Gigi came to my house when he was one month old. He was really tiny and timid, and he had been having days alone at the corner of my room with dust by the time I gave him kitty’s milk the first time. He was born in my girlfriend’s house on March 31 when we started entering the lockdown due to COVID-19. Therefore, his birth became our hope and pleasure in the difficult time. However, our hope was destroyed by “the hope” after “the hope” entered my house.
At first, he didn’t stop meowing because he might have been nervous and anxious in the new environment, and he showed me his small fangs. He was the first cat for me, so I didn’t have any ideas about what I should have done. That gave me stress, and the stress had piled up on another stress of the lockdown. I didn’t realize that we needed to build a good relationship, so my girlfriend gave me a few toys, milk and baby food for the kitty for that. I could build a great relationship with an animal for the first time. However, he might not have bullied me enough, and he started treating me as his toy. He scratched my arms and legs with his sharp nails, so I got so many scratches that I could feel coldness from the red skin between the scratches with a wave of goose bumps. That made me feel miserable.
I thought that I couldn’t become a good owner, but one event gave me hope again. After I bought the litter box, Gigi started using the box by himself. I was really surprised, and then I got the confidence to raise him. Of course, the reality wasn’t so sweet to me. He littered in the box, but he is a cat, so he doesn’t use toilet paper. After doing the toilet, he started walking around my room with poop hanging on his hip, and he was dropping pieces of the stinky poop everywhere. That would have been funny if it hadn’t been in my room. Also, he peed on his feet, so the litter sand became solid and hardened on his feet sometimes. He came to my face with those feet that smelled terrible and made me feel like I was standing on a garbage mountain. Yuck.
My life was changed by my little monster. Every five hours, I made warm milk from powder and paid attention to his whereabouts like a human’s dad. However, the mischievous Gigi hides very well. Usually, parents shouldn’t lose their kid, but all his fur is black and my room is dark except for the walls. Hence, I need to call his name and look for his sparkling huge eyes in the black body. Thus, I have been worn out from that.
Until now, I have been telling the stories like I’m despairing. However, I also have good stories with him. They might depend on people’s reaction. His name is Gigi, which isn’t from Gigi Hadid because he’s a boy, I think so at least. His name is from one of the Ghibli movies. That movie’s name is “Kiki’s Delivery”. That movie has the story about one witch girl succeeding in a new town alone, and she has a black cat whose name is Gigi. I think that his real name is Gianluig, which is an Italian name. By the way, Gigi is so cute when he is staring at my eyes without any moving. When his mysterious eyes chase me in the black, my heart is grabbed by his cuteness and bit of fear.
In addition, I don’t want you to inform the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because I have kicked his face unintentionally. Of course, it is my fault, but he has made circles around my legs by running. That is like a motor gang circling a cute girl or a bullied child. I can’t keep standing in one spot, so if I start moving, he keeps making circles around my moving feet. Therefore, my feet kick his face. However, he probably deserved that. He has held my head with his front leg and kicked my face with his back legs while I’m sleeping. As his owner, I’m glad to shorten our distance in any way. At the moment, I always want to kiss his forehead, but he refuses to let me kiss him, and his kicking is getting hardlike a squall. This is the best story between us.
In addition to our stories, he has many good stories with dogs and women. He may pretend to be a sweet guy to only dogs and women, most of whom are under 30 because he behaves in the same way to old ladies as I do. Sometimes, I’ve gotten jealous of dogs and women because of his sweet meowing.
My life has been fulfilled as his owner. In the night, I always carry my fatigued body with some scratches to my bed, and the cool bed sheet heals my body. When I fall asleep, I always feel his cold paws on my cheek. Finally, those paws have become a hot annoying existence for me all night.
Since Gigi started residing in my room, I’ve almost forgotten what is happening outside of my room.
soya hasegawa // japan
Soya was born on March 17, 1995 in Niigata, Japan, the only one child of his parents. He is learning English at Aston International Academy, and he is trying to improve his English. He is a very curious man, so he might ask some weird questions if you talk with him.
These quarantine days have not been easy for anyone. The world has lived such a unique and stressful time with a lot of deaths, doubts and fear because of this terrible Coronavirus. To make this time even worse, we have a media system really interested in selling news anyway. Therefore, it is very important to find out some ways to be less stressed, such as praying as much as possible, meditating, practicing exercise, gardening and other things that make you feel better. I have already done most of these, but gardening is the one that literally started in this quarantine time.
My first inspiration to garden comes from the time when I got into a very stressful situation. The result of that busy life was an inflammation of the lining of my stomach (called gastritis) that made me suffer with throat ulcers, stomach pain and nausea for one and a half years. When I started to feel bad with those problems, I went to my doctor and I did my first endoscopy, the result was just gastritis. The doctor prescribed expensive medicines, and after six months I didn't feel good yet, so I had another endoscopy and I took more medicine and I still felt bad, now I had chronic gastritis . Six months later, I did the third endoscopy, and I was worse than ever. The doctor asked me: “What happened to you? Now you have esophagitis, gastritis and duodenitis!”
I had the third endoscopy early in the morning. In the afternoon, I went to work in my cafeteria, and one customer asked what was happening to me too. I told him. He asked me if I had ulcers in my stomach, and I said that I did not have ulcers in my stomach. I just had ulcers in my mouth and in my throat. So he said that I could use the same recipe he used to be healed of the same problem.
The recipe was to drink pure juice of two lemons before going to bed and also in the morning on an empty stomach (by fasting) for two or three weeks, and after feeling better, I should drink the juice of just one lemon every morning . He also said that I should drink the juice with a straw not to damage my teeth. So, I started to drink that sour and strong pure lemon juice as my customer taught me. It was not a big deal! I was suffering a lot with stomach pains, vomit sensation and worse, I also could not inhale the air through my mouth because I had a bunch of ulcers in my throat. Everything I desired at that moment was not to feel those terrible sensations and be able to live and eat as a normal person!
From that day on I also made a great effort to avoid eating any other acidic fruits, sodas, ice cream, white bread, canned food, milk, coffee, chocolate, sugar and oily food.Therefore, after drinking pure juice of two lemons with straw in the morning and at night with a straw and following a more strict diet, I got better, so I went to do my fourth and last endoscopy. I was totally healed. Thank God!!! Nowadays I do not have gastritis anymore, but I still have gastric reflux in the mornings (this happens when the gastric acid comes up to your mouth and makes you cough ), so I need to drink pure lemon juice every day to avoid this annoying cough and consequently I have new lemon seeds every day.
One more reason that has made me plant lemon trees is one story that I heard from an aunt of mine about people in Europe who used to spread fruit seeds along the side of the road to create a more green and delicious world. This story has made me think that I also could do something else with my lemon seeds. This has been in my mind but my busy life did not allow me till quarantine time, so I bought some beautiful and colored flowers to plant in the garden in front of my house and I also decided to plant my lemon seeds in the pots that were from the flowers and I am growing them in my backyard.
Now my baby lemon trees have become my new passion, and I want to give them to my neighbors, friends and to everyone who comes to visit my house. Therefore, in order to put away negative sensations and fears that this terrible coronavirus has brought to most people around the world, I would recommend everybody to discover what can bring joy for each one and makes it happens.
The day was Sunday. The phone ringing wouldn’t stop ringing. So I had to answer the phone. Myfriend called me at 10 a.m. She told me that her friends would be going to paddle atZilker park. I felt lazy, but my boyfriend agreed with my friends, so we had to go. At noon I went to Zilker park with my friends. I saw a lot of cars in the parking lot. I walked down to the Colorado River. I saw a lot of people, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, paddles, and life jackets. People were relaxing. I saw someone wearing a hat. Someone was wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes. Someone was taking their dogs for a walk. I saw the registration point to rent a boat. The officers forced us to take life jacket onto the boat, but we didn't wear them because we didn’t like the smell of them. I wanted a long spatula that could paddle on both sides, but my friend said, “It is unbalanced.” “You must choose the small one,” I said. I smelled like sun lotion, fresh air, and weed. I could smell the lotion from me and my friends. I saw someone smoking. I felt natural and adventurous. I saw turtles, fish, ducks, birds, and dogs. They were swimming and flying. Some turtles were swimming. Some turtles were standing on the rocks. The weather was good. The waterwas cold. I touched it. I saw my friends jump into the water. My friends were enjoying the cold water. I didn't want to get wet because I was afraid the phone and the camera would get wet. After I arrived, I touched the cool water. I jumped into the water because I felt hot. My feet touched the stone under the water. I felt good and relaxed. I saw cans underwater, someone had thrown them out. I told my boyfriend to keep them. I heardmusic. It was pop and dance music. I heard dogs bark. I heard birds sing. I saw people rowing, drinking, talking, laughing, and smoking. Someone was fishing. I saw teenagers jumping from the bridge into the river (it wasn’t high). They were happy on the weekend. I let my thoughts be with nature. In my head, I let go of everything. I felt relaxed with nature. I felt the positive energy in my body.
Kat is a woman who was born in Chanthaburi, Thailand. She loves to eat Thai food and Japanese food. She loves to travel everywhere. She is an international student at Aston.