What I accomplished today: very little.
But I did manage to do something that, while briefly lived, was immensely satisfying. This little miracle? Making a cat sit on my lap. MY decision.
Of course, this doesn’t sound like a monumental deal. After all, cats sit on laps all the time. Taco forces himself on my lap at LEAST once a day. But this time, it was my idea, and he submitted. HE SUBMITTED!
As all kitty mommies know, our children only do things that THEY feel like doing. How many times have you decided to feed your brats (when they weren’t meowing for it) only to have them take a sniff and walk off, only to return when they deemed it suppertime? Or had a bad day and wanted nothing more than a big, furry hug from your little one, but receive the cold shoulder. If they’re feeling particularly ornery, they’ll hide somewhere you can’t possibly extract them from.
So today, a day of accomplishing nothing but finishing season 3 of Breaking Bad (yeah, 2 weekends in a row – so irresponsible and flat-out lazy), I can take comfort in that for at least five minutes, I made a cat sit on my lap. Without struggling, of course, because heaven knows I’ve forced both the brats to cuddle for periods of time. No, the only glory is in a comfortably seated, even purry cat. And I did it.
Insert Rocky music here (Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now, if you weren’t sure which one).
As a mother of any species can tell you, you know when something’s a little off with your children. And despite the fact that my brats are never really what I’d call “all there,” they’re acting weirder than usual. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they had their parents home for a whole 5 days or the weather or if they’re just feeling their age as a result of their recent birthdays, but even the boyfriend’s noticed. It’s not anything I can put my finger on. Just some weird crap here and there.
Moosh will stop in a part of the room he usually won’t (yeah, I notice this crap) and stare at me. Usually he just waits by his food bowl and stares. He’s also being really needy. Following us around and looking at us pitifully for attention.
Taco can’t sit still. He’s in my face 24/7, and when he’s not, he’s in weird places, like my closet (this is Moosh’s usual haunt) and in Moosh’s basket (also, as you might have gathered by the title of the resting place, Moosh’s). Taco’s also started kneading me when he lays on me in bed. Yes, I know this is a NORMAL cat activity, but he’s never really been much of a kneader (Jackson Galaxy calls this “smurgling” but never explained if that’s some sort of scientific term — it seems like an odd choice for a serious scientist to choose, but whatever) and he does it ON me. I’m fairly certain that my skin isn’t as rewarding to smurgle on as, say, a cushy blanket. I don’t mind it so much. It’s more like a change-up pitch in baseball. Throwin’ a fast ball at me forever and now you’re going to throw a slider? You know what? That’s a horrible analogy. I’m assuming you get the point.
I don’t know what this all means, but it throws me off. And I hate change.
Part 2 of vet visit. The bill. The one that made me faint.
My vet is not a bargain vet. I could find a cheaper one. But I’ve been to a few, and I’ve learned that the peace of mind that comes with having a vet you have complete confidence in and really like is worth its weight in gold. And I don’t just like my regular vet, either. I like the other vet in the office, and the staff as well. No one talks down to me, everyone patiently listens to my bazillion questions and my overanalyzing. I find that I like women docs more, too. I can probably chalk this up to the fact that I’ve only had interactions with 2 male vets and I didn’t feel like either of them were particularly affable. I’m sure there’s plenty of really awesome male docs. I just haven’t met them. In conclusion, when your cats are your children, nothing is more important. So I’ll happily pay a lil more for their care.
I’d expected a decent-sized bill. I just didn’t expect HOW much.
1. Exam. Expected.
2. Bloodwork. Expected. Not expected? Adding the charge to recheck Taco for FeLV and FIV. Suggested because one of his pupils was noticeably bigger than the other. Apparently, even kitties have been screened for this as babies, it’s recommended that they’re screened again 2 months after moving into forever home. Taco wasn’t, and either of these could be a cause for different sized pupils. This is where paying extra for a good vet comes in…Upon your kitty’s first visit, they take his or her picture for their records, as well as make a little laminated tag to put on the carrier. My vet compared the picture to the live Taco and noted that his pupils were fine in the pic. DETAILS. I LOVE THEM. I haven’t gotten the results back yet. Also another reason I love my vet? They’re super up on technology. They email.
3. Rabies vaccine. Expected. Don’t necessarily agree with this one, but it’s required for his kitty license and if we need to board them on vacay.
4. License. Forgotten about, but expected. Stupid, because they’ll never get out. Of course it’s possible, but my cats are terrified of the outside world. Twice the door has opened accidentally and not noticed for a few hours and no one went near it.
5. Kitty probiotics.
Don’t laugh. Taco has the MOST rank-smelling poo in the world. It’s impossible for me to understand how he and Moosh eat the same thing but comes out SO much more foul from his ass. Adding the probiotics helps a bit. Worth the money. I promise.
Not expected. Was reminded it’s coming up on flea season again. Wish to avoid an invasion. And yes, I know there’s natural options for fleas but I’ve tried all of them, and trust me, they don’t work in Florida. It’s all dirt here, which is flea heaven.
7. Kitty food.
Taco’s stupid prescription food. I suppose it’s not horribly expensive but in my eyes, it is for crap food that’s not natural or organic or byproduct-free. But it helps him, so who am I to complain?
And that, my dears, is why Mommy is eating PB&Js for awhile. I never thought I’d spend so much on a vaguely healthy cat. Sigh.
Still waiting for my brats to start working. The slugs are sleeping at the moment.
I’m about to send them out with resumes.
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.
My mom is redoing her bathroom. While that may sound very fancy, please keep in mind that it is actually her ONLY bathroom, and has never been updated the entire time she’s lived there, save for some well-meaning wall painting I once started and never finished. And it’s rather small. Despite the fact that it’s rather small, she also shares it with the kitties’ shitbox and food dishes. I’m not sure at what point we decided this was a good place for these (I was 16 and living at home then so I have to assume part of the blame), or how much smaller the bathroom must have felt sharing it with two cats and a teenager, but this is where it has remained for two cats and 15 years.
Now, Fatty is, well, fat. And gettin’ up there in years. He also has longish hair and he’s too fat to lick his butt. Little is just weird. One of them is peeing/pooping outside the box at random intervals. Clean box, no less. This is, of course, frustrating, but I think it’s a frequent occurrence
What’s my dearly beloved madre planning to do, she says?
Have a cat door built in the back door so that they have free access to the sun porch and put the box out there.
This, on the surface, seems like a splendid idea. Fatty always runs (he’s pretty freaking fast for his size) out the back door when it’s open and chills out there. It’s totally enclosed, and other than not being insulated or air conditioned, it ensures the kitties remain indoor ones (as they all should be).
But. The ages of these cats. I don’t know that you can just pick up and move a litterbox that’s been in one place for as long as they’ve been alive. And while I can see Fatty venturing out through this new door, Little spends all his time hiding. He’s really not very adventurous. I’ve been trying to think about what Jackson Galaxy would say, and all I can think of is that he would say something like humans live around cats, not the other way around, so don’t stress them out by moving everything around. However, he HAS had people on the show move boxes around. And wouldn’t the kitties feel better doing their business without a human doing THEIR business staring at them?
So what do you think? Are they too old to move the crapboxes around? Or will they adapt? Will they like the cat door? What happens if only one of them likes the cat door? How big is the cat door going to have to be to accommodate Fatty?
This is the first time I’ve ever had (yeah, they’re still mine even though I don’t live with them anymore) a cat this old, so I don’t know how set in their ways they are. I rely on you, dear readers, with your multitudes of cats and experiences. Don’t let me down.
I don’t usually watch those “Strange Addiction” shows because they’re essentially just freak shows on TV. I suppose my logic is flawed since I watch Jersey Shore, but watching people who most likely have mental issues is not my cup of tea. The other night, though, I did watch one episode. One, because there was a couple from Tampa on there and I was curious, and two, because the other featured addiction was this lady who ate cat hair. The couple from Tampa was odd, they’re addicted to coffee enemas. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not missing out. Apparently they’re supposed to have some major health benefits but I’d rather not find out. Anyway, you’re not supposed to spend 5 hours a day doing coffee enemas even if you DO believe in their health benefits. But they did. I don’t know where they find the time.
But this other lady, she was a normal (well, normal for me, she had a bunch of tattoos and looked like she was into punk or some other alternative genre) lady with cats. I didn’t have my entire attention on the show the whole time so forgive me if I don’t get the story just right, but it was something like one of her cats became ill, and while the cat was being nursed back to health, she started licking the cat as a mother cat would do to a kitten. I’m not sure if she read this was supposed to help the cat recover or feel more comfortable, but I assume so. I tried googling but I lost interest after two different search term attempts. Anyway, she decided she really liked the feel of the cat hair in her mouth, so she started eating it. She says now she finds clumps of fur, checks to see if they’re clean (how the HELL do you know if a clump of fur is clean? I’d really like to know the criteria on that) and then chews and eats it. Says she enjoys the texture, it’s like eating cotton. Um, who likes eating cotton?
Personally, I’m very annoyed when I get cat hair in my mouth. Particularly after I’ve just put on a coat of sticky lip gloss. Ugh. I’ll do a lot of weird things for my cats. I love them to death. They’re my children. And I know a lot of people don’t understand what *I* do. But eating cat hair is NOT going to make me feel closer to my cats. Petting them will suffice just fine. I didn’t watch the end so I don’t know if she got professional help for this addiction, but I sincerely hope so, because I imagine it has less to do with loving her cats (which I have no doubt that she does) than it does with some sort of unhealthy compulsion.
So please, if you saw that show and think that all self-proclaimed crazy cat ladies are indeed that crazy, we are not.
I finally did it.
I bought a cat tree.
I’ve shared this fact with a few non-cat people, and their response is: “HA HA HA HA That’s a f*$#ing waste of money, you FOOL! You could MAKE that!”
Well, DUH. I’ve been saying this forever. And what HASN’T happened yet? It hasn’t been made. Which is precisely why I’ve waited until my cats are almost 5 and 3 years old to buy one. My poor, deprived kitties. All because Mommy is too freakin’ stubborn to go against her DIY ego and buy one. There’s also the fact that the nice ones are kind of expensive, and I’ve never really found one I liked. But I found one. Yeah, it’s a little more expensive than the traditional carpet-y ones, but it’s nice. It’s not AS nice as the ones I wrote about before, but it’ll do. Before I put the ol’ credit card number into the interwebz, I did way more research just to see if I could possibly find another one that I’d like better. Because it’s always my luck that as soon as I buy something, I find one much, much better. The only ones I found were, again, way out of my price range. Like this one from Urban Cat Design (in the NETHERLANDS):
So I bought the one that I talked about buying recently, the one that was reasonably priced compared to the ones I LOVED but couldn’t possibly justify spending so much money on. AND…this lady never buys anything on the interwebz without a coupon. So I got free shipping and $20 off to boot. Uh huh. I’m an awesome bargain hunter on expensive things. Like the $160 boots I got for $40. I really thought that one had to be a scam, but the boots are fabulous.
Now I wait. Because it’s coming from California. If I hadn’t held off for so long, I might have it this weekend to put together, but the boys are going to have to wait for next weekend, since I rarely have time or energy during the work week. Oh well. Moosh has been entertaining himself just fine with the silver ball of sparkles that are mostly strewn around the floor right now and I really should take away from him because Taco will eat the sparkles. Taco has a, um, sensitive butt, to put it nicely. The sparkles make it bleed a lil. Not serious, but unnerving. It’s so unfortunate because it literally is the ONLY toy that Moosh will play with, and he plays with it SO enthusiastically. Kitty mom is conflicted. Meh.
Kitty mommy problems, whatcha gonna do? Ooh, another rap song. Bam.
For many, tax time means paying money. For me, it means a fat refund. See, I know that it’s just giving the tax man interest-free monies, but I suck at saving, so really, that money is in far better hands, interest or not. A few years ago I got screwed (they changed the tax laws, as usual, and those of us with two jobs who were unprepared for it got surprised) so now I take out extra every week to avoid such unpleasantries in the future. So I’m getting a refund. Most of this refund will go in the bank, but this year, I think I’m going to splurge on the kitties.
I’m finally buying a cat tree.
It’s a little expensive, but I never did get around to building the one I threatened to (see my post about it here) and I found one I like that’s not in the thousands of dollars.
This is the Sebastian something-or-other. It’s not that much more expensive than the traditional trees of this size (I use the term “tree” loosely here) and it fits with my modern Ikea look. I’m excited. I already filed my taxes even though the IRS doesn’t start processing them until the 30th.
I showed the boyfriend last night. His response was the “dismissive head nod/half eyeroll/smirk.” This pissed me off. For someone who is always complaining that the cats take over the house, I thought that he would LOVE that I’m taking his feelings into consideration and buying something that looks more like furniture than a tacky carpet tower. I had already had a few adult beverages at this point (it was Friday. I had a long week.) and so of course, I felt compelled to respond with something like “way to be passive aggressive,” he said “don’t the cats already have enough shit” and then I stomped outside. By the time I finished my smoke, I’d already decided to leave it be and continue on with my plans. My best friend once told me the best way to get things done around the house is to just do them and then act as if whatever you did has always been like that. It works. To my surprise, the boyfriend APOLOGIZED for not being more excited about it, and told me that he just didn’t want to see me waste more money on crap the cats will ignore. I was very touched by this. A significant other recognizing FEELINGS! Even after almost ten years. I almost cried (seriously, but I’m also PMSing, so I think hormones had a little to do with the threat of tears).
Even if the cats ignore it (which I doubt, Moosh’s new spot is on top of the bookcase attached to my desk, on top of a scanner he probably shouldn’t be sitting on – Moosh is a serious tree dweller), it’s still useful as furniture, and for about the same price as a bookcase from Ikea. So really, what do I have to lose? My Mooshie gets to climb something he’s actually allowed to, and Taco, well, Taco’s favorite sleeping spot is anywhere that I wanted to sit. His other favorite spot is in my face, and I don’t think there’s a cat toy in the world that can replace that. He’s just annoying.
Am I crazy?
I haven’t posted in awhile, one, because I haven’t had much to say. Since I work at Big Brown, my work days are getting a bit longer with all the shipping going on (I HATE peak season). Two, as of Friday, I am wearing a brace on my right hand (and I’m right-handed, so convenient) to disallow use of my thumb. I’m super injury-prone anyway, but I’ve been tearing my my body at Big Brown for almost 13 years now and I ain’t as young as I used to be. Things ache more and don’t heal as fast. I’ve been ignoring a pain in my wrist for a few months now, but it got to the point I finally went to have it checked out. It’s not horrible, but it’s getting worse, and Big Brown take your word for it. It’s a good thing I’m not a doctor, because I thought it was tendonitis in my wrist. Turns out I have a sprained thumb. Apparently if sprains don’t get to heal, they stick around. So typing isn’t fun. And you should see my handwriting.
So now I know how my cats feel. I can’t even put a bra on without a production. I’m supposed to try not to use it at all and then tomorrow I get to go see how well I can hurl around boxes.
Anyway, that’s that. I was nominated for an awesome blog award, and I promise I will get around to appreciating that in here. But for today, I’m going to rest, and let the boyfriend do the heavy lifting while I watch football.
Cute picture dump day. Brain doesn’t feel like writing. Must concentrate on football.