Tombo

I’ve lived with a lot of cats. Ever since I was a kid, there has always been a cat or two around the house. I don’t remember all of their names, but a house is more of a home when there is a cat in it. There is a different kind of consciousness at work in a cat, something mysterious and intriguing. I love their distinct personalities and their independence. Cats can see things we can’t.

There are currently three cats living with us – Toki Wartooth (Not A Bumblebee), Jiji The Little Black Cat, and Tombo. Toki’s name is drawn from a universe beyond my understanding, Jiji’s and Tombo’s from the  movie Kiki’s Delivery Service, a family favorite. My daughter named them all, and did a fine job of it, I think. Toki is the oldest, rescued from the mean streets of Belfast, Maine as a feral little kitten. The other two were properly fostered and, while not blood relatives, were raised together and function as brother and sister.

I love all three of them, but Tombo especially fascinates me. I’ve never met a cat like him. His facial expressions and body language are unique (I’ve never seen a cat do that head-cocking thing that dogs do when working something out), and no one can nap like he can. He is very photogenic. Click on the photo below to see my tribute to Tombo.

Tombo

Cruisin’, part 2

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I ‘ve been out and about with my bad motor scooter – taking the short bus to Freeport (home to Maine’s #2 tourist destination, L.L. Bean, and a very accessible little downtown), and to Falmouth, and yesterday into Portland for a spin around the Museum of Fine Arts (to be dazzled by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Florine Stettheimer, and Helen Torr) – and I was immensely pleased with the SmartDrive‘s performance at every location – brick concourse, concrete sidewalk, museum floor. The only hesitations were from my inexperience and lack of trust. Even when it popped off the chair, it was doing what it was supposed to do. It was easy to reattach, and each time I learned a little something new. Brilliantly simple.

There is always a “but…”. I wonder why there isn’t some sort of geared wheel hub that would offer a transmission brake to slow the chair when going down hill. Relying on my grip on the handrims is both difficult (was that smoke rising from the palms of my gloves?) and dangerous if my hand strength should give out – look out below! Bike mechanics, engineers, makers and tinkerers – can this be done?

Allow me one more ranty rave – the SmartDrive is a life changer. My solo outings I would never have even attempted under my own power, knowing how limited my strength can be. One of the things I used to love to do, and one of the dearest things I lost to disability, was wandering the streets with my camera. Thanks to the SmartDrive, I have that back again. Now I look at the bus map and realize that, theoretically at least, I can go from Yarmouth to destinations on my local route, including the Downeaster train in Portland, which offers me essentially…everywhere. That might not seem like much to most people, but as someone for whom those horizons previously came with enormous obstacles, being able to look at the map and see such possibilities is, pardon the expression, huge. A simple hunk of technology like the SmartDrive is empowering and liberating.

Discuss: “It’s exciting that a woman who is transgender can go to the bathroom that she identifies with, bizarre that the disabled community can’t.” (I cannot find the attribution for this.)

No Mind

I feel like I have plenty to say lately – I have a growing list of prompts and drafts and notes to myself, lots of great topics – but when I sit to begin putting actual words together, I feel stumped. I don’t know what it is. I blame the easy scapegoat of MS for robbing me of my ability to write coherently. I’ll keep at it – god knows I have plenty of time.

I was awake all night – again – last week, so I sat up, took my phone camera and made this.898

There’s more (if you want to see) at Captured Light.

I have also re-discovered My Counterpane, a vibrant online community of MS people – people who immediately know what we’re talking about. Wander over and introduce yourself.

It’s the little things

Problem: when you spend your days in a wheelchair, how do you carry your wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. Solution:

  • A hoodie, with kangaroo pouch pocket. Hip. And let’s face it, we wheelers are always on the lookout for steeze. Available in many colors and styles. Can be emblazoned with your favorite band logo or catch phrase. Downside – not so good in warm weather. My current favorite:

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  • When it’s too warm for a hoodie – Cargo pants. I feel like a little cub scout when I wear them, but having access to pockets outweighs the style factor.

And now, this:

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After the Snack.