Happy Blog Birthday | Let’s Donate To Big Cat Rescue!

Howdy!

May 13th is my blog’s birthday, and even though the date actually lands on a weekday, I thought about what I am attempting to do, so I needed this post to publish a little earlier than I originally wanted it to, but it’s all good I am making it work one way or another! I’m not planning on having a big celebration or anything, even though I’d like to have one for sometime in October, since it will be 10 years since I became a blogger and I think it would be nice to celebrate that milestone on the lines of my actual birthday too. We’ll just have to see what happens though!

I’ve been thoroughly confused about how old this blog is for the past few months. I’ve told a LOT of people–including anyone who’s read my “About” section lately–that my blog is nine years old, when in reality it isn’t. It’ll actually be eight instead. Sometimes I’m not good at my math, and basketball can only help with so much so let’s be happy I’ve corrected it before this post goes up! Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if it’s eight or nine years, it’s all a milestone anyways, and I’m very proud of myself for keeping it alive and thriving through it too.

This year though, I didn’t want to write a regular uplifting post. As much as I love writing them, I wanted to do something completely different.

On Facebook, you can create a donation fund to your favorite charities. My sister and dad have each created their own for their birthdays, but they’ve raised money for Shriner’s Hospital For Children because that’s where I was looked at all throughout my journey with my Arthrogryposis and Scoliosis, plus all of my surgeries too, so we care deeply for the hospital and what it has done for not only me but my family as well! You would think I’d follow in their footsteps, but no, I’ve had another organization in mind.

I am a big lover of cats. Now when I was younger, I wasn’t. Our family cat had a special bond with my mom and sister then he ever did with me. I loved being around dogs, getting their attention was somewhat easier and being able to get them to come to you to pet them was awesome to someone as small as me! Cats on the other hand, they only come when they want to and they normally don’t like to be petted either. So, growing up I was always Team Dogs! It wasn’t until my sister found a little stray cat that she later named Bootsie did I began to enjoy the company of a cat compared to a dog. Honestly, when she started having kittens that really made me want to be around them more often because I will always have a soft spot for baby animals!

The kittens have all grown up now. Our last litter just turned three in early April, but unfortunately we also lost one of our beloved cats too. My sister and brother-in-law had three of our babies living with them: Gru, Toni, & Otis. I think a week after their birthday, Gru got really sick and started having seizures. They ended up having to put him to sleep that same day. Gru was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever been around. All of our cats are very affectionate but Gru loved cuddling, being around all four of his brothers: Otis, Samuel, Chipper, and Nolan. He and Nolan had a pretty special bond with one another, Gru had a lot patience so he didn’t really mind the tugging of his fur or ears, he was just a good kitty! The household has definitely been grieving over his loss. After it happened Otis was really sad and Toni, who isn’t really a lovable cat, may have sensed that and showed him lots of love over in the past few weeks. It’s been sweet and weird to see Toni be this way.

Although my love for domestic cats have been a slow process, I’ve always loved big cats! I don’t know why or how it got started in the first place but it’s been interesting to see it flourish overtime into other cats in various sizes. For the past few months I’ve been watching these YouTube videos of the different types of wild cats that they have at the Big Cat Rescue in Florida. They have all kinds but the only breed I’ve never seen there are cheetahs. Big Cat Rescue is basically a sanctuary for big cats that were trained in the circus and are retired, and then you have ones that were rescued after becoming unwanted or become ceased by the police on raids. There various reasons how a wild cat could have ended up there.

I’ve always been a huge fan of lions and tigers of course, but I’ve noticed that the longer I watch their videos my tastes in wild cats have changed slightly. I do love Siberian Lynx, Savannah Cat, and the Cougars or Mountain Lions as we call them. I love each one for different reasons, like the Lynx just look exotic because they have thicker coats and they belong up in the mountains of Asia. I think I purely love Savannah cats because they look like your standard domestic cats but they’re not! And finally the real reason why I am a fan of cougars are because our family cat Oliver was nicknamed a mountain lion by my dad because he would always stand on high places and look so regal doing it too. I also love how big their eyes are too!

I am asking you, my readers to help me raise about $100 or $200 for this great organization. If you cannot donate, that is fine, but I was wondering if you could please share this post with your family and friends so they can see these wonderful cats. They are very beautiful and goofy at times and I know from experience that if you only watch one video, whether it’s on their Facebook or YouTube channel, you’ll be hooked! If you click here you will be directed to my blog’s Facebook page, the donation tab will be pinned to the top and you can do what you want with it. The post will be LIVE until the 16th, so it’ll be open for everyone for a week.

Thank you for always being here for me, and hope you enjoy the rest of your day! ūüôā

Mutant And Proud.

Do you know what it feels like to stand out? Have you got something that is very noticeable¬†or very personal, that nobody knows about? Everytime I watch movies about different characteristics, like the X-Men movies or any other Disney Halloween movie. It makes me feel all weird. When I was younger, I use to think I was the only one that was handicapped. Kind of like Raven “Mystique” played by Jennifer Lawrence said at the beginning of X-Men: First Class when she first met Charles Xavier. We all think we’re alone at first, then we find something or someone is just like us and it’s the most closest thing in the entire world.

“Mutant and proud”¬†is what Mystique kept saying during the¬†beginning. At the beginning of my life, being proud for my physical¬†differences, was not in my deck of cards.¬†I was never bullied, but I could tell nobody understood how everything work with me. Growing up and going to public schools, it could lead to a disaster. I was depressed¬†over my looks, it first happened when I was in middle school, sixth grade and I didn’t gain control over my emotions of my strange beauty¬†until my last year in high school. In school, I was more concerned of being in the popular crowd than feeling confident and being proud of myself instead. It sucked, but I’m glad I’ve learned my lesson at that.

I was just looking at pictures of some of the St. Louis Cardinals players going to Shriner’s Hospital earlier last week. It made me think of my time there and I remember how much time has really gone since then. I miss it a lot. I’ve been asked this question a lot, and it’s “if you could, what year would go back to and do all over again?” My answer was always be 2002, because it was not only the year I went to Shriner’s and had my surgeries, but it was also my last year in Elementary, that was difficult for me, because I had a school there and I had made friends there, but everybody at 10 years old wants to be around people they’re familiar with. Taking people or kids out of something they know for so long and into something new can be very hard to accept.

When I was at Shriner’s, it was very nice to know that the kids around me where about the same as me. Meaning they had physical and/or mental problems with them that they can’t help. The best example I can give is this, it’s putting a bunch of rich kids into a private school and everybody having one common thing about them, they’re rich. We were all at this hospital being treated for our different diseases, but we all had that common thing, we were different. The nurses, doctors, therapists, and families could do things with their bodies and we couldn’t, at least some of us couldn’t. It made us feel loved and kind of showed me that I wasn’t alone. Even though later on in high school, I still felt like I had those moments where I was alone, hell I still have those moments every now and then. I never once felt like I was proud of my own skin in school. Everybody just showed me I was just another person wanting to leave school. I was just passing through. I had fun in different classes, but I felt very alone outside of school.

I started thinking that was the reason why I haven’t been doing any college courses at all. I don’t want to feel alone and be depressed over stupid things. Everybody asks me “why aren’t you in school?” I always tell them it’s not my time. It isn’t my time. I am still learning to love my body and insecurities. I think it’s important to learn those things before anything else. You don’t want other thing inferring with everything else. So back to the reference of X-Men. I am a mutant in my own right. Feeling proud of who I am? Eh, I’m working on it. These things take time. They can’t be rushed.

That One Nurse.

Recently I’ve been eating Rice Krispie Treats, and this morning my dad gave me one of the regalur and a chocolate one. The original is always better, but I can’t turn down chocolate in the morning. Today felt like I was back at Shriner’s waking up early to get to the PlayStation before all the boys got to it first. That’s how clever I was when I was younger.

Anyways, when I was just starting to get up early to do this. I would get up around 6 or 7am. Sometimes even 5am. It depended on how many hours of sleep I got the night before. I had to be very sneaky and so did the nurses because I wanted to play Mario Brothers. Around 7am the cafetria ladies would come up from the first floor to deliver to our rooms. I was really over having eggs and cheese in the morning. I don’t hardly eat eggs now. I didn’t even want fruit cocktail in the mornings.

Well one morning, one of the nurses was talking to me about how she eats Rice Krispie Treats before she comes into work to get some more energy. I don’t normally eat marshmallows. I don’t even like Rocky Road ice cream because I know there’s marshmallows in it. Something about a Rice Krispie Treat in the morning made me think, “Meghan, it has desert treat. Go for it.” I did. Haven’t regretted it yet. It’s been 9 years since I’ve been at Shriner’s having a surgery. Went to my checkup that has been in the progress for 7 years. It’s been a week since we went up there and I still find little things that keep reminding me of those crazy days there. I miss it sometimes, but at least I have memories.

Going Back Is Easier Than Looking Ahead.

I am a Shriner’s baby. Been going there I think my mom since I was two months old. I was at Riley’s in Indianapolis, but my mom¬†said they started wanting to have surgeries on my arms and feet when they first looked at me. Sometimes I’m¬†happy that my parents didn’t stay there and let them do that to me at a young age, but then I think of the things I could’ve been able to do if I did have surgeries on my feet. I found have different ways to do things. I always seem to find something new to do. I overthink everything and rather see what could have been. Not saying my life isn’t that bad. I wish I could see what all I could do afterwards.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been back at Shriner’s. I was there for my back. I have Scoliosis. I¬†had a 150 degree curve and had to have surgeries (3) to fix it. The first surgery consisted of getting a metal-halo looking attached to my head. Second was at Children’s Hospital and the doctors took a rib from my right side and took out all my cartilage in between my spine and¬†sewed me back up. ¬†The last surgery was about taking the crushed rib and fitting it between where the cartilage was and placing¬†Titanium rods in place. They are from the top of my back to my¬†hips. They also I would think before placing the rods inside, stretched me out. I was told that they got 6 inches out of me then might possibly put them in. They also took off my halo too.

¬†The last time I was there was in 2004.¬†My mom would want the appointments in either the spring or winter. Not in the hot summer days. This was the only time¬†my doctor had time in his schedule. ¬†It’s very strange going back at the age of 19 going on 20 soon. This time I won’t see any of my nurses which makes so sad to the point to where I want to cry. The last time I was there I got to see one of my favorite nurses Becky. She was one of the night nurses. She was a lot of fun. Christy, Jaime, and Becky were our favorite evening nurses. They were kind of crazy, but in a good way.

My roommate was the best ever! For the most of the time I was there it was “Meghan and Shelby’s room.”¬† We were both into horses, Avril Lavigne, chips and salsa, and angels. Her mom Kim would buy us angel shirts and pants. We were both there for the same surgeries too. Except one thing, she’s already these once before and they came out. We were nuts! The day I was to leave was the day she was to come back to Shriner’s. She had the last surgery and was at Children’s Hospital recovering through it. She came back that night and I didn’t want to leave without seeing her and saying goodbye to her and her mom.

In all, there were five of us getting the same surgeries. Shelby, Natasha, Nathan, Me, and Jessica. Jessica was the last one to come join in our clan. Poor Nathan, he had to deal with me. We would get into mini fights because he somehow thought guys ruled. Not by a long shot. Both Nathan and Shelby have had the same surgeries twice. I don’t remember Natasha having the surgeries again. I remember liking to talk to her and play with her. I think it was either Natasha or Jessica that got to go home first. Surprisingly I don’t remember that.

The first time we had to come back for a check-up. My mom and Shelby’s mom wanted to schedule it on the same day so we could see each other. By this time I could sit up normally again. Because when you come home after having back surgery you pretty much have to be flat. I remember thinking to myself that push wheelchairs were cooler than my wheelchair because other people had to push you around. Now I hate push wheelchairs. Who knew? I haven’t talked or seen anyone from Shriner’s in a long time. That’s why it’s so strange going back now. I had lots of fun times there and I remember not wanting to leave either because I liked it so much.