what my other grandfather looked like
Saturday, October 26 2019
Normally Oscar the cat bothers me in the morning shortly before I have to get up to go to work. But I didn't remember him doing that yesterday morning and he certainly didn't do it this morning. Had Oscar done what so many of our cats have done over the years: disappeared into the forest? The other day (maybe the last time I'd actually seen him), he'd been at the bottom of the "mountain goat path" that leads diagonally down the escarpment behind the woodshed to the Stick Trail. That's 100 feet into the unbroken wilderness, which is further than I've ever seen any non-demented cat venture on his or her own. (Early in our time up here, I once found Mavis, our geriatric foster cat, somewhat further away down the Stick Trail. We had her euthanized not long after that.)
So, after feeding the three other cats, I went out to look for Oscar. He's so fluffy that if he were to be killed by a coyote, it's likely there would be a large amount of fur stuck to the vegetation near where he died. I first went out to the edge of Dug Hill Road to see if maybe he'd been hit by a car. Across the street and standing on a rock, there was a very loud chipmunk in full sentinal mode, chipping loudly and monotonously about some sort of danger. But Oscar wasn't there. Next I went halfway down the mountain goat path behind the woodshed to see what was happening down there, but I stopped so as not to scare a loudly-chipping chipmunk in a pile of rocks. Again, there was no sign of Oscar.
It bears mentioning in all of this that Celeste the Cat was acting very strangely. She followed me out to the road when I went to look for Oscar there, and she also followed me as far as I went on the mountain goat path. There have been other cats that liked to follow me in the woods (these have included Noah, Lulu, Clarence, and Diane), but not Celeste. Another odd thing Celeste had done had happened last night, when I encountered her actually sleeping on the bed. She's always steered clear of the bed for some reason, treating it as a no-go zone.
Eventually my search for Oscar took me down to the greenhouse. Maybe he'd gotten stuck in the greenhouse downstairs (whose door has been ajar for weeks). Or perhaps he'd gotten stuck in the greenhouse upstairs because of some weirdness with its pet door. By now Diane the Cat had joined our search. At some point, a large bird in a nearby tree distracted me, and when I next looked down at the ground, there was Oscar. He was very much alive and had materialized as if out of thin air. It was all very Schrödinger. Oscar was happy to see us. He also seemed to have lost some weight. He's no longer morbidly obese, and may actually be within the normal range. (He's very fluffy though, so it's such things are only obvious when you pick him up or pet him.)
A couple people have reached out to me after discovering that the DNA they sent to 23AndMe.com matches mine. One of these, a second cousin named Tobin, sent me a blizzard of old photographs last night that I was in no mental state to fully process. Among these was a family photo of my paternal grandfather's family that (based on the ages of the people and their known birthdates) seems to date to about 1900. It shows my grandfather, John Mueller, at what would've been about the age of nineteen, as well as my great grandmother Anna Maria Schneider and my great grandfather, Johannes Mueller. Both of those ancestors were supposedly born in Germany. I'd given up on ever seeing a photograph of my paternal grandfather, who had died in his early 40s after jumping out of the second story of a burning house. Based on the photographs I found of his brothers and children (as well as the look of my father), I surmised he was fat-faced gentleman without visible bone structure. Surprisingly, though, he looks more like me than I would've expected.
In another email, Tobin told me about his grandfather Anton, who would've been my great uncle. Apparently he started up a number of successful businesses in Sherwood, including a fur farm that bred black foxes (there was a picture of the doomed babies playing with a small girl). Anton had ran up over $200,000 in debt (in 1920s dollars) and was wiped out by the crash of 1929. Tobin says his father grew up in poverty, a ward of the state. This is probably why Anton doesn't make an appearance on the FindAGrave.com pages of the two John Muellers.
Johannes Mueller with is wife Anna Maria Schneider and many children circa 1900. Click to enlarge.
My paternal grandfather, John Mueller. He looks a lot like I did at 19. He was born in 1881.
A close up of my great grandfather, Johannes Mueller. He was born in 1839.
The woman with the childbearing hips for this litter, my great-grandmother, Anna Schneider. She was born in 1848.
This afternoon, I made a run to the Uptown Hannaford to get provisions I'll be needing during Gretchen's multi-day absence. These included lettuce, peanut butter, a long french bread, a pint of vegan icecream, taco shells, and a number of canned soups. I had the Goya-brand black bean soup tonight, though it was almost inedible after I added a bit too much Dave's Insanity Sauce.
Due to the lingering effects of a hangover, I decided not to drink any alcohol today, though I did take two xanax a couple hours before bedtime. I hoped the effects would be just a bit recreational, but all that happened was effortless sleep.
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