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Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction

News Archive for March 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Year and a Day

Written by Kodi Wolf at 1:06 PM

It's been a year and day since I had to put my cat Akasha to sleep.

It's gotten easier, but I still miss her a lot. So, I wanted to commemorate the anniversary by putting up pictures of the "Kashi shrine" I ended up creating to hold her ashes and memorialize her life.

Before Kash had died, I'd known the time was coming, so I did a search online to look for pet urns. Most of the prices started around $100 and went up to around $300 or more. I wasn't incredibly happy with any of those prices, especially since I didn't even really like any of the designs, so I decided to say fuck it and deal with it later.

Well, I've always associated Akasha with Bast/Bastet, so at some point I realized I wanted to do something in that area. I already had a bunch of Egyptian statues that I'd collected over the years due mostly to my interest in Egyptian mythology, which has only gotten stronger from working on The Vampire Hunter, so that gave me an idea of what style I was looking for.

So, the Monday after I put Kash to sleep, I went online and started searching for Egyptian Bast boxes. I have a couple favorite sites for getting my Egyptian stuff (Design Toscano and Capricorn's Lair), so I went to those first. I also checked eBay. By the end of the day, I had narrowed down my choices to a small statue, which would require a pedestal, and 4 boxes, one of which would require a tiny statue. I had all the images up on my screen when Corene came home from work and showed them to her.

I'd been kind of freaking out about not being able to come to a decision. I was just having trouble justifying buying so much stuff to memorialize Kash, especially since I couldn't even figure out where everything would go, and felt like I should only get one of the boxes and forget the rest. But Corene said she didn't see why we couldn't just order everything. She liked all the stuff I'd picked out and the total was barely $200, basically what one of the mid-range urns would have cost us. And she said once I had everything in front of me, I would be able to figure out what I wanted to do then without any pressure. She also told me she really liked the statue on the pedestal idea. It made her think of Kash watching over me and she'd already seen the pedestal in the corner by the end of my bookcase, so Kash could look over my shoulder and I could look at her whenever I wanted, but not be forced to see her all the time if I didn't want to because it hurt.

Well, that instantly made me cry, both because of the imagery and because it was a relief to not have to make a decision. I could just get everything and sort it out later, which worked perfectly for me.

I just want to say I really love my wife. She indulges me when it's appropriate and always seems to be able to calm me down, so that I can get to a point where I can do what I feel I need to do.

So, we ordered everything. We ended up getting Kash's ashes back before we received the stuff, so for the first week or two, she stayed in the little white plastic box the pet cremation service returned her in. We finally got the stuff and I started setting up the shrine. I realized I wanted a picture of Kash, but none of the photos we had of her looked right with the ancient Egyptian motif I had going. I also realized I didn't want to be confronted with Kash's image every time I entered the office, so I decided to "play." One of my side jobs in the past has been photo restoration. I also created all the images for this site (except the pink planet image used at the top of every page for the default site style, which I got from NASA's public domain images), so I know my way around manipulating an image.

I took my favorite image of Kash, the one I used for the obituary post, and cropped it down to just Akasha's head. I then played with various settings and used one of my Egyptian fonts to write Akasha's name (Akasha Wolf) on either side of her face. I created two different versions to go with the statues I had. One showed a sandstone background with Akasha's face and hieroglyphs appearing as if etched into the stone. The other showed the same image, but with a black background meant to imitate the basalt of the statues and gold lines intended to simulate the gold leaf carvings. I ended up liking both so much that I couldn't decide again, so I used them both. I then needed frames for the pictures, so we went to Hobby Lobby and found an antiqued gold frame that seemed to mimic some of the design of the boxes, so we got two, a 6x4 and a 5x3, for a little variation.

This is what I ended up with for the shrine:

Shrine to Akasha

This is the top two shelves of the bookcase that stands against the wall directly to my right, so all I have to do is turn my head and I can see it.
(Full-size image)

Everything means something, so I'll explain (plus I want to show close-ups).

The statue of the goddess Ma'at was one I already had (from Ataka Imports on eBay), but didn't have a great place for, so I incorporated it into the shrine. Since Ma'at is part of the Egyptian death ritual, I thought it was appropriate to make her part of the scene.

Ma'at stands for truth, justice, and the cosmic order (she's also the wife of Thoth, the god of scribes, my personal patron deity as a writer). When a person dies, according to Egyptian theology, they stand before Osiris, god of the underworld, and are judged. Their heart is placed on one half of a balance and the feather of Ma'at is placed on the other. If the heart is heavy with sin and weighs more than the feather, the deceased is eaten by the demon Ammut, which basically means they die a second time and never reach the Egyptian version of heaven. But if their heart is lighter than the feather, meaning they've lived a good and honest life, then they're judged worthy of paradise and get to go to heaven.


Since I've always had an affinity for Anubis, and he's a major part of the Egyptian death ritual, I really wanted his image as part of the shrine. His jackal form draped over a mastaba coffin seemed perfect (got it from Design Toscano).

Anubis is the caretaker of cemetaries and guides souls through the underworld to the next life. A mastaba is an ancient Egyptian style of tomb that is thought to be the basis for the design of the pyramids that came later.

Anubis on Mastaba Box

Like I said before, I couldn't decide between the two Bast boxes (from M and J's Collectibles on eBay), so I just ended up getting them both, and I'm glad I did. I just like how they flank the box in the center like sentinals. The one on the left has the fur the vet shaved off Kash's leg for the euthanasia injection (Corene collected it), while the one on the right has remained empty (it's very tiny).

Left Side Bast Box Right Side Bast Box

The center box (from Design Toscano) holds Akasha's ashes. They're still inside the plastic bag they came in, so they wouldn't mess up the black felt lining on the inside of the box. The box is actually supposed to be a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, but the winged women really reminded me of Ma'at and the whole design seemed very reminiscent of Egyptian style, so I came up with the idea of placing a small Bast statue in the center and added two tiny gold-painted Bast-shaped dangles from a pair of earrings one of my sisters (the High Priestess) had given me years ago. I'm very happy with the effect and consider it a very fitting final resting place for Kash.

Akasha's Urn Box

(Full-size image)

Ark of the Covenant Box

(Full-size image)

Bast Ornament

(Alternative larger image)

And here are the two images I created using Paint Shop Pro (my archaic image editing program, which I haven't replaced because Adobe Photoshop is too expensive):

Akasha's Memorial Picture in Basalt and Gold

(Full-size image)

Akasha's Memorial Picture Etched in Sandstone

(Full-size image)

And this is the statue on the pedestal (both from Design Toscano), which I think of as Kash in her form as an avatar for Bast:

Akasha as Bast Avatar Statue on Egyptian Pedestal

In this position, she faces where I sit at my computer. Akasha used to do what Corene and I called her "vulture" routine. Whenever we had food, Kash would have to sit somewhere high up enough to be level with our food while she watched us eat. So, it seemed appropriate to place her where she could still watch over me.
(Full-size image)

And here's a close-up of the Bast statue:

Bast Statue

So, that's all the stuff I got to make losing Kashi a little more bearable. Corene and I still talk about her all the time and it doesn't take much to make either one of us cry. She was just a very sweet cat.

You're still very much loved and missed, Kash.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ten Winters Ago...

Written by Kodi Wolf at 11:59 PM

It was ten years ago today that Corene e-mailed me for the first time. I was going to do this whole e-mail highlights thing to sort of show how we got to know each other and how our relationship progressed from reader/author to flirting pen pals to raging long distance phone romance, to finally meeting and barely being able to read a map because she was holding my hand, to moving to be with her, getting married, and living our happily so far sorta fairy tale life, but I didn't start working on it until this evening, so it's not really done (I haven't even made it to the first phone call; we corresponded a lot).

So, if I'm still in the mood, I may post it later.

Anyway, to get an idea of how I feel, here's a snippet from an e-mail I sent Corene a few days after I moved to be with her:

I am so glad I moved down here to be with you. Everything feels better than it did four months ago. It's like, now that I'm starting to settle in down here and get back to my normal routine of being awake at night and writing and working on the computer and all that stuff, there's this added bonus of having you in my life.

I really love you.

Well, I just wanted to tell you that.

I love you,


Well, it's been ten years and I still feel that way.

Thank you for e-mailing me, baby. You've changed my life and for the better.

I love you. Happy First E-mail Anniversary. :)