I’ve recently been covered in fur.

I took my cats the to vet.  When cats are stressed they shed.  ALOT.

I, and I would imagine most caretakers, try to comfort the stressed cat at the vet by petting and cuddling it.  This transfers all the fur on their body onto your body.

I did it twice because Bijou, her calico highness, has deep and unnatural hatred for the carrier and I think she would probably rip poor little passive Tim into a bloody pillow if I took them together.  Particularly since I only have one carrier.  It’s a bigger carrier, and it would hold them both if required, but I decided it wasn’t required.

Bijou hates the cage so to her the actual exam room was not terrible.  She explored it thoroughly while we waited and clearly developed an escape plan.  She didn’t hide from me when I picked her up and put her on the table and submitted with dignity to all the indignities they did to her.

Tim, however, doesn’t think the carrier is a cage of horrors.  So he had to be pulled out the carrier and then glued himself into me, hiding his little face in the crook of my elbow.  There is very little as pathetic and endearing as a cat burying its face into you for safety. He did not see the exam room as an interesting place to explore.  Which is upsetting because he’s going back next week for his neutering.  When I turned away from  him to get my purse he jumped off and hid in a corner under the chair.

When we finally let him back into the carrier he scrambled in like it was home sweet home and settled in the back.

People who don’t have cats probably think of them as a monolithic sort of detached personality.  But they are not.  Like humans they come in a huge spectrum of personalities and a trip to the vet is a great place to see that.

Particularly this vet because they have a big orange office cat who helps the receptionists.  He likes to lay across the keyboards and get in their way as much as possible.  He has no fear of the barking, and meowing going on in the waiting room.  He thinks all animals are inferior to him.  It’s written so clearly in his attitude.

There was a whining pit bull in the waiting room.  His pathetic cowering noises made my Tim look brave.  Office Cat looked at that dog like he would not have bothered to bury him after he took him down in any fight he cared to enter into.    And despite the odds, I think I would have taken Office Cat in that fight.  But office cat didn’t even growl at him, just looked disdainful and walked away.   He’s wise and generous.   He let the dog live and didn’t jeopardize the good life he’s leading as Official Office Cat.

Anyway we all survived and Tim will be deballed next Friday.

 

Growing a Kitten

They mostly grow on their own, but they do need a lot of food.

When you get a young kitten it is a delicate fragile ball of bravado.  They walk around, with the tiny brush tails sticking straight up and act like NOTHING can hurt them.

But just picking them up makes you utterly aware of how they are just fragile bones covered in fur with a tiny buddha belly if they’ve been eating properly.

Then they grow.  They stretch out in all directions and look mostly starved, like lanky teenagers often do.  They hold onto that fragile feeling because all the major muscles that bind together cats and make them such tangibly tough animals haven’t quite caught up with the growth.

So you pick them up, expecting to hold something solid with weight and instead you get a floaty bundle of fur.  Which sounds more romantic and relaxing than it is, because it’s actually a spastic floaty bundle and so you have try not to break the fragile spastic kitten that refuses to sit still while you hold it.

And then their muscles catch up.  And one day you pick up a kitten, thinking it will be floaty fragile flotsam and it’s a solid chunk.

I love the solidity of cats.  The fact that they can be given a good solid patting and it sort of rings on their body.  And what is most fun is that cats seem to like a good solid patting.   I call it banging on the kitty.   I mostly do it on their back leg or their back.  But it can’t be done to a fragile kitten.

Rebel Tim has just started to get his solid muscles.  And so I gave him some bangs and he loved it.  You would think cats would hate that sort of thing.  But I’ve never had a cat that didn’t love it.   Often it riles them up and they end up running around like maniacs. Unsurprisingly this is how it worked on Tim.

Tim is going to be one of those long lanky cats that are mostly just sleek fur over defined muscle, unlike Mrs. Fluffbutt, Her Highness Bijou.  Who is mostly thick fluff pasted to muscle and a bit of rounding out fat.  She is an exceptionally comfortable cat to hold as a result.  Just soft in all the ways.  Until she wants down.  Which is mostly immediately because she doesn’t enjoy being held.  She wants cuddles on her terms.  But every evening she condescends to allowing me pick her up for a good hug.  And doesn’t even complain.  bijou and tim

 

 

The evolution of a word

Today I wrote a comment on a blog that was just the word “Gorgeous!”.

And I realized as a typed it that it has the word ‘gorge’ in it.  How odd.  They seems such distinct meanings.  So I looked it up.

According to Eymonline:

gorgeous (adj.)
c. 1500, “splendid, showy, sumptuously adorned” (of clothing), from Middle French gorgias “elegant, fashionable,” of unknown origin; perhaps a special use of gorgias “necklace” (and thus “fond of or resembling jewelry”), from Old French gorge “throat,” also “something adorning the throat” (see gorge (n.)). A connection to the Greek proper name Gorgias (supposedly in reference to a notorious sophist) also has been proposed.

Gorge is from the word throat in old french.  Which I can also feel the relationship to our present use of the word related to canyon in English, even if it is quite remote.

Which is the thing – so often one can FEEL the roots of a word.  It’s tenuous relationship to the old word is so thready and knotted but it somehow got transmitted in meaning enough that I hear the etymology and can say  – OK.  Yeah.  I can get that.

Words evolve.  Sometimes very quickly and bizarrely.  Imagine how oddly someone from the 15th century would feel about how we use the word “cool” today.  We still hold onto the meaning they understand but it’s far more common use has no real relationship they can understand to the word.

cool (adj.)
Applied since 1728 to large sums of money to give emphasis to amount. Meaning “calmly audacious” is from 1825. Slang use for “fashionable” is 1933, originally African-American vernacular; modern use as a general term of approval is from late 1940s, probably from bop talk and originally in reference to a style of jazz; said to have been popularized in jazz circles by tenor saxophonist Lester Young.

All the slang meanings have intertwined in my mind.  Each of them bringing a nuance to the various ways I use the word cool.  In fact I can think of another meaning that is not mentioned here.  It is often used as an agreement word.  I can also feel how the slang meanings are still related to its traditional meaning of chilly.  But those complexity of meanings are very hard to express,  except by saying the word.  All of its complexity is so neatly wrapped in one small word.

And now it’s being morphed again into kewl!

Language pedants often criticize people for their “wrong” use of words.  But this is just the nature of language.  It gets used and it evolves in it’s use until over time it’s a whole new meaning.   This is why humans, who all evolved from one group are now using thousands of different languages.  Because language evolves, just like humans, but much faster.   A thousand years ago people spoke English.  But we probably wouldn’t understand much of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Excited Kitten Chattering

There was a bird on a wire not to far from the window he was sitting in.

He was chattering because he was so excited to get at it.

He doesn’t know yet that proper hunters are SILENT.  He is just a baby.

Plus he’s had a very exhausting morning.  Much rushing about and jumping with many battles large and energetic. I don’t think such a tired Tim could maintain his self control to be silent even had someone taught him how to hunt quietly.

He just came over and plopped next to me into instant sleep.  Also a kitten thing.  100 miles an hour one moment, dead asleep the next.

Bells in Cat Toys are music in Hell

Like an idiot I bought a set of balls at the Dollar Tree with a bell inside them.  They are hard plastic, so they make noise on hardwood floors, all on their own.  But when you add the jingle bell inside, it’s annoying beyond comprehension.

I have taken them away and hidden them several times, but Tim is very good at hide and seek.  I think I’m going to have to just throw them away.

I’m so cheap that it bothers me to throw away a $1 cat toy.  Actually 50 cents.  There were two balls in each package.

I need to just to it.  I can’t get the bell out without ruining the toy.  I had hoped at one point to do that.  But it’s not possible without a great deal more effort than a 50 cent toy is worth.

WHY do cat toys have bells?  It’s a terrible noise.  Terrible.

You vote for the Problem if you don’t vote.

I’m a bit concerned about this Flouncy Mood I’ve been seeing lately among liberals online.  They are angry at Democrats in Congress for not doing more to stop Trump.  I guess shutting down the government isn’t too far.

I’ve seen quite a few of people express that if Democrat Politicians don’t try harder, they aren’t going to vote for them.   While their views certainly represent a serious lack of understanding on how our government actually runs, it’s also a foolish idealism.

Let’s GET REAL.  LIfe and Politics do not  happen in ideals.  I’m 52 and I’ve never voted for my ideal.

You vote for practical gritty reality.  

You vote for the best option.

Right now, Democrats, whatever their weakness, are the best option.

This is not a game.  Human lives are at stake.  Prancing about refusing to vote for anything but perfection will not save lives.  Voting for the best option, even when not ideal, is what saves lives.

womens-march-sign-1We don’t have time for Moods.  We need to fight with the weapons we are handed.

You vote for the problem if you don’t vote.

The Guilt of a Favorite

Whenever I have more than one cat, I always end up with a favorite.  It’s nearly always the one I’ve had longest.  In fact, I think it ALWAYS is?  I can’t think of an exception.

Anyway, despite only being with me a few months, Bijou, Her Calico Highness, is my favorite.  And I feel really bad about it.

Because on all metrics except possibly pure beauty, Rebel Tim is probably more lovable.  He’s never the one who growls or spits.  Although to be fair, Bijou was universally cheerful and sweet until the arrival the Rebel Tim, so.

But I got Tim for Bijou.  I feel like he belongs to her.  I just take care of him for her, because she’s royalty and cannot be expected to manage his needs. What’s more, I’m pretty sure Her Calico Highness knows that Tim is hers.  He is naturally oblivious.  He just loves her.  And me.  Probably equally because he’s that sweet.

Anyway, it’s not like I don’t love Tim.  But I have a preference for Her Calico Highness.

I am glad I never had kids.  I imagine I would have had a favorite and that would be awful.

So anyway.  This has been the confession of Sara, guilty cat lover.

The lingering death of my underwear

My underwear has recently taken a dive in structural integrity.  It’s old, but it has suddenly developed a lot of frayed threads and even holes.

This is distressing because these underwear, which I particularly like, are no longer made.  Which is a thing in women’s fashion.  Apparently, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make the same thing for more than 5 years.  Even if it’s just bland boring underwear.  It’s illegal or something?

Anyway – this morning it has become clear: the death of my underwear is being pushed along by interactions with Rebel Tim, the kitten.  Who at this moment is in a such a desperate tangle with a pair of underwear that I’m fairly sure I might have rescue him or, more probably, the underwear.  Claws and teeth are not friends to old thin cotton.

sigh.

I should get up and save that underwear, but honestly, he’s so adorable in his underwear wrap that it’s hard to get behind stopping the behavior.   Which is ANOTHER problem with kittens.

Oprah Winfrey is NOT qualified to be President of the United States

I love her, but NO.

Being more qualified than Trump does NOT equal Qualified. 

Donald Trump is a bar so low a mouse could step across it.  He is not the bar we should measure candidates on.

Can we stop pretending that our government is Reality TV?

It’s not.

Can we stop confusing celebrity with experience and fitness for the job???

We need to fix the system that would allow us to vote stupidly for people because we see them on TV and therefore think this makes them qualified.

It was a nice speech.  BUT BEING PRESIDENT OF THE US is not an equivalent to being a great entertainer or even a great business person.

IT IS A DIFFERENT THING.

We deserve the apocalypse we get if we vote in another celebrity.  I have no patience for anyone who would vote for Oprah Winfrey.

There are great qualified candidates out in the world.  They just didn’t have a TV show or win a golden globe.

You want to drag in a qualified liberal candidate?  Convince Elizabeth Warren to run.  That is what qualified looks like.

Or – how about Kamala Harris – she is probably going to run.  GET YOUR LIBERAL ASS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND TALK HER UP.

Or if you prefer men – Tim Kaine.  You loved him as VP candidate, bet you can love him as POTUS.

OR if you like your men old and wildly liberal but mildly delusional – Sanders.

ALL of these candidates are WAY more qualified for the office than Winfrey.

We need to fix this system and put a set of REAL minimum qualifications into the job of POTUS.  Right now you just have to be 35 years old and have lived in the country for the previous 14 years and be a natural born citizen.  That’s it.  Only qualifications necessary.

Having a law background, or some previous government experience is utterly unrequired.  Being able to pass some basic ethical requirements also unnecessary.  We put appointees through a more rigorous reviews than we do the people we put up for elected officials.

We deserve the mess we get.

Money, it’s worrisome

I spend most of my time with a mild background worry about money.  I don’t make QUITE enough to be comfortable.  So I’m always counting, always deciding, always wary of the next expensive disaster.

Right now I’m facing a lot of expensive things and so I’m constantly re-shuffling my funds and re-prioritizing my spending.

What I realized is that it’s not the money that is worrisome.  It’s the uncertainty around it all.

For example – my car needs new tires.  How long can I put that off?  What if I only buy 2 at a time?  What if I got used, is that bad?  Where does one get used tires?

My tooth needs a filling.  It only hurts sometimes… Will that trend be OK for longer than the tire problem?

It’s not so much the money – it’s the uncertainty.  If I knew the answers to those questions, it would be easy to make the shuffling and prioritizing decisions.  But I don’t.

Most of my stress is about things I don’t know.  Because I hate to make the wrong choice.  Sometimes it’s possible to find an answer.  A lot of the tire questions have answers, but the tooth question doesn’t.  Nor does the consequence of not getting new tires in time.