Archive for the ‘Cat Capers’ Category

Cat Tails

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

My apologies for the lack of posts. A couple of things have side tracked me.

One afternoon at the end of September, after a 15 mile bike ride and then a nap, I woke up and could barely move. My lower back and left hip were so painful I almost threw up as I tried to get out of bed. (See? Exercise will kill you.)

24/7 pain is not a good motivator for writing. In fact, 24/7 pain isn’t a good motivator for anything.

My chiropractor said, “You’ve been sitting too much. Stop sitting so much.”


That is fantastic advice: except I have a desk job. And my favorite form of exercise involves sitting (on the bike, people. Not channel surfing!).

And I had promised my sister I would scrapbook her wedding, which also involves rather a lot of sitting. YIKES.

However, I decided it was time to make an appearance here and after the cat capers of the last couple of days I thought now was the purr-fect time.

Since Mr. J moved back he works from home and all of our cats have attached themselves to him.

I mean, I get it: He is there 24/7. I am not.

We have a white cat that lost his Mama kitty very early. When we first got him he wouldn’t clean himself so we washed him to keep his feet clean.

After a few weeks he caught on. Generally, speaking.

I get home last night and he falls over at my feet so I can pet him and I notice he has a dirty butt. I turn to Mr. J and say, “Did you see this? Why haven’t you cleaned him up?”

“I didn’t notice.”

Because this is a public forum and Mr. J might actually read this I’m NOT going to type out what I thought. We’ll just call it: CENSORED

I drop my computer bag, lunch bag, purse and shrug out of my coat and scarf. I am now on the floor with a warm washcloth cleaning a cat’s butt. Gotta love coming home after a long day!

As the evening wore on another one of the cats started choking on something. I call out to Mr. J and we move in to grab the cat. Our quickly shouted back and forth plan is to do the ‘hooked’ finger method into his mouth in an effort to dislodge whatever is blocking his airwayThis freaks the poor cat out even more than choking. He jerks his back legs free from Mr. J’s hands, jack-knifes around and catches me square in the face, bunny-kicking the crap out of my bottom lip and chin.

The good news is: that while he tried to launch himself from our grasps, he dislodged the piece of food he was choking on. The bad news: the bottom half of my face was numb.

Later, as I’m sitting there watching TV – okay, yes I was channel surfing in this instance – our girl kitty gets in Ray’s lap and starts nursing/making biscuits (whatever you like to call it) and generally settling down with an amazingly loud, happy purr.

What the heck? How is it HE gets the purring cat and all I’ve got is the dirty butted cat and the crap kicked out of me when I tried to save another cat’s life??

Mr. J points out that during the night the girl kitty sleeps on my pillow, walking right over his face to get to me.

Right…..I say. Sure, she does. “And you’re laying there awake monitoring cat activities at 3am??” This is from the guy who only needs a flat surface to fall asleep. Literally.

Fast forward a few short hours to 5am this morning. I am deep in sleepy-land when I feel a huff of warm breath on my face. Then the tickle of gentle whisker nuzzles followed up by a VERY loud purr.

And there she is: the girl kitty! Mr. J was right!

She is purring all over me, nuzzling my hand, getting comfortable on my pillow and nursing herself into a heightened state of satisfaction.

I’m lying there feeling very vindicated and far more forgiving of her furry brethren when suddenly she revs her purr into overdrive.

She gets so excited she flexes her claws, moves her paw and “BAM!” I’ve got a cat’s claw embedded in the very TENDER skin beneath my lower right eye.

Won’t that make for lovely holiday pictures??

This is fantastic. I’ve now been beaten, scratched and shat all over by the bloody cats in my house….

Tell the truth: this tale (or tail) sounds like something you hear from a mother of 3 toddlers, doesn’t it??

There is a reason I didn’t have kids! And this might be it.

Anyone want a cat for Christmas?

Posted in Cat Capers, LJ's Story |

And Then I Set the Cat on Fire…

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Ever have one of those days? From the moment you reached your hand out from under the warm cozy comforter into the dark, freezing bedroom to shut off the blaring of the alarm you just knew: you were going to regret getting up.

You shiver into your robe and a dull throbbing in your temple taps a rendition of “All My Trials,” and your joints ache; a voice in your head whispers: “go back to bed.”

But you ignore it.

This was my day earlier this week. By 10am I had burned my wrist with my curling iron, I’d dropped almost everything I picked up: including my laptop bag, with laptop inside, of course, and I’d been late to a meeting – something I can’t stand. My father used to say he’d rather turn up 30 minutes early than five minutes late.

By noon I’d slammed my knee on my desk and almost hyper-ventilated during another meeting.

At 1:30p, after gritting my teeth through yet another meeting I went into the well-appointed women’s restroom, tried to stand so as to not activate the automated faucets which can (and have) splash my suede jacket. I took a long, deep breathe. Twice.

“Everyone can’t be an idiot, Lara. The common denominator is you. Get. A. Grip.”

The afternoon was little better and by the time I got home I’d had more than enough.

A warm bubble bath and a well worn copy of one of my favorite novels was calling my name. I lit a candle I’d received for the holidays, preparing to disrobe and slip into the luxurious warmth of my garden tub.

Just as I reached for the faucet I remembered I needed to call my father. He’d started physical therapy and I wanted to get a progress report.

I Skyped my parents on my laptop and we talked for a few moments.

In the middle of my relaying my rotten day I suddenly smelled something horrible.

Something was burning!

Immediately I ran for the dryer: after all when was the last time I’d cleaned out the lint trap?? Try September.

I opened the lint trap and pulled out a 3-inch pile of who-knows-what….but that wasn’t what smelled. I walked over to our gas fireplace. No smell there either.

“The candle,” I remembered. I walked into the bathroom, took a whiff of the candle: there wasn’t any particular smell, good, bad or indifferent. “What a dud,” I said, blowing it out, hurrying back to my laptop to my parents who were concerned.

“No idea,” I said, as way of explanation.

Just then Alex, my long haired (previously) long tailed tabby cat came into view.

His tail was a disaster!

Luckily, thankfully, the fire had gone out before it burned down to his skin. He didn’t seem to be hurt at all, in fact, he didn’t seem to even be in distress.

I almost collapsed with panic at what could have happened: how Alex might have been painfully burned. Or when getting away from the flame, his long tail could have brushed against the cotton shower curtain or my bamboo-fiber robe.

The next time I wake up and feel like I should stay in bed I’ll probably still get up. But I’ll make sure there are no open flames…which Alex will appreciate. In the meantime we’re calling him Stubby……


FCC – (Cat)ch Me if You Can

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Truth telling time: I don’t like talking on the phone. That makes it rather a challenge in a long distance relationship when besides email telephones are the only way I have any interaction with Mr. J while he is in his respective domicile.

Even though I totally recommend webcams as a way to stay in touch, both of our computers predate built in webcams.

A few weeks ago I got an email from my mother who had just bought a laptop with a built in webcam. (What on earth does my mother need with a laptop?) And she’s all tricked out with her snazzy built in webcam and an account with Skype. Who knew?

She’s kicking back online talking to her brother and sisters. Then I’m being bombarded with emails from my aunts and uncle full of recommendations on which webcam to buy so I can “get with the times.”

Grousing, I drove to Best Buy and plunked down $45 for a Logitech webcam.

Installation was a breeze and before I knew I was in business. The first thing I thought when I saw myself in the inset window was: Oh. My. God. I look terrible. Scrambling over to my social networking site to grouse about how appalling I looked my friends assured me that everyone looks dreadful on a webcam. Since I don’t have discretionary funds to burn on a plastic surgeon, I decided to believe them.

Once I got past the Haggard Me on the webcam I realized how much fun it was. I could actually see into my parent’s house. It was just like sitting there with them having a conversation with both of them at once. This is way cooler than the phone. I’m totally hooked.

On our weekly call my parents’ cat decided he wanted in the act and jumped up into my father’s lap, effectively getting some “on screen” time.

Hearing a meow coming from my computer, my cat Alex decided to get involved. Up on the keyboard he jumped, claws clicking across my keyboard as he noses the screen.

Then, he is turning and the next thing I know he has provided my parents a full view of his butt. I believe Sharon Stone once called it “seeing all the way to Nebraska!”

“Alex!” I yell as my parents chuckle.

I hear my father’s very southern drawl, “Lara – I don’t know about where you live but sitting in the state that is the buckle on the Bible belt, that sort of thing is illegal!”

Terrific. Just what I need….a fine for indecency from the FCC. On the upside: Alex’s butt was clean and now everyone knows it!

My parting bit of advice about webcams: They are terrific and you should absolutely jump on this bandwagon if you haven’t already. On a cautionary note: be careful that you actually log off once you think your call is complete and/or are fully clothed when you fire up your webcam. You could be displaying parts of yourself (a la Janet Jackson like) that you never meant to.

Anyone have any funny webcam stories to share? I’m all ears (and eyes).


Jameson the Terrible

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Since I have cats not kids, from time to time I’ll be telling you about some of the cats crazier exploits.

As previously reported, Jameson’s elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. “Challenged” doesn’t even begin to describe what is wrong with this cat.

However, he is 100% adorable (or he was until last Monday night) even if he is the strangest animal I’ve ever met.

He is not only strange but he is also persistent. Jameson has decided that he wants “outside” which is a no-no in my book. My cats are strictly indoor cats. It is safer for them and me. The last thing I want to do is fight off an invasion of fleas because my cats have been outside slumming with their less cared for brethren.

Of course that means that since I won’t allow it, Jameson has decided that he must go “out” every time I open up the door. And his strategy is to flop down and refuse to move whenever I head near the front door, or the door that leads into my garage. I end up carefully (usually) moving his suddenly deadweight carcass aside with my foot in order to leave the house.

On Monday night I was pre-packing the car. I had a lunch meeting the following day that required handouts and props. Right after work I had a hair appointment and as I surveyed what I was wearing on Tuesday I decided I’d better tuck in an extra shirt for the appointment. I knew that red hair dye would be involved and I didn’t want to chance getting it on my favorite ivory sweater.

On my last trip outside, Jameson made a beeline and before I knew it he had zipped into the garage.

It was after 10:30pm and I was incensed.

I have a tiny (okay, huge) problem with insomnia which results in me lying in bed for hours on end trying to go to sleep. Before you say it: allow me to say that getting up after 30 minutes will not help. If I get up and do “something else” waiting for my body to tell me it is sleepy I will end up staying up all night and then be a basket case for work.

Yes I have tried everything: valerian root, Benadryl, brandy, blue light box, warm milk (disgusting!), chamomile tea, and melatonin: drops, pills, you name it, I’ve tried it.

Ambien? Yes. And that drama would require its own separate rant, so let’s just say I did and it wasn’t for me.

In any case, I have it in my head (right or wrong) that I am more likely to fall asleep during certain times. I have a small window of opportunity between 10:15 and 11pm. Otherwise my next window of opportunity is around 1am. Missing that “departure point” I’ll be on full alert until 3am. So at 10:30pm I am not happy to be chasing down a wayward cat.

Where is the first place he goes? Under my car. Because, you know: I can’t.

But what I can do is get a broom.

I’m yelling up a storm, swiping the broom underneath the car like a whip while he hides from wheel well to wheel well, depending on which side I’m coming at him from.

In hindsight it occurred to me that someone standing outside the garage door would have heard some really crazy things as I’m cursing the cat, and WHOOMPING the broom side to side.

When it appears that the broom is not having the desired effect and all that the two of us are doing is running around in circles, I decide to try a slightly different approach.

Back in the house, I lock up Jameson’s brother, Alex, and then I prop open the door that leads back into the house. I figure I can flush Jameson out and hopefully (if he had a brain) he will run for the safety of the house.

Does that happen? Heck no.

Out from under the car he scrambles, lunging toward the small mountain of boxes where we store stuff we cannot get rid of, yet do not use. Up he goes, more nimble than a Billy goat.

When I surge toward him, his eyes roll up in his head, and he is panting like a racehorse, nostrils flaring. His heart is beating so fast I’m worried he is going to have a stroke. Nonetheless, I drop the broom, which clatters to the ground and scares him further.

Jameson is a white cat. Or he used to be. He is now grey.

“You’d better clean that up, Mister.” I say as I march him into the house. He is horribly grubby: front and back paws, and his entire belly.

He looks at me as if to say, “If you’d used that broom with as much vigor on the garage floor as you did on me, we wouldn’t have this little problem.”

He might have a point. And I spend until 1:15am giving it serious thought.

Posted in Cat Capers, LJ's Story |

To Clean or Not to Clean

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

On the off weekends when Mr. J isn’t scheduled home, I struggle with the question of whether or not to clean the house.

In the interest of full disclosure you should know that by “clean” I mean pick up the miscellaneous junk that has cluttered the downstairs throughout the week and running the vacuum cleaner. That does not mean: dusting, cleaning the toilet bowl or mopping the floor. The house isn’t exactly sporting goat trails. Except for upstairs.

What is going on upstairs you might ask. On July 4th weekend, we started cleaning out closets. If I can ever make myself finish that “little” project there’s probably a post about that process in the piles and piles of junk somewhere. Here’s hoping that motivates me to get back up there and dig back in. Bit of a packrat, I am. As is Mr. J, which is a lethal combination: two packrats together, even if they don’t live together.

The weekends he doesn’t come home I think, “Why bother cleaning up? The junk will still be there next week and I can do it all at once on Thursday night before he gets home, thus freeing up my weekend for copious amounts of exercising, reading and writing….and maybe just a tad of home shopping.

Inevitably come Sunday evening I get restless and decide that I need to clean the house (again I refer you to my definition above). Regardless of the fact that I’ll do a deeper clean come Thursday evening, including all the junk I really hate: toilet bowls, scrubbing kitchen sink, dusting and egads: mopping….okay: just kidding on the mopping. Spot removing is more accurate.

At approximately 7pm I decide I need to unload the dishwasher, iron my clothes, change the sheets etc.

And this brings me to my questions:

Why is that Plasticware never seems to dry in the dishwasher? And what makes it magically dry as long as it is stacked upside down (same position as it was in the dishwasher) on my cabinet, draining on t-towels. What gives? On the other hand, maybe that is why it is called a ‘dishwasher’ not a ‘dish dryer’.

Re: the Ironing.
I wear a lot of linen in the summer months, like 95% of the time. Why do I waste my time ironing said linen? So the dashboard in my car knows that I put some effort into my appearance? Because by the time I finish my commute to work (a mere 15 minutes away) it will look worse than it did when I pulled it from the dryer.

And changing the sheets?

I have two cats that live with me permanently. However, they are so wrapped up with each other and in ignoring me that you’d think I was alone in the house. Until I decide to change the sheets. Then Jameson (whose elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top) decides there is no place he’d rather be than in the middle of the bed while I’m trying to put clean sheets on.

Mr. J and I have actually had conversations re: Jameson’s being touched.

Mr. J: “He’s just a kitten.”

L: “No. He’s not. He was over a year old when we got him. He is now over two years old. He is not a kitten.”

Mr. J: “Well, you know, he is developmentally challenged because of the way he was raised.”

L: “Are we really using our phone minutes AND having a ‘serious’ discussion about a cat being mentally challenged???”

Alas, he is challenged (Jameson, I mean.) That cat is more whack than any animal I’ve ever met. He acts more like a puppy ….a very fat puppy…than a cat.

But I digress. Back to the housework: when you do your housework? What motivates you to clean the house when it’s just you there? I’d love to hear your thoughts.