I’m experimenting with changing some of the ablest language that I use. I’ve been against the r word for years, but it really isn’t ok to say something is “dumb”, or “stupid” either, and I do it all the time. I’m trying to be better though. I’ve been having a really frustrating week (and it’s only Tuesday) because I’m being really…careless. Things aren’t working out smoothly, and I’ve been making a lot of silly mistakes like filing open files in the closed file catalog at work, and messing up on mandolin. It’s really annoying, and I was very out of sorts tonight when I left my mandolin lesson after being told that I had been playing “Frere Jacques” wrong all week. That was a blow. My instructor told me that I was close, and he patted my shoulder reassuringly, but it was still sad, and I was very blue and whiney for a good hour afterwards. My mom was great about it though, and listened to me for most of that hour before taking charge and making me go vote and then taking me to the co-op for a pomegranate and salad bar dinner. That helped a lot.
We started our cat dissections in lab today. I had never dissected an animal before, and I’m a big cat lover, so I was nervous about it. My professor did a demonstration first, and it was kind of hard to watch. I have a reputation as the “brave” one at my table, but I honestly almost cried when he pulled the cat out of its bag. A lot of people had a hard time watching the dissection, but I held it together and didn’t embarrass myself. My partner grew up on a farm, and doesn’t actually like animals, so she offered to do the cutting, but I like to take the lead on dissections. I pride myself on my strong stomach and enthusiasm for the class, so I sucked it up. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be once I got started. I figured the cats were probably feral, and so it was humane to euthanize them, but it also probably meant that no one had ever loved them, so I focused a lot of love on my kittie, and tried to be respectful of his sacrifice. I patted him, and made good kittie noises, and made a point of being gentle when I washed him. We even named him Chester (ok, we named him Daisy, and then when we flipped him over we re-named him Chester). He’s a huge cat, and I think he was probably very beautiful when he was alive. It made me kind of sad, but skinning him wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, especially once I got started. We didn’t have enough time to do the full dissection today, but it went well. I honestly would’ve stayed late and done the whole thing, but they wouldn’t let me. We’re going to be working with the cats for the rest of the semester though, so I’ll have plenty of time with Chester still. I’m weirdly attached to him (and yes, I know that I’m talking about a dead cat that I’m cutting up for class. I can’t help it that I form emotional attachments at the drop of a hat), when my TA tried to get me to change groups and give him back I balked (I don’t think she likes me very much- she was very impatient with my request for a not-striped cat. At the same time though, she almost fainted during the demo dissection, so I don’t care about whether or not she likes me). I sort of feel like he should be home with me (except, you know, alive). I know he’s a school assignment, but I like him, and thinking about him as not-dead makes cutting him up less sad. I’m very grateful to him for giving me this opportunity to learn- he’s a good kittie.