How To Try Everything To Stay Alive

Thais Lynnae Reynolds

When you are young and you have cancer and it’s the 1990s, it’s important to keep your wits. And if you have a lot of wits, all the better. It’s important to be honest about your bald head, especially on an airplane with your brother and especially by sliding your wig backwards ever so slowly until it tips back just almost enough to nearly slide off your head but not quite. It’s important that when you’re taking a break from wig shopping and your friend orders food, but the waiter doesn’t like her at all and “forgets” her fortune cookie that you flip your chair giving chase into the kitchen in protest. It’s important that you have someone smuggle gay male porn into the hospital for you because what good is a flaccid penis? None. It’s important that you try everything to stay alive. Even risky things. Even things that make you die. It’s important that when you are dying you mistake your friend for a cat even though you are on the telephone and cats don’t use telephones, except maybe they do in heaven and you were already halfway there. It’s important that you so make a heart-mark so indelible, your friends place your photograph on the stage occupied by your favorite artist, even though it’s been two decades since you or that artist were either alive or relevant. It’s important that you were here. It’s important that we miss you. It’s important that we love you still. Meow.

- Jennifer Cumby is a contributing editor here at Dead Housekeeping and is the senior Family Ties editor at Maximum Middle Age, which you should check out, here.

Rajeshwari's Guide to the Care and Keeping of Cats

     Remain unmarried.  Instead of a partner and children, approximately twenty-two tumbleweeding, mewling, hissing balls of fur should inhabit your home.

     Your loving, generous nature should consistently drive your desire to rescue just one more lost soul from the mean streets.

     Vegetarian you, should purchase fish for feeding your furry charges.

     Cats treasure tea.  They take their afternoon tea, with plenty of milk and sugar, in saucers laid around the dining room floor.  Use only your best china for this purpose.

Cats by Meredith Counts

Cats by Meredith Counts

     When sauntering past a furry friend engaged in a battle of howls with another, casually lean forward, pluck your friend from the ground by the scruff of its neck, and arrange it over your shoulder like a fox-fur stole.  Your friend will immediately go limp and be compliant.

     Entwine your psyche with the psyches of your housemates so they become your familiars.  Move in synch with them, adjusting your emotional cycles to theirs until you achieve a harmonious commune of cats.

     Every spare second of your waking day should be spent thinking about the welfare of these creatures, closer to you than even your family members.  These are the children you never had, the confidants you yearn for, the companions of your dotage.  You may be "small mother" to your nieces and nephews, but you’re the only mother to your feline friends.

     You should blithely ignore all pleas and proddings from human family to limit the number of creatures on hygiene grounds.  You know better.  You always have.

- Asha Rajan