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When I was growing up, we did not have pets, not in the 2.5-kids-and-a-dog sense. We housed an occasional turtle rescued from the middle of the road- the poor turtle would stay in a Styrofoam cooler with a leaf of lettuce and a cherry tomato until my dad super-glued its shell back together and we released it back to the creek across the way. But no domesticated animals (oh, god- unless you count that RAT my brother kept for a while in a cage in his room. I had almost managed to block that one out. Said rat escaped his cage one night and wandered his way into my room where he managed to get up onto my bed and proceeded to snuffle around in my HAIR. I woke the whole house screaming, and I’m not even sorry about that, not even these twenty years later) of any kind.
I don’t even remember really even wanting a pet (although my mom should feel free to chime in with alternate recollections in the comments)- and I grew up deathly afraid of dogs, plus we traveled a fair amount, so all these factors combined into a no-pet household. This no pets thing continued well past college and into my twenties, until I made it to Seattle.
It would seem, in Seattle, that everyone I met or interacted with was strongly associated with a pro-cat or pro-dog stance, and so I came to live first with a black cat named Squid and then with a black dog named Whistle. Eventually the constant exposure to domesticated animals of all kinds grew on me (or I’d gone completely stir crazy from all the rain-induced indoor time), and I decided I too, should have a pet.
So I adopted Max, a giant fluff ball of a cat. And OH, did I have some things to learn about pet ownership. Did you know that cats SHED? Everywhere? Hand to God, I had never, in all my twenty-something years on this planet, ever owned a lint brush, and I think I may have had a panic attack when first trying to remove Max’s considerable deposits from my black pants. Someone had to INTRODUCE me to the lint brush.
Cats also track litter in places other than the litter box, and sometimes this tracked litter gets stuck on the bottom of your bare feet. Clearly this is my pre-medicated state, since I recall screaming at my girlfriend at the time that there was LITTER! EVERYWHERE! AND! IT! WAS! STUCK! TO! MY! FEET! I may have collapsed in a puddle of self-pity at this moment as well, because I clearly did not have a good grasp on the important things in life at the time.
I moved into an apartment that didn’t allow pets after that, and Max went to live with a woman who came to pick him up in pants covered with cat hair. She sent me an email after his first night at her place, telling me he liked cooked chicken and watermelon, and said email had little cat prints running across the background, and so I knew I’d made a good choice for Max.
You’d think this experience with Max might have deterred me from continued cat ownership, what with the shedding and the litter and the scratching and the unsightly bits of furniture I was required to buy (good lord, why are cat condos so expensive?). But no! A friend moved to San Francisco, so we took her cat, and then we moved into our very own house and decided I needed a kitten, one to raise as my very own.
So now there were two cats, and I thought, whew. I have achieved domesticity as I perceive it to apply to me (you know complete different that how the books portray it- two lesbians in a bedroom community with two cats…. err, ok, fine. It was a glaring example of just the sort of lesbian stereotype I’m always trying to distance myself from).
You might wonder how I went from my blissful domestic portrait containing two cats to a household overrun with FOUR (that is, if you’ve read this far and if you’ve some how intuited that I, up until recently, had 4 cats)?
First, our friend’s cat passed away, and the kitten (who was by now a giant burly tabby with a teeny tiny meow) LOST HIS SHIT. Clingy, crying, generally being a nuisance, turning him from my precious wee baby I’d raised all on my own to the most annoying four-legged creature this side of the Mississippi (I totally sang the Mississippi spelling song in my head both times I typed that). AND SO, because I am the craziest of crazy cat ladies, I bought my cat a pet. Not a toy, not turning on the television during the day, no, no. Those solutions appear to be much too simple, too EASY. No, I went out and got my cat… a cat. And not just any cat, but a kitten, so now there was all the dealing and training and more shedding and even more litter everywhere, and you get the picture.
Fine, I thought. Two cats. Two is a reasonable number for a large subset of things- cats, dogs, children, waffles per sitting, etc. I was pretty happy with my two cats and their occupying of each other, and the litter boxes confined to a back room with less tracking all over the house, and the aforementioned domestic bliss with the two lesbians.
At which point, of course, that relationship developed a fatal error (the error in question being SOMEONE [not me someone] sleeping with her COWORKER), and everything went KABOOOM. So I sold the house, packed the litter box and the cats, and we started over in another part of Seattle.
I will not bore you with the details of all the relationships that started and faltered between this time of moving and the meeting of J, but I will tell you this. YOU JUST TRY MEETING A LESBIAN IN SEATTLE WITH NO CATS. Go ahead, I’ll wait. It cannot be done! So every potential relationship carried with it not only the foibles of the person in question but also whatever menagerie of pets she had with her, meaning I had to, at every new encounter, consider the possibility of increasing the number of cats directly under my care to from a minimum of three to a maximum of INFINITY, and well shit. That’s enough to put you off dating forever.
I guess love really does conquer all, because when I met J, she not only had two cats, but three dogs as well. The three dogs were sent off with her ex fairly quickly, leaving her with the two cats, and when I moved in several months later, my own two cats, bringing the total to a stereotype-reinforcing FOUR. Good lord, four cats. The smartest thing we did with this enormous number of cats was to teach them to use the back yard as a potty, thus eliminating the litter box altogether. What carefree days those were!
The oldest of the cats passed away right before we moved to California, leaving us with a still significant number of cats, and when they are all piled onto our double bed sometimes I wonder where, exactly, does the BABY think it’s going to fit into all this mess? And even though we’re back to having a litter box inside and one cat that doesn’t care to use it, I still think they are the damn cutest things I’ve ever seen.
Six months ago, I strapped myself into a pair of Spanx, a bra that lifted, separated, and made miracles occur in my general chest region, and zipped up a ruffled dress you picked for me. I stepped into four inch heels, tidied your cuff links, and waited in the little back room of an art gallery for the music to start.
If I think back to our wedding, that 20 minutes we spent hiding out, watching our guest arrive through a bent-down blind, drinking a glass of nerve-steeling champagne, those are the twenty minutes that I remember most about that day, since everything else passed in a complete blur I still can’t slow down with my mind.
In that twenty minutes, you held my hand, just like you have every moment since then.
In that twenty minutes, you looked me in the eye and told me I was beautiful, and I didn’t doubt you then. I try my very hardest not to doubt you these days when you say the same thing, because for reals, you have never lied to me.
In that twenty minutes, you got ready to make some very big promises to me, and you’ve kept them, every single one.
I realize it’s a bit over the top to write a post commemorating our six month anniversary, but this is the first time I’ve ever done this, so here you are. I love you. Here’s hoping we’re lucky enough to have a million more anniversaries.
Y’all know I essentially sit around all day, right? As in, I don’t have a job, and while I am cooking a fetus, it doesn’t require much specific care other than feeding and watering, things I would do for myself in any case (although, especially in the case of feeding, with an alarmingly increased frequency). I do the dishes daily, I run whatever errands need running (mostly to the grocery store, see rate of feeding, above), and I hit a yoga class four times a week. This collection of responsibilities leaves with the a virtual SHIT TON of time left over to watch multiple episodes of House or Law & Order: SVU, depending on which USA has decided to run, marathon-style, that day, or to spend countless hours on the internets, reading blogs of all sorts, watching my Twitter feed, and generally meandering my way to the end of it. I assume much of this will change once Junior arrives, but with that a good four months (KNOCK ON WOOD) away, I currently have plenty of time on my hands.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not complaining. No, seriously, I’m not. I know there aren’t a lot of people who can afford to be in my position, and seriously, every day I am glad I have the option to lay around and do essentially nothing.
That said, this emploi du temps leaves me with precious little to blog about, mostly because, seriously, nothing happens. I am not talented enough to make an interesting post out of my trips to Whole Foods, the pet store, and the yoga studio. Neither am I clever enough to just dream up some random topic, so instead I will leave you with a bullet pointed list of things I’ve noticed lately.
General Category: Cats
** The old gray one has recently decided that the back corner of my closet is the best place for him to spend his days. This is only notable because, back when we lived in Seattle, a different old cat, a black one (Yes, there was a time when we had four cats. FOUR!) also decided the corner of my closet was a good place to go in preparation for dying. Of all the closets in either this place or our old place in Ballard, both of these cats have picked my specific closet for the purposes of dying. Well, in the case of the gray cat, we think it’s dying, since he is some teen number of years in age, weighs a measly 7 pounds, has hyperthyroidism and hypertension, and appears to have forgotten the whereabouts of the litterbox. So, gray cat is dying, and he’s doing it in my closet, which is why my closet is now the Death Closet, and the gray cat now Death Kitty. We clearly have very adult ways of dealing with his impending demise.
** Every once in a while, the other two cats decide, via some mysterious mechanism unbeknownst to me, to change where they sleep. For a while it was under the bed, and then several months later it was on the couch or the armchair in the living room, and for the past week or so, it has been on our bed. Which is generally fine, except one weighs 14 pounds, and likes to sleep at the midpoint of the bed, smack dab in the middle, and is completely resistant to being kicked off the bed, or even into a different position. So I change MY sleep position, because I am a slave to my 14 pound tabby overlord, HOLY HELL, what is wrong with me?
General Category: Not able to be categorized, which makes the whole categories thing sort of dumb
** Look, I’m gonna be honest, I have fat rolls. Especially in the midsection- one little one that is easily hidden under a camisole or even a t-shirt, like you wouldn’t know it was there unless I told you or you saw me naked, which, I don’t think that’s going to happen for the vast majority of you reading, and one larger one, the one most of you might call my gut. As my fetal tenant gets larger, my gut roll pushes out further (now I really just look pregnant), but MOST INTERESTINGLY (to me anyways) is the disappearance of the little fat roll. Where once there was a little fold where the roll sat on top of the gut, there is now only exposed skin, as if my body was kind enough to use my fat to stretch out, instead of, I don’t know, stretching out UNDER the fat. If I’ve just grossed you out, err… sorry, and the whole point was just to say, hey, look, my body is weird and interesting!
** Thanks to Temerity Jane, I have become an unrelenting shopping cart returner. I think before I read her entries on returning shopping carts to either the holders in the parking lot or at the front of the store, I had probably a 75% return rate, and would sort of shove it into a corner the remainder of the time. Since reading her posts, however, I have become VIGILANT and RIGHTEOUS in my shopping cart returning, and often spend entire minutes of my drive home from various stores mentally berating the individuals who leave their carts willy-nilly.
Last week’s recipient of my ire was some jackhole who left his cart in the MIDDLE of a parking spot. And not just any parking spot, but the closest, non-handicapped, one to the entrance to the store (you know the one, the one a growing pregnant lady might like to take?). Not being the sort of person who would get out of her car to move a shopping cart, I simply parked further away, and groused about it to myself mentally. On my way out of the store, however, I did witness the following: A woman, spying the cart in the middle of the desirable parking spot, parks her car in the middle of the road, exits the car, moves the cart to the adjacent HANDICAPPED spot, returns to her car, and parks in the now clear spot. The kicker is that she proceeds into the store, leaving the offending shopping cart in the middle of the handicapped spot. WHAT IS THIS, I DON’T EVEN.
** I know it is antithetical to the spirit of yoga, but seriously, people, NO MOANING in yoga class. To me, it brings to mind the sort of thing people do expressly so that OTHER PEOPLE will know that they are really into something, or really good at something. Like all that competitive parenting you read about, where one mom says she never goes to McDonald’s, and the next mom says she doesn’t let her kids have candy, and the third mom has to top it all off by saying she grows all the vegetables her kids eat in their backyard from heirloom seeds she’d been saving from her grandmother’s garden since she was a girl for this EXPRESS PURPOSE.
Or the chicks at rock concerts who close their eyes and dance, enraptured, at the music, in a way that YOU TOTALLY KNOW they are doing to impress that guy over there with their love and adoration of this music, because there is no way in hell anyone can be so TRANSPORTED by a particular song that they will dance around flailingly, “ignoring” everything and everyone around them because this music is just so deep and MEANINGFUL to them.
You know what I am talking about- and that’s how I feel about moaning in yoga class. You go do your yoga, I’ll do mine, and no need to bring attention to how SATISFYING you’re finding this particular triangle pose by MOANING about it, for the love. Let’s just say that on some days, I leave yoga a little less zen than when I walked in.
** Sweetheart J got me a Kindle for Valentine’s Day, even though we expressly decided not to get each other anything. Oops. I am clearly bad at deciphering when “let’s not get each other anything” really means “let me get you the one thing you’ve been talking about for months.” In any case, I am totally in love with it, mostly because it is so portable, and a variety of books are available from Amazon for a measly $0.99, which is a fraction of what I might spend at an actual bookstore.
Thus far I have finished Room, by Emma Donoghue, which has got to be the most disturbing book I’ve read in a very long time, and have started in on the first of the Trylle series (which was recommended to me via Twitter). I would be eternally grateful for additional reading suggestions, of all genres.
There you have it- all that’s been rattling around in my pea brain for the past week. How was your week?