Thanksgiving Week Was Rough, But Not Why You Think

There were no cooking disasters, family conflicts, or traffic nightmares

Christine Schoenwald

-- by Kat Smith

On the week of Thanksgiving, we nearly lost two of our cats.

Losing a pet isn’t the worst thing to happen, but that doesn't mean it's not devastating to the person experiencing that loss.

Pain shouldn’t be quantified, nor should one have to validate why they’re feeling it.

November isn’t my favorite month.

One day in November many years ago, walking through a sporting goods store in San Francisco, my father had a heart attack and died.

My father was a month away from his 68th birthday and was a wonderful man. I blame November for taking away my one good parent at too young an age.

I don’t hold a grudge against Thanksgiving because I no longer have the typical ones or any expectations of miracles or magic.

My mother’s health is declining rapidly and but her delusions and iron willstay strong making it challenging to be around her. She loves turkey, so in an act of goodwill, Andy and I ended up driving the 360 miles to her house, cooking her and my family turkey dinner.

I didn’t do it for the karma points, but if I got them so be it.

If being around my mother wasn’t stressful enough

Andy and I make a very windy drive back from my mother’s house, exhausted but happy to be home on Sunday.

On Monday, we notice something is off with our tortoiseshell cat, Josie. Josie is one of those cats who makes a big production out of throwing up. She has her vomit cry to alert us and spins in a half circle depositing small pools of vomit. It’s her thing.

But on this Monday, Josie mixed up her routine. Her head dips down and to the side, jerks a little, she vomits but instead of food, it’s thick saliva, and then she cries out a new cry.

Each day, this series of actions happen with increasing frequency, and we realize, she had some type of seizure.

The good news is other than these fits, Josie is eating, drinking, super-affectionate, using the litter…



Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Next Avenue, Business Insider, and Your Tango