07:00 AM, Lower Plateau, Montreal Awoken by pre-programmed alarm on phone. Felt like I was being aggressively and relentlessly attacked by gentle piano music. It’s Sunday morning. I’ve had about four hours of sleep despite going home “early” the night before, in the process ditching parties that seemed, for some reason, “important” to attend, but that I probably wouldn’t have been able to recall distinctly about a month from now.
07:02 AM Staring at my own closed eyelids thinking absolutely nothing, or not even that.
07:03 AM Finally remembered why it is I have to get up. I am taking my cat to a vet place in Kirkland, which I’ve never been to, and, people keep telling me, is far. I made an appointment for my cat in Kirkland because it will cost me less money to get her spayed there. A past version of me thought this was a good plan, but now the current version of me doesn’t want to get up or have to travel all the way to Kirkland, and keeps shit-talking past me.
07:14 AM My cat recently developed lady cat desires. When she’s in heat, she goes down the stairs and sits near the front door and “calls out” a boy cat that lives a few apartments down. Usually, he’ll be waiting for her on the other side of the door, yelling back. Seeing them interact feels a little like watching the cat version of that old game show in which a woman interviews mystery bachelors that she can hear, but can’t see. This version doesn’t even have multiple bachelors, just one. Cat courtships seem refreshingly straightforward.
07:27 AM Put the cat in the cat thing. I think of it as a cat thing, but then it’s really just a travel bag that allows to me to transport the cat from point A to point B. Cat doesn’t seem to care that the travel bag is not a fancy cat carrier.
07:33 AM Walking to metro station. It’s cold outside, but the kind of cold that feels vaguely bearable. Honestly surprised that I am up, honestly surprised that I am going through with this, honestly surprised that I didn’t came up with an excuse in my head to avoid going entirely.
07:46 AM I don’t understand how it’s Sunday already, or March, or 2013. It feels like at one point a part of me “gave up” being synchronized with the passage of time and now I can no longer tell the difference between 30 minutes and 10 hours.
08:02 AM Entered metro station. Cat moving around a little, but not freaking out, mostly just being scared/quiet. Having the cat with me appears to make me more interesting to teenage girls, little kids, seniors.
08:19 AM Felt tempted to tell someone that my cat’s name was, “Tumor,” but then gave the person a real answer instead.
08:28 AM Exited metro at station I’ve never been to, boarding a bus I’ve never been on, going to a place I know I’ll feel terribly distant from.
08:32 AM There’s another cat person in this bus. Her cat meowed and then my cat sort of half-meowed in response. Her cat is in a fancy cat carrier, making my cat game look weak.
08:37 AM This bus is a highway bus. We passed in front of an ominous-looking office building with a sign in front of it that said, “Tamtec” in grey letters and I kind of wanted to just stop here and bring them my cat and yell at them to spay it with whatever equipment they have, a paperclip or a stapler maybe, and be done with this already.
08:44 AM We keep passing road signs that say things like, “Ottawa” or, “Sherbrooke” and I keep panicking that that’s where this bus is actually heading.
08:49 AM Repeatedly thinking, “Where the fuck am I.”
09:01 AM Didn’t know they had Lexus dealerships in the middle of goddamn nowhere.
09:03 AM Exited bus #1, now waiting at stop for bus #2. The cat person from earlier, whose cat was in a fancy cat carrier, is actually going to the same place I am. We talked a little until I decided that I didn’t want to talk anymore.
09:23 AM Bus #2 is a bus that goes through little streets with generic names and houses that seem oddly hometown-like. Who lives here, why do they have houses, what’s the point?
09:36 AM Followed my cat friend from the bus stop to the vet clinic, which is located within a parking lot and surrounded by a coffee place, a large movie theatre and other branded, mall-like businesses.
09:42 AM There’s about twenty people inside the clinic. Everyone else seems to have brought their cat in a fancy cat carrier. I feel like other cat owners are looking at me like they can’t deal with my cat ownership-style, which challenges the norm.
09:51 AM Filled out a form, agreed to shell out an extra 10$ to get my cat, I think, cat drugs for the operation.
09:53 AM Pitied by an employee from the vet clinic, who gave me a large, dog-themed cardboard box with round holes in it to replace my travel bag.
10:01 AM Was told to come back around 2 pm to pick up my cat, now sitting in coffee place wanting to die. Feels like I should have asked for some of those cat drugs, to pass out, sleep while my cat is being operated on.
10:02 AM Free wi-fi is my reason to live.
10:16 AM Was invited to a Facebook event for a book launch by a local author and the description referred to the book as, “part Buster Keaton.”
10:28 AM Became aware I could use a shower after “basking” for short period of time in sunlight coming in from window.
01:51 PM Read about 200 pages of Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow. In the book, a millionaire travelling through Africa befriends a village king who then teaches him how to better function within reality. One sentence was about horses never feeling the need for revenge.
02:03 PM Went back to vet clinic, inquired about my cat, was told, “She’s not ready yet.” In the room, other cat owners are also calmly waiting for their cats. An employee explained to me that they were running late, but that our cats should all be ready within the hour, and that we just had to wait it out.
02:07 PM Abusing free candy from reception desk.
02:07 PM By choice, I am not really talking to anyone. My cat friend from the bus seems to be doing better than I am, chatting with a cat couple about cat things. Feels like I am in a cat church or something, pet owners communing to discuss their shared love of cats, or the weird, obscure and highly specific little things their cats do.
02:37 PM Still waiting. My cat friend retrieved her cat and then got a ride from the cat couple, who wanted to spare her having to take the bus again. No one appears to be interested in sparing me having to take the bus again. “Oh, that’s why you should talk to people,” I thought.
02:43 PM An employee from the vet clinic just said, “I swear to god, Diane.”
03:21 PM Finally retrieved cat, now waiting for bus. Pretty sure this is my cat, but then again, feels like they could have given me some entirely other cat and I would have been too excited about getting out of here to notice or care.
03:23 PM Cat seems in better shape than I am, and all I to do was wake up at seven am. I can tell the cat hates Kirkland as much as I do.
03:25 PM In bus now, sanity level rising.
03:29 PM Texted Jill, “Won’t be taking you on a romantic getaway to Kirkland anytime soon.”
03:37 PM Honestly surprised that I didn’t take the wrong bus, honestly surprised that I am still alive, honestly surprised that my cat and me didn’t end up sleeping under an overpass somewhere.