Reporting In

Reporting in from the pandemic, as I sort of promised last week. Not going too stir crazy yet, although my concerns about all the changes to our collective and individual as-planned futures has me a bit shocked.

I wrote a few poems about the Thing happening to us, as I mentioned last week, but have agonized over a weird about-what? poem all week on and off. One of my pandemic poems is coming out in the anthology Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus, ed. G. A. Cuddy. I read a bit of it for PITTOC, and they posted it on their Instagram account. I reposted it on my Instagram account. The poem is called “Another Elephant Poem,” of course related to the elephant in the room.

Another one of my pandemic poems was published by Headline Poetry and Press: Monkey Mind

I would not call either one of these poems uplifting. They simply are. The third poem I sent out to a journal so we’ll see: that poem is a bit more upbeat.

On a positive note, Hermione Wilds reads one of my pre-pandemic poems on Youtube.

You know that video found on Instagram that I mentioned above?  I kid you not: I absolutely did not have this many wrinkles, bloatings, and sags before March. Yes, I am getting older, and my face is showing it. But, WOW, what a difference a month makes. I have not been sleeping well. Rather than having insomnia, I have been sleeping, but my sleep has been plagued by nightmares. One night the dream went on forEVER, with me trying to social distance and people not allowing it. No matter where I went, people crowded up around me.

Is that creepy or what, that I am apparently now afraid of people?!

Now here are some good doings.

Funny: at the cats’ dinner time I shut our bedroom door so Sloopy Anne doesn’t run in there after dinner. She likes to lie in wait for us, but she can’t sleep with us because she and Tiger get jealous of each other–and Tiger gets to sleep with us. So now the second I try to sneak to the bedroom door, Sloopy Anne anticipates and races me for the door. I keep trying to figure out ways to trick her, but she is ON to me. Pretty cute.

Making: I wrote a story about a fabric scrap for a page in my SCRAPS scrapbook. The edits took me all week. I might make two pages out of this one because the story is so long. Or I might just insert the story inside a pocket or somesuch and keep it all to one page. I haven’t started making the page yet, so I will have to see how it turns out.

Content: I’m so blessed to have my cats. I am celebrating Pear’s birthday today. She turns 20. I will celebrate Tiger’s birthday this week, too. She turns 16. They are the oldest of my six. All but Perry are seniors. As my poem “Monkey Mind” mentions, I wish everyone who is lockdowned or isolating had pets to give them love.



Filed under #amrevising, #AmWriting, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Poetry, Writing

52 responses to “Reporting In

  1. Happy Birthday, lovely cuddly kats <3

  2. Congrats on all your writing and publications, Luanne. And Happy Birthday to Pear and Tiger. What would we do without all these kitties to love, and who love us? I’m super grateful for my four keeping me balanced. Love to your 6 ( did I know you had 6?!?) from all of us. Stay well.

  3. You have been producing! Good for you! This would be so much harder for me if it weren’t for the cats. They make me laugh and yes, they are always one step ahead. Mollie is 17 this spring but all the rest are younger with Sasha coming in on 2 the grays in the 4 to 7 range. When you adopt older cats you don’t always know exactly how old they are. All except Mollie are well. Mollie is either just old or has some reflux/stomach issue. She doesn’t move around much. Unfortunately my vet is only open for the truly ill. They next test for her would require sedation and she’s old for that. We’ll see. Hope everyone in your family is good.

    • Oh, Mollie. Giving your mom the worries! I saw a map tonight of the states that are calling veterinarians essential. Not that many! Arizona yes. This one: Write your governor. I wrote mine this morning and asked him why he wasn’t doing anything. An hour later he issued a stay at home order. The power of the pen. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      • Our state (PA) recognizes vets as essential. Our vet is open limited hours and starting next week will do surgery again. At first they only did really sick cats (it’s cats only) but now they are doing vaccines and essential surgeries (like dental, neuters and life-saving). We have a higher rate of rabies than some other states so it was prudent to keep them open. We also have 3 emergency vet places that are open 24 hours. They have new guidelines — no humans inside, only pets. All conversations are by phone with the owner in their car. t’s still not a good time for a cat to get sick. We have been in lockdown for 14 days. It’s necessary but it’s getting old.

  4. Congratulations on all your publications! Wishing you and your human and feline family good health and happiness–no matter where they sleep. 😀

  5. I am so happy that you are finding your voice for this pandemic – and congrats on the published ones!!
    But mostly I am glad for all of the cats you have – good gracious, you are so fortunate with your older ones…I should have been a cat person – my dogs leave me way too soon. I don’t know what people do without their furry families…I would be lost without mine.
    Take care, keep writing, keep enjoying your cats and the Gardener, too.

    • It’s true that cats can live longer than dogs. It’s so hard that their lives are so short. Pear and I have been through a lot together. How are you all holding up over there? These are strange times!!!!

      • I am back in self quarantine after my brief visit to see our grandbaby Saturday. T has gone over again today by herself to babysit while her parents have to continue to work outside the home. Strange times, indeed. T and I share our fears every night after a couple of anxiety producing episodes of Ozark.

  6. Congratulations! Happy birthday to Pear and Tiger!

  7. Good to hear that you are still having lots of success with your poetry, Luanne. Funny that you mentioned having bad dreams lately. I have too. I don’t usually dream a lot, but I’ve had a lot of repeating and confusing and unpleasant dreams since this virus situation has hit us. I guess we are still trying to process it all even after we close our eyes and try to give our brains a rest. Where will it all end?

    • That is the question I ponder constantly. So hard to see a real positive outcome but then difficult not to think we will wake up from this dream! As for our nightmares, it shows how much we internalize even if we think we are doing ok.

      • We do! I mentioned your post and our comments to the Cap, and he said he’s been having bad dreams too – the kind where a problem is never resolved and just keeps going around and around. I think most people are feeling this more profoundly than we let on.

  8. Oh dear, I found that reading so hard to listen to. The voice stopped me hearing the words……. So sorry – but congrats on all the publications anyway 🙂

    Now, really – what is your secret that you can keep your cats going for so long? And still be so full of life! You are a kitty miracle worker I think. The longest any of my other cats lived was 14 years. Orlando is now coming up to that and looking pretty healthy despite a worry I had a couple of years back about him though ……. Siddy will be 6 in four days time – doesn’t time fly past! And we are so fortunate to have our pets at this time and any other.

    • We are blessed with our fur babies! Siddy is a spring baby, too! I would be lost right now without my guys. Any word from your government on progress there? We have to isolate at least for one more month! Xo

      • We get daily reports as to the national status, at this point it has been extended by another week even though numbers haven’t (yet) jumped by the expected rate. I’ve got my mind prepared for 2 months (originally it was a one month lockdown) and am hoping to be pleasantly surprised 🙂

  9. You are making the best of this difficult time, Luanne, and congratulations on all of your publications. You are having a great year in that respect, and it is exciting! I have been watching Patrick Steward read Shakespeare’s sonnets on Twitter. What a treat! Blessings to you guys and all your family. I hope your mom is okay? Sending love.

    • I started following Stewart for his sonnets! Mom is fine. She lives in a duplex, not the “big house” so she is much safer. Goes for a walk every day. Please, you and D, take care of yourselves. No risks please!

      • Yes, we are being quite cautious and diligent. Very challenging to go out for supplies, as we spend an hour or two upon returning wiping everything down, washing the clothes we wore, and showering before doing anything else. Whew!

        • I know what you mean. We used to have a little prep because when we volunteered in the cat room we went through the stripping in the garage and spraying shoes with Lysol process. Just in case there was ringworm or another contagion and us with senior cats.

  10. I’m glad you are well. Luanne. It looks like your poetry isn’t suffering. Happy birthday to all the kittys

  11. Re poems: Nice work Luanne!!!
    Re nightmare: You’re not afraid of people! You’re afraid of the virus (as are we all)!
    Re Sloopy Anne: You canNOT outwit a cat bent on her own ideas!
    RE scrap story: Whatever you do, don’t scrap the story!
    Re Pear: Happy Birthday to the rheumy ol’ gal! Love to all your seniors, and Perry too!
    xoxox Keep well!

    • Ellie, you are right. I am afraid of it. I compared it with Ebola statistics. Wow that was nutten in comparison.
      My cats are so stubborn! They are so sure of themselves!
      Very punny!!!
      Thank you on behalf of my cats and myself! You and your bf and Annie stay safe!!! XO

  12. Congratulations on your publications, Luanne. Now tell me, just how did you manage to get the pose for that last photo? Happy birthday to the kitties. I’m glad you have lots of fuzzy love. I’m hugging on my dog so much these days he’s starting to hide from me!

    • Pear is very compliant! She says thank you for the birthday wishes. Lol! I’ve been noticing memes about dogs getting sick of all the attention! Take care of yourself!

  13. Happy Birthday, Pear!! And Tiger, too!! Wish you all the best. Congrats on the poems dear human. Good job. Your felines must be taking very good care of you.

  14. Happy Birthday to your darling kitties!!! Oh, so sweet! Pets are such a comfort! Hope you get some better sleep…stressful times. Many of my friends are watching comedies before bed or just upbeat movies. Stay safe. Thank you for sharing!!!

  15. Congratulations on all your publications! You have been very productive 🙂 My cats spend so much time sleeping, I sometimes forget their around … unless it’s feeding time. I could set my watch to them. Now that I’m working from home, I’m even more aware of how much Maxine (the 16-year-old) sleeps. Junior has always been a bit of a hyper boy (and still is even though we have him on anti-anxiety meds), but even he spends a lot of time sleeping. Wendy is the one who will come and visit me while I’m working and try to get me to play with her (even though, in truth, she just wants something to eat).

  16. Pets keep us sane. Your (elderly yet looking so young) cats are beyond beautiful. Stay safe and keep writing poetry! (Poetry keeps us sane also.)

    • Pam, you stay safe, too!!! Thank you re my kitties. They are so helpful to me. They also give me a lot of work to do ;). I am trying with the poetry, but my mind is so unfocused right now! are you writing?

      • I’m writing short pieces of flash fiction with my adult creative writing students. I send them a prompt every week, and we e-mail our stories to each other. Helps keep us focused on something other than… “the Other.” 🙂 Kisses to your kittens, hugs to you.

  17. I’m glad you’re able to write about the Thing. Sorry for your nightmares, and always happy to read about your kitties and see their snaps!

  18. I read Reporting In Part 2 as well as this post and I hope things have settled…it is a shock and yes, I dreamed last night that my good friends’ son had a whole wall of toilet paper and I had none…I’m concerned about all the PTSD the world will be contending with when we finally make it through to the other side.
    Hang in there and keep on writing, it helps!

  19. I’m so sorry about the nightmares, Luanne! I understand not sleeping well. I woke up this morning after walking by a table with both my first ex-husband and his father sitting there looking at me inviting me to sit a spell. They have both been deceased many years. Sat straight up. Not quite ready for that journey. 🙂 Congrats on the publication and sending birthday wishes to your two very senior fuzzy family. That’s a good long life for cats who have obviously been well cared for and loved. Hang in there.

    • Oh, Marlene, what a nightmare. We are all getting more afraid than we really consciously know, I think. That is what is producing these nightmares. Thank you for your kind wishes! You hang in there, too, and stay safe! Don’t take any unnecessary changes and all will be well!

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