The Summer I Got Summer

This is Summer. My cat.

summer1

Seen here telling me to do a better job of raising him, the wise ass.

I got him when he was smaller than this. And yes, he was still breastfeeding.

IMG_1463I actually didn’t have any plans of getting a cat since-

And just like a cat, he just distracted me right now by typing random characters on the keyboard and showing me his butt. We have three dogs and we didn’t actually know how they’ll react to seeing a kitten.

The fateful summers day we met, was the day I was starting on my new job three months ago. I was jogging and I heard a pitiful meow. Looking down, I saw this thin, dirty and shakily walking kitten determinedly trying to get to the road and I believe, attempt to cross it. I picked up the poor mite and tried to look for its litter mates. Finding none, I decided to leave it on the sidewalk and jog on. However, something stopped me from leaving and good thing too, because I turned around and saw the kitten about to be crushed by an oncoming truck!

I stopped the truck, picked up the kitten and brought it home. I looked into its eyes and couldn’t bear to leave it there! Knowing that the kitten was still breastfeeding, I took some milk from the fridge, heated some milk, and left it for the kitten.

The kitten cannot drink and nearly drowned!

I cleaned the kitten up and did some research on the web. My kitten was around two to three weeks old and needs to breastfeed on milk without lactose, as cats are lactose intolerant.

I called the CARA hotline and got a helpful lady who told me that I should buy pet’s milk from a Pet Express. After work I hurried to the store and bought the cat’s milk. I used a syringe to feed the starving kitten. I was worried it wouldn’t make the night but the kitten was energetic and a lot less shaky the next day.

I told my family that the situation wasn’t permanent. I didn’t want to look after the cat as well, even if I liked the idea. I told them that I will be handing it over to an organization. I called CARA again and I asked if they were willing to take the kitten off my hands. They said that they were so full up, the only accept emergency cases. I called PAWS and it was the same story: both wanted me to adopt the kitten instead.

My brother told me not to name the kitten; when you name a pet, you become attached to it. After two weeks, I gave up. Nameless, he has stolen my heart. And he became Summer. I named him after Bran Stark’s direwolf in A Song of Ice and Fire.

He has been lovingly terrorizing me ever since.

I am not going to fill this post with a lot of cliched BS about how cathartic it is to encounter the pure wonder of owning a pet. Owning a pet is a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of scratches, a lot of research and a lot of money. However, I feel happy whenever I remember that I, a simple, ordinary human being, have saved a life.

Summer makes me laugh everyday, and nothing can give loving cuddles like a cat. Also turns out, my dogs were cool with cats.

There are a lot of strays out in the street, and in the care of organizations who are at full capacity. Please give a loving pet a loving home. Contact PAWS here and CARA here.

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Feel The Wonder

“May you feel the wonder of those who came before you, and none of the fear.” -Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey

When was the last time you let an idea fly? When you let your imagination grab hold of it and soared on huge wings to the cerulean skies of your mind?

When was the last time you suspended your disbelief in possibilities?

Wonder as defined by Merriam-Webster.com:

noun ˈwən-dər: a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.

In a world in love with gritty reboots, conformity and “keeping in touch with reality,” I think that younger generations are trained to mold themselves to templates set by those who preceded them.

Study hard. Get a good job. Climb the office ladder. Get married. Have 2.5 kids. Buy a house and a car. Live a quiet, non-disturbing life. Save up for retirement. Mold the kids to the template until they graduate. Work and continue the climb until you’re sixty. Retire gracefully and let your kids take care of you until you die. And your kids will follow the same template, and their kids, and their kids.

I fear a time will come when we will fail to build a new world for tomorrow and life simply becomes a process to be completed.

I think it was different for those who preceded my generation. The Baby Boomers, The children of those who survived the second world war, were allowed to go out, build and make their fortunes. My generation and the ones succeeding are entitled and pressured; we are trained to expect leveling up in status and in careers.

But life isn’t a video game. Now, the most creative expressions of wonder I have seen are appropriately humble-braggity posts of food pictures on Facebook. I see a lack of genuine appreciation for life.

I believe in the correlation of wonder, passion and imagination. We are all gifted with immense imagination to pursue our passion, the things we feel wonder for. Everyone is creative in their own way, regardless of where our inclinations; even in science and math! Oh, the beautiful poetry of a properly complex algorithm- if only I could understand them. It is therefore a shame to see people stifle their own callings in order to conform and compromise.

I am not saying that conformity is evil; if that is what makes you happy then so be it. All I am saying is: life is too short to be a robot.

<postscript>And yes, I am a fan of Rage Against The Machine.</postscript>

On Starting Over Again

If you follow my Twitter, and most likely you don’t because I have a whopping 79 followers as of now as I’m writing this (and I appreciate every single one), you will notice that I have put in my description: “A phoenix starting over; soaring soon.”

As I mentioned in my previous essay I am currently recovering from depression and anxiety. Last year has been my life’s lowest point. However, with my now accumulated sackful of salt I take what has happened beyond face value and say that it has been one that has blessed me the most lessons. And since I can’t sleep because I’m a genius and I drank coffee, I’ll share some with you.

1. Depression is not for the fainthearted.

I have to admit that I was once one of those people who thought that people with depression just “can’t deal with it”. Of course, I now have a different opinion.

I read Margarita Holmes’ article on depression and she says, “depression is not a disorder I would wish on anyone,” and I believe the same. Depression isn’t a fun joyride for emo people. It is a hard disorder that makes living, well, a living nightmare.

Learn more about what depression is. Give others your understanding. Trust me, you’d want the favor returned too.

2. Maturity is not the way you appear.

One of the most important things that I learned is that we as a society thrive on appearances. We equate intangible qualities in the tangible way people act towards others and carry themselves.

But I have met people who seemed to be mature at first glace and yet displayed immaturity when they opened their mouths. I think and believe that the true test of maturity is in authenticity. Authenticity is something that we should all strive for. When we are brave enough to always be the real us, that is when we grow up.

3. Learning about yourself is the best weapon you have.

Knowing about you will let you be aware of your shortcomings. And when you are, you then have the chance to show yourself some love and accept them. And who cares if you have them? Everyone does. You are still interesting and likeable. And the fun in knowing about yourself is seeing your awesome parts.

4. Know that some people will never apologize, and you have to be OK with it.

Yup, someone hurt you, made you miserable, or lonely, or angry, and they won’t admit to any wrongdoings.

You have to be OK with it. You can’t make them do what you want, just as no one can make you do what you don’t want. Letting go is tough, but freeing. Also remember: only small people don’t apologize.

5. Nothing feels better than enjoying your work.

6. Negative emotions are barriers to financial wealth.

7. Be grateful, and you will experience joy.

As Brene Brown described in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “Happiness is tied to circumstance and joyfulness is tied to spirit and gratitude.

“We need both happiness and joy. I think it’s important to create and recognize the experiences that make us happy. But in addition to creating happiness in our lives, I’ve learned that we need to cultivate the spiritual practices that lead to joyfulness, especially gratitude.”

8. Trust. Not everything in life is out to get you.

In knowing about myself I realized that I have trust issues. Whelp, there it goes. But I think that I am not the only one. I think that everyone has some level of problems with trust. Fear of trusting in happiness. Fears of trusting in people. Fear of trusting in ourselves.

In my experience, the episodes in my life that have punched me square in the gut are the ones that I never worried about. So why bother worrying? Life will always hand out lemons and we will always have to make lemonade. We have to remember that most of the time, life gives us cake to wash down with that lemonade.