Typically narcissistic blogging.

Posts tagged “pets

Goodbye

About a decade and a half ago, a kitten told me I belonged to him, and I believed him.

I was visiting my mother, brother, and sister in Guerneville. This was some number of weeks after they had found and rescued the runt of a feral litter of kittens from certain death and nursed him back to health.

“You have to see this guy,” mom wrote, “His paws are gigantic.”

When I arrived, I had only a few minutes to say hello to people before this tiny creature peeked out at me from under a chair. He looked like he’d been put together by a committee. Of toddlers. Giant, crazy hairy ears. Huge, slightly wild eyes. Large, mittened paws with extra toes on each one. A tail that looked like an extra fuzzy bottlebrush held straight in the air. He was a cocky little fucker, even then.

I was informed that if I sat quietly, he’d come to me, so I did, and he cautiously crept over to make my acquaintance.  This was a time in his young life where he was not sure whether people were monsters or trees, and so over the course of the evening, he alternated between treating me as both, occasionally taking breaks from climbing up me or running away from me to take treats from my hand.

He could not have been more adorable.

Some hours later, my mother and I sat down to watch a movie. And Thumper walked up, jumped into my lap, trilled at me, and then curled up and went to sleep, my heart wrapped up in his huge paws.

Eventually, I took him home with me, despite my mother’s rather astute observation that I am allergic to cats and would probably end up in the hospital. He’s been my home ever since.

Rest in peace, Thumper.


On Facing the Mortality of Our Wee Beasties

thumper6

This is Thumper:

thumper6

He has been my best buddy for fifteen years. In the last few days  of those fifteen years, I have watched Thumper go from older, but still moderately spry, to weak and wobbly. Or rather, it feels that way; it’s entirely possible that this has been creeping up and I’ve been willfully ignoring that motion in the corner of my eye. I don’t know.

Our last trip to the vet left me feeling optimistic. She couldn’t believe how old he was. His teeth, ears, coat, weight—everything suggested that he was several years younger than he is.

But, now.

Now he sits in front of me, swaying back and forth as he tries to maintain balance and not have his paws slip out from under him.

Now he’s lost significant weight, and the joke that he’s really all just fur and fluff is becoming less of a joke and more of a truth.

Now he doesn’t jump down from things so much as fall as strategically as he can, and it really makes a difference to him when I help him up to or down from my bed, which is less than two feet off the ground.

Now he feels almost impossibly fragile when I pick him up.

thumperAnd I am fucking wrecked over it.

I know that one of the things we sign up for when we bring home our four-legged friends is a life span that is far shorter than
ours. I get that, intellectually. I understand that we don’t get to have them forever, no matter how well bonded we are. But that doesn’t make the thought of losing the best friend I have had for almost 15 years any easier, as it turns out. That doesn’t make me feel any less like my world is going to fall apart a little bit when it is time for him to go.

Note: if any of you feel the need to tell me how lucky I am to have gotten so much time with him already, please shove it somewhere dark and mildly uncomfortable, okay? 

Thumper is the closest thing to one of Philip Pullman’s dæmons I will ever find in this world. While he may not be the metaphorical embodiment of any soul I may or may not have, he still knows me better than any creature on this earth and has been there for me through more heartbreak, tragedy, loss, depression, loves, victories, and achievements than anybody else in my life.

thumper2He knows when I am hurting, or sad. He knows when to walk up to me and shove his head against my side until I drag him onto my lap, or when to rest a giant mitten paw on my leg to tell me he’s right here. He knows when I need him to butt his head against my chin and purr for me, endlessly. He knows that when he walks up to me and yells at me that I know exactly what he is yelling about even if I pretend not to. He knows that if he catches my eyes, we will spend minutes just gazing at each other. He knows that if thumper5I walk through or out of a room, and I see him reach out for me with one of his massive paws, I will be unable to resist giving him the cuddles he is requesting. I know that when I put my face in his face, I will be rewarded with a kiss or nuzzle to my forehead. I know I can bury my face in his big white soft belly and all he will do is purr.

In human years, Thumper is about 80 years old. I don’t know how much more time I have with him. Might be a while, yet. Hell, we’ve been expecting each Christmas to be my friend’s cat Elliot’s last Christmas for years, but he has clearly made a deal with Death or made friends with a voodoo priest because that fucking cat is apparently not going anywhere until he is damn good and ready. So it’s possible that I have years left with my cranky old beast of a cat.

I have spent the last 15 years telling him he has to live forever, like I was casting a spell on him through sheer force of love and will. But I’m no magician.

I’m pretty sure Thumper got all the magic.


A Checkered Year

I suppose it’s time for my increasingly traditional annual retrospective. 

If 2013 were a cartoon animal, it would be the Cat in the Hat, balancing too much shit and ultimately failing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, many, many good things happened in 2013. 

  • I went to Puerto Vallarta, my first vacation in six years.
  • My friends generously helped me get Iago, my beloved motorcycle back on the road.
  • With some overlap, my friends also helped me raise significant funds for the organization for which I work.
  • I moved into a fantastic apartment in SF (with laundry AND a dishwasher AND hardwood floors AND natural light AND off-street parking).
  • I met Allie Brosh.
  • I got three raises (which add up to, in just a little over a year, a 29% raise from my first salary here).
  • Luke and Marisa got married.
  • Jay and Jenneviere got married.
  • What I am hoping is becoming a Christmas tradition of spending one of the most annoying days of the year with my friends Lisa, Matt, and Elaine.
  • I have met some new people and made some new friends, at least two of whom are definitely keepers (and one I just fucking love so much I gave her, as somebody pointed out when I mentioned the book signing, an original Allie Brosh drawing).
  • I beat my all time best bowling score. Which isn’t amazing, but I’m still pretty pleased with myself. (Current best: 157.)
  • I learned some new things about who I am and how my brain works that explains A LOT about me and is helping me to make sense of my life and who I am.

But 2013 also slipped on a gigantic pile of shit, twisted its ankle, and landed on its face in yet another gigantic pile of shit with its mouth wide fucking open, for me and for people I love.

Losing Sparkly Devil broke more hearts than mine, and I think some part of me is always going to be wondering when we are going to go get our next cocktail and talk about everything. I still make notes in my head for things I want to chat with her about. Apparently it’s going to be a while, so I should start writing them down.

  • I have watched my friends lose people, family members, partners to death, relationship failure, and drama. Broken hearts everywhere.
  • There are friends who have been too far away for me to give them the kind of support I wanted to give.
  • I am having to face the fact that my beloved constant companion, my purrbucket, my cuddly, affectionate, loving, and deeply annoying cat Thumper is officially old. He still looks great in a bowtie, though.

I don’t do the resolution thing, really. I know what I want to accomplish in the next year. I don’t know how I am going to do all of it, yet, but I’ll figure it out. 

Happy New Year.


The Most Annoying Cat In The World

He doesn’t wake you up at 5am…because he can wake you up at 4:30.

noise

When he throws up, he never uses the floor—when your clothes are available.

His kibble is larger than the average kibble—because he’ll eat too fast and boot it immediately if it’s any smaller.

514_400x400_NoPeel

He thinks—and poops—outside the box.

He has the closest thing to opposable thumbs that a cat can have—but he cries pitifully in front of slightly open doors.

reginald

He’s not afraid to tell you that you have been neglecting him for at least ten minutes.

He is…the most annoying cat in the world.

most annoying cat


Look At This Fucking Cat

Well, SCOTUS is drunk.

No, really. Obviously drunk.

Those of us who are not just keeping track of the Prop 8 decisions may have noticed the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the funny idea that racism just isn’t an issue anymore. I guess nobody has stopped and frisked Clarence Thomas recently.

SCOTUS

So, folks are dismayed and disappointed all over the internet, in my office, and probably in Dolores Park, too. But that’s probably because it’s raining, and Dolores Park in the rain is dismaying and disappointing. And of course everybody is worried about Prop 8–regardless of what the preferred outcome might be.

So, to everybody who is bummed out about bad SCOTUS decisions, look at this fucking cat.

This fucking cat is the cutest. He just wants to take his fucking giant, fluffy, polydactyl paw and rub it all over his fucking adorable face for you. This fucking cat is working it so hard to make you feel better about today. And today’s a fucking bummer. I mean, the fucking VRA isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Seriously, go fucking print that shit out. THERE. You just wasted some fucking paper.

So check it out. This cat’s name is fucking Thumper. He has a fucking RABBIT’S name. How fucking cute is that? He has fucking thumbs on his great big mitteny fuckng paws. His feet are practially fucking snowshoes. I have a fucking SNOWCAT. Thumper just wants to love you. When he rolls over and shows you his fluffy white belly, he wants you to fucking pet it. That fucking belly is not a fucking trap, and it’s so fucking soft you won’t be able to stop petting it. You would feel so much fucking better right now if you just cuddled up and listened to his fucking amazing purr, which gets louder and louder the more you pet him.

This fucking video has music, so if you are at work, wear some fucking headphones. And when you are feeling all pissed off about SCOTUS? Look at this fucking cat.


Working with Guinness

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter or pay even the slightest bit of attention to my (personal) Facebook posts, you know that at my new job, we have an office dog. He belongs to Toni, the founder and executive director of our organization. His name is Guinness, but I tend to just hash him as #officedog. For those of you who have the good sense and taste not to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, this is Guinness:

guin copyYes. His ears are always like that.

Guinness is not always content to hang out on the couch and watch me work. Sometimes he has to tell me just exactly how bored he is and just exactly how much attention I am not giving him. Now, he’s a Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix, so he’s not just a relatively large dog, he’s strong. His method of getting attention from me involves shoving his nose under my arm and flipping my hand over his head. Repeatedly.

Note: Guinness only speaks Dog, but he speaks it A LOT. He’s a talker.

Me: *working diligently*
Guin: Arrrph. *nose on arm*
Me: Hey, Mister. *pets dog, goes back to work*
Guin: Hrooo. *armflip*
Me: Okay, okay. *pets dog, goes back to work*
Guin: Ahroo. HRF. *armflip*
Me: Guinness. They aren’t paying me to scritch you. *pets dog, goes back to work*
Guin: Yes they are. *armflip*
Me: WTF, you don’t speak English.
Guin: ROOROOOROOO. *armflip*
Toni: GUINNESS. LIE DOWN.
Guin: HMPH. *curls up directly behind chair* *heavy sigh*
Me: *quiet sigh*

Of course, I’m completely in love with this dog. I’d happily put up with his armflips pretty much all day if I could. I think the love is mutual:


Catsitting: A Timeline of Sorts

This is the general progression for any time I catsit for longer than a few days.
For the record, I did not actually find any cat journals. All cat journal entries are 57% fictional.

Click image if you think WordPress compression sucks.


In Which My Cat Pouts and Plots

 

Some number of days ago, I took this photo of my cat:

I rather liked it, but over drinks one evening, C expressed some concern over the fact that it looks like he is plotting my death. So I made this for her:

But then I couldn’t decide whether he was plotting or pouting. So I made these:

And now…now I just don’t trust my cat anymore. Let’s not forget: he’s got thumbs. There’s no telling what he could do if he set his nut-sized brain to it.


Red Dead Redemption With Nijinsky

I’m sure y’all remember Moto, by now.

This handsome fellow is Nijinsky. Nijinsky is Moto’s long-suffering-yet-charmingly-(mostofthetime)-neurotic older brother.


Nijinsky is never more affectionate than when I am playing Red Dead Redemption. Without fail, every session of gaming involves a variant on this conversation:

Nij: Ummmm….whatcha doin’?
Me: Playing.
Nij: Soooo…. *headbutts my knee*
Me: Just a sec, buddy.
Nij: No. Right now. *paw on my leg*
Me: Nijinsky. Can’t you—
Nij: But I love you. So much. Right NOW. *nose on my nose*
Me: NIJINSKY I HAVE TO PROTECT THE WAGON FROM THESE BANDI—Well, fuck it. Now I’m dead.
Nij: *purr* *gentle headbutt*


GUEST BLOG POST! — Painting With Otto

Remember Otto? As it turns out, he’s much better with paint than he is with unfamiliar musical instruments—as my beloved friends Sasha and Nate discovered while painting their imminent baby’s room this week (“Imminent Baby” is now my Britney Spears cover band name). He likes to help. And by “help,” I mean, “‘help’”. Sasha submitted this for your perusal and enjoyment, Gentle Readers.

So with no more ado, Conversations Sasha Gets To Have With Otto, and don’t forget—Otto speaks in all caps. It’s a thing.

Sasha:  Hey, Otto. What are you up to?
Otto: NOTHING!
Sasha:  Wait, what’s that on your whiskers?
Otto: NOBODY!
Sasha:  Your whiskers are green and blue.  And you have paint on your face.
Otto: HELPING!
Sasha: Oh, no, have you been in the baby’s room?
Otto: HELPING!
Sasha: Dammit, cat! I’m eight months pregnant. Don’t make me chase you. Oh, shit. Stay out of there!
Otto: *running away* HELPIIIING!

WP note: It’s true. He was definitely HELPING. I visited the apartment last night, and Otto had at least two different colors on his neck and whiskers. Good thing everything goes with black.


Thunder with Thumper

This is Thumper:

You may not realize this, but Thumper is actually my cat, whereas Moto, Otto, and Nutz all belong in various San Francisco apartments to which the unwitting residents have given me keys.

*THUNDER*
WP: Hey Thump, you okay there, buddy?

Thumper: I’m fine. *moves a little closer*
*THUNDER*
Thumper: It’s cool, everything’s cool. *moves a little closer*
*THUNDER*
Thumper: I’M TOTALLY FINE OVER HERE, EVERYTHING’S FINE. *pause* FINE. *rolls closer*
WP: Hey little man. You can come all the way over here.
*THUNDER*
Thumper: You know, that chair does look comfortable. But it’s not because I’m scared. And I’m gonna just curl right up on you. Because…because you’re warm. Okay?
*THUNDER*
WP: Look buddy—
Thumper: Shut UP. I’m FINE. I’m not even LOOKING AT YOU.
WP: *pets the cat reassuringly*
Thumper: OH THANK GOD WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? *PURRPURRPURRPURR*
WP: *sigh*


Guitar With Otto

This is Otto (and my guitar):

(Otto speaks in all caps.)

Otto: WHAT IS THAT?
WP: It’s a guitar. You have seen these before.
Otto: YEAH BUT WHAT IS THAT?
WP: It’s a guitar, Otto.
Otto: DO I EAT IT?
WP: You can try.
Otto: OKAY. BUT WHAT IS IT?
WP: It’s a— Okay. Listen. *strums guitar*
Otto: OMG WTF WHAT IS THAT YOU SAID I COULD EAT IT.

And then he ran into the hallway and yelled at me from behind the door for five minutes before he forgot what had happened. The photo was taken at his second attempt to determine the nature of the guitar.


Cuddling with Moto

I’m sure nobody’s forgotten Moto, King of Pants.

He may have a thing for jeans and making me fall down, but when Moto is not invading my space in the bathroom or trying to kill me, he can be very affectionate. Very, very, aggressively affectionate.

It usually goes something like this:

Moto: *stands and hooks claws into jeans* *stretches* Heeeeeeeeeeeeeyyy.
WP: Oh, hey.
Moto:  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeyyy.
WP: Yeah, you said that already.
Moto: Heeeeeyyy. I’m on your paaaaants.
WP: *scoops Moto up* Not anymore, jerk.
Moto: *puts nose on my glasses* *purrs* I love you.
WP: That’s—
Moto: *full force headbutt* I love you.
WP: That’s n—
headbutt
WP: Mo—
headbutt
WP: *tries to spit out newly acquired fur* Okay—headbutt—I’m gonna—headbutt—put you—headbutt—down now.
Moto: PURR *hugs my hand*
WP: *ices face*


Semicircles of Hell

Click Image To Make Readable:

(Thanks to Nate for title and the reminder about Berkeley Bowl West. Nate is awesome. Go read his blog.)


Working with Nutz

This is Nutz:

This is the most recent conversation I had with Nutz:

Nutz: Hey, you are just sitting there.
Me: Working. I’m working, Nutz.
Nutz: Hey.
Me: Hey.
Nutz: Hey, my paw’s on your leg now. Cuz you are just sitting there.
Me: Nutz. I’m working. These cases aren’t going to read themselves.
Nutz: Hey, both of my front paws are on your leg, now.
Me: Okay, I can put my arm over you to type.
Nutz:  What if my front paws were on your other leg, and I was, like, standing on your lap?
Me: I can still see over you.
Nutz: And what if I were to lean into your chest and rub my head on your chin?
Me: I—Nutz, goddamn it.
Nutz: And what if I were to flip over onto my back in your arms and put my paw on your cheek?
Me: OHFORFUCKSSAKE. *cuddles cat, then removes him from lap and goes back to work*

2 minutes later…

Nutz: Hey, you are just sitting there.
Me: *sigh*


Advertising

Advertising has been gross and scary for a long time—no matter how sexy it is when Don Draper does it. But lately I’ve been disgusted by a number of ads I have seen. I mean, let’s not forget this.

But let’s also look at this:

When I first saw this, my first few thoughts were entirely made up of, “What the fuckin’ fuck?”

Look, folks. I have asthma. I have severe asthma that is occasionally really scary. My mom was a smoker when she was pregnant with me and until I was 13, and it’s probable that this was at least part of the reason for my everyday inability to breathe. I never think about this unless I see this advertisement. And then I am horrified—not that I have asthma, and not that it might be because of her (former) addiction to cigarettes—but that some advertising motherfucker wants her to feel shittier about it than she already does.

There’s got to be a better way to suggest to parents that they stop smoking than this passive-aggressive guilt-inducing crap.

Before I say more, I recently saw an ad on Hulu.com that I cannot find on line (I was so horrified by it that I didn’t actually stop to write down the organization that put it out there—and if you find it, please link it to me so I can add it to this post). In this ad, a woman is being rescued from a natural disaster and is forced to leave her dog behind to drown while she is pulled away in a helicopter. The ad wants people to make arrangements for their pets in the event of such a disaster.

Really? REALLY? How is this fucking emotional blackmail necessary? I don’t know a single person with pets who wasn’t deeply affected by the predicament of the dogs and cats left behind to fend for themselves and/or die during Katrina. I know people who specifically went there to rescue animals. I would have to be physically restrained, possibly knocked out, and certainly dragged away before I abandoned my cat to such a fate. I am, as a responsible pet owner, always aware of the fact that he has no control over his environment.

I know that television ads have to pander to the lowest common denominator. I am still incredibly disappointed and displeased at the direction in which we are heading. I am also insulted and disgusted. Come on, advertisers. Even the slightest nod toward my intelligence would be welcome. There’s no need to hit below the belt. I can take this on the chin.


Peeing with Moto

This is Moto Nimitz:

This is my most recent conversation with Moto, who managed to get the door open to the bathroom while I was inside:

Moto: Hey, there you are.
Whiskeypants: Uh. Yeah.
Moto: Hey. Hey. Hey.
W: Hey.
Moto: Hey, watcha doin? You peeing? Is that what you’re doing?
W: Yeah, seems like it.
Moto: Can I touch that?
W: No.
Moto: What about this? And are those pants? I want to be in your pants.
W: MOTO.
Moto: Paaaants! I’m in them!
W: Moto. Moto, stop. Moto. MOTO THAT TICKLES.
Moto: Paaaants! Captive audience! Paaaaants!
W: Cat. I need to leave the room. And walk. *falls over*
Moto: *purr*


The Fleas

Week One.
Monday: Cat is miserable and scratching his fur off. Poor guy.
Thursday: Cat is infested and leaving flea parts and flecks of blood everywhere. Poor me.
Sunday: What is most likely to eradicate fleas and leave you and your pet alive? Must research.

Week Two.
Wednesday: I have begun the process of wiping them out. Tons of laundry, vacuuming, chemicals. My cat thinks that I am trying to kill him. A flea dip results in yowling and screaming for help. The neighbors do not come, and little Kitty Genovese must endure his bath. I keep telling him that it’s for the best.
Saturday: He’s not talking to me. I have changed his scent, replaced his collar, and he still itches.
Sunday: All is quiet.

Week Four.
Monday: More action must be taken. I thought them merely tiny groups of fleas. They were actually trained soldiers practicing guerrilla maneuvers on the part of a much larger organization.
Monday night: It’s cool. I can handle this. I am bigger than them, and I have a vacuum cleaner.
Tuesday: There are more than I thought. And they might have guns.
Wednesday: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

I think they might be mobilizing, so I am doing this today. We can’t let tOH GOD THEY ARE ON MEEEEEEE

/end transmission


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