but you did everything you could and gave a lifetime of love and compassion for him. I have no doubt in my mind that you're an AMAZING cat mama, and that Kin-mei had a wonderful life full of fun and love and happiness. I'm sure you have so many beautiful, warm, and even silly memories with him, and that one day those will help patch up the parts of your heart that are hurting the most right now. Take care and take the time you need to heal. Sending tons of love and hugs your way! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • We JUST got his ashes today, and I have revived feels, BUT I’m also making my morbid jokes, which is good (for me). He was my first kitty, and the first kitty I ever lost. We’re actually talking about adopting a kitten soon, because my other cat really needs a little friend. He’s been so needy (and kneady) since it happened, and it’s been hard to keep him entertained. You’d think by seven, he’d be calmer, but NOPE.

      Thank you so much for your kind words ♥♥♥

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 2/28/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  11. Okay, so I am still trying to play catch up on everyone’s blog posts, so I am SO SORRY I’m posting this so late. Reading about Kin-mei broke my heart! I knew he passed away from a more recent post I read of yours, but still… 😦 As a huge animal lover, I understand your grief. We want our animal friends with us forever and the reality is, their lives are just too short.

    Liked by 1 person

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