I think I probably post more pictures of Taco. This is not because he’s my favorite, it’s because he’s overly photogenic. Plus, he’s always in my face so he gets more picture opportunities, and he’s better than Moosh at not moving at the exact moment the picture is being taken. Also, Moosh, being all black, tends to end up looking like a black blob depending on what he’s laying on and the lighting.
So, because I had a hellish week that fried both my brain and my body (and because I’m extraordinarily lazy today), I’m not writing more than these introductory paragraphs and some captions. Instead, I bring you a tribute to my Boo Bear, the snuggly, perching elder son.
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.
Taco is a lot of things. King Brat. Adorable snuggler. Unwanted alarm clock. Needy pain in the ass. Loud.
What he is not: graceful.
This is unheard of for a cat, right?
This occurred to me tonight as I watched my cats eat. If you think this is weird, you’ve never done it. It’s really quite fascinating. Why did I ever do this? Well, Taco is also Jabba the Effin’ Hut, and if I don’t stand over them watching, he’ll take over Moosh’s food. Somehow (I’m not entirely sure how this works) my hovering presence keeps Moosh comfortably eating and Taco in his own dish.
Anyway, I water down their food, because Moosh barely eats any wet food and because Taco needs to get more water to ensure he stays crystal blockage-free. So the first couple of minutes of them eating is really drinking meat water.
Have you ever watched ANY cat drink water? It’s practically an art. This comes from an article in the Washington Post:
“While a dog curls its tongue like a ladle to collect the water and then pull up what it can, a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.
An average house cat, the team found, can make four of these mini-streams per second.
‘What we found is that the cat uses fluid dynamics and physics in a way to absolutely optimize tongue lapping and water collection,’ said Jeffrey Aristoff, now at Princeton University but who was one of the four researchers who began the study out of curiosity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
This is actually a fairly recent study, from 2010. Kinda crazy it took that long to get around to cats drinking water, considering Darwin studied MOTHS and shit. Forever ago. God, I love science. The mechanics of EVERYTHING is so interesting. And of course, cats are interesting anyway. And of course, I do find it amusing that cats beat dogs in the lapping game. One more reason for them to be arrogant assholes, I suppose.
Back to Taco. He is, quite literally, retarded at drinking. Watching Moosh smoothly lap up his meat juice with a rhythm you could practically set a watch to…and then compare with Taco, who laps more like an irregular heart beat. It’s almost painful to watch. In my dreams, I can NEVER run at full speed or throw a punch with all my power. It’s always like I’m running through quicksand. I don’t know what this means, nor do I particularly care, but this is what Taco’s lapping reminds me of.
This was just the catalyst that opened my eyes to how ungraceful Taco really is overall.
1. Moosh perches on my shoulders with ease.
So long as I give him the foothold, he’ll stand up there with very little wobbling and no claws. Taco, on the other hand, is like a Weeble Wobble, but he’ll sure as hell fall down, and he’ll take my skin down with him.
2. Taco still plays like a kitten.
You know how cute kittens are when they grab at stuff? Just kinda uncoordinated and grabby, no real skill at hunting. Taco’s 3. He’s not even remotely a kitten. But his paws are.
3. He falls off shit all the time. No spatial reasoning. He’ll roll over…and right off the bed.
4. When he’s jumping for a toy, he sprawls in the air and can’t hand for shit. It’s like watching Cirque De Soleil if the performers were hammer drunk. Nor does he have any consideration for what he lands on, like my foot. Or the side table.
I will give him this: There is one arena in which Taco has no equal in fluidity. And that is grabbing treats out of your hand with both paws while standing on his hind legs, checking to make sure the treat is within his greedy little paws before calmly lowering his upper half to the floor and his paws to his fat face to eat. I don’t even understand how he’s the same cat, sometimes.
Then again…like mother, like son, I suppose. I am quite possibly the most ungraceful human to walk this planet (except when I dance, and that is probably debatable, although not with me, because I think I’m bout it bout it). I’m injured every other minute. I currently have inflamed rib cartilage (not something you ever want to do, by the way, but I hear better than actually breaking one, so you REALLY never want to do that), a giant, painful bruise on my wrist I have no recollection of achieving, and I’m vaguely sure I re-sprained my thumb the other night pulling my pants down to pee. I know. Sad. But I’ve learned to laugh about it, except not right now because laughing is no bueno with the ol’ ribs.
In addition to my various other obsessions (e.g. Lil Bub, Words With Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, finding my million dollar idea), I love Pinterest. I kind of scoffed at the whole “Pinterest” thing when a few of my crafty friends told me about it early on, but I wish I’d listened to them then. Pinterest is a freaking WEALTH of information and good ideas. Holy crap. I have discovered SO many amazing things, and even tried them. There’s even a blog, Pintesting (tag line: fucking up pinterest pins so you don’t have to) about testing various Pinterest things, which is pretty damn funny. I have a friend who burned her hair trying a curling tutorial but I think so far I’ve had a good run. I have discovered the most AMAZING bath and sink cleaner, and there’s 3 ingredients. No scrubbing. You can check it out here, I would suggest looking at the rest of this blog too, because there are other really good ideas. You spray, let it sit for 15 minutes and then sponge it off. I’ve found it’s easier with a brush in the tub, though. But it works amazingly, which is good because our water is so hard it might as well be diamonds.
I’ve found some kickass recipes, although I can’t personally vouch for them because they’re all meat-filled ones that I made for the boyfriend (and for my friend at work, who I started taking portions to because the boyfriend gets sick of leftovers and also refuses to eat them after 3 days, but my friend will gladly accept and appreciate) but the consensus on everything so far is that the food was MWAH. Disclaimer: while I do follow the recipes, I tend to not measure EXACTLY and I add my own touches, so if your pinterest recipes suck, don’t blame me.
I also learned how to make a pouf with a ponytail, which I’m still trying to perfect, but it’s not half bad.
Also learned how to make smoky eyes, although they look better than this picture does them justice. I’m no amateur with makeup (my best friend is practically an artist and in the 16 years we’ve been friends, I’ve picked up a few things), but I thought I’d try it out and it was awesome! A slight exercise in frustration for me because my eyes are shaped differently so I can’t ever make them look the same no matter what I do. Thanks, genetics.
And then, there’s cats. So many cats.
I did join a group board, “Meow” for a few days but there were so many people posting on it, all I could see in my feed was cat stuff. This might sounds crazy, but I DO try to have other interests. And on top of the kitties I find through pinterest searching or seeing what my other cat-crazy friends pin, I have a place to neatly organize my internet cat craziness. This is fabulous. I’m a 21st century crazy cat lady.
And I really need to buy that “I F*CKING LOVE CATS” shirt. So I can alternate with my new Lil Bub shirt, of course.
Today was a very long day, just like every day this week has been. But it was an awesome day. Why, you ask?
BECAUSE LIL BUB CAME TODAY!
I’m having a lovefest, at least as much of a lovefest as my broken, injured self can have. The boyfriend was off from work today, and despite this fact he went all the way to the mailbox for me to pick it up (it’s at the entrance of our complex, he has the key). The only thing I’m a little upset about is that January and February are already over and I’m not able to enjoy the Lil Bub calendar for a full 12 months. January is Lil Bub and Gizmo!
Also a tiny bit perturbed that tomorrow isn’t going to be as warm as I’d like to wear my Lil Bub tank top, but hey, that’s what layers are for, right?
Every time I look at Lil Bub I squeal. I mentioned my squealing in an earlier post. I do it a lot. Over cute things, anyway. So I’m in a much better mood than when I hobbled out of Big Brown feeling like a big ball of pain. That could be the 3 beers, too, but who the hell cares.
Taco is rather dubious of this new arrival that I fawn over. Tough crap, kitty. His pictures are silent, unlike your loud ass. Maybe if you stuck your tongue out more often I’d fawn over you as much.
The calendar is coming to work with me tomorrow for everyone to enjoy. Fridays, although they are Fridays, always end up being a frantic marathon of a day, so Lil Bub will be much needed. Be jealous.
I know I’m not really on the cutting edge here. Too Cute is a show that’s been on Animal Planet for awhile.
But I feel it’s time that I express my utter love and devotion to it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format of this wonderful show, it follows 3 litters of different breeds of kittens (or puppies, and they branch out with other animals on occasion) from right about the time they’re going to open their eyes to a few months old, usually when they’re old enough to wean.
Now I’m not really a proponent of breeding cats. Not that I can’t appreciate the beauty of different breeds, but a) there are a lot of not-so-reputable breeders out there who can do a lot of damage with inbreeding and such, b) it’s really going against nature and natural selection which is such an amazing process in itself that I think humans have some friggin’ nerve to try and mess around with it and c) THERE ARE A BAZILLION STRAY CATS OUT THERE THAT NEED HOMES.
They never show the people in this show except for a hand here and there and occasionally children, but I do often wonder about the back story. Are these people breeders? Do they just love their purebred so much they want to pass on the bloodline? And most importantly, how the hell do these people (who usually seems to have rather nice homes) deal with cats that aren’t spayed or neutered? Both male and female cats that aren’t fixed are prone to a host of what we conceive (double entendre! Boom.) as behavorial issues because those kitties are horny little MFers. Like spraying and howling. Cat-in-heat spray is worse than cat pee.
Despite these unanswered questions, I adore this show. And I spend the entire hour (only the cat ones, sorry dog people, I love all animals but I just don’t love them as much as cats) squealing (and I mean that quite literally). I squeal, I “aww,” I talk to the kittens as if they’re actually in front of me (and as if they give a shit). I watched last week’s episode last night (god, I love my DVR). One of the breeds was Munchkins. I know from watching Cats 101 that this is actually a controversial breed, and in fact not really a breed at all, it’s just a genenic mutation. They have tiny legs. Which is why some people feel they shouldn’t be bred for that specifically. Putting all controversy aside, watching a munchkin kitten try to get around on tiny legs is AMAZINGLY ADORABLE. Only 2 of the 6 kittens in the litter got the tiny leg trait, and they were named PORKCHOP AND NUGGET.
I could just die. There was also a gratuitously delightful scene of a kitten getting lost under a hat. I don’t think I need to tell you how cute a hat/cat turtle is.
Sometimes I can get Taco interested in the TV. He’ll sit there and stare intently. Sometimes I can’t get him into it. Maybe he’s feeling his age. Moosh watched it once. The boyfriend refuses to watch this show. In fact, he thinks I’m crazy. I think it’s the squealing and the baby talk. I can’t help it. It’s just TOO CUTE. And honestly, we need more of that in the world.
I don’t know if you crazy kids are into the instagram these days, but I sure am. I keep my “celebrity” following to a minimum, as I really would prefer to see pictures of my own friends (I make exceptions for Justin Timberlake and 2Chainz) but I do follow a few “famous” cat accounts.
Grumpy Cat (she’s trademarked so I’ll just link to her webpage here)
Lil Bub makes me squeal with glee. SO FREAKING CUTE. And it was just announced yesterday that Bub is the focus of a new documentary that’s just been accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival. I really don’t care what it’s about, as long as there’s Bub in there, I’m happy. I was excited to learn that Lil Bub has quite fashionable gear for sale at reasonable prices as well, so I bought a tank top and a calendar. This made my day. PLUS…part of the proceeds go to charitable animal stuff and the rest goes to (QUITE SMARTLY) Bub’s food fund. The humans for these cats sure know how to grab on to their 15 minutes of fame. Shit, I’ve been reaching for mine for almost a year now doing this blog expecting to get discovered.
Unfortunately, as adorably unique as my kitties are, and no matter how much I know I could EASILY pick my boys out of a lineup of seemingly identical ones, they do not have funny fur colors that make them look like they have eyebrows or an eternally sticking out tongue. No, mine are just full of personality, the kind of bratty personality that kind of shows up in pictures and refuses to move an inch for video. I don’t even bother trying to catch these little imps in action anymore, they have a sixth sense for knowing when the camera’s rolling and stop doing anything remotely interesting immediately. DAMMIT, CATS. DO SOMETHING TO EARN YOUR KEEP.
It’s my birthday! I’m thirty-one. I have officially been old enough to drink legally for TEN YEARS. My god, that thought is horrifying. I remember how far away 21 seemed when I longed to be able to buy my own beer, and now I’m 10 years from that on the other side.
If you’re wondering why I’m writing a blog post instead of doing something fun and exciting to celebrate, it’s because it’s miserable outside. The weather is always a little flaky on my birthday but it’s not usually outright COLD. And it’s cold. Sunny, but windy and and cold. And since I’m still expelling an ungodly amount of mucus, I’m not willing to suffer through it for even a spring training baseball game, which the boyfriend lovingly offered up even though his back’s all screwed up and I know he isn’t impressed with the weather either. Now that I think about it, it was really windy on my birthday last year too, but it was HOT. I passed up a beach day because of the wind since getting sandblasted is NOT fun (I was also really hungover). So I’m here with the boyfriend, who is laying in bed with his bad back, and the kitties, who are sleeping on the couch next to me and in the cubby hole of the cat tree.
The boyfriend took me to get vegan pancakes this morning only for us to discover that the place serving the vegan pancakes is in fact no longer open. It was a truly lovely thought, though. And he got me vegan cupcakes!
I also got this amazing book, I Could Pee on This.
Poems by a cat. I assume they were dictated to a human. I had fun annoying the boyfriend while reciting some of them to him. Highly amused.
Except for the stupid weather, I feel loved and adored in my advanced age. I’ve had well-wishes and presents from all over, particularly on facebook, which makes one feel rather popular. Tonight I will drink with some friends and will attempt some sort of moderation, as hangovers have only gotten worse for me the older I get. We’ll see how that works.
I have accomplished a major goal today, on my 3rd day of vacation, and it’s only 8:30am (I’m a morning person, what can I say? I can’t sleep in). This means that I can officially spend the day lounging around reading if I so desire, and ignore the to-do list I already made. I just started a good one. I laughed about the writer’s name but it turns out she’s rather good. Joanna Trollope. I think I enjoy British writers more than American. Something about their cadence, I suppose. I will, however, read anything and everything, so long as something hooks me enough to find out what happens.
This goal goes back to the cat tree. I’m sure you’re all quite sick of hearing about the damn cat tree, and unless something incredibly fascinating happens with it someday, this will be the last I directly reference it. My dreams of the cat tree were mostly for Moosh, as he is a “tree dweller” sort of cat. I base this diagnosis on more than a few facts: he perches on my shoulders, he’s been found on more than a few occasions on top of the cupboards (once IN the cupboards), and he sits on top of the office bookcase. Taco just likes to go wherever, being UP on things isn’t that exciting to him. He just wants to be where the action is. I thought he’d enjoy the scratching stuff, though.
But guess who’s been using the cat tree more? Taco.
At first, I thought it was just him being a brat, taking over whatever space Moosh would want, but I tried putting Moosh on the highest part of the tree and he would either just jump down or step onto my shoulders and jump to the ground from there. Moosh HAS enjoyed the angled edges of the tree on various other levels, as he likes to smush his face against them. It looks very painful to me but it seems to be enjoyable for him. Whatever.
Turns out he just needed to do this on his own terms. Today, he got on the 2nd highest level. I managed to coerce him up to the next with promises of face smushes. And he stayed! I even walked away and he stayed. And realized that he had a pretty freakin’ good view.
MOMMY ALWAYS KNOWS BEST, BEYOTCH.
Update: For no apparent reason today, I caught Moosh on top of the fridge today, where he hasn’t been seen in months, who then, upon being spotted, made a run across the cupboards, then back again to the fridge and then down the minute I sat up to attempt a picture. This is what the cat tree was supposed to solve. Sigh.
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.