A series of things happened over the next few days. Most of them decidedly unpleasant.
The girls and I went to the local cattery and picked out two of the furriest cats that they had, brought them home and started loving them instantly. To this day I am not sure which way the love is the deepest, cats to the girls or girls to the cats. Either way, it is fabulous. (majorly pleasant thing…it goes downhill from here).
First decidedly unpleasant thing and one that I knew was coming but had me hyperventilating anyway, no salary payment came in that month. Frankly I was stunned that it had held out as long as it did, but it was official now, no household income.
The next round of decidedly unpleasant came from several phone calls to close friends and family in Mort’s home country.
The most heart wrenching to his best friend (and best man at our wedding), Bob, and his divine wife, Tanya, whom I had also developed a close relationship with. I did not hold back on the gritty details. Bob’s comments oscillated between “I can’t believe it”, and “I don’t understand”. Two perfectly valid feelings from someone who had been Mort’s best friend since the fifth grade. Bob was recalling snippets of times that they would get together and party throughout the years. Sure everyone has their moments of stupid drunken antics in their twenties/thirties but he could not fathom that this had gone past the frivolous (often short-lived and long regretted) moments of intoxication into the deep dark place of losing your grip on reality….and your life. Tanya was on the other line and she sobbed….non-stop. It was like a sound track to the conversation. Every now and then she would interject with “I am so sorry”. She cried for me, she cried for Mort, but I think most of all, as a mother she cried for my girls.
While that conversation left me empty and exhausted, the next one left me angry and hard. The next call was with his father. I had not spoken with him over the last few months. I had left the management of the trickle of information to Linda who knew how best to deal with him.
While I gave him an update on Mort’s admission to the rehab he interrupted to say that he heard that I had gotten cats. Knowing that Mort was horribly allergic to cats he took this to mean that Mort was not coming back to the house. Got that right. (It also cued me that Mort had been phoning him from the rehab centre, no doubt launching his twisted version of the tale). Mort’s father is also allergic to cats and I could tell by his tone that he somehow took it as a personal affront that I would put cats in my home.
The call was lengthy, slippery and twisted. I felt like a snake charmer, trying to gently coax him though I couldn’t read his reactions or motives. I was trying to be calm with him, soothe him but he wanted to strike….to blame someone…someone had to take his venom and anger. The final lunge came when he stated that Maddie and Clare would be removed from his will (mind you we had never seen a penny of this fortune). Well sure, that made sense, clearly this was all their fault right?