Category: Reality

Wedge & Duke

I made it out of the Corps just in time to catch Katrina in New Orleans. Returning to the city in the immediate aftermath of the storm, I was collecting some left-behind items when I heard something from another room. Investigating, I moved an end table aside and was surprised to find four kittens huddled together, perhaps days old, with a mother nowhere in sight or sound.

The four of them were small enough to fit in a shoebox. There wasn’t a question as to what to do: I had them in that shoebox in my lap as we drove away, this time for good.

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On loss

Hello there Dslyecxi! This question isn’t Arma related, nor is it a question about mods or videogames. I also don’t expect you to reply, but hey, I humbly come to you asking for advice. I recently accidentally killed my dog when I ran over him. I’ve seen the videos and read the articles you’ve posted regarding Eby and the other cat you attempted to save. It goes without saying that I too tried to save my dog from passing, but, alas. I’m having a hard time coping. How do you cope Dslyecxi?

The unfortunate reality is that a traumatic event like that is going to stick with you in some fashion for a long time. Coming to terms with it will take time, and you’ll be helped along the way if you speak to someone who’s trained to deal with grief. One of the most significant sayings regarding this sort of situation is “Pain shared is pain divided” (the flip side of that coin is ‘joy shared is joy multiplied’). As much as you can and will try to work it over in your head and ‘solve’ it yourself, you will ultimately be your own harshest critic and the judgments you pass on yourself for what happened will reflect that. Talk to a trusted friend or family member – talk it out, grieve, and if you need more, seek professional help. Don’t focus exclusively on the ending, but give appropriate weight to the experiences you had with your dog over the years. Recount the good times, remember them and hold them close – give the end it’s due, but don’t let that become the story itself. One tragic event doesn’t negate a lifetime of love and care, and the reaction you’re experiencing is clear testament to a strong and loving bond.

You can’t and shouldn’t hide from something like this, you can’t will it out of your mind and expect that to be a long-term solution. Self-medicating isn’t an answer, either. Whatever the situation may have been, look back on it critically, learn from what happened, and if you believe you made any mistakes – vow greater vigilance going forward. I found it helpful to collect my thoughts about Eby in the form of a writeup of the events – something I did shortly after it happened, so that I’d have a clear picture to reflect back on, and not one distorted by the distance of time. With the ‘Jaws’ example, I tried to take a too-common tragic circumstance and use that as a way to highlight the acts of humanity and kindness I saw during it. Perhaps writing it out, even if only for yourself, will help you to find the emotional extents of it. You can’t undo the past, but you can learn from it and you can use that to make you stronger and wiser in the future.

At some point down the road – dictated entirely by you, and not something to rush into unprepared – you’ll find yourself in a place where acquiring another pet will feel appropriate. When that time comes, seek out a local shelter, save a life, and embark on a new adventure.


(originally from a tumblr question)

On Cynicism

Posed on Tumblr, the question was simply:

Are you cynical?

And oh, what a wonderful time to pose this question!

Let me explain in the form of a short story that happened earlier this week.


I was out driving and spotted something on the side of the road, flailing around in the gutter – a cat, it looked like. It was a busy road – no doubt dozens had driven past this same scene earlier. Some distracted, some of them not. One of them had caused it earlier – the cat had been hit and was dying in the gutter – but whoever it was, they were long gone. I stopped as close as I could, was fortunate to have a box on-hand, and ran back up the road to see what had happened. It was a cat, as I’d thought, and it’d been hit hard. One leg was twisted at an unnatural angle and it was clearly in pain. I collected it in the box, and it promptly leapt out and made a dash across the road – or the best it could, considering that it was dragging a mangled leg behind it. The two oncoming vehicles stopped for it, and me, as I went out to get it. It was a pathetic sight, but I scooped the cat up and got them back in the box, securing it so he couldn’t escape again. Those two who stopped – it was a press of their brakes to do so, a decision with no lasting consequence to them. Still, some would not have done so. A degree of humanity was exhibited there, and I thank them for it. As I was getting this cat into my vehicle, another motorist, coming from the cross-street I’d turned on, stopped to make sure things were ok. More humanity. I was ok – the next steps were familiar, if depressing.

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Eby, the miracle kitty

Tell us about your awesome cat, Eby.

Oh boy, Eby time!

For those unaware, almost exactly a year ago I posted a video titled Eby, the three-legged miracle kitty. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely recommended.

Since then, Eby has grown into a big dude and is an incredibly entertaining and affectionate cat. He has some rather interesting preferences, too – he goes crazy for lettuce and will snatch mini pretzels from you if you’re not paying attention. He still bounds through the house like a bat out of hell when the mood strikes, and his 3-legged mobility remains astonishing to see.

All in all, Eby’s an awesome cat. Thinking back on how we came to find him, it really does astound me how many things had to happen in a very specific order to land us where we are today. Every day of your life is no doubt filled with such unnoticed complexity, but it’s only at certain times that you’re really able to sit down and even begin to grasp the magnitude of it all. It’ll definitely get you thinking.

A year later and I can still clearly see Eby’s eyes slowly focusing back from the brink of death. I have no doubt that that memory will remain in crystal clarity for as long as I live – to say it was moving would be a tremendous understatement.