I found this letter, printed and signed with pawprints, on my desk last week. Continue reading
I found this letter, printed and signed with pawprints, on my desk last week. Continue reading
I know it’s been stormy on your side of the Pond lately—we’ve been getting news stories of floods, high winds, and the like—but in between battening down the hatches and bailing water, please spare a moment for those of us in the eastern half of North America.
The last several winters have been mild by Canadian standards, so I was completely unprepared for this year’s chilly blasts, as warming in the Arctic drove the polar vortex southward, where it most definitely does not belong. The result? Months of unrelenting cold, punctuated by giant snow dumps.
We humans are coping reasonably well, as we have access to massive amounts of woollen garments (See? I told you there was a reason I knit obsessively!). And the dog doesn’t seem to mind the cold. In fact, I think this is her favourite time of year.
The cats, however, are deeply offended.
Sure, they’re indoor cats, but they’re sensitive, you see. And at the first sign of a draft, they start prowling around looking for warm(er) places to hide.
Ralph, in particular, seems to feel the cold more bitterly than any of the rest of us. And since he is a Siamese, when he feels unhappy, everyone feels unhappy. He has the typical Siamese yowl, and he doesn’t hesitate to share his dissatisfaction.
Last year we dug out a small electric space heater to help keep our family room warm of an evening. We quickly discovered that if we put Ralph’s sleeping mat in front of it, he’d shut the f*ck up and go to sleep, instead of wandering about the house doing a very realistic impression of a banshee.
But that was last year. This year, with its epic temperature drops, the heater alone just wasn’t cutting it. So to solve our Insane Howling Cat problem, we turned to science.
Physics, to be specific. We decided to use the principle of convection to create a small, warm space, big enough to accommodate Ralph (and Stella, if she chose to join him).
Thus was born the CatCooker5000™.
Essentially, it’s a cardboard box with a chimney hole cut in the back, which draws the hot air. The first version worked pretty well, but the only box we had on hand was a little cramped for two kitties.
But when we bought a new set of stereo speakers this weekend, we realized that the box they came in would be much more satisfactory.
I don’t think it would pass the Martha Stewart Beautiful Homes test, but we don’t care. Because listening to a Siamese cat yowl about the cold is a bit like banging your head against a brick wall: it feels really good when it stops.
Can you believe it’s been a year today since Blue entered our lives? I hate to see time fly by so quickly, but it’s a fact that she’s 17 months old now, which practically makes her a teenager by human standards.
Why did we get her in the first place? We had the lovely Lyra, who was objecting to being left alone each time Lars and I went away. Non-cat people don’t believe this, but cats are incredibly social, loving creatures. Lyra and I bonded the minute she moved in, almost 3 years ago and with Ragdoll devotion, she follows me around from room to room, pats me when she wants attention and sit beside me, wanting to know what I’m eating, writing or reading. At all times.
To be without me, alas, was too painful for Lyra so we decided she needed a furry, feline friend. Enter: Blue, the insane kitten with unending energy and a capacity for trouble you wouldn’t believe.
Lyra, being a genteel puss, hated Blue on sight. Blue, being over-confident in her ability to win friends, loved Lyra with a pash hitherto unknown in kittydom.
Rather than tell you about their squabbles and escapades through the last 12 months, I’d like to show you how Blue has grown up from a little scalawag to a, well…a large scalawag.
We begin in November, 2012, the night she came home with me.
She didn’t have a moment of fear in her, or if she did, her curiosity overcame it.
December: Blue is introduced to Christmas chez us.
January: Blue is the messiest, sloppiest, most delightfully uncaring kitten in the world. She is in constant need of bathing and luckily, she seems to enjoy being in the water. She even likes being held afterwards, to get warm and dry. The snarly look on her face? It’s all just a pretence.
February: Blue discovers how warm and comfy folded napkins can be.
March: After some intense quarrelling, Lyra and Blue decide it’s better to be warm than it is to fight.
A week before you arrived in London, we decided it was a good time to get Blue spayed. How were we to know she’d wreak havoc at the vet’s (she yanked out her IV), the journey home (she leapt out of her carrier and tried to make a run for it) and at home, where she disobeyed every rule about not jumping, staying quiet and resting. Her satellite dish was a hindrance, as she kept banging into walls and doors with it. It lasted about 5 minutes, just long enough to take this photo.
April: Blue discovers the bathroom sink. It’s a perfect fit for her and she enjoys playing with the tap.
May: We started to notice how her fur was growing at a rapid rate. It also came to our attention that she wasn’t overly fond of grooming herself. A plan began to form in my mind.
July: I booked Steve, The Evil Groomer Guy, to come deal with the mess that was known as Blue. After an hour’s worth of wailing, hissing and sulking, she was shorn. She wasn’t impressed.
August: Once she forgave me, she realised how freeing is it to have short hair. She started to enjoy grooming herself and has become a lot more conscientious about keeping herself to a high standard. After all, as I tell her, “if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will”.
September: Blue is such a part of the household now, she claims everything as her own, until Lyra comes along and explains quietly but firmly, that if she doesn’t am-scray, Lyra will op-bay her on the ead-hay. Blue retreats under the china cabinet and sits on the Naughty Chair.
October: Peace breaks out all over, at least in our house.
November: One year. We made it. Lyra wasn’t sure we’d make it through The Year of Blue alive, but we did. Blue has taken over the house, biting toes, swinging from trees, attacking wild kitties in mirrors, annoying Lyra and being her constant true companion.
Do we adore Blue? Yup. Glad we brought her home? Yup. Does Lyra feel the same way? That’s a little more complicated but I look at it this way: if it weren’t for Blue, Lyra’s life would be an endless routine of eating, playing with me, napping and sleeping. (Lyra would like to interject here and say that eating, playing, napping and sleeping kinda sounds like heaven to her. But, hey, whatevs) Blue adds some spice to that routine, for better and yes, sometimes for worse.
But usually for better.
flabbergasted awestruck gobsmacked to announce that you are reading our 500th post!
Yep, this is it. We feel like we should throw a party or something, but we did that last month with the whole Not BlogHer Party thing, so it feels a bit old-hat.
Then we thought we’d hold some kind of giveaway, but it turned out that no one wanted Sheldon the Sheep with the Shit-eating Smile, so we put that one on hold.
In the end, we decided that the best way to celebrate would be to share some of the astounding insights we’ve achieved during this year-and-a-bit of sisterly blogging. So here goes.
Are you ready? Ahem.
Writing isn’t really that hard.
Getting ideas, however, is a pain in the tuches. Most of the time we spend “blogging” is really spent “desperately searching for things to write about.”
(Unless it involves taking silly pictures of ourselves. We’re dead brilliant at that.)
When all else fails, do a cat post. We do a lot of cat posts.
Pictures really are worth 1,000 words. And good captions are worth 10,000.
So really, our average post is about 33,000 words long. Do you have any idea what kind of bargain you’re getting? Seriously. This is a great deal.
And speaking of pictures, here’s a pro blogging tip: always have a camera handy. You never know when you’ll need it.
At first we thought we were a blog about “women at midlife.” Then we thought: if this really is the middle of our lives, does that mean we’ll live to 112? While that sounds like a blast, we’re not sure it’s realistic.
And then we realized: we aren’t even all that interested in writing about our age. In fact, age is kind of boring. Let’s not talk about that any more.
These days, we think of ourselves more as a humour/opinion/WTF? kind of blog, with bits of advice and moments of demented wackiness thrown in. Because that’s really more like us.
We’re not afraid to talk about our beaver, though Wendy has
paranoid delusions doubts about his sincerity.
However, we still don’t do updates on our menopausal symptoms (or lack thereof). Also, we don’t write much about sex toys. Except when we’re giving Awesome Advice. One must be open-minded, after all.
Get this: we’re not the only blog on the planet! Seriously. We know, it shocked us, too. But it’s true.
There’s a massive world of bloggery out there, and somehow we’ve managed to
insinuate ourselves make friends with a whole community of cool, talented, funny, compassionate, and just generally awesome people, many of whom have blogs of their own, which you should go and read…as soon as you’re done here.
Probably the biggest, most important thing we’ve learned is this: you’re the ones who make it all worthwhile. Yes, you! You’re giving us your time and attention, and for that we thank you.
So here’s your chance to tell us what you’d like to see more (Buck-ee! Buck-ee!) and maybe what you’d like to see less (Buck-ee! Buck-ee!).
We promise to take every suggestion into consideration, and then go ahead and do whatever the hell we want. But still, your comment will live in blog-posterity for all time, and that’s pretty cool.
At least, we think so!
Y’all come back now, hear?
Karen and Wendy