I have gone through my entire adult life thinking there is no God (at least not in the omnipotent, omnipresent, omnicient sense) and no heaven. I have been so cynical, even crass, thinking and saying that all those “believers” were so naive. My rational mind still fights it, but my heart wants to believe that somewhere – beyond – all my loved ones, that I have lost, are together. Happy. Without pain or sickness. Making each other smile. And I want to join them there someday.


On July 9, 2009 I lost my best friend. My pride and joy. My kitty, Julio.

He was 11 years old. Far too young. He was overweight but other than that showed no signs of being unhealthy. He was happy. Playing, sleeping, eating, loving every minute of life.

Julio was my sidekick. If I was home he was either beside me where I was sitting, following me to another room or sleeping in the crook of my arm….the entire night. When I came home from work he was always at the door to greet me. When I was preparing food he would be at my feet waiting for loose ends to drop. He was a part of every routine that fills my day, and without him I feel completely lost and alone.

I have never experienced grief this way. All-encompassing. No sleeping, eating or breathing without thinking of Juli. I feel as though I have lost a child. He was the closest thing I have ever known to one…and probably ever will.

He was born on my lap after all.

A pregnant stray cat I let into my first apartment to feed occassionally was relaxing on my lap, purring away, and suddenly went into convulsions. I thought she was going to puke, so I threw her off of my lap onto the floor. In mid-leap the first kitten popped out onto my lap. It was Julio. The only white kitten of the litter. The biggest one too. So I kept them all in a big moving box in my dining room. At 10 weeks old, I put an ad in the paper and gave them all away, even the stray mother. ..all except Julio. He had been the first to climb out of the box…and into my bed. I woke up one morning and he was sleeping with me instead of his mother and siblings. I knew he was meant for me then.

I was there at his birth and his death. What a tragic death it was, though.

They called it Saddle Thrombus.

It was just after 4am when I awoke to the sounds of his frantic crying and panting at the foot of my bed. I was immediately convinced that he had been poisoned. The pest control had been there the day before to spray for bugs. I thought he must be sick to his stomach from eating a poisoned bug or something. I tried to get him to drink water. I felt his nose. It was hot and dry. His panting was getting  worse and more liquid sounding. Then my boyfriend noticed that his back legs were limp and cold.

He immediately got on the phone to the all-night emergency vet clinic. I tried to calm Julio, to no avail. I scooped him up, got in the passenger seat and we ran every red light on the way.

Within 3 minutes I was told there was no hope. They recommended Euthanasia.  I ran to him, kissed his forehead, told him how much I loved him and said goodbye.

His pain and distress level was so high they could not get a vein without anesthesia.  It took a while. It was 5:30am when we headed home.

They tried to sell me the ashes and urn. Or a proper burial at a pet cemetery. I refused. I was in complete shock, but felt that I was being handed a sales pitch all the same. I have never been sentimental about the dead and my instincts took over and said no. I have been sort of kicking myself ever since, because I now have nothing physical to cling to. And I feel some kind of irrational urge to hold onto him physically, probably just because I cant. But it’s too late now. What would I do with an urn anyway?

I do have wonderful memories, though…and hundreds of pictures.

Julio was very photogenic.

What  personality he had!

That’s what I’m trying to focus on now.

The details of that horrible morning kept running through my head, relentlessly everyday until today. Today was a pretty good day. I feel that the pain is subsiding. The loneliness is still there. But the good times are more present in my mind. There were so many more good times.

Only the last hour was bad, really.

Now, I’m in the process of making a photo album with all of the pictures I took of him over the years, and considering adding a new kitty to my home. I know it will all be okay, but it will never be quite the same without Julio.meandmybaby

I love you Pumpkin-Head Kitty. I miss you so much.


these are some of the things I would do:

  • Give half the money to my Mom and Dad. They more than deserve it for raising me as a child, helping me out as an adult and putting up with my in-between antics all of these years.
  • Buy several acres of land somewhere in the state of Quintana Roo, MX…preferably 0-5 miles from the sea. Also, I would have another smaller home quite a ways inland to retreat to during hurricane season.
  • Build a log cabin in the jungle. I know, I know.  A log cabin in a tropical paradise sounds funny, but it’s my dream. Leave me be.
  • Fill my acreage with donkeys, goats and chickens. I have always dreamed of owning donkeys, goats and chickens. What better place to do so than Mexico?

I have never entered the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes before, but this year they are giving away a Super-prize, and they are advertising the crap out of it. It’s $100,000 a week for a full year. That’s over 5 million dollars when it’s all said and done…before taxes anyway. So, I just had to enter this time, and I suggest you all do the same. Someones got to win it, and if it’s me I’ll be contributing to rebuilding the Mexican economy even more than I already do with my quarterly dive trips, and such.

I just love that damned place.


Have I always been this stupid? Seriously…maybe I was born just a little bit “special” and no one ever noticed cause I was usually pretty lucky. I don’t know though, when I was a kid people always used to say how smart I was. Maybe they were just being nice?

I bet it was too many nights of partying too hard that fried all my brain cells leaving me in this condition. I guess it really doesn’t matter. Whatever the cause, the effect is not good.

Could these be the early signs of senility?

Last week I was attempting to make a right turn on red. I was watching the traffic coming from my left, waiting for a spot to fit into. I was not watching the jogger on my right, waiting for the crosswalk signal to turn for him. His signal turned as soon as my traffic let up. The result was near disaster. I tapped the dude. With my car! He was a good sport about it. I obviously hadn’t hurt him. He patted the hood of my car heartily, then waved as he jogged in front of my car and the others…a smile on his face the whole time. This incident left me wondering if they should take my license away like they do the elderly.

But that little gem doesn’t quite hold a candle to what I did yesterday. Yesterday I knocked myself out…with a garage door.

Brian and his brother Brandon were finishing up a project they had been working on for the last few weekends; a platform bed for Brandon’s apartment. They were in the process of spraying multiple coats of lacquer, taking breaks in between to let it dry. They decided to break for lunch and were talking about ordering pizza from this awesome little Sicilian place down the road. I told them I had a menu in my car and ran out through the garage to fetch it. The smell of lacquer was overwhelming even though they had the garage door open about three quarters of the way. Maybe I was high on the fumes. Maybe that’s my excuse. Or, maybe it was the change in brightness, coming from the artificial light inside the house out into the midday sunlight. Maybe it was a combination of both that caused me to run face first into the garage door, knocking myself over, and out.

Whatever the reason, that’s how it went down. That’s how I went down, I should say.

Today I show the marks of my battle: a blood blister over my right eye, a knot on my forehead…you can still see the imprint of the raised panel. I think I may have knocked one of my teeth loose too.

I feel like a complete idiot.

The only reason I am telling the story is because I realize how comical it is from anyone elses’ perspective. You should have heard Brian and his brother trying to hold in their laughter until they knew I would be alright. I know I would laugh if it had happened to one of them.

But I can’t help but wonder if maybe I’m starting to slip. Mentally. Are there some kind of strengthening exercises I can do to get my brain back in working order? Will they work? Cause at this point I’m thinking I need supervision.

Hopefully I’ve learned my lessons and will start paying better attention to my surroundings. I can only try…


They always used to say, “Quigley huh? Have you ever seen that movie Quigley Down Under?” and I used to hate it! Like, what? You think just because my last name is Quigley, and the only time you’ve ever heard that name before was in the title of a stupid Tom Selleck movie from 1990, that’s gonna be enough to break the ice…make us buddies? But now, as I get older and meet increasingly younger (than me) people, I get asked that question less and less. In fact, I have caught myself trying to use it as an ice breaker once or twice, only to be met with confused looks and quick subject changes.  These kids have never heard of that movie. They were probably still toddling around…if they were even born yet! It really kind of puts my life into perspective.

So, Quigley Down Under seems like a fitting name for my blog…I switched out the Qu for a Kw for some reason though. Perhaps to keep a youthful edge on things. I know I am only fooling myself.

Quickly approaching the age of 30, I am no longer hip. The references I make to the young people I meet are probably met much the same way I used to look at old fogies who asked me about a Tom Selleck movie. So I’m just giving up on trying to be cool. I was never very good at it anyway, even with youth on my side.

But I’m not done trying to have fun. Hopefully I will fill this blog up with stories and pictures of my adventures and antics. That’s the plan anyway…