Category Archives: Cat

To Err is Human, to Post is Feline.

In 2002, when I read the writing on the wall, I knew one of two things was going to happen. Either I was going to drive my growing sons crazy chasing after them and wailing, “Hug me! Why won’t you cuddle anymore?” or I was going to get a kitten and transfer all my neediness onto it. No-brainer. Mr. Wordtabulous has always been miffed that he was not consulted, only informed of the cat acquisition, but to my memory I have only brought three major things into our home without discussing it with him: garage sale dining room table (epic win,) garage sale loveseat/hide-a-bed (epic fail) and Catabulous (epic win, with allowances for noise, midnight bed stomping and litterbox maintenance.)

Having neglected my blog lately, I was racking my brain for a topic to post on (yes, preposition, I know) and all I could think of was how adorable my cat is. One of my simple but guilty pleasures is looking at pictures and videos of cats online. They are funny, and often beautiful, and sweet. I like how people caption the photos. I am amused when people dress their cats, although that is going a bit far. The thing is, people LOVE cat pics and they get a LOT of hits. So “Cynical me” posed a question to “Deer-In-The-Headlights me” (she is my default–the one who is wandering around taking everything in and hoping to make sense of it all before the screeching crash.)

Cynical: Would you ever write a cat blog?

DITH: What do you mean, like a single post, or a whole, like, themed blog?

Cynical: Don’t play coy with me. Would you ever start a blog strictly around cat images, cat care, and cat love? Just to get the hits?

DITH: Let me think. I do really love my cat. If I did start such a blog, it wouldn’t be just for the hits.

Cynical: Oh, please.

DITH: Stop it. I don’t think I have enough material.

Cynical: That isn’t an answer. And seriously? About a fourth of your posts have something to do with a cat anyway. You aren’t far off from being a cat blog. As for material, what did you just buy?

DITH: A leash. For my cat.

Cynical: And if we looked in your photo gallery on your phone, what would we find?

DITH: Cat photos…lots of them. But he’s very photogenic! And everyone else I take pictures of look like they’re in pain!

Cynical: So you have the material, you have the obsessive interest, and you have the attention-seeking personality that would dangle tags like “cat,” “cute,” “funny,” and “playful,” with the objective of luring people in just to raise your stats. Why don’t you start taking pictures of your cat next to photos of movie stars, or of him watching trailers of new release movies so you can work those into your tags, too?

DITH: I don’t like your tone. And I don’t think people who write cat blogs are only interested in hits, they are sharing the joy of cats.

Cynical: Now you are just pandering to the cat bloggers.

DITH: Wow, you’re mean. Look, the answer is no. I wouldn’t write a cat blog just for the hits. Also, I don’t have the attention span for a single topic and I lack commitment. That is why my blog is the whack-a-doodle mishmash that it is. I write what I want to (yes, yes, PREPOSITION.) Besides, if I were really cynical, I’d write about Walk Off the Earth T-shirts and local news anchors because according to my stats THAT is where the action is.

That being said, here is a funny picture of my cat sitting on top of the novel A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. If only he was wearing my WOTE t-shirt and sitting on Leah McLean’s (from KSTP) lap.

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Midnight Muse and the Aftermath

If you have been hanging with me for awhile, you have witnessed my complaints about my cat, who waits until we are cozy in our bed to jump up and start a discussion, which tends to involve some pacing (on Catabulous’ part) and a lot of position changes (on everyone’s part.) Until finally we (I) decide it is worth it to get out of the warm covers and secure the cat in the basement with as much self-control as I can muster. Perversely, I sometimes think this is what he wants, like a tired and cranky toddler throwing a fit because he is begging to be put to bed. Put yourself in the basement, I try to tell him. But the language barrier, you see my problem. I am going a little farther with this metaphor than I need to, but I am tired. Last night, my problem wasn’t the cat, who was confined to the basement BEFORE we got into bed (ha HA!) Last night, after about an hour and half of sleep to take the edge off the bone-grating weariness I had acquired throughout the day, my eyelids fluttered open and somebody else wanted to start a discussion. My muse.

Stop looking at me like that. The muse is REAL. If you don’t have a muse that literally speaks to you, you are probably imagining me posing theatrically, one hand to my heart and the other to the ether, as a toga draped nymph whispers in my ear. I would LOVE to set up a shot like that, but I have unbelievable bedhead today and all the little girls in my neighborhood that I might dress in a toga for the image are at school right now. The more I think about it, the more I want to do it. Good LORD, sleep deprivation is the death of impulse control. If I decide to do the picture, I’ll update the post later. Moving on. So yeah, as I was saying, the muse is REAL. I will not disparage her because to do so seems to me to be the height of stupidity, but she is kind of…persistent? And…loud? One random thought leads to a phrase, which gets reworked and reworked until another phrase or two is formed. Then maybe a sentence that is relevant but not precisely connected. Then, I start to worry that I am going to lose the thread of what I am putting together, because my memory and attention span are really not all that good, but this line of thinking is becoming very interesting, almost brilliant. I also realize that I am getting farther and farther from sleep, so I grab for the assortment of notebooks and post-it pads that I keep on my bedside table, to get the high points written down so I can let the rest go and slip back into blessed slumber. But I have no pens. Ever. Maybe a pencil too dull to use. I dither. Will I remember in the morning? Will I kick myself for not writing it all down? Experience says ‘No’ and ‘Yes.’

Last night, for some reason, I went into our bathroom, thinking maybe there might be a pen in there, even though I know better, and  considered digging out my eyeliner pencil for a quick note, but I was making a lot of noise walking around and crashing into things already, which was stressing me out. More and more awake. I gave up and groped my way into the guest room, running into the hollow core door with a resonant “donk!” as I did, then switched on the light and finally made three notes for a post on music. Good for me! Back to bed. But my muse was not done with me. Snatches of  songs chased around in my head, particularly one from my childhood, one I suspected was the key to shutting the party down. I slumped with resignation, then flipped back the covers and grabbed a pillow and Grandma’s quilt I keep nearby for this kind of night. I crept through my nighttime house and collected my iPod, which I set to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14 in C Sharp Minor, also known as “Moonlight Sonata.” It is a song I heard my mother and both my older and younger sisters play on the piano innumerable times as I grew up. In fact, during a homesick time in college I asked my younger sister to tape record herself practicing the piano so I could listen when I felt blue, and this was one of the songs she played. During one section of repetitive, quiet lines her voice is recorded on the tape saying, “Wake up, Lynnette,” which always made me laugh. I still listen for that strain. It is the kind of song that requires my full attention, and evokes more emotion than imagery, which quiets my brain. I listened to it three times before my muse agreed we were through for the night and slipped off to wherever she goes. Which is what I think she was looking for all along. Perhaps she was tired and cranky and needed me to play a little bedtime music; all the rest was just a setup, her version of my cat’s pacing and mrrowing for my attention. I looked at my notes this morning (had 100% forgotten what I’d written down,) and they aren’t bad, but in daylight they lack the brilliance I had hoped for. I think the best I can hope for is that if this continues, my sleep-deprived altered consciousness might eventually come up with something really interesting. For now, I must go and do something about this hair.

Moonlight Sonata:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT7_IZPHHb0

Related Post: A Cat-Tabulous Christmas

Related Post: When Time Stops: Moonlit Moment

Two Things

I. I am having this kind of day, for a few days now.

This is why you aren’t hearing a lot from me…I’ll be feeling a little more extroverted and generous with my words soon, I am sure.

II. This is a cool video from youtube that my younger son wanted me to see (a. my younger son and I shared a moment–yay! and b. wow, is this video ever cool!) It appears today’s post is in outline form…

Anyway, the video is the group Walk Off the Earth, covering the Gotye song “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and I think even without the extra coolness of all five of them playing one guitar simultaneously, I like their rendition better. Walk Off the Earth, Ladies and Gentlemen! (Click Play arrow below.)

A Cat-Tabulous Christmas

Cat-tabulous is out of control. This is the conversation we’ve been having.

Cat: I LOVE this Christmas tree! Attacking the tree skirt is the greatest!

Me: What are you doing in there? Stop that!

Cat: heeheehee You can’t see me, but as soon as you leave the room I am going to ram that base so hard the whole tree will jingle! Merry Christmas!

Me: Bad kitty! What is wrong with you?

Later,

Me: *walking into the room* Hey! That’s my tea!

Cat: What? You were still drinking this? It’s getting pretty cold you know. Would it kill you to make me a cup, too? Have you thought about going herbal? You seem stressed.

Later,

Cat: You are throwing something into the recycling bin? I want to go out into the garage.

Me: Stay back, cat. You walk all over the vehicles, and you don’t like the garage anyway.

Cat: No, I really, really do! I LOVE the garage! I want to go out.

Me: Forget it.

Cat: You are going out to the garage? I want to go out to the garage.

Me: I’m just getting towels out of the dryer. Stop trying to trip me!

Cat: I want to go out to the garage.

Cat: You are going out to the garage? I want to go out to the garage!!

Me: *Throws garbage bag into can* FINE! Go out to the garage.

Cat: Yay! I am in the garage and very happy, you should have let me out here hours ago. I could spend my life out here.

Three minutes later,

Cat: *picking at the weather stripping with his claws* It’s booooring out here! Let me in!

Me: Stop that! Get in here, you turkey.

Later,

Cat: I don’t know why you get upset when all I am doing is enjoying these beautiful cat toys you hung at my eye level. BTW, this felt snowman? Tastes like chicken.

Me: No! I love the snowman!

Cat: I wonder what the felt mitten with the photo of your son in first grade tastes like?

Me: Gah! *moves all the felt ornaments to higher branches*

Still later,

Cat: Why are you still wurrrrking? It is time for everyone to go to bed. Here, I am going to walk across you and nudge you with my slimy nose (don’t ask) and stomp on you with extra pointy feet until you give up and come to bed. It is in everyone’s best interest.

Me: Ow! Stop that! *Sigh* You are right, it’s late and I’m tired. Sleep will do us good. Let’s go cuddle.

Cat: Yay! You’re in bed! Listen, it’s dark and you can’t see me so well, so I am going to announce every move I make with that charming purr/meow noise you like. Prrow! I am standing next to you. Prrow! I am laying down by your side. Prrow! I don’t like this spot, maybe down by your ankles. Prrow! This is pretty good. Prrow! OMG, I forgot to bathe! I shall do so now, noisily. Prrow? Why are you so cranky? I’ll just move then. Prrow! See, I moved over here! *Silence* Prrow! Now I’m walking casually across the bed. I thought I’d find a spot to lay down, but I didn’t. Weird. I think I’ll just jump onto the floor instead. Listen to how loudly I can land! *Silence* Prrow!!HaulingAssAllTheWayAcrossTheBedNow-BetYouDidn’tSeeThatComing! Prrow? Sheeesh! What is your problem? I was just getting ready to get some shut-eye and you are all grabby and tense. Where are we going? The basement? You are so unreasonable. Hey, you know what the basement needs? A Christmas tree.

Where They Have To Take You In

Hours in a car with husband and boys, for the most part lost in their own thoughts. Days with loved ones in a place familiar, but different. Hours in a car coming back. Home. Going over the river and through the woods brings such excitement, and leaving brings a pang of loss. But home, despite its flaws: stale bread on the counter, scads of laundry piled up upon arrival, cat throwing up with joy at our return, is a relief. It is little things, like knowing the contents of the refrigerator and how the remotes work, and it is big things, like the bed that has conformed to your body and the neighbors who have let you into their lives. It is the comfort of leaving the salsa bowl on the coffee table indefinitely or slipping your brassiere off at 6:30 and not caring who might notice. Away is hospitality and delicious, excessive eating and conversation. Home is work to be done, temptations to be overcome, and that nagging sense of some impending forgotten oops, but the work, the temptations and even the oops are all mine. Home, sweet home.

Thursday Thoughts

The people of the world can be divided into two categories (humor me): 1) the people who, when asked a question or to do something, responds Why? As in “why do you need to know?” or “why should I do that?” and 2)  those who say Why not? As in “since there is no reason to conceal that information from you, why shouldn’t I explain that?” or “what you ask could conceivably, though not conveniently, be accomplished and you seem to think it will increase your happiness so why would I not do that?” I am a Type 2 living with three Type 1’s and it is exhausting getting information and advocating courses of action while explaining everything I do and trying to  increase happiness. I think the “Why” phenomenon might be related to the “Y” chromosome, but I am not a geneticist, that is just a theory.

I am the NaNoWriMo friend everyone wants on their buddy list this year because my word count makes yours look AWESOME!

Blogging and the accompanying blog-following one does as a blogger is a time eater that puts both facebook and gmail to shame, although since facebook and gmail are in cahoots with the blogging enterprise, they really can’t be separated.

Blog is the kind of word that starts losing itself with excessive repetition.

Some days I think how wonderful it would be to give up all my writing ambitions and stick to knitting. So simple. And then I remember all the disappointing knitting outcomes. Let us never forget the hat fiasco of  ’06. Dreadful.

I love everything about my cat except his cold wet nose which he nudges  against my hands whenever they are doing something other than loving him up the eighteen minutes a day he is awake enough to care. I have yelled at him about it enough that now he just hunches over until his nose is a quarter inch from my hand and hovers there. He’s like the six year old brother who has been warned for the last time to quit touching his sister, so he gets close and says , “See? I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you…”

I don’t much care for it when he drools on my computer, farts or snags my sweater with his kneading pawclaws, either.

Why do I have a cat?