Monthly Archives: January 2011

Who likes pirates!?!?!? Well not the real Somali kind; they are scary.

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Avast! Yargh! Scurvy!
Avast! Yargh! Scurvy!

Ok, so this is not really a cattoon nor is most of it my own creation.  I bought these pirate stickers because they were on sale, plus they’re really cool.  I had to find something sweet to do with them since my Trapper Keeper is already covered I really liked them and wanted to enjoy them – they have googly eyes!

Thus, this experiment in mixed media is brought to you today by the immature stickerphile.

But really, who doesn’t love a good sticker?  I remember growing up that stickers were the shiz in like 2nd through 5th grade.  I loved them and even had a sticker album.  For those of you uneducated in the ways of the pre-tween and tween girl, a sticker album is a place you stick your stickers.  Like a photo album.  But for stickers.   They can become interactive because they usually had a glossy finish to the page and you could remove one sticker on page 3 and place it onto page 7!  That way you could reorganize your stickers any way you wanted.  Categories, colors, animals, alphabetical.  Any. Way. You. Wanted.

But I am waaaaaaaaaay too scatterbrained and deficient in attention to do that.  And I didn’t have a lot of stickers.  So I just had a smattering of stickers on about the first 3 pages and maybe one halfway through and that was about it.

You see, stickers are ridiculously expensive.  So I never really had a lot.  Just the occasional sticker from the dentist or one that scented pickle one a friend gave me.  Or maybe if I was lucky I’d get a few sheets from a gift giving holiday.

I envied the girls who had whole boxes of stickers, specifically if they had Lisa Frank stickers or those cool animal ones (I can’t remember the company, but those were big time.  I remember they had mega stickers that were at least 3 inches.  When you are 8 a sticker that big is like a Natty Light when you are 18).

Alas, my sticker needs were not met when I was little so I attempt to relive those times when I see stickers I like now.  Well, not entirely.  I like to buy them for myself my classroom so I can share the joy I could have had with the children of the world who also may be sticker deprived.  It’s my charity of choice.

P.S. Adam pointed out that the island may just be floating with no base.  I had to inform him that that’s what islands do……

After I chose to post this drawing, all I can hear are the Go-Go’s in my head. Thanks, me.

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I know...you're excited about beets, too.
I know…you’re excited about beets, too.

Just another trip home for a family get together; family, friends, Cleveland clouds, nothing to do, lots of driving around to visit people – but there’s something missing.  That’s right.  The beets.

Adam’s mom needed beets for the holiday meal and there were none in the store and it was about to become a catastrophe.

I know what you’re thinking.  GASP!  No beets?!  So were we.

The mood got tense.  People were dropping f-bombs.  Someone stormed out of the room.  It was ugly.  Except it wasn’t.  No one was really that upset and then Adam’s mom found the beets at another store.

So in honor of a lucky find in the heat of beet season, these cartoon beets are really excited to be found.

Go ahead if you haven’t already and cue the Go-Go’s.  This is kind of like being Rick Rolled only you provide your own music!

P.S. Today I learned that the Go-Go’s sang the song I was thinking of and not the Bangles.  Go figure.

You should think very carefully about where you park next.

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Seriously...don't mess with those birds.
These are the real angry birds.

What’s one of the top iPhone downloaded apps?  That’s right.  Angry Birds.  Now, I don’t have an iPhone (just a sweet Blackberry Curve from 2.5 years ago – still in near mint condition thanks to that lame leather case it came with.  Don’t worry, I didn’t wear it in a belt clip.) but I am familiar with the delightful antics of those birds and using my knowledge of physics to successfully smash things.

However, I think they got it all wrong.  Instead of throwing birds you should be throwing bird dirt (as said in Top Gear and I love it, ha!).  Seriously – birds can go potty wherever they want in this wonderful wide world and it generally ends up someplace obvious and expected.

Let’s be a little more creative, please.

So there’s this parking spot near our apartment that is THE last one filled, guaranteed.  There’s even a scooter driver here and even he/she doesn’t park there.

I’ve thought about this and talked with Adam and we felt befuddled, mildly amused, and perhaps like we were on the outside of some inside scoop or something.  Really, what the heck is going on?  Is there some sort of forcefield repelling cars?  Perhaps that’s a special reserved spot for a VIP (Smudge…is that really necessary – you were too afraid to take your driver’s test and only have Heelys).  I guess it could be because it’s right in the middle between the two walkways and the exhaustion from the extra 20 – 30 feet could result in fatigue related accidents as folks surmount the stairs, so safety could be a priority with the neighbors.

Eventually I decided to test fate and potentially the wellbeing of my car or even myself and I parked there.  And I learned why no one wants to park in that spot.

You see, as depicted above, there is a happy little tree directly in front of the spot.  Trees tend to lure birds.  Birds tend to poop.  Right on my car.  I’m pretty sure there was some on my door handle.

The lesson I learned is that I should heed the clues left by my neighbors, thus avoiding the need for a car washing.  Who am I kidding? We all know I’d probably just let it sit until the rain washed it off anyway.

Flashback drawing: This could be a movie.

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They're training out back right now.
They’re training out back right now.

This is another cattoon from the days of old (i.e. maybe 1.5 years ago).  Again, not sure about the no whiskers thing.

So Duncan and Smudge like to romp and wrestle but it is mere playtime.  They are brothers and love each other.  Well…I think Duncan might just tolerate Smudge actually.

I say this because I have noticed a pattern.

Duncan can be contentedly sitting and Smudge will come up and either lay near him or just stand there and start licking him.  It starts off nicely and then turns into bites.  Duncan wants nothing of it and walks away.  And then who finds a new seat?  That’s right.  Smudge sits down in the exact location Duncan was previously sitting.  It’s a non-mutually agreed upon displacement.  If Smudge was a kid he would totally love it when he got to class and found his seat still warm from the previous class.  Gross.

Other times Smudge will just up and chase Duncan around, generally biting him on the be-hind or legs.  They’ll run around a bit and then stop for a break – but Smudge does not honor this cat code and keeps nibbling.  Duncan does not like this.

This drawing shows the day when playtime is for keeps (What a weird phrase.  Does that refer to someone keeping all your jacks or marbles?  Aw, fiddlesticks!).

Duncan would probably be victorious because he usually wins playtime battles.  Generally Smudge is supine with a fast black paw slamming him in the head before he has a chance to blink – even though he is the aggressor most often. Really, does he not learn?

But I don’t know…Smudge is devious and sneaky.  He might be the one to point and say, “Hey is that string cheese?” then go for the Achilles.

Perhaps a cage match cat fight is in our future?  I think they might even hate like to dress up for it!

 

 

Coincidence? Or is Adam in cahoots with a logic puzzle book? And if so, I’d like to see some royalties, please.

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Tickets only $12!
Tickets only $12!

This September Adam and I tied the knot and went on a splendid honeymoon that was a little less than traditional.  We decided to head to Maine and go on a windjammer boat!  It sounded adventurous, filled with nature, and we thought we were going to be sailors by the end of it all.

My impression as we signed up: Cool!  It’s a huge 90 foot long sailboat and we’re going to learn how to do all sorts of cool pirate-y stuff probably.  Do we get eye patches?  Yeah, we’re gonna go out in the open seas and the food is gonna be awesome!  I can’t wait until we get to see some really cool cities in Maine when we go to shore.

My impression as we got the complimentary DVD in the mal after we signed up:  Hmm…is this from 1992?  ‘Cause I’m pretty sure high-waisted acid wash jeans and those windbreakers aren’t all that in fashion…plus that’s a little grainy for a DVD.  Oh, wait!  There’s the second half of the DVD…looks like we hit the 2000s.  Wait – is it me or is that a lot of gray hair or is it just me.  Aw, dang.  We’re taking a retirees’ cruise.  Baloney.  Well….it’ll be…….interesting….

My impression as we get to the boat:  Is this really a city?  I mean it’s the biggest thing we’ve seen so far, but I’m a little confused.  Um…where are we supposed to go? No one seems to be here to help us so I guess we just go whatever we want.  Hmm…let’s try this one down there.  What the?  Are those elderly folks really walking with all their luggage down that precariously wobbly awfully steep bridge-y thing to get to the boat?  Oh my god, we’re gonna see someone tumble and my first aid certification expired last year.  That’s like a 30 degree angle!  Jeebus!  Oh look, a young person!  The crew is our age…that’s nice.  Maybe we can talk with them about MTV or something.  Hey, that older guy was nice to you.  What did he say?….”You guys know you’re travelling with a retirement home?”  Oh.  Well….let’s get our stuff situation.  Where’s our room?  Is that the closet?  Oh.  That’s the room.  I see.  Are those open slats on the door?  On all the doors?  Oh.  I see.  Um…let’s just go back to the grocery store and Walmart for the 3rd time.  Maybe we can get some snacks or something….

My impression 2 days into the cruise:  You have got to be kidding me.  What the heck were we thinking?  Seriously?  There are like 3 people over the age of 85 here.  I thought we were going to get to do some adventuring.  Well, at least the food is delish!

My impression 3-6 days into the cruise: Yay!  This is soooo much fun!  Everyone is really nice and we have a few other “late nighters” who we can chat with till like 9.  I hope no one falls…that would really kill the mood.  The food is great, it’s nice to just relax, enjoy the sea, row ashore and get a work out, spend some time together, and work on logic puzzles.

 

And here is where the cattoon finally emerges into the story.  As we carelessly jaunted from one little island or bay to another I would often do my logic puzzles.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t know what you are missing!  They’re these little grid things with there’s some dumb story at the top that is not necessary to read since it doesn’t really matter anyway.  You use the provided clues to put all the missing pieces together.  Like….which girl lived on which street in which color house and with which pet.  That sort of thing.

The puzzle I was working on was for some puppeteer name Paulus Petricelli.  I was astonished because Adam’s middle name is Paul and Petricelli is not too far off from his last name.  Amazing!  Perhaps Adam has a secret career as a puppeteer and was spotted on a late night puppeting show by the editor for this logic puzzle book and in an attempt to somewhat protect his identity they changed his name.  Secret’s out, folks!   We have a celebrity up in here!  And obviously his puppet would be a version of Smudge (name changed for his protection, as well, of course).

So please, if you see Adam puppeteering somewhere, please be sure to heckle him.

Cats must really like reading because this happens EVERY time. Warning: run on sentence alert!

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You're so smug.
You’re so smug.

Imagine the scene…an evening like any other where you snuggle into bed, after brushing your teeth and taking out your contacts, of course.  You set your 3 alarms for the morning since you are lazy and grab that library book that’s there next to your eye mask and headlamp.  Only you wish you had a headlamp for reading in bed and it’s actually just a cheap bonus reading light that came with that zebra print Snuggie you got for your birthday from your bff (which is still great by the way!).

The reading light, though a nice surprise bonus gift, actually only illuminates a spot about 2 inches in diameter and you have to manipulate it every 3 paragraphs in order to be able to read.  You let your mind wander about how great it would be to have total hands freedom to hold BOTH sides of the book so the pages don’t start to turn on their own (if you’re at the beginning or the end of the book) and you don’t just have to wait until you are in the middle of the book so that the pages actually stay put while, like and idiot, you are trying to arrange the book and the reading light all at the same time.  Note: trying to balance the light on your chest does not work either.  Haven’t yet tried making a MacGyver style sweatband + duct tape + reading light contraption…but you know I will now that I’ve thought about it.

Now, add to the mix the jingle of a collar.  A soft thump crunch crunch on your bed as a cat jumps onto the awesome down comforter that your husband says is too hot so only you sleep under it and he has his own lightweight blanket (more for me, sucka!).  You don’t want to invite the cat over so you use the book as shield, both visually as well as physically, attempting to avoid eye contact and eventually gently but forcefully rebounding the cat as he walks closer.

This cat is persistent and does not comply.

Eventually you stop fighting because his head butts are starting to make you lose your place and you just read the same conversation like 5 times.  Now it doesn’t matter because an eclipse has occurred and all you see is smooth black fur (No more dandruff!  Woo!  more on that in the Disasterbetes2010 saga posts….soon…).  You wait thinking that if you give him 10 seconds he’ll find a comfortable seat and make his move.

He doesn’t.

Instead you try to “help him lay down” by petting him with some gusto and his little legs have apparently lost their joints because he’s standing strong despite the downward force.   So now you make the bold move of putting your book back in front of the cat.

Kitty doesn’t like this.

So you lose and the cat continues until you break down and you are stuck with a cat laying on your arms and you have to try to manage holding the book, moving the reading light, not upsetting the cat, and turning pages.

Thanks, Duncan.  Thank a lot.

This post contains false pretenses, drugs, and cats.

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Smudge makes more sense like this.
Smudge makes more sense like this.

I was pumped yesterday when I got my first comment yesterday from someone I don’t know.  In honor of her kind words and this momentous occasion in notacrazycatlady.com, I bring you my cattoon inspired by her comment.

Duncan and Smudge both actually really like catnip (as evidenced by Duncan’s hidden stash in the pocket of his smart and practical short sleeve button down shirt – those shirts just remind me of my high school social studies teacher).  We keep the ‘nip in the kitchen so it kind of makes me wonder if when I go get it for them they mistake it for food and that’s why they go gaga for it.  That would apply at least to Duncan and Smudge is pretty good at following.

The next thing I wonder about is what the heck they are thinking when they are on it.  Is is like a hallucinogen and they imagine entering a wonderful world of floating Doritos/birds/squirrels/cheese sticks that they can chase?  Because they move pretty darn fast when they’ve rolled in and licked up catnip.  Additionally, when Duncan hears a cheese stick being pulled from the package – let me repeat.  Pulled. From. The. Package.  Not being opening, not smelling it, not seeing me get it – when he hears that chhhhhhh as it tears from the perforations.  He comes RUNNING.  So it wouldn’t surprise me if he was on some sort of a cheese hunt in his tiny little melon.  And Smudge loves to eat squirrels so that seems reasonable, too.  Or are they just all jacked up and ready to go and just have to run, run, run as fast as they can or else their hearts are going to explode?  Perhaps they get really paranoid and feel like they’re being chased by a noisy plastic bag being crinkled/vacuum cleaner/squirt bottle?  Who knows.

And really, who cares?  Because when it boils down to it, if they are busy in their own world and aren’t marching all over me when I’m trying to type or eat delicious cereal then that catnip is going to be like my new babysitter catsitter.  I mean, I wouldn’t ever probably wouldn’t do that if I had kids but Duncan and Smudge seem to really enjoy it and they’re practically middle-aged so who am I to kill their buzz?  Plus they’re cats.

On a side note, Duncan LOVES to lick the tops of strawberries when I finish eating them.  I did a small bit o’ research and found that strawberries and catnip are apparently related plants.  So if you are wanting a drug free environment for your cats you must rid your household of strawberries, as well.  Boo 😦   But since I’m ok with the ‘nip for the boys, it’s allllll right with me to keep strawberries in the house…minus the probably tons of pesticides I consume from strawberries.  That’s probably worse than a high cat.

Nickname alert! Introducing the one, the only, Mr. Meows.

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Duncan is such a manipulator.

Duncan is such a manipulator.

If you’ve been reading so far, you know that Duncan is food crazy like a tween is boy crazy.  He’s so crafty and this cattoon is how he tried to pull a fast one on Adam.

In his forever quest to obtain food, Duncan has learned a set of skills that aid him in his attempts at being a manipulator extraordinaire.  Why do the work when he thinks he can get us to do it for him?  Smart cat.

These talents include Duncan’s charm and panache.  Often he’ll sit with his feet turned out all awrkward (yes, I said awrkward) and use his leathery sweet meow to try and convince us it’s time to do what he wants us to do.  This ranges from getting him food to producing more pets.  No joke.  Stop petting him when he’s all situated in a lap and he’ll “mreh” us for a while until we pet him.  It’s very persuasive.

So Adam comes home and Duncan runs to the door as usual for his greeting/act 1 of his manipulation plan.  Duncan plays it cool with a rub and a good boy act that might fool the novice.  Act 2 is a meow that is supposed to work like a siren’s call but comes out more like a 60-year old smoking veteran who has glass stuck in their throat.  And that’s really it.  I mean, he is just a cat.

Adam’s response to this was, “What do you think you’re gonna get from me, Mr. Meows?”   Hence, a new nickname (that we really don’t use but it sounds funny saying we actually do).

He’s really embarrassed I posted such a candid cattoon of him. He likes to be portrayed much more glamorously.

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He's just big boned.
He’s just big boned.

I’ve observed that in our frigidly cold apartment the cats are quite adept at surviving.  Sure our apartment isn’t that cold but when you’re on the 3rd floor of a building you kind of root for science and expect the heat from below to come racing up and party with you all winter long.  It’s pretty good about doing that in the summer.  What the heck, heat?

Oh wait, it might be because we get a cool, refreshing breeze from between the windows and their frames and it’s questionably if there really is insulation.  When you touch the wall and it gives you frostbite it’s always a little concerning.

Smudge and Duncan have decided that they have a hard time wearing hats, sweater, robes, wool socks, and scarves like Adam and I do; plus they don’t really like to follow most fashion trends.  Instead they just look fat.  I like to attribute it to gluttony but Adam assures me that they’re both just fluffed up.

Smudge specifically has a winter look and it is not snow bunny or tundra chic; he is Fat Triangle Cat.  This is also very similar to Jabba the Hut.

Smudge is sweet but acts weird sometimes because he gets kind of anxious.  A lot of times this manifests as bug eyes, sharp awkward movements, and sitting frozen staring.  He does this in his Fat Triangle Cat pose and it only adds to the intensity – this is like Blue Steel, folks.  He has no neck and there is a beautiful line from his head to his…haunches?  legs?  be-hind?  whatever, that gives his the really elegant look of a fat triangle.  It’s quite stunning.

And just like Jabba the Hut his face seems to melt into his body.  He often sports that look when he’s sitting on a lap and his fat fur fluffs up.  It’s pretty hilarious.

So, I’m sorry Smudgey for showing the world your true look but we’ve all got to get past Photoshop and all the superficiality America loves and we’re paving new foundations this post.

Flashback drawing: Caffeine is for champs!

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Mmmm, caffeine.

Mmmm, caffeine.

This is a drawing that I did when I was first figuring out my cattoon style.  You can see some differences (like, seriously how did I not put whiskers on him?) but it’s still all Smudge.  This was one of the beginning drawings where the cats started to represent humans.  This specifically is Adam in Smudge form.  Spooky?  Creepy?  Cool.

Adam likes coffee.  He started to like it a whole lot.  Now he gets headaches and cranky if he doesn’t get any/enough.

This reminds me of another story.  Funny how that happens but if you know me, you know that my brain is kind of – oh, did you read that article about brains?  I think it mentioned zombies in it, too.  No nevermind, that was a movie. – so I tend to find and go on tangents very easily.

Back to the story – I had a French teacher in high school who couldn’t have been more than 4′ 10″, was Greek and had a fantastic accent, and had quirky mannerisms.  She had a mop of tight curly (permed?) brown hair, glasses, and fingers that were crooked and pointy – think of a character from a Roald Dahl book and that’s about right.  She used to move them kind of slowly and point at things and hand-talked a lot with them when she was trying to get us to pronounce the French better than as if we were trying to speak German.  We had a French culture day where we all brought food in and my friend and I made a carrot and 30 clove garlic soup.  Needless to say I learned that day what the difference between a head and clove of garlic was and nobody ate our soup except one girl who was either being nice or really liked garlic.  Our teacher’s son came in to speak to us about the French revolution (and was definitely not a teacher) and tons of kids fell asleep – I literally had to dig my nails into my arms and bit my cheeks to stay awake…but I did it!   Huzzah!  I also remember her dressing up for school on Halloween in a bright yellow Tweety Bird outfit.  Maybe I’ll draw a cattoon of her later…

Well she told us a story about how she was getting massive headaches and felt generally like garbage and was therefore rushed to the hospital and was on the gurney.  The doctors/paramedics/nurses/whoever were trying to help her and were shouting important things around and they tried to jab her with needles and give her medicine and all she could do was muster the strength to mutter weakly in her little Greek voice, “Caffeine.”

No one listened.

Again, more rushing and shouting and jabbing and once more, a little whisper of determination, “Caffeine.”

No one listened.

Ok, well I don’t really remember what happened then but as it turned out, she was just having severe caffeine withdrawals and they fixed her.

So Adam, don’t get all crazy with the coffee and if you do, don’t quit cold turkey or you might get a bunch of unnecessary needles and junk plunged emphatically into your body as you attempt to self-diagnose to medical professionals who may not be paying attention to you as you speak to them in your Greek accent.

Me, personally?  Caffeine gives me the shakes so I avoid it like the plague unless I really want a pop or something.

Bonus!  If you know OSU, where is this cattoon scene set?!?!  You have 10 seconds, go!  First one right gets a figurative pat on the back…unless you want to give yourself one or find a friend or friendly stranger to do it for you! AH!  Exclamation point take over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The natural habitat of cats SHOULD be underwater.

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Sigh...
Sigh…

I forget what the commercial for this self contained underwater breathing apparatus cat we were watching was actually trying to sell us (probably socks or something) because for me, as usual, I was not paying attention to that important detail of the ad.  It’s just like music; Adam was trying to be funny the other day and played a song about breaking up or something else hilarious and I just hummed along to the beat tapping my feet blissfully unaware of the faux-malice of his song choice.

That actually reminds me of another story…ok a little lead up is necessary.  I was in first grade, loving school and my part in it.  Apparently my part included getting up and walking around the room talking to other people.  A lot.

I don’t quite recall this but my mom thinks it’s because I was bored and needed something more stimulating.  I think it’s more because I was just annoying.

So anyway, my teacher had had enough (looks weird but it’s ok to use “had” like that in a row, right?) and came up with a plan to save her classroom.  It involved a desk, cardboard, and isolation.  Now, as a teacher I don’t agree with her choice of correcting my behavior but it’s pretty awesome in a story now.

So what she did was move my desk away from the other groups of kids so I only could look at the chalkboard.  To enforce this horse-in-blinders effect, she put a child-sized semi-perimeter around 3/4 of my desk so I could only see the board and so that the only way out was through my desk.

 

First grade was awesome.

First grade was awesome.

Well, I went home and told my mom about my new seat and said, “Boy, I’m sure glad Mrs. Conner put my desk away from the other kids’.  Now no one else can bother me.”  I totally thought this was a cool way to keep the other kids away from ME.  Because they apparently were really obnoxious when I was up not doing my work chatting to them probably about my cat.  Case in point about my missing the major details…just like in the commercial for a SCUBA cat.

But anyway, the cat looked miserable and it was funny seeing it in a pool just dangling there; and here is my cattoon about it.

Duncan takes his food VERY seriously.

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They mean business.
They mean business.

If Duncan has one job in this world, it is to procure food.  It nearly doesn’t matter what kind of food, as long as he get his paws or mouth to it.  Some cattoons in the future will showcase his favorites but this cattoon reflects on that Duncan demands food from us, mostly when it gets close to dinner at least an hour near dinner.   When his food conquest begins, he marches around the apartment  doing laps and knocking papers off tables/counters and follows us everywhere in the hopes that we might venture into the kitchen for his food.  Interestingly, Duncan gains a lackey in his determined state, a one Mr. Smudge, and they become an obsessed food-demanding crew that is a force to be reckoned with…or at least is moderately annoying.

P.S. I rescued Duncan from the Cat Welfare of Ohio in Columbus (hence his name in the cattoon).  Think about rescuing a cat TODAY! Or tomorrow.

Some kids are just hungrier than others and harder to satisfy.

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This is a true story.

This is a true story.

As the caption states, this is a completely true story, which makes it more ridiculous.  I was sitting at one of my favorite eating establishments grabbing a bit of food with probably Adam and my mom (can’t remember but that sounds about right).  It’s a small place so we were really close to other tables and there really weren’t too many people there, so it was kind of hard not to be all up in peoples’ business and eavesdropping was certainly inevitable.

Sitting next to us was a family consisting of what I can only assume to be a mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, little brother, and a gorgeous princess-looking little girl about 4 or 5 years old in sweet ballerina duds and pink crocs.  It was a nice family outing after a wonderful recital where little Sally was probably making her parents and grandparents proud.

So anyway, I stopped staring creepily at that family and focused back on the story from Adam that I probably tuned out.   Everyone in the restaurant was enjoying themselves until I heard, “OW! NO. BITING,” and looked up to see this devil child in a ballerina’s costume biting her dad’s arm; not just a nibble either but a full-mouth-all-teeth chompfest.   Though dad is probably in agony with fangs in his arm I was definitely surprised by his calm response.  I only wish he’d get up and try to wiggle her off like in the cattoon.  I think he just removed his arm slowly.   Her mom just looked at her and slowly shakes her head and emphatically says, “VEEEEERY disappointing.”  She must have thought a kid who would full on bite an arm would care that she just disappointed her parents.

I guess in hindsight it isn’t all that ridiculous but if I read this story again and replaced “little ballerina girl” with “pet doggy” it could have easily worked.

My mom said I needed to get some good drawings up here. I hope this counts.

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Duncan and Smudge are all about luxury these days.
Duncan and Smudge are all about luxury these days.

So one of our wedding presents was a brand new set of some fancy cast iron bowls for Duncan and Smudge (thanks, Mar and Atul!).  The cats are so thrilled with them that they insisted upon fine dining only and now they only eat Fancy Feast.  Well, that’s only half true.  They eat Fancy Feast due to Disasterbetes2010 (again…more on that later…oh the suspense!).

I really like the bowls but get sort of grossed out because the nasty wet food bits get thrown about as they devour their food frantically and it gets stuck in all that delicate little scroll work on the bowls.  We can’t have nice things.

P.S. Hahaha, I just came up with “Disasterbetes2010” for this post and have a feeling it’s going to stay around for a while – or at least until I stop laughing when I think about the name.  Event: not so funny.  Name: awesome.

Surprise! It’s not always gonna be cats! Well, truth be told it will be mostly cats. But today it’s Paris Hilton!

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This would have been the shirt of 2005.
This would have been the shirt of 2005.

So I was talking with my brother the other day and somehow we got talking about his brilliant t-shirt idea that would have been a big money maker back in the mid-2000s*: Paris Hilton with “That’s Hot”…but she’s ON FIRE!  So it’s literal.  And not just metaphorical.  So she’s hot because she’s really in flames. Get it?   Yeah, that’s our family’s sense of humor. 🙂  So anyway, here is my version of what that shirt might look like.

Also interesting is that I have a human AND a dog in this drawing…I totally tweeted that even if you didn’t like cats this blog would be worth your time.  See?  I don’t lie.

*Another interesting fun fact I will share today because it has caused me much grief and anxiety.  So I took my education seriously and prided myself in doing well and getting (if I do say so myself) fantastic grades.  Well, I took a class on the history of education and this instructor was awful at telling us what she expected, yet graded us harshly and with great detail on the details she failed to mention.  Our exams would be short answers where she just said to tell her everything we knew.  And that never really amounted to enough in her eyes (*irritated* Just tell us what you wanted us to learn and share back with you, please…i have a GPA to worry about here.  I know, not the right attitude for an educator, but whatever; we’ve all been there).  So one of her biggest pet peeves was the improper use of nomenclature for decades and centuries.  Because she harped on this, I will share what I have learned with you today.

To say 1900s refers to the decade 1900-1909.  If you mean the time spanning from 1900 to 1999, you really mean the 20th century.

So when I said the mid-2000s I meant the middle of the 2000-2009 decade…not around 2050 because that hasn’t happened yet and is just simply preposterous for me to assert the popularity of such a t-shirt in the future.  But who knows…maybe Paris will make a come-back like Betty White and it WILL be popular…

“Alex, I’ll take Regional Delicacies for 2000.” “For 2000 points, this delicacy is found mostly in the south in the wintertime.”

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Why else would all the bread and milk sell out?
Why else would all the bread and milk sell out?

So living in the south has opened my eyes to a few differences in culture than back up north.  There’s a fast food restaurant called Bojangles, when kids say they play hockey they mean roller hockey, and people FLIP OUT at word of any winter precipitation.  This includes but is not exclusive of extreme excitement/concern, emergence of poor winter driving skills, and apparent stockpiling of groceries.  However, it seems that no one is too concerned with stocking up on apples or string cheese; groceries stores run out of milk and bread specifically.  So much so that a local dairy farm had to go into high production mode and wasn’t able to turn out any skim milk (which I learned is because to produce skim milk they need to shut down all the machines, clean them of any milk fat and start them all up again to process the skim milk…interesting fact of the day!).  So in my head, this is what people are doing as they are locked up at home when it snows (or ices as the case is often here in NC).

If this were Jeopardy you’d totally win the daily double with…”What is milk sandwiches?”

For those of you motivated to shed a few pounds as your new year’s resolution, I introduce to you…

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Inspired by Tony Horton.  All Duncan.

Inspired by Tony Horton. All Duncan.

As promised, here is the cattoon advertisement for Duncan’s new gym.  You should really check it out if you’re serious about losing a few el-bees (and don’t ask me why but I really love strikeouts – it’s like an invitation to be super corny and obvious and I love it).

Duncan, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, really has a knack at training humans as he demonstrated in various ways throughout our training sessions.  Showcased here are his top picks (award winning, too, wouldn’t you know) that I’m sure you might even recognize in your own cats.  Duncan and his brother Smudge are both really into the Half-Pushup.  They rarely get tired and could practically stay there all day like that.  All I can say is that I’m impressed – you try a half-plank pose for like 20 minutes and come back to me afterward.  However, one of my favorite moves is the Step-up vs. Jump up.  Duncan has been excellent in showing us how to do this move; he’s very dedicated to it, although since his diabetes saga (more on that later) he has lost a few more pounds and has preferred the Jump-up instead of the old stand by the Step-up.

“Bring the Blam!” refers to Adam’s and my favorite local on the P90X DVDs, Pam the Blam.  Mostly we love how Tony calls her Pam the Blam as well as how talks to her and attempts to make her laugh…and then her general disregard of all things Tony.

So to wrap this up, Duncan is serious about working out (and Adam and I really like the silliness that P90X has brought into our conversations even to this day. Thank you, Tony Horton.).

Duncan thinks sweatbands are an essential component of working out.

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I'm not sure how he was able to get a whistle in his mouth with his paws, but he's a more effective coach for it.
I’m not sure how he was able to get a whistle in his mouth with his paws, but he’s a more effective coach for it.

Last year, Adam and I began a beautiful friendship with Mr. Tony Horton via P90X.  It was a gift Adam got but (and for those of you who know me and my talent for joining into things seamlessly as if I had been a part of them all along) I decided that I would join in with him on his workouts.  If you don’t know what P90X is and you have time to get sucked into an infomercial, just flip through your tv channels and you’re bound to find it somewhere.  For the rest of you who don’t really care, it’s a pretty intense home workout program that guarantees success with much sweat and a mere 1.5 hours 6 days a week.

I’m proud to say that we completed it (and sort of slowed down afterward…don’t judge; it’s really hard to keep that rigorous schedule up!) and not only did we have Tony as a motivator but Duncan came upstairs with us to workout almost everyday.  If you are familiar with the wisdom of Tony Horton, Duncan made sure we always “brought it.”  He would walk underneath us as we did pushups, sit on the padded desk chair to monitor our progress with Ab-Ripper X, and made sure we chose the right amount of weight to put on the dumbbell.  He also demonstrated some expert techniques that I’ll share with you tomorrow (but be warned: do not try at home!).

Smudge likes to keep it old timey.

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It took him years to look this good.
It took him years to look this good.

So, this really is pretty self-explanatory.  If not, see image below.

He tries to look casual, but he's really very formal.

He tries to look casual, but he's really very formal.

Ok, and I took a few liberties to help him with his embarrassing moustache imbalance but we don’t like to talk about that with him (he gets very self-conscious).

Fun fact!: His trademark “moustache” blob is indeed the reason for his name.

“What did you do to your cats this time? Please tell me no more sweaters.”

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Cat sweaters are totally in right now.

Cat sweaters are totally in right now.

So this is a custom drawn cattoon in response to the start of my new blog.  Ok, and it’s true that we might like to try to jazz up the cats a bit.  It’s also true that they really do love might not totally appreciate how dapper they look…and Duncan may or may not have panicked very similarly to this image.  Regardless, I love getting them all dressed up…at least for a photo to remember it by.  Then they can go back to their wild ways.

Duncan and Smudge Approved: My First Post!

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Duncan and Smudge.  True love.  Meow.

Duncan and Smudge. True love. Meow.

So here it is…my first post on my cattoon blog.  I had to start it with Duncan and Smudge, the guys who started it all.  So this may not be the best cattoon of all, but it’s where we shall begin.

And here they are in real life. Classy.