Tag Archives: cats

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.

Birthdays Aren’t for Whimps

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes birthdays. Seriously. You’re either dreading the birthday calls, hoping you don’t have to be the center of attention at the monthly birthday gathering at the office or crossing your fingers you don’t have to pretend to LOVE what your mate gives you. Wow, thanks. I’ve always wanted a Big Foot Chia-pet.

Truly, the only one who enjoys a birthday with authorized reckless abandon is a 1-year old. Cake in the hair. No problem. Take their clothes off. No problem. Scream and yell. No problem. Throw the gifts on the floor. No problem. If I did that on my birthday at the kitchen table, I’m pretty sure they’d consider it a break down. “Well you know, she’s not a spring chick anymore.”

I believe I missed the governmental memo on extended birthdays. When did it become the norm to celebrate your birthday for the whole month? I’m going to let you in on a secret, nobody is excited to celebrate your birthday for longer than a day. And that’s pushing it. It’s exhausting. Hip, hip, hooray…let’s do another toast to the birthday person who is turning 22, 34 or 42 and break out the next wave of mandatory gifts and festive attire. This stuff wears down one’s soul faster than an eraser on the SATs.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like birthdays when I was a little kid. Deciding who to invite, dressing up in my fancy dress, having cake and of course, the presents! But at some point, I realized I was just glad to make it through another year. Oh look, where did that body creak, age spot, facial hair come from? It’s par for the course as I successfully roll the stone one revolution up the hill each year.

Speaking of bodily changes, exactly at what age do your toenails start to resemble cat claws? My toenails are two things…thick and sharp. It’s gotten to the point where I’m considering using a Dremel for maintenance. If I’m not careful, I’m going to be like the cats and start snagging the carpet if I go too long between trimmings. A few weeks ago I changed the sheets on our bed and to my surprise there was a tear towards the bottom of the flat sheet.

On my side.

Well, how did that get there I wondered? Maybe the cats were burrowing. Did it happen last time in the wash and I didn’t notice? How old are these sheets? Then it dawned on me. My toe nails.

What is truly horrifying about birthdays are the restaurant celebrations. We have all been witness or unwilling victim to the restaurant fiasco. One of two things happens:

  • A troupe of overly enthusiastic singers arrive with your dessert. It’s obvious they love celebrating birthdays, evidenced by their harmony singing, wide smiles and wild clapping. If you’re lucky, the performance comes complete with confetti and colored lights at your table. It’s such an outstanding performance, you’re left wondering if you should tip them.
  • The other option is where the fearless leader, who has the undignified task of celebrating a birthday in their section, grabs unobservant servers as they cross the room with your cake. Heaven willing, they will NOT be the solo birthday singer today. (Servers who have an eye for avoiding awkward situations have already high-tailed it to the walk-in freezer.) By the time they reach your table, the group looks like they’ve been told to lick the underside of the dining table. Down comes your cake and a hurried “Happy Birthday” is shouted before they retreat.

My husband is not fazed by anything. I could walk in with a face tattoo and he’d simply say, “if that’s what you want.” I could tell a cashier that I would like my groceries wrapped individually in plastic bags so my cats can’t see what I bought….and he would add on to the storyline. “It’s only because we taught them to read and they’re currently the number one You Tube video”, would be one of his potentially added lines.

Awhile back for his birthday, my mother thought she’d get one over on him. We all went to a nice restaurant for dinner. (The kind with table linens.) Somewhere after salad but before entrees, a lady came in with a radio and made a bee-line for our table. I didn’t know what was coming and braced for impact.

A belly dancer.

Hired to dance for my husband.

At our table.

Ching -ching! Ching-ching!

Hip wiggle. Hip wiggle.

My husband didn’t blink. Instead, he moved his chair out so he could participate in the hand gestures. Ching-ching. Ching-ching.

I, on the other hand, didn’t know which way to look. I hate birthdays.

I always feel bad when someone knows it my birthday and asks what the plans are for the big day. It’s such a let down for them. Who knew people lived vicariously through other’s birthdays? My big plan is to go scoop poop at the farm sanctuary I volunteer at, make pesto for dinner and read my murder mystery novel before bed. Although this year I did splurge and picked up a tiramisu for dessert. When you tell someone that, you loose them the moment you say, “poop.” Meh, whatever, it makes me happy.

That’s what it’s all about. Be yourself and be happy. You don’t need the extravagant celebrations to appreciate and acknowledge your accomplishments or who you are as a person. Love yourself every day, not just on your birthday. Be proud of all your creaks, hair in unusual places, gray highlights (Now people pay money for gray hair!), stress lines and laugh lines. It means you’re a survivor and you’ve got this.

Oh yeah, after the belly dancer episode, The Mother and I signed up for belly dancing classes. We lasted 3 classes. Honestly, I only went so I could get a pair of the ching-chings.

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?

Would You Rather….Nope.

Everyone.  And I do mean everyone, has something that makes their stomach roll.

Something that really gets your goose.

Makes your stomach lurch.

Lord have mercy, I’ll do anything but that….

It’s your, “Would you rather….” kind of moment.

When people have this discussion, the talk can turn into the ridiculous and gross.  You know what I am talking about, we’ve all been in those drunken bar talks….”Would you rather eat shit or drink piss?”  or the typical “Would you rather bungee jump or play chicken with a train?”  or the oh so dull, “Would you rather eat a cricket or a roach?”

What I’m referring to are the oddities in our lives, that to others are absolutely normal.

Example number 1: Down the street from our house are two large Asian grocery stores.  We ventured through the first one and after wandering up and down the aisles purchased a large amount of fruits and veggies.  Next we went across the street to the competition, to check out their set up and see if they had anything different.

While we checked out the produce section, my better half motions for me to come over to the fresh fish counter to see something.  I head his direction and he points to something in a large basket.  I look down and there are about 7 enormous bull frogs sitting there looking up at me.

I don’t know.  There could have been 4 frogs.  There could have been 12 frogs.  There could have been one frog.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m terrified of frogs. All I know is they were huge, like the size of basketballs.  They were dark green.  And they were ready to jump.  Of course, I would too, if I was in a basket for sale in a market…

I ran away so fast, my feet didn’t touch the ground.   I ran straight across the produce department.  Down past the paper products.  Down past the noodles.  Stopping in hot sauce.

Frogs scare me.  Big frogs.  Little frogs.  Green frogs.  Yellow frogs.  All frogs.

I haven’t been back to the store since.

Example number 2:  Every day walking into the office I pull open the front door to the building and the handle is sticky.  Why?  I’m going to come down there with my Clorox wipe and clean off the handle, but in the meantime….how did the handle get sticky exactly?

And when did it become a public disgust to touch the public bathroom door handle to exit?  Did Ralph Nadar do a report on handle germs?  Now there’s usually a trash can immediately next to the bathroom door to capture the paper towels that may or may not make it to the can upon doing their final duty of being a door grip.

And if there isn’t a trash can, people just throw the towel on the floor anyway.

Here’s the thing though…how many people are using toilet paper to actually OPEN THE STALL DOOR?  You want to talk dirty handle?  There’s the dirty handle, people!

SIDE NOTE:  If you didn’t know already, women’s restrooms are disgusting. Filthy.  I’m not kidding.  Don’t let women fool you.

Example number 3:  Traveling or hanging around in packs of people leads to one thing.  Sharing things.  I’m not good with sharing things.  There’s a reason I opted to come into this world as an Only Child.  I don’t play well with others.  Unfortunately, sometimes things get shared whether you want to or not.  It starts at a young age and continues through life.

Two words.

Lice.

Scabies.

Count my lucky stars I’ve had neither.

Although, I am pretty certain if I had either, I’d be trying to figure out how to apply said banishing cream with wood spoons while administering vast amounts of Vodka.

When you’re a kid and someone gets lice, everyone puts their coats and book bags in trash bags at school before putting them into the coat closet.  Not sure if that how it works today.  But in the “olden” days that’s what we did.  Then you go home and have your parents check your head for the lice and pray to the heavens you don’t have any.

When you get older, you can get scabies.  So here’s the thing.  You can’t put your coat in a trash bag in the coat closet, cause you own the coat closet.  And the living room.  And the bedroom.  And the kitchen.  And the bathroom.  What the hell?  The only thing I can think is one of two things.

  1. Torch the place and start over.
  2. Seal it up and bomb it with a scabby bomb.

I mean really, what are your options?  I don’t know where you get scabies.  I don’t want to know but it sounds like an version of Aliens and well, that movie scared me.  When we went to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, that was the one haunted house that scared the hell out of me.  Damn aliens.

Another group shareable….pink eye.  I have had Pink Eye, in both eyes at the same time, and that was about one of the most disgusting things ever.  Crusty, slimy, yellow, oozing, sticky and blurry experiences ever.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Sick.  Not to mention, it was one of my “more un-cute” weeks at work.

I don’t like sharing.

Example number 4:  Moving ahead, there are definite things where it may not turn your stomach, but it does for others.  Like Mothers can wipe their baby’s butt no problem.

I have a 20 pound fat cat, who sometimes has fat flaps on her ass, if we don’t monitor her diet.  Yes.  She has these little peanut sized fat flaps on her ass, where shit accumulates.  Her ass needs to be cleaned.  I can clean her ass.  If I don’t, she gets cat diaper rash.  Some folks may have an issue with that.  Not me.  Time to wipe your butt, Wiggly.

Mucking out farm animal barn stalls….I got that.  Cow, pig, goat, sheep, chicken, turkey manure….check…got that covered.  No problem.  There are days when there is nothing I’d rather do more than shovel poop.

Bodily fluids aren’t fun. Even your own.  If you have ever had the Norwalk virus, AKA Norovirus you know what I mean.  Tends to hit large packs of people.  Schools get it, the traveling public get it.  I got it.  The problem with it is you can’t keep anything down – not a sip of water, for days.  One sip of water and you’re in the bathroom going in circles trying to decide if its coming out your ass or your throat first.  In the end you’re on the toilet holding the trash can on your lap.

Example number 5:  A friend of ours was house sitting, which is very common in Alaska.  The house came with a cat named Simon.  Apparently, while Simon loved his owner, he was not a fan of anyone else.  Simon, from the photos I had seen, was a lovely long haired ginger.  Just lovely except his eyes were glowing, but I chalked that up to the camera and reflection of the flash.

His house sitter thought otherwise as Simon had her cornered on the stairs on day and made her late for work, by several hours if I’m not mistaken.

Long story short….it was known Simon had a few matts of hair that needed to come out.

It was a challenge.  I accepted the challenge.

Enter….the Cat Whisperer.

With brush in hand.  I walked the house looking for Simon.  Everyone was certain I would be wearing an eye patch by the end of the evening, like Captain Sparrow, if not a peg leg to boot.

Upstairs under the bed – no Simon.

Behind the couch – no Simon.

Curtains – no Simon.

Tension, filled the house as you could hear him growling from his mysterious hiding location.

I sat on the floor in the living room and ever so slowly….here came Simon from across the room.  Lured by the international cat sign for “come here kitty.”  He climbed into my lap and after a few moments, I brought out the brush.  Shocking to everyone, brushed out the two large mats around his neck and happily Simon continued on his way.

Same with our wild turkeys.  Many say, “they’ll kill you!”  And I simply say, “It’s all in how you present yourself.”  If you put out you’re terrified, they know.  We’ve have a group of 40 wild turkeys surround us and they’ve been nothing but gentle and kind.

However, put me next to a lama and I will go the other way!  Shifty eyes…and they’re taller than me.  Not to mention they seemingly like to follow me.

Example number 6: Thank god for doctors and nurses.  Now there’s a bunch of jobs I couldn’t do.  Maybe it’s because you have to be a touchy person and I’m not touchy.  Maybe it’s because you have to like body parts and well, I don’t need to be about your feet or your ya-ya or bend you into various shapes to fix your spine, or continue to ask if A is clearer or B?  One word – dentist.  Nope.

Being a doctor is a special breed of person.  Patience, lots of patience.  Apparently when I saw the line in heaven for patience, because I have bad eyesight, I thought it said PATENTS and didn’t get in line for any.  Therefore, I have none.  Hence, being a doctor or nurse was not an option for me.  But I’m very thankful for all of those folks who saw the sign and got in line.

So you see, everyone has something they think twice about and would rather not encounter.  Think about all the possibilities.  Here’s just a short list to get you started:

  • eating off of public utensils.
  • trying on bathing suits – really how many others have tried on that same one
  • rotten fruit
  • bird loose in your house
  • limp, lame, sweaty handshakes
  • pop a zit
  • greasy head prints on the subway windows
  • green snot
  • food spitters, and I’m not talking babies
  • hair in your food (pet hair, your hair, stranger hair, any hair)
  • spider on your toilet paper roll – surprise
  • someone sneezes into their hand then extends it for a handshake
  • a dentist with bad breath
  • the constant cougher next to you on the plane
  • when your better half asks, “does this make me look fat?”

Yet there are folks every day that go out and face our fears head on, challenge our stomach rolling, rather not do that moments and attack them with a gleeful smile.  To them, it’s normal.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s life.  Go forward brave souls, we all have our moments.

 

 

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Tweet. Tweet. ….One Two….Got You!

We have three children.

Furry.  Four legged.  (Note: we also have 2 lizards….which makes is five chidren.)

Image 3  Liggy, the eldest at 16 years, could give a rat’s ass about anything but her dinners

Image 6  Monkey, the middle child, quickly approaching 2 years on Halloween, is the typical scaredy cat.

Image 5  Taku, the youngest at 1.5 years old, is the pisser and will kick your ass.

It’s important to note, the only one with a UFC fight name is, “LIGGGGGYYYY the KIBBBLE SNATCHER.”

Seriously.

The other two, haven’t earned their names yet.

Until today.

REWIND:  For some history.

About a month ago, I bought a brick of bird food and put it into a feeder on our third floor balcony.  Occasionally a bird came and snacked.  A little nibble.  After 30 days, 3/4 of this brick is still there.  Obviously, we are not a birding hot spot.

Last week I was looking out at the balcony.  Surveying our domain, what little we have in our rental …. Pondering the world.

WHEN.  A tiny little hummingbird came up and was trying to get sugar water from our sea glass globe lights.

!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know me, I have a history with hummingbirds.  It’s a running awkward moment.  But hysterical for a later date.

Of course, hummingbirds….need to buy a feeder.  Small birds.  Small feeder.

Consider it done.  This weekend, I roll up to my local Lowe’s and buy a hummingbird feeder.

And why not….let’s get one of these huge tube bird feeders with 6 channels on it.

Yep.

Came home, filled them and hung them up on the balcony.

The next day…within 30 minutes of watching the feeders, I had 3 hummingbirds,  4 finches and a woodpecker come to visit the feeding stations.

A

WOODPECKER!

Seriously.

Love my little feeders.

Next morning, I get up.  There are hummingbirds at the feeder.  LOVE.

I go outside and sit in the chair.  The kids (cats) join me.

Liggy, the eldest, as usual, could care less.  Just let me sleep in my box.

Taku, is sitting next to me on the chair and when a bird approaches, she tries to hide behind me.

Seriously, Taku?  You’re the ass kicker in the family.

Monkey, the “Don’t look at me, I’m afraid of EVERYTHING” cat….watches the birds and chatters at them.  And chatters.  Chatters.  And chatters.

She wiggles her butt and thinks about leaping at them, until I give her the TSK TSK comment.  To which she immediately thinks, “Shit.  You are SUCH a party pooper.”

Throughout the morning I watch and our little feeders are turning into the aviary version of a 7-Eleven.  One bird, two bird, one bird, one bird, a fly by, two bird, a fly by, hummingbirds….I am delighted.

———————————-

Monday morning rolls around and the Monkey is anxious, as usual, to go out on the deck.  She has been like this since we rescued her.  She was a beach kitten.  Water is her thing.  Find something she likes?  Here, let me put it in the water bowl.  Paper, rubber bands, twist ties, little jewelry bags, toys, treats…into the water they go.

Monkey and Taku like to go out and sun themselves.  Liggy, only if it’s convenient and her box is set up.

I don’t open the door until I’m out of the shower and running back and forth around the apartment.  At least I can keep a 50% eye on everyone.   Checking in on Monkey’s position, Liggy’s sleeping pattern and Taku’s give a shit attitude.  50% is more than enough.   They are fine.

Until today.   (CUE:  The Jaws theme music. )

Mondays suck by nature.  Nobody wants to go back to work.  You’re dragging your ass trying to get out the door.  Only half the coffee cup has been inhaled.  Your hair isn’t done right.  The outfit you have on…well, meh….at least your shoes will be comfortable.  Seriously, why can’t we do 4 day work weeks?  I’d work 10 hours to get an extra one off.  Seriously.

I get dressed into my work clothes and race across the hallway to go back into the master bath and start my hair.

STOP.

HALT.

SKIDDING SIDEWAYS!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

no.  sorry.  i’m not seeing this.  that’s not what i think.  no. no. no.no.no.nonononononononoNONO

M O N K E Y!

And there sits Monkey (the scaredy cat) in our bedroom….outside the master bathroom.  With a bird at her feet.  I swear it looks like it is 6 inches long….tip to tail.

Little Monkey is so proud of her accomplishment.  LOOK MOMMA!  FOR YOU!  Isn’t is wonderful? It’s soft and warm.  It makes noise and guess what?!  I caught it just for you!

I manage to get my tongue back out of the back of my throat and say::::: “MONKEY!” I’m too stunned to throw either my bathrobe or t-shirt over the stunned bird.  Her response?  

Grab the bird and head under our king size bed.

My response? Turn around.  March calmly out of the bedroom.  Walk into the living room.  Put my head between my knees.

Are you fucking kidding me?

REWIND:   There was a moment.  Briefest moment.  Like what happens right before you slam your fingers in a door.  You know this is going to be a bad move.  Yeah, well…..I thought “I really shouldn’t open the door to the balcony….I won’t be sitting there to watch Monkey….and she might catch a bird.  But you know what?  It’ll be fine.  I mean really, it’s M O N K E Y.  Like she’s going to catch a bird.  She’s afraid of everything!”

Yep.  Truth.

So I stood out in the hallway and pondered what to do next.

All I remembered was being a small child and we had a Robin that got into the house.  The pandemonium I created…..as a small person…..flapping my arms and screaming about the bird being loose in the house….leaping off of furniture.  (I was the one leaping off the furniture.) Terrible.  THIS is what I remembered at 7:50AM….I do not have a good rescue relationship with birds.

At least I didn’t run around in circles this morning.  Although it did cross my mind about 4 times.  Swiftly followed by a thought of, “YOU are the adult here!”  WHEN did I become an adult? Shit.  This is my issue now.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

I go back into the bedroom.  There is a feather on the floor.  I pick it up and put it into the bath trash can.  There’s no sound or movement.  Gulp.

I carefully kneel down on the floor and pick up the bed skirt.  God help me if anything come rushing at me….is what I’m thinking.

There’s Monkey…..her eyes glowing in the dark.  Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

There’s the bird in front of her.  On it’s side.  Obviously, not blinking.

I go back to the living room and grab a Priority Mail box the girls used to sit in.  I put a few paper towels in the bottom.  I will put the bird in this and take it outside.  I grab the broom.

Ok.

Well fuck.  Now what?  It’s a king size bed. I grab the end and P U L L — nothing.  Except there was a pop in my lower back to which I thought, “nice crack!  Who needs a chiropractor when you have birds under your bed!”

I grab the side and P U L L – nothing.

F U C K.

I text a friend, “Monkey caught a bird and is under the bed with it.”  Hey.  At 7:55 in the morning, you need to be in hysterics with someone with a bird under the bed!

In the meanwhile, I text my boss advising I’ll be late, due to cat catching a bird.  Now there is a late excuse if I’ve ever heard one!  He is going to think I’m nuts!  Please, feel free to use it….seriously!

Although for a fleeting moment, I did ponder just leaving and going to work.  Seriously.  Also pondered having to take an injured FINCH to the vet.  So go figure….which extreme do you prefer?

My friend responds back five minutes later, “How did Monkey catch a bird?”

“On the balcony.”  Blink. Blink.

Let’s all take a deep, deep knee bend everyone….cause….here…..we….go!

I go change into crap clothes, as I can see this is going to be a process.  I’m already sweating in the nether regions.   I grab the broom and head back into the bedroom.  All the while, Taku kitty, is following me as my back up.

Thank You, Taku.  The Bad Ass….but with a humane heart apparently.

I shake the broom under the bed.

Nothing.

I ponder getting the vacuum out….scares all the cats.  But then decide to shake the broom from another angle….this isn’t like sucking up yellow jackets or wasps…..which I did this weekend.  I have even sucked up roaches and the dreaded Floridian Palmeto Bug with this vacuum.  I can’t use it on a little bird.

.

.

.

.

Taku then goes under the bed.  OH HELL NO!  We will NOT be having two cats and one bird under the bed!   Not on this episode of, “Who Needs Coffee on Mondays!”  I slam the broom back under the bed and wave it frantically, top to bottom trying to make as much racket as I can.

All the while thinking…. God help me if that bird comes to life and flies out at me…..

Monkey takes off like a shot out the bedroom door.  I chase after her.  All the other rooms were closed off so the only place she had was the living room.

I don’t see her anywhere and so I lay down on the floor.  Sure enough, she’s under the couch.

I move the coffee table.

I move the end table.

I move the couch away from the wall.  She moves with the couch.

Of course, typical Monk.

I move the couch literally into the middle of the room….and the Monkey takes off under the dining room table.  She doesn’t have the bird.

????

I lay down on the floor.  No bird under the couch.

????

I go back into the bedroom and shut the door.

Taku is still hiding between boxes under the bed.  Her eyes are are big as Silver Dollars.  Poor thing.  She’s terrified and doesn’t know what to do.  I start pulling the 4 boxes, which are at the foot of the bed….they’re not very big,  out from under the bed.  Taku remains firmly planted in the middle.

Sigh.

Guess what?  No bird.

Where the hell is the damn bird?

I go out of the bedroom.  Shut the door…..leaving Taku to deal with the bird if it’s in there.  She’s the bad ass cat in this family….step up.  You’ll be fine.

I text my friend, who by this time, we’ve also had a quick conversation about the situation.  I tell her…Monkey is out of the bedroom, I can’t find the bird and Taku is under the bed.

Her response.  “Damn.  Double Damn.  Could the bird be under a blanket and Monkey is saving it for later?”

Seriously.  M O N K E Y!

Taking all 8 pillows off.  One.  At.  A.  Time.

I search the couch.  Heaven help me, I think….as sweat forms on my eyebrows and upper lip.

No bird.

It has to be in the bedroom.  By this time, I’m sweating so much I swear there are marks on my pants and in my pits.  Did I brush my teeth yet?  I feel like I’ve taken a chunk of Sasquatch fur and rubbed it all over my teeth.  Mahwahaherroooarwaaaahh….is how I feel.

What the hell am I going to do?  It’s 8:35AM and I call the complex’s maintenance line.  No answer.

Now, armed with a bath towel….correction….not just any bath towel….this is a Costco bath SHEET…..made for giants.  It’s so enormous, cause I thought I had a Pterodactyl trapped!

….I go back into the bedroom.

Taku has burrowed herself under the covers.  Only done when she is cold in the winter or scared.  I lift up the comforter and she looks at me like I’m an alien.  All the while backing away from me.  I snatch her up by the scruff on her neck and she look slightly relieved.  Out the bedroom door she goes.

I turn to face the room.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, please help me.

Nothing.

????

I little voice then says to me, “look by the night stand.”

Before I even move the table cover, I see something out of the ordinary.   Only like a 1/4 inch out of the ordinary.  I start to lift the cover.  All the while thinking, “so help me, if something flies up at me….I will run away like a screaming 4 year old.”

I pull up all the table cover.

Hold my breath.

Shit.

There’s the little bird.  It looks like it’s right wing is broken….as it tries to take off to the side.  Image 2

Well, how did you get over here?  Did Monkey hide you here?  I put the table cover back down.  Because, honestly, that was enough discovery for the moment.

I went back out of the bedroom.

Closed the door.

Sat down on the stairs.

Ok.  Thank goodness it isn’t a woodpecker.  It’s just a little finch.

The bird was stuck between our king size bed and night table.  Oh wait.  It’s not any kind of night table.  It’s a floor safe.  HA. Ha. ha..– not funny.  There’s a few inches between them, but not enough for the scoop into the box rescue.  I can’t move the bed stand.

I text my friend that I found the bird.  She asked if it was alive, if all the cats are out of the room and the ceiling fan turned off.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

JUST LIKE Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies….there is always Plan B!  I grab a clean dish towel.  Put on a leather driving glove, in case the bird bites me.  ????  The beauty of it was I only could find the right glove so I was having a very Michael Jackson moment at 8:50AM.

“‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to
Strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer
Thriller tonight!”

I summon up my inner St. Francis again and here we go to rescue the bird!

I pull back the table cloth and the little bird is right where I left him.  I lower the dish towel and try to close my hand around him.  He’s so tiny.  I can’t tell if I have him or not.  I am not suited to this type of work.  The little bird is not happy either…. and he starts to chirp and flutter to the sides……

SHIT.

Okay…..I put the table cloth back down.  March out of the room

Houston we need a moment.

At this point in the program, I’m so upset that my bowels are too.  THIS is why we always have two bathrooms.  In case the first one becomes unusable for some reason.

CUE the elevator music….thank you.

——–> 15 minute intermission <————-

Stomach still in an uproar, but we have to solve this problem.

I march out of my apartment, down the hall and look out the driveway to see if I see any maintenance people around.

Nobody except some construction workers doing cabinet work on the first floor —- SHIT.

In my bare feet….I march back up into the apartment.  ( I don’t care if I get foot fungus at this point, thank you…..cause I’m going to have to take a shower after this ordeal anyway!)

Deep breaths.

I summon up my St. Francis…..again…..come on buddy…..need you now!

Put my glove on.  (Because I’m bad…you know it!    Thank you  M.J.)  Image 1

Grab my box and dish towel.

Head back into the bedroom.

Little bird is right where I left him.

I lower the cloth.  He pitches a fit when I try to pick him up.

He scurries to the left and starts coming at me from under the dish towel.  I think, “PERFECT!  Two hand gathering technique!”  He is between the table cloth, box flap and the dish towel is overhead.

FOUL!

Bird.

In.

Flight!

IN FLIGHT!

FLYING!

AROUND THE ROOM!

(note:  at this point I had an out of body experience, where I said, SELF: THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM.)

Yep.  Little finch figured out how to maneuver and get around me.  Fly around the room and head towards the closed door.

He lands, cause he can’t get out.

His little head is tucked in between the baseboard and door frame.

Little bird.  Little bird.  Please.  Let me help you.  I am here to help you.

This is all I can think to say out loud.

I can’t whistle, so this is as good as it gets.  Come on St. Francis, help me out here.

First try.

He digs in further to the corner.  Head burrowed.  So scared.

Buddy, I’m scared too.  It’s going to be okay.  Trust me.  I know I’m an alien, but I’m a good alien.  Not like that damn Monkey alien.

With my leather hand and dish towel, I can hardly feel him.

On my second attempt, I scoop from the bottom.  I think I have something.

SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!    I HAVE THE BIRD!  I HAVE THE BIRD!

I drop the dish towel into the box, fold the flaps down and I’m running to the front door of the apartment.

He was so small.  So light.  Of course, I didn’t expect him to weigh in like a remote control but still….so nothing!  I only knew I had him cause I could feel his little feet.

I race down three flights of stairs and towards the woods.

I put the box down and lift the flaps.  Little bird, was stunned again for the second time in less than 90 minutes…poor thing.   I drop some bird food into the grass around him.  Open the dish towel and wait.  He opens his eyes and POOF…..one, two, three……I’m outta here!

Little bird flies away into the woods.

Thank.  You. Sweet. Jesus.

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and realize.  I’m shaking.

The adrenaline of rescuing a wild animal, scary.

The worry of a maimed or injured animal, scary.

The disbelief of the Monkey catching an animal, stunning.

The fret of catching a scared animal, stunning.

The realization, I did it, by myself, without any harm —————————  shocking.

It was a tiny bird.  Who thought it was dead by a predator, to be scared into corners by scared human, to be rescued by scared human…..aka……an alien…….to awaken in the woods……and fly away……priceless.

Yeah tiny bird!

And I stood in the dining room and looked at my shelf with the ceramic finch with a blue berry in it’s beak. I thought, little bird……I was able to save you today.  Bless.  I hope you have a happy life.   I’m sorry, I didn’t watch the Monkey closer.   We all learned a lot today.  And I saved a little bird.

Although, it nearly made me poop my pants and I had to take another shower…….. I saved a little bird.

Little bird and I both had a tough morning.  I thought a lot about that little bird.  I was the big scary alien trying to help, why was I scared of a little tiny bird?  It was the unexpected reaction.  Who knows what will happen…..even if one is trying to help.

St. Francis, thank you and bless that little creature.

Heaven help me when I run into something bigger than that needs saving from MONKEY, the BIRD SNATCHER!
Of course, when I came home this evening.  Monkey was ready to go back outside.  Sorry Monk. I have your number…..that’s not happening without my supervision. Nice try though….so practice your patience my little feline!

Then I saw the grey shape on the rug, which stopped my heart.

It was a stuffed mouse toy.

Damn cat toys.

Image

I need a drink.

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.

 

Pork Me ….. I’m Gonna Vomit

It seemed like a great idea.
They were on the Nation’s BEST OF list.
So what does that mean?
We have to go try them.

After cheeeezzzzeburgers, a good chicken wing is my next favorite thing.
Although recently, I’m loosing my love for the wing.
I’ve pretty much lost all love for the bird itself.

Why?
It tastes dirty.

The bird tastes dirty.
Not just the dark meat.
All of it.
Blah.

Well tonight, the remaining love of wings, may have left what tiny bit of love remained…..on the windshield of my beloved Norman.

Blah.

So this local place – was one of the top 50 places in AMERICA to eat wings.
HERE.
IN.
MIAMI.

So we went.
I made reservations.

Yes, one of THOSE places.

NOTE: every where in Miami is one of THOSE places – even Taco Bell. You get over it.

But you know, with Open Table, you get points of reservations. You go anywhere that may take reservations, you make one on Open Table so you get a coupon eventually towards a free meal. It’s worth it.

The Mister drops me off, I go in to secure our precious reservation while he parks the car. Of course, parking the car in this area is a small two day mission. I order a glass of wine, review my Facebook, check us in, read my emails, decide what I’m having for dinner, take some snaps of the restaurant, chat with the waiter, read my work emails, search the internet about a storm hitting Alaska, comment on friends’ Facebook posting, text the Mister to ensure he’s not lost, research Pygmy goats, take more pictures of the restaurant, ponder why there’s an overwhelming amount of men to women in this establishment and then finally the Mister arrives.

Whew.

Emmett came and took our orders.

Most importantly……I had to know, “how many wings come in an order?”

Four.

Four?

Four.

…..insert my Bambi stare here….. blink blink…..blink….blink…..

Four?

In Alaska, we’d go to our favorite place, the USCG station and order 50.

Okay, let’s roll the dice. I accept the swine challenge of four.

Order UP!

We enjoy our beverages and a serving tray arrives with half a chicken. NO. It’s the four wings. It’s a drumstick AND a wing. Times four! Nicely played. These are as big as my hand!

IMG_1339
Let’s back up. Did I mention….if you expect me to eat wings like a lady, you’re eating wings with the wrong lady? I’m like a one year old with their first birthday cake. I’ve got sauce all over my face, up my nose, in my hair and smeared on both cheeks. No, that’s not a hickey on my neck, it’s hot wing sauce. Trust me….. Go ahead, I’m like a scratch and sniff sticker but different. Lick it.

Emmett comes back. What do we want for dinner?
We both decide….ribs. It’s half a rack.
The smell in this place is delicious.
Half way down the block you could smell the smoker. Nom, nom, nom.
Smokey wood burning.
Oh and brussel sprouts. We want those too.

Before I can finish my second half of chicken this mound of rib arrives on a wooden platter. This mound was the size of a 15 pound meatloaf. It was literally stacked three layers high with ribs.

Shit.

Yeah, well. Did I mention we don’t eat pork?

At home we’re vegetarians. No meat. No fish. No chicken. No lunch meat. No eggs. No milk. Some cheese for tacos. No pork. This is overload.

I eat three ribs. Who can eat this amount of food? Godzilla maybe. This is insane.

Yes, I’ll need a box.

We decide to enjoy a cup of coffee and split a salted carmel milkshake. I mean really, the damage was already done. So let’s really set ourselves up for misery and put our digestive tracts into a tailspin of sugar mania. We’ve lubed up our internals with fat and meat….now let’s coat them with sugar and more fat.

Awesome.

I can hear my arteries heave now.

If you listen closely they’re already sending morse code signals to Shamans in the Amazon jungle.

After about 3 hours of pure hog heaven, we hire the valets to wheelbarrow us out to the car. I truly think I need to make an incision into my abdomen to let out some of the pressure. I have eaten too much.

Two half chickens, disguised as “chicken wings”
3 ribs.
Half a salted carmel milkshake.

Either I ate too much or there is an alien about to be born out of my gut. At this point I may take the alien option. As I drive home, I am gripping the steering wheel as my stomach rolls and tumbles.

I am burping.

Hot dogs.

I

Hate

Pork.

BLURP.

I continue to grip the steering wheel. I think my intestines are reorganizing themselves into a holiday bow. I refuse to pull over and poop on the side of the road. In previous chapters of my life, I’ve pulled over to pee. And yes, I’ve pulled over to vomit. I will not pull over to poop. This chicky has her limits.

I’m sorry Norman, but this is I95 and you’re going to fly like you’re a Virgin Atlantic flight on a nonstop from Miami to Aventura. Landing gear is down and we’re on direct flight.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

(Okay, there was a time when I liked the processed ones with the little cheese bits in them, but that was like a decade ago.)

(Oh yeah and when we go to holiday parties….don’t stand between me and the Little Smokies in the hot pot. I’m like a blue haired lady on double bingo night. Get out of my way!)

I feel so ill. It’s like the time when I was little and thought it was a good idea to eat 6 hard boiled eggs.
Wrong.

BLURP.

What compounds the problem is that I can’t get rid of the smoker smell off my hands. What I enjoyed so much at the restaurant….a wood smoke smell from what I can only imagine is an enormous smoker in the back recesses of the kitchen….is now stuck to my hands like a foul tattoo.

It’s like having hairy palms.

I can’t get rid of it.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

Still….after several washings.

I tried two different types of hand sanitizer.

I get home and use lemon soap.

The cats are now intrigued and wondering how to nibble off one of my thumb pads. I’m being stalked by three furry critters who are trying to figure out how to hold me down just long enough.

Great. Every time get a whiff of my hands, my stomach rolls. This can only mean one thing.

I’m going to have to sleep with gym socks on my hands tonight.

That’s all fun and games until I wake up in the middle of the night, forget about the socks and freak out believing I’ve developed some strange mitten hand disease overnight from the swine all the while thumping The Mister in the head while screaming repeatedly until he wakes up.

BLURP.