Welcome to the first annual Christmas card and letter!
Quick summary of the last few years
Moved to QLD for uni Feb 2002. Studied a degree in Animal Science. Graduated 2004. Lived in QLD a few more months working as a casual vet nurse. Got Raia.
Got a full time Job in Sydney, May 2005. Of all things, breeding mice! “You’ll never make any money breeding mice” (Sue Hackworthy, circa 1998). Moved around a bit for about 12 months. Got Boots from a friend who lived in QLD, and the furkids became fast friends.
THEN in May 2009, I got word that a routine surgery that Dad had, had complications. He wasn’t going to survive the day. Thankfully, he did. But he was in an induced coma for 10 days, then in physical rehab. I made so many trips from Sydney to Shepparton in those first 3 weeks. But it was worth it when I got to feed him his first ‘solid’ (read: pureed) meal.
Last year he got remarried, to Dhaya, pictured on their wedding day with Dhaya’s grandkids.
At the end of last year, just before Christmas, I was shitfaced, and surfing the web. One of my favourite hobbies – browsing the RSPCA/AWL/Cat rescue sites. Hey, its just like going to the pet store to look at the animals, except you do it whilst drunk, alone at home! And we all know that ends well.
I found Jazz. Who was the same breed and markings as my first cat, who went missing within days of me finding out my Grandpa had terminal cancer. When I went home to visit him, I was expecting the comfort of my kitty, only to find she was no longer there.
So I drove an hour, to a suburb I had never even heard of before. And when I found Jazz, she was perfect. Except for one tiny flaw. She could not tolerate other cats. I was there for about 2 hours, looking at other cats, cuddling her, behavioural testing her etc. Finally I climbed into the pen next to her, to see if she would come talk to me, when a cat she was in regular, close proximity to, was nearby. She did and I took her on the spot. Well, after the staff at the AWL had their final cuddles with her.
In January I was diagnosed with an autoimmune Thyroid disorder. Which tanked my energy levels, mood and metabolism, and gave me smashing headaches at the same time. Which was truly wonderful. Not. And the reality of that was that for several days a week, I was unable to even function. Even now, it still gets me from time to time.
I also moved to a place of my own in February. A tiny one bedroom granny flat. Which I loved to bits. It was all mine! Furnished it myself and got to be randomly naked. I made it totally my own, even constructing my own critter cubby so the cats could safely roam at will. I’m especially proud that, with very little DIY knowledge, I was able to do it all be myself. And it had a tree in it, which the kids thought was 9 kinds of awesome.
Even better, the neighbours at the granny flat were freaking awesome! Starting a new family, I was around when beautiful baby Geena was born. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not really a kid person. But Geena is hands down the most beautiful baby I’ve ever known.
2 months into the lease, in April, I was made redundant. A bit of a kick in the guts, but not unexpected. Work had slowed as the grants we’d had before the last GFC ran out and were not renewed. After the shock wore off, I began to look to the future. Ever since Dad had been sick, it had been driven home pretty hard that I was too far from family. I decided now was the time to do that. I paid out my lease, and with a part time job took some time to chill out.
The only real negative from losing my job was that I also lost quite a few friends. Only 1 person from the old job has stayed in touch since I left. But I made several nutso friends from the part time job that will haunt me to my grave. Bitches :P
I made a quick dash back to Melbourne in May for my sisters 30th Birthday. It was the first time I’d seen my family since I became unemployed. IT was a bit emotional for me, but a whole lot of fun! It was a small family gathering, with a burlesque theme. We went to the Tutenkhamun exhibition, which was utterly AMAZING!!! Then to a burlesque show, which we missed because we were busy having pre dinner drinks whilst getting ready.
So I moved down to Melbourne in August. 3 cats in 1 car for 10 hours. Oh yeah, that wasn’t a hassle at all! The plan was to have 2 cats in a large cage (with bed, water and small tray) in the back and rotate them so they all had a turn, but within an hour Boots had wet herself, so she went into the box and seemed much more comfortable for the rest of the trip.
I September I started a casual job, 3 days a week but not really making much with it. I also dumped facebook. Seriously. And it wasn’t even difficult, since we were without internet for 3 weeks. Jazz also was under extreme stress, peeing inappropriately (on my bed) every day for 5 days. Bitch got her ass MEDICATED and has become one of the most settled and affectionate cats.
In October I fell in love. With Kit. A baby Netherland dwarf rabbit. We had planned to get a rabbit at some stage, since the cage I used to move the cats down was an indoor rabbit hutch. Baby Kit, a 9 week old prey animal, has since terrified the cats with her dopey fearlessness. Jana has forbidden me from getting any more pets. Which is a good call since I saw ducklings at the pet store one day…
I also have a casual job, working weekends as a sales rep for Revolution, the parasite control product. So far I’ve only had training, and they’re over a week late with paying. Not that I mind because rent is optional right…? Right? But the first actual day is in 2 weeks and I’m super excited.
So that’s my year to date. Pretty shit when you sum it up. Sickness, umeployment, financial stress, and friends lost. It has had its good moments. At least I know who my real friends are. But sometimes its hard to look on the bright side. At the moment, I’m looking for full time work. But I am not able to do the job I have trained for and worked as for the past 6 years. I cannot cope with the emotional stress of knowing that every animal I work with will have to be euthanaised. And although I have the time ad desire, I do not have the funds for further study.
But I try to look for the future. Tomorrow I meet with an Avon Lady to see if I can get an account set up to sell it. It might not make me much, but I’m hoping it will give me enough, and something to do.
My goals for the next year are fairly simple.
· Get a job for at least 4 days a week.
· Look into study – dog behaviour and grooming
· Join a gym. I really miss zoning out.
· Write a book. May as well do something with all my free time.
But the immediate future for me… bed. Its 12:30am.
Wishing you all a safe, loving and happy festive season, new year and beyond. Special thoughts go out to those who are expecting their first child, or having Christmas with a first child. This must be a really wonderful occasion for you.
If you’d like to stay in touch, I’m on Google + (google’s version of facebook). Much simpler and less time wastage.
Steph, Raia, Boots, Jazz and Kit