Blurred and Interesting Times

jesterI had cataract surgeries in December.  My eyesight is still bleary.  For the first time in my life my near-vision is foggy and sketchy.  Words on a computer screen or in a book swim and fade.  Words are my addiction.  Not being able to write or read comfortably is akin to making an alcoholic take those little white pills that make them throw-up after they drink.  Because they will drink.  Just as I will read and write.  It’s just that much of the enjoyment has been stolen.

Last night was New Year’s Eve.  Two minutes after midnight, the old dog, Chesty, wanted out to limp around the yard and give the occasional bark at the neighbor’s fireworks thunder.  The old boy needed to let the world know that incontinent, stove up with arthritis and half-blind as he was, by God, he was still in charge of his world.  Jack already had his apnea machine cranked up to Darth Vader.  I was in bed reading a very bad book by a very famous author.  (It didn’t matter so much that the words swam and blurred.  The writing wasn’t that great to begin with)

I got out of bed and let Chesty outside to do his old dog version of a new year’s strut. The covers had just touched my toes as I climbed back under the quilt to stay warm when Chesty began to bark.  Anyone who has a dog knows that they have many different barks.  This bark was not a Happy New Year bark.  This was the equivalent of a mad barroom roar.  “I’ll get you, you son of a sailor.”

I cussed some.  Which broke one of my resolutions less than two minutes into the year.  I kicked off the covers, scrambled out of bed, slipped on leggings and slippers, grabbed the mini-flashlight kept on the kitchen counter for just these occasions, pulled my heavy coat from the closet, and raced outside buttoning as I ran.  By then the barks and yips and howls had escalated to the doggie equivalent of, “I’ll rip your freaking head off and . . .”  Well, you get the idea.  Chesty was riled.

The narrow beam of my palm-sized flashlight located the problem.  A fat gray cat perched temptingly on the top edge of our rickety fence.  Chesty, directly below the stupid cat, is too old to jump, but he contended himself with lifting his head high and snapping at the tail that hung on our side of the six-foot wooden structure.

Well, hell.  Double hell.

Best thing to do was to just push the damned cat into the neighbor’s dogless yard.  That seemed an easier and quicker maneuver than moving a 150 pound arthritic and extremely agitated dog.  I was stomping across the frozen grass.  I admit this.  Adrenaline propelling me toward the trouble-making cat and barking dog with no thought but to give the damned cat a quick and hard shove and bring the dog inside where there was a heater and warm bed.

Don’t think.  Just push.  That’s what I was thinking.

The cat’s fur was bristly.  Her face sort of pointed and she was making a hissing sound like none I’ve ever heard a domestic cat make before.  The rest happened in the proverbial blink of a post-cataract-surgery-induced-blurred eye.  My face, by this time, was inches from that of the hissing cat.  I blinked.  Noticed for the first time that the tail hanging down into our side of the yard was long and pink and hairless.  Blinked again. 

Rang in the New Year not with paper horns and pointy hats and champagne but with a resounding shout of, “I fucking hate possums!”


May your new year be filled with joy and blessings.  Me?  It looks like, once again, I’m going to live another year in interesting times.


About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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11 Responses to Blurred and Interesting Times

  1. Happy New Year, Pamela to you, Chester, AND your newest buddy! I’m with you on possums. Some years back I was trying to get some work done at my desk and my cat was chomping voraciously on her dry food. It just wasn’t stopping. Then I noticed she was at my feet. And the eating was ongoing. I discovered a 3-legged possum eating out of her bowl. I screamed and slammed the door of the room I was in to keep it out. Husband came running from another room and didn’t believe me when I told him about the 3-legged possum – he was sure it was a small dog or cat that had wandered in and back out again through the cat-door. We both went back to our business – until the chomping resumed. This time he saw it and I was validated. There is now one less 3-legged possum in the world.

  2. stormy says:

    Well there you go, selling Ole Chesty short. He knew your feelings and was doing his best to protect your territory despite the distractions of the fireworks. I hope that you gave him a nice treat in lieu of a medal or something.
    Your blurry vision reminds me of the time that I got a short letter from a girl that I had just met in Miami over a liberty weekend. My eyes had just been dilated as part of a physical, and I couldn’t read the letter. I tried taping it to the wall and standing back far enough to bring it into focus, but when it came into focus the writing was too small for me to read. Of course I was not going to let someone in the barracks read it to me. What agony and suffering, but by the next morning I could read again and I was happy.
    It is a shame that the books can’t be made larger like computers and Kindles can do.
    Enjoy the New Year.

  3. laurewaytek says:

    I’m loving your continuing life saga, Pam! You are so good at painting exciting, colorful word-works out of daily dramas that many would prefer to forget. Thanks for inviting us into your studio..

  4. Natine says:

    I just laughed right aloud at this one! You have the gift for turning your misery into side-splitting entertainment! Happy, happy new year! 🙂

  5. Jan Morrill says:

    Oh dear, Pam! There you go again with yet another sad tale that makes me laugh. How do you do that?? Anyway, I’m sending good thoughts and lots of love, hoping that you’re eye sight will improve soon. Not only would we miss your writing, I hesitate to think what you might try to pet next. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Resolution, Smesolution | Pamela Foster, Author and Speaker

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