Friday, February 17, 2006

you'd make such an exquisite corpse


0216061801a.jpg
Originally uploaded by Avant Game.

In the words of the most exquisitely corpsed person I know:

Oh God
I’m all sewn up
A hardened razor-cut
Scar map across my body
And you can trace the lines
Through Misery’s design
That map across
my body

A collage
All sewn up
A montage
All sewn up

Hedwig's lament is Meche's lament tonight. Meche was spayed yesterday. I have to admit, I didn't realize what major surgery spaying is. Neutering male dogs is minor surgery-- but spaying female dogs is quite an invasive procedure. She has a very large and wide scar running down her shaved belly, and she is wearing that lovely collar to keep her from opening it up. As the vet technician advised us, "All it takes is you looking away for one minute for her to have a big gaping hole in her stomach." To find out more about the procedure and how to care for Meche afterwards, I did some online research. I accidentally looked at photos of an actual spaying operation, photos I personally consider worse than the goatse. WAIT. If you think you really want to see images of a doctor holding a dog's ovaries, before you click, be warned that I screamed for about 3 minutes straight after seeing them. When Kiyash yelled back from the other room, "Just look away," I wailed: "I can't! They're in my MIND!!" You have been warned.

So here I am, at home on a Friday night, trying to make things better for sweet Meche, even though she can't chew her rawhide or chase her socks or fetch her little pink ball or pull on her little pink rope or jump on the bed or navigate very well (walks like a drunken pirate because the collar restricts her vision and throws off her sense of frame and balance.) Kiyash is as usual editing pods for Current TV, so I am getting used to the home alone all night routine. It's not bad for the dissertation, but kind of quiet and lonely and there have been too many cookies involved lately.

But this post is about Meche (nicknamed "Meche-moo" because she has the markings of a cow, and "little girl" because she is such a little girl!). And about my surprising feelings about the spaying process. She is such a living thing, such a real being, and I can't believe that we have the power to open her up, take away her reproduction ability, and then sew her back up. I know it's good for her long-term health and good for the dog world, but I respect Meche so much as her own little being, she is so brave and has her own mind about things, and I can't believe as her guardians Kiyash and I can make such life-altering decisions for her. I never felt this way about male dogs. I am discovering all sorts of weird gender emotions by having my first female dog. I was having a very rich conversation with danah about this the day before Meche's surgery, about wondering if dogs WANT to be mothers. Even if breeding is instinct... what does it mean to tell Meche she'll never be a mom? Maybe the fact that we met Meche's mom, and I saw their relationship... or maybe this is my own conflicted feelings about having kids. All I know is that I never expected how thought-full the process of having our little girl spayed would be. Weird, huh? This blog post and my reasons for cookie rolling are definitely the closest to TMI I've ever come online.

Okay, in the spirit of more mundane, a list of other life changes happening:

1. Kiyash and I are cancelling our NetFlix service. No time, and I've always been more of a TV girl myself. I love love love the liveness and imagined community of TV (someone else is watching this right now)... it's why I don't Tivo (yet). Whenever I'm with VCs or entrepreneurs who want to know what to make, I always say IM for live TV. PLEASE!!! I want my buddy list for who's watching what. It would make me feel WAY cooler for having Parental Control on right now if I happened to know that some friends were too. When I first went away to college, I used to make TV dates with my dad... usually Law & Order. We would both watch the show live and then call each other after it was over. Wow, this was going to be a rapidfire list and now I'm sharing my deep personal feelings about TV, which I think now and forever is my most cherished medium and artistic format.

2. Because he set such a good example last year, Kiyash's four best friends are all getting married in 2006. Amazing! Even the confirmed bachelor. So we are going to weddings in Yosemite, North Caroline, St. Louis, and some little village in India. Yeah, crazy. We're going to India!

3. I learned 3 basic steps of krumping. The stomp, the chest bump, the arms. Although mostly I am just listening to the Rize soundtrack while running my new 4.3 mile loop to Marin Circle and back. Not, like, actually battling anyone. ^_^

Okay, so the next blog post is all business: My GDC slides are made! My SXSW game is designed! My Werewolf event for Etech is officially on the program! A game I developed with 3 other UC Berkeley professors/designers was accepted for installation at ISEA! I coined the phrase "promiscuous trust" to do some very interesting work for me by way of explaining pervasive games! And I wrote one of the most important sentences of my dissertation! ("From the start, classification and taxonomy have comprised both the rhetorical heart and the central problem of the game studies project.") And more. But tonight, I needed to talk Meche.

8 comments:

Autumn said...

I had similar thoughts when we got Carra fixed. Simba we did for our own sanity. I have a story about how my mother let one of our cats have a few litters before we got her fixed... "She deserves to be a mother."

Where in NC?

Ken said...

I was given a dog (Molly) as a present when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia. Trying to be responsible, I made the mistake (?) of having her spayed, by what I thought at the time was a veterinarian, but in hindsight appears to have been a butcher.

I still get shivers and profound feelings of guilt when I think of it. Traumatic indeed.

WriTerGuy said...

I feel with you, Jane. No one told me when I got my first cat that godlike decisions and responsibility come with the pet. In my case, it was the end of life decision that staggered me. After 16 years my cat's kidneys were going. Some days she was fine, but other days she was drowning in her own toxins. I had to judge when the bad days outweighed the good. I had to pick her last day. I played God and as you have found out, it's hell.

In the end, though, you and Kiyash are the best Meche can have, and the pain of your doubt and second thoughts are the proof.

(This isn't TMI, BTW. This is TRT (the real thing), IMO.)

Sir Quady said...

Hooray for pets! Even if they force us to make harsh choices.

As a kid, we had 2 cats. Unfortunatley, it turned out, that even though they were both fixed (2 males)...they still sprayed (turns out that for male cats, the neutering process has a 99% chance of success. We got the cats in the 1%).

It was a sad day when we realized they were spraying, and very sad when we realized that our cats had to go. (my eyes are watering as i type this).

But now, after many pet-less years, i have a hamster (female, named Tinsel), and i must say: Pets are worth it!

p.s. What does TMI mean? Thanks!

Jane said...

Hey guys, thanks for the pet fellowship comments. Very cool.

P.S. TMI means "too much information"... usually applied to people who blab excessively about their personal life to the extent that other folks think, "Wow, I didn't need to know THAT much." :)

Sir Quady said...

Ah, thanks!

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