Tagged: florida

Another cat-free day!

First of all, please let me reiterate how much I hate being woken up by a cat. Like I’ve said before, it’s not usually in my nature to sleep in, so when I DO, I know my body is saying “PLEASE GIVE ME AN EFFING REST!” Apparently my body is not in contact with Taco. I woke up at 9 because he wouldn’t shut up, and I was so tired it felt like I was getting up at my workday 5:30am for work. I was not pleased.

So we left them.

2nd beach trip of this mini vacay, and I insisted we leave “early,” i.e. 11:30. Because the weather is actually so perfectly perfect, the masses are all running out to the beaches for the holiday weekend. Well, this turned out to be not early enough, as there was nary a parking spot to be found. And of course, since I hate driving and I hate having plans ruined, I got overly frustrated and started crying. Yeah. I cry. I’m not afraid to punch a 200-pound dude in the face (I firmly believe that you can always fight someone bigger than you, but NEVER fight anyone crazier than you) but I will cry like a little girl when I don’t get my way. Perhaps this can be attributed to being an only child, maybe I’m just a baby. I don’t know. So I turned the controls over to the boyfriend )who is used to these episodes and should be up for sainthood for effortlessly dealing with them), telling him that I didn’t even care anymore, I just wanted to go home. He, of course, ignored me, and tried the parking lot again, where miraculously, a guy was pulling out at that exact moment. And no one else was waiting to take the spot. He’s my lucky charm. I really hate driving.

I know this is Florida. having lived here for the entirety of my life, I’m more familiar with the climate here than anywhere else in this entire world. So when I tell you it was scorching today, feel free to believe me completely.

Ignore the seaweed, it ruins the idyllicness. That's so not a word.

Ignore the seaweed, it ruins the idyllicness. That’s so not a word.

I also know that I’m (mostly) Polish, and therefore prone to fairer skin than say, a Cuban, like my best friend, who never burns, instead turns a lovely shade of dark, as does the boyfriend (inexplicably, because his lineage is all European). So I have to wear sunscreen. I only wear 15SPF. I realize this is horrible for my future self, and in fact, my own mother had a spot of skin cancer from her nose years ago. In my defense, I DO wear 30 on my face, and not just at the beach, in my daily tinted moisturizer. Apparently I don’t care if the rest of my skin is leathery and wrinkled in my old age. I already hate what age is doing to my face, thanks to my birth control, which causes brown splotches called Melasma. You probably wouldn’t notice unless I pointed it out, but I have a dark spot resembling a mustache which I assure you is NOT actually a mustache. THANKS HORMONES.

See, I also wear a hat. So responsible of me.

See, I also wear a hat. So responsible of me.

But back to my story. Today, I felt like my skin was boiling. We spent two and a half hours there before we just couldn’t take it anymore. The water was lovely, but it can only help so much. And it’s only May. AND A COLD FRONT CAME THROUGH YESTERDAY! I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be when the real humidity kicks in. I despise laying on my stomach anyway (so hot and uncomfortable), but today it was just impossible. I couldn’t even READ. I GO to the beach to read. My body temperature was far too high to concentrate.

I’m not sure whether this is old age or global warming, but even the sand blistered my feet. It’s effing white! REFLECT HEAT LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO. WTF.

The kicker is that I didn’t even get burnt. At all. I can only barely see my tan lines.

And yes, I realize that I’m bitching about something that most people would DREAM to be able to bitch about, but I’m a Florida native girl, and the beach and reading on the beach and getting color is what makes me happy. Other people play bingo and shit. I bake myself and read. Scientifically, this is actually quite logical. Your body processing the sun’s rays produces Vitamin D, vital for one’s mood. And it’s better received this way than from supplements. And reading, well, who can say anything NOT beneficial about that?

That’s a hell of a case I just made there. I should have been a lawyer. Also, I think I should just move to Hawaii. The sand is better (it just FALLS OFF your feet AND it feels like a pumice scrub to walk over it) and I swear the Pacific salt water causes a more golden glow.

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Unlazy, uncat day.

My caturday was spent, for the most part, without cats.

I know. This is shocking. Usually I spend my Caturdays lazing around the house, lamenting about how I’m too lazy to do anything. Recovering from my week. But this Caturday is special. For you see, I’m on vacation. Kind of. I am officially out of service where Big Brown in concerned all the way until after Memorial Day! WHEEEE! And to boot, I have an official WORK-FREE 5-day vacation starting at 3pm Wednesday!

It’s a lot easier to be unlazy when you know that you have more available lazy time in your future.

So today, I exerted myself. EXERTED! My friend and I rented bikes and rode around St. Pete. We oogled over old houses we can’t afford and took some beachy scenic routes. My friend loves history, so she didn’t seem to mind my stories (St. Pete is my hometown, so I spent a great deal of time saying “Well, THAT wasn’t there before”). Or the heat. I even sunscreened myself effectively, although possibly TOO effectively, because I don’t appear to have a tan. Which is probably good, because I don’t ride in my bathing suit (shocking, right?) and would have had some wretched tan lines, but I did want a LITTLE glow.

Despite the fact that neither of us had been on bikes in a rather long time, there were no injuries. Apparently “just like riding a bike” is quite the accurate metaphor. However, hills are another story, and so are bike seats. Now, I am not a skinny girl. I wouldn’t be skinny even if I starved myself. But I have a white girl butt. It’s fat and flat. Despite the flatness, there’s plenty of padding. It was useless.

And about the hills…there’s really no “hills” to speak of. Most of Pinellas county is under sea level. Perhaps “slight inclines” would be a better description. And these weren’t even too bad…until we stopped for lunch. With beer. It was noticeably more difficult to pedal after lunch. This could be attributed to the fact that we’d already been riding a few hours, or because we took a break from it. I liken it to getting a tattoo…you never want to take a break. Get it all done at once. If you stop, it hurts like a bitch upon restarting. But beer can’t possibly be detrimental, right?

Anyway, it was a lovely day. We were both so amazed that we made plans, kept them, AND the weather held out that we talked mostly about how amazed we were.

I didn’t see any cats. But I saw a lot of boats. Including catamarans. And after the 2nd catamaran we saw with a cat paw print in the name, it occurred to me that it was because they were CATamarans. So you see, I had a Caturday after all! IT ALL COMES AROUND TO CATS.

So here’s my day, in picture form.

It all started with this amazing bike. I immediately commented on this bike when we walked in, so I knew it would be a good day when it ended up being one of the two that were left to rent. HELLO AWESOME!

It all started with this amazing bike. I immediately commented on this bike when we walked in, so I knew it would be a good day when it ended up being one of the two that were left to rent. HELLO AWESOME!

This is a lovely beach. But you don't wanna swim in it. This is Tampa Bay water. Not as, um, clean. You wanna go to the gulf side. But it's still pretty!

This is a lovely beach. But you don’t wanna swim in it. This is Tampa Bay water. Not as, um, clean. You wanna go to the gulf side. But it’s still pretty!

It's named MEOW. Teehee!

It’s named MEOW. Teehee!

This is the view from the restaurant where we stopped for lunch/beer. It's my favoritest airport in the entire world, because it's where my dad used to fly me around from when I was a kid. Ah, nostalgia.

This is the view from the restaurant where we stopped for lunch/beer. It’s my favoritest airport in the entire world, because it’s where my dad used to fly me around from when I was a kid. Ah, nostalgia.

What does baseball have to do with cats?

A lot, if your team is the awesomest. By this I mean the Tampa Bay Rays. And before ANY of you say something shitty about our team’s attendance, come to Florida. We have an amazing fan base for being such a young team, but guess what? Everyone here is from somewhere else. Our stadium is full when we play the Red Sox, but who didn’t show up for the last few games of the season when the Red Sox were biting it? So much for loyal fans. So you can take your criticism and stick it where the sun don’t shine. And by young team, I mean that when I was born, there was no team. In fact, Tropicana Field wasn’t even built. I was a kid when it was, and it was the Thunderdome then, and I remember this because I danced in the grand opening event. And then it housed the Tampa Bay Lighting. And now the Rays. Who used to be the Devil Rays, but some whacko priest made a stink a few years ago and managed to convince them to change the name. Whatever.

Today is the Rays opening day. I am currently watching it in between jobs instead of going to the gym, which I feel slightly guilty about, but not really that much.

So what does this have to do with cats?

We have two mascots. I’m not totally sure what Raymond is supposed to be, but our most recent addition is DJ KITTY.

DJ Kitty is in the HOUSE!

DJ Kitty is in the HOUSE!

Yeah. That’s fabulous. It started as a scoreboard gimmick, with a video of a cat in a Rays jersey DJing, because why not? DJ Kitty is now so popular that last year they made him an official mascot.

The REAL LIFE DJ Kitty.

The REAL LIFE DJ Kitty.

EFF YOU, REST OF BASEBALL! Call me when you’re as crazy cat lady-friendly as my hometown team.

Oh yeah, and we have the Cy Young Award winner. Ya got that, Yankees? Oh, and is your pitcher on the cover of MLB2K13? I think not.

GO RAYS! GO CATS!

Kittehs turn frowns upside downs! (poetic license used there)

I had kind of a crappy day. Not the kind of crappy day where something goes horribly wrong, leaving one devastated and forlorn — just the kind that leave you feeling like your brain just put on little brain running shoes and participated in a triathlon. The kind where you start out like “Oh, it’s Friday, whatever happens today, it’s still Friday!” and ends with zombie-walking out an hour late, hoping no one who has another question sees you before you can make your escape. The kind where you’re not even finished putting out a fire when another fire jumps in. So by “bad,” I suppose I should say “challenging.” In the long run, I don’t mind these days. I work best under high stress, oddly enough, so although I may look frantic, I’m actually operating in my element. But at the time, all I can think is “WTF WTF WTF” and “No, I don’t have time to look at the YouTube video of my proofreader doing the Harlem Shake, are you crazy?” (It was made by my work, in case you’re wondering. We have a very strict policy encouraging FUN at work. Crazy, right? I still haven’t watched this. Memo: watch that.)

After I zombie-walked out, successfully avoiding any further work, all I wanted was a quiet drive home (I’d already decided to skip the gym…I already felt like I ran a marathon). However, this is FLORIDA, and every old hag who shouldn’t be driving at her advanced age is driving here. As I was stopped at a light, a lil ol’ lady HIT MY EFFING CAR. I mean, she just bumped it. She was shoving herself in my lane from the other lane, for reasons I still do not know. As I looked back screaming, I saw that she was totally clueless. But then, the light changed, and everyone started going. As I pondered what to do, I saw that the lady next to me had seen the whole thing and understood what was going on, so I made a motion asking if there was any damage to my car (I honestly have no idea what motion I made to convey this, but whatever I did was spot-on) and she looked back and shook her head. Then I had to stop again because the car in front of me did (this is what normal people do) and I swear to jeebus she must have been millimeters away from my bumper yet again. I decided that it was unlikely that it would be worth it to stop, as she seemed to not understand what the hell was going on and I figured that being arrested for elderly abuse would really put a cap on the ol’ day. So I turned left. She did not. Which was funny, because she SO needed to get in the left lane a mile back that she HIT MY CAR.

Then I got home. And Taco started meowing. And meowing. And meowing. And meowing. This is hard to admit, and I would never ever ever ever actually do it, I kind of wanted to boot him across the room. I know. I’m a horrible person. But I didn’t, and that counts, right?

I flung myself on the bed with a dramatic flair. Two seconds later, a meowing Taco-rocket came barreling in, almost overshooting. And…he sat on my lap.

Excuse my french, but this is fucking adorable.

Excuse my french, but this is fucking adorable.

I dare you to feel sorry for yourself when a kitten puddle melts on your lap, purring. Warm, cuddly love. The best part? He shut up.

Yeah. My day really wasn’t so bad.

More cat hair?

Thanks to global warming, it’s balls hot this week here. You’d think that I would LIKE the heat, which I do, but I also dislike global warming (I also hate the people who refuse to believe that that’s not a “thing” – it is. Please check out maps of glaciers a year ago and the same maps now. Even the scientists are all WTF).

This is just adorable. I accept his fur.

This is just adorable. I accept his fur.

I would also like the weather more if I didn’t so inconveniently have to go to WORK on nice days. I think it’s horribly unfair that my boss doesn’t accept “beach day” as a reason to not show up (I’m kidding, I’m TERRIFIED of breaking rules, I quite seriously have panic attacks when I attempt to, I blame catholicism in my youth).

I would ALSO like the weather more if it wasn’t a meat locker in my office constantly regardless of the temperature outside. It makes getting dressed in the morning rather difficult. I’m considering flip flops tomorrow, I guess I’ll just defrost my tootsies outside if they start looking black and dead.

I’m assuming the outside heat is going to send the cats into shed mode. I’m REALLY starting to think about shaving them now. Maybe I’ll take them to a groomer. I wish my cats weren’t so neurotic. Then I could take them places without worrying about scarring them horribly. So fragile. They certainly don’t take after their mother.

Evil plotting. Shoulda called em Pinky and the Brain.

Evil plotting. Shoulda called em Pinky and the Brain.

Cold weather kitty snuggles.

Let me preface this by saying that I despise cold weather. I am NOT built for cold. My Florida native blood is thin and wussy. I’ll sweat my ass off any day of the week over being even mildly chilly. However, because I am on my new “Positive Sarah” kick, I’m going to examine the good things about cold weather, rather than the ones that make me miserable, like goosebumps and the fact that if it drops below 65 degrees farenheit my nose runs like a faucet and turns red and glowy.

One. Cute boots. Although my closet is jam-packed full of sandals and flip flops because honestly, I don’t really like wearing shoes if I don’t have to, I love boots. I’ve loved boots in all sorts of different incarnations, from my younger teenage years wearing Doc Martens and my more favored steel toe Grinders to my newest acquisition, fashion-y, knee-high riding boots. Man, I love them. Almost as much as I love my fake Uggs from Target.

Two. Extra kitty snuggles. You’d think with the fur coats, they’d be pretty well prepared for the weather. The temperature in the house doesn’t really drop a ton, but it’s like they KNOW the outdoors are chilly and they’re into snuggling just because. It’s a lot harder to wake up for your alarm when you have a Taco draped across you purring. So cozy.

Who wants to disturb this?

Who wants to disturb this?

I know this is blurry, but it's hard to act like a professional photographer with a kitty scarf.

I know this is blurry, but it’s hard to act like a professional photographer with a kitty scarf.

That’s it. Two good things.

Now, I understand that many of you reading this live in much colder climates. The high here today is 60. I know that’s a drop in the bucket. A few days ago I was wearing shorts and sandals. But this is why I live in Florida. I dare any of you currently scoffing my lack of toleration to spend a few days driving in an un-airconditioned car in the middle of Florida’s August.

The question of the day: Did the cats miss us?

Unequivocally, yes.

Too much, in fact. I was pleased to be greeted by both boys. I dropped the boyfriend off at a friend’s house (prior plans, but I just wanted to go home) so I am currently the only target of affection.

LOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEE

So much affection. Taco has followed me meowing for 3 fulls hours now. Everywhere I go, there he is. It’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m glad they weren’t mad at us for having left them for 3 days but I didn’t expect that Taco would be so concerned upon my return that I would leave again. Moosh has been lovey but modestly so, especially in comparison to Mr. Attached To Mommy’s Hip.

This was my greeting. Plenty of meowing as well.

I missed my babies too. My mom totally spoiled them. There’s so much food in their bowls they could eat for a week. This is why her cats are overweight. She’s always very concerned about kitties going hungry. She worries about this with humans, too, which is why she brings me vegan cake all the time, usually right when I have sworn to eat healthily (even though being vegan, my food intake is generally on the healthy side, except for my weakness for french fries).

But I do really appreciate her feeding them and checking on them each day. Who knows what kind of trouble they would have gotten into otherwise? My puke-soiled duvet cover is in the dryer as we speak, and if that’s the worst that happened, I’m vaguely ok with that.

We both work two jobs…you’d think they’d be more used to us NOT being home.

Beach view

Either way, I’m glad to be back, even though it feels like I never left. In case you’re wondering, Ft. Myers Beach is a very lovely destination. I don’t know what it’s like for spring break or during the summer but it was mostly older people and Germans. I don’t know why that area attracts a plethora of Germans, but MAN, is it ever full of them. I wish the weather had cooperated a bit more, but it was pretty and it’s always nice to get away with the boyfriend.

Off to the beach…without the kitties *gasp*

The boyfriend and I are taking a minitrip. We’re not going far (we live in Florida, after all) but it will be away from the boys. Although they will be cat sat by a most dependable kitty mommy (my own) I worry about the trouble these boys will get into. It was suggested to me that perhaps my cats aren’t really as weird as I think they are, that I’m such a crazy cat lady that I watch them more closely than normal people watch their cats.

This may be true. But part of the reason I watch them so closely is because I’ve had so many crazy incidents when I don’t. Normal people’s cats don’t eat the handles off garbage bags. Taco is seriously a bad toddler who does things merely to get attention. Actually, now that I think about it, he’s at his worst when he’s right in front of my face. THAT’S when he uses his reserve of “bad cat.” Just a second ago he started batting at the laptop cord that’s sitting next to me. It’s normally well within his reach and he doesn’t bother with it. Now it’s something that he can demonstrate his brattiness on with an audience.

So maybe they’ll be fine. They tend to half-hide from my mom anyway. For two cats who have never known anything but love and affection from everyone that’s ever come in contact with (and considering that the two people that come in contact with them most often sometimes use them for their own amusement), their aversion from people other than me and the boyfriend is baffling. Moosh will be good. At 4, he only feels kittenish half the time. He will, of course, miss “Mommy Moosh Time” but he’ll forget by the time we get back. I thought he would hate me the time we went to Hawaii and boarded him for a week, but he acted like no time had passed and he’d been at home all along.

I’m sure they’ll be upset that we’re not taking them along to what would be nature’s litter box (by that I mean the beach in general, it’s not like we’re going to some el grosso beach) but they’ll live, so long as my mom can figure out the litter genie (they didn’t have diaper genies 30 years ago, it seems).

Taco is currently putting his paw in my glass of water and drinking it from his paw. He has a giant water bowl about 10 feet away. I’m going to have to start buying sippy cups. Those paws have been in poop. Gah.

What will happen to the bunnies????

I live in a townhouse. Behind my townhouse is a “yard,” then some trees and foliage, and then what USED to be some sort of overgrown field. I’m not sure what was back there, I never ventured that far. I almost did one time when we thought Taco had gotten out (he was inside the couch) but nothing bad really ever seemed to come from back there either so I didn’t really pay it any mind. There are bunnies who come out and eat the grass and amuse the kitties by ignoring them completely. I had imagined they lived in the growth back behind the trees.

But this week, some big machine razed everything back there. I enjoyed the privacy that having NOTHING behind our house afforded, and the quiet. I don’t know what they’re going to do back there. But more importantly, I wonder what will happen to the bunnies?

Sorry for the flash, my phone was being uncooperative.

I love Florida. I was born here. I grew up here. I inherited my mom’s passion for the nature here. So maybe that’s kinda hippie of me. I once watched my normally mild-mannered mother get out of her car and yell at people cutting down mangroves (it’s illegal, they protect against erosion).

So pardon me if I get annoyed every time one more patch of nature goes to shit. Florida isn’t that big, and there’s not that much left that’s not paved over. Even the beaches we’re so envied for, those aren’t real. They truck in the sand. Real Florida beaches are kind of like dirt sand. It’s still nice, it’s just not real. Palm trees are not native here. We have Palmettos (and hence Palmetto bugs, aka roaches, aka Florida’s state bird).

I fall in love with Florida all over again every time I drive over this bridge.

Can’t help taking pics on the bridge.

I get so pissed when there’s a commotion about an alligator venturing into someone’s house. Oh, golly gee, how dare he? Alligators are protected unless they’re “nuisances” and then they have to kill them. How is walking around in your natural habitat a nuisance? He doesn’t understand why the hell someone put a house there.

And the most heartbreaking. The Florida Panthers. They are incredibly beautiful animals. There’s so few of them left. Why? Because they keep trying to cross roads and get hit by cars. Because they keep putting *&$#*(#ing roads everywhere.

I don’t like my generation. I’m terrified of the generation after mine. I think we’re all a bunch of selfish a-holes who are ruining everything. So what if we didn’t make the hole in the Ozone? We know better now. If you’re reading this, I’m probably not talking to you, because it’s people who don’t read that scare me the most.

Aaaaand that’s my rant for the day.

Hurricane a comin’ – batten down the kitties.

As a lifelong Florida resident, I’m fairly used to hurricanes. I personally have only been in one, and technically it didn’t come on shore, just squeezed by really close. That was 1985, and I was 3. It’s actually the earliest memory I have. Evacuating to what would one day be my high school.

The number of POTENTIAL hurricanes I’ve been through, that’s a different story. Weatherpeople positively salivate over the slightest inkling of a storm brewing. You can see the excitement in their eyes. Personally, I find them fascinating. I always wanted to be a hurricane hunter, which would conveniently combine my love of hurricanes and my love of flying, but unfortunately it also involves something I would dislike, which is joining the Navy. I think it’s the navy. Either way, my aversion to authority makes that a not-so-awesome option.

This is Tommy, my dad’s old plane. The urge to pilot is genetic. Do not attempt to hurricane hunt in this.

Fortunately, it looks like Isaac is moving away from my little peninsula-on-a-peninsula. Which means I’ll have to work tomorrow, but it also means I don’t have to sandbag my sliding glass doors. Or put up shutters, or worry about roofs flying off. Thanks to the kitties drinking only distilled water, I am able to justify my large bottled water purchase, and it will not go to waste, like the last time I bought a bunch of water for an almost-hurricane, and let it sit in the linen closet for years (I don’t know why I stored them there, I suppose it must have seemed like a good place at the time) before realizing they’d expired. Did you know water has an expiration date? I don’t know why, maybe it’s the plastic leaching into the water or something. Either way, I’m an avid follower of the expiration dates (except with peanut butter, I’m reasonably sure that never goes bad) so I poured out the water and dutifully recycled the bottles.

I’m slightly annoyed that I didn’t buy more food for the week, as I didn’t want things to go to waste if the power went out. And I completely forgot to buy more Rescue Remedy (a natural de-stresser) for Taco. Hurricanes pose more of a threat to Taco than just blowing over his home. The Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, my vet says, seems to flare up in cats when there are hurricanes around. Sensitive little things they are. And he doesn’t even have to worry about boarding up windows!

I’m not sure why Taco looks terrified here.

It’s also good that we don’t have to evacuate, because I only have one cat carrier…I keep meaning to buy another one but the prices are outrageous for what is essentially a glorified gym bag.

40 bucks for this thing, and it’s a piece of crap.

Now I’m off to go do laundry until it’s time to pick up the boyfriend from his 2nd fantasy football draft. Draft #2 for me is online, so at least I don’t have to drive anywhere else in the crappy weather that the outer bands of Isaac are supposed to bring. Traditionally, a hurricane party could still commence (as long as you did some sort of preparation because the chance of getting hit was there, that’s the only prerequisite), but that would make for an even worse Monday.