Saying Farewell 

By the time this post is published I will be in Shanghai. By the time this post is published I will have had long enough to stop crying. By the time this post is published Mozzy, my 15+ year old kitty, born in Nanning, China will have had his last bits of candied salmon before meeting his ancestors. This is a safe enough place to write what I am going through emotionally before we say goodbye to Mozzy. The decision was not easy to make – even with the support of our veterinarian. The practical side of me – a word I think was voiced far too often because what else can be said – knows the decision to stop treatment and let Mozzy be pain free is for the best. We know the decision has not nothing to do with my looming departure. And loom it does. Like a monster of guilt. 

My favourite photo of Mozzy, from about three years ago when he was still healthy.
This is Mozzy’s, “You’re what?” look.

Guilt with wondering if I did enough. We did. Guilt with wondering if Mozzy could have lived longer. Yes, but in a deteriorating condition. Guilt wondering if he is happy on this, his last, day. I think so, he ate a little salmon. Guilt also, wondering if I waited too long. That thought alone is what will get me through the day. During a long talk with the vet we both voiced our amazement that Mozzy made it beyond the end of August. Did I prolong his life for him or for me? Perhaps a little of both. Until last night Mozzy was making every attempt to appear well despite the severe weight loss and pain. By morning he was not. I can only hope he understands and will still love me until the end. 

A screened, open window, a Tibetan pillow – life of a Mandarin cat.
My youngest daughter called Mozzy, ‘My Prince’. The chair became his favourite place to sit.

 My daughter threw a birthday party for my that Mozzy took control of. I think he thought it was for him – typical kitty. However, I needed to let loose some of my sadness before it swallows me up. I could not post anything to friends, not yet. So, by the time this is posted time and distance may have helped with the healing. Mozzy is just as much a family member as my children. They know.

Wasn’t that a party! (After everyone had left and Mozzy’s chair was in the wrong place)
Post Script: I did eventually write something on FB, there are people who would want to know. It dawned on me that some friends even knew Mozzy when my youngest daughter first brought him home at seven weeks old from the hole in the wall store outside the school I worked at in Nanning after seeing a child kick him. Mozzy had been promised to us but I was not ready for him at such a young age. He immediately squirmed his way into our hearts. Either my sister or the vet said perhaps Mozzy will be with me in spirit when I am in China. I like that. I miss him.


Last Days of Semi-Solo Travel: or ‘Final Countdown’

At Christmas I was given one last gift to be used just prior to going home. Tickets to see a local little theatre production. Before we would meet one of my daughters for dinner and the show, her sister and I managed to have a wonderfully stress free day despite dealing with banking and other stuff. With all of that out of our way we decided to have lunch at a small pub in a small strip mall along one of the main roads in Kingston. The Rose and Crown on upper Princess. They even have live music on Wednesday nights, sadly we were there far too early and had other plans.

Knowing we would be going for dinner later I chose from the lunch menu. Breaded sole, a small side of chips (aka French fries) and a side order of coleslaw. The sole was fine, chips not greasy and only lightly salted (a bonus in my books) but the tartar sauce was a poor concoction of green relish, mayonnaise and mustard. My daughter said she needed a photo of me using ketchup to show my grandson. The coleslaw was crispy, lightly dressed, quite nice. I only ordered that because there was no vegetable offered with my meal. Rather disappointing.

My daughter had the meat pie with Caesar salad and a small side of previously frozen vegetables. She declared the meat pie good although most likely too salty for my taste. The Caesar looked nice, I neglected to ask, the sad looking vegetables were not touched. The atmosphere was simple, a good place to stop at if in the area – perhaps while out shopping for a vehicle, which is how my daughter and her husband came across the place a few years ago. That is an indication of most likely not a place I would purposely seek out in the future.

We then headed to a mystery appointment. My daughter had something planned on her hands. I really could not think what it might be as she was talking about meeting a co-worker I did not know. We were getting pedicures and manicures! Although this can be a solo activity, and I have done so often, the interaction with others, and, this time, with my esthetician, who may have missed his calling to be a comedian. We also talked about Vietnam, his home country and where two of my daughters have been, It did not hurt that he was a nice looking young man and served us chocolate. Twice. Full chocolate bars. I stashed mine for emergencies. So far they are still stashed. There is something about getting a pedicure in the middle of winter that seems positively sinful.


Dinner and a show (I am not at all spoiled):

I was determined to eat at a favourite place I found last year, only to be stymied with recalling if it was Mango Thai Cafe (also a nice choice) or Taj Curry House. The styles of cooking only sort of touch regionally so it took some sleuthing on my part. My memory served me well, it was Taj. A small, family operated eatery. We had three dishes and were thankful we did not order four! Vegetable Biryani, Beef Ragan Josh and chicken Dansak. A small appetizer of onion Bhaji, some naan to share and we were all well satisfied. Much like Crave for a coffee out, Taj Curry House is a restaurant I will make a point of visiting when back in Kingston. Of course I am always game to seek other eateries and activities.

The little theatre production was put on by Blue Canoe Productions. This is primarily a youth company, 13 – 30, many performing for the first time. Their enthusiasm certainly helped to hold up the production. Peter & the Starcatcher, written in 2006, played on Broadway April 2012 – Jan 2013. This is the story that tells us how Peter Pan became a lost boy. A young girl, other lost boys, Smee of course, a nasty pirate captain, mermaids and the crocodile are all included. I could not catch some of the very quiet lines and the poor sight lines for the many occasions the players were sitting on the deck of the boat or the sands of the shore were frustrating.

There is nothing more irritating than having to peer over shoulders for a glimpse of the action or to hear the lines. We were there for opening night, the audience was well peppered with family, friends and production people, so a full house. Encouraging for actors. The Baby Grand Theatre is a cozy set up, and would work much better for players rising up, rather than sinking down. I believe this production might play better with a raised stage. We joined the audience and actors for a post show gala – we must have been the only ones not somehow connected to the show. Having been involved in many theatre productions, a lot of higher caliber, I left thinking how fortunate I am no longer.

Farewell hug to one daughter then back to the countryside. Some serious packing was on my agenda for the next day.