Yesterday was Taco vet day. Just a yearly checkup thing. He’s been fairly healthy. Annoying, but that’s not a health issue. Only in regards to my mental state.
Getting Taco to the vet is a two-person job. I knew he wasn’t going to go quietly, so I asked the boyfriend to do the prep work and have him ready to go. However, the little MFer immediately ran under the bed when the carrier came out, at which point it required both of us to tag team the effort. Upon getting him in the carrier, he immediately began thrashing about. Not even out of the house yet. Then the meowing started. Then the meowing didn’t stop.
It’s a 15-minute drive. Of loud.
Of course, I then began embarking on the futile effort of soothing him with calming words. And I continued to despite the fact that it did absolutely nothing. Although I did discover that he answered me in different tones here and there, which amused me. It seemed that saying his name resulted in a slightly lower volume, but only the 1st two meows. The 3rd went back to gutteral. We continued like this all the way into the vet, where he announced himself loudly upon being carried in.
Thus begins part 3 of the vet experience. The shakes. For all of Taco’s bravado, he’s a big freaking baby. He scrunches into one corner of his carrier and shivers. With an occasional loud meow, attracting all onlookers to comment on what an adorable cat he is, which at this point, doesn’t even fill me with mommy pride because now everyone can see what a wussy cat I’ve raised.
Part 4. The exam room.
Still uncooperative. Still meowing. The vet and the vet assistant have trouble holding him. He is really quite a talented squirmer. I will give him credit for not lashing out with claws. Except that would kinda be less wussy. Despite his best efforts (and a loud, random meow on the scale), I learned that he was healthy, that he gained an ounce (this I don’t understand, he eats everything) and that he runs hot at the vet from all the shaking and flustering. Oh, then the vet noticed one pupil was larger than the other and suggested I take him to an animal ophthalmist (however the hell you spell that. I’m not looking it up.). I’m not overly concerned about this. My eyes do that too. My eye doc said it’s unlikely I have a brain tumor because I’d know it by now. But nonetheless, we threw on FeLV and FIV testing into the bloodwork just in case, because he’s only been tested for those once.
Then I paid the bill. Now I’m broke. That’s a whole other story for another post (although I will add that I wasn’t OVERcharged, he’s just expensive). And Taco still hasn’t gotten a job to pay his way. I’m not taking him to a cat eye doc until he earns his damn keep.
Ok, that’s stretching it a little. I am not nearly as tatted up as I could be, or even as much as I want to be. In fact, I just recently broke a SEVEN YEAR tattooless streak. I imagine it is something like a recovering heroin addict trying heroin again. They’re addictive. As soon as the needle started jabbing away, it was like riding a bike.
Here’s a shameful fact. Despite my crazy cat lady status, I have a mere TWO cat tattoos. There’s some girl who got a whole SLEEVE dedicated to her cats! I should have my membership revoked.
It’s not that I don’t WANT more cat tattoos, it’s that my style of choice is generally traditional and there are few ways to place cats in that setting. I’ve also seen a LOT of really really really ugly cat tattoos. Have you ever seen someone who got a portrait of their kid or mom by a crappy artist and the tattoo ends up resembling Sloth from The Goonies? That happens with cat portraits too. Do not want.
Below is my very first tattoo. Actually, it’s my third, because I have some dots on my hand when I was experimenting with india ink at 15 and also a lovely chaos symbol, also done with india ink at 15, that this tattoo is covering up. I got it the day I turned 18, and boy, am I glad I waited. I have very few regrets about my tattoos because they’re really a timeline of YOU, but I remember the incredibly stupid crap I wanted pre-18 and it was far worse than anything I got after. I was so very into punk rock and being an anarchist and although I’ve retained a lot of the snotty attitude and defiance, I no longer think The Exploited is a really inspiring band. But Gwar (the tattoo below) has stood the test of time, and they are still my very favorite band, and have been since I was 14.
Here’s the tally:
- 5 skulls
- 3 butterflies (they’re awesome butterflies, though…tough, not pansy-ass)
- 2 hearts with daggers
- 2 Gwar tattoos
- 1 Guns n’ Roses tattoo (but I got it traditional-style)
- And some various other things.
And only two cats.
This one, my ex did. This was back in his apprentice days but last I heard he opened his own shop and is doing really amazing work. This one is all faded, please don’t judge. I got this when I was kickboxing and was amused at the thought of kicking someone in the face with the angry cat.
And below is my newest masterpiece. I’d wanted a tattoo done by Jason Minauro for a really long time, but I never got around to it. When I finally did, I saw what all the fuss was about. He’s amazing. I fancy myself somewhat of an artist and in fact wanted to become a tattoo artist at one point, but I didn’t want to insult him with anything more than a rough sketch of what I wanted. And I am SO glad I didn’t, because his art was far better than anything I could have done. This is probably why he’s like, renowned and shit. He found my cat obsession amusing, and added such great little touches like the claws on the brass knuckles. I’m also very happy that it turned out so well because it is my first IN YOUR FACE visible tattoo (my forearm) and is rather large. And yes, the PAWS UP is a clever Lady Gaga reference. I love her. He also found this amusing.
Now…what to get next?
So My Cat From Hell’s new season starts soon (if you haven’t seen it, it’s on Animal Planet, you need to watch). I love this show. I love quirky Jackson Galaxy, his penchant for for the rockabilly-ish and how he fixes even the worst of kitties, and makes the humans do actual work to ensure the kitty is living his or her best life. And chides them when they don’t put in the effort.
But essentially, I realize, I watch this show for the same reason I watch Jersey Shore: I feel better about my cats (and myself, when I watch Jerz). Jersey Shore is a bunch of pompous drunk morons who do really stupid things and say really stupid crap and get into the most ridiculous of fights. They make me feel better about ANY shenanagans I have caused by a night of too much Jager. Because as low as my lowest low is, I have never been that low. Nor have my lows occurred on such a consistent basis.
While Taco is quite possibly the biggest pain in the ass the cat world has ever seen, he’s relatively harmless. I would really like to fix the whole “pee on the couch” thing but for the most part, his antics are merely annoying and sometimes border on endearing. (UPDATE: The boyfriend read this blog and voiced his displeasure with my lack of concern about the couch peeing. As if I like it! Honey. I’m just saying it could be worse. At least it’s a medical problem.) Despite being loud and overly curious, he’s lovey, he’s cute, and he never tries to scratch my eyeballs out. Moosh is a oddball, with his random licking of things and proneness to perching, but overall he’s a very well-behaved cat.
These kitties on My Cat From Hell, they are crazy. The one that freaked me out most was the cat that launched himself chest high at his person. Moosh will launch himself on my shoulders, but not to go claw-crazy at my face. Most of the time the owners are well-meaning people, they just don’t understand cat like Jackson Galaxy.
So my confidence is boosted two-fold. One, my cats, albeit a little wacko, are not nearly as bad as these cats, which gives me a source of motherly pride, as well as a little bit of arrogance. Two, half the stuff Jackson teaches these people is stuff I already do innately. This makes me feel like I am MEANT to be a crazy cat lady. I KNOW cats. No special training needed. I don’t really know what this says about me, other than that I am a very empathetic person and I find cats more pleasant than humans. But I like to think this makes me special.
Just like I like to think that as long as I never show my “kooka” in a drunken haze on national television, that I am doing way better at life than a lot of people are. Although I rarely get embarrassed, because when you are as clumsy as me, you learn to be amused at your own antics. Otherwise I’d spend most of my life red-faced.
Taco’s been a lil scratchy-scratchy with the ol’ clawsies lately, so today is SOFT PAW DAY! WHEEEEE!
When I was younger, I never dreamed my life would be so exciting at 30.
Moosh has never had an issue with the scratching. He’s very good about only scratching things he’s supposed to, although he does like to stretch up a wall here and there, but the claws don’t really come out.
Taco, being the bad son that he is, scratches wherever he pleases, although surprisingly not the couch (but he does pee on it, so I’m not really sure which is better). He ADORES my yoga mat. While I’m on it. Have you ever had to shoo away a cat scratching under you whilst doing the downward facing dog? Because I have.
I am heartily against declawing. It is not, as many people think, just an “easy removal of claws.” It is an amputation. It is exactly like removing the top joint of your finger. Even if it weren’t such a HORRIBLY INVASIVE SURGERY that was SIMPLY for the convenience of the owners, what happens if your cat gets out? Mine are actually terrified of the outside world (once, I left for work and didn’t close the door all the way, and the boyfriend, upon leaving for work himself, discovered the open door and Moosh sitting calmly on the porch chair — a porch that is not enclosed) but things happen, and I love them too much to put them at that sort of disadvantage. Nor would I want to dismember them.
Still not convinced? It’s illegal or considered inhumane and strongly discouraged in all of the following countries:
- Northern Ireland
- New Zealand
That’s quite a list. WHERE IS THE KITTY LEGISLATION IN AMERICA, OBAMA???
There’s also possible behavioral changes, complications and nerve damage pain to think of.
So. There is no declawing in my house. There is only Soft Paws. Which really aren’t that bad. Glue in the cap, cap on the nail, hold the cat, release. Reapply as necessary. They can eat them and everything. Out of 3 cats I have applied them to, only one has had a problem with them. Surprisingly enough, it’s the good son, Moosh (who, we discovered, doesn’t need them anyway). I’ll apply them, hold him for the requisite 10 minutes for the glue to dry, and then he will walk 5 paces, sit, and determinedly begin yanking them off with his teeth. He will sit there as long as it takes to get them all off. This is an amusing process to watch, as I am far more lazy than him, apparently. I don’t have that sort of drive. Taco, on the other hand, doesn’t even notice them. He’ll just go on about his day.
Without further adieu, off I go to fit the bad son with his mittens. I am merciful this time, and picked clear instead of pink.
UPDATE: After a lengthy hunt for the claw clippers (finally found under the sofa), the soft paws were applied with little fanfare, until the “holding for 10 minutes while glue dries” part. It would seem that being held by me is akin to being held against hot coals.
There is nothing that I do better than completely waste my time. Well, except for being a crazy cat lady, of course.
So when I discovered #catwang, it only made sense for it to become my new obsession.
Cats and randomness, my two favorite things. Nothing makes me laugh more, which explains the success of i can haz cheeseburger, I’m sure.
There are so many chores I’m not getting done because I’m too busy playing with this. Who thought of this? I want to shake their hand. I feel we are kindred spirits.
Of course, this is all easily accomplished through photoshop, but being that I hail from the age of convenience, the handheld-do-it-anywhere option is SO appealing.
In conclusion, if you have an iPhone, I urge you to download #catwang. It’s free, although you can buy add-ons (which I did — SHARK TEETH!) This is not a paid advertisement (I wish! Pay me, #catwang people!). It’s just too much fun for me not to pass on. You may already know about this. In my advanced age, it takes me a bit longer to glom on to what the kids are into these days.
What’s more annoying than Taco’s meow?
Frogs. Well, actually, toads, I think. I think we have frogs, too (I found one on my beach chair when I went to lay out one day — while I was laying on the beach chair — it was the same color green), but the toads are the uglier and stupider of the two.
Here in Florida, the amphibians loudly enjoy a good rainstorm. And if you know Florida, you know we do storms right. It’s rained quite a bit in the past week. When you walk outside, all you hear is “GGRRREEAAAAKKKK GREEEEAAAAAAAK” — it’s really annoying.
But more annoying than the noise is the fact that they will jump into my house unnoticed when the door is opened for a second.
What’s more exciting than chasing a not-alive real-fur mousie?
A living, breathing, jumping baby frog.
Sometimes I’ll catch the little idiots in time and scoot them out the door. Some aren’t so lucky to escape the “master hunters.” But I will not know about the not-so-lucky ones until I step on a half-corpsified dead one. Or half of one. Because this is the only other state that I find them in other than fully alive and cornered. I don’t know what the little carnivores do with them until they reach this state, but it is out of my eyesight. Kitty embalming? Who the hell knows.
I suppose I should be grateful. Fatty, in his younger and skinnier days, used to catch lizards, play with them awhile, and just as they were hard and corpse-y — place them thoughtfully in my bed as a present. THANKS. JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.
But really, stepping on a dead frog (toad, whatever) isn’t much better. This year’s croaking just started, so I have yet to have this honor. But I know it’s coming.
(If you’re wondering what happened to the blog challenge, the word of the day is “mushroom” and I DESPISE mushrooms, so I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in. Oh, I just did. Go me!)
Maybe it’s just that mine are overly rebellious, but they seem to do things that will ultimately put themselves in harm’s way.
Jager ate my hair ties. He also would play with shoelaces, get his claws stuck in them, then frantically try to jerk them out, getting himself more tangled and more freaked out, then retreating to an area I couldn’t reach him making it impossible for me to help him.
Moosh Moosh sniffed a lit candle and singed his whiskers.
Taco will scoop needles out of my pin cushion if I leave it somewhere accessible. He also finds it fun to pounce on my scissors while I’m in the middle of cutting fabric.
A few weeks ago, Taco went after a hornet that got in the house and got stung in the mouth. Today I found him with a spider that I have never seen before and had to google a bit to assure myself it wasn’t a brown recluse. I’m still not totally sure, but I guess I’ll find out if his flesh starts rotting away.
Taco had blood in his poo and when we took samples to the vet, they discovered pink sparkles. He had been eating the pink metallic fluff toy that Moosh Moosh loved. The ONLY one he really loved. Apparently pink sparkles will make a cat’s a-hole bleed. More than you wanted to know, I’m sure.
I guess this is why they have 9 lives? Why can’t they play with the toys made for them to play with? There can’t be much nutritional value in a spider or a hornet. Why is there a cat toy for sale that causes bloody poop? WHY DOES TACO HAVE TO EAT THAT TOY? I don’t think Moosh really ever got over that loss.
I, on the other hand, do not have nine lives. These cats, they’re giving me premature gray hairs, I swear.
I’m vegan. This is partially because I have never really been a big fan of meat, partially because I find slaughterhouse stories revolting, partially because I really like animals and helped along by reading Skinny Bitch.
It is absolutely AMAZING to hear the reactions from people when I tell them I am vegan. Sometimes they feel the need to defend their meat eating, as if I care. Some ask me “Well, what do you EAT, then?” Dirt. I eat dirt. What exactly do you think I eat? What do YOU eat that you think meat, dairy and eggs are the ONLY sources of sustenance?
My favorite is when people ask me if my cats are vegan.
I am a lover of science. A devotee of evolution. A student of logic. I understand, know, and appreciate that cats are carnivores. Their little bodies are made to eat meat. I probably know more than I should about how they have different enzymes than humans do, to help process all the flesh they eat. How their stomachs are longer to digest, but have a smaller intestinal tract. Why would I buck the trend and try to perfect what Mother Nature already perfected? There’s a food chain. Some things are meant to be eaten. Some things are meant to eat. I could make the argument that humans are meant to be herbivores, but I’ll refrain here. Vegan conversion is not my goal, it’s my personal choice.
So yes. I feed my cats what they are supposed to eat. I am a little too squeamish to do the raw food diet, and with Taco’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, he’s on prescription food anyway.
Here is where I will rant. Cat food is CRAP. Total and utter crap. Grocery store brands? You might as well serve your cat roadkill that’s been sitting out for days and crapped on by other half dead animals. It’s disgusting. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think I’m ridiculous for only wanting to feed my cats organic food without chicken meal and grain and fill, but I wouldn’t stuff myself with fast food pink slime, so why would I do it to my cats? This prescription food he has to eat, it helps him not form crystals, avoiding a very expensive-to-fix blockage, but it is made with CRAP. My vet had an amazingly long discussion with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick. Because I trust her and because she had this amazingly long conversation with me about my aversion to feeding him this ick, I listened. In the end, he’s eating the ick. I’d rather not rush him to the emergency vet or have him die because I am too stubborn to feed him what is apparently the ONLY scientifically proven thing to help him. I tried feeding Mooshie the good stuff and Taco the prescription, but Moosh is a stupidly picky eater and will only eat the crap. He won’t even touch wet food, which I know is bad but I can’t FORCE him to eat it. I will shamefully admit that I have, once or twice, KIND OF smushed his face in it a little, just to nudge him into eating it. It doesn’t work. I just give them lots of water and leave it at that.
I stopped by my mom’s yesterday. I haven’t seen Fatty and Little for a couple weeks.
Cats are really funny. They are both so much better. So much so, in fact, that Little went back to his routine of hiding from me immediately, and Fatty punished me for my recent absence by ignoring my love for awhile. No purr.
It was funny, the moment I could tell that he decided I had suffered enough. He jumped down from his box and swirled around my arm, started purring and plopped his fat self down on my hand. Apparently I should visit more often.
Little never did come out from under the bookcase, even with treats. I got him to move a tiny little bit for one, but Fatty ran under and ate the others. I naively thought that Little meowing at me to pet him a few weeks was because he decided he liked me. Silly me, it’s just because he felt like shit. If you are a crazy cat lady, you understand this feeling of failure. In my mind, every cat should love me because they should KNOW. Just like I think every stray cat I see, whether it’s at a shelter or on the street, is saying to me “I KNOW you would love me SO much and I would LOVE to come home with you. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!”
But I digress. It’s a huge relief to see them acting like normal, since the fleas took so much power from them. I hate fleas. I really hate them. And I hate that the lack of winter here, hence lack of cold, cold that I HATE, is partially to blame for the fuckers’ survival (the fleas, not the cats).
I live in a townhouse so I don’t really have much of a yard for fleas to live in. This is probably why I have been able to somewhat control them with Moosh and Taco. But I am terrified of them taking root. I have boraxed, revolutioned, vacuumed and washed. Taco was ok with the natural flea spray the first few times I used it on him, but now he will gouge me to get away.
By the way, that stuff REALLY freakin’ works. Vet’s Best. I used it on myself. I read the bottle…it doesn’t say not to.
Anyway. Fatty is good. I’m pretty sure Little is, since for him, hiding is normal. Fatty is getting back to being fat. He actually only weighs a little more than Moosh and Taco, Not quite sure how his giant gut does not factor more in to the equation.
And now Taco is eating my sandal, so I think that means I have to go pay attention to him. This is fine with me, I’m sick and feel like crap anyway. Laying down DOES sound like a good idea.
I’m pretty sure that not a single one of my cats has ever come out of their mother’s womb, been named something, and kept that name throughout their entire life.
Furthermore, once a cat name IS officially chosen and is permanent enough to be the one on file at he vet’s (although I have one that goes under a different name and one we had to change at the vet, read on), it is very rare that when talking to the cat, the cat is actually referred to as that particular name.
Shadow –> Baby
Ernie –> Chaos –> Fatty a.k.a. “Big Guy” at the vet, my mother refuses to let his official vet name be Fatty. In fact, she refuses to even call him Fatty.
Original name forgotten –> Mikey –> Little
Gus –> Jager
Oz –> Porkchop –> Moosh Moosh
Fernando –> Taco
Now, all of these names are used here and there, but most of the time either generic baby-talk names are instead or variations of the name. My favorites include Boo Bear, Boo Boo, Babycakes, Kittania, Snuggleface, Poopbutt, Bunny, Stinkers, Stinko, Fatboy or STOP IT NOW.
Moosh Moosh, on any given day, could be Moosh Mash, MooshyMooshyMooshy, Mooshito, Mooshcakes, Mooshface, Skooshers, Skooshy, or MoshiMoshi. When we got him, we really thought he was a good Porkchop until he smooshed our faces so much that Moosh Moosh just stuck.
Fatty? Well, that’s easy. Fat Fatty McFatterson, FattyCakes, Fatty Lumpkins, Fattilicious, Fatbaby.
Jager — Jagger, Woogie, Jagermeister or Cougar.
Taco, by far, has the most, I guess it’s just the easiest to mess around with — Taquito, Yablito, Tikki-Taco, Tablo, Cobblers, Jocko, Yacko, Taquerita, Toblerone, Yablo, Chimichanga, Blobblo or Taco-san.
And yes, I do speak to my cats in baby talk. Wanna make something of it?