Cat out of the bag

I knew this would happen.

When Steely Dan was a tiny kitten who should’ve still been with his mother, he wobbled up to two college boys who could not leave a tiny kitten on a sidewalk in the rain. So they brought him home, marveled at how brave and playful he was, and realized that with school and job–and I’m going to go out on a limb and say beer–they really didn’t have time or funds to give to a kitten.

So they gave him to me. They gave me his a-boy-bought-this blue bowl and too-big litter box and yellow polka-dot scratching pad that he actually used constantly.

IMG_6791.pngAs soon as I held him, I said, “Oh, this is a good one.”

For I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have cats. I’ve always had cats. I know from cats. And I could tell, in my bones, that he was my type.

I like a no-nonsense cat, I guess to offset my own nonsense. I like a solid, stoic, unflappable, brave cat. I guess to offset my flappyness.

Mr. Horkheimer was that way, and so was Winston. So was Roger. Solid cats.

IMG_6792.jpgI believe in letting cats out, a thing that would have caused nary a raised eyebrow in, say, 1975, and that now causes people to gasp in horror. Since 9/11, we’ve become an incredibly overprotective society, if you ask me. Kids don’t play. They get shuttled to school in cars rather than walking. And animals are put in sweaters and kept indoors. Everything we love has become a dollhouse creature that we keep shuttered away for safety.

My way of thinking doesn’t jibe with this. Nevertheless, my goal was to leave SD in till he was year old, till he knew where he lived and so on. After that, I wanted him to feel the grass under his paws, to lift his head and sniff at birds, and to get his fur warm in the sun.

Oh, how I didn’t know him yet. Because within months, that cat started escaping the house. I’d look outside and there he’d be. And then I’d look again and he’d be IN the house.

Were there two gray cattens in the neighborhood? Was I seeing things? Was I finally just hallucinating cats?

Turns out, he can not only open doors, that cat found an open something-or-other in the roof that led to the attic, then (I saw him do this. Stood in the hall horrified) he’d …bounce on the closed attic steps till they gave way enough that he could squeeze out of the ceiling and leap into my hallway. Boom. Home.

He figured this all out when he was maybe five months old.

And right then I knew: Steely Dan was no ordinary cat.

IMG_6779.jpgHe didn’t feel the grass under his paws; he soared above it. He didn’t lift his nose to the birds; he joined them.

IMG_0379.jpgIMG_5184.jpgIMG_8163.jpgSteely Dan was the kind of cat who rarely came home. When it’s warm, some mornings he’ll stare at me through the back window, come in and gobble breakfast, then jump through the hole in the screen and go back out all day.

He’s like kids back in the ’70s. He was free.

I’ve had this cat for two years, and since then he’s gotten famous in the neighborhood. He’s very friendly, and sometimes tries to come right in. On NextDoor, there were at first a lot of hysterical, WHO IS THIS HOMELESS (MUSCLED, SHINY) KITTY? notices, but people started saying, “Oh, that’s just Steely Dan.”

But I knew that with this spirit of adventure, there might be trouble.

IMG_3871.jpgIMG_1174.jpgI knew that with a cat who lived hard, there could come a morning I’d look for his face at the back window, and if it wasn’t there, expect him to leap from the roof once I opened the door, and he wouldn’t be up there.

Friday was that day.

After my harrowing travel experience Thursday, I came home and opened the back door to let all the cats out. Lily and Iris are content with my yard. They just want to cross their paws in the shade somewhere, maybe murder a bee or something.

Not Steely Dan. And while I had been gone Wednesday and Thursday, Ned had come over to feed the cats, and said he literally caught Steely Dan in midair as he tried to leap out the door. To say SD was nonplussed about being indoors in an understatement.

So I knew when I got home Thursday afternoon that he’d be champing at the bit to leave.

Because I know letting him roam is dangerous, usually when he leaves, I say something to him. I tell him what a magnificent kitty he is, or that I can’t wait till he comes back. Just something so that if he didn’t return, I wouldn’t feel as bad.

On Thursday, I said nothing. I don’t even really remember letting him out. I was so tired, and angry about my missing luggage, which is still not here, by the way. But if I have a choice between my favorite clothes and my $150 Retin-A that’s in that bag, and seeing my cat again, my Retin-A can suck it.

IMG_8253.jpgAnd yes, I’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do when your cat is missing. I notified NextDoor, I’ve driven to the shelter (where I saw two of my orange fosters languishing there, a thing that haunts me), I’ve called the emergency vet, and I’ve gone to ask my neighbors if I can call into their sheds and crawl spaces. “Oh, that cat? I see that cat all the time,” they all tell me. “Walked right into my house once.”

I know there’s a chance he’ll still come back, just like my wayward bag. I know someone will leave an asshole comment about this, too. Something smug and shrill and probably containing the term “furbabies.”

But what I mostly know is I adore that cat. And I wanted him to have a happy life, even if it wasn’t the safest, most coddled life.

IMG_9142.jpgIMG_0021.jpgIMG_9089.jpgIMG_0072.jpgSo if I never get a chance to tell him, I’ll tell you. Steely Dan is a magnificent cat, and I can’t wait to see him again. I’ll keep his polka-dot scratching pad waiting, just in case.

Shelter pics of my kittens. Aka Riveting June.

Despite another busy day at work, I called the animal shelter Wednesday.

“Yes,” I said, because it’s my signature move to begin all my business-y calls with “yes.”

“Yes, I’m fostering seven kittens and their mom, because am self-loathing nincompoop, and I have two people possibly interested in adopting one kitten each. How should they do that?”

I wonder if my mother would pronounce that word “nincom-go-to-the-bathroom.” Do you remember when she said Ned should “Go to the bathroom or get off the pot” re marrying me? Harsh words from a stern taskmaster.

“What are the names of your kittens?” asked the poor recipient of my “Yes…” call.

Their names? They had names?

The last two batches of kittens I received came with paperwork, but these did not. So I had to go home and make up names for them, which is how I came up with Cora Godsey and the seven Walton children, although let’s face it, I always call that one big one Donald Trump and that runt “Runty.”

But all along they had regularly scheduled names?

Using my name and date of birth and social security number and ATM PIN and password to my 401(k), we figured out which kittens I have, and the nice “Yes” recipient gave me the shelter ID number of the mom cat, for future identification. Then she told me how my potential adoptees could get their potential cats, potentially.

The point of my telling you this rather tedious tale is that when we hung up the phone it occurred to me, she’d grown up just like me. My “Yes” recipient was just like me.

AND THE CAT’S IN THE CRADLE AND THE SILVER SPPON.

You’re welcome.

IT OCCURRED TO ME that I could go on the shelter’s website, where on their homepage, in blue, they’ve written “See adoptable animals” and then in BLACK they’ve written “Click Here,” which is just about the most cockamamie link design I have ever seen.

Or, is my mother would call it, genital-amamie.

Despite this, I realized that with the mom’s ID, I could find all the first-day-at-the-shelter mug shots of the mom and all her teensy babies, ALONG WITH THEIR REAL NAMES, and I am dying and also I feel I must show this to all of you.

The level of thrilled I was with this discovery was not nearly commensurate with reality, but that about sums me up. That and, “I hate everyone except people made of glitter.”

Without further ado, I present you my foster kittens way back four weeks ago when they arrived at the shelter, naked and afraid, and an accompanying photo from this current moment in their lives.

Mom Cat/aka Nikita/aka Cora

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Mug shot. Wanted for being tawny and prolific with the chillins. No man could resist her tawny stare. It was arresting.
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yuu shud be arrest for dis chippy floor.

Nikita is my coworker Ryan’s girlfriend’s name, so this kills me extra particularly.

Rembrant/aka Donald Trump
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dis dark kittee a immigrint. must abollesh.

I AM DYING. Oh my god, I love that I discovered their mug shots from kitty jail. And they’re all getting so big big big! They got to the shelter April 20, and I got them April 21. So they looked like these jail pics when I picked them up. I can’t even remember them being so bitty!

Claude Monet/aka JimBob (two names you often mention in same breath)
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Yuu want kittee to do wat…?
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…no. not gooeng to paint you like french gurl. zzzzzzz…

Andy Warhol/aka BenIMG_8699

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do dis be kiteee 15 minnit of fame?

Edgar Degas/aka JasonIMG_8698.png

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Did not lyke to be pick up fore week ago. do not lyke now. to put down degas jason. spready toes on degas jason. get hint. do degas jason need to paint pictur?

Caitlyn/aka Elizabeth/aka Runty/ aka Runtis Americanus
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do not have room to tat-two all dese names on kittee

Blythe/aka ErinIMG_8701.png

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wate. do kitttee be Gwinnith Paltrowe mom? son of BITZ.

Azra/aka MaryEllen/aka FR LaUral’s soon-to-be kittenIMG_8703

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wyy kittee gotta share screen tyme wif Ben Warhol? Dis bullchit.

So there they are, my foster kittens’ mugshots. I hope I was not alone in being delighted I discovered these. I know Hulk, at least, will be happy to see more cat pics.

Also wondering what the fuck an Azra is,
June

Andy Voltaire

IMG_3814.JPGGoogle Photos likes to show me what I’ve been up to in other years. Three years ago today, mom came to visit me in my Year Abroad house. Tallulah was happy to see her gramma.

Oh, Talu.

IMG_8553.jpgSomeone mentioned in the comments the other day that they wondered if my more curls/less Voltaire hair was a result of doing Curly Girl, and yes.

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I’m Mike Voltaire. I got June hair. [Disclaimer: I have no idea what Voltaire’s first name is.]
Chuck Voltaire liked him some layers.

I have been reticent to do a How To Do Curly Girl tutorial because I didn’t want to steal from the person who actually WROTE the book The Curly Girl Method

(here’s a link to it on Amazon) who is trying to sell a book and so on.

But everyone and their curlies has put online how to do this method, so if you want me to, I will, too. It varies by person, which products work and which methods, but for me almost all of the stuff they tell me to do in the book works.

I just won’t plop. I refuse to plop. If you want me to do a tutorial you will learn what plopping is and why plopping can suck it.

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Not that every day is a perfect hair day for me, but this above was second-day hair, meaning I didn’t co-wash it and start all over again with products. But it was also a rainy day, and trust me, my hair could look a lot worse than this. It’s like my cleaning lady Alicia’s best comment to me: There are a lot of people who look a lot worse than you.

Also, hey, June, why don’t you try to turn your camera OFF sometimes rather than take 29 accidental selfies a day.

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Day THREE hair, which, really, I was pushing it at that point. Also, rain. Can you tell it rained? Why is my head a weather vane?

Anyway, please let me know in the comments or through telepathy if you’d like that. A tutorial. I mean.

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Selfie I DID mean to take. My little eyeless kitty girl. I love her so.

Anyway, I’m tryina think of what’s new, over here. I’ve been busy at work, but the good kind of busy, where there’s a lot to do but you aren’t OH MY GOD WHO CAN DO ALL THIS. There’s a new-ish but not Jewish copy editor who sits behind me now, and maybe if you asked her she’d say I sit behind her.

The point is, we’ve become a little bit of a team. We work on a whole bunch of accounts–which differs from how I used to work. I used to be dedicated to just one client. Now I’m spreading my talents all over town, like my college roommate.

So, they pretty much assign everything to both of us, and we dive on it like jackals. Or, alternatively, we both shy away from it like my kittens are doing with the dry, less-expensive kitten food. Oh my god they won’t eat that damn Kitten Chow. I leave it there overnight and when I get up, most of it’s gone, but they don’t mean it. It’s just to tide those motherfuckers over till the eleventy cans arrive.

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ware fud?

Does anyone else follow Love and Hisses? Did you ever notice her kitten room is pristine? Believe it or not, that floor is swept and I Shark it often, but that floor looks a mess.

When the kittens DO go back to the shelter, I AM GETTING THAT FLOOR REDONE. I’ve got a little freelance work to do this month, and that’s where my big dollahs are going. Toward a real floor. How long have you known me to hate that floor? Six centuries?

Does anyone remember in 2014, when our president didn’t tweet and I was preparing to rent my home out for my Year Abroad? I scraped and prepared and painted that floor with alleged paint that was JUST for concrete, then I sealed it and died of exhaustion?

Does anyone remember that?

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July, 2014. DON’T DO IT, JUNE! DON’T MOVE! Stay and enjoy your floor!

Yeah. That lasted. The floor lasted as long as my relationship.

I want old-looking linoleum, which I may have mentioned, but even if I haven’t I can’t imagine you’d be shocked at this info. June likes old stuff? June likes it vintage? She always struck me as sleek and minimal.

Alf my ridiculous handyman says I’m not allowed to measure or purchase tiles without his participation, and I am down with that plan. Because maths. “Alf, the room is 38484 by 31. I need one tile.”

I guess that pretty much sums it up, although technically I’ve told you nothing.

I had a guest over last night, to try to socialize the shy kittens, but they’re really effing shy. Do you recall a month or so ago when I was offered a job by the company I freelance for? I’ve gotten friendly with the person who offered me the job, and she stopped by last night to drop off m’freelance (under/over on how long June stares at her freelance work and doesn’t start till she’s panicked?) and meet the kittens.

She’s allergic to kittens, incidentally. And even though Ben and MaryEllen and Donald Trump barely let her touch them before dashing off hysterically to hide under the chair (I have no patience for shy anything), she still broke out in welts.

“I knew I would. But I don’t care! KITTENS!” she said. For she is my people. There really is something incredibly rewarding about touching their little walnut heads. Even when their walnut heads are shy and you have to drag them out from under a bus to pet them.

Other than that, I finally got a pedicure…

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June comes to the realization that she painted her toes the same damn color blue she chooses for everything. June’s next BF will be from The Blue Man Group. She will never see him perform.

…and tonight I was gonna go to the cat cafe, because I don’t see enough cats, and then maybe the hookah bar with Wedding Alex, where I planned to ask her, “Whooooo are youuuuu?” but now she has to work, so I will come home and look at my freelance and put it off till I’m panicked.

And that’s the way it is, Wednesday, May something, 2018.

Love,
June Voltaire

Toasted since 1964

I just timed how long it takes for me to take care of all the current animals: 15 minutes. I didn’t get any time to just sit with and pet all the kittens, so without, you know, being kind to kittens, just basic feeding and scooping and changing water, it’s 15 minutes.

I guess that’s not so bad, except the whole getting-ready-for-work thing is always something of a rush, especially if you’re someone who also says, Hey, I guess I’ll sit down and write about my life to a couple-thousand people before I dash off to work.

Anyway, here’s what I did this dang weekend. What about you?

Friday.
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My coworker had a partay, and do you wish I’d stop saying “partay” already? Anyway, she did, and careful readers will note I go to this party (partayy) every year at this time, as it is this coworker’s birthday but she never says that.

IMG_7954.jpgI’d planned to stay maybe an hour or two, then get back to my 97 kittens, but careful readers will see that day turned into night, night divides the day. Try to run, try to hide, break on through to the other side.

And yes. That is a coworker with a light balanced on her head. It seemed to be the thing to do.

img_7943.jpgI left that to the younger crowd.

IMG_7961.jpgI got home to my kittens and their kitten crumbs pretty late, and the mom was waiting for me with a rolling pin.

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“ware you bin?”
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“yuu haff any ideeee wat time it be?”
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“it okaaa. mom do it all herself. she fine. …SYYYY.”

Saturday.
When my high school swain, Cardinal, was here a few weeks ago, he told me about this really cool cemetery in Milton, NC, and you know what sounds good are pastries from Milton the toaster. Hey, June, how’s keto going?

Still on it. But I’d slap your grandpappy’s half uncle for a Pop-Tart.

So I drove there. To Milton. Hoping to meet Mr. Toaster. Tell me I’m not the only person who remembers Milton the Toaster.

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He always seemed to have a touch of the rosacea.

I remember this one just bitch of a reader, who couldn’t wait to say mean things to me whenever she could, and what is that? What makes your life so empty that you take time to find a blog, then hate what the person wrote, and stick around so you can be angry?

Anyway, I had some makeupless picture up and she commented, “Is that rosacea?”

I’m tryina think of the other bitch-ass things she wrote over the years till I blocked her. But that’s the only one I can recall now.

I also recall in my first year of being separated, dating someone for, like, a week, and it didn’t work out, but that same weekend of deciding that torrid one-week affair wasn’t going to work, going on another date and kissing that second date goodnight, and coming back here to tell you all that it went well, and someone said they’d never read again because “all the drama” was “dangerous.”

Good lord with people. Good lord with my short sentences like the one above.

But back to my cemetery.

IMG_7999.jpgBefore I got to get in the car and head to the dead, I had to take Cora Godsey and her seven Walton children to the shelter, for their checkups and shots. Steely Dan didn’t join us. But I like this photo of him. When he’s indoors, he’s just longing to go out.

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ruk roff. eeeting.

So he can do this. He caught some sort of rodent Saturday morning, and what berserk eyes of murder? Good lord. More delightful updates on that in a moment. Stay tuned!

Anyway, I took the 2,000 kittens to the shelter, and they’re all doing well. I go back in two weeks with them for another checkup, and I would not be surprised if by then they will be adoptable. That’s also the day of the royal wedding, and also the baseball thing here (Official Name®) is giving away Prince Harry bobbleheads to the first 1,000 visitors and of COURSE I’m going, so two Saturdays from now will be big with me.

After I got 101 Kittmations back home and situated, I got on the road to see the dead people.

June, knowing how to throw down. June, toasted like Milton the toaster, since 1964.

The drive there was all country roads, which I love.

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And the town of Milton was cute!

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Keep scrolling. BAHAHAHAHA.
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I guess I should’ve, you know, stepped back, but these are trees growing out of an old building.

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IMG_8030.jpgI even met goaties!

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“You come here often?”
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I promised I’d send them this after I took it and still haven’t.

Anyway, finally I found the cemetery.

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IMG_8060.jpgIf you ever want to be horrible to me, like if that “Is that rosacea” woman is in charge of me after I depart the earth, put me in a treeless cemetery with fake flowers on the graves. THAT would be horrible, to me.

Sunday.
On Sunday, I acknowledged the 900 animals here.

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IMG_8083.jpgIMG_8107.jpgFaithful Readers Happy and LaUral both came by to see kittens, and you know, I CALL them faithful readers, but I have no idea if they actually read my blog/not blog or just saw kittens on Instagram or whatever. Hoooo care.

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[Potentially] FR Happy, whose philosophy is, Why photograph a kitten when you have your thumb?
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[Maybe] FR LaUrual, who is not going to be IGNORED by Eds.
Anyway, LaUral was somewhat in the market for another cat, because you can never have enough cats, just ask me. And she landed on MaryEllen.

Not literally.

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MaryEllen is brave, and seems to be good with dogs, which is good because LaUral has a giant white 4,500-pound dog, so.
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And they have similar coloring.
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Family portrait. It’s Olan Mills at my house. That’s a fake bookshelf behind them.

Once I take the kittens back to the shelter, I’ll tell them I have a person who wants to adopt one, and they’ll set it up. Just six to go, plus a mom!

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kittee feeel confident she find home. look at all dis.

IMG_8140.jpgThe rest of the afternoon was quiet, and as evening approached, I headed to the grocery store to buy more damn keto food. Steely Dan was hunkering over by the trash cans, which isn’t like him. I petted his velvety head and left.

I ran into my doctor at the store, of all things, and he was glad I was going keto. “It really burns fat if you stick with it,” he said, as he reached for skim milk and I reached for heavy whipping cream.

When I got home, SD was still by the trash cans. Was he injured or something? I had to take the trash cans out of there, anyway, so I went over to talk to him and he seemed fine.

Then I rolled the first totally full recycle bin. I rolled it

OVER

A

BABY

CHIPMUNK.

That’s why that jerk was stationed at the trash cans! For at least 45 minutes! That’s why! And I FINISHED IT OFF FOR HIM with my trash can!

Oh my god, I was devastated.

You shoulda seen that evil cat, poking at the poor thing. he really ded? 

That cat practically high pawed me. Gave me the high four.

We’re like Bonnie and Clyde now.

Goddammit. I will never get over that. I feel horrible. Also, this is three dead rodents in a weekend, and they may all have been chipmunks, and is there some kind of chipmunk colony in my yard? If so, they picked the wrong yard.

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Edz didn’t get to eet any chipmonks

I gotta go, but I guess I’ve filled you in on all the happs over here. Also, Dear June: Don’t say “happs.”

Happs,
June

Keto, day four. Am I thin yet?

Oooo, man, I did NOT feel well yesterday. They warn you of this when you do the damn keto diet, that you might get what they call the keto flu. It’s when your body is switching over. For some reason your body gets annoyed.

I had a bad headache, I was exhausted, and most important: nauseated as hell. Not barf naus; the other kind. But I had read about this so I drank stupid bone broth and took some Advil and, most important,

Saying “most important” is big with me today.

I drank something I’d never in a million years have dranken: Powerade Zero. I’d never have dranken it, and June please keep saying that, because I abhor diet sodas. I think there is nothing I hate more than the taste of diet soda. Diet sodas make me shiver like a kitten when its formula is too cold.

Perhaps I should use a more universal simile.

But Powerade Zero I purchased, as it has no sugar or carbohydrates in it, but it replaces your electrons or your electoral college or something, and

it

was

delicious.

I couldn’t believe how delicious. And most of the agony went away, although I could barely lift self off couch most of day.

But it did give me time to enjoy the following:

IMG_7912.jpgIMG_7876.jpgIMG_7925.jpgNow that the kittens are nearing six weeks, they can not only walk, which is better than I was doing yesterday and I’ve been alive 52 years, they can also run. I have toys in there for them, but most of the kittens also want to explore.

So when Steely Dan is out (Lily and Iris don’t care), I let one or a few out to explore. And since I was lying on the couch motionless yesterday (or dashing to the bathroom. That was my cardio), I got to observe Edsel the Kitten Prodigy.

If it’s a playful, curious kitten, he walks right up and sniffs it and lets it bat at him and so on. One of the kittens kept playing with his pointy old lady–looking feets, and Eds HATES his feet, his pointy old lady–looking feets, touched.

So every time the kitten would touch him, he’d do the gentlest jerk back with his foot, but he’d never leave. He’d just sit beleaguredly and jerk gently. So to speak.

But if it’s one of the more timid kittens, and I love how quickly they have teensy personalities, oh my god you should see him. He lies in the bed, unmoving, and follows the kitten with his eyes. His dog eyebrows move to and fro, and he stays as still as he can to not scare the kitten. Eventually, they all sniffed Eds and said, “o, dis dog totul wuss. thank bastet wee not puppees.”

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Thank Bastet. Just when I thought love for self could not grow deeper, I pull self back in.

Anyway, clearly this dog has found his calling. I can’t believe how good he is with them. And he’s so proud of his dog self.

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it edz calleeng

The other thing that happened yesterday, while I was here feeling horrific, was I went outside and sat listlessly on Peg’s Adirondack chair that she gave me. I was like what’s-her-name, in Beaches, when she’s near the end.

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Anyway, there I was, nearing the end in my yard, when Lily, LILY, of all people, came running

I’ll give you a moment to gather yourself.

Lily came running across the yard, which is like watching Totie Fields do the 100-yard dash, and the reason she was running was not because I’d left potatoes au gratin on the other side but because she was chasing a mouse.

I will give you another moment to gather yourself. You’re all over the place. Clean it up.

The poor mouse, who can’t have been high on the survival instinct spectrum, given that he decided, oh, this house with

ELEVEN CATS

is the yard I’m going to summer in. Anyway, this mouse ran across the yard, with old John Tuxedo Tabby Belushi chasing after him, and he dove into a clump of foliage.

This was about the time I got my Barbara Seagull Hershey ass off the Adirondack chair and got the camera. For some reason Ned can never remember the name of those chairs, and he calls them hurricane chairs and now I almost do, too. He also recently insisted Edward R. Murrow’s sign-off line was, “Be careful.” “He wasn’t on Hill Street Blues, Ned,” I told him.

But I digress. Because here:

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action shot

You’re gonna have to trust me that Lily was in that bush, and also so was a mouse. She was leaping and hopping on a moon shadow, and I don’t know what was taking her so long to just murder the damn thing.

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wat all the hullbaloo?

But then Edsel caught on that there was drama in the bush, which ought to be my epitaph, so he wandered over to help.

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Eds heer. you SO DED, mowse.

Eventually, I heard rustling in there that lead me to believe Lily got it. I didn’t dare go OVER there for fear it’d leap on me or something.

But then?

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dane to come home. heer it actually intristing heer.
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ware it be. steeeelee kill.
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got steelee mind on steeelee murder and steeelee murder on steelee mind
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Lily: goddammits. Why you let Steelee rooon?

But, given that SD quickly lost interest, I can only surmise mouse was taken care of already. By Lily. That or it escaped and is telling all its mouse friends about its dreadful afternoon.

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intrist wane.

So I got to see that unfold, like I’m a photographer in the wild. Like I work on Wild Kingdom or something.

Tonight, a coworker is having a party and I’ll be there with my delicious flavored water, and parTAY. The roof, the roof, the roof is, well, it’s just fine. Thank heavens, because who can afford a new one?

Then tomorrow I take Josie and the Pussycats, here, to the shelter for a checkup and their shots. It is just now dawning on me that I have to wrangle eight cats into a carrier. Hey, relaxing.

Maybe Edsel can help me wrangle. Maybe he’s like a kitten Border Collie. With his borderline personality.

Further reports as developments warrant,
June

Keto My Heart

Because I don’t have enough going on, today I’m starting the keto diet.

You know it’s a good sign when you don’t get to the grocery store to BUY your keto food till 9 p.m. Which is what I did yesterday. Look, I have a lot of kittening and catting and dog-walking to do after work.

I guess now is a good time to throw in the obligatory kitten pictures. Yesterday afternoon, when I got home from work, which haven’t I said that like 14 times now? Okay, June, we understand you came home from work.

So I got home from work, heh, and when I opened the kitten-room door, all seven kittens were using the three litter boxes. They were having a little litter box party. As you do. Tonight we’re gonna potty like it’s 1999.

You’re welcome.

They’re so much more adept at the box than those last four kittens, and for that? I am grateful.

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i yewse da box

What cat fur on my black pants? Say, June, here’s an idea… How ’bout you ixnay the black ants-pay?

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we frowneee
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RUNT!

IMG_7768.jpgI had trouble getting a photo of her actually sitting still. I’ve already washed that blanket once, I shook it out 394934043 times, and I’m washing it right now as we speak.

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cleen crums, fostir mama. it dispiccccible in heer.

While I was sitting here selecting from the 294839403 kitten photos I took yesterday, I also made my keto coffee, which consists of regularly scheduled coffee (use a french press! they say. fuck off! I say.) with some coconut oil blended in it. It’s kind of delicious but makes my throat hurt. Why does it make my throat hurt?

…I just Google fuckinged it, and it happens to other people, too, though no one can say why. Thanks, world. Helpful.

IMG_7759.jpgHah! I forgot I had this one. Runty is very screechy, and I love her so bad.

That delightfully clean blanket just stopped washing, so I’d better get it in the dryer so they can have it back and soil it as soon as possible, and then I’d better get to work. Then you know what I’ll do?

I’ll come home from work.

I know this was a short and shortie post, but I’m doing a lot. I’m doing it all. I’m every woman, it’s all in me.

And by all, I mean a fat layer.

Talk to you tomorrow, when I will give a full First Day of Keto Report, which I am certain places you at the edge of your seat.

I will leave you with this final, petty annoyance, which should really be the slogan of this non-blog. I was watching Parenthood the other night and got annoyed by how DAMN MANY producers there are on the show. The credits were distracting, there were so many.

Watch and grow annoyed with me, won’t you? Also, why do they think people talking at the same time is fun to sit through?

Annoyedly,
Joop

Keptly,
Goddammit…Autocorrect ruins my life.

KETOLY,
Joom

Twirl her tiny mustache

Did you ever see a TV show where the alarm goes off and the person shuts it off and immediately gets out of bed? Are there really people like that, or is it like TV gifts that are fully wrapped and you just take the top off ?

I used to think those Xs on the bottoms of Christmas trees were a fake TV thing, too, till I moved to LA and that’s how they give you a Christmas tree. Also, you haven’t experienced weird till the sun beats upon you while you’re getting a Christmas tree. With an X on the bottom.

Also, why do you guys let me do math? Why do you leave me alone with math problems?

Yesterday I said there were 108 lives in my house right now, and that I took forever to do that math. Today I woke up, by smacking the alarm and lying there forever like a normal not-in-LA person who has to cram her Christmas tree into an absurdly difficult Christmas tree stand, and figured out I did the math wrong.

Okay. Cats have nine lives.

I have three regularly scheduled cats.

Then I have a mom and seven kittens.

3 + 1 + 7 = 11.

9 lives x 11 cats is 99.

Right? But I said 108. And also, I kept thinking okay, there are 12 cats here (there aren’t) (I don’t think. Hell, if one slipped past the bouncer, who could blame me for not noticing at this point), so it’s 99 + 12.

But it wouldn’t be. It’s be 99 + 9.

Oh my god, hoooo care.

So, hi.

I have kittens.

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Today at lunch I am going to scream down to the pet supply and get a bottle and mother’s milk. Like, from a cat, not from my own mother. I worry about this one, who is like a tenth of the size of her (his? her. Because tortoiseshell, right? They’re always girls?) siblings. Her name is Elizabeth–the youngest Walton. Look at her little mustache! It’s not so cute when I have one.

I tried to put all the other kittens in the carrier last night and give her alone with mom time, but she was so not into it. She wanted to wobble around and look at things teensily. Twirl her tiny mustache. And so on.

IMG_7486.jpgThere’s a lot of competition for food. Not to be obsessed with LA today or anything, but it’s like trying to go to brunch in Santa Monica.

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IMG_7475.jpgSo that’s the update on foster kittens. The Foster Report®.

I wish I had some sort of…Foster Grant to cover the costs of this.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Really, you have sent tips, kitten tips, and that is magnificent of you. Thank you.

Lottie Blanco, m’coworker, brought me cans of kitten food, which I am feeding to the mom. They told me to feed kitten food to nursing cats. And it’ll be a matter of days before they all start eating that food.

I took down my tip jar ages ago, when I put UP that link to shop with Amazon. It seemed annoying to have both. Maybe my problem is I’m not ambitious.

Anyway, I still have a tip jar, it’s just not up. The link to send tips, just the tip, is still

https://www.paypal.me/JuneGardens.

Or,

Tips.

$10.00

But don’t leave a tip if you can’t afford it. I’m mentioning it now because a few times in the comments these past few days, people have wondered where the tip jar is, and that’s the answer. Maybe I should just put it the hell back up.

But we have other important details to discuss. Today we have:

Another poll.

Photos of my coworkers.

A rundown of the silent movie I saw last night.

And info on my high school boyfriend.

Oh, boy, June. Lemme get my coffee and we can get started. Even though you’ve already spoken for 626 words already.

Another poll.
You know my boss, fmr., whose clothes we vote on when she gets her StitchFix? She’s come into a little money as of late, a little pin money. Some hat money. Oh my god June shut up.

Should she:

…I just want you to know I can NEVER FIND where to add a poll to this blog, and I will not say the struggle is real but oh my hod. (Hod. What is WRONG with me? Oh my Hoda Kobe.)

Photos of my coworkers.
I have recently taken two coworker photos I’ve enjoyed. Here they are.

IMG_7188.jpgThis coworker came over to show me her cat mug, because she thought I would enjoy it, and what I enjoyed were her pink earrings, pink shirt, pink lipstick AND her pink mug, all at once. So a photo was born.

IMG_7448.jpgMy coworker Molly was excited about her new t-shirt, and I was taking photos of said shirt for her, but I like this blurry one best. Which is the story of my life.

Slivent Movie.
Slivent. What the hell is wrong with me? Have we discussed yet?

Last night, my old movie theater showed the silent film Sunrise, which I knew nothing about, but I did see the sequel, Sunset.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, June. Lemme get a tissue.

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We have the original organ at my theater, from when it opened in 1927, and they have a guy come from Chapel Hill or somewhere to play it during the silent films. He’s really good. I mean, what do I know? But he adds to the suspense and so on with his playing.

Also, who knew this old movie would have me at the edge of my seat, barely able to concentrate on my peanut M&Ms?

There was one scene where some vamp-ish city folk, a word they kept capping in the subtitles, (“Come to the City.” “She was a fast City girl.” You know how lighthearted I am about things like this.) wanted to redo the hair of our country heroine, up there, and she had a fit and didn’t get her hair done. I was over there screaming, GET YOUR HAIR DONE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. I mean, silently. Because silent movie. Plus, peanut M&Ms in my mouth.

It really was a stupid hairdo. When she finally drowns at the end her hair looks way better.

Spoiler alert! You only had 91 years to see this movie, so I understand if your pressing schedule kept you from it.

I act like I didn’t just see it 12 hours ago.

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yu annoy

High School Boyfriend
My high school swain, fmr., Cardinal, is in North Carolina, and we are getting together tonight. Naturally there’s something, like, dead in my house. There is this smell. I cannot figure it out. It’s not cat litter, although you’d think it was. The kittens don’t use a box yet, and I’m changing mom’s box twice a day and my OWN cats’ box twice a day.

I took out the trash and the recycling.

It’s driving me insane.

Anyway, this has become less about Cardinal and more about the dead thing that dwells under my house, but there it is.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow, when I hope to cover an equally dizzying array of the pressing topics of our time.

Shutting off the alarm and getting right out of bed. Also going to someone’s house to visit before work, like they do on TV shows and never anywhere else in life,
June

 

 

 

I got 99 lives, and also more lives because math

Yesterday I heard from the animal shelter. I was wondering what was taking them so long, because I know kitten season is upon us.

“We have, well, we have 7 kittens and their mom,” they said apologetically, like they were sorry for even asking.

“I’ll be there right after work,” I said. Maybe I’m the only person who thinks she struck gold when she hears, “Seven kittens and a mom cat need to stay with you for a few weeks,” but MOTHER OF GOD.

Or kittens.

So I schlepped through the driving rain, like Dwayne in Annie Hall, which is probably funny to like four of you. It was funny to fewer of you than there are kittens. Anyway, I drove, on the stupidest street we have in Greensboro, at 5 o’clock at night, and Dear Shelter: Why you gotta be somewhere annoying?

Anyway I got there 20 minutes before close and they were packed. There were two guys picking up a cute-headed pit, and they had 494939530204042 questions. “Well, let’s say we’re in Appalachia, and the humidity was 24. What would we do if…?” I mean, with the QUESTIONS already.

So since I had time to, oh, do whatever, what do you think I did?

IMG_7191.jpgIMG_7192.jpgIMG_7190.jpgDid I take that moment to fall in love with a gray grownupeldy minty-eyed kitty named Max? Perhaps I did. I’d have scooped him up if I didn’t currently have

TWELVE

animals in my house at the moment.

Twelve. I have apostles.

Eventually, they were able to hand me over the cat carrier, and I glanced inside, because they’d told me nothing about what COLOR kittens I was getting, so it was like when you pick one door on Let’s Make a Deal or some other similar current reference.

img_7196.jpgOrange!

IMG_7200.jpgEveryone’s orange!

IMG_7229.jpgOkay, well, some of us are tortoiseshell-ish. Which is also orange, just all mixed up like butterscotch. Which makes no sense.

And I want to assure you that floor is not filthy. It’s that damn concrete floor I used to blog in, before my Year Abroad, and while I’ve scraped and painted and carried on with that floor, it peels all the time, rendering it terrible-looking. But I swept in there and put a quilt down, and what you’re seeing is the paint effing peeling, and you know what I need to do? I need to get Alf to put down some tile.

What I want is retro-looking linoleum. Who’s going to be annoyed with me, do you think, when I ask him to lay retro-looking linoleum and not floating clicky easy tiles?

Anyway back to our kittens. Who cares how Alf my ridik handyman feels?

What is not easy is photographing teensy kittens. I think they’re probably three or four weeks old.

Out of 497 photos, here are the only halfway decent ones I got.

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I worry about this runty one, whom I’ve named Elizabeth. I’ve named them all after the Waltons, as there were seven of them. She’s so TEENSY.

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This is Erin
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Mom (Cora Godsey) with John Boy and JimBob

Anyway, as they get older, it’ll be easier to take photos of them.

Meanwhile, the regularly scheduled dog and cat bowls have been moved from the kitchen, and the litterboxes are back here with me. None of my cats care that there are kittens back there. They hear them, but they’re all, eh. Dis agan.

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U not gooeng to eet kiddens, do you, Steelee?

I read my tarot cards every month, and one of the categories is “You in the Environment of the Future.”

Here’s me, in the environment of the present, with KITTENS.

IMG_7253.jpgAnd hurr. It’s been raining.

IMG_7441.jpgWhile we’re on the topic of cats, you know, just a bit, yesterday was the last day of SD’s confinement, as he is now done with his antibiotics. And today? It’s raining cats and cats. I held the door open for him, and as SO BORED OH SO BORED as he is, he wouldn’t go out in it.

IMG_7442.jpgInstead, he is opting to wreak havoc throughout the land. I also caught him coming from the laundry area, so I shudder to think of what he ate.

Clothes-chewing ass.

IMG_7269.jpgSo that’s all my news. There are 108 lives in this house currently.

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You don’t even wanna know how long it took me to figure out the maths of that.

Orange you glad I blogged today?

June. Who you callin’ crazy cat lady?

Royal with cheese

I got my crown.

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Bow down, bitches

Of course I took a flattering selfie at the dentist. What are you? New? I feel like I didn’t look that bad in real life, but what do I know?

They have a procedure there where you get the whole crown in one visit–no horrific temporary. No mold where they stick the goop in your head. They built my crown on the computer and made it in the other room and stuck it in my head. I believe I took this while I was waiting for my crown. When AMN’T I waiting for a crown? “Amn’t” is a good word that I made up when I was like two.

Anyway, technology. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law. Say, June, why don’t you try to make some sense?

Afterward, I thought it was okay. I went to the grocery store and got dog food, cat food, Steely Dan canned food (like he’s not also a cat), and coffee. All the staples. Then I came home and walked Edsel for half an hour, fed everyone, and considered watching another rousing episode of Parenthood (Kristina Braverman is an asshole) when

ow.

Oh my god, ow.

OW.

It really started to hurt. I mean, he told me it might be “sensitive,” but mother of god. And of course I own zero ibuprofen. Migraine people don’t even bother with it.

And this is why it’s a problem that Ned is four minutes away. Ned, who owns enough ibuprofen to reduce SpongeBob’s inflammation. When he sees a hot sponge girl.

Ned is an old man, who continues to insist upon the gym, so as a result something always hurts on Ned. Not his conscience. Don’t be silly. But the rest of him.

IMG_7112.jpgSo he came over. Brought me meds. And all the cats rejoiced throughout the land. Well. That’s not entirely true. Steely Dan mostly ignored him, after an initial minute of attempts to have THAT guy let him out, since The Girl is not budging on this matter.

“He’s just looking up at the doorknob,” Ned noted.

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so fekking bore
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Even when he’s “resting,” he keeps whipping his tail angrily.

IMG_7080.jpgAnyway, Ned’s delivery of meds went without incident, and the ibuprofen did work, and maybe I’ll take more today, because while it’s certainly better, it’s not 100% pleased with this coffee hitting it.

IMG_7107.jpgThe rest of my evening pretty much went like this. Poor Iris and her lack of eyes.

…I just saw an email that work wants me to come in right away and get started on something, so I’d better go early, but while I was convalescing yesterday, I had a thought.

What if Princess Diana isn’t really dead? What if the royal family was sick and tired of her bullshit, and she was sick of attention, so they made up a scheme where they faked her death? No, I’m not smoking the pot. But I have been watching The Royals, that stupid show on E (Exclamation Point).

Did I ever tell you when the economy was booming and I lived in LA, they called me, E Exclamation Point did, to offer me a job? They called me at WORK. I don’t even know how they got my number. But they needed a copy editor, and they wanted me. It wasn’t “Come in for an interview,” it was “Come in for the job.”

And this was all very exciting and flattering, till they asked what I made. I told them. “Are you willing to be flexible on that salary?” they asked. The TELEVISION NETWORK asked. I was working for an independently owned court reporting agency at the time, proofing depositions. Who do YOU think had a bigger budget? Give me a break.

“I’m willing to be flexible about my salary going UP, sure,” I said. And that was the end of my relationship with E Exclamation Point.

And see? I could be starring in the very intelligent The Royals right now. Or I could be proofreading it.

I gotta go.

Achingly,
Joop

P.S. My yard is pretty and I keep forgetting to show you. (Oh my GOD, June, you’re supposed to get to work.)

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Peg’s tree, at the front, here, has both white AND pink flowers.

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And my drag-queen-colors bushes are in bloom

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Okay. I’m really going to work now.

Joob

hey. GuRl leef compewter onn. dO someWon come to leT steeeelee out? miSTEAK been maade. STeeeleee need owet. OWT. OWWT.