We have all been languishing in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact of the pandemic and its consequences are felt differently depending on our status as individuals and as members of society. While some try to adapt to working online and homeschooling their children, others have no choice but to be exposed to the virus while keeping society functioning. I recognize that the pandemic has devastating effects on other minorities as well as on animals. On one of a summer day, I heard a cat's sound behind our door. Opening the door, I found a cute little kitten that was trying to find a place and something to eat. First, we gave him some food to eat, thinking that it was someone's kitten, who later would take him back. But all the day it was in the pass, and in the afternoon I took him to our apartment to feed. He felt himself comfortable in our apartment. We fell in love with this kitten so quickly that we decided to adopt him. Because my father also loves cats,he take him and stroke the kitten after coming home from work. After explaining all that had happened during the day, he allowed him to stay with us. That night we named him Leo, and the next day we took him to the vet clinic to get all the necessary vaccinations for him. After a few weeks, we found out that Leo was adopted by our neighbor, and because of their young children, they changed their minds and left him outside to find a new home. Leo was always active; he played games, strolled around the garden, and had a good appetite. One day we went to our hometown, Bukhara, with my family, and because no one was found to look after the cat, we took him with ourselves. After nine hours of riding, we arrived at our destination. We visited my grandmother's house, and as my cousins loved cats, they also adopted a cat from the street, but they haven't given him vaccinations. We stayed there for three days. Leo was happy to find a new friend, and they played together every day. When we come back to Tashkent, Leo has lost his appetite and has slept very much. We thought that he was having depression after losing his friend or that he was stressed after a long journey and didn't pay much attention. However, after two days, he started to walk with a limp. So we took him to the vet. They gave an injection and advised me to buy more vitamins like vitamin C, B, and K. We bought them and gave them to him every day after meals. But we didn't see any changes in his health, so we went to another veterinarian. They took an X-ray of his feet and an analysis of his blood and said that it would be ready in two days. After two days, we went to his doctor, and he said that Leo was down with FIP, which is known as the animal coronavirus. We were very worried about him since the doctor said that many dogs and cats died from this illness. So we asked what to do to keep him alive. He advised us to purchase three types of drugs. One of them was exactly for FIP, and the other two were for his liver, because, as a doctor said, in animals, the virus stops the liver from working. Later that day, we went to a few animal pharmacies to find the drugs that were written on a prescription. Because of the high demand for this kind of drug, many pharmacies didn't have it. We had a hard time finding the first medicine, which is called GS. This medicine was imported with a special order, and only one pill was 3,5 dollars.It was prescribed 1 pill per day for 84 days. Otherwise, the pills wouldn't have any effect, and the cat could die. We looked for it the whole day and finally found it at the biggest animal pharmacy in the city. First, we bought only five because of the price and limitations of the pharmacy's sale of five pills per order. Later, the pharmacy increased the amount to 10 pills per order, and we can buy them without showing the recipe every time. After a few days, my cousin called me and said that his cat was also walking with a limp and had a high temperature since we had left Bukhara. I told them to go to the vet. They went, and their doctor also recommended GS pills. We realized that when their cat interacted with other street cats, he was infected with this zymotic virus, and after coming home, he infected Leo, too. They didn't buy pills because they were too expensive for them. A week later, their cat died from this virus. We were very afraid that the same thing would happen with Leo. After 84 days of treatment, Leo started to walk straight and eat normally. All in all, I want to say that everything in this universe, even plants and animals, has the right to live. Everybody has to take care of their pets as well as their own health. Because each animal also wants to live and enjoy life, Whether he is an animal or a human being, he is a living soul with a beating heart in his body. Hence, we all must take care of not only our pets but also homeless animals, which are disappearing day by day.
Having a keen eye for real estate and working on a timeline of no more than two months, Mama was scrupulous and swift when choosing the right house. After a hard and footsore morning of self-guided showings, it was on Oakridge Drive where she found just the thing: a midcentury split level, set back from the road and nestled into a hillside, trimmed with wrought iron details and a bedroom balcony that overlooked the pool. The pool was really what caught Mama's attention, specifically the thicket of verdant elephant-ear plants that wrapped around the outdoor patio, intertwining with fat terra cotta pots of bright fuchsia bougainvillea, creating the feeling of a miniature jungle. It was there, fifty-six days later, with the faintest breath of spring in the air, she gave birth to five kittens. My parents instantly regretted telling me they were there, for when we made our pilgrimage to my grandparents' tidy house I skipped polite chat and bolted down the stairs, pressing my face against the sliding door in hopes of seeing the kittens, so desperate I caused a clatter and an obvious round white fog of my breath against the glass. Startled by the commotion, Mama deftly ushered her round and mewling children back under the elephant ears, her lustrous tabby fur slipping through the giant leaves and closing them behind her like a beaded curtain. As March gave way to April, I learned to control my volume, and as I calmed, I caught more glimpses of black and white fluff, tabby tails, and tufted orange ears. With every passing day, they grew bolder. Mama sat just at the edge of the little jungle one Sunday, watching as the five tussled in the late morning light, chasing pillbugs across the patio. Mama was starting to get that restless, primeval itch that made her turn to house hunting again, and the kittens had started to find meals on their own. As I watched the little clowder tumble in the sun, I overheard the adults in the room ruminating that it wouldn't be long before all of the cats had wandered off and we should probably consider sprinkling a box of mothballs in the bushes before the next set of pests moved in. My pleading eight-year-old eyes turned to each grown up in turn, looking for weakness of will that might somehow result in my acquisition of a pet before they aged out of my grandparents' garden. A firm no, an exasperated head shake, a “don't even ask..” But bless him, my father, well into his sixties at the time and perhaps not at the peak of his physical prime, stood up and slid the sliding glass door open, startling Mama cat who dove into the thicket, teenaged kittens in hot pursuit. Dad stood as a Midwesterner does, hands-on-hips, scrutinizing the situation and evaluating all possible escape routes. Without further prompting, he plunged into the elephant-ear thicket and a great cacophony of rustling and squalling carried into the house. Just as my mother began her protests in urgent, as I clenched my fists under my chin in trepidation, he emerged— mottled old hands bloody, Dockers khakis covered with mulch, and clutching a screaming, swatting calico kitten. I called her Wildflower.
I don't care about the dates and numbers anymore. They have less and less importance as I am growing older. Other things are becoming priorities. But I won't forget the day you left us. I will remember that date as long as there is a spark of sanity left in me. I miss you, Marcel. *** The more I get into the depth of your character and dive into the sea of kindness with which you abound, the harder for me is everything I have done to sin against you. Everything I denied you. Forgive me. Forgive me. It was a beautiful day last week. I think it was Friday. The sun warmed like no other day of the year. There was a pleasant wind, and the scents of flowers and sprouted grass rose from the ground. I thought I would pick fresh green grass for you as soon as it grew a little more. I thought I'd surprise you with this gift. But I will never give it to you, love, and that makes me feel like garbage. If I had known. If I had only sensed—if I had wanted to admit to myself!—you could have tasted the first grass of this spring, no matter how short and unripe its leaves were. But I was a coward and ran from reality! I stole from you the last touch of just-awakened nature, because not even the trees had fully bloomed yet. *** In Memoriam Marcel April 19, 2006–April 19, 2020 A World Without Color, the true story of our last three days together, still lives on Amazon as an eBook and paperback. Waiting for the world to read about you. BJ Original post: https://www.bernardjan.com/post/15-years-without-you
A World Without Color got a great recognition—the Gold Medal in the Fiction–Animals category in 2020 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest! Readers' Favorite recognizes A World Without Color by Bernard Jan in its annual international book award contest, currently available at Amazon. The Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities. Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies. Readers' Favorite receives thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, they are able to break down their contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. They receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America). “When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers' Favorite.”—Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that A World Without Color by Bernard Jan won the Gold Medal in the Fiction–Animals category. You can learn more about Bernard Jan and A World Without Color at Readers' Favorite where you can read reviews and the author's biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through his website and social media pages. “It is a wonderful story for fans of animals, especially cat lovers. Reading about the desolation and the loneliness of the narrator, the reader understands the place that Marcel occupied in his life as a companion . . . It is a story that explores themes of loss and grief and that celebrates a connection with a cat, a connection that brought meaning to the life of the narrator.” - Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite Please check out A World Without Color at BookAwards.Com. Thank you. BJ Original post at https://www.bernardjan.com/post/readers-favorite-gold-for-a-world-without-color.
Every Thursday, at twelve on the dot, a small calico cat trots about town, carrying a package that is wrapped in fine red ribbon between her teeth. She seems to be friendly enough, even letting people give her a scratch between her ears. But, she's a busy cat, so she doesn't let people pet her for very long. After all, she has a job to do and, rumor has it, she has just given birth to a litter of kittens. No one knows where she comes from, if she has an owner, or to whom she will deliver the next package. All anyone knows is that she shows up at their front door right when they need her. Last week, Tammy's boyfriend, Gerald, broke up with her and in her darkest hours, the cat delivered a box of peanut butter cups to her apartment. The week before, Sharon lost the local church's baking competition but found some conveniently placed sugar cookies. Townspeople should not be worried about the cat's motives. She's a lovely creature and everyone should look forward to a visit from her.
Because I really don't. Jeremy's been asking me to make them again and I figure you're closer back in time, so you might know. If you don't, that's cool. It's not like we make a practice of taking notes when we cook. Maybe you're further back in time, pre-enchiladas. If you are, I definitely used chicken and tortillas, but after that you're on your own. Don't stress over the whats and the hows; we don't really think it's our best dish. And if you're wondering who Jeremy is: you'll get there. This gastronomic food road you're going down is quite the roller coaster, but the most difficult thing you're going to have to learn is how to cook and eat alone. In grad school, loneliness will become your world and—pun not originally intended—it's going to eat you up. (It won't spit you out, though. It has better table manners than that.) Your studio apartment, while a cozy hug, will suffocate you. Friends you love are moving on with their lives back home. You lose track of the family news. Getting to know people in this new city will feel arduous, and the friends you do make will not plug the black hole sucking you down the drain. You are going to feel so small. All that self-loathing and self-judgement you do now? That's not going to go away. In some ways, it'll get worse. For all you do to try to reach out, you'll fall flat. That year you will mostly sleep in a corner of your bed, surrounded by books and notes. Changing the sheets will require sorting through the stacks and figuring out which tomes are due back at the library. You only close the black-out blinds on mornings when you're hungover. When you come down with the worst flu bug in eternity over spring break, you will watch the 1996 Doctor Who movie for the first and only time, sending outraged texts about the offensive Asian stereotypes and the complete disregard for the entire Doctor Who canon. (And you will disrespect Paul McGann, only to feel horribly conflicted years later when he does a surprisingly strong mini-episode.) You will spend the year living off homemade stove-top stuffing and fried pizza dough. Experiments making peri-peri meringues and sriracha fudge will not go well. There is one sweet side to this sour gummy worm year, though. This is the year of you and your Phebe cat. You've already been together for seven years, but you've never been alone together. There have always been other people, other cats. The spaces you've lived in have never truly been yours. Phebe will be terrified of the windows. Maybe it's because your apartment building is taller than any of the other homes she's lived in; maybe it's because of the traffic. She will only get close if you bribe her with cat grass. You will start every morning together with coffee for you and milk for her. You will develop a fear of using your large chef knife when she's walking around your ankles. (What if you drop it?? Spoiler: you don't.) Multiple times throughout the winter, the fire alarm will go off in the middle of the night. You will have to lift the mattress to get her out from under the bed, then wait outside in the biting cold for the fire department to come and turn off the skull-jarring noise. Phebe will cling to you, and you will be silently aghast your next door neighbors never even try to get their cats out. As you get comfortable, you'll take lazy walks together down the apartment corridors in the middle of the night. Phebe will want to smell every inch of the carpet and will freeze at every sound; you'll want to bring your glass of wine or tea along with you. During the day, she'll sit on your lap, moving the trackpad while you try to type. At night, she'll curl up next to your belly, purring so loudly that you can't imagine another reality. She'll get so comfortable in her space, having you home with her almost all the time, that she'll get sick of you and actually come out of hiding when guests come over. She will develop a fascination with the bathtub and will want to play in it all the time with her ribbons. Obviously, it wasn't my original intention to go from enchiladas to writing a love letter to our cat. Don't worry, even though we're at least seven years out from your timeline, she's still here. More ornery, yes, and not thrilled with the fact that there is, once again, other cat around. Even less thrilled that I dared to welcome a dog into our home. (Being a dog parent is weird. I'll tell your more about that some other time.) But she still curls up in your lap and she still likes her quick lick of bovine lactations. She also enjoys getting some shredded chicken for dinner when I make enchiladas. Enchiladas. I shredded the chicken. Okay, that's one more thing I did. It's still not enough to recreate the recipe. And you know as well as I do that living up to a past success is stressful and difficult. Nerve-wracking. What if you can't get it right? Younger me, I'm sorry to inform you, but after you turn 33, you may never make enchiladas again.
This morning, I believe I was in my bedroom changing out of my regular Saturday yoga outfit, when I heard a lot of peculiar amount of cawing- and it wasn't far away either, directed at a hawk or other enemy. Obviously, /something/ was going in our backyard. My mother had let her cats out, Boy- our largest cat- who probably couldn't manage to catch anything out there, Jojo- who would likeliest to just observe as Angel did her fast and ferocious work. I've seen Angel catch birds before and this got me sort of worried. Even though Angel is almost fourteen years old and somewhat arthritic, when she wants to, she can really move. I hustled back downstairs and outside through the screen door. "What is it?" I asked. "I'm not sure," she answered, standing on our small porch. I was barefoot and she had sandals on. We both peered among the branches of the thick pomegranate tree in front of us and at first didn't see anything. I was beginning to think this was quite peculiar, because the crows higher above us hadn't stopped calling in the least. Whatever it was, someone perched on the neighbor's roof must have been able to see us reaching it... Since we bought and planted this pomegranate tree, we're learned a few things about it, and even though it's a dwarf variety, it needs to be cut back from time to time, leaving room beneath the main canopy to squeeze under and get a different view. Well, I shooed in the cats (Jojo being easiest to convince and Angel being harder- Boy could stay out on the other side of the yard as far as we were concerned) and shuffled over to get as close to my mom as I could. "There is a crow!" my mom agreed. Obviously, he wasn't that great a flier, but it was very typical that something like this would happen to us. I rushed back into my house for my camera. "You can go under there too," my mom suggested to me, pointing toward where she saw it. And it was a young crow?, probably? -as I had presumed. It's head and neck didn't look that great, but that could of have been because of its youth? Had some other animal- even another bird- attacked it previously? It seemed best to back off and shoo the one last cat in the yard out for the time being. I returned upstairs and finished changing into my clothes for the rest of the day. I came back to sit at the computer (where I had ultimately been headed in the first place). As I began to respond to some of my email, a shadow of wing (headed perilously close to the glass door), swooped over me and out of the yard. After lunch, we let all the cats out who'd been enjoying the backyard before.
\n\nThis is my beautiful cat, Reika. She is a huge comfort to me and I love her so much. She will forever be my only \\"child\\".\n\nI rescued Reika when she was only 4 months old in November 2009. This is how we met. I looked at her in her cage. She was tiny, but not too small. She was not much of a talker, but I knew she had her own way of communicating. Her eyes were her real voice.\n\nI knew she was mine the moment the attendant handed her to me. The moment we touched, \\"the motor\\" started up. Instant connection! That day, I was forever changed. This beautiful little kitten was mine, and we both knew it. The icing on the cake was the adoption was so smoothe and affordable.\n\nOn the way home, I stopped by to pick up some essentials for her. I had to leave her in the car, but not for very long. I had let her out of her cage, and she roamed around until she found\u00A0 a spot near the trunk. I was a little apprehensive about her proximity to such a tempting exit, but was relieved to find she was not one to bolt when a door was open. She was truly comfortable with me, and I her. We were truly meant for each other.\n\nWhen I got her home and settled, I immeadiately started taking pictures and playing with her. She had a sweet but wild side and I wanted to see what her boundaries were. She was a bit timid at first, but she got comfortable very quickly.\n\nI found my soulmate, my kindred, my familiar.\u00A0 We protect and love one another.\u00A0 She heals me when I am unwell, and I help her when she is uncomfortable as well.\n
They often say pets are people's best friends. My Fat-Man is no exception. Fat-man is a reasonably large black and white cat. He was born around 2010. His mother was an indoor/outdoor cat. However, she had her babies inside. She would next proceed to resolutely take the innocent babies outside under the trailer. When we went out and retrieved them, she transported them right back out. We naturally worried about the kittens, but they were always fine. We intended on getting rid of all the cats but, I talked my mom into fixing and keeping Fat-man and he remained an indoor/outdoor cat. He came and went as he pleased. I perceive him as one of the most beautiful cats I've ever seen. His glossy fur is long and silky. However, if you pet him, you'll likely end up covered in his fur. His head is primarily black, except a bit of white on his chin. The white on his chin goes down into his chest area but stops halfway. The rest of him is black, minus his paws. Even though his paws are white, they're always clean. Much like a proper man wearing white gloves. He is constantly cleaning himself. Whenever you try to manage the burs in his fur, he'll get agitated and growl at you. He has never hissed. My mom repeatedly said he was more like a dog. He growled, played fetch, and drank plentifully out of the toilet. My Fat-Man is also incredibly intelligent. When we moved houses, we didn't want to allow him outside because my mom and I were genuinely worried he'd get bewildered in the unfamiliar environment and not come back. But he is wild at heart and desired to be outside. He snuck past us and zoomed into the vast trailer park. We were frightened he was gone for good. However, one typical day my mom and I were sitting passively on the couch. We were talking but got interrupted by something hitting the window causing a visible shadow to envelop the room. The shadow was accompanied by bu a ´thud´ and then a noise that sounded like velcro being taken apart. My mom and I were confused, and honestly a bit scared. We went outside seeing what the noise was. Sure enough, there sat my lovely cat. He had jumped up on the window to capture our attention and then dragged his claws down the window screen. This continued for a considerable while until the mesh screen was completely destroyed. People who own pets for a while start to pick up on their pets little quirks. Fat-Man had many quirks. You could sit peacefully in the yard and play fetch with him. You could toss a bouncy ball or a milk ring and he would typically return it back. I've also noticed that in the sunlight, you can undoubtedly see brown in his fur. In the Summer his coat gets thinner and, in the Winter it gets thicker. I've always preferred his winter coat. He voluntarily allows you to cradle him like a baby. After all, he is my baby boy. Whenever you don't allow him outside, he'll get frustrated and hell huff like a child does when they don't receive the toy they've asked for. He'll stretch up towards the doorknob as f he's trying to open it. Although he appreciates people, he does not exactly get along with other cats. When he came inside to eat, the other cats would hiss and growl at him. Ultimately, we had to start stowing him in my room. He loved laying near me. Notwithstanding when it was extremely humid in my room. He would knead my arm, trying to get comfortable. However, he tended to use his claws, so it felt more like pins and needles. Once he got relaxed, though, it was impossible to shift him. He was dead weight. And believe me, he isn't exactly light. His name is a bit misleading. He isn't fat. When he was a kitten, he was extremely fluffy making him look fat. In fact, he is very muscular. I have so many stories of this amazing cat, and they probably wouldn't be able to be confined to 5,000 words, so I'll just tell my favorites to close. In one case, we had to have our house flea bombed, and we had to transport the cats somewhere else for a bit. I buckled that poor cat into the seatbelt with me instead of putting him in a crate like the other cats. Another time, we had just gotten home, and I went into the kitchen. Something almost flew into my head. There was undoubtedly a live bird in our house. Fat-Man dragged this innocent bird into our house through a hole we had behind the washer. My mom eventually threw a towel over the bird's head and flung it outside. The last story is about the time Fat-Man got injured. He had come home limping. Naturally concerned, we hauled him to a veterinarian. Fat-Mans leg was fractured clean. He had to stay inside for a bit which he didn't like at all. He was so exhilarated to finally get back out there. My Fat-Man is such an extraordinary cat. He's capable, quirky, radiant, easy-going, and honestly one of the best cats I've ever had. And believe me, I've had 16 cats. Fat-Man is sincerely my most beloved friend. I know he's just a cat, but he's consistently been there to console me. I cherish him. My cat. My Fat-Man.