Cat-Related Confessions

  1. I cry every time we leave for vacation because I don’t want to leave her.  This is one of the major reasons we bought a camper.
  2. I kiss Shelli on the lips. 
  3. Joey lets her lick his goatee.
  4. I let her drink out of my water glass.  She’s not a happy camper now that I’m on a seltzer-water kick.
  5. We put a litter box next to my side of the bed because she was peeing in the corner.  We attributed it to her feeling that it wasn’t fair that our bathroom was just a few feet away and hers was across the house. (she sleeps with us).
  6. I dressed her in a onesie for our family Christmas picture back in 2008, I think.  She was NOT a happy camper, and the look on her face was pretty shocking.  I sustained injury after the photo was taken.
  7. If a huge disaster was to strike, I would very likely rescue her first before helping people.
  8. Shelli does this thing where she stretches out and grabs her perch and does this crazy pull-up.  It’s pretty badass.  We call it her Bruce Willis Move.
  9. We have to play “Scarykins” every night where we shuffle around the house so that Shelli can hide behind something and jump out at us and then run away.  Sometimes, if I run away from her and jump onto our bed, she’ll follow me, jump up, totally freak out, and then run away.  It’s kind of awesome.
  10. Her favorite toys:  her white fuzzy mouse, her catnip cigar, her chirping mouse (it chirps every time it touches a surface.  Freaks the crap out of us at night when she starts playing with that thing), the toe of a sock that I cut off and filled with catnip.  And my hair ties.  There are hundreds of ponytail holders around the house and I can’t find ANY of them.
  11. We can’t put boxes or baskets out anymore because she thinks they’re litterboxes and pees in them.
  12. I wish I could be at home because I could spend all day with her.
  13. She smells really good.  Other cat people will understand this…there’s something about the kitteh smell that is wonderful.

Don’t judge me.




I’m going to try to do this without falling apart.  And I apologize in advance, Mom.  It’s probably going to be a tearjerker.

In April of 1989, we welcomed a new member into our home.  I was 7 years old.  I remember being so excited all day at school because I knew that we’d have a new kitten when I got home.  I flew into the house and burst into the living room and saw…….nothing.  See, at seven, one doesn’t understand the intricasies of the feline psyche, especially not the toddler-feline psyche, which may include fear of large, loud, running children.  Mom made me sit in the living room quietly, and Puss finally crept out from behind the couch.  She was 10 weeks old.  We decided that Valentines day would be her “birthday.”


I tormented and aggravated the crap out of her on a daily basis.  But I loved her.  And, in that unique way that only cat-people can understand, she loved me too.  Most kids think of their pets as their friends; it’s different for kids that get picked on.  The bond is deeper.  She was my best friend.

She was also silly.  She flew through the kitchen, losing traction on the lineoleum and skidding under the table.  She chased a hundred bouncy-balls under the oven (believe it or not, they don’t melt…even after ten years under the oven).  She hid, waiting for unsuspecting ankles to pass by and launched full-scale, painful attacks.  She played “Killer-Kitty.”  She climbed into the microwave…


She was there when my dad had a heart attack when I was in the fifth grade.  She was there when I found out “the truth” about Santa.  She was there when I went to middle school, and when I got picked on almost every single day of those two years.  She was there when I started playing the flute, the piano, the guitar.  She was there when I went to high school.  She was there when I went on my first date, got my first boyfriend, for my first kiss.  She was there when I went to college and slept with me when I was terrified because I didn’t know anyone.  She was there for mine and my mom’s late-night summer gab-fests, watching tv and playing cards.  She was there for my first breakup.  She was there when I got engaged.  She was there when my Papa died.  She was there when I lost all of my friends in a stupid fight.  She was there when I got married, when I graduated from college, when I moved away to TX, when I came back, when I had to quit my teaching job, when I got my first corporate job, when Joey graduated from seminary, when Mom hurt her back and then had surgery, when Dad had surgery and we thought he was going to die.  She was there when he came home from the hospital and through cardiac rehab. 


And then she wasn’t there.  After a three-year battle with kidney disease, Puss went home on 12/7/07.  Most people aren’t lucky enough to get almost 19 years with their pet, I know.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.  I was at work that day and couldn’t go to the vet.  I feel guilty for that.  The only day in my life that was worse was the day that Dad had to go to the CCU.  And I still miss her so much.

For those of you who would say, “it’s just a pet,” I pity you.  You’ll never understand the indelible mark that tiny pawprints can make on the heart. 

And even though the pain of losing her is still great, I would never trade one day of the nineteen years I got with her.  It was worth it.


This Blog is Temporarily Being Interrupted…

Shelli has taken over!  She’s demanded that I do a feature of her tonight (ok…the fact that I have very little to write about may have something to do with it too).  Here are some of her more fabulous shots:

DIE, Camera Strap, DIE!!!!

Shelli’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades….

Lanky, adolescent Shelli…

Bye Guys!!

Winter Break Reading List and Thoughts on Establishing Routines

Holy Cow….what a day.  It wasn’t a bad day at all…just long, I think.  It was warm enough for a car nap, so I was pretty psyched about that, and I made A’s in both classes, so that was a relief.  We’re gearing up for year-end at work, so things are a little hectic in Insurance-Land.  But, I did have some time to make plans for a few books that I want to read when I have free time between semesters!

I checked out The Blogging Bookworm since they’ve always got good suggestions for books about sustainable living and voluntary simplicity.  Even though it’s a site primarily for eco-literature, the aforementioned two concepts go hand-in-hand with green living, so I knew I’d find something great.  Be prepared, this list is a bear:

  • Food Matters, Mark Bittman
  • Appetite for Profit, Michelle Simon
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  • Small is Possible:  Life in a Local Economy, Lyle Estill
  • Made From Scratch:  Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, Jenna Woginrich
  • Whatever Happened to Thrift:  Why Americans Don’t Save and What to Do About It, Ronald Wilcox
  • Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettinger
  • Serve God, Save the Planet, A Christian Call to Action, J. Matthew Sleeth.
  • The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It, John Seymour
  • Voluntary Simplicity, Duane Elgin

I’m definitely not going to get to many of these over Christmas break…I just started French Women Don’t Get Fat, which I hope I’ll finish this week or so.  It’s a good read; I thought it was going to be a bunch of silly fad-diet advice, but so far, I’ve read pretty sound eating philosophy.  More to come once I’m done!

So, after spending significant amounts of time on Zen Habits and Overcoming Busy, I’ve come to the realization that I need to establish better morning and evening routines.  Here’s my typical morning routine:

  • 5:20 wake up, shower
  • 5:40-6, sit in the living room floor and pet the Kins
  • 6:  make lunch, eat breakfast, pile up in the chair with Vellux
  • 6:20:  try to figure out what I’m going to wear, usually getting upset in the process.
  • 6:35: leave for work.

And Evening;

  • 5:15, home from work.  Either gym or piling up in the chair under Vellux
  • 5:30 decide that whatever I’d planned to cook is too much work and either get takeout or make noodles and cheese
  • 6:  Becker
  • 7:  Jeopardy, internet
  • 8:  House, NCIS, whatever’s on…internet
  • 9:  Criminal Minds, Smoking Gun whatever’s on…internet
  • 10:  bed or The Mentalist, or whatever.

Ok…the evening routine is pretty embarrassing, seriously.  I have three shows that are nonnegotiable, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and the Mentalist.  But I watch this other crap and then don’t get anything done.

Routines set the tone for the morning; they help you wind down at night.  They keep you from being rushed and ill-prepared, and they comfort you with a sense of consistency and stability.  While there is stability in the above, if nothing else than that it doesn’t change, it’s not satisfying.  I never have lunch already ready in the morning, and I usually don’t even know what I’m going to take.  I’m usually smelling the pits of a shirt at 6:25, trying to figure out if it’s clean enough for another wear….a better nighttime routine would surely prevent this (and probably make everyone who reads this blog much happier).  Honestly, if my night routine was more productive, I could probably sleep later in the morning.

Do you find yourself dissatisfied with your current routine?  Or are you just now realizing that you don’t really even have routines in place in your home?  Either way, you could benefit greatly from setting up some simple things to do in the morning or evening to keep your life in order.  Make a list of the things that you do every morning and evening…then figure out how to streamline those things or rearrange them so that they’re more effective.  Implement and enjoy your newfound sanity!!

Easier said than done, yeah?  Well, I’m right there with you, struggling too…let’s keep with it, eh?

Here’s a Deadly-Panther-Kins pic for you:

ITC09: Fin, on Cat Ownership and Stress

I have the most awesome cat in the whole world.  Yes, she pees on things every now and then.  Yes, she’s totally and completely neurotic and paranoid, but she’s my little basket case and she makes my life so full:).  There’s not much better than a Kins curling up in your lap when you’re cold under the vellux blanket, or being ambushed from behind the love seat as you’re walking to bed…or hearing the pitiful little meow coming from the guest bedroom that you know is just a ploy to draw you in there to play.

I’m so very glad to be done with school for the semester; I really did enjoy it, but I definitely need a few weeks off, and now that the musical is over (I went home rather than do the last performance…wasn’t feeling great, so I figured it’d probably be better just to rest…I think it was the stress of the five projects to get done on top of this musical), I’m looking forward to having some time to myself to knit and read without feeling guilty.

That’s how I’m feeling right now;)…that’s a pic of Shelli after her first Christmas…she got more toys than we did, and she played so hard that after our parents left, she totally passed out because she was so tired.  It was SO adorable.  She’s definitely a LOVED GrandKins.

Tomorrow, we hit the gym again…we’re shooting for tomorrow, Tuesday, and Thursday.  🙂

Loss and Blessings

I’m not going to say much today.  Two years ago today, my little fur-sister, Puss, went on to heaven.

I will spend the rest of my life trying to help other kitties; none of them should ever have to be alone or afraid.

As much as her leaving us hurt, I wouldn’t trade a minute of having her in my life for almost nineteen years.

There is no love quite like the love of a cat, and I pity those who’ve never gotten to experience it.

To love a cat is one of the most frustrating, yet totally rewarding blessings that life can offer.

Someday, I’m going to do something in a big way, a big, big tangible way, to help homeless and especially special needs kitties.  Just wait and see.  And I will have done it all for Puss.