Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Because We Have No Sense Of Proportion

Even more personalities in our tiny, little house. Poor Tux.

I have continually neglected to write about the fact the HUBS and I now have two additional cats. Even though we'd looked into getting another cat last summer (which didn't pan out), these additions were totally by accident. (By the way, this post is long, but if you care about cat stuff it should be a fairly rewarding read for you.)

Last September, HUBS and I came home one Sunday to find two kittens huddled up together in the middle of the street. They didn't move as our car drove up, so HUBS honked at them. They didn't budge. I got out of the car to shoo them along...Still, no moving. I had to literally get right up on them and scream to scare them off. We decided that these kittens were absolutely not ready for the world of a stray cat if they didn't move for a car careening toward them, and set out to catch them and take them to the Humane Society.

They were teeny, so we got Tux's carrier and HUBS suited up in long sleeves, gloves and a hat to prepare for The Inevitable Clawing. When we came back outside one kitten was across the street and one was in our walkway with some other strays. We went for the closest one first.

This was a kitten we'd been keeping our eyes on and had named Shakes because when you got close to him he wouldn't move but would begin to shake uncontrollably. Shakes was so out of it, that HUBS was able to sneak up on him and catch him without much trouble. We got the little guy into the carrier with a minimum of screeching and scratching. Once he was in there and realized he couldn't get out, Shakes totally took a nap.

Now we had to head across the street to our neighbor Fred's driveway where Shakes' apparent brother was hiding. Fuck, that kitten was fast! We chased him all over the driveway and yard and finally gave up when it became obvious he was completely capable of avoiding capture. We named him Speedy for this very reason.

We headed with Shakes to the Humane Society, as planned, to give him up. Then the intake lady explained that if we left him there they wouldn't give us any info on how he was doing or if he got adopted or anything. We'd have to make a total clean break. I was almost ok with that...Until she added that if they couldn't un-sick Shakes they'd have to put him down.

Holy God. Guys, I started to cry. I'd seen so many anonymous cats die in the past few months that the idea of Shakes dying without us getting to know him made me really fucking upset. HUBS asked if I wanted to take him and I said yes without hesitation. When we brought him home he was about 5 weeks old, had parasites, a shit load of fleas and a terrible upper respiratory infection. And, he looked like this:

After months of several-times-a-day medicine, a shit storm of shots and vaccinations and getting him fixed in February so he would stop dry humping the other stray we took in, he looks like this:

Also known as Shaker Cat, Shakers, Sir Shakelton and Dammit Cat Stop It!

The story of our second cat is a bit less traumatic. Luanne Sugarbaker (long lost sister of Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker - two other strays) spent a full two weeks sleeping day and night either in our yard or on our front porch. About a week into taking care of Shakes, we came home one Friday night to find Luanne on our porch. She let HUBS pet her and then let him pick her up. If you know anything about stray cats they DO NOT DO THIS. They are extremely wary of people, and for good reason.

I begged HUBS to put her down and not get any more attached. We already had two cats. Shakes was sick and needed to be kept away from Tux, meaning we had to lock him away in the bathroom and if we took in another sick pet (she pretty obviously had the same upper respiratory infection Shakes was battling) we'd have to lock her away in a totally separate location. Which would mean the basement. Which would mean Tux's litter box would have to go in the kitchen...Near the stove.

HUBS got his bearings and we walked into the house to put down our things. We turned around to close the door and little Luanne was in the house. Right behind us, in our living room. HUBS gave me a look that said Look! She's in the house! She wants us to love her! Pleeeeeeaaaassseee?! I gave in way quicker than I should have, but that's how we took in Luanne.

Now, her before and after:

Also known as Lou, Lady Big Paws and Oh My God You're So Weird

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh Boy...

A desperate list I couldn't even finish.

In the past couple of months I've renewed my obsession with reading self-help books. This was something I used to do all the time from the early 2000s until about five years ago. I stopped for two reasons. One, almost all self-help books tend to say the same stuff in different ways. So, after you read about three of the things you're going to keep getting the same info over and over.

The second reason I stopped was my own odd tendency to feel like I'm accomplishing something when I'm actually procrastinating and hiding. What do I mean? I mean that reading self-help books has the same effect on me as entering contests online, somehow I feel a little like I'm earning money when I enter, even though I know that's a stupid feeling. When I read self-help books I feel like I'm working toward my goals, but in actuality I'm just reading a book and not really doing concrete work to fulfill my dreams.

I started up again because I was so depressed about working yet another job I loathed, but even more than the last one I hated. I felt I needed a little boost, and this has turned into me reading about six self-help books in four months.

Here's where the oh boy comes in. I've been reading a book called The Joy Diet. There's a part that tells you it's necessary to give yourself small treats for taking risks that will further your goals. The writer has you do an exercise where you list 10 things that make you smile, so you can use those things as treats.

Do you know what? After writing three things, I completely stalled. I started to think of all the stuff I like or even love: organizing the house, getting rid of things we don't need anymore, cooking, writing, photography, watching movies, reading fashion magazines and tearing out tips and photos, reading books, HUBS, the light at sunset, the light at sunrise, watching good tv...None of these things make me smile all the time. They make me feel good at least 90% of the time, but they don't make me actually smile.

It was months ago when HUBS told me I never smile anymore. I conceded that I'd been moody/angry a lot, but, Of course I smile!, I said. And now, trying to make this list, I see that he's likely very right. I absolutely love taking pictures and writing; why the fuck do they not make me smile? If nothing makes me smile, what does that mean? What have I become?

This is why HUBS so often knocks himself out doing goofy, ridiculous stuff in an effort to make my mouth turn up at the corners. I'm really not smiling anymore.

HUBS. I've become a huge drag. I'm sorry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Things I Have No Interest In

Even though I feel, sometimes, helplessly confused about how exactly to get what I want out of life, I do believe most of my basic preferences are pretty much set. I think it's absolutely true that people just get more set in their ways as they age. And, as I get older, I realize some things just aren't for me.

1) Walking barefoot. I don't get it and never have. Isn't that how you get tapeworms...or something?

2) Politics. I've tried. I honestly have. But, aside from a passing interest that'll let me vote with some confidence, I'd rather not think about it.

3) Drinking. Now that my bar reviewing days appear to be over, I love not drinking alcohol when I go out if I don't want to. And for the past three weeks, I haven't wanted to.

4) Hostessing. I have never thrown a party as an adult. Or a get-together at my home. Hell, I've rarely even had company. 99% of my own family has never even seen my house. As much as I think life may be easier/more fun if I were all social like, I like it like that. I know my folks, most of them don't give a shit about their own stuff, much less anyone else's. Plus, I've seen people disrespect other's hard earned things dozens of times. I'd really hate to let a lot of folks (or a few even) into my house to have fun and see my place fucked beyond my liking. Really. Would. Hate.

5) Deadlines and repetition. I know, I know - an inevitable fact of life, especially for a creative, freelancing type like me. But, from college to the present day I've watched myself begin to hate things I love after being endlessly forced to do them repeatedly and according to someone else's schedule. It's stupid. Can I change it? Maybe not. Would life be easier if I could? Probably yes.

6) Swallowing pills. An issue from the time I was a little kid. Taking even the smallest pill floods my mind with visions of choking to death. I am nothing if not imaginative!

7) Reality tv. Sure, I flirted with The Real World 18 years ago when I was a high schooler who dreamt of life outside those hideous walls. Now, though, the endlessness of the stupidity is nothing but unbearably irritating and boring. Unless we're talking about So You Think You Can Dance? or America's Got Talent. I'm all over that shit every time.

8) Keeping friends. I have, at 35 years old, failed to make one deep, long-lasting friendship. Aside from HUBS, my closest friend lives 5 hours away and we barely communicate. Though when we do it's just like old times, which is good, at least. And I've recently reconnected with a high school/college/mid-20s friend since she found me on Facebook, but she lives in Boston now. I'd love to have a good friend right here to commiserate with, hang with and laugh with other than HUBS. I can't decide if I know too little or too much about myself to make that happen.

9) Being outgoing. Sure, I've had spurts here and there that always take a Herculean effort. I'm quiet. I'm a thinker. I'm a listener. I'm a seether. That's me.

10) Kids. Bully for you if you adore the little buggers and want to have loads of them. I can honestly say the idea of child birth/child rearing/child-being-around-all-the-time has never struck me as something I need to do. I don't hate kids or people who have kids. I simply don't feel the pull.

11) Not creating. Here I am writing a blog that only a few people read which makes me no money, and yet I do it anyway. I love to write without boundaries. I also love photography, music, art and the occasional random creative pursuit. I love making things, and make I shall continue to do.

What do you have no interest in?


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