I accused her, my mother, of Munchaussen by proxy two evenings ago and this has been festering. I saw all the signs of her starting up the backlash, but she is too old to wait for a time when SHE could put ME in prison, just for saying it. I left it unsaid, I realize now, whether I was talking about myself or my son, it could be both.
But underlying everything in my life is my mother’s undying devotion to her cats. She called me up in high school, a rare thing, to tell me that Sneakers, our first cat, a stray she took in, like most of her cats, had died. Much later she mentioned that there had been a snowstorm and that they couldn’t get to a vet; they had to wait out her natural death, which was apparently an agony for Sneakers. (Sneakers, a spayed female, had white feet.)
Sometimes I think that was when she started to think I was bad. I didn’t have a reaction for her. I was far away in my mind. Sneakers had always scratched me.
After my son was born I started writing pro-life letters to the local Florida newspaper, and one seemed to have gotten a nod from a major columnist, I wasn’t sure, and was desperate to know. My brother called and mentioned something about the newspaper in front of him and then let it drop and we hung up. Minutes later, my father called. “Thomas has died,” he said. My mother was too broken up to call this time. But I took it as a ploy to block my letter-writing. (Thomas had a stroke, as I remember, and his back half was paralyzed, my mother was terrified to have had to make “the decision,” she said, to put him down.) I had my own cat-fanaticism. I have mentioned when Dorian died and how it upset me right up until the time I met my future husband, a painful year. [I fear there is too much in this story to get it told.] When the queen, Daisy, my own pure pet, was going right after Thomas’s death (they were close at the end), Daisy was hyper-vigilant, and I flew to Pennsylvania from Florida to see her.
The news of Thomas didn’t touch me as it was caught in the crux of my rage over having my letters and my vision and my uncertain possible temporary fame masked over; then I chose fame and continued to write letters and never did grieve over Thomas. He is gone from me, lost in a crunch of time. (Tears, now, however dim.) He was Dorian’s buddy and I looked at him and wept every time I saw him after Dorian died. It was kind of pathetic. But oh-so my-mother’s-daughter. My sister’s horse had died. I have written about this somewhere in my blogging. I took a casual attitude and my mother blamed me for my sister’s hysteria when they didn’t drop everything and drive 9 hours as planned, instead taking the more sensible route at my suggestion of having dinner first. So when Dorian died she just looked at me curiously to see whether I was in any pain. This involves the Tracey T. problem too as I was at that time still trying to work it out and Dorian’s death coincided with a trick of the Tracey T. problem to leave me permanently glitched in my mind over both, oh god oh god oh god this gets too deep. I have explained the painful glitching in my mind elsewhere. (And the Tracey T. problem.)
I left PA with my husband and realized I was glad to be away from the world of fur.
to be contd.