The Night Keepers

White Trash in a Mink Coat/Blog     By: Patty Collins-King

The Night Keepers                                            October 13, 2017

It is so good to be alive in the fall and the once dreaded month of October is once again appreciated! I see colors now instead of death. I smell a fire instead of thinking I might be going towards that big one called hell. 🙁  And the coffee smells a little stronger when the air is a little crisper, don’t you think?

I used to be afraid of the dark. After momma was killed, I think a more accurate word would be petrified! I’ve gotten better about it and I can attribute some of that to a book my counselor told me to read by Barbara Brown Taylor called, Learning to Walk in the Dark. It’s a good read even if you aren’t afraid of the dark. I really wish I’d have known about that book when dealing with my crazy imagination and what-ifs with momma and can-sur! However, you can still walk through our house at night and you’d probably think it was daytime, but I just say hey, at this age, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious and take extra measures not to fall! 🙂

5th Wing~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Exhaustion made me sleep fitfully when dealing with the trauma of momma’s rape and murder and dream the most dreadful things that I never thought could possibly go through my mind consciously or unconsciously but, I have never—until can-sur—lay awake so alert! Nights are sooooo long when they give you an infusion and at the same time jack you up on steroids. That’s what I think but other survivors have said that they came home and slept like the dead. I however, am a medical mystery. If the doc says you’ll be sleepy, I get all jacked up. If the doc says you might be on edge, I doze.

Our animals, who I sometimes refer to as the helpless spirits that hold us together, know something is terribly wrong with that outline of a human that gives us treats! We rescued Izzy—aka—Sweet Kitty, which is/was a huge joke because she is/was not very nice, except to me. She’s gone now but my husband would run the other way when I trimmed her nails and she would growl! I kid you not. She would growl like a dog! I thought she came close to biting me or taking a whack at my face with her claws a few times but she didn’t dare. Sweet Kitty loved me and I learned this even more when I lay awake at nights after my surgery and treatments. I swear that cat had a calendar! Izzy was not allowed on the furniture so when we left the house we would put her in her boudoir—aka—the mud room. She would retreat to her boudoir even on her own; like when the dogs got rowdy. She had absolutely no tolerance for rough housing and nonsense!

When my family brought me home from the hospital, it was like we could sense Izzy creeping into the room before we could see her. She hopped up onto the nightstand and hunkered down on all fours to watch me. I knew she was there, and I also knew that Sweet Kitty gave everyone in the room the evil eye so that they wouldn’t make her move. However, they would not have been inclined to do so, because I think they were secretly afraid of what her next move might be. And so as I went in-an-out, I caught glimpses of Izzy. She would purr, lean over and smell my hair and place her paw very lightly on my forehead like she was checking for a fever. We were never quite sure of Sweet Kitty’s age when we rescued her, and we thought many times that ‘this is it’ for Izzy but, low and behold she would bounce back and claim one of her seven lives. I vaguely remember looking at her and wondering if I will be able to bounce back and get to at least reclaim part of mine. She looks at my husband and meow’s and it sounds like mawwwma. He scratches her head and leaves her alone and I think we both find peace in knowing that she will be one of our overnight watch guards.

While Izzy seems calm on her perch looking down, the dogs seem fretful. Grayce, the Old English sheepdog, whines and prances around the bedroom, and then gets in her bed and lies very still with her eyes open until they become too heavy. She is confused but most people know that Old English Sheepdogs are not the brightest breed, just the sweetest! Kallie, our rescue from the pound—she’s gone now too—sits in her bed staring at me and then carefully gets out and comes over to sniff and nudge my hand. She returns to her bed for a while but eventually gets up and repeats this ritual at least ten times throughout the night. As my family dozes off and on from exhaustion, Izzy is my steadfast keeper and she is by far the most calm and patient one. I feel her presence and I am not afraid of the dark! Of course I was heavily drugged—and that may have helped a little—but I think our three furry friends give my family a respite from them taking their eyes off of me and being afraid to leave me alone.

I want my life to be like Sweet Kitty. I want to sit quietly and be patient. I want to put my claws out only in self-defense. I want to know my friends and know my enemies and treat each, accordingly. I want to be the night keeper when I am needed.

Yes! I want my life to be like Sweet Kitty—rescue me and I will help save you!

And of course…I want to break the Rules!!! 🙂

Dream Big, Smile Often,

Love, Patty