Six Months

July 31, 2007 at 1:37 am (Cats, Crazy Shit, Memories, The House)

It has been six months since the fire. I feel as though a magical clock ticks down every month. An internal clock which draws me deeper into darkness as the 28th approaches. My mom says I haven’t talked about it enough. She means, to her. Maybe I haven’t, maybe I have. Maybe, I don’t want to.

There’s only so much I can bite off and chew on at a time. I’m not sure that reliving the moment when I discovered my house on fire or that moment that I found Ozzy by the door or the moment I saw Lola on the couch or the first time I saw Smokey on my bed or digging Napoleon’s burnt body out of the computer room floor is really all that cathartic.

I’ll always have more questions than answers and I’ll always carry a certain guilt that they were innocent and defenseless and I should have been here to protect them. I hate it that I don’t know what really happened, how it really happened. I’ve gone over it and over it in my mind. The cardboard boxes that were in the computer room, the flat ones. I was packing clothes to give away and I shoved them way back into the computer room because the cats had knocked one over onto the furnace before. There were some other papers there but I moved them too.

When I did that, I noticed the floor beside of the floor furnace was hot. It had never been hot before but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t smell anything. I just moved everything and then, before I left, I turned the furnace down so it wouldn’t kick on as much. Ozzy and Cali were in one of the boxes on top on my other desk by the computer room door, Ireland was asleep on top of my computer monitor, Smokey was on my bed, Lola was on the top of the couch, Marco was asleep on the end table beside the front door, Midnight was hiding in the bathroom, as always, and Napoleon was… I don’t remember. He wasn’t asleep though.

Napoleon, Ireland, Ozzy, and Cali were the only ones who moved from where I had last seen them. Ozzy and Cali were in the living room, Ireland was in the door to my bedroom, and Napoleon was almost right in the center of the computer room. Something happened with that floor furnace. Something caused Ireland, Ozzy, and Cali to leave the room right beside of it. Napoleon, well, he just came looking for me.

I never really got a straight answer from anyone about why the house caught on fire. I’m not sure what evidence they found or what that evidence meant, although they generally seemed to feel that something fell onto the furnace, however, I know that where the floor felt hot, was where the big, burned out place was beside of the furnace. Everything else I saw during the fire was distorted by panic and shock. Eyewitness testimony is the most unreliable.

Part of me never wants to know. I never want to know if one of the cats somehow pushed one of those boxes onto the furnace or some errant sheet of paper caused this fiasco. I never want to know if there was something more I could have done. Some days I can barely live with it as it is.

At least I don’t dream about it and if I do, I don’t remember it. I do, however, remember part of a dream I had late Saturday afternoon. I came home from work, turned on Court TV, and took a nap. Not surprising, I dreamed of violence. I saw a police officer shot and he did, what at first I thought, was the strangest thing. He flicked at the bullet wound as though it were a bug or bee. He tried to act as though he wasn’t shot but then he collapsed and he died. Then it dawned on me that a gunshot, at first, probably would feel like a wasp or a hornet sting. A painful burning sensation that shoots fire through your body and without thought, just as a learned reaction, maybe you would try and flick off the wasp.

I woke up and Cold Case Files was on Court TV. Again, not surprising, it was a case in which two police officers were gunned down on a routine traffic stop in the 1950’s. So, don’t fall asleep while watching Court TV folks. It makes you have weird dreams.


  1. Mahala said,

    I can’t imagine living through something like that. I’m sorry .

  2. cybele said,

    Peach. Those cats want you to live, not feel guilty. You’re fine. They’re fine. Enough with the self-torture already.


  3. restless angel said,


  4. Tina said,

    If anyone can remotely understand the pain and guilt of loosing beloved babies it’s me, even though we both went through very different circumstances. I can’t imagine what you went through but I know all about the guilt. Cybele is right. Those babies want you to live as mine do. The babies I have now helped (and still do) ease the pain and I know your beebies do the same. 🙂

    You will see those babies again someday, at least that’s what I think. 🙂 (((hugs))) It was great seeing you and hugging you and Nate again. I know that always helps in any situation. 🙂

  5. kenju said,

    Nanner, it sounds to me that if the floor was hot, it was a furnace malfunction. Even though you couldn’t see or smell anything at the time, that furnace was not working right. There is nothing you could have done about it, since you had no idea that it was messed up. Try not to feel guilty about the cats because it really isn’t your fault. Even if you knew sooner than you did, there’s no guarantee you could have saved the cats. It was just their time to go. You know this: everything happens for a reason. There is some lesson to be learned from the experience. Try to set aside the guilt so you can learn what that lesson is.

  6. Vince said,

    There’s no use beating yourself up. You didn’t do anything wrong. You took all reasonable precautions to what you saw as a potential problem. It was a act of God, so to speak. It was a terrible terrible thing and you have every right to mourn. But let go of the guilt. There’s nothing to be guilty about.

    Love you girl.

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