Friday, August 16, 2013
I'm in a real funk lately. Has nothing to do with writing, or lack of, or rejections or even my day job dissatisfaction. I'm in a funk because of my debt.
Like the typical American family, I've said yes to almost every credit opportunity that has come in my snail mail - really can't trust the e-mail solicitations b/c you might click on something that is spam - and one thing over the years has lead to another and now I owe more in loan/credit card payments than household expenses. We're talking an outrageous amount here - to me anyway. And anyone in the working poor tax bracket will understand my plight.
What to do, what to do? I could default on it all and pay just my monthly housing/utilities; but I've worked a long long time as a single mom to build up all that extended credit and I'm proud of my fair (not excellent) credit rating. All things considered, the logical thing to do - since I've topped out in my pay grade and no cola raises are eminent in my near future (lucky not to have pay decreases, though I admit getting laid off would be more advantageous) I guess I have to cut expenses.
So we move. Again.
I move every few months - although I've been at this house for two years, and the last one for about two years - and believe it or not, it only takes my family about 6 hours to have me packed, loaded,
unpacked and the U-haul returned to the center the same day. You doubt me? Seriously, six hours is giving my kids and ex-husband more time than we really need. I've whittled my house to bare essentials: couch, beds, dressers, table, washer/dryer, desk, TV, 3 full book cases. When we moved into this house, I avoided my usual habit of filling the yard with outdoor furniture, pool, bar-b-que, etc. I didn't replace the trampoline when it fell apart either, although my son had a huge hissy fit about that. He isn't used to the word NO.
I've never had a purely indoor cat before. It is still an odorous experience. But I understood her phobias, the trauma she'd suffered before we rescued her (or she rescued us) and now she is queen of our domicile. She is friendly, loving, talkative, demanding. She sleeps with me on my bed, and if I sit up too late she will start whining and slapping at me to get me to go to bed so she can cuddle up in her comfort zone. She follows my son from room to room, and even outdoors, like a puppy cultivating every last ounce of attention. My son tells her "shut up" when she starts in about her day, but if she doesn't appear withing half an hour of his getting home, he's searching her out.
About a year later Baby showed up. Just as starved and desperate as Dusty. There'd been other strays I was able to turn away, but this black and white tabby somehow appealed to me. Dusty liked him well enough also - until he moved in. You have kids? Understand the only child syndrome? Yeah, that's my Dusty. You can come to play and tell me how much you like my home, but you can't eat from my bowl or sleep in my bed. Ha, she really fits our overall family attitude!
Now we have to move. Moving will put about $400 back in my pocket - which boils down to not taking cash advances or hitting the maxed out credit cards for groceries to feed the cats - and the kid. Moving means I may live off just my paycheck by the end of this year. I'm so excited about not worrying about where the grocery money will come from I almost forget my son will be entering high school, and his school expenses are about to double if not triple. All I have to do for this potential money saving endeavor is - get rid of the cats.
Easy peasy, right? Abandon them and move on. Uhm, no; my cats are like my kids. Almost. I wouldn't pay more than maybe $200 to save the life of my cat - but discarding them is like kicking out an 18 year old with no job or income prospects. I see this all the time at my day job. The screening goes like this: "I only have a minimum wage job and her/his father doesn't help me with child support. She/he won't graduate til she/he's 19, but she/he is 18 and I am not legally responsible for her/him. Isn't there a welfare program that will support her/him and give her/him a home until she/he can support her/himself?" Unfortunately the County cannot help these aging out children unless they are pregnant or parenting. The county/state will "rescue" your child if the child is being abused or about to produce more children, but if they have been well loved but unaffordable nobody cares to give a helping hand. Middle class America at its finest.
I find the same is true for aged or abandoned cats. There is this regulation or something in California that states cats are independent individuals, owned by nobody, so unless they are currently abused, there is no shelter care for cats. Dogs - no matter the breeding or life circumstances - are property and there are laws to protect their right to life and appropriate care. Cats are transient beings, and have no right to life or shelter care.
This distresses me because I've been actively searching for a home for my cats for the last two months. All the homes I've looked at that I can afford for myself and my son do not allow pets. Over the last three months I've passed on several viable and affordable apartments because they do not accept pets, and now I'm down to moving, or being evicted and being homeless. But, at least I'll have my cats!
Shelter has come down to the cats or us. I've talked to everyone - seriously, everyone - I know, and nobody wants cats. Even the people who rescue cats say they are full up, and cannot take on any more cats. Kittens that are adoptable, yes. Not fully grown cats. No matter how cute or unique.
This is sort of a rant. In my life, Karma usually presents a solution at the last possible moment for me, but I fear this time the deadline is too short. And I've not been an especially nice person this last year (lots of cynicism) to attract Karma's favor. If my dad was still alive, he'd probably pray for me, and that would likely be enough to tip the balance in my favor. Or not. God knows I don't believe.
I've contacted a shelter that does not euthanize, so the possibility exists that I could get Dusty back when I can return to a house in 6-12 months (Baby has been accepted by a neighbor) but her fate rests in the "story" I tell to the shelter administrator tomorrow. Wow, who knew my story making abilities could be life or death in the real world. "I love her and I don't want to give her up" is the honest truth, but I fear just won't do. I'm a cash aid eligibility worker, and if there is a sad story out there I haven't heard, I'd be surprised; and duly skeptic due to its uniqueness.
Uhm, speaking of moving; I'm doing a lot of sorting, packing, and crying this week. And next week. I'm not in a social mood. Knowing I failed at this house is more devastating to me than I'd like to admit. My postings and comments are likely to be less than encouraging, and I'm not sure when my internet will be terminated, or when I'll get it turned back on. I don't fish for WiFi at Starbucks (none in my town anyway) or Round Table, or have the time to drop by the library when it is open (usually during my work hours) so I'm not sure I'll be able to participate in Denise Covey's Write-Edit-Publish Vacation prompt, or Angelina Trevina's Ten Years blogfest. My excerpts are mostly written - in need of editing - but I don't like to schedule a post and not visit all the participants. If I lose my internet, I will not schedule the posts.
I'm hurting a lot right now, and concentrating on only two things in my life: the empathy I owe my clients at my day job, and the energy and resources it is taking to deal with the move. I've taken flack in the past when I flaked on blogging events, and I feel guilt over my failures, but blogging and writing are not my priority right now. I dislike disclosing even this much of my personal life to the blogs, but I also understand the lure of curiosity when a blogger disappears. I am at heart a writer and writers, like social workers, are innately curious/nosy beings.
I'll try to be back for the events I've signed up for, but if not, I hope you all forgive me. Be well and happy my friends.