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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
There I was, talking on the phone to the Professor in the garage, with the door to the outside world cracked a tiny bit so that I could watch the bird (we seem to have a baseball team’s worth of cardinals this year), when new kitty came hollering in the garage from said outside. Mrrrrrrroooowororowoowroroowechech. And hot on her tail was a black cat. He came into the garage. I stood up. He looked at me like “What the fuck is this thing?” and then he hightailed it back out of the garage. He then tried to play it cool, skulking off like it was no big deal that he’d just encountered the new kitty’s ape. But I could tell he was shaken.
He was beautiful, though. I didn’t see any white on him–just solid back. And big. But his tail looked as wide as a raccoon’s, which is how I knew I’d scared the shit out of him.
Today, the new kitty bothered to come home after carousing all night and I served her breakfast. She then leaned over the edge of the counter to look at the dog and, when he came over to look back at her, she touched her nose on his. Boop.
Not that there was a noise. But boop is the noise my heart made seeing it.
Last week, I awoke with a cut on my fingertip. This is odd because I sleep on a mattress and not on a bed of nails or with a sword dangling over me. My bed is, by definition, a soft, not cutting thing filled with soft, non-cutting things.
Oh, which reminds me! Not only did I have that cut, but then on Monday I burned that same finger, right on the cut, by touching too-hot lasagna. My finger is cursed!
Anyway, back to my story–the cut, not the burn. Where did this mysterious midnight cut come from?
The answer came last night. I woke up because my finger–a different finger–felt like it was being grasped by a cactus. Not hard, but it felt like ten tiny needles were holding it in place. I opened my eyes, as you do when you’re wondering if sentient cacti have crawled into bed with you and there was the orange cat, holding my finger with his claws, staring at it, like he was trying to decide if he could get away with biting it.
As best as the Butcher and I can figure, I must be twitching my hand in my sleep and, since the orange cat has taken to sleeping with me since the arrival of the dog, the cat has been having to resist the temptation to attack my hand for months now.
Last week, it apparently just got too much for him.
I got no writing done, which is not ideal, but the dog went over to his friends’ house with the Butcher yesterday and, after a couple of hours, demanded to come home, where he just lounged around the house with me. So, that’s nice. I did accidentally throw a cat at him, which was not good, and he barked at the cat, very close to the cat and made his “I could bite you, you know!” faces at her, but he didn’t bite her (of course) and I think the cats are figuring out that he’s just kind of a lug, but harmless.
Oh, yes, here’s how you accidentally throw a cat at a dog. You’re in the kitchen, cutting up meat for your maiden attempt at paprikash, when the cat you thought was safely outside (for this very reason) comes out of nowhere, from some direction behind you, and lands square on the big chunk of as-of-yet not cut up meat. You will, just be instinct, holler, “What the fuck?!” grab the cat, and toss her away from the meat. But, of course, even though this happens in a split second, the dog has decided that, at his new house, it must be customary for everyone to get as close to the meat as possible, so here he comes. And there will be a kind of cat-dog mid-kitchen collision that ends up in barking and hurt feelings.
But, America, I have to still eat that meat! I feel fairly certain that I got all the cat cooties off it, but I’m glad I’m not serving it to guests.
The recipe I found for paprikash is basically an onion, two red peppers, a shit ton of meat, some garlic, and liquid that is beef stock, tomato paste, caraway seeds (I think, some kind of seeds) and all the paprika I had in the house. I added some Worcestershire sauce just because the smell kind of seemed like it needed it. And then the Butcher is going to put the liquid on the meat and veggies and stick it in the oven in a covered casserole dish all afternoon.
I’m already convinced that the next time I make it, I’m not going to want two red peppers, but I’m also already convinced–without yet tasting it–that I will make it again, just because it smells so fantastic.
I’m sure the cat hair and toxoplasmosis will only add to it.
Considering what a terrible, unproductive waste of a weekend this was and how both tired and unable to sleep I have been, I was not amused to be woken up at five this morning to a singing cat. My first thought was that it was the fire alarm running out of battery life. But no, it was just the squeaky cat squeaking up a storm. It woke the Butcher up, too, and he got up and I heard him rumbling around the house. That seemed to quiet the new kitty down.
When I got up just now, I saw the dead mouse on the dining room floor. Good job, new kitty! And I can’t fault you for bragging triumphantly about it, considering how brave you had to be to hunt, on the ground, where the big, scary dog might get you.
The big scary dog, who did not bother to get up and even explore why you were singing.
Anyway, as they say about both mice and deer–where you see one, there’s another, so I set the trap and put it in the silverware drawer, which seems to be where the mice like to get when they get in the house.
I also want credit, for the record, for fixing the toilet AND setting a mouse trap, even though I still feel like crap.