Wherever I Go Now, I Run into People like Me

by Tina Blue
October 31, 2004

          I was in the catfood aisle of the grocery store yesterday afternoon, collecting cans of the very few flavors of catfood my 18-year-old cat Gabby will eat. (Lila, the 12-year-old will eat anything--and she looks it!)

          Nearby a man, with his young son in a grocery cart, was carefully picking over catfood flavors, too.

          Amused, I commented, "We sure do spoil them, don't we?"

          He said that his cat had a tumor, so he tried to encourage her eating by offering her only her favorite flavors.

          I told him my Gabby was 18, and skinny, even though she ate constantly (only certain flavors, of course, expensive ones mostly--you know, Fancy Feast brand in those tiny cans).

          It turns out that his cat's tumor, located in her jaw, is malignant. She is 15, so chances are she doesn't have that much more time ahead of her, though obviously he will make what she has left as pleasant as he can for her.

          That's how I feel about Gabby--about all of my pets, past and present.

          But as we spoke to each other, I kept having to cup my ear (the hearing aids were at home), and occasionally, I would think we were done talking and turn away, but then he would say something else, and I would have to turn back and cup my ear again.  Of course, I had by then explained that I am pretty deaf.

          The last time I turned to walk away, he called me back and said, "I don't know if you feel self-conscious about your hearing impairment, but I am also deaf in one ear." He very thoughtfully wanted to make sure I felt at ease, that I wasn't embarrassed that sometimes I had had trouble understanding him.

          I chuckled and said, "Oh, no. I am not even slightly self-conscious about it.  In fact. . . ."

          And then I told him all about this website and how to locate it on the net.

          So, Mark, if you are out there reading this, hi--and send me an e-mail to let me know.

          Heh, heh.  Everywhere I go now, I come across more and more of us. Before long, there will be enough of us deaf/Hard of Hearing folks to take over the world! (Or at least to put together a football team--but then who would call the plays, and how would we know?)

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