There’s no point saying I will write more (i.e. at least once a week) because that clearly did not materialize since January 5, 2020. To be fair, it lasted for two weeks before things fizzled.
My last post was a birthday post in April, the first for everyone to celebrate their birthday during a pandemic. That is for those who were lucky enough to celebrate their birthday this year. The year 2020 was our generation’s annus horribilis. A volcano eruption in January, the start of the pandemic in the Philippines in March, and the worst flooding (Ulysses) in my hometown in November since 2009. I wrote back in July 2012 that I developed trauma during heavy downpours, and it only took me a trip to work in Pampanga 2 months ago that I might have PTSD.
Bye 2020! Bleh!
While in April, there about 4,600 cases with 297 deaths in the country. As of January 1, 2020 it is now at a staggering 474,000 cases with more than 9,000 deaths. These are more than numbers. These are 474,000 people who did not see the year change to 2021 with their families.
Unlike most people who have difficulty sleeping in unfamiliar places, we had no such problem in our new apartment. We took the bed like fish to water. However, we had to quickly get accustomed to new habits such as where to get our clothes laundered the cheapest, or to look for much nearer carinderias to buy our lunch from. We loved the one in South Avenue, but it was no joke going up and down five flights of stairs, and walking several blocks under the sun (and in the coming weeks, rain). It was a lovely neighborhood in general, and I always have a grand time looking outside the window to view the lights of the buildings whenever we go home at night. We also have a fair share of stray cats around, and there was a pet store four houses away from us.
Blue-eyed, white kitty of the neighborhood
It has been exactly half a year since Mon and I have both last eaten in Banapple. These past few days, I could not stop thinking of their hickory smoked barbecue (the same thing I ate from there the last time) and we had a perfect reason to visit the row of restos in Tuscany, McKinley Hill (HAPPY 5Y8M!!). For the record, I have been only once to the Venice Piazza since December, and I have never set foot in Tuscany. Tagging along Faye, we walked all the way “uphill” to the Banapple branch there. I was relieved to feel that I no longer have any uneasy feelings on my chest over challenging walks. In fact, I always have a happy feeling of finally being able to go places on my feet again, as if the ordeal from months ago was just a surreal memory. Thank you Lord. =)
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
— Mary Frye, 1932
It is a very sad day for us, as we heard the news of the death of Mon’s pet kitty. Uyu was found dead and probably deliberately killed by unknown men late last night. We still find it hard to fathom what pushed these people to kill such an innocent and gentle animal. It was really hard to believe that something as heinous as this can happen to Uyu.
Uyu while taking a nap last February
Uyu was an older brother of my pet Miso (another brother was Popo), and it seems only yesterday when they were born a day before Valentine’s last year. I had been sporadically crying all day as it was really upsetting. It really pained me so hard to think how much he had to endure before his final moments. The details of what he had become were too graphic that I just can’t bring myself to fully imagine his final image. Given the choice, I just wanted to remember him as the lazy, loving cat, whose flailing paws made him gentler and more adorable. However, it would be an insult to his memory to be forgetful of what truly happened — animal cruelty makes me sick.
A friend of ours forwarded to us the “Rainbow Bridge”, a prose talking of a place where pets who passed away wait for their owners to be reunited someday. It was gut-wrenching to read it. Words cannot express the grief that we are feeling now, but we have to eventually accept that Uyu has already left us. We just imagined him to have wings, similar to Keroberos from Cardcaptor Sakura, lazily sleeping under a tree in the meadow.
Sleep well, Uyu. You are at peace now. =(