Yesterday Was the Day

I figured a day would come when the animals might have the idea that the Butcher was not coming home. I was afraid of that day.

Yesterday, it rained in the morning, so I couldn’t walk the dog. Mistake. I came home from work and the front curtain was open, the cat food plate was on the ground and, when I tried to feed the dog, he got impatient and spilled his bowl all over the floor. Then the orange cat peed in my room. Looked straight at me while I was washing my hands and peed and then meowed at me like “fuck you, lady.” (Same cat who has been barfing hairballs on my bed for fun all week. Well, I assume. I haven’t caught the hairball barfer in action, but he’s who’s been sleeping in my bed.)

And then, and then, I turned off all the lights and went to put the dog out for the last time and barefooted I stepped in the largest pile of dog poop that has ever been pooped by a dog. It squished between my toes.

At the beginning of the evening, I was ready to ship them all up to live with the Butcher. By the end, I was ready to ship myself up to live with the Butcher and let these fools have Chaos House to themselves.

New Things

The Butcher’s wedding looms. They’re trying to do a low-key thing, like afternoon wedding with cake and punch afterwards. It’s like they’ve never met our family, which should make the wedding super awkward, with all these opinionated strangers standing around.

I told the kids this weekend that I was going to be their step-aunt. They were more excited about having step-cats. Which, you know, fair enough.

I’m really happy for the Butcher and kind of excited to have the house to myself. And I’m sure it will also be lonely, but man, the dryer will be empty whenever I go to use it.

I think I’m going to win the cat argument, but it’s kind of a bummer because I think the reason I’m going to win it is that it’s sinking in to the Butcher how old the cat is. He didn’t get up to walk with us this morning and didn’t get up to get breakfast. He’s still asleep in the Butcher’s room as we speak.

Oh, god, I hope he’s not dead. Ha ha. I mean, I’m sure the Butcher checked before he left.

Senor Don Gato

This cat, the one who fashions himself as a four-legged Clint Eastwood, is driving me crazy. For some reason, he’s put himself in competition with the dog. If the dog gets head scratches, he needs head scratches. If you’re eating something and he thinks you might let the dog lick your plate, he’s going to need to lick your plate first. Are you trying to do anything the dog can see? The orange cat will need to sit in your lap then. Last weekend I sang a song to the dog and the cat harassed me for like twenty minutes before I figured out that he expected a song, too.

I don’t even think he likes this shit. It doesn’t seem to improve his mood. I think he just wants what the dog gets and so, if he gets it, that’s good enough for him.

But the worst part is that, at breakfast, he really wants to lick the last of the milk out of your cereal bowl and so he sits right up next to you, not quite touching, but close enough that no dog can butt in, and rests the very tips of his whiskers on your arm, as if to monitor the situation for any changes in arm motion that might indicate you are done with your cereal.

It feels like a army of Daddy-long-legs standing on my arm. It’s so weird.

 

Logistics

The Butcher is moving out soon. Soon-ish. They need to make some space for him up at The Butcher’s Soon-to-be-Wife’s house. But then he’ll be up there. I thought I would be sadder, but it’s just up in Gallatin and I like seeing him happy.

I don’t know. I guess as it becomes more real, it might be a bummer. But for right now, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I did broach the subject of him leaving his cat here. He was not happy with my suggestion, but the cat is seventeen years old. He likes it here and he knows here. We’ll see. I just think you shouldn’t uproot an ancient cat unless you have to.

These Cats Disgust Me

Man, I had a busy weekend. Went to the TSLA. Wrote a piece. Ran out of time to write another piece. Did a buttload of dishes. Played with the kids. Walked the dog. Worked on these afghans.

Did I mention “did a buttload of dishes”?

Okay, so I know there was no mouse poop in the silverware drawer on Saturday because the silverware drawer was nearly empty until I filled it with all the silverware I washed.

So, it was with great alarm that I learned the Butcher found a ton, literally a metric ton, of mouse poop in the drawer Sunday morning. Was there a mouse orgy in the drawer? Could they not have done that late Friday night when the drawer was mostly empty instead of pooping on all my clean silverware?

But that’s not the only thing that pisses me off. I have two cats, both of whom regularly catch and kill things outside. One of whom likes to bring in the things she’s killed, sing about her kill, and then eat everything but the guts and heads, which she then leaves for me to step on in the middle of the night.

How in the fuck do I have two mousers and mice in the kitchen?

Butcher Appreciation Day

Ha ha ha. He hasn’t been a butcher in a million years. But what kind of nickname would “Guy Who Does Some Crap I Don’t Quite Understand And Goes on Trips” be? Nicknames, once given, shall not be updated.

Anyway, while he’s out of town, I’m coming to appreciate all he does, like keep the cats entertained, the dishes, filling the dog’s water bowl every evening, going to the grocery store, getting the mail, rolling out the garbage, bringing the cans back in.

I’m just like, my god, there’s another basic thing that needs doing in this house all the fucking time. And I’m not doing the litter box. Those jerks can just poop outside like regular animals.

I haven’t been doing something for the book every day he’s been gone, but I have gotten a lot more done for the book than I have most of the summer. That feels good. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again–writing is one skill. It is hard but, if you read a lot and know what you like, you can flounder toward writing something you’d like to read and, eventually, write something that you enjoy reading. You can share it with your friends. They may also like it.

The submission process is a whole other equally as difficult skill set. I mean this for both short stories and this damn novel. They’re often conflated into one thing–like if you just write well enough, the submission process is a minor technicality, nothing to worry about. But folks, no. It, too, is hard and requires skills you don’t know you need until you’re crying because you don’t have the skill and you’re not sure how to cultivate it on such short notice.

So, I guess what I want to say is that I was a little fucking snobby about people not being real writers if they’re not submitting. But I also want to acknowledge somehow that this second part means something, too, and has weight and leaves scars. And for most of us, it’s an ordinary, tough, part of being a writer that is mostly invisible to outsiders.

Also, last night, in the dark, I stepped on mouse entrails. I heard the new kitty singing. I knew what it meant. I still did not tread carefully.

The Glamorous Life

This morning the cat was pestering me while I was trying to wake up and go to the bathroom. Finally, I realize she had an enormous, I mean, Enormous, I mean, people of Kentucky, if you looked south and asked yourselves, “Is that a poop mountain rising over Nashville?” I wouldn’t be surprised, sized dingleberry.

Because she’s a tough cat, I grabbed it and pulled it out of her tail fur. (Some cats you can’t do this with and then you have to bathe them. Weep for the owners of those cats.)

She then purred at me in a way I have never heard before, kind of a series of low short rumbles. I felt like a hero, like the kind of person a cat writes a song about.

I Did Some Stuff!

I sent the Metallica story off someplace. If they don’t want it, I’ll send it someplace else!

I worked a little on my October stories.

I wrestled with this afghan, for which there’s never enough yarn. But I’m loving it. I love how the white circle looks. I like the bright colors. I’m excited about my idea for how to connect the squares in an interesting way. I think I have a neat border to try.

I didn’t, however, do any weeding. I’m just not feeling like gardening and I’m not sure why.

The new kitty brought a rabbit in the house last night and ate it. She must be so fast and patient. And tired of our crappy cat food?

But why doesn’t she use her hunting skills on the mice that get into the kitchen? I don’t understand.

Words

she who knocks

I’m pretty excited for this week. Tomorrow you’ll get to read my new Apex story. On Thursday, I’ve got the cover story for the Scene. I’m working on a review of a book for Chapter 16 (So far I have “He rites gud,” so that’s going well.) and I’m up to something which I hope will blossom into something, though I’m still in the “me rite gud” stage of it, too.

Anyway, here’s a picture of New Kitty casting a spell to be let back in the house.

I would ask her to cast a spell to make me an awesome writer, but you know how cats are.

Singing in the Shower?

The thing about the orange cat is that he often approaches living with us as if he is an anthropologist from an advanced culture sent back to make sure this flock of morons doesn’t kill itself. After Sadie died, he began going on walks with me in the morning, as if he thought I was too stupid to find my way back unaccompanied. Before Sadie died, when she would be standing in the yard, having forgotten why she went out there or where she might go if she didn’t want to be there any more, he would go out and herd her back inside. If the Butcher is not here, he sits in the Butcher’s spot on the couch, not sure why so much couch sitting is necessary, but determined to make sure the ritual is kept up, even in the Butcher’s absence.

Last night, he went into the TV cabinet, proceeded to sing loudly in a way I’ve never heard him do before, and then emerge. And, all I could think is that, sometimes, we go into the smallest place we’ll fit, close the door, sing loudly, and then emerge. So, I think he was trying it to see if it would do anything for him.

I didn’t notice any appreciable difference.

Mean Cat

The Red-Headed Kid was sitting here watching 22 Jump Street–I laughed, but was embarrassed for laughing, since it’s really stupid; on the other hand, Channing Tatum’s having a good time being a movie star and it’s hard not to find that endearing–when New Kitty walked in from the other room, came up to the Red-Headed Kid, and bit him.

Not even in a mean way.

Just like “I wonder if you’re edible. No? Okay, well, cool.”

The Red-Headed Kid was not even surprised, which is also a testament to how mean she is.

Tired

The visiting dog was a barking mess all night. I’m tired today. I’m also kind of pissed that the dog is going to be here for “a couple of weeks” and the cats are hiding in the garage. I know, last time, the cats eventually were like “fuck it” and came in the house and made their peace with the dog. And I know that will happen again.

But I still don’t like this part.

This Cat

You all know how this new kitty caused my realization that Garfield isn’t a vaguely funny fictional comic strip, but a hard-hitting documentary? Finding her face-down in a pan of enchiladas. Having to fight to keep her from eating off the other end of your cheeseburger while you’re on the front end. How she will eat your spaghetti if you leave it for a second to go to the restroom. And on and on.

Last night she tried to eat a cookie! Which I was also trying to eat.

So, this morning, I encouraged the orange cat to eat her breakfast.

The trouble with cats is that they don’t understand getting even. Because now the new kitty is moping around on the back of the couch because the world is unfair.

Damn straight, kitty. The world was unfair when you were eating off my plate when you thought I wasn’t looking.

The New Kitty

I swear, sometimes I feel like she’s got her own narrative going on in her head. Something is happening here. Maybe she’s a pirate or going to outer space or… I don’t know. But I love watching her when she’s in her weird moods. I feel like I’m watching some kind of foreign art piece–like I know something is going on and that makes sense to probably someone but not to me.

cat 1 cat 2 cat 3 cat 4

This Cat is a Killer

Twice yesterday she attacked my yarn and tried to attack the knitted acorns. Here she is looking all Lydia Deetz, because she’s so alone and misunderstood.

I’m just saying, this is a cat who will call Beetlejuice on you three times and think nothing of it.

cat

The Curious Case of the Roasted Chicken in the Night

We had a roasted chicken for dinner Monday. I told the Butcher to put the carcass in the outside garbage or in the fridge.

Obviously, he did neither, or we wouldn’t be having this post. Yesterday morning, half the carcass was missing. Bones and all. I blamed the dog. I still do put some of the blame on the dog. And I worried all yesterday that the dog might die from eating those chicken bones. And I also figured, well, he would die doing what he loved–living inside and eating garbage.

But, dear Reader, when the Butcher and I got home from his celebratory senate-campaign dinner, there was a pile of poop between the toilet and the wall so enormous that you could have seen it from space. I have no doubt that some of you probably saw it in your peripheral vision, and just mistook it for another hill in the landscape. It was almost like a pooping horse amount of poop.

It was the kind of poop–when you look at the butts in our house who were present: the dog, the cats, however many mice–you would assume could only come out of a dog. But the dog cannot fit his butt between the toilet and the wall. The dog was also not the one languishing on the bathroom sink.

No, that was new kitty who apparently ate her weight in chicken and then, when her body was done with it, left it in the bathroom, because she didn’t want 8 lbs of poop in her litter box. (In fairness, I have no idea how, if she had pooped it in the litter box, she would have ever been able to cover it. She’d have been in their all day trying to bury it.)

I was disgusted. But, man, I laughed, too, because that cat has always been kind of a ridiculous bad ass. This just seems like par for the course. Of course she’s not going to let some silly dog have all the chicken. She’ll eat chicken until she can’t eat chicken no more and then she’ll leave the rest to the dog. And the dog, though ten times her size (if not more) will respect that.

Mice

There was another dead mouse in the bathroom this morning. That’s four. Certainly the most mice the cats have ever bothered to catch in the house. More than we’ve ever caught in one bout.

I have many questions. Are there more mice in the house than usual? Do we always have this many mice in the house?! Are the cats bringing the mice into the house?

Cats are Weird as Hell

So, here’s where things stand on the Kool-aid afghan: I have three seams and a border left. I have the skein of yarn I need to finish it, but I need to pre-shrink the skein like I did all the others or it bodes trouble in the future, which means the Butcher needs to do the dishes so that I have a clean sink in which to soak my yarn. So, I thought I’d whoop some of the last bits of yarn together into a square which could, with what was left of the white yarn when I’m done with it, become a baby blanket for my cousin A. and her pending son.

The orange cat has adopted that afghan. He is, right now, squeezed down as small as he can get so that all his paws and tail fit onto that tiny half-done project and he’s sleeping on it. You’ll remember that the dog tried to adopt three red squares from the big afghan, so apparently, Kool-aid and wool is just irresistible to my pets. And that baby blanket is… probably not going to be sent to an actual baby.

But the other baby blanket! So, you know how I talked about doing the Kool-aid afghan with different amounts of color? Maybe not. But anyway, I’ve decided to try it with the baby blanket. I got two different purples and each square has a different amount of each purple. I’ll show you pictures when I get more squares done. But I think it’s going to be super neat.

Also, I got flowers yesterday from “Mina.” I had thought maybe it was just nm, misunderstood, but then I got to thinking, perhaps Mina Harker? Or someone here who needs to be thanked. I don’t know that I know any Minas but, if I do, thank you.

Also, my dad is convinced that all of my health problems are caused by my dirty bathroom. Which I find hilarious, considering that my health problems include–PCOS, sleep apnea, that fungus shit in my eyeball, that infected lymph node, and now this. Four out of which started before we moved here. Which I suppose goes to show you just how powerful and dangerous my dirty bathroom is–it can go back in time and bite me in the ass.

Raise your hand if you’ll be surprised that my Phillipses and H.P. Lovecraft’s Phillipses turn out to be the same. Me, neither.

And yes, I somehow ended up apologizing to my mother so that she would stop being upset that she upset me. And yes, I know that this is ridiculous. And yes, I am going to outsource most of my talking to them to the Butcher for the next little bit. But I also want to say that a hard, weird part of this has been just how traumatic it is on them. I just feel like I’m letting everyone down. Not just them, which I know is bullshit, but I feel so bad about putting this on the other people in my department, making them pick up my slack when one of them, especially, is so new.  I just hate that I can’t be more definitive–that I need her to do x on these dates and y on these other dates. I don’t know what will come up because I don’t yet know when I’ll be gone.

Which is the other thing that’s kind of stressful–they talked to my doctor on Monday and she was like “Yes, do the biopsy!” and then they faxed her all the paperwork she needed to fill out and she hasn’t gotten it back to them. So, no biopsy scheduled yet. I just want to have a plan and institute it. The waiting around for everything to fall into place is really stressful. But in that regard, it was good to talk to my dad because he’s really familiar with hospitals and he was all “Well, if they sent the fax to her office Tuesday morning, but this is her hospital day, then she’s not going to get to the office to fill it all out until late today, if not until Wednesday morning. I don’t think she’s dropping the ball at this point. It’s more likely that it’s just bad timing.”

Trees and Leaves and Cows are the Color

I have to buy a new purse because some asshole peed on my current one. Which bums me out because I really love my current purse. And bums me out because I’m not in charge of the litter boxes. If they’re not clean to your specifications, please, share your displeasure with the Butcher.

I’m busy as fuck, but I feel like it means I’m less interesting here on the old blog.

Sorry about that, folks.

A Parade of Yellow

The dog was trying so hard to play it cool, like he and the cat just hang out all the time going for walks together, but the smear where his tail should be betrays his true feelings.

The dog was trying so hard to play it cool, like he and the cat just hang out all the time going for walks together, but the smear where his tail should be betrays his true feelings.

Yes, I am taking him for walks without the face thing. It was kind of a disaster today because there were a couple of joggers and they had to be thwarted through jumping (though not lunging, it was definitely just a display of “don’t fuck with us” not a “I’m about to make you sorry for fucking with us.”) and acting like a nincompoop.

No, I don’t know how I’ll be able to tell when he starts to go gray, because his face is already pretty white.

And we were late for breakfast, so the cat had to come find us, because he thinks I’m an idiot who can’t be trusted to find my way home.

Who’s a Good Boy?

The least lab-like thing about Sonnyboy is that he doesn’t wander. If you’re out in the yard and you turn your back on him, he is maybe ten feet from you, no matter what. Yesterday, when I was gardening, I briefly thought I’d lost him, because I didn’t see him when I stood up, but he was right behind me, keeping an eye on me.

He’s such a good dog that it really baffles me that someone would get rid of him. He’s friendly and sweet and comes when you call him. He’s a huge cuddler. I just don’t understand who had him and somehow didn’t fall in love with him and want to give him a million treats and a million hugs. Why does a dog like that need to be rescued?

But I feel similarly about New Kitty. She’s so fucking awesome. Whoever dumped her out here lost a really awesome cat.

I don’t understand getting rid of any pets. But I kind of sympathize with how you might have gotten in over your head with some dogs or cats and you handle it wrong. But Sonnyboy and New Kitty are really easy pets to own. The reward to work ratio is really great.