I dreamed last night that I owned a van and a big orange cat. I think maybe I was homeless and living in the van with the cat, but for some reason I needed to leave it alone temporarily. I was worried about it but a mysterious friend said that she’d have her cat take care of it. In the dream, that made perfect sense.

It also made sense that I owned a cat despite being seriously allergic. There is no way that a cat and I could share a van as living space. I would literally die when my airways closed off in my sleep. Dreams are weird.

Back to the dream, I returned to the van to find a tiger guarding my cat, defending it from a cougar. The tiger stood in front of the open van door, huge and orange and sleek, the way that tigers are, and when the cougar — beige and muscular — crouched as if to jump in the van, the tiger did that nonchalant tiger thwack with its front paw, sending the cougar scurrying away.

I was so grateful to the tiger. I was also afraid of it. It was a tiger. In my van! It was huge!! I couldn’t bring myself to get any closer and then all of a sudden, I was standing in the road, and big cats — the tiger, a snow leopard, a lioness, maybe a couple of others (but not the cougar) were all gamboling around with a bunch of little cats, including mine. I was horribly worried that they would get hit by cars and killed and I knew we had to gather them up and get them to safety. But I was also worried that they would kill me. How do you gather up gigantic predators?

And then I woke up.

I had a couple other weird dreams that I wanted to remember, but they’re gone now, lost to the morning routine and the dog walking thoughts and the stupid ruminations that I haven’t quite let go of (even though I’m now reminding myself that I’m having a thought when I catch myself drifting in that direction.) But I didn’t want to forget the tiger. It felt so symbolic, so significant. Definitely one of those dreams where you think “this means something important” but then you’re forced to admit that you have no idea what your subconscious is trying to tell you.

Ooh, another weird dream remembered, or at least a bit of it. Some kind of adventure, Agents of SHIELD style, but it ended when one of the people in the adventure, possibly a Simmons like character, was shot and fell to the ground. Two of the team chased after the shooters, but three of us stopped by the girl. I put my hands over the injury, pressing as hard as I could, knowing how much it must hurt her, but the blood just kept pouring forth. I was calling for help, 911, a doctor, something to stop the bleeding, anything, but the blood just kept coming. It was surprisingly warm, which I suppose is logical but had never really struck me as an idea before (and makes me want to go find a thermometer and see what 98 degree water feels like) and it felt clingy, like it would never come off of what it touched. And I couldn’t stop it. It was no time and endless time and then the blood stopped because it was all out of her. I felt like I had failed and I also felt really angry, like this is not how the story is supposed to go. This character cannot die. This is the wrong direction. These writers suck.

I guess those writers are my subconscious. My subconscious sucks.

It was not a particularly restful night.

For future reference for myself, it’s looking very much like the last swimming day of 2015 was October 15. That’s the latest it’s ever been, which is nice after the horribly rainy summer where it was always thundering. But the dogs and I miss it already. Zelda keeps trying to convince me that I want to go in the water and you know, I really don’t, but Bartleby is almost worse. He can’t seem to understand why I only want to sit on the porch instead of taking him swimming. And he is completely opposed to me sitting and writing on the porch. He seems to think that if I’m going to sit there, it is my job to provide him with a lap to sit in and hands to pet him.

Word count yesterday existed. Word count today is definitely going to do the same. NaNoWriMo starts in five days and this year, I’m making it to 50K words. I just wasted twenty minutes looking for a good quote about determination and failing to find one, so here’s my own: one word at a time, one minute at a time, one day at a time, that’s all it takes.