Is this Olivia, thinking about transforming into Murderpaws? Most likely.

As long-time readers might remember, after I lost Bartleby, I cried every day for a month. I decided then that I needed a Zelda Loss Survival Plan, because if losing B was bad, losing Z would be… worse.

Unfortunately, my ZLSP was not prescient enough to account for Covid Times.

The Best Brother Ever offered me a plane ticket yesterday, if going somewhere and having something to look forward to would help. To Florida to visit my dad if that was what I needed; to Pennsylvania if… Well, if I could quarantine after I got there… somewhere… okay, yeah, maybe not.

Pretty much that floundering on the constraints of our current realities is what happens whenever I try to find something to look forward to. So I’m not trying to look forward, I’m just trying to get through one day at a time while doing my best to make healthy choices. No alcohol: depressed people shouldn’t consume depressants. No doom-scrolling: I don’t need to know how awful the world is. As little ruminating as possible on the things I can’t change and which aren’t mine to control.

And as much kitten time as my allergies can handle. Olivia Murderpaws, once known as Explorer Girl, is a personality.

The other day I said to Suzanne, comfortingly, “She’ll grow out of it. Once she’s not a kitten anymore…”

Suzanne winced.

I said, “No?”

Suzanne shrugged and said, “None of my other kittens have ever been…” She spread her hands as if encompassing the sheer essence of a Murderpaws was beyond her.

Murderpaws is pure predator. Nothing is better than attacking. The other cats, the dog, a leg, a scrap of paper, a piece of food, the dust in the air. She wishes to go everywhere, see everything, and then kill it. “Friends don’t bite friends,” usually said with a yelp, has become a catchphrase of the Mighty Small Farm. She’s three and a half months old and her demanding meows to be let outside (where she is not allowed, because she doesn’t have a chip yet) can be heard through the walls when you’re outside.

And then she switches gears and she is Olivia. She wants to purr and snuggle and be held. She wants to cozy up in your arms and have her belly rubbed, she wants to know that you, warm delightful person that you are, will talk to her and stay with her and love her.

Olivia is killer on my allergies; Murderpaws has very sharp teeth. Both of them are a lovely distraction from my grief.