Category Archives: pets

Cat Litter Boxes, Turning Cats into Ninjas

Recently I started looking at cat litter boxes.

We have three cats: Liggy, Monkey and Taku. Nobody likes Taku, she’s really an alien in a cat’s body. Liggy is 20 and that makes her 90-something in human years. Monkey, well her name says it all.

Sometimes, you just want to see what else is out there for litter boxes. Not that they need new litter boxes, I mean truly, what do they do? Hold the litter so you cat can poop & pee in peace in a dark corner somewhere. Then the human comes and collects the deposits, which is a little weird if you were to ask the cat.

Before I get on to the litter boxes. When you shop, have you ever noticed how many types of litter is available? It’s like the flavored coffee club but different.

Clay.

Clumpable.

Newspaper pellets.

Pine pellets.

Multi-cat.

Cloud control.

Silica crystals.

Biodegradable.

Bamboo.

Plant pellets.

Scented.

Unscented.

Non-trackable.

Corn.

Wheat.

Walnut.

Lightweight.

It sounds more like a recipe for an exotic beer than it does for types of cat litter. You would think cats wouldn’t care, but they do. I’ve tried the newspaper pellets, pine pellets and silica crystals. You know what I learned? Those marketing teams are aiming for me, not the cat. Cat just wants plain old gravelly litter. It’s better to track it through the house. Really gets in between their toes and is perfect for depositing into bed sheets and couches.

Seriously, Liggy, our eldest, she has Muppet feet. Long fur between her toes. She previously used to haul whiskey across the northern tundra in the dark months, helping fishermen find their way back home. Why else would she have these long haired feet?

Her feet are also perfect if she steps into the pee and then into the litter. She comes out wearing a little clay mask on her foot, leaving a trail of one footprint across the house. Have you ever tried to get cement off your cat’s foot? Right. Exactly.

Back to the litter boxes.

Of course we are all familiar with the standard rectangular pan. Pretty simple. Then you get into the ones with higher sides. Technically they’re supposed to help keep the litter and sprayers contained. Well, let me tell you, Monkey could challenge Tom Brady in distance for litter tossing. Could you get it any further across the room? Oh yes, just pack it between your toes and show me where you can put it.

Next there’s various sizes. Little tiny ones for kittens. Cause those last for about 2 weeks before they’re out grown, but boy aren’t they cute? There’s litter boxes with lower entries for elderly cats. We have two.

Cat boxes with lids.

Cat boxes inside furniture.

Round boxes.

Triangular boxes.

Self-cleaning boxes. (Yeah cause I want my cat to think the poop monster ALMOST got her. Smart.)

Plastic boxes.

Metal boxes.

Cardboard boxes.

Boxes that are mail order delivery to your house on subscription.

There’s spinner cat boxes, turn the box on it’s head and the poop goes into a receptable.

Boxes with lid guards.

Boxes with entry flaps.

Domed boxes.

Biodegradable boxes.

I should be so lucky to have as many shoe styles in my closet as cat’s have litter box options. Then of course, I came across several boxes where I just had to stop and say, “What cat is going to use that?” If cats read Stephen King, these contraptions were definitely fodder for their next series.

Take for example, the circular automatic cleaning box. At first, I thought it was a pizza crust maker. Or a kids version of the Easy Bake Oven for pizza crusts. Where is the cat supposed to turn around and get their butt in there? Is that a record player? Do cats enjoy tunes while pooping? No, no, wait. That is a grain grinder. You put your wheat in there to grind it up into flour. Got it. Got it.

Stone cold grinder litter box.

Next up, I truly thought they were selling tiny washing machines for cats. You could put their fluffy blankets in there or maybe their toys. Or it’s a hair dryer for after washing your cat, cause they just love that. You pop your cat in and close the door. Once I clicked on the link, I realized no, that’s a robot litter box. If the cat doesn’t get out in time they enjoy the spin cycle! If they aren’t perfectly balanced inside, does it dump them on the floor like a gyroscope? I’m sorry but Star Wars didn’t have these and neither did Star Trek, we can pass on this item. And I am certainly not paying nearly $1000 for a cat box. Sorry Taku.

And the marketing photo below is asinine. What cat is even able to get into the sphere inside that cabinet? Catdini? Cat’s face says it all, “Seriously? Stupid human.”

Tilt-a-Whirl cat box.

Finally, there’s the cat version of the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” litter box. Get this box if you want your cat to be a jack-in-the-box. The cat, aka Jason Bourne, in the marketing photo has finally had enough and went to ask for a pay increase. Homie don’t play this shit. Go ahead, jump into a dirty box with no option for missing the mines. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to claw yourself out of it. And if you’re a fat cat or an overly fluffy cat ….what happens if you get stuck in the top? Little legs dangling…help….help! Or a short cat who can’t jump? “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Whose idea was this anyway?

Jason Bourne Jack-in-the-Box.

The window shopping of cat boxes was an eye rolling experience. No doubt I’m sure there are hundreds of people with these boxes in their homes. The cats are silently cursing them and plotting their revenge through hair balls, vomit and random treats left around the house. Although we think we are superior to the cats, we’re not. The Egyptians understood this concept and worshipped their cats. Let’s use our common sense and put the cats back on a pedestal and not inside one to roll around.

Don’t Let the Cobwebs Gather in Your Elbows

Juneau, Alaska. Check.

Miami, Florida. Check.

Boston, Massachusetts. Check.

Restart…

“We want you both to come work for us.” That’s how the story began.

Girls, pack your cat nip. We’re going back to Alaska. Someone hit the reset button.

Sometimes, it takes you six years to figure out what you prefer in life. Sometimes you take wrong exits off the highway before you figure out your GPS has given you faulty directions and you have to get back on the highway. And sometimes, you have to go out there and see other places so you can extend your family and have more experiences in life.

We’re Off…Like Cats Looking for the Open Can of Tuna!

Once we fired off the confetti cannon and made our decision to go, we quickly packed up our three furry kids, dropped off the two lizards to the nieces and selected some creature comforts to get us through a couple of months of Alaska living. We will be back to Boston in November to remote work and pack up our house, then go back to Alaska in March for the next summer season.

Packing for a second household is interesting. Which garlic crusher do you take? What about cutting boards, one or three? Are we going to need the blender? Better take the mini food processor. Do you think we should take the Learn Spanish DVDs so we have something to do? How many pairs of jeans are you taking? Don’t forget the favorite cat toys. And whatever happens, don’t forget the cat treats. Better pack a Keurig and a bubbler (Sodastream, as I love my bubbly water.)

One would think, if you forgot something, just go to the store when you get there. Right? That’s the thought of 99% of everyone who is traveling to new locations. Except where we’re going, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

We’ll be spending most of our year in Hoonah, Alaska. Population 750 give or take. About 3 miles of paved road and 150 miles of dirt logging roads. Ever see that show, “Alaska Bush People” back when they were in Alaska? Yeah, well, they lived in Hoonah. And no, they were not really living in the wilderness. Talk about fake news.

Hoonah is the largest Tlingit community in Alaska and is located on Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska. It’s about 40 miles west of Juneau or a 20 minute flight. It also has the largest concentration of coastal brown bears in the world, although I have yet to see one. Lots of bear poop on the road, lots of poop.

(What is a coastal brown bear? Apparently, those in the know, decided to make a different class from the typical grizzly bear and classify the coastal brown bear. As I understand it, the coastal brown bear found mainly on Chichagof and Admiralty Islands eat mainly salmon and are therefore bigger in nature, therefore you get a different type of bear. )

Back to the story…

Anyhow, there’s no mall, no Walmart, no Target, no Walgreens, no Kohl’s. There’s a hardware store and small grocery store, whose motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” The other day I was desperate for a pair of plain old regular scissors for home. You know the kind with the orange handle? Went to the hardware store. Found them. $16.

I’ve ordered some things from Amazon, you know I’m a Prime member and all. An electric throw blanket. I thought I’d pick one up at Costco in Juneau, WHEN I FLEW OVER TO GO GROCERY SHOPPING, but they didn’t have them. Normally, Prime is next day delivery or two days, right? Here….it’s two weeks. My blanket should be here by September 27th.

Please Keep Your Claws Inside the Carrier at All Times.

Traveling with the cats is always an experience.

Liggy, our 20-22 year old is a pro. She’s been from Alaska to Miami to Boston. And now she’s gone back to Alaska.

Monkey and Taku, well…they’re a little unimpressed at the whole process. They joined us in Miami, so they’ve only done one journey with us. A flight to Boston. Needless to say, as soon as the carriers come out, all hell breaks loose.

Monkey sings the song of her people, which sounds more like someone who has just eaten a meal that hasn’t agreed with their system and their bowels are about to explode.

Taku silently glares at us. Placing what are undoubtedly triple strength, unorthodox feline hexes on our souls, cursing us into damnation. No snuggles for you.

We break up the flight, overnighting in Seattle as a cross country, to Alaska flight is too long to be stuck in a kennel. Going from Boston to Hoonah is a three flight journey, even with non-stop flights. The upside was once we got to the Seattle hotel and blocked access to behind the beds, the girls decided there was safety in numbers! STICK TOGETHER! Normally, they don’t hang out together….

Cats snuggled in at Seattle hotel, safety in numbers.

When we travel, the two youngest go underneath in the traveling pet cargo area. Which I told them was a disco for pets. I’m not sure they believed me entirely. I did tell them to go easy on ordering the Alaskan beer and mimosas on the flight as altitude can sometimes do crazy things with your alcohol consumption. Liggy travels as my carry on and goes under the seat, she’s a first class pet. Of course at her age, she should be.

However, when we got to Juneau and loaded up into our final plane, Liggy’s eyes were as big as golfballs as she was loaded into the back of our little plane. At least we were all together on this one, everyone was seated in the same compartment. I could turn around, look past the cargo net and see the three girls. Hang on everyone, here we go. One more flight. At least Monkey wasn’t serenading us. If only because Taku had her muttering out the unorthodox feline hex as well. Bonding at it’s finest.

Welcome to Hoonah-lulu

Ah, what a relief.

Not that we finally arrived after traveling for two days, with three cats and five pieces of luggage. One of which was the cat’s suitcase, I kid you not.

But we arrived back where we’re supposed to be.

A good friend greeted us with open arms at the airport, we dropped our stuff at the house, got the girls situated so they could find hiding spots inside the house, then we drove 2 miles of paved road to the grocery store.

It felt like a giant scratchy coat had been shed and cast aside.

I could finally breathe.

I was lighter.

I wasn’t stressed about having to drive down the Boston highway with 14,839 crazy drivers, making left hand turns from right hand lanes. Or taking 90 minutes to go 16 miles. Or swerving lanes as they text on their cell phones.

All of the frustrations of my previous job slid off like waves on a fine sand beach. No longer my issue. Not my problem.

The next day we went into work, doing what we know best…cruise tourism. People are excited about the future. Excited about the possibilities. Excited about the potential. There’s talking, laughing and sharing ideas. There’s big ideas, big plans and things are happening.

There’s no time to sit back. It’s time to jump in and see how we can help. What can we do? Where do we start? It may be the countdown to the end of the 2019 season, but the 2020 season is already in planning and new projects are unwrapping faster than birthday gifts.

It’s thrilling to be back.

Wait, did I mention the view from work?

Animal Loves

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. – Martin Buber

Animals.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Tiny lady bugs to towering giraffes.

Smooth skinned snakes to rough hided rhinoceros.

Feathered hummingbirds to furry giant cows.

Kittens with quiet meows to dogs with barks as large as a lion’s roar.

Pocket sized desert mice to dump truck size elephants.

I could go on and on about the many types of animals we see in our world and the list would be extensive.  The variety of animals greatly outnumbers the variety of homo-sapiens on this planet.  We are a small variety, yet vast in number, populating this planet.

Earlier this week, Facebook popped up the photo below.  It’s from ten years ago.  When I tried to convince my giant friend Tater, he too, could be a lap dog. Now the first time I ever met Tater, he came bounding out of an office running to meet me like I was a long lost friend that he couldn’t wait to see.  We had never met before but for whatever reason….he couldn’t wait to see me once he heard my voice.  It was like that ever since our first meeting.  I always called him my boyfriend.

tater on couch

Tater, passed away recently.  When I sent this photo out to a couple of people, including his mom, she wrote back:

Aw!  He loved you so much.

And I loved Tater.

Think about it.

If you have a pet.

How much do you love and care for your pet?

I would bet some days you love your pet more than people.  I would even say you carry on conversations with your pet.  You may even take better care of your pet than yourself.

Our animal loves do not utter one word to us.  They do not carry on intelligent conversations with us, not where we’re able to say, “Oh my cat Monkey’s head hurts today…she told me.”  Nor are we able to say, “Lenny, our puppy, said he doesn’t like the liver treats, but he prefers the chicken ones.”

Yet somehow we communicate with them on another plane entirely.

Yes.  I love you too.

Yes, let’s get dinners.

Let’s go outside.

Do you want to snuggle?

You are such a good girl/boy.

How was your day?

And we talk with them.  Ask them how their day went, what they did and we tell them how our day went.

Animals are truly people in fur, feather, scaley coats.

They give us unconditional love.

Fill us with happiness.

Bring us great joy.

Our days are brighter and provided with purpose.  They’re our companions and confidents.  Even if they can’t utter one logical sentence, we tell them our darkest secrets and biggest fears.  We share with them our most hopeful dreams, filled with unicorn sparkles and make wishes with them as we blow out birthday candles.  When we’ve had crappy days they’re the ones we share our sadness with and pull the sheets up over our heads with while hitting the snooze button.  On weekends if we want to be lazy and eat chips while watching a binge on Netflix, they’re happy to snuggle with us.  We celebrate holidays and muddle through tragedies together.

On Saturdays, I volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary, Unity Farm Sanctuary.  I work with   everyone from miniature horses to alpacas to chickens to cows and goats.  Everyone and I do mean everyone, has their own individual personalities.

Take for example, Audrey and Elliot, the two cows I visit with every week.  Audrey is a brown Jersey and Elliot is a black Holstein mix.  They are both about 800 pounds (still growing) worth of love and they enjoy helping with chores.  They’re really good supervisors.

Elliott and Audrey Helping

These two are like giant puppies.  In fact,  people often call cows….grass puppies.  When I come through the gate, they can’t wait to say hello and get their pats.  Without saying a word, I know these two are happy I’m here.

They follow me around the paddock as I clean up. Getting chin scratches and head pats between scoops of poop removal.

Finally….they say….

I break out the brush and take turns brushing my bovine friends.  Elliot is notorious for grooming me while I brush him.  He loves to lick any part of my body he can reach while I brush.  My back, leg, foot, head….

I brush.  Elliot grooms.

And yes, his breath smells like hay.

Thank you Elliot.

Audrey, is just content to be brushed and enjoy the conversation.

However, if I stop brushing her and go back to brushing Elliot….without fail, she’ll come up and either bop me in the butt with her head, as if to say, “hey lady, you aren’t done with me yet!” or muscle in between Elliot and I to get more brushing.

Audrey is also one to play with the ball….roll it across the paddock and she’ll chase after it.  Do it again, she says.  Looking at you.  Daring you to come and get it just like a big puppy.

Audrey and ball

 

Our animal loves are our everythings.

All without saying a word.

We connect to one another through our hearts.

All without saying a word.

We understand one another.

All without saying a word.

We support one another.

All without saying a word.

We take care of each other.

All without saying a word.

Isn’t it amazing?  Different species.  Caring for each other.

Without saying a word.

Then you look at the homo-sapiens. Who according to the Oxford English Dictionary, currently have over 171K words available to use by today’s guidelines.  These are only the words in active circulation.  Yet, we can’t get along to save ourselves.  We’re too busy finger pointing, arguing, backstabbing, having malicious contempt for each other and one-upping through social media.  It’s ridiculous.

We have the ability to communicate which could lead to many great outcomes, yet we can’t figure out how to do it effectively enough to solve problems, end suffering or love one another.  Why is that?

Perhaps if we follow the lead of our animal friends and learn to acknowledge one another on a different level, we might be able to go past the anger and self-righteous in our world and fill it with understanding and compassion instead.

Elliott Kisses

 

 

“Hey! Are You Sleeping?” Said The Mother.

I have two business trips coming up, the first of which takes me to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Conviently, my Mother’s house is somewhat along the way. She lives in the hell fire deserts of Palm Desert, California.

See, it’s along the way, so I make a pit stop.

Fear not, trust me, there is a blog coming about my flights from Boston to the blazing hot, scorching deserts of California.  This however, is a quicker story for my internal body temperature will not allow much more than 5,000 words….as the external temperature of the sands rise, so does the temperature on my scalp.

In fact, as I write this, it is reaching 105 degrees today in Palm Desert.  That is hotter than two mice having sex in a wool sock, next to a wood stove, in January hot.  Just saying.

The day of my flight, I got up at 4:00AM.

Arrived to the airport at 7:30 AM.

Went through TSA Pre-check screening, had my shoulder bag x-rayed twice and then searched by 8:25 AM.

Took off on my first flight by 9:45 AM.

Took off on my second flight by 1:30 PM.

Arrived to the desert at 2:30 PM.

Mind you being on the west coast, makes my life three hours behind my regular program.  Everything is confusing to me.  I convince myself to stay awake until 8:00 PM.  Then I can go and take  shower and get ready for bed.  It will be 8:30 by the time my head hits the pillow and by God, that’s close enough.

Eureka!  8:00 arrives and I couldn’t be happier.  I am off and running.  Good night Mother.  Good night two chihuahua dogs..Buddy and Tina.  See you in the morning.

By 8:35 I am in bed, lights out.

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

Next thing I know, for some reason I am being woken up.  Don’t know by what.  Don’t know by whom.

I hear someone calling my name.  What the hell?  What?

I turn over and see my Mother standing by my bed.

??? Ok this is odd.

??? Why is my Mother standing next to my bed?

??? What???

??? Why is her head glowing?

??? Where the hell am I?

??? What the hell is she saying?

??? Who is dead?

??? What???

??? What the hell is she talking about?

??? Whose dead?

??? Where the hell am I and how did my Mother get here?

??? Who the hell is Tina?

??? What the hell?

At this point I figure, well if my Mother is here, I might as well follow her to see what the hell is going on.  All I can think is….who the hell is Tina?

I follow her out to the living room and my sleepy fog starts to lift…….

Ooooooohhhhh, I am at my Morher’s house.  Ok.

She’s upset. Ok.

She thinks the dog is dead.  TINA.

Ooooooooooohhhhh.

My Mother goes over to Tina’s bed and says, “TINA!  Come on! Time to get up!” And she claps her hands.

I am like, well…..the dog is deaf…..no wonder she isn’t responding….she can’t hear you.

Then my Mother grabs Tina’s head and it flops back on to the bed.

Lifeless.  No response.

Well. Shit.

Maybe, the dog is dead……not like I am an expert at these things.  So then I think, well now what?  We have a 12 pound porky Chihuahua dead in a bed.  Now what?  I ask the obvious….

“Do you have an emergency vet?”

As we stand there looking at the dog.

The Mother yells, “Wait!  Did she just breathe?”

I’m like…..lady, I barely know what state I’m in at the moment.  Could be Massachusetts or it could be California….

Mother yells, “No!  She definitely moved!  Look!”  And sure enough….Tina, the death defying, coma inducing, deep sleeping dog came rousing back to life.

With this, I bent over, put my forearms on my thighs and took some deep breaths.

SWEET JESUS!  I am going back to bed.

The Mother came and tucked me back into bed with a kiss on the forehead.  I took a look at my cell phone before going back to sleep…..it was a whopping 9:35PM.

Exhausted, I laughed….”who the hell is Tina?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving…There’s Not Enough Vodka for This. Vol. 1

It all started with what I thought was a dog’s bellowing.
You know that sound.
Something between a howl and a growl.
Or it was a terrible bagpipe performance….performed by a ostrich.

In reality, it was our cat….. Monkey.
In her carrier.
Being taken out to the car.

By the time we got everyone into the backseat, the cats were carrying on a conversation that clearly they thought life, as they knew it was over. Well, buy those felines a king size bag of nip….they were correct!

We were on the way to get kitty health certificates because in two short days….they were  flying with Momma from Miami to Boston!  Are we excited? Oh yeah.

They were about as excited as cats going to the vet’s office, in cat carriers, in the back seat of the car….screaming the whole way.  We’re going to need some drugs.  Either the cats are going to need drugs for the flight or I’m going to need drugs for the flight.

Someone WILL be medicated.

Fast forward and let the chaos unfold.

Day of the flight…I am packed and ready to go.  The house is fairly boxed up and sorted out.

Eric will be driving up in the Honda, so I have a pile of “must go in the car” and a pile of “would be nice to go in the car” and a “can wait for the movers” pile.  Knowing how the day is going to progress, I begin the day with a hearty breakfast – a Whipped Cream Vodka shot.  Perfect.

I download a movie.  Get dressed.  Throw things in my two giant suitcases,  one under the seat suitcase, which will be checked as luggage and one carry on.

One cat, will be a carry on.  Two cats will be checked as luggage.

There is a word for this traveling style:  Circus.

The only saving grace for today is it’s a non-stop flight.

Time to get dressed.  Boston.  It’s freezing, literally.

Attire: jeans, long sleeve shirt, jacket, Xtra Tuff boots.

UGH.  Time for another shot….Rootbeer Vodka Shot.

Alright, we are close to leaving, time to pack up the small pets.  I calmly say to Eric.  I’m getting a cat.  I pick up Taku, the youngest and stuff her into a pink, hard sided carrier.

He grabs Liggy, the eldest at 15 years, and we back her into her soft sided case.  She is the one traveling under the seat.

Next up is Monkey.

It becomes a three ring circus.  Monkey is under the couch, over the chair, up the stairs.  Her tail is as fat as my arm.  She is NOT happy.  She is hissing.  Growling.  Under the couch.  Over the chair.  Under the couch.  Through the kitchen.  Behind the boxes.

We are now 10 minutes into trying to catch Monkey.

What.

Is.

That.

Stench?

Great.  She has released her anal glands.  Think musky, dirty, poopy, dank, odor from the swampy depths of cat butt.  Awesome.

Scratches on Eric’s legs as we try and grab her as she dashes past on her way round boxes, under the couch, under the coffee table, over the chair….knocking over trash cans, empty suitcases and other roadblocks.

Finally, we catch her and she is literally sweating.  Her fur is wet.

The Monkey.  Is.  Pissed.

A blood curling yowl escapes from her little furry black body.

Into the pink carrier she goes.

I need another shot…..

Now, we’re late, of course.  Damn it Monkey!  We get into the car and the felines are silent.  I think someone said two words and that was about the end of it.  They knew.

We race up to Ft. Lauderdale airport and decide to drop me, the luggage and the circus at the sidewalk.  There are hundreds of people in line for curbside check in.  You have got to be kidding me.  We don’t have time for this.  I can’t lug three suitcases and three cats by myself while Eric parks the car.  So I decide to crouch next to the felines and talk calmly to them.  There isn’t a porter in sight.

I’m sweating through my Xtra Tuffs and jeans.

Is that a whiff of Monkey ass?

Christ, please.  I don’t want to smell like cat butt.

Next thing I know I hear this man say, “Mommy, you need help?”

I look up and low and behold….A PORTER!  A PORTER ALL FOR ME!  Yes, I will be anyone’s mommy if you can help me!

Yes, yes, yes! I need help!  Checking in…with three cats!  Please!  (Get me into the air conditioning before my crotch soaks through these jeans in this heat…that would be a fantastic feat!)

Within minutes, he had me in the line and we were zipping to the check in counter.

Next thing I know we get to the counter.  My little agent guy has a helper.  The helper lady seems to be doing a lot of the work.  Uh-oh.  My little agent guy….is new.  Buddy, I don’t have time for new.  Not today.

Look, you fill out the form, you slap it on the kennel. It already has a Live Animals sticker on there.  You put the label with the arrow going UP.  You want the kennel to stay in the UPRIGHT position.  Are you kidding me?

I don’t want to tell you how to do you job – but damn – I don’t have time for this.

Then they tell me we have to take the two kennels going under the plane over to TSA and they need to inspect the kennels and we have to take the cats out.  I look at Eric.  One word comes to mind.

M O N K E Y

We tell the TSA guy, “well, let’s do the easy one first.”  Taku, who never says a word, comes out…blinks at us while I hold her…. and goes back in.  Time for the stinky, pain in the ass, but really she’s just scared to death,  one.  I open the door, reach in and grab her by the neck ruff.

WE will not be playing any games in this airport missy.  You may think you’re all that and a bag of cat nip…but I AM the momma cat and YOU WILL not be fucking around.

Fine, back in she goes.

Next, time for me to go through the security gate and I look at Eric.   What time is it? Plane boards in 10 minutes.  GREAT.  I have to give Liggy her medicine 30 – 60 minutes before the flight.

Wait!  Where is my iPad?  Momentarily I panic.  It’s in the car.  I debate, leave it or should Eric go and get it?  I downloaded a movie to watch just for this flight!  I have my book, but I really wanted to watch the movie.  He runs and gets the iPad….in the meanwhile….

I throw everything on the floor.  I grab the pill and try to shove it down Liggy’s throat while she is sitting in her little bag.

Once, twice, three times.  Not happening.

I open the bag.  Jerk her out and hold her in my lap.

You.  Will. Eat.  This.  Pill.

Liggy, however, has other ideas.

Such as…..there will be no pill going down her throat today.

EAT THE PILL!

By this time, sweat, is pouring down my face.  I am literally, a hot mess.

Eric is back and he’s telling me, “you have to go.”

Okay, well.  Here’s hoping she ate the pill.

Pack up the 15 pound cat, roller suitcase and my handbag.  Off we go through security.

I get to the X-ray machine and tell them I have a cat.  “Please take her out of the bag.”  Okay.  Liggy and I then stand there for 5 minutes while they discuss with the persons in front of me which machine they should use.  The walk through X-ray or the stand there with your hands above your head machine.

Okay, I’m standing here with a 15 pound feline, who isn’t really happy with her situation.  Could we move this along?  Is she doesn’t start hissing, I might.  We both might.

We get through the machine and don’t you know her carrier bag get stopped on the conveyor belt…..just short of arm’s reach.  There’s that sign that says, “don’t reach in to grab your bag.”  Come on.

COME ON!!!!

I get all the stuff…cat in the bag.  Luckily, for once, I was the FIRST GATE!  Eureka.  They were already boarding First Class when I arrived, so I dashed to the restroom.  Why?

Well, yes, to use the restroom, but also, because unlike most people.  My quart size bag….is filled with airplane bottles of…vodka.  Yep.  So I had a shot of chocolate vodka before jumping on my flight.

(No.  Contrary to popular belief, the only thing TSA has ever said to me was, “Finally someone actually gets the idea of what they should be using the quart size bags for on these flights!”  I can get about 8 little bottles in there.)

Liggy and I get to the gate and I hop in line.  I look around and smile.

Finally.

This is the first time in two years.

I have found my people.

Carhartts.

Flannel.

Boots.

North Face.

Fleece.

English is the first language.

It’s good.

As I get on the plane I advise the crew I had two other felines joining me below, they were like, “YOU’RE the CAT LADY!!!!”  Yes.  Yes.  I am.  They were delighted.  They had the slips showing Taku and Monkey were already boarded.

Liggy and I get on board and the middle seat remains empty.  I’m thrilled.  I’m thinking, this is great!  I will enjoy my movie “Chef” and order a seltzer water for my Vodka….after the last four hours, I need another Vodka.  Liggy, I’m pretty sure, hasn’t taken her pill as she keeps changing positions and mewing.

Then it happens.

I get a middle seat person.

Which under normal circumstances, would be fine.  But this, of course, isn’t normal circumstances.

Guess who sits next to me?

Nope.  A pilot.  Of course!  There goes my Vodka.  (Plan B:  have to use the restroom and take my purse, which had my quart size bag anyway after security.)

So, definitely, Liggy had not taken her pill.  Luckily the noise of the aircraft mostly drowned out her meows but she definitely could not sit still.  Well sister we have three hours to go, suck it up.

We finally land Boston and we hop off the plane.  Liggy and I meet our pick up party in baggage claim.  All the luggage arrives and we wait patiently for the two pink cat carriers to come through “special baggage”.  Apparently, animals are last off the plane.

As soon as I saw those two carriers I said, “There’s my little girls.”

Then SHE LET ME HAVE IT.

It was one big yyyyyeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwlllllll….followed by…..

A where in the hell are we?

And a who the hell do you think you are?

And a what the hell was that?

And never again!

And a fuck you lady and the horse you flew in on!

Monkey.  Was.  Pissed.

By the time we got out to the car, she was exhausted and had no further words.

Now, if we could just get her to come out from under the bed….we’d be doing good!  She does laps, to make sure we’re still here.  Then back she goes.

 

OMG! There Is Something IN THE BED!

Scene: 1:30AM. The AC has just kicked on and everyone is sleeping peacefully in the house.

The gentle, tick, tick, tick of the ceiling fan going round and round eases through the hazy night like the register of a musician’s time keeper.

One small feline, known as Taku, is curled up in the middle of the king size bed, next to her momma’s hip. Snuggled in for the night as usual.

Without warning, it strikes.

Here….we go…..the story begins:

Taku erupts like she was spring loaded from a Jack in the Box.

In one swift move, Taku ejects herself from the middle of the king size bed, to the bottom of the bed, to the floor. Something had her and she was terrified. What was worse, it woke me up and I was gobsmacked as to WTF was going on at 1:30 in the morning.

One moment the homo-sapien feline momma was peacefully dreaming of roller-saking at Radnor Rolls and the next minute I’m shock-forced awakened to trauma kitty freaking out about the monster in the bed.

WTF is going on? Who is President? Who won best actor in the Golden Globes? Who married George Clooney? How many days till summer? What day is it? Can I wear pink striped pants and yellow shoes? I’m so confused? I love kitty cats.

What? Where am I?

Taku comes back up into the bed. And decides to…..STALK my better half’s side of the bed.

Taku, is only 9 months old and is generally full of piss and vinegar. For her to be afraid of something, is unusual. This is out of the ordinary. Not to mention…in the middle of the night.

She returns to our bed, and when she does, she is scared and decides to stalk “the prey” by crawling along side my legs as I lay on my back in bed. Belly crawling would be the name of the game at this point.

WTF?

The entire time, she is focused on something on the side of the bed my other half is sleeping on.

Well, thank goodness it’s not my half of the bed.

WHAT IS WRONG? TAKU? TAKU? WHAT IS IT?

Nothing. She is serious about whatever she is hunting.

She is shaking.

She is VERY intent on her kill target.

Shit, was she hoping for a part in Kill Bill?

Then she stops and the posturing beings.

Butt up.

Front leg out.

Whapp. Whapp.

WTF?

She is smacking things in the bed covers.

WTF! WTF!

WHAT THE HELL!

I sit up, look at her, look at what she’s smacking and advise her, like the good homo-sapien mother, “there is nothing here.”

She turns around and hurls herself off the bed.

I start to settle into a doze of a sleep and she is back again. Stalking her prey.

On.
The.
Other.
Side.
Of.
The.
Bed.

I look at her and tell her…..
Taku, there is nothing there.

She ignores me. And then proceeds to belly crawl up the bed towards my hip. Every third step she stops and looks.

Her neck extends like E.T.

I swear, her neck must go another 5 inches in length….ridiculous for such a small cat.

Next thing…..wack, wack, wack…..with her long front legs…..kill that bed cover.

Then she runs off the bed.

Again she comes back up to the bed….and here we go again….crawling along my legs.

Her neck is extending.

She is now got an eye on a new target.

Her head is swaying back and forth on the target……

Her right paw comes up….ready to deliver a grand swat in the dark.

I stop her just as she is about to strike an erie….green.….glow in the dark… a watch face.

For PETE’S SAKE!

This is the last thing I need…Taku Kitty smacking…. the Better Half in the middle of the night…..over a mysterious glowing green watch face! Are you f-ing kidding me? Oh for crying out loud! This is not a monster!

She leaps off the bed, literally throws up on the floor ….because she’s so frightened by what she’s seen. Mind you, by this point, I’ve been whispering to her and trying to calm her down.

All she knows is something nearly had her. All she can see is some ridiculously glowing green thing…..a watch face. Which of course, must die, at 1:45AM.

I’m thinking. Is there something more?
AWESOME.

After throwing up her entire dinner, she gets back up on the bed and proceeds to hunt the attacker.

This has to stop. I have to show her. There’s nothing there. It’s like reasoning with a child.

Right?

I debate. Do I turn on the bedside light or the cell phone light? You know they put those handy little lights in the cell phones now. How nice! The better half says he can sleep through anything. We’ve been together for ever – so I decide….if there truly is something “IN THE BED” then I want to see it clearly, so I’m turning on the bedside light. I put my glasses on and prepare myself.

I flip on the light.

The Mister wakes up immediately….of course and looks at me.

It’s not like I could say, “Our youngest was having a nightmare and thought there was something attacking her….which was YOUR WATCH!”

So I just blink twice at him and calmly say, “Sorry. I thought there was something in the bed. Sorry.” All the while, quickly shuffling the blankets around to ensure I didn’t see anything scurrying around underneath.

Then here comes the ALPHA kitty – Liggy comes up on the bed. She, is of course, foliowed by Taku.

Liggy is the Queen of All Things Cat. And I swear, although Liggy likes to snuggle, I think Taku was so scared, she went and told Liggy…….I can so see this happening and this is how it happened:

“There’s something green and glowing in there and it scared me…you go in there and look.”

So Liggy climbs up on the bed….gets a drink of water out of my water glass and then curls up by my pillow…no big deal. Done. She has done this for years. Get over it small fry…is what Liggy is thinking.

There could have been a Palmeto Bug (aka flying coach roach). There could have been a lizard. There could have been a roach. There could have been a who knows whatever. Liggy doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Liggy is 14 or 15 years old. Whatever. I’m here. Move over. Feed me. Love me. Snuggle me. Get over it, or eat it. Or leave the room. Meh. I’m too old for this shit.

Everyone calmed down or left the room until morning.

I woke up at 6:30, at which point…..we progressed to Chapter 6 of the story:

Taku was still terrified of the bed. She was still very busy hunting that half of the bed. I had to pull all the covers off the bed to show her, “THERE IS NOTHING THERE….STOP BEING SO JUMPY. STOP ATTACKING THE BLANKETS.”

She has since investigated the room numerous times on her own and has come to the conclusion, it was a bad dream that was transferred the the glow in the dark watch face.

I have ensured The Mister has removed the watch and placed it face down on the side table….so as to not cause a pandaemonium overnight. OMG and heaven help all of us if it truly was a Palmetto Bug, or anything else, in the bed….because then truly, you will have to pry me off the ceiling along with the Taku.