I was online today checking my email when a message popped up from an old friend of mine from my Wichita days, which, by this point, are about five years behind me. This is a friend who has stuck it out in newspapers in the years since I hightailed it out of that industry, gotten a master's degree and is now writing a novel and looking for work as a teacher. So you could say she's been busy since I last saw her.
She mentioned that she liked reading my blog and I immediately confessed that I have gotten "very very lazy" with Turkish Muse and, shamefully, writing in general.
Her response was immediate and simple: "Get unlazy".
And I thought, "Right. It's as simple as that."
Get unlazy. I've already started getting unlazy in other aspects of my life, so why not here? If I can get up every morning at 7 and half an hour later be doing jumping jacks and push-ups there's no reason I can't write 500 887 words. Right?
And so I promised my friend that I would write something today, something she could read while she was at work and in need of a break. And suddenly it seemed like there was everything to write about and yet nothing at all. There are so many stories I haven't told you, and it's hard to discern where exactly to begin.
So perhaps it'd be best to start with where we are now and what we're doing and move on from there. Shall we?
For starters, Jeff and I are still in Izmir and we will be here for the foreseeable future. Life got in the way of my big plans, and I am, at long, long last, finally okay with that. The long and the short of it is: at some point you just have to realise what you've got, accept it and move on.
When we first moved to Turkey, we said we'd stay anywhere from five to 10 years, and we're quickly approaching the five-year mark. I do think we'll stay here for a few more years, but the specific length of time will be determined by various things, including how high the AKP raises the tax on English gin and if Romney is elected President of the US.
In any event, we're here in Turkey, still making a life for ourselves, still trying to enjoy this country and the world at large as best we can. And as we've decided not to move to Istanbul this year, we'll be spending the money we would have spent hiring someone to drive us 7 hours with 5 screaming cats by celebrating my 30th birthday in October in Paris. So I think it's somewhat of a fair trade, yes? Kind of.
But I did promise my friend a story and this isn't much of one, is it? So let me continue the story of "The Cat Who Came Back", which I first told you about way back last July. If you haven't read the story or need a refresher, please go back and read part the first.
Go on. I'll wait.
Okay. So. Lucky remained in our guest room for about three weeks while we nursed her back to health. Although the vet said she was healthy enough to be reintroduced to the outside world as soon as I brought her home, I didn't believe him a) because he's an asshole and b) she still looked sick enough that I didn't even want her around my own cats, let alone around other sick street cats.
For three weeks, I snuck into the guest room, wrangled her out from behind the bed where she hid from her thrice-daily antibiotics and the antiseptic I had to squirt in her mouth to clean her jaw wound. It wasn't an easy task as she was still incredibly feral and there were many times I threw up my hands in frustration.
Eventually, though, she did recuperate, and I put her back outside. I couldn't keep her, I reasoned, and nobody had come forward to take her, so out she went.
That didn't last long, however, as not a week later, her infection came back and she was raging sick again. This time I took her to my own vet, a wonderful man who understands the value of life and not just his bottom line. More injections. More daily antibiotics. More serum.
It went on like this for months. We would solve one health issue only to have another reappear in a different location. Once we cleared her lung infection, her jaw -- which the first vet had so clumsily stitched -- needed surgery. Then her body started producing open sores, the likes of which I'd never seen before, which eventually left two bald patches on her back.
But somewhere along the way she stopped running, stopping hiding behind the guest bed and stopped trying to claw my eyes out when I entered a room. Slowly, she warmed up to us. She started sleeping in our bed, hanging out with us while we watched tv and made fast friends with Frankie and Phoenix.
And one day, without even realizing about it, she was ours.
And so we renamed her Lady -- Lucky was never a forever name anyway -- and she is now the fifth feline member of our family.