Yesterday was really an up and down day. All four of us from the office went to the Tokyo Cafe--I love Japanese food, and this is my favorite place. Then last night the Friends of the TCU Library hosted "An Evening with Judy Alter," where my good friend Jim Lee interviewed me about my short story collection and my career. I was worried about it but needn't have been--there was a nice crowd, in spite of the fact that some of my nearest had to cancel at the last minute. And Jim makes it so easy to be clever and amusing (because he is to the extreme)--everyone laughed a lot, which is always to me a sign of a good program. One friend said later that just when she thinks she knows everything about me, she learns more--as she did last night. I was extremely proud to have Jordan and Christian sitting in the front row, smiling, and taking a bit of a part in the geniality. And there were others there--too many to mention--that I felt gratified to see.
Fran Vick, my good, longtime friend, came from Dallas for the occasion, and afterward we sat on the porch and had a good visit--over wine, of course. Early to bed, but Scoob barked about 11:00 and I got up to investigate and found the neighbor's cat was harassing Wywy through the front door. I picked him up--that adorable, sweet, over-affectionate cat I've had for 14 years--and he bit a huge chunk out of my right forearm. I ran screaming through the house to the kitchen sink to wash it with water--later I discovered I had flung blood everywhere. Meantime I was screaming for Fran, who slept peacefully on. Finally, I turned on the light in her room and yelled at her. We went to an Emergency Room just blocks from my house where the wound was appropriately treated (it didn't hurt at that point). At least two nurse/techs looked at it and went, "Omigosh!" I asked them please not to have that reaction. By 12:30 we were home in bed again, but of course sleep would not come, and by morning the arm hurt like hell.
I was not a happy camper today--exhausted from no sleep, my arm throbbing, a brief stint in the office almost unbearable. But tonight, after a good solid nap, I think I'll be back to normal or close tomorrow. Sue, owner of the cat, came and dressed the wound, and we agree it's healing well. And Alex, her nine-year-old daughter, made my bed, because I could not struggle fitted sheets on to corners, pillows into pillowcases (I had washed out the blood). And while it's still sensitive, the arm doesn't hurt so much. Wywy appears contrite and anxious to be in my good graces again. I've put cayenne out to discourage the neighbor cat and have my hose armed and ready, should I be outside and catch her. The shutters on the windows have been secured, so Wywy can't bust through, and the door is beveled glass--he'll never get through it. But picking Wywy up last might remains one of those moments you wish you could roll back in time just 20 seconds and do differently.
Life's lessons: Don't pick up a crazed cat, no matter how well you think you know the animal; and even the best of days can end badly. But I'm still savoring memories of "An Evening with Judy Alter."