LTC Leaderboard

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wounded Cat

Dear Cassi,
Today I came home to a horrible happening. My dear ginger cat, Caramel, was licking his wounded leg which had developed an abscess in the night and exploded before the morning. The leg itself was rather swollen, and I imagine full of the custard colored pus that oozed from the hole at his knee.
He’s limped for the past two days and been wanting closeness to comfort his pain. Caramel is my big fluffy boy, and so I have much the want to hold him. His temperament is such that he has little love for laying about and would much rather wrestle his brothers and sister. He is a cat that will stand embrace only for short spurts but in light of his condition has sought out companionship. 
Two other of my cats have limped, but neither suffered for long as they recovered quickly, but my Caramel was not so lucky, and so I boxed him up and took him to the vet. With him went his sister Cheshire who needed shots. The long drive to the vet was a difficult as the cats would not stop crying, and Caramel clawed at the fake leather carrier that held him.
It was my early thought that some furan body lived within Caramel’s wound and this put there by annoying neighbors who disliked my cats on their car. The Veterinarian said it was probably from the cat fighting with another animal. Only time or a hundred and fifty dollar x-ray can tell. It was already two hundred for cleaning, bandaging, and antibiotics.
I have always loved my animals, but love will never pay vet bills. I still have no regrets keeping all four cats. This just reminds me that I should prioritize. In this world, responsible folk have to know what’s important.

Know your world, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


14th May 2013
Dear Cassi,
For some time now I’ve had this reoccurring dream about being lost on this campus. I’m not sure if it’s a college campus or a commercial campus, but the buildings are so high they block the view home. I can also tell you they are made of white concrete and decorated with muted pastel. There is a sterile hospital feel to this place. The people of this place are always turned away from me as I wonder about searching. I feel as if I am just a phantom among them, but they have no identity.
I would wander around the campus looking for the parking structure that has my car, but as dreams would go, there was more than one place my car could have been. I would wander around as the sun went down in my dream feeling the need for sleep but finding no place to even sit. This was a thing that in my dream would last days, and I would get more and more exhausted. I felt trapped in a world where my efforts were useless. 
Trapped and weary are feelings common to my life, and I think you can understand these feelings as well as I. The feeling is strongest in my back along the spine. It is pain but not just pain. I feel an internal nagging itch that cannot be scratched and yet will not go away by any other means.
Then there was my dream this morning and it was so vivid in nature but so very strange. It started with a black shape moving beneath my skin.  I caught it and it writhed under the pressure. Feeling a hard body I pressed and the thing came to the surface as some mutant thorny turtle protruding from my flesh. The thing was not a true black but rather the dark gray brown of burnt car oil. I squeezed this like a pimple and it came away taking with it large shreds of skin.
As is the nature of dreams the product of this action was rather large by comparison, and I saved it in a specimen bottle. There was some blood but not much, and the wound was little to worry over. I then found myself wondering that same campus in search this time of a doctor to look at my bizarre parasite. Sometime in this adventure my legs were wounded and I took to having to crawl. The specimen became very large as things can do in dreams and was much the burden.
In my crawling, I found friendly faces that both helped me along and at times asked for my help. I found my way to a lab where my injuries were seen to, and I so left to wonder again looking forever for my way out. My steps were retraced and the building finally looking familiar I found myself oddly alone but without disorientation.
In the end, I found myself somehow, as only can be in dreams, able to fly and so flew home. I felt so much joy as the wind rushed by and the scenery ran beneath me. After a long time, I was finally free.

Freedom lives in your heart, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don’t Fear the Mirror

6th May 2013
Dear Cassi,

Over the weekend, sleep was like a fever calling me back to it as I would wake and move then return to slumber. There were piles of dishes and dirty clothes, but when today came and the hours of my work drew near I had things under control.

Before I left for work tonight I put my last load of dishes in the dishwasher and set the time delay. This machine gives me an automatic four hours before it starts to run. Then I set the washer with a load of pants with seven hours before it would start its washing and so I will come home to a washed load of dishes and clothes one to dry and one to put away.

It was at seven in the evening that I looked in the mirror and knew I would get no sleep today. The point of no return had long passed. The situation had yet to click in my head until I looked in that mirror and saw my three days of facial hair and the unruly bush atop my head.

I was a mess and I stunk. I know at some point over the weekend I showered but when? My diet had been healthy, but the long hours of work and long hours of sleep somehow left me more frazzled than refreshed.

Don’t fear the mirror, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ego Solus

I will not hide my scars for they tell me how I came here.

I will not forget my past as it teaches me the truth.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: 'Kavik the Wolf Dog' by Walt Morey

‘KaviK the Wolf Dog’ by Walt Morey is a 1968 novel about an Alaskan sled dog who wins a major race then is purchased by a rich man who shouldn’t own a dog. This is very much par for the course for Walt Morey who is perhaps best known for his book ‘Gentle Ben’ a book about a bear. This book is the third listing in Walt’s bibliography and was popular enough to warrant a ‘Made for Television Movie’ of the same name aired in 1979.

Now, having looked after an ill dog I know a few logistical things about the practice. That’s the first thing about this story that jumped out at me was that there was no mention of the hard parts of looking after a dog or the frustration of cleaning up after the animal.

Further, Kavik is a dog that never knew the indoors and they make no mention of house braking the animal. Just as a point that’s kind of a thing.

Now, again, having been a dog owner and knowing the love a man can have for his animals I get the story and understand a good number of things, but the book is more of a set of coincidences rather than a good plot driven tail.

Who should read this book?
Those who love animals, books, and have nothing better to read.

Pages: 192
ISBN-13 978-0140384239

Total Books: 3 of 5,000

Total Pages I’ve read for ‘The 5,000 Project’: 747