Goodbye, Meow

The street cat that lives outside my apartment is on its last legs after a failed pregnancy. I think most the babies are still inside (one of which came out and died after a struggle) and she just gave up, exhausted. It’s been days now of lying around, barely raising her head to acknowledge anything or anyone, unfinished food. Now she doesn’t open her eyes and her body is stiff. Breathing, shaking/twitching, but not much else.

I guess if I was somebody like my loving vegan friend, Faye​, I would be immediately taking it to the vet to spend everything I have in the bank on a low chance of survival, but unfortunately I doubt I even have enough for such a probably surgery, and even if I did, I don’t trust the Chinese animal doctors in the slightest. Additionally, the cat has been fed and looked after by an elderly man who seems to have nothing else to put his attention to, so it would be unfair of me to take to a vet for it to die away from him. He did, afterall, build it a wooden home and gave some of his old clothing as bedding.

I’m happy he did what he did because he was the only counter argument against my neighbour, who has a cat permanently chained to the wall in their kitchen, where it spends its entire life desperately meowling as loud as its throat will allow it without breaking (Although sometimes it does break, you can hear it). There it will live, year after year, night after night, sitting in its box. I find it difficult to stop myself generalising about all Chinese as uncaring beasts when it comes to animals.

Another was near my friend’s previous home, in which a magpie was hanging in a tiny cage outside a door. A common sight for ‘good luck’ or whatever bullshit. In the cage, the magpie was unable to do anything but stand in the same spot. I doubt it could so much as turn around. It was smart. Without breaking the law I would point at the required hinge to unleash the door and escape, and it would acknowledge, move away from its previous unrelenting attempts to get out, and attempt my suggestion. However, I doubt it could even fly.

Well, I’ve said my goodbyes to Meow (placeholder name), and I’m very sad with little expectation she’ll survive, but there’s always that lingering hope that she will recover in some way.
I was kind of hoping that the dozens and dozens of pets that have died in my life would have made me a bit numb but I guess the last death, Dizzi, was quite some years ago now and my brain has since weakened again.

Time to get myself 25 cats to build up an immunity. Goodbye, Meow (placeholder name)


Edit: I got home from a day out to find she has, finally, ended her pain and passed away. I hold no shame in the tears I have trouble holding back but it doesn’t make much sense. I guess it was the release of a bunch of pent up emotions or something.

I left a message in English and Chinese, saying goodbye and how I’ll miss seeing her every day on my way to work.


I lost my sense of taste and smell

As far as I’m aware it’s just temporary, either as a result of the cold given to me so kindly by a business student of mine, or the medicine I’m using to counter it. It could be totally unrelated and I just have a tumour up there or something but I’m not one to self-diagnose like that.

But it is the weirdest feeling I’ve ever had. The weirdest thing about it is that I don’t really ‘feel’ anything.

Usually when you have some kind of disorder, disease or injury, you have something to show for it, be it howls of agony or handwritten letters to satan, begging him to take you away to a better land of eternal but otherwise tolerable torture.

With this, there is nothing. I have a slightly stuffy nose while on the medicine, and dry lips. They are the lingering remnants of a cold, but a loss of two senses seems unrelated, an illness in and of itself.

But with no pain, no discomfort, where am I going with this writing? Well, I dunno. Has anyone else experienced it?

At first, for the first day or so I was thinking if it never returned, it would be a minor loss in life. Hearing or eyesight would be devastating. A limb, years of psychological recovery. No smell or taste just seems less than a minor inconvenience, and in some ways, an advantage (Especially when living in China).

But on the second day, I started to feel I was missing out in some ways. I don’t know about you, but I use smell when I shower to check if I’m sufficiently clean, something I guess is instinct, given that I never thought about it until now. Without smell, I felt lost as to when I was actually clean.

With my clothes hanging out to dry, I took a sniff to make sure they had dried quickly enough and were fresh, but again, no result.

I spent an hour working on the greatest Indian Madras of all time, and my taste wouldn’t allow me to enjoy it. All I got was a vague concept of spice, but no actual flavour of spice. just the desire to hiccup, which has been an ongoing side effect of eating anything spicy since I was about 20.

The same again when I made a tomato & carrot soup, something I made once before and know for a fact is fricking amazing. Today? Nothing.

As the day went by I realised that I CAN taste. A little, little bit. A little bitter. Great. Of all the taste families in the world, my abilities chose the worst one.

I started getting this constantly bitter taste in my mouth. Not because it was a new onset of taste, but simply because I was more aware of it after thinking about it. Cleaning my teeth didn’t help. In act, the minty toothpaste apparently has a little overtone of bitterness, since that was all that I registered.

So now I have a mouthful of bitterness, 24 hours a day, making me feel like I’ve been out boozing and vomiting all week.

My room is full of a kind of fragrant rose scent from a bottle of… room perfume? I like, and I also tried to light some Incense my friend brought back from Thailand which is always nice. Nothing. I can’t go to restaurants with friends because I’d be spending money basically on texture and bitterness. I can’t make fruit smoothies because I’ll get no joy out of it. I can’t cook because I can’t judge the balance by smell.

I ended up, despite my current run of health, on a MacDonald delivery, simply because I was still a bit sick, without food and unwilling to go outside. It’s not like I could taste it anyway.

Seriously, this is so weird.

Physiological stuff people don’t know about me

Nobody’s perfect, eh?

I pee with my left hand

I play pool left handed

I play guitar right handed

I alternate knives and forks left-right handed

I am almost perpetually suffering from an allergy to… dust/mites/dust mites/pollen/something along those lines

I have some benign issues with my heart, including Sinus Tachycardia and Heart Murmurs

I have such an awful memory that I have close to zero memory of most of my entire life

I have permanent tinnitus, probably due to an entire teenage life of full-volume headphones and heavy metal festivals. It’s not extreme, but in a quiet room, I’m stuck listening to a triad or so of high pitch tones, and can generally just about hear them if I choose to pay attention in general life environments.

I used to be the best swimmer in my school

I had surgery for an ingrown toenail on left big toe, and immediately hiked the Annapurna mountain trek for several weeks, limping in pain the whole way. I suffered pain from post-surgery on the toe for well over a year and has only just stopped, replaced by the right big toe becoming ingrown.

My left eye has astigmatism, and both eyes are getting worse at a rate that is quicker than should be normal, but I plan on getting laser surgery when I’m like, I dunno, 40.

Both eyes have more floaters in them than anyone else I know about or have heard of.

My eyes are green, but my left eye is also brown.

My toes are a little bent, some folding under the others – not in a particularly drastic way though.

My fingers are feeble, often crushed together under the weight of a regular handshake

My skin is very sensitive to temperature, seemingly getting scolded with water others might find a bit warm.

My legs, as I’ve just recently noticed, are slightly bowed. Good job parents for fixing that!

I get acne on the top of my head, even to this day.

I’m currently over 10kgs heavier than my previous heaviest weight and it’s going up and up and up

I still, at 27 years of age, cannot grow a beard past a few mm’s in length.

That’s about all I can think of.