1. I know that water is the best thing for me, that on these hot summer days, I need to be drinking water, lots of water, oh hooray with the watery goodness of refreshment and life. I know. But let me assure you, friend, that admonishments as to best rehydration practices are not what I really want to hear at the checkout stand while you're ringing me up. Just let me pay for my damn diet root beer and go, no flirtatious disapproval necessary. It's flavorful and cold and I only drink soda maybe 10 times a year and if I wanted juice I would just eat a piece of fruit just leave me the hell alone.
It’s December, but we haven’t been having much of a winter. A lot of people think it never gets cold in the desert anyway, that it is 90+ degrees here year-round, but those are usually the same people who think everyone in Las Vegas lives in a casino. So, yeah.
It’s cold enough that every night (morning?) before I get into bed, I think about how I really ought to put on the flannel sheets, already– but not cold enough to actually prompt me to do so. And it’s cold enough that when I’m working in the kitchen at night, I’ll turn on the space heater, but only for a little while and on the lowest setting. It’s definitely not cold enough to justify turning on central heating– which is awesome in that our utility bill stays crazy low, but one of my favorite things about winter is the smell of the heater working.
But it *is* cold enough that Part II has adjusted her sleep habits accordingly, and this is another one of my favorite things about winter. During the summer (or whenever the nights start to get warm), she sleeps downstairs where it’s cooler, usually in the corner behind the television or inside one of the cabinets. But now, she sneaks into my room after I fall asleep and burrows between the four layers of comforters I sleep under, and she tucks herself into a little ball against my legs or my back. Sometimes, if I’m lying on my stomach, she’ll settle *on* my back, as though to pin me to the mattress to make sure I actually stay asleep. It’s not so much out of affection as it is utility– I’m just a heat-producing body as far as this interaction is concerned, really– but I love it all the same.
It was another day spent in airports. No weathers in Chicago, but there was a mechanical that resulted in over an hour’s delay and three gate changes (on the way to one of which I almost blacked out and probably would have had the man walking next to me not noticed something was up at my first wobble and steadied me until I was okay) for a flight I ended up not even being able to get on.
Finally made it out of Chicago on the second-to-last flight, landed in Vegas around 9 p.m. and promptly dissolved into tears again. I’d been wrapped in that missing and lonely feeling the entire flight back and that combined with the sudden delirious joy and relief of finally, oh finally being home– well, apparently it was too much.
And then I came home, home to my house, and the cat was missing.
This has happened once before, months ago: I was in the backyard replanting seedlings and she was out with me, and the next thing I knew, I looked up to find her gone. She’d slipped out through the gate, and I spent the next six hours alternately keeping vigil either at the window overlooking the front porch or on the balcony and running through the neighborhood streets, quietly but desperately calling for her. Six hours of making deals with God and the devil later, I found her at daybreak when I went back out on the balcony and called her, and she darted out from under a truck across the street.
It only took a half-hour this time to find her, but given the state I’ve been in these last two days, it may as well have been a lifetime. And I know it seems absurd, that so much of me could be wrapped up in a cat, but it is. I’ve just poured that much love into her for enough time that she is the heart of my heart.
All the same. I’m home, at last. I’m home and she’s home and tomorrow I start cleaning up the mess that my unanticipated absence -slash- greatly delayed return has created. I’m still listening to Owl City– "Maybe I’m Dreaming" has been keeping me company since last Thursday, and the more I listen to it, the fewer comparisons I make of it to The Postal Service (which is a good thing).
Lost in a silent ballet
I’m dreaming you’re out in the blue and I am right beside you
Awake to take in the view
Late nights and early parades
Still photos and noisy arcades
My darling, we’re both on the wing; look down and keep on singing
And we can go anywhere
It’s funny; I always expected "Give Up" to be my D.C. album, but instead, it’s turning out to be this one. But then, nothing tied to D.C. has been what I ever expected, so really, where’s the surprise? Quite.
Part II had a bad day. You wouldn’t think cats could have bad days, that cats have it good all day, every day, especially when they’re pretty pampered, as animals in my family tend to be– but, no. First she fell off the balcony; I only knew this because I heard a loud THUNK, the sound of something heavy dropping on the hood of my car, and then a tinkle tinkle tinkle, the sound of the bell on her collar. I grabbed a jacket and ran outside to look for her and found her cowering in the backyard, unharmed except for her pride.
And then not two hours later, she fell off the railing that borders the living room on the second floor, all the way down to the first floor– so, really, about the same distance as the first time. I even told her as she was catwalking the railing that it probably wasn’t a good idea, but of course she paid me no mind. (That oughta learn her.) Again, no injuries, but she crawled under the couch after that and wouldn’t come out for a while.
Anyway. I feel kind of sorry for her. But I can’t take her out for drinks. I can’t even buy her ice cream. How do you comfort a cat?
(* in accordance with Jeremy’s acknowledgement of last Friday)
Some families get all dressed up and go to a special church… thing… today.
In this family? We get dressed up and go to a special yummy fancy brunch. And then return home, whereupon I unleash my Arts & Crafts skillz and make bunny ears for my cat. (It was a bad year for oranges.)
I like our way better.
I’m pretty sure if the breeder saw these pictures, I’d get blacklisted in a heartbeat. Shelters around the country would be put on notice.
She ran out of the room a few minutes ago, but she did say she wanted to try on some bras later as well. I wasn’t so sure about that one, but– well. Those in the know, know you can’t argue with a cat.
We used to joke that plants that were bad in previous lives, came back to be adopted by college students. I’m pretty sure that cats who were bad in previous lives, come back to be adopted BY ME.
(Cross-posted from Flickr.)
Part II recently, finally, about-time-jesus-god figured out how to get
*out* of a cabinet. It would typically go like this: I would open a
cabinet door, she would dart inside of the cabinet, retreat to the
back, and look at me haughtily, daring me to crawl in there and get her
out because LIKE HELL she was going to follow my stern orders of "Get
your fuzzy little butt out here NOW!"
Finally, last week, I got sick of imploring, and just shut the cabinet door. And walked away.
An hour of listening to "MEWMEWMEW" (the cat) and "thudthudthud" (her
pathetic attempts to push open the door from the inside) passed. Then
there was silence. Then I forgot she was in the cabinet at all.
Until she made a final, desperate break for Freedom! and Light! and
exploded out of that kitchen cabinet, sending napkins and spice jars
flying across the floor.
Ever since, she’s been improving her escape times and is hoping to make
the 2008 Olympic Cabinet Escape team, only I lost interest in helping
her cause a long time ago, demonstrated by my never opening the cabinets while she’s around, ever anymore.
So she’s been teaching herself how to open the doors from the outside.
So she can slip in and struggle with getting out, all over again.
Whereupon she strains to nudge the cabinet open again.
On the plus side, though, she totally just made up for sitting on the
"Eject" key on my keyboard a few days ago by pushing the DVD back into
the computer this last pass into the entertainment cabinet. Now all I
really have to do is figure out how to best exploit this talent of hers
to my utmost advantage.
[Update: She just stepped on the "Eject" key as she walked across the coffee table. Goddamn cat.]
The other day, a couple came by with the property manager to look at my apartment. They had brought along a little girl, maybe two years old, and the father carried her around on his hip as they examined the place.
I busied myself in the kitchen, putting away the dishes I’d washed the night before. Suddenly, I heard an amused "Oh!" and I looked up–
The father had put the little girl down and was supporting her as she stood in front of Part II, who had been pestering everyone for attention as soon as they walked through the door. Part II looked up at this little girl, and for a split second I worriedly realized that Part II had never been around children before.
Whereupon Part II stood up on her haunches and, sniffing curiously, put her front paws on the girl’s shoulders, leaning in and tickling the girl’s cheek with her whiskers.
My heart swelled with pride and affection. What a cat.
Part II turned 7 months old yesterday. This must be the stage in her life when she starts metamorphosing into a prairie dog, because now it’s all about the burrowing.
She’s also become exasperatingly talkative. I come home, and the second I’m through the door, she’s yammering on and on about something or other. I happen to make eye contact with her, and she sounds off about the latest injustice she’s indignantly suffering. Woe is Part II, oh, woe for the life of a cat!
Sometimes I try to mimic her, and we have a nice volley of sound-bite conversation. Except, truth be told, I don’t actually speak Cat, and most certainly not Russian Blue dialect, and it crossed my mind that the English equivalent of this would be something like:
"I’m dying of boredom here, lady."
"Rusted balloon purpling daisy underground smile!"
"What? No, seriously, I need enterainment."
"Chicken drumstick! Shuffle grape walking."
"I think something is wrong with you. I’m going to go find something to shred."
"Bountiful mishaps waffle waffle waffle."
She’s too big to be of much trade-in value anymore, so I guess I have to hang on to her now. Damn. Back when she was still tiny and faultlessly adorable, I could’ve at least gotten a week’s supply of breakfast burritos for her. Curse my procrastinating ways.
Flickr: Part II, 7 mos. old
I came home yesterday and noticed the curtains on the left were looking a little… not parallel to the ground anymore. Closer inspection revealed the right bracket has been pulled halfway out of the goddamn shitty-ass drywall (notice how I’m blaming the wall and not the cat? that’s because I’m writing this now. not quite the case last night).
I’d lugged my camera stuff back into my place by then, so I got the orange peel out of the fridge and went to work shaping it. Sort of like a dunce cap, except instead of humiliation for being stupid, this was humiliation for messing with my curtains. AGAIN.
She was about as excited as she looks.
So to make her feel better, I gave her
a cookie a bath!
And then she REALLY loved me.
Before you people get all uppity with me, I will have you know that after she was done drying herself, she came and sat in my lap while I
read blogs for two hours coded and re-formatted those damn CSS files (::cough::). And then slept curled up next to my head all night. And then literally leaped into my arms this morning when I was sitting on the floor, checking my e-mail, and rubbed her head against my chin and purred and purred and purred.