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Dale M.A. Johnson
11 May 2013 @ 09:27 pm
I've officially moved over to Dreamwidth! You can find me there under the name "OverworldTheme". Please friend me if you're already there. :)
Dale M.A. Johnson
I haven't registered for a Dreamwidth account yet because I can't decide which username I want to use. I'm pathetic! :(
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Dale M.A. Johnson
04 May 2013 @ 08:54 pm
It occurs to me that I am the remaining person in my group of LJ friends that does not yet have a Dreamwidth account. I suppose I should stop being a stubborn stick in the mud and make the transition. :(
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Dale M.A. Johnson
02 May 2013 @ 12:07 pm
We took the cat in this morning to put her to sleep. I held her all the way there, only putting her in the carrier when we arrived at the vet's office. I wanted everything to be as low-stress as possible. She handled it pretty well. I was with her in the end--the thought of her alone in a room with strangers in her last moments has always broken me up inside, and I couldn't bear to let it become reality.

I will continue to second guess myself for weeks to come. This morning she lay in the sun, one of her favorite pastimes. Part of me wanted to wait, at least until she was having one of her bad days where she didn't want to eat, but knowing where she was now I could only imagine what lay downhill for her. She was already in discomfort a lot of the time, I couldn't bear the thought of her having to endure constant pain. If she lost much more muscle just getting around would become more difficult.

Most of my tears were shed yesterday, but it's really going to hit me tonight. Maybe she was just a cat, but she was a sweet cat that I had only love for, and I will miss her dearly. Sorry for bothering you people with my grief.

Goodbye, Jake. I'm sorry this was the end, but I hope your life was a good one. I hope you were not too frightened in the end as I held you in my arms. My memories of you will dim in time, but I'll try my best not to forget you.

ADDENDUM: It's late evening now, and my mother just came down the hall. I thought she was bringing Jake's food for the evening. It took a split second for it to register. Little things like this keep adding up. I keep staring at places she loved to sit or lay, thinking about her. I can't even stop thinking about having to clean up her pee on the carpet. It's only going to hit harder tonight when there is no loving cat to share the bed with me as I fall asleep. Well, there might be--we have other cats--but none of them can replace the other, certainly not the one that is now lost to us.

I feel guilty for putting her down, especially on one of her good days, but I have to keep reminding myself, "Good compared to what?" Certainly not to two years ago when she was more than skin and bones. Why does this hurt so much? Why am I so empty today? I didn't realize I was nearly this attached to her. I'm so, so sorry Jake.

Her fur still covers the front of my shirt, standing out white with specks of light gray and auburn against the black fabric. I'm torn between taking a shower and changing to get it off of me and just leaving it for one more day.

I'm very sorry for plaguing you people with this. I know I'll get over it in time, but today I just can't stop grieving, and even as much as I've talked about it--with my mother, with my sister, even with the vet as we were putting her to sleep--I had to let it out somewhere in writing.

I feel stupid for being so broken over this, and I'm also worried it's going to pull me back into the pit of depression I thought I'd finally crawled out of. Hopefully tomorrow time will have healed some of my wounds.
Current Mood: broken
Current Music: "Across the Universe" by The Beatles
Dale M.A. Johnson
01 May 2013 @ 01:17 pm
Note: Possibly depressing post ahead!

Not long after my family had moved to Baytown a cat showed up on our back porch. She'd obviously been owned by someone before because she was tame and socialized (and wanted very much to go inside the house). Perhaps someone had abandoned her there? That sort of thing happens all too often. Or did she get lost? Did someone somewhere miss her? Did they love her? The answer to these questions will never be known, but regardless she stuck around.

Some animals you choose for yourself, but this cat was one of those that chose us. We took to feeding her and even, after a year or two, gave in and let her inside.

Since that time we've added four other cats and two dogs to our household, moved three times, evacuated from two hurricanes, and gone through all the other the normal ups and downs of life. At one point, so many years ago, she simply disappeared and we didn't know what happened to her. Then after some weeks had passed a friend of ours called about this white cat in their garage that turned its nose up at anything but dry cat food. We knew immediately it was her. Did she fall asleep on top of the engine block and get driven over there by accident? If so, how fortunate that she was driven to a nearby friend's, and not someplace distant. We'll never know for sure how she ended up there of course, but after that she's stuck by our side and been a primarily indoor animal.

But for the past couple of years her health has been declining. She hasn't been eating well, and she'd begun to steadily loose weight. Last year we took her in to the vet when she almost stopped eating anything at all. Her kidney and liver were failing, but she still had life left in her it seemed. After that she got better. Started eating regularly. She still threw up during the night sometimes, but I thought she was recovering, putting weight back on even.

She wasn't. It kept getting worse. Cats are really good about hiding when they're in pain, and fearing the possibility that she was I finally decided it was time to take her back to the vet. She's old, and I knew she would never fully recover, but if there was something that could make her feel better, put some weight back on, and give her a decent life in these last twilight years, I would do it. Already she gets special food three times a day. Already I spend almost every morning cleaning pee and cat vomit off the carpet. I'll do more if I have to!

This morning the vet confirmed the worst. Although she isn't in any major pain, she likely feels miserable all the time (the vet described it as "probably feels like having the flu"). She's down to almost nothing, has little muscle mass left, and she seems a bit dehydrated even though she's drinking plenty of water so to top it all off she probably has diabetes too. There's a few things we could try, but none of it would help her so much as just extend her a little longer.

Since not everyone in the family knew we were even going to the vet, we ended up bringing her back to the house so that everyone can at least say goodbye if they want to. Tomorrow morning we'll probably be putting her to sleep. I'd prepared myself for this possibility, but it didn't dampen the sudden sting of reality at all.

She's laying on my leg right now with some food in her belly. I hope she's content, I really do. I haven't cried this hard in a long, long time. And it's not just the fact that she's about to die that makes me feel so hollow inside, it's the fact I can't tell her everything's going to be okay. It's the fact that I'm making this decision and not her. Would she rather hold on and live a few more weeks or months with what happiness she has left? I don't know, and there's no way to ask her. I certainly don't want to keep her alive to suffer just for my sake.

I wish I could do more. I'm sorry, Jake. I so, so sorry.
Current Mood: broken
Dale M.A. Johnson
For those who aren't on Twitter, or missed it, or ignored it, this past weekend on a whim I took part in the latest Ludum Dare and worked hard to complete an entire game in 48 hours. You can read about my project and the fun I had here on the Vision Riders blog. Here are some screenshots from the project:



Now it's already playable with a working map and battle system, and with just a month or two of work I could probably craft something simple and fun that I could turn around and sell for anywhere from $1 to $5 depending on the final product. But to do so I would have to put Junction on the back burner for that time. This game is far more likely to be finished within the next three months (taking testing and debugging into account, Junction may not be out until near the end of the year), but it's also not going to be able to retail for as much. Both projects are gambles because there's no telling what the actual sales would be.

My gut is telling me to stay the course and finish out Junction, but my heart is telling me to finish this little RPG. I've wanted to create one so badly since my QBasic days! Also, I don't want to cling to Junction solely out of a sense of guilt for not finishing it sooner. I'm really not sure what to do. Bah! Why does life have to have so many difficult decisions in it?
Current Mood: worriedworried
Dale M.A. Johnson
20 April 2013 @ 01:43 pm

Wherein I do a sketch of Medusa Gorgon, a character I know nothing about from Soul Eater. Maybe you can enlighten me.

This was a request done for a friend. Maybe if you leave a request in the comments a character you want to see will show up in a later week?