Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet The Kitties: Java

It's time for another installment of crazy-cat-lady-in-training indulgences!
Java was, to put it bluntly, an accident.

I was working at a self storage facility and had just gotten promoted to general manager which came with a nifty free apartment. I had Bunny and I thought that since I wouldn't have a roommate anymore maybe another cat would be a good idea to keep her company. I didn't want to just up and get another one before finding out how my baby reacted with other cats.

At the same storage company there was a customer, and we were on pretty good terms. She mentioned how she was going to be out of town and asked if I knew anyone that could watch her cat. I saw it as a perfect opportunity! I would watch her cat for two weeks and if they got along I could look into obtaining a kitty of my own once I had the funds and met the right match.

It was mid march when she came in with the cat crate. I should have known something was off at that moment. There was not one, but two cats in this crate (this second cat is Mary, but this story is not about Mary, it's about Java). So this girl told me that her friend had abandoned this second cat with her and she couldn't just leave her and would I possibly also watch the second cat as well?

I looked into the crate and two pairs of beautiful eyes peered curiously back at me. My heart melted and I agreed. It couldn't hurt, it was just for two weeks anyway. Then the second warning came about when she mentioned that I should be careful about letting them get outside because neither one of them was spayed.

"They're so beautiful I just think it would be sad if they never had kittens!"

Being adamantly against backyard breeding I wanted to say something but I held my tongue. It wasn't my cat, it wasn't against the law, it wasn't my choice. I took the cats.

Bunny did not like either Mary or Java (they called her Maui at the time. Like the Hawaiian island). Java was too bossy and didn't like to share. She would cuddle, but only when she wanted it. She liked sitting on peoples laps, but she didn't like people to pet her while she was sitting on their lap. She didn't hesitate to make her displeasure known by swatting at a hand that didn't know its place.

Her wide blue eyes spent most of their time narrowed in an angry expression, a warning that this was not a cat to be messed with. Over the two weeks she and I had grown fond of each other. She allowed me to pet her, pick her up and play with her. She liked curling up with her head tucked under my neck and it was very sweet.

The third week passed. I called the girls phone but it went to her voicemail. I left her a message asking her to call me back.

The fourth week passed. I called her again and it went straight to voicemail. I left her another message asking her what she wanted me to do with the cats.

The second month passed. I called her phone but the voicemail box was full. I was unable to leave a message.

The third month passed and I called her phone to find that it had been disconnected.

I came to the conclusion that she had evaporated.

I went upstairs (the apartment was conveniently located directly above the office for the storage facility where I worked) and I came home to Java (I hated the name Maui so I called her Java, since she's a javanese, thinking that it didn't matter so not a whole lot of thought went into the name). Her large blue eyes greeted me accompanied by a meow and a rub against my leg. I picked her up, kissed her nose and said, "Well, I guess you're mine now!"

I fed them, cleaned their litterbox and then sat down for some TV and cuddles.

Bunny and Java still don't really get along. They have a tenuous truce where they have spats but once one of them runs away they don't seek each other out. It works.


Friday, February 25, 2011

A Flavor. It Has One.

I was home-schooled from middle school on. Though I certainly have no regrets at all (I'm quite proud of it) I did miss out on a few things. One of those is slang. I don't know a whole lot of slang and while I've managed to turn it into a joke about how old I am ("I'm hip to the jive, yo." being one of my favorites) there's still a piece missing when I communicate with my peers. Or worse yet, with kids that are younger than me.

I am aware that slang is a very culturally reliant creature. It varies even from county to county though this issue has become less of one since access to the internet has increased. Internet has been able to develop its own languages (H@x0rZ, Lolcat, and my least favorite: chatspeak) that are fairly universal as long as the base language is the same.

This isn't to say that there aren't still some predominantly regional specific evolutions of language and this is what I struggle with most. I usually explain it away by understanding I spent the first seven years of my life in another country. Or, that my mother was a large part in my growth and development and she herself was born and raised in Germany. Europe is very different in many ways and it's clear the impacts my mother had on my sister and I.

I've managed to battle all of these shortcomings with one simple feat. I make up my own slang. If people can come up with nonsensical abbreviations and mutations of a language, why can't I? At least it'll make sense to me. Here's a few of my translations and the reasoning behind them.

Hobo Sandwich: I believe I went through about a year and a half of my life calling everyone and everything a Hobo Sandwich. I did this because if Jizzy to the nizzy can mean something (I don't know if that's real, but I'm sure something that sounds like that exists) why can't I make a term that is both confusing and a minor insult. It follows the same logic of the "your MOM" jokes.

Of course I couldn't just leave it as a nothing, I had to actually invent the Hobo Sandwich. A Hobo Sandwich requires a french roll or baguette of some kind. Next you need at least three different kinds of deli meats and three different kinds of sliced cheese. You roll up the cheese inside the meats, alternating the different kinds. You cut the roll or baguette in half, take a bit of the bread out of the inside (eat it or feed it to pigeons or ducks), spread mayonnaise and mustard in the inside and then put the meat cheese rolls in it and eat. It is noms.

Midnight thirty/Noon thirty: I am NOT the only person to do this. I started doing this because I had a strange sleep schedule that means I was up at both noon and midnight. Since saying "twelve thirty" could mean anything to me, I use midnight and noon to differentiate between the two. Many people have questioned my use of these terms. I don't know why, it's very clear. Thirty can be substituted for fifteen or twenty-three, whatever as long as it pertains to a time.

I thought it as pretty original based on the response I got but recently I've heard many other people use it as well so it must have been around before I started using it. Maybe I heard it subconsciously somewhere in passing, I don't know. It's unlikely people started using it because of me since I'm not exactly the kind of person other people want to emulate.

I don't use this word to only mean that something is literally shiny. I use it as a synonym for interesting. I cannot tell you how confused people look when I say, "that sounds shiny". As far as I'm concerned if "sick" or "ill" can mean something is great, then shiny can absolutely mean something is interesting. It even makes more sense since being sick is never awesome but shiny things are often interesting. You can admit it, I'm a genius.

Can I touch it?: So this isn't obviously slang, but it's technically slang. It functions as "Can I see that?" but on a literal level. I made it literal because I have always been ridiculously annoyed by the overdone and stupid joke in response.
Me: Can I see that?
other: Yeah, look, SEE IT?! Hahaha, I'm so funny.

I figured if I literally request to hold or touch something they are denied whatever sick pleasure they may derive from being a jerk and I get a straight up yes or no response. It functions brilliantly.

What flavor is it?: This is one of my favorites because no intentional thought process went into it. I've been asking this question since I was a kid. This isn't slang if I'm using it to ask about a flavor of candy or other edible item, but it is when I'm asking about a color or type. Of course there are times when I get the "it doesn't have a FLAVOR" response but I feel accomplished when people just get it and answer my question.

I very distinctly remember having an argument with my mom about whether or not chapstick was edible. I was about three and I had gone through half a tube of chapstick. She insisted that it was not food, but the product was very clearly labeled as cherry. Cherry is a flavor. Also, it was delicious.


P.S. Yes, I could read when I was three, no I was not a prodigy, my dad was just really good at teaching.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feminist Feminine Femininity

I may have internal reproductive organs but I'm actually quite terrible at being a woman. At least, a woman as expected in today's society.

Sure, I still have the old fashioned bits in me. I tend to play traditional roles when I'm in a relationship. I prefer to do the cooking and cleaning, play house, all that jazz.

As far as being girly, I don't get it. I have terrible fashion sense. No joke, when I go to the store I make a beeline for anything green. Especially if it's lime green. I can't seem to help it, I find the color super attractive and everything else I miss. This is why I always need to go with someone else or I wouldn't have any other colors in my closet. I pretty much refuse to wear pink or purple most of the time.

I do have a sick fascination with stuff that's ugly but it's not supposed to be. I mean, when it's supposed to be ugly it's just not special enough. But when it's supposed to be attractive and it's hideous and the person making obviously is unaware of their ugly making skills I can't help but feel sorry for the poor thing. So then I usually buy it and wear it and rejoice in the ugliness.

When I was a kid I tried really hard to fit in. I liked things because people told me to like them. I claimed pink was my favorite color because girls like pink and since I'm a girl I should like it too. To this day I still have resentment toward that color. Misplaced rage I guess.

I don't do the whole "pampering" thing. I don't wear make up because foundation makes me sweat and I rub my eyes a lot so eyeliner and mascara get smudged. I save that for special occasions only. I don't go to someone to cut my hair, I cut it myself if I get bored. My concept of 'doing' my hair means I don't put it in a ponytail and while it's wet I put in some mousse so that the natural curls can reign free. I don't own a hair dryer or a functioning straightener. I don't like massages because I don't like strangers touching me. I don't like pedicures because I don't like my feet to be touched, I like my callouses, thank you much! I don't like nail polish because it makes my hands sweat. I don't file my nails, I bite them down to size.

I went through a stage where I wore acrylic nails and though there were some definite fun parts to that (I tapped everything obsessively, it's one of the greatest sounds in the world) just having them on my nails was uncomfortable. I ended up gnawing most of them off like a deranged ferret. That became my new hobby, tapping different stuff and gnawing my fake nails. I've since recovered and typing has been so much easier.

I watch Project Runway and all it does is remind me how bad my taste is, because my favorite designer never wins. My showers are quick and efficient. When I take my time and try to relax I'm still barely pushing fifteen minutes. I'm still working on my ability to successfully pull off a guilt trip without laughing because I think they're stupid.

The worst? I'm a logical beast. When people approach me with problems I listen, ask a few questions and finally offer insight and a solution and if I approach someone I appreciate the same in return. This works with most of the males I know but the women? Most of them get so upset with me. They don't want SOLUTIONS! They don't want ANSWERS! They don't want PERSPECTIVES! They just want to be mad, right and justified.

Even worse is when there is no solution or answer. Or if it's already been offered and they just keep on going and I'm stuck wondering what I do now! It's profoundly uncomfortable. Not too long ago another student felt that it was prudent to share with me how sad she was that she lost her boyfriend because she cheated on him. She just kept going on about regret and how she missed him. Eventually she paused and looked at me, expecting something. I stared back, panicked a bit before offering a brilliant response.




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Plan: Family Stickers

I cannot stand those dumb stickers that people put on the back of their cars. You know, the ones where you have a sticker that represents Mommy, Daddy, Timmy, Jane and even the little dog Spot.

These are usually seen on minivans or SUV's driven by mom and probably the only people in the family who care about it are mothers and young impressionable children. Everyone else in the family just shuts up and lets this type of person have her project.

That might be sexist, but I'm allowed to because I'm a woman. That's just how the world works.

Now, my disdain for this type of broadcasting goes beyond the concept of "NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FAMILY" rage that has taken hold of fellow family sticker haters. I get that we live in a tech age where micro blogs like Twitter give people that idea that everyone in the world is enamored with every mundane bit of information that is vomited from the brain. It really comes as no surprise that eventually something like this would end up on cars in public. I mean, bumper stickers have been around forever, it was only a matter of time before this happened.

I always felt the difference between bumper stickers and Twitter is that bumper stickers have a political point or something funny and worth seeing (ideally) whereas Twitter is a bunch of "I had a ham sandwich just now!" and "Why does no one comment on my Twits?" (Hint: The answer to that question is the former example). Unfortunately now with these particular stickers everyone wants to share the same stupid, useless information.

Like I said though - I get that. My problem is from a safety perspective.

Sure the average person doesn't give two hoots about your kids. That doesn't mean no one is interested. Think about it, do you want potential criminals to know that you're a single mom with no dog? Do you want all the pedophiles in the area to know that you have three small children? Even worse is when the names and/or ages of everyone is below their sticker! "Hello Dorothy age 6, your mother Mary told me to pick you up and take you home today. Your dog Spike got lost and she's busy trying to find him" BAM - kidnapping.

So with all that in mind here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to put a sticker of me on the car. Brandishing a bazooka. Then, I'm going to fill up the rest of my back window with as many different cat stickers as I can and each of THEM will also have different types of guns. What kind of person would kidnap me, or even break into my house? People will either think I'm insane or they'll think I have a thousand armed cats. It's better than any other home security system. Other than an actual shotgun of course.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Which Is Worse?

Am I dead?

No, I don't think I'm dead.

I think I've gotten hella busy.

I'm going to continue being hella busy until Monday.

It's not that I've run of ideas. Oh no. Ideas. I have them.

On that note, I have gotten a few complaints from two of my *counts* six followers. That's 1/3 of you that actually care about my blogs. I'm so touched!

So here is what I have for you today:

As some of you may know I have begun a program called couch to 5k (C25K) so that I can train for marathons. I have been doing this... about a month and a half now. My progress is slow but steady due to some health and weight issues but these are not funny, or at least I haven't figured out how to make them funny, so I won't go into it.

This means I'm spending some time at the gym, running on treadmills. Don't give me the "Oh, you should run outside" bit. Running is a chore for me right now, and my abilities are limited. What basically gets me through is being in a climate controlled environment with a TV to distract me from counting down seconds.

Tangent: I'm so sick of when I mention that I'm exercising or dieting and people start immediately lecturing on what I should and shouldn't do. If I want your advice, I'll ask for it. Frankly, until then, I don't give a crap what you have to say. Unless it's encouraging. That's nice. /tangent.

My anxieties tend to be fairly common, though often the reasoning behind the anxiety may not be. I'm a fairly clumsy person and my balance is less than stellar. I tend to 'go' in the direction that I'm looking.

I am terrified of falling while on the treadmill.

It's not because I'm afraid of busting my teeth out of my mouth or breaking my leg. No, nothing like that. I mean, it wouldn't be pleasant. It's not that I crave injuries, I just don't live in fear of avoiding them more or less than the average person (I'm assuming).

It's because I'm super concerned about people seeing me fall. For me, the idea that people that I see every other day would show up and forever know me as that fat girl that ate it on the treadmill is terrifying.

One time not too long ago I got dropped off by a friend. I was returning from vacation and being loathe to take more than one trip back and forth I opted to carry my stuff piled high. I missed a step and fell, skinning my knees, shins and hands after I dropped everything. My immediate concern became "Holy beans, I hope my friend didn't see me do that." So I flipped around and sat on the step to see that by some miracle he hadn't pulled out enough to see around the garage where I was.

Seconds later he pulled out and I waved nonchalantly as though I had fully intended to sit on the step and that I hadn't ended up there by accident. As soon as he was out of sight I moved my items and tended to my wounds.

Close call.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meet The Kitties: Rabbit

My friends refer to me as "The Crazy Cat Lady".

I maintain that I am not, in fact, a crazy cat lady, I am merely a crazy cat lady in-training.

I have three cats. That I love very much. I talk to them, make up songs about them, 90% of the pictures in my phone are of them, worry about them when I'm out of town, train them, the works.

The first one I'll tell you about today is Rabbit. I call her Bunny, Bunnyguts, Bunnycat, Bunnycatattack, The Great White Panther, ghost and a few other things but mostly Bunny.

I met Bunny when I was walking into Petco to buy some mice for my snakes. Most Petcos work in conjunction with rescues to allow adoptable animals to be displayed and I always stop and take a look. That particular day I see a tiny white kitten with big greenish yellow eyes and a patch of black fur on her head looking terrified. We make eye contact and she meows with all her might, scrunching up her face with the effort it took her to make the sound.

I call this the scrunchy-face-meow. It's very common in kittens.

At that moment, my heart melted and I knew it was meant to be. I immediately began talking to the person in charge of adopting them out and got her story. She was only eight months old and when she was tiny had been rescued from a horrible situation that left her terrified of people and new places. In her time at the rescue she had been adopted out three times and returned because she would not calmly submit to being cuddled and carried right away.

The man agreed to let me try and meet her. When he first opened the door she ran away from him and he wasn't able to catch her. I asked him if he would let me try and he agreed. I put my hand in the cage and just laid it on the ground with my fingers out. It took a few minutes as she smelled me and crept closer until finally she rubbed her cheek against my fingers and flopped herself onto my hand so I could scratch her behind the ear. I scratched and stroked her, keeping an eye out for any signs of distress.

Eventually I was able to pick her up and put her in the carrier so I could take her home. The person checking me out said he would see me in two weeks. That was how long the other homes had taken her before bringing her back.

In all fairness he was right. I was back in two weeks. I bought cat food.

That's how I got Bunny.

The past four years with her have been amazing and I have many more stories to tell about her that are funnier, but I feel like this gives a little insight into the crazy animal that is my Bunnycat.