So, 2010 continues to be a year of changes for me.

Last week I sat with friends while their cat was put to sleep. I've lost 2 cats in my life, but I've never been able to give those pets what my friends gave theirs. The vet made a house call to give the injections, and Tess died peacefully, being stroked by her family while we cried and laughed around her.  I've never been present when a being has died before (no, I don't count the horde of flies that I killed a month ago).

Also present that night, the cat's 18 year old brother, Trey. Trey is a good kid, about to start his senior year of high school. And Tess has always been in his life. They literally grew up together. Watching him cry was hard. Explaining to my 4-year-old-daughter why she would never see Tess again? That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. K was with my mom during the actual passing, so she didn't witness death quite that viscerally. But I did have to explain. Sean and I have never sugar-coated things with our daughter. We don't do the "we'll tell you when you're older" thing (yet), but instead try to give her what she can process/understand now while still shielding her from things that are just beyond her comprehension.  Talking to a kindergartner about death, trying to remain honest while still protecting her innocence, was fucking hard. Gut-wrenching, heart-tweaking, sucktastic pain.

But, my daughter continues to amaze me. She explained it (that Tess was sick and wouldn't get better, that she was going to die and our friends would be sad because we'd miss her) to my mother, then came to visit the family and give her soul-brightening hugs.

Good kid, that one.

I've been outlining book 2 in the zombie series and its themes are hitting me over the head. Best summed up as "loving someone or something opens us up to new worlds of pain, but does that mean we don't let ourselves love?", I'm seeing this play out in my life. Even as we (the Ohana) have lost Tess the Cat, Sean and I have gotten the goahead from our landlords to get two cats. In a couple of weeks, TyGrrr and Sprocket will be joining our family.

Zen has been trying to find homes for T & S (whom I shall now call the Eliot sisters) for a year now, and our names have come up more than once. We finally decided that we're in a decent place and we asked our landlord. Sean and I went to meet them two weeks ago and fell in love.

Last night, Kiara met them for the first time. Everyone bonded, Sean and I got purrs and tummies exposed to us, Kiara learned that catfishing is one of the bestest pastimes evarrr!  Yeah. :)

Life is pretty good, huh?

So yeah, while my beta testers are still reading over the first zombie novel, I'm outlining the second and working on my query materials... Evil, thy name is synopsis.  But, we forage ahead, don't we dear readers? We press on, seeking our quarry, that elusive beast called publication.

Until next time, kids!