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Did my taxes Wednesday and ended up owing the IRS money.  That jive transcription outfit I work for reports me as a “consultant” and reports my income on a 1099-MISC, which means I’m self employed as far as the IRS is concerned, and my exemptions do not cover more than a fourth of the self-employment tax.  I owed $134 in taxes on the pittance I made from them in the two and a fourth months I worked for them last year.  My exemptions only took care of $45 of it, so I ended up owing $89.  Not only that, I already owe over $140 in quarterly estimated taxes for this year, which is not counting the money I’ve made during this billing period, and the IRS penalize you if you don’t make quarterly payments on your tax liability.  The truth of the matter is, I just can’t afford to work for that outfit any more.  So, this is my last weekend to have to fool with that bunch.  I’m emailing them this evening to inform them I am resigning effective April 15th*, — appropriately.

That was the easy decision.  The hard decisions are coming up.  Last night, the white one was lying on the ottoman, and I scooted him over gently to make room for me to put my feet up beside him.  He decided I wanted him off the ottoman, which I didn’t actually, and got up to jump down.  But the leather on the ottoman is slick, his hind foot slid off the corner and he went sliding backwards off the ottoman.  He started floundering and plunging and lurching about like he had suddenly completely lost his equilibrium, and ended up crouched on the floor between my chair and the ottoman. It was frightening to see.  Then, he started shaking — shuddering, really — for several seconds to the point that I was actually worried that he was going to have a seizure.  He stayed right where he was for a few minutes, then got up and walked carefully to the other side of the ottoman, lay down on the floor for a good 20 minutes, then jumped up into the chair as if nothing was wrong.  He has been his usual querulous self since then, however, but it was a very concerning event.  He turns 16 in July, and he has become noticeably hard of hearing.  Noises that once spooked him, like me fluffing open a plastic trash bag or shaking the rattle can, he is now oblivious to.

His situation and the grey one’s are both becoming problematic right at a time when my finances are hitting a crunch again.  My mom has said she will help me with vet bills.  It costs about $50/£37 to have a cat put down and $150/£103 to have one cremated, which is what I want done.  I have the cremains of the other two I’ve lost,  I will want theirs, too.  All three of them.  I’m beginning to come to terms with the thought that that obnoxious little white boy, who is now an obnoxious little old man, is going to be crossing the rainbow bridge in the not too distant future, and that the grey one is not going to be all that far behind him.  It is a question of what I can afford coming first and, unfortunately, what’s best for them comes second.  What I want comes last of all.  I’ve had the white one for nearly 16 years, and he’s been very healthy and ornery for the vast majority of that time, with nothing seriously wrong with him healthwise, just minor this and that.

As much as I want to hold on to my baby girl grey kitty as long as I can, again, there comes the point where her quality of life outweighs what I want.  To have her renal function deteriorate as much as it has in three months is concerning, and tells me we’re getting to that point at a fairly rapid clip.  It’s going to hurt saying goodbye to my baby girl, but there it is.

Over and above everything else, my mom and I want to travel together.  Now that she has made it possible for me to have this nice new car that rides so comfortably, and that I am not afraid to take out on the highway, I want to take her places she wants to go, to visit relatives she had been unable to visit for the past five or six years what with my dad’s health issues and the difficulty, and ultimately the impossibility, of traveling with him. My mom will be 91 this September. Now that I won’t be having to keep to a work schedule, the only thing holding me back from traveling whenever mom wants to is getting someone in to care for the kitties.

Unfortunately, my dear friend who stayed with them this winter while we went to Pearland, is facing changes in his own life.  He is in the process of downsizing.  The house he and his late partner of 30 years shared is too big for one person and too full of heartbreaking memories of the love of his life who he lost so suddenly and without warning in 2012.  He told me in January that in February, he would begin sorting through things and selling or giving away all but what he needs for himself.  He would be getting his house ready to put on the market and as soon as he has sold it (if he hasn’t already), he will move to an apartment.  His ultimate plans are that at some point in the not too distant future, he will move to Florida.

The hard truth is that, even when I was working for that jive outfit, I couldn’t afford to board all three kitties.  Boarding the white one would have been problematic anyway as he tends to be hissy with strangers and will attempt to bite if he feels cornered.  The grey one is very skittish and strange people and unfamiliar surroundings would frighten and upset her. Boarding her would be downright unkind, which is why we so much appreciated that my friend was able to care for them in their familiar home surroundings.  The black kitty, however, never meets a stranger and it would not be all that hard on him to be boarded while my mom and I travel.  Petsmart boards pets in very nice clean surroundings at only $20 a day.

That’s where the matter stands.  I hate the choices I’m going to have to be making, but there’s nothing for it but to cowboy up and do it.   I think I may be saying goodbye to the white one before the end of the month, depending on how things go financially.  It’s going to be so, so hard, but there it is.

*April 15th is the deadline for filing income tax for 2014 tax year.