Diabetes Cat + Volunteerism + Life = Stress

I have been searching for a pet sitter willing to feed my cats and give Cleo a shot twice a day… and so far, no luck in that department. The first person I approached–a pet-sitting small business owner–refused to take Cleo on because she’s apparently a “liability.” What the hell does that mean? If she dies in the sitter’s care, she’s afraid I’ll sue? Whatever. It makes me wonder if someone would be afraid to babysit a five-year old with diabetes. Too much of a liability risk? A cat? There must be some awfully bitchy, vindictive people out there ruining it for all of us.

I have to admit that I felt really hurt by this unknown sitter’s swift judgment. I mean, she claimed on her website to be able to administer medications to pets for the owners. Giving Cleo a shot is easier than trying to give a cat a pill. Or even eye drops, which I’ve had to give to Cleo for her persistent cherry eye. Cleo doesn’t even notice when I give her a shot. It’s barely a bother. Liability, my ass. I feel as though I’m the mother of a special needs kid who has been picked on in gym class by the popular older kids. Rejecting a potential sitting job from me is like rejecting my kid from a prestigious private school. I’m admittedly hurt.

And now I’m afraid other pet sitters will back similarly back off. So I’m freaking out because I can’t ask my friends to watch my cats unpaid for a week and a half while I’m in Seattle. Coming in twice a day is a lot of work. I’ve already got myself scheduled for three small weekend trips (just registered for Roscoe Ramble) in addition to my long vacation. I guess I’m going to ask my vet if any of the vet techs would like the job for $20/day. But I’ve been stressing about the thing all day.

I feel kind of trapped. I can’t help but feel this is the same kind of panic I would feel if I ever accidentally got pregnant. I just don’t like to be tied down by responsibility. I buck it the entire time. Even when I was married, I struggled to call my husband to tell him when I was meandering home from work or when I’d suddenly decided to meet up with friends somewhere. He bought me a cell phone because he never minded me changing my evening plans to go out, he just wanted to know what I was up to. Admittedly, I’m still bad about calling people to let them know I’m running late. I just like to be able to spontaneously change my mind about something at a moment’s notice. Some would call that fickle, I suppose.

On top of the stress of my cat, I’m currently in the middle of coordinating my bike club’s Adopt-a-Highway clean up project, the Memorial Day bike ride, and I’m filling in as interim ride leader for the Wednesday night ride while the regular ride leader recovers from an injury. Not that I mind doing these things–I’m ecstatic to be serving my club in this manner because I truly love to ride and I love sharing my love of riding with others by giving back to the club. However, in the middle of stressing about my cat, I’m also worried about pulling these other projects off right. All of them are mostly ready to go without much more work, but I have a few small loose ends to tie up, such as where we’re going to eat at the Burton lunch stop on the Memorial Day ride and letting Country Maid in Richfield (which is where our clean up area starts) and the county coordinator for Adopt-a-Highway know what day the club’s coming out to clean. Agggh!

I feel so much pressure to run everything perfect without any mistakes because the people in my club can often be very critical. And I never let criticism roll off of me; no, I hold onto the criticism and let it eat away at me. I’m also not one who takes criticism well. I stress constantly about perfection. I still love ride-leading; I love it better at the end when everything has worked out.

I’m also dealing with my own inner demons. In addition to enjoying the great people in my club, I have to deal with the presence of the ex-boyfriend, once friend, who hurt my feelings so badly that I have no desire to talk to him at all anymore. Ever. When I see him, anger wells up within me. The kind of anger that makes a person irrational to the point of insanity. The kind of insanity that makes you feel like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. NOT that I’d ever act on that sort of thing. I’m just saying, that’s how I feel. Feelings are one thing; actions another. All said, I’d say I’ve contained myself quite well. Not that I’ve acted civilly, either. I’m just not the type of person who can smile and pretend nothing’s wrong when I feel this kind of anger boiling inside of me. Mostly, I just play the fifteen year-old’s game of avoidance. I pretend he’s not there. Even when he’s talking to people standing right next to me. It’s dumb. But I’m so afraid that if I say something, I will say something truly awful and everyone will be shocked and deem me the total jerk. Or worse.

And I’m totally capable of being completely and utterly mean. The whole way home from a ride last weekend, I was imagining an entire dialog of madness with said ex-boyfriend after I spent the afternoon in the same room as him. I was so angry. I believe he was there with his new girlfriend, which just drove the knife in further. Oh, the email messages I wanted to write. It took everything I could to step back and just let the situation alone. It’s a good thing that vengeance demons (Buffy reference) really don’t exist because I could totally see how one could fall into one’s spell. It’s so easy to say things you really don’t mean when you’re angry.

It’s not all his fault, either. It was a mutual decision for us to break up. We gave it a good run of two years, but we were too different. Politically. Religiously. Some people say that opposites attract, and while that may have been the case at first, it really worked to totally erode our relationship to a point where I think we both started to really lose respect for each other. I can’t speak for him, but that’s what happened on my end. The final straw that broke the camel’s back–the one thing that ruined all potential for a relationship of any kind, even friendship–was just emotionally crushing for me. And it’s probably my fault for taking things so hard. The whole thing ended badly.. And I just wish to heck I didn’t have to run into him anymore. Especially when he’s decided to start bringing his new girlfriend everywhere (they weren’t going out, then they were going out again, I think)…

I’m working really hard on not being so angry any more. But I’m not perfect; I’m only human (or Martian) and I’m subject to human failings. I know that anger eats you alive and is really pointless to waste energy on. That changes nothing with how I feel. I hurt, I feel anger about the hurt. I can’t pretend it’s not there. I just have to learn to contain it. At least I’m able to repress the anger to show a good face. I hope.

Anyway, to make myself feel better, I went to Pier 1 tonight and bought the papasan for my library that I’d been obsessing about for weeks. Shopping therapy. Always works for me. I couldn’t fit the top part into my car, though, so I won’t have the whole thing together until my dad stops by the store to pick it up for me. I’m super excited about the way it will look in my library, how it will feel to sit in it while reading books. I got 10% off for opening a Pier 1 credit card. Eh, why not? I should have bought the foot stool, but I was having buyer’s remorse. Maybe I’ll go back later this weekend and get the foot stool. You need something to put your feet on to get really comfortable in a library, right?

My cycling’s been going well. I rode Monday and Tuesday evenings, topping off my Tuesday with a trifecta of the Valley’s southwestern hills: Wheatley, Everett, and Martin. Martin’s a real “pisser” of a hill. I actually said that under my breath when I got to the top–“This hill’s a pisser, ” I said, panting. It must be from watching too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike. (Did Spike ever say “pisser”?)

I rode to work Wednesday. It was a chilly morning. I had a flat on the ride home while climbing the hardest part of Truxell. I fixed the flat in 20 minutes so I think my maintenance lessons paid off in some way. I didn’t pinch flat the spare like I did last Thanksgiving and I made it home with daylight to spare so all is good.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do for riding this weekend. I would like to do two days of 50+ miles each (no more than 60), but I don’t know if that is going to be possible. On Saturday or Sunday, I need to take glucose readings on Cleo every three hours so that the vet knows where she’s at in her treatment. I figured I’d do this Saturday and maybe fit in a 55 mile ride to Bedford Reservation where I can climb Gorge Road. I’d like to get up on Sunday and do a 57-mile club ride, but I’m going to a spa party Saturday night and I don’t know how late I will be out or how I’ll feel in the morning (read: there will be wine to drink). Next weekend should be my 80+ mile ride before TOSRV. I’m going to try to either hit a club ride Saturday May 1st or do a ride with Medina Bike Club that starts in Norwalk or Oberlin on Sunday May 2. I’m hoping to get it over with Saturday because I’ll be at a play in downtown Cleveland that starts at 8pm. I can’t fathom getting up early enough to drive to Lorain County after coming home at 11pm the night before.

Either way, I’m probably in shape enough for TOSRV. I’ll probably have around 800-900 miles by the time the ride starts. I think I’ve been training adequately. It’s not that hard of a ride–the weather is the worst thing to contend with. I’m slightly worried about riding by myself if there’s obnoxious headwinds. I know it will work out somehow because I’m damned stubborn. Sometimes that’s a good quality. Most of the time, it just makes me a major pain-in-the-butt to be around…

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