Today is World AIDS Day. Today is a day for people around the world to come together in the fight against AIDS. In that spirit, Tito and Miss Jenny are wearing their red ribbons and encourage their fellow felines the world over to join them in the fight. If you are able, please consider a donation to help the fight.
Clicking on the photo below will take you to our post about the National AIDA Memorial Grove here in San Francisco. It’s a very beautiful place, but we hope for a day when no more names will need to be added to the list of those lost to this horrible disease.
We don’t try to write about the passing of everyone. However, Scott McKenzie recorded one of the most famous songs of all about San Francisco. Written by John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, it raced to the top of the charts in 1967. It it became symbolic of a city and a generation.
They say that when you’re young, you know what you hate and that as you get older, you know what you love and shift your focus.
I think that’s true but I hate disease more and more, disease of any variety, which diminishes those you love until it kills them. I can’t get used to it, and I’m not certain Kitsy’s passing has sunk in even now.
Maybe it’s because he was so much larger than life, that I have trouble thinking of him as truly gone.
Everything about Kitsy was superlative and he was a hell of a model, even though he never managed to hold a pose quite long enough. One thing he liked was getting petted roughly before I blew raspberries on his gut. He’d get up, fold his big flappers of ears back and leap off.
What we had for the past couple months or so was a wasted version of him.
Lately, he had appeared to make some improvement. The weight, however was located in his gut and his spine and ribs continued to show. His muscle mass continued to diminish and he had more trouble jumping in the last few days.
What confirmed what we were afraid to know and discuss, was what the other cats did. They nestled with Kitsy to keep him warm at night, Jenny checked on him constantly, and Tito would lure me to the bathroom were I’d sit on the edge of the tub and pet him on my lap.
New behavior which I took as offers of comfort from the big cat.
As to Jenny, she accompanied Kitsy wherever he went, literally shadowing him. By then she also looked much bigger than he.
So we had him for two years, and that seems like a very short time…
The vet told us that the disease affected mostly young cats, and what a rotten thing that is.
I will miss his excesses and countless transgressions. I used to joke he was like a shark, an eating machine constantly looking for food to steal, and last night it struck me to see bacon strips on a plate in the kitchen left unmolested. Yet I can’t help thinking that even though he’s clearly not here he is not in fact gone.
I will miss our arguments, me calling him names and him probably demanding noms. He was a great outlet for my frustrations the fearless little bastard who never had a bad mood and would make Tito and I exchange disbelieving looks.
I can’t wait to dream about him.
“Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed.“
We lost our wonderful Kitsune/Kitsy/Mazuzu Whang? to FIP today. This isn’t a proper post for him. I’ll do that when I’m in a bit better shape. I’m just too damned sad right now. Rest in peace baby boy. Mom and dad will love you forever.
The National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is a dedicated space in the national landscape where millions of Americans touched directly or indirectly by AIDS can gather to heal, hope, and remember. For all the promising prospects on the horizon, AIDS continues to invade our lives, violate our past, and rob us of our comfortable assumptions about the future. The sacred ground of this living memorial honors all who have confronted this tragic pandemic both those who have died and those who have shared their struggle, kept the vigils, and supported each other during the final hours.
On April 18, 1906 at 5:12 a.m. the people of San Francisco and the Bay Area were awakened by violent shaking. The ground shook for a whole minute and when it was done, the city and it’s people were devastated. The magnitude 7.8 was felt all over California, Western Nevada and Southern Oregon.
While the quake caused massive damage, it was the fire that completed the devastation. Of a population of about 410,000, up to 300,000 were made homeless. The death toll was originally reported as a mere 375 because government officials felt that the true number would hurt real estate sales and the rebuilding effort. It’s now estimated that a minimum of 3000 perished in the quake and ensuing fire. Chinatown, with a population of around 14,000 was destroyed and the dead were never counted. As a result, the true death toll of the 1906 quake will never be known.
Every year the event is commemorated and attended by the survivors. The number of survivors have been dwindling over the years. This year, three of the four remaining survivors attended the parade and private dinner on Tuesday evening.
William Del Monte and Winnie Hook, who are both 106 and George Quilici, 108 — will all be on hand to remember the great earthquake and fire.
Ruth Newman (b. 1901), the other survivor, wasn’t well enough to attend.
This morning, the survivors met at Lotta’s Fountain. There, they had a moment of silence beginning at 5:11 a.m. to mark the time of the quake.
Lotta’s Fountain is San Francisco’s oldest surviving monument. It was donated to the city by Lotta Crabtree and dedicated in 1875. In the aftermath of the quake and fire, people met at the fountain to exchange news and find out who was missing and who wasn’t. That is why it is used today to commemorate the Great Earthquake of 1906.
In 1910 Lotta’s Fountain was a meeting place again when the famous opera soprano, Luisa Tetrazzini came San Francisco and kept a promise to sing in the streets. At the fountain, she gave a free concert that was attended by an estimated quarter of a million people.