The last few weeks.

By | September 14, 2011

Things happened.

I got a new job! After nearly ten years at my previous employer — which I now feel totally comfortable saying was Simmons College — the crazy kids over at seduced me away by offering me a job as an associate editor. After a lot of thinking and soul-searching, I accepted.ย My last day at Simmons was September 2, which feels strangely far away now.

In less cheerful news, on Monday of the same week, my kittycat companion of thirteen years embarked on his Viking funeral, having fought several cancers and other ailments valiantly for a year. He was fifteen, which is average for a cat, but it still seemed too soon. This loss was actually far more difficult than I expected, as he was not doing well by the end, but as always seemed to happen in these cases, he went downhill so gradually that it was only later I realized how sick he truly was.

Oberon, in younger/healthier days, lounges on the living room rug.

Oberon, in younger/healthier days, lounges on the living room rug.

So, between the loss of the cat I’ve had since the year I reached the legal drinking age, and the change from my job of a bazillion years to a new position in a new field working from home…. it’s been emotional. And whiplash-inducing.

While I’m writing lots of stuff at now, I also intend to return to regular (weekly, at least) posts here, since I’ll have time to do so again. Tomorrow there will be a review of Nordstrom Rack’s plus size department, plus a giveaway (thanks to the kind folks at BlogHer, which you may have noticed is now serving ads on this site).

I also intend to get back to posting missives from Your Beluga Best Friend, who I have to admit is quite cross with me for being so unavailable lately. Have you ever seen an angry beluga? It’s adorable.

That’s all for now.


Jenna on September 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm.

So sorry to hear about your kitty, I lost mine two years ago to leukemia and I still think of him everyday, and miss him, and burst into tears every so often.
Oberon is beautiful and love the fur in between his toes.

On a happier note, been reading you on XOJane and I think its awesome, congrats!


Buttercup Rocks on September 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm.

Congrats on new, exciting, writerly job, Lesley!

And I’m so sorry to hear about Oberon. It hurts like a bastard, I know.


RosemaryRiveter on September 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm.

So sorry for the loss of your cat, he had very handsome toe-tufts!


Jami on September 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm.

I’m so sorry about your kitty. My vet, Dr. Pasco (he died in 2009 of cancer himself) used to say that animals have short life spans so we can love more in our lifetime.

When you know the time is right, I highly recommend looking at shelters for a cat. That’s how I ended up with my dog, Minnie The Moocher, who’s a former puppy mill breeder and just the sweetest thing. She’ll never replace Audrey Rose, but she did a lot to help me through my grief. I have the feeling that the perfect cat for you will be at a shelter.


Fluffycat on September 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm.

Sorry about Oberon’s passing.

I was just wondering what you were up to, and wondered if it was related to a book you were writing. Will be good to hear more from you, thought I’m not sure I can totally walk away from my Jane Pratt distaste to read the rest of that site (other than your posts, which I of course, totally read!).


goingloopy on September 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm.

I’ve been reading your posts over on XOJane, but I was hoping you would come back here too! Yay.


Aimay on September 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm.

Yesssss!!!! Congratulations on the new job!!


Karen on September 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm.

My condolences on the loss of your kitty! It’s just never easy, is it?

But congratulations on the new job! I look forward to reading more!


Awlbiste on September 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm.

I am super psyched for you and your xojane position! However, I must add that I am extra excited to see you will have time for two whole cakes again. Hooray!

My own kitty is 12 and I absolutely refuse to entertain the idea that he is also an eldercat, and may someday pass. Nope, not gonna happen, can’t hear you, la la la la.


Raardvarks on September 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm.

I am sorry for your loss. I had one cat pass away due to the tainted pet food a few years ago, and his sister died two years ago from kidney failure. Poor sick kitty. At least I gave them good memories (as far as cats can remember anything), and they gave me some as well.


Melissa on September 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm.

Congratulations on the new job! How exciting!


Dana on September 15, 2011 at 12:22 am.

I’m sorry for your loss. ๐Ÿ™ He was a gorgeous kitty. RIP Oberon.

Good luck with your future endeavours!


Erina on September 15, 2011 at 12:38 am.

So sorry to hear about your kitty ๐Ÿ™ My 15-year old beloved dog passed away not long ago and I know how difficult it is. Many life transitions at once is bittersweet. Congrats on your new job! I’ve also been in the .edu world for about a decade and your career transition is inspiring. I’ve followed your writing on xojane but missed your blog. Will you be recapping Big Sexy? Hope so!


Arwen on September 15, 2011 at 1:51 am.

Joining in with condolences for your loss. Oberon is a brilliant name for a cat, and he was quite the kingly feline.

And hurray for your job with XOJane! I’m selfishly thrilled!

(Awlbiste, I’m with you. I too have a *very* senior cat who I’m furiously believing is immortal, or has access to some fountain of youth, la la la I can’t hear reality…)


Veronica on September 15, 2011 at 5:49 am.

Congratulations on your new job! And I’m sorry about your kittycat!


KellyK on September 15, 2011 at 8:29 am.

I’m really sorry about your cat, though it’s good that he had a long, happy life and knew he was loved.

Congrats on the new job!


Katie on September 15, 2011 at 8:32 am.

Sorry about your cat. ๐Ÿ™

I was also hoping for a Big Sexy review.


Cathy S. on September 15, 2011 at 9:26 am.

I’ve been reading your stuff over at xojane and I’m glad you’ve taken a job there and are happy.

I’m very sorry about your cat; my 16 year old kitty Jack just had an ultrasound on Tuesday. He very probably has cancer; they’ll get the pathology results to me tomorrow. It’s tough trying to decide how to treat an old cat for cancer. Right now I’m concentrating on many hugs and pets. I wish you the best.


ToeDipping on September 15, 2011 at 11:02 am.

I’ve been enjoying your material over at xoJane. But I’ve been wondering if there’s a way on the site to get an index or list of all your articles or all your recent articles? I have a feeling I don’t see them all, just whatever I find with the recommended links at the bottom or side of an article.

Congrats on the new job! It sounds pretty exciting, although I’m sure it’s also weird leaving the old one behind after such a time. I’m excited at the prospect of more Cake and Beluga Lesley!

I read your xoJane article about your grief over your kitty, and I really feel for you. Losing the first cat companion I had as an adult, also after an illness, was incredibly painful, and people who haven’t shared their lives closely with a pet can be surprisingly obtuse about that pain.


regina on September 15, 2011 at 11:30 am.

Congratulations on your new work, and I’m also so happy that you’ll continue to blog here. I’m hoping that the beautiful beluga was entertained by mariachis during your absence — did you happen to catch that charming YouTube video?

So sorry to hear about your kitty, mine is in “hospice” here at home right now and it is so hard. She’s 18, almost 19 and I STILL didn’t “let’ myself believe the time would come (I hear you other posters with seniors!).

Happy you are back!


Jill on September 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm.

So sorry to hear about your cat. Just this spring we had to put down our very sick 16 yr old cat. It was heartbreaking and the loss struck me deeper than I was anticipating. I take comfort in the memories of all the good years we had with our kitty, I hope you can find that same comfort soon. It’s amazing how these furry little beings weave themselves into our lives so that we hardly know what to do with ourselves once they’re gone.


Michele on September 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm.

Oh, Lesley, I am so sorry to hear about Oberon. Cats are good at hiding their illnesses, and I had a similar experience, downhill very quickly or so it seemed to me.

I wish you all the best at your new job. They are lucky to have you!


frankisface on September 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm.

1 – super sorry for your loss. It’s always too early.

2 – Super sad to see you leave the Simmons community! Your new job sounds awesome, but it completely removes the chance of me seeing you in the dining hall again (which is sort of okay, since the last time it happened I got all gob-smacked and star struck and didn’t know how to say hi).


Other Kate on September 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm.

I’m very excited to get more Lesley over on xoJane. Are you still doing anything with the Museum of Fat Love, or is it on hiatus? That was an awesome and powerful concept.


Jackie on September 15, 2011 at 11:47 pm.

Sorry about your cat. That’s so sad. Good luck with the new gig, I love reading your stuff at xoJane and here as well!


Erin on September 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm.

Hugs for your cat! My lovey Rita passed away about a month ago and I’m still not over it. I’m so sorry!
But also, Congrats on the new job!


thirtiesgirl on September 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm.

Congrats on the job! And deepest condolences about your kitty. My two cats are 11 years old now, which is about as long as I’ve had them. My boycat had a diabetes scare last year, during which I was giving him cat insulin by injection for about 2 months. As is sometimes the case with cat diabetes, though, the insulin made it go away, along with changing to a different (more expensive) cat food. So now he’s diabetes free and eating very poshly, but I know both my kitties are getting on in years and soon I may be facing more serious issues. I’m not looking forward to it.


savannah on September 18, 2011 at 12:03 am.

I’m so sorry to hear about Oberon. But also psyched for you kicking ass at life. I’ve been loving your xojane pieces. Someone obviously heard my prayer of “more Lesley all the time plz.”


Artefact on September 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm.

*hugs* My heart goes out to you on losing your Oberon. I was so wrapped up in losing my Spooky (13 years) that I’ve missed a lot. Know that having belonged to Spook since 1998, I’m here if you need to talk and I might understand a little, especially the freshness of things <3


flightless on October 21, 2011 at 10:53 am.

I’m so curious what you think of all the controversy around xojane lately, with the “Plan B” and now “Drunkorexia” posts getting all the comments! Don’t know whether your job situation with them permits you to comment on it or not…


Lesley on October 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm.

I’m mostly bummed by the way some folks are determined to make it seem like these are the only two posts on the whole site, when there’s a really great diversity of writers there, representing a wide variety of perspectives.


immuno-geek on November 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm.

Coming out of lurkerdom to give my condolences on the passing of Oberon. My husband and I had to put down our 10 year old cat, Max, just last week. He was suffering from a brain tumor that was slow and stealthy until his last week of life, at which point it took over. Max was particularly my cat and chose me at the shelter when he was a kitten (by which, I mean that he howled at me and waved his paws through the cage until I picked him up and agreed to take him home). It’s so hard to let go, even when it’s the humane thing to do for them.

Congrats on your new job. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on xojane.


Laura on November 18, 2011 at 3:18 am.

I had a cat that looked exactly like that, years ago. She was my best cat and I still miss her. Kind of nice to see her again, even when it wasn’t the same cat. ๐Ÿ™‚


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