It’s a new day! STFU.

Here’s part of my problem: When I open this laptop in the morning to type at you, I can see my work email, and it always, always has a ton of new emails on it. I open those, even though it’s, for example, 7:33 a.m. and I don’t have to “be” at work for at least another 57 minutes (we don’t have real start times, but the general feeling is you’ll be available around 8:30–9:00), there always seems to be something that HOOKS me in. Some question I want to answer RIGHT AWAY or something, and next thing you know, old Jed’s a millionaire but not June, who does not make enough to become a workaholic, which is where I’m headed.

My point is, each morning there is a message from something called Cortana or Corlandia or some such, which is I think part of having Microsoft Office. It’s helpful, actually, because it shows you how much “quiet time” you have each week (as in how much time you had to actually work at work and not answer emails or go to meetings) and it also send you a list of shit you said you’d do in emails. As in, “I’ll find out and get back to you.” I don’t know how Cornholio knows what I write, the nosy little minx, but you can check off, Yes, I did this or No, remind me again and that’s lovely.

But today, Cornwallis’s subject line read, “IT’S A NEW DAY!!!!” like it was on an upward swing with its bipolar disorder, and it rankled. Yes, I am aware that it’s a new day. I got up when I didn’t want to, drank a bunch of coffee, gave myself GERD, drove to trainer, and now have a full day of meetings and things I’m already nervous about. I’m aware that IT’S A NEW DAY!!!!, Miss Excitement.

There’s little I hate more than a positive attitude.

Speaking of which, do you know who Nick Cordero is, or was? He was an actor, he was 41, and he died horrifically of COVID. His wife, who was also an actor but also an exercise instructor and also hot, got sort of Internet famous as he was in the hospital. That’s when I started following her. She’d update us on his condition. He was in the hospital from late March, when they thought he had pneumonia, to early July, when he died.

His wife, Amanda Kloots, has one of those sunny attitudes I generally abhor. But despite this, I was on her side and was hoping things would work out, and then he died. They had a one-year-old at the time. Isn’t that awful?

Anyway, Amanda Kloots and her sister, Anna, who sort of irks me, wrote a book together about the experience. I follow both of them now (I sort of irk-watch the sister) (she lives in Paris and can’t shut up about it, and I think I’ve told you this before, but she’ll literally have pictures taken of her walking around Paris with balloons) (I can hear all five of you going, Ohhhhh. OK, sure).

THE POINT IS, they wrote a book and it came out yesterday and I’d preordered it, so there it was at my house yesterday, and I had an insane day that involved NOT being able to read a BOOK till about 9:30. So while Zelda leapt repeatedly at my EAR, which she made BLEED last night and got her first nail clip (she was surprisingly serene about that) I read that book. Before I opened it, I thought, “I’d start right in the middle of the drama and go backwards” and that’s just what they did.

Then I looked up and it was goddamn 11:00 and I was annoyed.

I find myself waiting all day to get to do something I want to do, and then that part gets here and moves too fast and then I have to go do something I don’t wanna do, like go to bed cause I have the trainer so early. Do you know what I hate, other than everything? Is people who think saying “butt crack of dawn” is funny.

So today I have work, of course, and meetings, of course, and then after work I have another movie at my old theater, so I won’t be reading my book again till 9:30 and it will happen all over again.

Do you know what I hate, other than everything? Is people who say, “Lather, rinse, repeat” when they mean they’re going to do something the same way again the next day.

First of all, my shampoo doesn’t lather, because Curly Girl method. The term “Curly Girl” irks me too, and it has become clear to me I need to go back on my antidepressant, but last time I did, I broke the longest streak I’ve ever had of not having a migraine. So now I’m afraid to take another one and instead everything is irking me, like balloons in Paris.

It’s just so affected.

OK, I’d better go. Oh, I guess if I have an adorable kitten, you’re gonna want a photo of her, aren’t you? She’s in the kitten room, eating breakfast. Hang on and I will go photograph her assy self. Did I mention she feels better from her upper respiratory thing and she is not, 100% not, a mellow kitten? They sold me a bill of goods.

^^^ This is not a kitten. I wanted to show you how I had to make the bed today, so as not to disturb Milhous.

Here is a kitten. This is a fairly awkward family photo, but she wanted to run and play and break my EAR again. What was the name of that boxer guy who bit the other guy’s ear?

Garp bit Bonkie.

OK, I gotta go. I gotta go do things until 9:30 tonight, when I can read my book.

XO,

Clawed June

Zelda Hissgerald

I never slept last night. I do not know what the deal was. Although I do have to tell you that the fine folks at Coca-Cola have made a Coke with COFFEE in it, and I did imbibe in one of those. But are those powerful enought to make me not sleep all night? What the hell, man? Is there Ritalin in them?

I had my trainer at 7:00 a.m. today, so at about 5:30 this morning I just gave up and got out of bed. Then I went to the trainer, and while I was there, I got a call from the vet that I could bring my new kitten in as long as I got there before 9:00.

Oh, did you not know I have a new kitten? I do. I’ll tell you in a second.

I RUSHED out of the trainer’s, SCREECHED home, LEAPT into the shower, and with wet hair I drove that little kitten, Zelda, to her first vet appointment. I can tell she’s got a little upper respiratory thing happening, which is common in kittens, as her eyes are a little scrinchy.

Oh, did you not know I have a new kitten? Hold your horses. Geez.

As I drove back from the vet, having been two places already before 9:00, like the Army, I felt a terrible pull of exhaustion. I am ahead at work, so I ended up calling in sick. Then of course I got a work call like two minutes later. Still. I’m going to, what? Sleep? Should I sleep? I’m afraid I’ll be awake again all night tonight if I do that.

This happened to me one other time, in 2006, in LA. Three nights I could not sleep, THREE NIGHTS. And finally I called in sick to my job, and when I came back the next day there was an email from the owner of the company looking for me. I had never spoken to her before or since, and that was douche-chill horrifying. “Do you know when you’ll be back in?” Good gravy.

Oh, right, the kitten.

OK, so, first of all, when Iris died, I assumed I’d just have three cats. I mean, three cats is plenty, although between you and me, sometimes they’ll all be up on the dryer, eating, and it looks like a paltry amount of cats. But really, what did it for me is Lily. I did not think Lily and Iris were that close, but it appears they were. She jumped on the bed and stayed with Iris while Iris was being put to sleep, even putting her paw on Iris’s back while she was getting the shot. And then, she has been going out EVERY DAY since April, when Iris died, and she SITS at Iris’s GRAVE.

What’s the most heartbreaking about this is that you have to see these weeds. I am afraid to weed, as once I was doing so and a snake slithered out and I ALMOST FAINTED FOR REAL, so I let the lawn guy do it, but it’s been too rainy for him to mow. Which I spelled as “roo rainy” just now like I’m Astro.

Anyway, Lily likes the boy cats and they like her, but they run off to the way back and she is not interested in those shenanigans.

So this weekend, I was busy buying new/old dining room chairs and selling Peg’s online, which was a mistake.

“Four dining room chairs,” I wrote online. “All have arms. Light blue cushion. $50.” Then I told the story of how they belonged to my neighbor who was an interior designer, and how they are “good” chairs, but that they were too bulky for my table, and I really thought I had given too much info, really.

Then the responses came.

“How many chairs are there?”

“What color are the cushions?”

“Now, do they all have arms, or …?”

My favorite was, “Is the hutch still available?”

The…? The what, now?

“I’m selling chairs, not a hutch {you damp ham}.”

“Oh, I really only need the hutch. It’s not for sale?”

OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? There is NO HUTCH, Starsky.

So, one of the 87 people who claimed they were coming to get my chairs said she’d be here yesterday at noon, so for the THIRD TIME I was dragging those huge heavy chairs out of the shed and onto the patio, only to be stood up again. Anyway, whilst doing all that I saw Lily once again lying on Iris’s grave.

And I took action.

I seriously don’t want four cats. But I could not help myself. I looked on Next Door, where there were kittens galore available, selected one that was my type, drove to a church parking lot where the deal was made and brought home Zelda.

I understand that she is absurdly cute. Lily took to her right away, which I suppose we all want to see as magical and so forth, but truthfully any time she gets to see any of my fosters she likes them too. Lily pretty much likes anything other than when Edsel accidentally steps on her.

I mostly kept Zelda in the kitten room so she could decompress, but she mewed to come out so I let her wander, so so far everyone has at least looked at her and there has been no incident. She seems quite taken with Lily, however, and for this I am glad. Currently she is at the vet, which I already told you but did I mention I’m lucky if I slept 45 minutes all night?

I feel so foggy. I’m Foghorn Awakehorn. It’s terrible. It’s so terrible I am making jokes like Foghorn Awakehorn, which makes no sense.

At any rate, I hope they tell me Zelda is OK, although they’ll have to give her something for her scrinchy eyes. They’re checking for peanuts or what have you in her stool. They’re checking for fleas and ticks and horseflies. They’re checking and saving. I really need to nap, I think.

Anyway, that’s the story. Oh, and I give up on selling those chairs. If anyone local wants them, come get them. If you stand me up I will find you and check your stool.

Sincerely,
June, of the four cats again Junes

Completely Modo

I have no doubt that you lovingly crafted and maintained a List of All June’s Ailments, so I know you’ll recall the plantar fasciitis of 2012. I remember the year because that’s the year I started dating Ned, and I was consumed with looking cute so he’d like me back. And no one looks cuter than Limpadoo Limpado, with her limp. “Won’t you have the relations with me? Here’s my hot Quasimodo impresh.”

So then I had to spend $100 on these MaryJanes that looked like I was teaching pottery at the Learning Annex.

No. Wait. You know what? The hard-soled MaryJane purchase was from the great broken toe debacle of 2017 or ’18.

The point is, I have plantar fasciitis again. And it’s hard to spell, which literally adds insult to injury. I think I got it because I was trying to walk a lot more to shed the 9,000 pounds I gained in my solitary don’t-get-the-plague year. I can’t even remember what I did about it those 9 years ago, when Lily was young and I wore heels to make Ned desire me. I think I got a shot in my heel.

SHOT IN THE HEEL, AND YOU’RE TO BLAME.

Ding DANG it I’m annoyed. This is why I should just sit around. Maybe find one of those men who are into chubby women.

In other news, no one will stop bugging me. Every sentence I write you, another notification pops up on my text or email. No wonder my heel hurts—OH MY GOD THERE GOES ANOTHER NOTIFICATION. I liked life better before we all got computers. Back when computers were this giant lit-up thing in a room somewhere like NASA.

Anyway, the stress is going to my heel. I suppose I could look at, like, cures for plantar fasciitis, or why is plantar fasciitis so ridiculous to spell, but I am pressed for time.

I have to go. I have a meeting I have to attend, and whenever I “go” to a meeting secretly looking bad, I fear they’ll say, “Let’s all turn our cameras on today!” and everyone will see me in my NC State t-shirt and tormentor on Princess Bride hair.

I went to see The Princess Bride at my old movie theater last night. I went with Ned, and I no longer care if he thinks I’m cute or not, so that’s a relief. Anyway, during the torture scene, I asked, “Does my hair look like that?”

“No,” said Ned, who wouldn’t tell me if it did.

Then during the scene with Carol Kane, I asked, “Does my hair look like that?”

“You want some M&Ms or something?” asked Ned, who I think wanted to change the subject because it so does. Now that it’s light, I so have Carol Kane in Princess Bride hair.

OK, I really have to go. Heel advice, please. And don’t tell me to use a prong collar.

Vacation, all I ever wanted {waves from water ski}

I’ve extended my time at my trainer, because I cannot even stand myself. Usually I am a big fan of myself so this is unusual.

Anyway, I was there today and we got on the subject of vacation styles. It turns out, she and I would vacation well together, other than the part where she might just up and ask me to do a plank like it’s normal. But for us, we’re on vacation to lounge about. Nothing irks us more than our vacation mate asking, “So, what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?”

“What time do you think you’ll be getting up?”

“Where do you want to go for lunch tomorrow?”

STOP STOP STOP. Having a schedule and a plan is what happens in real life. I go on vacation to get away from all that. Not that I’ve had a vacation since God was a child.

Marvin was a “Let’s go do stuff” vacationer. Often he’d go off for the day, exploring and popping into places, while I lay prone on a beach. We were fine with this arrangement.

The times I vacationed with Ned, I was pleasantly surprised that he was a lounge vacationer. In real life, he’s all What do you wanna do next? What time shall we do it? What will we do when we get there? kind of a person.

So what’s your vacation style?

June disrobes

Lately, I’ve had to get up fairly early, to shower and do my hair and makeup and put on actual clothes that aren’t my cotton Frida Kahlo robe. I wonder if Frida Kahlo would’ve worn a robe with the drawings of one of her heroes?

The reason I have to do this is because I have been on camera as part of my work. I am not an online sex worker. What are those apps called where men pay money to look at women? All I can think of is MySpace, and welcome to the current hip mind of June Gardens. PayCash? CashApp? No, that’s a legit app, I think. Oh, what IS it?

Dang. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, alert me.

Anyway, I’m not one of those. Obviously. Because I can’t even think of what it’s called. Also, I’m certain there’s a giant call for men looking to pay money to look at 55-year-old women. We don’t need an app for that because Lisa Rinna is providing that service for free.

At work, see, I am interviewing people, see, because I am writing articles about the cool things our client is doing, and putting those stories on their website and also on social media. And that is why I have to look like a decent functioning member of society and not someone who works in her Frida Kahlo robe all day.

We’re gonna look back at this pandemic time as super extra weird.

Speaking of extra super weird, do you remember like 5 or 6 years ago when everyone they hired at my job was named Alex? We had, seriously, 10 people named Alex. Now it’s Jamie, or some iteration of that name, but spelled in a different way. I swear there are 47 Jaymees there now. It’s been kind of fun to watch the ebbs and flows of that place. Imagine the stories The Poet could tell. She’s been there more than 30 years.

My point is, I was showering and putting gel in my hurr when I thought, Oh crap. I guess I have to blog today too. I’d sort of forgotten it’s an everyday thing. So here I am.

Clementine already has a new home, and for that I am sad. I got a message from a woman who is a single mother with one child, no other pets. Not that her child is a pet. Anyway, that’s ideal for Clementine, who I can tell will bond hard with her human and NOT WITH OTHER PETS. Not that she wouldn’t have adjusted. It just never would be her jam, I don’t think.

So the woman and I texted back and forth about the transfer. We work totally different hours. Well. Between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. we are both actually at work at the same time, but she works 3 to 11 and I work 8:30 to 5.

“5:00.” Since the pandemic, the end of the day is what you might call blurred. Some days, if I have plans, I’ll say, “I am stopping at 5:00.” And then the next day there will be a bunch of “You still there?” messages. Relaxing.

We really need to cut this out. I mean, in our society in general. It’s not good for anyone.

But anyway, in talking to the woman, we figured out the best solution would be for me to drive the kitten to her work, where her boyfriend could take it home. She works way out, at the Amazon distribution center. I’ve never been there.

The sun was just setting as I headed there last night, and there was a light sprinkle. By the time I was driving back home, there was a downpour, and it was pitch black out, and I could not see anything. Oh, and I was at one bar on my gas things. What are those called? They’re probably called the same thing as that app where men pay to look at women.

Why are men so odd? Visuals are so important to them.

Anyway, I got home, but felt much like Tom Hanks did after he reached the island with pieces of the FedEx plane floating with him. I was disoriented and traumatized. And then I got the sads. Oh, I was sad. I think I cannot handle any more kitten fostering for awhile. I’ll just get through the missing Iris parts and then try fostering again. I conflated the whole grieving process, I think.

Clementine’s new owner has already texted me to say she’s doing great, which is good to hear. I was worried she would be scared. That sweet kitten.

I had better go. I have two interviews to do today and in between I have a meeting with a coworker named Jamie. I am not making that up.

Tonight I get my hair cut, she says, not going. I got the color done at the beginning of May, and the COLOR is OK, but my CURLS have disappeared. I think part of it is the dye itself sort of knocked out the curl, which happens, but also the cut was not a curly cut, so I am headed to the Deva Cut place in my neighborhood for a real curly girl cut. I can’t help it that they call it “curly girl.” I don’t like it any better than you do.

Also this week, The Princess Bride is playing at my old theater. Last week I saw Vertigo there. And coming soon? The Big Lebowski.

I’ll alert you to my hair situation tomorrow. I am looking forward to my hair sproinging and not lying there like Garth’s hair.

Party on,
June

Book of Juan returns with a special edition where she talks about cats!

Dooce just came back after a hiatus that was longer than mine, if you’ll forgive the phallic innuendo. She announced that she is sober, which, good for her. I am sorry to tell you I have nothing exciting or major like that to update you on. Cause I drink like once a year and get a migraine. So, no comeback with a WOW. (Check it out! Bo Whoa Bo Ricks!) Just back with more all-June’s-regular-crap all the crappy time.

It’s my uplifting attitude that brings you back year after year.

For the last five or six weeks, who knows how long that was; it’s a blur and this sentence is finely constructed and I cannot get enough of myself.

Anyway, since May 1, I had newborn teensy bottle-needing kittens

and you’ve no idea how time-consuming and bottle-consuming teensy newborn bottle-feeding kittens are. Plus also I have my trainer in the morning. Plus too too, work is King Kamehameha busy, so in sum you were my lowest priority and I am sorry. I had no time to talk to you, and had to go on a break, like Ross and Rachel. Now I will not even have tens of readers. I’ll have fives of readers.

But on Saturday, on this, our past weekend, I returned the kittens to their rightful owner, which is actually partially true. A friend of mine, a former coworker, is adopting the B&W one, and note that I am so pressed for time that I can’t possibly spell out black or white. Makes no difference if it’s black or white. Doodoodoododo, hee-heee (grabs parts).

Anyway, I returned the B&W and the B to the shelter, but they are not yet two pounds, which (a) is absurd, as they are 8 weeks old. But (2), my friend the adopter is now fostering them, in sort of a rent-to-own situation. She will foster them till they’re two pounds, then return them to be neutered, or spayed. What do you do with boy cats? Oh, hoooo care.

The point is, they are no longer with me. And I returned home and cleaned the kitten room and enjoyed the silence.

Actually, that’s not true, Ellen. Name that classic moment in TV. For as soon as I was done at the shelter, I had to screech over to my friend Wedding Alex’s, as she was having a birthday party for a one-year-old. I mean, not just some random one-year-old. Her child. She had a birthday party for her child, who you may have guessed by now because nothing gets past you, is one.

Here’s the issue. I have gained 400 pounds since we have been shut in, here, and nothing I had fit. “What about your dress?” I thought, combing my closet hoping there was a secret Mama Cass section I’d forgotten I’d put in.

I got a dress from Stitch Fix last year, and I kept it and then canceled Stitch Fix because what did I need clothes for? I spent most of summer 2020 in my Frida Kahlo robe. Looking more like Diego Rivera by the minute, with that whole sitting in the house eating thing I did.

By some miracle, the dress fit, and if the dress fit, you must a quit looking for something else to wear cause did I mention nothing fits? So I threw it on and headed out the door, kitten carrier in hand. When I got home that night, I perused my Ring doorbell alerts and saw this.

THE GIANT PRICE TAG WAS HANGING DOWN MY BACK. I went to the party like that. I recall one moment there, when I was concerned with the food table, as I am Diego Rivera, that Wedding Alex said, “Your tag is showing.” But I assumed she meant that little tag on the back that says, “Made in China” or whatever. OH MY GOD.

So that was my relaxing Saturday. Sun’s out, tag’s out.

So if that weren’t enough to make your weekend the best it can be, if hanging my price tag high weren’t enough, I also got a message, which of course always makes me go,

“WHAT.”

Any time I get a message, I am bugged. I do not like to be interrupted.

It was the friend of a friend, messaging me to say she needed to find at least a temporary home for a kitten and could I help.

Could I help.

So thank God I cleaned out the kitten room, because one day later, it’s full again. This is Clementine. She is 4 months old and everyone here hates her. Edsel fears her, Milhous (MILhous, of all people) hissed at her. She’s cloistered here till she gets shots anyway, but I let them look from a distance. Clementine got bottle brush tail and hissed at everyone. I have always heard dilute torties are bitchy.

But with me she is a dream. She makes a lot of eye contact and is very purry and cuddly. I can’t help it she doesn’t like anyone here. I can’t help it her dilute tortie comes out. Anyway, does anyone need a kitten?

I gotta go. I had all sorts of trouble today with this post, with typing it before work, then losing the whole thing cause Mercury is retrograde, and then finding it and publishing it on my lunch “hour,” like I ever take an hour. I rarely even really take a lunch. Why did a pandemic make it so we can’t turn work off?

I just looked over at Clementine and she began purring from across the room. This is a seriously nice kitten.

All right, I gotta go. It’s called working, sweaty.

In which June says, “miracle nipple” with a blown-straight face

Remember when my posting schedule used to be reliable and steady? …Yeah.

I’m writing to you on a Sunday because I know I will not have time for you tomorrow morning. Also I am writing to you from outside, because, (a), I am a great outdoorswoman, and (2), I need to dry m’pants. It’s a long story. It’s actually NOT a long story; it’s a stupid story. I was watering my dogwoods and the outside faucet is very dramatic. So. Pants. Wet.

Anyway, let’s see. On Friday afternoon, I left my house (!!) and drove to the restaurant I used to go to every Friday before there was a pan in our demic. Remember when I used to have dinner with all my neighbors on Fridays? This time, we didn’t meet in the restaurant, but rather across the street at this brewery, that has walls that open and also you can sit outside. The plan was to get food from our regular spot and then eat at the brewery, but there was a food truck available with lobster rolls so you can imagine how that went down.

Right before I was due to arrive, I felt a nagging migraine coming on. Honestly, that migraine complained about my hair, my income, the cut of my jib. But I DID NOT CARE, as I was finally GOING somewhere, so I took and pill and headed out, like I was in the Pink Floyd movie or something.

Oh, it was good to see my neighbors, which is dumb because of course they live right here, and I traveled to see them someplace else. I ordered a Prosecco, which when the bartender opened it, the cap SHOT across the room and hit someone, so basically someone got killed and it was my fault and I was all, “Could you pour the Prosecco, please? She’ll stop bleeding in a moment anyway. JUST POUR.”

Then I was immediately drunk.

The next morning, I had to get up early with my one-Prosecco hangover, and get to the hairdresser. I made the appointment to finally address my roots AGES ago, and the appointment was finally here. We got a pen and wrote an address on them forthwith.

FOUR HOURS AND 15 MINUTES I was at that salon. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with m’roots. But we decided to leave the roots there, highlight the shit out of my apricot hair, then I go back in 8 weeks and we pretty much do it again because that brown will come creeping round my back stairs again, and THAT time should do it. Then I’ll just be white-haired.

I was pretty pleased with it, and it cost me a mortgage payment but whatever.

I’d already made plans with Ned to get strawberries after. “I have to get my hair done in the morning,” I told him. “It’s at 10. I’ll call you at about 1.”

One?!?!” he asked, incredulous.

“Yeah, Ned, it takes about three hours to do my hair.” Little did I know. I was so young and naive then, back when I had apricot hair.

“That’s an entire football game,” said Ned, who has also been blown straight.

On our way to get strawberries, we talked about cats. He recently rehomed the stray he brought in in January, after having spent about $4,000 on her, as she and his regularly scheduled cats just could not make it work. He found an old couple, through his vet (“Older than US!” he said) who really wanted a cat, as theirs died in 2017 and they were finally ready.

“I don’t know if I want another cat or not,” I said to Ned. “I’ve decided to say to the universe, If you want me to have a cat, send me one.”

“Hunh,” said Ned, who doesn’t believe in the universe.

After we got strawberries and heirloom tomatoes at a garden center, and by the way Ned once called then antique tomatoes and I will never get over this. After that, we went to Five Guys as Ned had his once-a-year craving for something beyond kale. We took the food to the park in my old neighborhood, and I don’t even know why I did this, but as I was finishing, I got my phone out of my purse. There was a voicemail.

“Hello, June, this is the animal shelter. Are you interested in fostering two orphaned kitt–“

I dialed back before she was even done.

“Oh, here we go,” said Ned. “Hello, universe.”

We had less than half an hour to get to the shelter before it closed, and I picked me up a couple-a these:

Naturally, I got up 49 times last night to feed them, and they were so not eating. I mean, they were eating a LITTLE, but not enough.

And that is how I found myself on a Sunday morning, driving to another city, with kittens next to me, having a rescue (“rescue”) place help me. This very kind woman, who had like 409 premie kittens at her place and it totally didn’t smell cat and I meant to ask her HOW she pulled that off, this nice woman gave me tips and different formula and I am sorry to tell you something called a miracle nipple.

I did not say to her, “Hey! I was just talking shit about rescues on my last hard-hitting blog post!” I kept that to myself. But she DID tell me they only adopt kitten duos. They don’t let anyone adopt a solo kitten.

That said, she really was marvelous and so helpful and I am now waiting for the kittens to wake up and want to eat again and here’s hoping they want to eat for real. Cause that panicked me.

Edsel is as usual delighted. When I brought them home yesterday, he was just excited to see me, but then the carrier I had

MEEEEEP!ed

and you shoulda seen his head swing around.

OK, he looks murder/suicide-y here, but you’re gonna have to trust me.

So in sum, it’s been a big weekend, and it’s Sunday afternoon and I am exhaust and I did not wash my floors or do laundry yet and why the hell don’t I have a maid? I could so use a Florence from The Jeffersons right about now. Was she a LIVE-IN maid? Seems absurd. Did she ever get a day off? Did Florence have any kind of life outside of the Jeffersons and their revolving Lionels?

Anyway, that’s what’s new.

Newsworthily,
June

Why do they say “Adopt, don’t shop” then make it nearly impossible to adopt?

I have an unpopular opinion, which I guess is obvious if you looked at my blog title.

As you know, I am quite a fan of the animals. At one point, I had two dogs and three cats. I’ve also had one dog and four cats. I spend the majority of my cash, time and cleaning efforts on my pets. I also volunteer for two shelters. There was a month, there, that with my shelter kittens, I had 12 cats in my house.

All of my pets have been mutts.

Wait. That’s not true. In 1985, when I was 20, I worked in the mall selling shoes, and on my breaks, I’d wander into the pet store in the mall, not knowing it was allegedly evil. There were Persian kittens in that mall pet store, and sometimes I’d ask if I could hold one. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and spent 100 times my hourly salary to purchase one of those Persian kittens.

He was one of the best cats I ever had. Mellow, sweet, lovely. I had him for years. Moved him to Seattle when I lived there. He slept on my head every night.

So, OK, other than Confetti, my beloved Persian I bought at the mall in 1985 before I knew it was bad, I’ve had mutts I either got from the shelter or that I found on the side of the road or what have you. And this I guess places me squarely in the “adopt, don’t shop” group. I’ve said it for years. I’ve judged people who “bought” their pets.

As if adopting doesn’t cost a pretty penny.

I touted the line, when people purchased pets, that 10,000 dogs and cats are put to sleep every day. That number isn’t actually true, now that I’ve looked it up. It’s about 4,110 a day, which is still far too many. Shelters are overcrowded and traumatic for the animals. I’ve been in them often enough to know. The last thing I want is any unwanted animals. I seethe when people are “moving, and we can’t take [cat/dog] with us.” There’s another pet going to the shelter.

So, for a long, long time, I’ve said, “adopt, don’t shop.” It’s been my mantra.

But it’s starting to piss me off.

Have you tried adopting a pet lately? Because good luck.

As soon as an animal is listed at the shelter, it’s almost immediately got an “adoption pending” notification. And shelters charge up to $250 to adopt. I know from my volunteer work that shelters are absolutely doing their best, but often you bring home a shelter pet with fleas or an upper respiratory infection. You just can’t avoid those when so many animals are in close quarters.

If you go to other pet “rescue” sites (that phrase drives me berserk. You aren’t pulling the animal out of a burning building), there’s sometimes a fee just to apply. And I promise you, it’s no guarantee you’ll get the animal. The fee can be $30, sometimes $50. Just to apply. Sometimes it takes weeks to hear back. Sometimes you hear nothing.

By the way, the average college application fee is $50.

Then, you have to fill out a multiple-page form, listing your vet’s name and number, whether you have a fence, if you believe in declawing or letting your cat out in your yard. Sometimes you have to provide references. References. Like you’re applying for a job. And they will call these references.

Then? If they don’t agree with your stance on any of the above? If your last pet died years ago so you don’t have a vet right now, if you live miles from anyone and let your cat out, if you don’t have a fence but are retired and have no issue letting your dog out 10 times day. If they don’t like any of that? You’re rejected.

Then you have to pay another fee, exhaust your “references” with yet another call, and start all over again.

I’ve had “rescues” tell me they won’t let me adopt because I live too far away for them to make home visits.

I’ve had them tell me I can’t adopt a cat unless I take its friend.

I’ve been given mileage restrictions, as in, “We only let people who live 30 miles from us adopt a pet.”

I’ve been told, “You can only adopt this pet if it’s an only pet.”

In sum, it’s gotten absurd.

If you really want us to adopt and not shop, then make it possible for people to adopt.

I can honestly say my cats are happy and well-adjusted. They get all their shots, monthly flea and heartworm treatment, and at the moment, high-dollar prescription food that was originally meant for one cat with IBD, but they all loved it, the vet gave the OK, so they all get it. Feeding these cats costs me hundreds of dollars a month.

And yet? I would be turned down by these adopt don’t shop organizations because I let them into my fenced yard. I have no neighbors behind me, and I live on a dead-end street. My cats chase each other through the grass, sleep under the camellia bush, and climb the small pear tree. My cats are happy. Any cat would be lucky to live here. But they can’t unless I lie on the application. Or? If I just shop.

If people keep hitting these dead ends when they try to do the “right” thing and adopt, they will inevitably buy a cat on Craigslist, or go to the vilified breeder. If you leave them no choice, if you make it nearly impossible to adopt, then they’ll say screw it and shop.

And that’s my unpopular opinion for today.

I can’t drive…TWENTY-FIIIIIIIIVE

I have to drive past three schools between my house and my trainer’s abode. She moved since I last saw her, in aught 20, and apparently she moved to the school district.

First of all, why do we need so many schools? Can’t we cram more kids into one building for my convenience? It’s annoying that there are three of them in a 9-minute drive. One of them is a Catholic school, so OK, you all wanna be together and be the Hail Marys and have the Pope as your mascot or feel guilty together or what have you. Fine.

But then there’s a school for rich kids, and then a school for regular kids.

ALL THREE demand that I drive 25 miles an hour when I drive past them, and this rankles.

Have they not considered that anyone driving at 7 a.m. is late for somewhere? We’re all headed to work or our trainer or to buy early morning drugs. We don’t have TIME to slow down to 25 MPH. And let me tell you, they really insist we go 25. I learned that the $450 way many years ago.

Also, when’s the last time you actually drove 25? It’s absurdly slow. I feel like Olivia Soprano or Clara Peller driving 25. Let me get to the center of the road and lean over my steering wheel while I’m at it. Turn on my AM radio.

Plus also additionally, children need to learn to stay out of traffic. If we give them a namby pamby 25 miles an hour, they’re gonna get a tiny, meaningless bump if they run in front of cars. How is that teaching them anything? We’re too soft on kids. Stupid participation trophy generation. A kid in my junior high, and yes that’s what it should be called, got hit right on the first day of 7th grade. He was in a cast all first semester. You better believe HE learned.

Anyway, hi. I’m home from the trainer, in case you hadn’t guessed. I drove 25 most of the way.

Also, Milhous is here, insisting I scritch him under the chin, and he’s getting drooly nose. You know when a cat is really happy and their nose gets all tawny and damp? That’s Mil, over here. He really is the happiest cat on earth. I find myself calling him Winston a lot, a cat only longtime readers will recall. Winston was similarly happy. He was such a good cat, Winston was. Unflappable.

But that’s beside the point. My cat du jour is beside the point. Today I have to get a ton of work done, due by the end of the day, and meanwhile I have five meetings. This means I have to cram the work in between meetings. I’m sort of terrified by this, because the thought of saying, “I didn’t get everything done” — oh my god, even typing that, I get the anxious I have to poop now feeling.

I work with someone who doesn’t have this. He fascinates me. He’s very smart and does good work, but he doesn’t have the anxiety I do about being right on time or doing exactly what we’re told. I wish I had some of that lack of fear.

In elementary school, I was Nellie Olsen. I mean, I wasn’t a dick. But I was a goody two shoes. There’s still part of me that has that need to be goody in my two shoes.

Once, AGES ago, they had a happy hour for our team at work. The very tip-top head of our team invited us all via email. This was when Ned was president of his company, and he always, always worked till 6 or 7 or later. So, I forwarded the invitation to him, because the bar was across the street from his house. The work happy hour ended at 6, and I knew he wouldn’t be there till half hour, 45 minutes after it ended. I also knew some of us, the Alexes and the Ryans, would hang around after.

Thank god all I wrote was, “You should come to this” because

THE TIP-TOP GUY

saw it.

“Who’s Ned Nickerson?” he wrote back.

And that is when I died. That is when my blood froze and I fainted and woke up and froze in my blood again.

“Oh, he’s a friend,” I wrote. “Sorry.”

“This happy hour is just for people at work,” he wrote back AND I DIED AGAIN.

I did not write back and bother him with the whole Oh my god, he wouldn’t have been there till after it was over I wasn’t trying to sneak free drinks to my 47-year-old president-of-a-company friend. I knew it didn’t matter. All I knew is I was humiliated.

That was at least 6 years ago and I still burn in shame.

Now, see. The guy at work who doesn’t have this anxiety? He’d have clean forgotten it the next hour.

What is that? Does it mean I have low self-esteem? I always kind of thought I had magnificent self-esteem. Why am I like this? Why do I feel like I have to do what I’m told or I am shit? I hate this trait.

The one where I think kids should be run over to teach them a lesson is fine. I’m fine with that trait.

OK, I’d better start working. Think good June-gets-everything-done thoughts.

Prioritizationally,
June

Tales from the swamp

At 7:50 this morning, I was at the gas pump putting gas in my car. That’s what a gadabout I’ve been this weekend. I mean, relatively speaking. Relatively compared to how I went from Halloween to Valentine’s Day on one tank. And now here it is, April, and I’m filling it up again. Except I didn’t fill it up: I got so annoyed with the pump that I left midway. It kept clicking off. What does it mean when that keeps happening? That they aren’t maintaining the pump, or the gas station is almost out of gas, or what? All I know is I was 5 gallons in and told myself, If this dang handle clicks underneath my hand ONE MORE TIME, I quit.

Click!

Quit.

I have a low tolerance for frustration. I’m certain this means I’m immature, and news flash. Did I ever pretend to be a British banker?

Anyway, hi. It’s Monday. I’ve already been to my trainer and am now eating what’s toted as a protein bar but mostly I think I’m having candy for breakfast. April might be the prettiest month in the South; all the azaleas are bloomed, and there are purple trees and yellow trees and pink trees and it’s a cacophony of color. The people who owned this house must not have liked azaleas, as I have none. Do you recall at my old house how a drag queen must have planted the azaleas, as there was literally every color right next to each other and it was absurd? Hot pink next to screaming orange next to bright purple.

I’ve got none of that here. But the little garden in front is set up so something is blooming all the time. The tulips have left the building but a pretty white ground cover has bloomed now, and my yellow day lilies have popped up and I am officially an old lady.

Speaking of which, when I got my first vaccine, I figured out how long it’d take to get the next one, and then I figured out how long it’d take after THAT to be fully vaccinated, and I called my hair place and my Botox place and made appointments for after that date.

I hope that damp ham commenter comes back and tells me how long, “per experts,” it takes for the vaccine to be at its full effect LIKE I DIDN”T KNOW THAT. Yes, ONLY YOU, dampus hammus, have access to the CDC. Thank GOD you shared your wisdom.

I’d like to once again point out that the only thing know-it-alls never seem to know is that nobody likes a know-it-all.

Anyway.

I made appointments for hair and face, both of which are suffering in response to the global pandemic. I had no idea how quickly I could transition to swamp witch. So, this past Saturday was my hair appointment, except THE HAIR PLACE CANCELED. Due to unforeseen circumstances.

Goddammit.

They rescheduled me for next weekend and I guess that’s good, because I hadn’t budgeted “put cat down” for April expenses, so I am $300 lighter in my loafers and there will be a payday between now and my hair appointment, so that’s helpful. But still. It’s one more week I have to look like I’d shove children in my oven if they had the nerve to come around.

Oh, and speaking of children…

This is not a child, but I saw this photo on my phone whilst I was looking for child pics, and I just LOVE HIM SO BAD. I love his teensy legses poking out of his fur-of-his-enemies vest.

Anyway. Child.

I had a baby! I had no idea I was pregnant.

Alex, of the work Alexes, had a baby during the pandemic, and much like Forest, he has not been able to welcome guests or hob and nob about town, so now that we are vaccinated, Alex brought her child to my house. Note how Lily was all, “Lilleee plop heer,” thoroughly unconcerned that a toddler of 8 to 26 months was toddling about. Actually he’s more crawling with gusto. This similarly did not bother Lily, who is unbothered.

June. Just a natural with children, since 1965. If any of my younger cousins see this photo, they fear for this baby.

Look. He liked me. He did not sense my evil. It went fine.

Also, babies come with a lot of accoutrements. He had a collapsible high chair, and a cacophony of snacks. Four different kinds of wipes and 79 toys. Then he just played with his mom’s phone the whole time.

Edsel mostly pressed his head into my back and pretended he saw zero babies.

All right, I gotta go. I was going to show you photos of the strawberries I got, and the irises I purchased for Iris’s grave, and possibly tell you how I bought mini pies at the grocery store and told myself I could have one each day and then I sat there and ate all of them. I had all that to tell you but now I have to start work. I done TOLD you I’m too busy to blog these days. Dang.

Hurriedly,
Juan