Thoughts by Richard Bleil
For the past several days, every morning I wake up in sheets wet from my own sweat. It’s been over ninety, and I do not know enough about heating and cooling to know if my system doesn’t work, or just doesn’t have air. It has an outdoor blower that is typical with an air conditioner, but I’m told it’s part of a high efficiency furnace, so maybe I don’t have air. When I turn my thermostat to “cool”, there is cool air that blows out of a couple (not all) of the vents, but it isn’t doing much. The temperatures inside the house have been pushing ninety.
Today, I’m feeling lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I don’t think it’s dehydration; I’ve been drinking a lot of water lately. I think it’s just heat exhaustion. But ironically, I’m not worried about myself. I’m worried about my cat, Star.
I can do some things to keep cool (except when I’m waiting for the AC people to show up of their appointment). I can take off (most of) my clothes, hop in the shower or even soak a shirt to keep me cool. But not Star.
She molts a bit of fur when it’s very hot (I brush her at least daily to help), but she still has a fur coat. She can lay on the floor which is at least still a little bit cooler, but that’s about it. Of late, she has taken to laying on the floor while staring at her water. This cannot be good.
So today, I am waiting on a service call for my air conditioner. I think they’ll say, “oh, you don’t have one”, but I couldn’t get them to just come out to assess the price of one, so it’s a service call. Hey, their idea. As I sit here writing in another hot day in the house, I’m feeling lightheaded and sick to my stomach. If I’m feeling like this, how must Star be feeling?
So, I did two things. I am waiting on that appointment, first of all, and I ordered a portable AC unit so at least I can cool one room in the house. I’m not doing this for myself; I’m doing it for Star.
Pets are marvelous for health. Studies have shown that people will, typically, do far more for their pets than themselves. Dogs are good for walking because, well, they have to go out for walks, right? We’ll get up earlier for pets, we’ll go for walks for our pets, heck, I’m willing to drop thousands of dollars on central air. For my cat.
And what do we get in return? Huh? We have to feed them, give them water, clean their litter boxes, and in return? All we get is love! And companionship! And friends! All we get is snuggles when we’re lonely! And little kisses when we’re upset! What a con.
Obviously, I’m being sarcastic, but I certainly fall into that category of caring more about my cat than myself. My friends might be upset when they read this, ready to shout “YOU’RE IMPORTANT” as they throttle me and try to choke the life out of me. But they also know me well enough to know that I don’t take care of myself, not like I should, and to know how much I do love Star, and how good she has been for me.
What is it about human nature that we worry more about our pets than ourselves? When my so-called “beloved” wife threw me out, I was living in a house that should have been condemned even before I bought it and had no income at all. I had old meat. I was buying canned meat as jokes, like an entire chicken stuffed into a can, the thought of which is not only ridiculous, but it also made the most disgusting sound as you sloshed it back and forth. When I bought it, I never thought I’d be eating it because I couldn’t afford food. I was eating, maybe, once every three days, living on these long-expired cans of meat from when I could afford to buy food as a joke. Then I was living with Bella, and she ate well. I would starve to death before letting her suffer.
Today the irony is that we are in the midst of a thunderstorm (I’m a bit ahead on my blogs so it’ll be about a week before this posts). It’s the first cool breeze we’ve had in a week, and all of my windows are closed because of the rain. Still hot, muggy and miserable for me and my Star. All I can say to Star is to hang on, we’ll be cool next week.