A Man trying to change his life

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Now playing: Ani DiFranco - I Know This Bar
via FoxyTunes Nicodemis was born in late June or early July of 2000 in New Douglas, IL. New Douglas is about 35 miles or so from St. Louis, MO. I believe she may have been abandoned or kidnapped but either way when I found her she was smaller than my hand. Her hair had been cut extremely short and covered in a horrid perfume by some local kids who thought she smelled bad. I found her around August 9th of 2000 at my friend Steve Hinkin's house celebrating his birthday. I absolutely fell in love with this little kitty. She also fell in love with me. I was not sure what was going to go on so I aptly left her there for about a week until my girlfriend Lorrie(at the time) said it was OK to bring her home. When I brought her home she fit in the palm of my hand. The whole way home, which was about a 20 minute ride, she stayed in the palm of my hand just purring away and all nice and curled up in the palm of my hand. I had to take her to the Vet almost immediately because I noticed as did Lorrie that she was covered in fleas and her poor little belly was a little swollen. It turned out that she fleas, ear mites, and worms. So we got her the necessary medicines and in no time at all she came to me full of life. I was unsure of what to name her so for two weeks I had been calling her lil' one(sounds like little un), till one day when I finally given up trying to name her. I was watching the Secret of NIMH, an animated cartoon movie based on Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, from my youth when the name Nicodemis was spoken on the T.V. she looked at me. I immediately repeated the name and she kind of tilted her head. I said the name again and she came running to me. I asked her, "Do you like the name Nicodemis." She started purring like crazy I then said, "is your name Nicodemis." She then made a little squeak the first I had heard from her. That is when I finally knew her name the one she wanted me to call her was Nicodemis. From that time on whenever I would say her name she would come running to me. We spent as much time as possible together for the next several months. Then when she finally started to go into heat and her hair had grown back. I had realized how special and beautiful she was and thought that maybe I would want to try to breed her. I waited a year and one half before I decided that breeding would be a horrible thing to do to an animal. Thus, I, made an appointmet to have her spayed. I was so worried about her for her second visit to the Vet. I was, and am, always weary of surgery. Everything came out OK she was a little out of it due to the anesthesia but other than that OK. When it was time to have her stitches removed we noticed a slight bump at the top of them. It turned out to be nothing to worry about but we kind of thought of it as her belly button. I so much wanted to teach her to use a leash but she made it apparent that she wanted little to do with it. Plus I really did not have the patience for it. This is something I still regret to this day. We did almost become inseparable and she was the talk of all our friends. We had two other cats, or Lorrie did, at the time. She was always trying to play with them but they were different and older. Rita was the Queen Bitch and little Emily was the timid one who tried to hide all the time. Emily had been abused, we think, by a male and thus was very frighted of most males including myself. She was always trying to get them to play but for the most part I think they treated her roughly because of the age difference but in the end they and us were a big happy family.
Soon after I started to refer to her as my little girl or daughter. As that is the way I felt about her. My girlfriend at the time was 17 years my senior and had already had a 12 year-old son. I too was in no way ever wanting to have a child or get married. Things worked out really good though. As many couples we had our disagreements but for the most time we were odd. I mean we lived together worked at the same place of employment and worked the same shift and general department as each other, but honestly we rarely had any major disagreements. We were very good together. As I stated earlier we were a happy loving family. We had a tremendous amount of beautiful times together. There came a slight problem when we slept though. Rita and little Emily always slept with us and Nicco(as Nicodemis was often referred to) wanted badly to join us and so did I. Rita and little Emily, though, had other thoughts on the matter. Well, I guess, it did not help that most of the time Nicco was still acting like a little kitty and most of the time when it was time for bed and we were all in bed. She would try to get the other two girls to play. This is something they often wanted nothing to do with so Nicco ended up sleeping by herself on the floor by us or she would be off in the other rooms making all kinds of noise and just playing by herself. She use to drive us a little nuts with this. She also amazed the hell out of me. Without me ever training her she new how to use the litter box from the get go. Since I had objected, as did Lorrie, to get her declawed she would go into the litter box and dig her nails into the entrance. She always seemed to take a considerable amount of time in there and the longer she took the louder she would get. Resulting a lot of times with us waking up, Lorrie more than me as I slept like a log, and having no choice but to yell at her.
Needless to say, this kept up for some time to come. We would also find her sometimes curled up in the bathroom sink. She loved to curl up in there, especially on hot days, because the porcelain was very cool on her long-haired little body. It was so damn cute. This little kitty has stolen my heart. The first time it snowed I had to let her go out onto the balcony and experience it. I took pictures of her little paw prints in the snow. Our cats were strictly indoor cats unless we were out there and watching them. We often allowed them out there only if we were there to keep an eye on them and keep them from going down the stairs. I do remember, however, that Rita got out not once but twice. One day in our new apartment Rita got out and we could not find her anywhere. She finally came back one day later. No harm but damn were we worried about her.
I believe our cats thoroughly enjoyed our new apartment. It was twice as big as our previous one and had two levels. It was more like a townhouse. They use to run around all the time up and down the stairs. We had a lot of great memories, and a few bad, in that apartment. I was growing further and further withdrawn from my family and felt that my current job was killing me along with the whole state of Illinois. So we talked about it a lot and started to save money to move to the West Coast of the USA. We were not sure where but I just knew as did Lorrie the only way I was going to get out of the Truck stop was for them to either fire me, which would never happen I tried many times, or move very very far away. We were trying to decide between Oregon and Washington. Lorrie I believe would have preferred to go to WA but I slowly convinced her that WA would be dangerous for me and that OR would be the better place. She had become a 911 dispatcher and was making extremely good money compared to what we were use to but I was stuck in an endless job stifled, flustered, and overly depressed. She finally agree to drop everything and move to Oregon with me and the three cats. Just one of the many things I will forever be indebted to her for.
There came a huge problem though when we got out here I did not want to work in the food service industry any longer and thus was unemployed for a bout 4 months. She could not get a job out here dispatching, which frustrated her more than she ever let on. She got a job at Target working overnights. I was still unemployed and could not find anyone to hire me because all I had done was work in the food service industry which was something I no longer wished to do. I finally sucked it up and got a job cooking for a pub. I had no friends or relatives out here other than Lorrie and the three cats. I started to make friends and actually feel like part of the family at work and hung out way too much with them. Lorrie and I worked different hours and I started to stay out drinking a lot so that I would make some friends and so that I did not wake her up when I got home. We started to spend more and more time apart. After about a year or so my drinking had gotten pretty prominent in my life and Lorrie began missing her family more and more. Something I can never ever blame her for. As time went on and I neglected her more and more we began to fall apart relationship wise yet I truly did not see it or want to. I worked really hard one day ate absolutely nothing the entire day and did not want to go home right away after work. I did not want to wake her up. So I decided to have two red beers which are mostly tomato juice at work then go to a bar where I had four drinks in an hour and proceeded to go home. I was a few blocks from home but made a fatal error. At a stop light I was in the turn lane but proceeded to go straight when the light turned green. I got pulled over. Me weighing all of maybe 140 lbs or 10 stone(British conversion), having not eaten all day and now having four drinks in an hour smelled of beer. I got asked to get out and do a field sobriety test. Me weighing next to nothing but having dreads down to almost my arse failed. This was the cement that had been mixing for us for a while now. Lorrie and I were to be no longer though she had to save money before she could move in with a friend or move back home. I immediately quit drinking which is something she asked me if I could do two weeks prior and I said I could try to cut down. On March 20th 2006, three months after my DUII, she moved back to IL with Rita and little Emily. Realizing how much I had messed up and determined to stay sober and make it through Oregon's diversion program. I did just that but in the course of me getting sober I had a lot of sleeping problems which caused me to be late to work 5 times in 10 months of me working there. I, needless to say, got fired from the single best job I have ever had year to date. Not because of the job but the people made it the best for me. After graduating the diversion program which lasted 17 weeks. I remained sober for a total of 25 months the most I ever had done before. Wow I went off on a tangent explaining that which had little to do with Nicodemis sorry.
In the time since coming to Oregon we lived in a much smaller place but she was still playful as a kitten as always. The Queen Bitch became a little bitchier and little Emily opened up a lot more to me. They also started to finally all three get along and on occasion sleep in the bed with all of us. After Lorrie, Rita, and little Emily's departure Nicco took some time getting her to actually come and lay with me. She knew something was seriously wrong. I believe she may have been a little depressed as well, but soon she was laying with me like crazy. She became a little clingy but I will never complain about that. Me not being able to get a job for three months hurt a little but I had savings to live off then I finally got a job Ironically at Target. Working again on midnights or overnights Nicodemis would greet me at the door every single morning. She also had started to do something that I taught her before Lorrie had left. I would hold my hand about 2 feet off the ground and she would rub her head and her back up against it. There become an even stronger bond between her and I. She was no longer just my cat or just my little girl. She had now become my very best friend and things were going well on the home front at least between her and I. Money was not the greatest but I always made sure she was well fed and kept in shape. We had these balls with a bell in them and she would chase them around for hours. She also became the one person that I talked to on a regular basis. In her whole life I think she only had six or seven hairballs which is kind of unusual for a long-haired seal point cat but I did feed her hairball medicine and or food. She never, until she got sick, once peed or pooped in a place she was not suppose to. She use to have this habit, too, if I slept too long to jump up and lick my eyelids. She was the best companion I could ever ask for. I will miss her. I will love her forever. I also know it is going to take me a long time to get use to her not being here in my life. THAT LITTLE GIRL HAS STOLEN MY HEART!!! And the truth of the matter is I would have it no other way. I am sorry that I did not act sooner though she was only sick for two days. I, also, am eternally grateful for her coming into my life and making it so much better. Much love Nicodemis you will forever be with me. May your afterlife be beautiful and full of love take care lil' one I will miss you and think of you quite often. Forever your father and best friend.

Rest in Peace
Nicodemis Carter

your loving father
Gregory J. Carter Jr.
Now playing: Ani DiFranco - Providence
via FoxyTunes

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