It’s Been A While

Well, Hello World.

I’ve taken a deliberate hiatus from blogging as I promised myself the next post I wrote would be about how Neko returned home and life went on as before. But he never came home, and now 9 months down the line I don’t think he ever will. My heart is completely shattered and it still hurts every day. The hardest part is just not knowing what happened to him, even if it was bad news, at least I’d know and be able to grieve properly, but that’s just not going to happen.

We actively searched for the first few month and received several suspected sightings, but nothing ever came to anything. We leafleted our local area, put up posters and shared in endless Facebook groups, but no joy.

Life has effectively stopped since he left. This year has been terrible, and while I can’t wait for it to be over, I am dreading next year being just as bad and nothing changing.

Ive been out of work for the last 6 months. This time through choice. I was bullied out of my job at the beauty company, then let go from the place I went after that. I’m done with shitty jobs. I’m done with being treated like shit. Done with putting so much effort in, only for people to tear me down anyway. I need a break. Whatever I do next needs to be a good calculated career move and not just taking another shitty job for the sake of it, I’ve learned the hard way that it just isn’t worth it.

So right now, I’m at a crossroads. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, but I need to fix myself before I do anything else. I’ve been suffering from the worst anxiety of my life throughout this year. It’s gotten so bad that it’s now my default setting to be on edge and completely wired all the time, I can’t switch off and I can’t calm down. My brain is a foggy mess, and because of this, I didn’t notice the depression creeping up on me either. I’m a mental and emotional wreck.

I’m sorry this isn’t a very cheerful blog post. I will update again very shortly and update you all on my camera related adventures, which have been sort of ok this year and I’d quite like to share some stuff with you all.

Thanks for reading guys, I hope you’re all well and doing awesome.

Advertisements

Missing

It’s 1.30am and we’ve just returned home from a gig.

I’m sitting on the landing floor talking to Joe as he calmly tries to stem the bleeding. I realise that this moment right here, is strangely poignant and as I watch my husband bleed into the toilet bowl this situation just sums up how our lives are at the moment.

It’s not unusual for me to be awake at this hour these days. My mind is full of static and panic so rest doesn’t really feature that heavily in my routine at the moment. I’m not sure when I’ll rest easy again, for right now I’m living out my worst nightmare.

Neko is missing.

He disappeared on March 19th sometime between 8pm and 10pm. This is so out of character for him, especially as the night was rainy. He hates the rain and comes rushing home as soon as he feels raindrops. If you open the door to the rain, he’ll hiss at it as if he hopes this will make it stop. At first I thought he may just be sheltering somewhere, but when he still wasn’t home the next morning I knew things weren’t right.

We went searching as soon as it got light enough to see, but no joy. We scoured the length and breadth of the golf course which backs out onto our garden, we even donned the old clothes and went climbing through bushes, but nothing.

I’m afraid we’ll never know what happened to him. The night he went missing also happened to be bin night. If something bad has happened, he may have been taken away before we even had the chance to look for him, but still I’ve leafleted houses, put posters up, shared in all the local animal groups, called all the local vets and shelters, but nothing.

We’ve tried every piece of advice given, and with every day that passes, the worry just gets worse. Most people have been hugely supportive and sympathetic, which gives me some faith. I look for him whenever I can, I call for him every time I step outside the house and my heart sinks a little more every time he doesn’t respond.

Add this on top of everything else that’s happened lately and it makes for a very dark mood indeed.

Firstly, my Uncle died. He was the best. I come from quite a large extended family, and I’ve always been the oddball I guess. He understood me and never made me feel I had to put a face on to please everyone else. He was there with me when I was first told I would go blind, and attended many of my subsequent hospital appointments along with my parents. He was one of life’s good guys and I will miss him so much. The funeral was awful, but in the most beautiful way. Everyone was in tears and it was lovely to see just how much he meant to everyone.

I’m being bullied at work. I have a new manager, she took over around the same time my most recent spate of poor health began, I’ve needed a few days off over the last few months due to illness or infection, but anyone would think I’d been trafficking children with the way she likes to make me feel about it.

When I first started the job, I declared my health condition on the medical form I was issued and have never hidden it away or lied about it. I’m sick of being made to feel bad about something I have no control over, I’m sick of being made to feel like I’m a slacker, because I’m not. I’m good at my job, I work hard and I take three buses to ensure I get to work every day, how many people would do that for a part time job?

I’m resentful of the fact two of the best things in my life have been taken from me already this year and I’m left with this. I’m tempted to make it easy for her and just hand my notice in, but I’m tougher than that and I will not be beaten over something I can’t control. No, there is nothing I can take to stop the side effects from my meds, no it can’t be controlled by my diet, and no, there is nothing you can do to stop it interfering with my life, this is the hand I was dealt and I play it to the best of my abilities.

So, that’s where we are right now. I’d love to be able to write a happy blog on here one day. Today is not that day. Until I know what happened to Neko, I just don’t know when that will be.

Take care of yourselves, and give your fur babies a massive hug. Tell them how much they mean to you, hell, take a day off and spent it with them. Just don’t take them for granted.

For now, I soldier on for little Yumi, who misses her big brother terribly.

PS:- Neko is microchipped and neutered.

Year in Review – 2016

It barely feels like a matter of weeks since I last wrote one of these posts, yet somehow, another year has passed and we’re here again.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We spent it in Devon with my family this year and it was fantastic. Tonight though, we are at home and celebrating the departure of 2016 quietly  with the kitties.

For many of us, I think it’s safe to say 2016 was a difficult year. I’m yet to meet anyone who has described it as being their best year ever, but for those of you who have had a great year, I’m so glad for you. I truly am. It’s been tough so I am happy for anyone who made it out still smiling.

Last year, I wrote a huge, illustrated, month by month account of my year and initially, this was also going to be my plan for this year, however, I just can’t bring myself to relive a lot of what has happened, so this is the best I can manage.

2016 began on a grey Friday morning in Leicester. We saw the new year in in style with my brother’s house party, so very different to this year!

Like every year, it began with feelings of melancholy, anxiety and quiet optimism. I knew what needed be done in order to correct the mistakes of the past year and wasted no time in setting about searching for the solutions. And that was where my luck ran out really.

I took a gamble by leaving my job at Sainsbury’s for a Freelance position. After all, it had worked out once before so why wouldn’t it happen again, right? Well, I was very wrong, and what seemed like a promising new position at Packshot soon turned out to be my very undoing.

Six months of unemployment ensued, and when I did finally manage to get some work again over the summer, I ended up spending more time chasing my wages than I did actually working. This prompted the rapid decline in my love of Photography this year. The industry I once loved had betrayed me for the last time, and as it stands, I am now still in limbo over what will happen next. I really have no idea. I’ve never been this confused before.

Entering the year still in mourning for Sam has probably set the tone for a lot of the fact this year has been so difficult. No sooner had I began coming to turns with losing her, Leica had entered my life and departed again in such a short space of time that I don’t think grief has even left me yet. Then there was the sad tale of the Floofs. More loss. In fact, I’d say the word of the year would be loss.

Still, there have been fleeting moments of joy.

Yumi2

This little girl is still with us, and as she sits curled up on my lap, purring her little head off, I’m reminded that there will always been small moments of light to keep us going. I miss Leica so much, but really feel I’ve said all I can about that. She was so special and I will never forget her, but Yumi is such a great little character, she has saved me from some very dark moments since she arrived.

Other memorable moments include my birthday back in January. Natalie did a great job of organising it, and it was so lovely to see everyone. I spent a weekend in London in July with my Mum and Auntie which was amazing, and I have now acquired a new appreciation for The Rolling Stones! There was an occasion where I came face to face and even help an enormous yellow snake, a night at the London Transport Museum in November, where I got to have an enormous geek out over my passion for all things London Underground, and countless Pokemon walks. Yeah, I like Pokemon now, it’s really fun and keeps me sane! I also got into exercise, and was really good at it for a while, then I kind of dropped the ball a bit. However, everything is in place to get it all back up and running again very soon.

Now we’re at the end of the year I am back in regular work, if only part-time, but it’s all good. It’s allowing me to study and giving me the time to figure out what I’m doing next. It’s also been quite good having time to spend with friends that I otherwise wouldn’t see anywhere near enough, so, swings and roundabouts.

As the year draws to a close, i am still met with those feelings of melancholy and anxiety, yet I am really struggling with the quiet optimism of past years. Previously, Hope was the only thing which got me through, but I think I may have run out of that, and as we enter January, I must begin my year with a number of very unpleasant tasks in order to move forward. I won’t go into that now, but hopefully, if I manage to get some resolution I can fill you in.

My health is hanging on by a thread at the moment too. Everything feels uncertain and scary, and I just want it all to be over with. I need answers, and the solutions I need to get life back on track.

So to end the year, we are about to go out for a nice long Pokemon walk followed my snuggles with the kitties. This year will not be going out with a bang, just a mere blip on the radar.

To all my wonderful family, my friends , new and old, my followers and lurkers, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Love and light to you all, I shall see you again in 2017.

Laura.

PS – I may have sucked at it, but I kept the blog going for the whole year!

 

Happy Black Cat Day

Hello all!

Today, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!

For some reason, Black Cats and kittens are always the last ones to be adopted, and will often spend months or even years in shelters or foster homes. They are usually overlooked purely because of their colour, which is really sad as usually they are just as fun and lovable as all the other kitties available. Some people are also put off by their past associations to Witchcraft and Superstitions.

However, I have never met a Black Cat I didn’t like, and if you’re in the process of adopting a new addition, please don’t rule out a kitty purely based on their colour.

Remember, Black Cats are very iconic and have a lot of positive associations too! Everyone recognises the black cat on those old Parisian posters right? What about the gorgeous Thackery Binks from Hocus Pocus or Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Surely, that’s proof enough that they’re not all bad!

If you’re already the owner of a little Black fur baby, make sure you show them how special they are today, and every day.

For now, I shall leave you with a few pictures of some of my favourite little Black Cats!

Kitty

This is Kitty, my In-Laws cat. She’s 13 this year. (Super unlucky for some, but how lucky re they to have this gorgeous little lady?)

 

And of course my Little Floofs Jake and Akemi! They’re so much bigger now. They’re settled into their new home and also have new names. Akemi is now called Suki and Jake is now called Winston. So happy that they got a happy ending after their sad start in life. I will try and post some pictures of them as they are now in a future blog.

So there you have it, I hope you have enjoyed my small tribute to beautiful black kitties.

Little Yumi Yum-Yum

Hello!

How are we all? It’s been a while hasn’t it? There’s a lot to catch up on, a lot has been going on and there are a lot of changes going on. All that can wait for now though right? I’ll share the most exciting part first.

Towards the end of June, something in me told me it may be time to let another baby girl into our home. Not because I’m over Leica, I never will be, but there was just something in my gut telling me that this was the time.

For one thing, I was seeing countless posts from all the cat related pages I follow all sharing their own version of the same sad story. Un-neutered female, brought into rescue with her kittens, all needing to be homed. Rescues are full to bursting at this time of year, so seriously, if you’re a cat owner, please get them neutered and spare the suffering.

It all felt a little different this time around. Neko and Leica had both come into our lives by chance, so actively seeking out a new arrival didn’t quite feel the same. Neko and Leica both felt as though there were meant to be ours, how would we know who would be right for us when we’re actively seeking one out? Would there be bias? Would we make the right decision? I reached out to the best person I could think of for help. The wonderful Lisa from Fur and Feathers.

Lisa showed us a litter of adorable black and white kittens who were available straight away, and sure enough there was one who caught our eye, due to her name. The kittens were being fostered by a lovely lady called Diane, so we got in touch and arranged to go and meet them, just to see if I was able to bond with a new one yet. As excited as I was, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty.

We went to meet the kittens one evening, and got to spend some time with them and their lovely Mummy. Joe was in his absolute element, he loves cats more than I do, so getting to sit on the floor and be covered in kittens is his idea of heaven. We fed them dreamies and played with them. The one I had originally be drawn to was the shyest one out of the litter, she was a little more hesitant and not as out going as her brothers and sisters, but knowing full well, that sometimes the shy ones just need the right environment they can thrive. That coupled with something in her sweet nature helped us to decide she was the one for us. So the following week, we went to pick her up.

What was it about her, that drew her to us? I hear you ask. Well, her name was Laura! It felt like a sign, a sign that would make her stand out to me and ensure she found her home with us. She was meant to be outs just as much as Neko and Leica, all we needed was a little hint.

Naturally, having two Lauras in the house would be confusing, so we set about thinking of the name. We decided to go with another Japanese name to go with Neko, but it would need to have a good meaning as well as suit her character.

After a few days of going back and forth, we finally settled on Yumi. It means ‘Friend,’

Now for the bit you’ve all been waiting for….

Yumi1

Yumi2

Yumi5

Yumi8

We’ve had her for about a month now, and she is growing in to those ears she has! She’s actually quite the cheeky little minx and is far more outgoing than we thought she’d be.

It’s safe to say that we’re all in love with her, apart from Neko who still seems a little confused by her arrival. She is totally different to Leica, and in a way I am glad because that means I can’t compare them and learn to love them both for the unique little characters they are.

So there you have it. We’re a family of four once again. I promise updates on all the rest of it as soon as I can. But, in the meantime, please take a look at the work Fur and Feathers do, and if you can, please donate a little something. They are ¬†small charity but really do wonderful work for the animals of Birmingham.

http://furandfeatherswythall.weebly.com/we-need-your-help.html

 

Three years of Neko!

Today, Facebook kindly reminded me that is has been exactly three years since my favourite bundle of fur came into our lives.

Baby Noo

Here he is in one of the very first pictures we have of him. It took a while to get him to stay still enough to get a photo which wasn’t just a little white blur!

boyses

We don’t really have that problem anymore luckily!

My beautiful boy. He brings me so much joy.

Floof Overload

Today is the two month anniversary of Leica’s early passing. When I woke up this morning, I instantly filled with sadness. Sadness, not just for Leica, but also for The Floofs that we lost. I think about Leica every day, sometimes it fills my eyes with tears and sometimes it brings a smile to my face. I love remembering all her little quirks, like how she could never meow properly so she’d just squeak instead. How excited she’d get at watching me spray deodorant on because she thought it was a can of squirty cream. The time she dive bombed Joe’s plate and ended up up to her ears in spaghetti. The adorable way in which she would follow Neko absolutely everywhere he went and how sad she looked when he went outside.

I’m glad I have happy memories of Leica. I just wish I’d managed to get a few more of the beautiful Floofs. The three remaining baby Floofs are doing really well now, they are growing and getting stronger, thanks to the amazing Lisa from Fur and Feathers. So, in that spirit, I decided that I didn’t want my last post about The Floofs to be a sad one. During the time they were were, they too put a smile on my face, and while I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t regret what happened to Sakura and Finn, I also want to remember them for the beautiful souls that they were.

Being a Mad Cat Lady with a camera always meant that they would be captured in pixels while they were here, so now, please allow me to share some pictures of these beautiful babies with you all.

babies1

babies2

babies3

babies4

babies5

babies6

babies7

babies8

babies9

babies10

babies11

babies12

babies13

babies14

babies15

babies16

babies17

babies18

babies19

babies20

babies21

babies22

If you have your own fur baby, please give them a big hug today and remind them how special they are.