Monthly Archives: February 2011

Before you go on an airplane and nap, heed my warnings.

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Take it from me, a professional napper.

Take it from me, a professional napper.

 

We flew to Cleveland this weekend, as mentioned before, and had the joy of airplane traveling.  Since we all know how much I like to nap, I figured I would make a guide to help any future airline travelers who are also nap-friendly folk.

When napping on a plane it is crucial to know the risks involved.  There are several ways to effectively nap with pros and cons for each.

Let’s begin with the “drool on tray table” method.   I think the cons speak for themselves in the name.  Pros, you don’t have to deal with the problems associated in methods two and three, as described below.  I tried this method for the first time this trip and it was highly effective.  This perhaps may not be a good choice if you think you might break the tray table structure with wild nap flailing or top-heaviness.

Secondly, we move onto “the neck-breaker” method of napping.  Cons, again, are rather clear in the name.  Be prepared for aches at best, paralysis at worst.  Pros include you don’t invade someone else’s personal space and there are two varieties of this method, to the left and to the right.  If one side becomes unbearable, there is an alternative.  This method is more highly recommended for the window seat traveler and not for the aisle seat traveler unless you like being at risk for a hit and run with a drink cart.

Lastly, there is the “meet your neighbor” method.  This one is a little more ambiguous in what is a pro and what is a con.  For me, having Adam next to me made this method innocuous.  However, if there were someone hostile or clearly uninterested in becoming a human pillow, this might not be the best method to pull out of your nap toolbox.

I’m not gonna lie, I took 3 naps on the way to Cleveland – one waiting to board the plane, one on the first flight, and one on the second flight – one in Cleveland on Saturday (that’s 4 total on Saturday for all you math fans), and one on the way back to Raleigh on the first flight.  I didn’t sleep on the second flight coming home since I was drawing this cattoon and reading a good book, but I think that all that napping should win me some kind of award.

I declare myself a nap victor.  You, too, can follow in my footsteps if you follow this guide and practice napping really hard.  So on that note, I wish you safe travels and happy napping.

I’m writing this post from the future…

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Rawr.

Rawr.

Oh, crap.  No I’m not, I meant to say that I’m writing this post for the future.  Less exciting, more true.

(WARNING…extreme ADD tendencies below, jumping all over the place to tie together some sort of incoherent theme – turn back now if you dislike how my brain operates)

So it’s actually Friday night and I just got off the phone with my friend Sarah, discussing what we were going to eat for dinner.  As I popped another Cadbury  Mini-Egg into my chomper, I told her how I’m postponing dinner now that I’ve eaten a bit.  P.S. – I did not buy $47 dollars worth of fresh and delicious chocolates (this was how it was described on Amazon, hahaha).  I did, however, get scammed into spending more than I wanted to on stupid candy at CVS; that place lures you in with it being all new and having the latest and greatest “As Seen on TV” end caps.  Then they grab you by the whatever-you-have and take your dolla dolla bills.

The reason I chose this drawing to post today is that I am now in Ohio (or will be by the time this is posted….writing in the future is weird…) for Adam’s mom’s birthday!   Woo!  Happy Birthday!!  It was a surprise (still is at this time…again, really weird) so I couldn’t post this yesterday (tomorrow) or else she may have been tipped off.  Surprises are so fun!

I assume that we had cake at this shindig to end all shindigs so I present this cupcake monster as modeled off of Adam’s extraordinary love of all things sweet, specifically, cake, cupcakes, gummy orange slices, dark chocolate, Milk-Duds, spiced gum drops, old-timey jelly beans (*gag*), etc.  I called him a cupcake monster when he was ravenously consuming cupcakes and not giving me attention.  I hope that I got/get to call Adam a cupcake monster yesterday/tomorrow.

I too have a sweet tooth.  I was really good for a while about focusing this adoration of treats on fruit, which I also love  and is probably much better than eating candy as a dinner substitute.  This has come to a bit of a screeching halt and a 180; I am turning into a candy monster!!  With all the sweets I do like, I don’t actually like cake that much.  I mean, if it’s there and not dry or has nasty frosting I’ll eat it.  I just won’t go looking for it.  However, my friend Lauren made a…get ready for it…funfetti cake with funfetti frosting!!!!  Who knew such a thing even existed!  I knew about the funfetti cake but to my joy I got to experience the moist (sorry if you hate that word…an oddly disproportionate amount of people do) and exciting combination of the two together.  It. Was. Magical.

With all this talk about sweets and a whole dedicated drawing, I’d totally be embarrassed if this birthday event turns out to be a no-cake event.

Did I mention that included in my favorite movies are Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate factory?   Yes, I have love for both, if you were wondering.  Also, I would love to live in that big room with candy everywhere.  It’s my secret fantasy dream goal.

Ok, enough rambling.  I think I need to go balance the sugar pulsing through my arteries with some real food now.

Adam, it might be time to stop gaming so much or you might lose your hands.

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Poor Adam has a debilitating condition.

Poor Adam has a debilitating condition.

I like to hold hands.  It’s true.  However, I do not enjoy holding hands if the other party involved has gross hands.  Usually this isn’t the case with Adam, until one day……..

Adam and I both enjoy playing the occasional frequent video games.  Sometimes his gaming causes him some stress and/or frustration, giving him sweaty palms.  This coupled with the extraordinary cold we’ve had in our apartment this winter plus lowered circulation from sitting around staring at a tv screen, results in what I like to call clam hands.

And when he tried to hold my hand after these unfortunate sets of circumstances came into play, I promptly squealed and removed myself from what would have otherwise been a sweet gesture…then quickly sat down and made him pose so I could draw a cattoon of it (oh, whatever, I know he’s not a cat but I’ll call it what I want, thank you very much).

I’m such a good partner.

Flashback drawing: Smile, you’re on candid camera!

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Just what I need - another photo of my posing like I always do.

Just what I need - another photo of me posing like I always do.

This cattoon was inspired by a wedding we went to with a photo booth.  It was so much fun that we decided to have one for our wedding this past September, as well.  A little pricier than having people just use their own dang cameras?  Perhaps.  Super cool and fun?  Yes!

Really, I think a photobooth can really bring out the best in people.  Except when it brings out the worst.  What is it with the semblance of privacy that entices people to behave in a bizarre and clearly private way?  However, these sometimes result in the best photos, which coincidentally can also be the most horrifying ones, too.

My words of advice and caution: have fun but don’t think that a silly little curtain is going to hide those photos as they pop out the side of the machine as it did when you were doing something weird in there.

P.S. I am waaaaaaaay to uptight about getting caught or breaking rules to have done anything that I would regret in a photobooth.  Just saying.  I don’t want it to be thought that I’m some sort of weird photobooth freak.

P.P.S. This just reminded me of the movie Amelia, which is a big time favorite of mine.  I’m gonna go watch that again.

This isn’t a self-portrait but I wish it was – for what I’d be doing, not for having an over-sized head.

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This would totally motivate me, too.
This would totally motivate me, too.

So I’m super tired (oh yeah, I usually type these up at night and save them to be posted in the morn) so all you’re gonna get is a funny picture of a lady (me?) riding her bike (mine?) really fast to catch something very, very important.

I really love ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt.  I just found a new frozen yogurt place near me where you fill up the cup with frozen yogurt and then add all the delights you can imagine. I’m totally in love, especially the regular tart frozen yogurt with fruit, fruit, and more fruit and these weird jelly fruit ball things.  Sounds weird but entirely appealing and satisfying.  I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Breyer’s vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, whipped cream (I’ll even go for Cool Whip, yum!), rainbow sprinkles (the round kind), and maybe even a maraschino cherry or 23.

So there you have it.  I’ve now drooled onto my keyboard and will indeed have sweet dreams tonight.

I’m a horrible cat mom.

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I think he's recovered from this incident.  He just avoids me all the time now.
I think he’s recovered from this incident. He just avoids me all the time now.

Our apartment is pretty awesome with a fun spiral staircase to a loft.  It’s like having a magical portal that as I ascend, allows me to enter a fantastical land of random things that don’t fit into closets, crafting items, litter boxes in what would be a wonderful second bathroom to use if it didn’t have litter boxes in it, cat hangouts, a desk, some bookcases with random books and leftover items that don’t go anywhere else, and workout equipment.   You’re jealous, I know.  Unless you have a nice house that maybe has good insulation and doesn’t stay cold all the time.

The staircase/loft combo is a pretty rad place for cats to romp and spy on us but it is also a well-known prankster’s paradise for humans.

In this particular story I wasn’t really being a prankster but I was being lazy; lofts are additionally a well-known lazy woman’s paradise.   Why carry something when you can throw or drop it?  Adam and I use this method of transfer all the time.  Usually this results in someone having to go pick something up or a repeat throw where the parabola is more properly calculated.

Unfortunately for Duncan, this day I was being lazy.  And that blanket was just too much trouble for me to tote.  Poor unsuspecting Duncan didn’t even see it coming and it resulted in  his having a bad case of the Halloween-cat-silhouette-syndrome.  You know what I mean – all puffed up, back arched, jumpy, in front of a full moon.

So I officially apologize to you Duncan.  I swear I was just being lazy and didn’t mean to startle you.  I am glad to see you have recovered nicely and are sleeping on your Dad now.

The next time I walk underneath that loft though I think I’ll be a little more careful and look for a set of little black paws pushing one of those workout weights or that chirping bird toy.  That would suck and be annoying, respectively.

You, too, can have a cat with valuable skills.

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That bee helmet is very becoming on you, Smudge.

That bee helmet is very becoming on you, Smudge.

When it gets nice outside, we like to let the cats roam the wilderness, explore their wild sides, and get back to their roots.  By this I mean, of course, we let them sit on the deck…three stories up.  You’d think that the height would deter any wacky behaviors but we’ve had to grab ’em up more times than I’d like to count for squeezing through the railings to attempt to pose precariously on the mini ledge there or trying to leap onto the handrail.  Really cats?  Where you do think you’re gonna go?  And when you do, do you think I’m going to go run downstairs to save you?  Ok, I would.  But still.

We have tried to put them in harnesses many times for a more structured exploration of the out-of-doors, which is another tale for another time.  However, you’d imagine they kind of get the whole “we’re not on the ground this time, but rather three stories up.”  Buuuuuuuuut, they don’t always.

Aaaaanyway.  When they safari outside, they don’t always mess about with hijinks; they do have some deck appropriate activities. (P.S. Did you know that hijinks is a variation of “high jinks?”  What the heck?  I guess it would make a little more sense if I knew what jinks were.)

Often Duncan likes to eat the very plant leaves that give him the runs.  So fun, Duncan.  When will you ever learn?  I guess this actually was a bad example of deck appropriate activities because I hate having to chase him around repeatedly but he just can’t get enough of the stupid plant.  I suppose I would rather deal with this than a broken cat on the ground, though.

Smudge, however, has actually acquired a meaningful set of skills that will make him a valuable asset to our deck sitting community.

Smudge is a Bee-Wrangler.  He likes to pounce on bees and then….well, that’s about it.  He doesn’t really do anything with them except avoid being stung.  Lucky for him, with that bee colony living in our deck he could wrangle bees all summer long last year!  I’m hoping for our sake that this hobby of his is forced into retirement due to lack of bees, but this really is only one of the few things he has going for him, so I suppose I shouldn’t wish too hard for not enough bees.

On a side note, I have a colleague who actually is a bee keeper!  I was at her house this weekend and was amazed and astounded with being inches from three bee hives.  Smudge would have been super excited but I think my friend would not have liked her bees to be put in peril with the presence of a skilled bee wrangler.

Sorry Smudge, no field trips to the beehives for you.

Some cats have good penmanship and some cats like to try to murder you.

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It's hard enough to hold a pencil with paws, let alone hold it with two thumb nails.

It's hard enough to hold a pencil with paws, let alone hold it with two thumb nails.

This weekend Adam and I had the illustrious honor of taking care of a little baby cat.  Our neighbors were out of town and little Omlette needed us to stop by and make sure she was ok.  She’s just a baby after all.

Firstly, she was soooooo excited to see us that she purred a lot.  She was excited for getting some pets and loved to play with her string toy.  She ran really fast and then tried to kill me.

That’s right.  I said, kill me.

I don’t know if you watch That Mitchell and Webb Look, a crazy British sketch comedy show, but I am going to quote a line I just heard.  “We’ve all got immortality that wears off!”  I think  little Omlette must have heard that and was thinking of how she could end my immortality before it had a chance to wear off.

She ran so fast and stopped EXACTLY under my feet, thereby causing me to trip and take a dive (since I love cats and all I didn’t want to squish her by just landing on her).  I was this close to either landing in the blinds draw cord where I would have probably been strangled or impaling myself on a lamp.

But since I have extraordinary super secret ninja skills, I caught my balance and survived.

I forgave her since she is still a baby.  But I’ll tell ya what…I’m gonna watch my back when I see little Omlette out in her harness outside.  She might try to run me out into the street or something.

The Adventures of Cat Cat: The City Needs a Hero!

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But it's a LASER POINTER!!!
But it’s a LASER POINTER!!!

I’m so excited to have been Freshly Pressed and have so many]\\\\\\\\\\  Sorry, that last bit was Duncan.  As I was saying, I am super excited to have so many visitors dropping by, sharing their cat stories, and perhaps even laughing with me so I’m not metaphorically walking alone on the sidewalk laughing at a personal joke too loud and for too long by myself.  Yes, this happens to me; I actually did it the other day when I was teaching, haha.  I think a few of my kids were amused if not confused.

But, since Cat Cat seems to be pretty funny I think I shall continue chronicling his adventures.  I start with this episode.  Number one.

The city is in desperate need of a hero, even going so far as to use the debt-ensuring new technology of the multi-laser pointer call sign.  But alas, Cat Cat with all his slight cat enhancements instead refuses, thus demonstrating his amazing power of unexpected nonchalance and disinterest.  This power is particularly unique in that you would expect Cat Cat to lose control of himself and go bananas for that cool laser pointer you bought that the city was using and rush toward it.  Opposite.

I actually bought a laser pointer for Duncan once and he called upon his unexpected nonchalance and disinterest powers and, boy, was it a let down.  I think he played with that thing for maybe 10 seconds before total boring cat syndrome set it.  Boo, Duncan.  What was I supposed to do with a laser pointer?  I had no presentations and I’d have gotten arrested if I tried to aim it at an airplane so now I’m out five bucks.

Indeed, Cat Cat’s powers have a way of both reassuring you of your expectations and letting you down at the same time and it’s unfortunate that Duncan must have read his comics.

Go Cat Cat, GO!

If I could, I’d probably let Duncan do the grocery shopping…he’d probably pick out some pretty good food.

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He's about to get his own show on A&E.

He's about to get his own show on A&E.

Duncan is food crazy.  This is common knowledge here on notacrazycatlady.com.  However, some of you may not realize the severity of the situation.

Duncan is a cat posessed.  In fact, I opened a string cheese not too long ago (looks like a piece-mealed dinner tonight!) and in typical Duncan fashion he was in the kitchen with me, underfoot before I had even contemplated if I was going to eat the string cheese in strings or banana-style.

He is seriously nuts.  Above I have creatively listed all the foods he literally will fight me for.  Dang that cat has strong paws.

Can you identify them all?  Sure it isn’t that hard, but indeed it is surprising when the scope of his food desires is completely realized.

Warning: if a cat doesn’t scurry when busted with his head in a bag of Doritos, you know the problem is pretty serious.

Smudge is paving the way for cats who like footwear.

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Smudge is a troubled youth.

Smudge is a troubled youth.

Waaaaaay back last month when I posted about angry birds I made mention of Smudge and his lack of a driver’s license.  Poor guy is stuck with Heelys.  Ok, so someone who would be taking a driver’s test probably wouldn’t wear Heelys….and neither would cats, but we’ll just forget that part.  My cousin told me the thought of a cat in Heelys was stuck in her brain, and I thought, yes, yes, I will cattoon about Smudge wearing Heelys!

But actually who really is stuck with Heelys?  These things are amazing!  I personally haven’t tried them but I’m seriously considering it.  Whenever I see a kid wearing them, I get somewhat jealous.  Forget walking when you can just scoot around to your heart’s content.  I’ve really wanted to have a real Razor scooter at school for those days when I don’t feel like walking, but I think Heelys might be a much more realistic solution.

I can’t believe Heelys haven’t been bigger in the adult community.  Well, I actually can.  I guess there aren’t too many things that teens and adults are both interested in.  Besides…maybe Twilight? In truth, I have an unreliable perspective since I am around kids all day.  Well…..I suppose that really isn’t the reason for my unrealistic perspective, though,  since I really just am an oversized child at times…which still isn’t even all that true.  Many of my students are bigger than me.

But this is all beside the point.  Here Smudge is.  In all his glory.  A true tween.   But a fast one.

Contact wearers, don’t leave me hanging!

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Call me crazy but this is totally what's happening, right?

Call me crazy but this is totally what's happening, right?

If you are a contact wearer, stay with me.  If you aren’t then this might just sound ridiculous, but would we have it any other way?

I’ve decided that contact solution bottles when low in their supply, squeal with delight as their servitude  nears an end.  They get so excited at the promise of the recycle bin (denying the potential for the dump), that all they can do is go “Wheeeee!”

It totally sounds like that, right?  Right.

It’s just like a sad ketchup bottle with digestive problems.  *thurp* Oh, excuse you ketchup bottle.  Oh, that was my brother, you say?  Indeed it probably was.

Flashback drawing: Please fasten your seatbelt. There’s going to be a little turbulence.

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Why wouldn't you eat what you find in the back of an airplane seat?

Why wouldn't you eat what you find in the back of an airplane seat?

This is an older-ish drawing that remains one of my favorites.  Sorry if it’s hard to follow, but I included some arrows if it helps….

I was flying somewhere doing something cool and ended up sitting next to a pudgy little kid, maybe about 5 years old.  He had on a hat that he thought was awesome; he kept putting it on and taking it off.  I think it was camouflage.  He had a little backpack that probably had some sweet toys.  But probably not those little books where you use the marker to reveal pictures or numbers or something that was written in invisible ink.  Those things were awesome.

So this kid was bravely sitting all by himself, maybe a brother or guy sitting next to him asleep.  But for all intents and purposes, he was on his own.  His parents were a row up and across the aisle and his bigger, probably middle-school aged brothers were across the aisle in the same row as us.   This was big time and I could tell he was really excited.

In his exploration of his throne, he began to examine the seat back pocket.  It was then that fireworks began to explode in his eyes and I could tell he was hearing his own personal victory song in his head…probably something like Rocky.  For it was in this moment that he revealed……..a full. sized. candy bar.  For a kid, this is like winning the lottery.

His face lit up so much.  Yet, he instantly called upon some sort of self-preservation defensive body language.  He tried to hide his smile as well as the candy bar.  I was a bit confused.  Until…his bigger brother with his A Christmas Story braces-filled grimace leaned across the aisle calling his little brother’s name asking what he found.

Not admitting defeat, little man attempted to save his precious treat.  Alas, his nasty brother leaned across the aisle, swiped the candy bar and then stuffed his pimply face with it.  The ordeal lasted all of a minute.

My little seat neighbor was heartbroken.

Until…the cart came by with snack and drinks.  Being that the airline was cheap, we would have to buy our own snacks.  I could instantly tell that this boy was excited.  He asked the lady how much a cookie was, took out his little wallet, and paid the $15.  Ok, it was only $3 but it sounds better and slightly more realistic if the cookie was $15.

That cookie became his Heisman Trophy, a testament to a victorious moment in his life.  That is, until the cart moved and his mean older brother saw what he had in his hands.

His brother immediately tattled to their mom that little Peter had just bought a cookie and his mom made him give it back and get his $3 back.

My poor little guy sadly followed through and finished the trip playing with his hat again and his GameBoy.  Dejected, he will probably never recover from this ordeal or might try to punch his brother someday.  I hope he does.

Firstly, I’m grossed out and slightly concerned that they considered/ate the candy bar from the back of the seat pocket.  Disease/razor blades/poison anyone?

Secondly, I hate that middle-school brother.  What a jerk.  Seriously, if I was in teacher mode I’d be all up in that situation.

Thirdly, that’s about it.  I hate that big kid and grossed out that someone ate the homeless candy bar.

 

 

This is a must read for every misbehaving cat. Consider this post the Lifetime Move Network of cattoons.

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No one wants a lollipop stuck to them.
No one wants a lollipop stuck to them.

Adam was at the doctor one day and said he saw a little cat scurrying about outside.  Interested to know more, since I have invaded his brain with cat curiosity in our time together, he watched to see what would happen.

And it was….A SEWER CAT!

Living like vagrants in the underbelly of the city, sewer cats dominate the night.  Rarely visible in the day, they may appear in times of desperation for fish bones or to pickpocket you. They are players in the game and work with whichever side benefits them most, be it Ninja Turtles or Shredder.  Sewer cats scheme and do not like to be challenged. Plus, they smell.

We told Duncan and Smudge that they are lucky not to be sewer cats, though we are highly considering it for Duncan.  He should just have his own sewer portal nearby so he doesn’t have to keep peeing on the carpet.  Nasty.  He’s already got the cattitude for a sewer cat.

This is the only day that matters if you say, “I love you.” The rest don’t count.

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If I squeeze him harder he'll love me more!

If I squeeze him harder he'll love me more!

Happy Valentime’s (on purpose…sounds more fun to say) Day, fools!  Either you are enjoying a surprise card that says “I choo-choo-choose you!” and a refrigerated rose from the grocery store or you are reading candy hearts to yourself over a Hot Pocket.  Or maybe you just don’t really care.  Regardless, we can all recognize that this “holiday” can result in quite the fund diminishing situation.

Therefore, for my dear Adam, I present you this cattoon for all the world to see.  All it cost me was a few precious moments of my life that I can never have back.  But very little operational cost! (that’s about the only thing I remember from my college economics class…my brother would be pissed at me right now)

So, I hope you, too, have a Happy Valentime’s Day, whether you got any perforated paper cards or not.

 

Flashback drawing: Cat turf wars…COMMENCE!

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Whapping tails = displeased

Whapping tails = displeased

Another “oldie” here.  This was back when Adam was in school in Denver.  You may notice my basic attempt at mountains in the second panel there – that’s how you know it was Denver.  Surprising fact if you’ve never been to Denver….Denver is not actually mountainous, lush, and green as I has envisioned in my head.  It’s actually kind of crowded, flat, brown, and sparsely vegetated.  However, the mountains are awesome and the downtown was pretty rad.

But that is all beside the point.  This is a tale about a very small portion of Denver, namely Adam’s apartment and the grass outside of it.

You see…..

There once were two young cats who lived in a rather nice Denver apartment.  There were windows galore, tons of room to run around, and a fireplace to gaze in and lay beside.

Things couldn’t get better for these guys.  Sometimes, they’d even see squirrels running about, which was very invigorating for the two brother cats.  They would run from room to room following squirrels outside.  Life was great.

That was, until HE stopped by.

A little perky cat would prance around outside in front of the window, practically flaunting his freedom, individuality, and charisma.

These cats did not like this and so they just sat and stared at him through the screen whapping their tails as furiously and vigorously as was possible to demonstrate their displeasure.

Nothing ever happened.  The end.

They really were pretty mad at that guy.

Only read this post if you have friends. I guess that means I can’t read it…

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Which Golden Girl would YOU be?
Which Golden Girl would YOU be?

Thank you for being a friend…doo doo doo doooo….traveled ’round the world and back again.  Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.  Doodoo dooo dooo doooo.  And if you threw a party, invited everyone you ever kneeeeew.  You would see the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, “Thank you for being a friend.” (cue end music and phenomenal transition music)

I’m not gonna lie.  Every time I hear that song, or even think of it as I just did typing that thing, it warms my heart, puts a smile on my face, and I am awash in nostalgia.  Either it’s because I remember watching the Golden Girls in the summer when I had no cable and nothing better to do with my time in middle school or I am reliving some sense of nostalgia from being a sassy old woman in another life.  Both are awesome.

I really love this show.  Like really, really love it.  Poor Adam doesn’t get it even though it is THE best written comedy show ever.  Belly laughs every episode.  Every episode.  The characters are hilarious, the one liners classic, and the outfits to die for.

But I post this today to celebrate friends.  The kind that write you notes about nothing and everything in mini notebooks in middle school (before texting, yo).  The kind that remind you of old stories you didn’t remember and were utterly insignificant then and…well, I guess insignificant now, but fun to remember.  The kind that make you feel as if no time has passed even if it’s been a while seeing them.  The kind that don’t mind when you say or do stupid or gross things…not that that ever happens to me…

So friends, and I mean you Duncan and Smudge, thank you for being my friend.

Go celebrate a friend today by singing them the theme song to the Golden Girls!  And make it loud and preferably in a public place – it’ll make it even more special.

Smudge loves squirrels…a little too much.

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No one wins against glass.
No one wins against glass.

Our apartment is great with a cool loft that overlooks a parking lot with some kids rebounding a ball off my car some trees and a bit of the neighborhood.  In its suburb-y apartmentness, it does let the cats into a a taste of the world of nature they normally don’t get to see when they are busy sleeping and being lazy.

Smudge really likes to sit and pretend he’s Jack Hanna sometimes.  He’s very good at observing.  It’s all well and good until nature gets too close.  Then forget any sense of decorum or curiosity….it’s on.

This day, a squirrel decided to get a little friendly with Smudge as it crawled on the roof of the deck.  I wasn’t there to see it, so I can only go on Adam’s recollection of the event.  Pretty much the cattoon says it all.

A ferocious battle of wits ensued, not unlike that of the Princess Bride, until Smudge lost when he thought he could tackle the squirrel and ended up tackling his own face in the window.  The squirrel figured out that it was safe and went about its squirrely business, unscathed minus an adrenaline rush.  Sorry Smudge…looks like you still have a bit to learn about the world.

I might be crazy for Snuggies, but this dog has other fashion ideas in mind.

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It's slimming and fashionable!

It's slimming and fashionable!

This cattoon dogtoon is inspired by a photo that my friends Sarah and Dave showed me of their dog Gabby.  Gabby usually isn’t into fashion but she made an exception for a practical down vest Sarah put on her.  If I recall the story I was told, it went a little something like this….

“Hey, let’s put Gabby in my vest!” Sarah exclaimed with glee in her eyes…and in her heart.  The day a dog gets its first vest is a very important one, indeed.

“Well, only if I get to wear it next,” Dave replied.  He really likes vests, too.

Gabby did not need to be coaxed to comply, as she was sitting pretty awaiting her chance at her dream to finally be clothed.  As the vest neared her legs and was awkwardly placed onto her inflexible dog body, pride and joy emanated from the pup.  With a final zip of the zipper, Gabby was dressed and ready to strut her stuff!

Parading around the house, head held high, Gabby was a new woman.  She was ready to take on the world, just she and her vest.  Power business women of the 80s beware; there’s a new bitch in town.

“Well, Dave, it looks like you won’t be getting to wear my vest after all.”

“It ‘tis what it ‘tis,” Dave replied with a casual head lean, a raise of his shoulders and hands palm up to indicate that it really is what it ’tis. *cue sitcom laugh track*

The end.

Well, it probably went a little something like that.

Anywho, I couldn’t find the picture of Gabs in a vest on my 1 minute search of my friend’s Facebook page but I did find this of Gabby in a rain coat.  Needless to say, she was not pleased and prefers vests.  She wears them for maneuverability and this coat is simply too limiting.

Yellow isn't her color.
And so, Gabby learned that day of her extraordinary disillusionment with the raincoat that her dream was not to be clothed, but to be clothed in fabulous vests.

Instead of yelling and taking it out on Adam, I shall just stare at this cattoon.

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Smile!  Or not, you jerk.
Smile! Or not, you jerk.

This cattoon was spawned from a day where I think I was feeling a bit flustered and irritated – probably forgot when my return flight was and missed it…on two separate occasions.  True story, embarrassingly enough.  That’s a long enough story, so I’ll save it for later.

But today, I kind of need this reminder.  Today was actually a pretty fabulous day.  But good god teaching applications take forever (Oh yeah, surprise!  We’re moving back to Clevesburg in the summer!)!

I came home to work on some teaching applications and it is utterly depressing to work pretty much straight through from about 3pm to 8pm and have only 6 applications done; and THAT’S with the little info transfer feature they have.  Instead of having to retype every god-awful date and address it actually imports it from another teaching application…which actually is pretty cool.  When I was doing these applications a few years ago it was even longer, which I can’t even fathom now.  I’d rather move – which I have to do anyway, crap.

So at least I’ve got that import thing going for me.  What has arisen as a bit of a hindrance and a slight annoyance is that I have pretty much entered what I like to call teacher application hell.  Imagine having to write about 2 – 5 essays…for EACH application.  What am I?  In 8th grade?  Do other jobs make you write essays as part of the application process?

The evil part of it all (because really how many essay prompts can there be for a teaching application) is that the questions are juuuuuuust different enough that I can’t really even copy and paste the stupid answers to just get the dang thing finished.

So, feeling a little stressed that it isn’t going as fast as I’d like, I need this reminder from a crazy cat to be positive.

So if you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry, seems to help I know…downtown. Or just look at this cat cartoon.

All you need is a little passive aggressiveness in your life to live Duncanstyle.

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It's pretty emphatic.
It’s pretty emphatic.

When Duncan means business, he means business and he’s not afraid to let you know.  Since he can only meow and can’t really talk (although I suspect he practices at home when we’re not around), he has a few other communication skills.

In this case he calls upon the sheer power of the sigh.  Duncan was marching around one day around Adam, presumably because he wanted food.  Well, nothing was getting accomplished so Duncan had to bring out the big guns.  As he was crawling around all over the place…pause on couch, move to floor, back to couch, pause and stare, move to other side of Adam, stop and stare again…he needed to find the best way possible to demonstrate his displeasure with the lack of attention he was getting.  This resulted in a sigh that could rival some adults I know in both air volume and displeasure quotient.  It came out sounding like a short little huff of a noise and probably made him more mad that we were laughing at him.

As he let out his sigh of frustration, Adam insightfully spoke that, “He breathed onto my knee.”  From that point on we often refer that statement.  In its infinite wisdom it holds within it a metaphor that links…oh who am I kidding.  It just sounds funny.  Try it for yourself….I’ll wait………………see?  I told you.

This has taught Adam and me another communication tool that we can use to resolve our own silly human issues.  Instead of having to say anything and potentially make a situation worse, a good sniff-sigh can really say all that there is to be said.  It’s a bit passive aggressive, yes, but it works for Duncan and speaks volumes.

So, I challenge you , save your relationships with a good old fashioned sigh.

Try it at work with your boss….”I’m gonna need those TPS reports on my desk.”   *sniff*

Try it with your significant other…”Honey, I need you to pick me up from the airport tomorrow.” *sniff*

Try it with your parents…”I was an ok parent, right?” *sniff*

Try it with an annoying friend…”Does this outfit make my face look ugly?”  *sniff*

 

 

*slap* The glove has dropped and the challenge has been accepted.

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Awful, simply awful.  But I didn't feel like drawing it, so Paint it is!

Awful, simply awful. But I didn't feel like drawing it, so Paint it is!

I have decided that since I am on a roll with the daily posting thing, I am going to join the WordPress post a day challenge.  This will mean some intense cattooning and possibly some unicorns thrown in there, but I’m up for it.

I hope that I can keep myself entertained, and hopefully you, too.

And worst comes to worse, at least I’ve given myself something to do other than sit about….cattooning….or saying rambling stories…or wasting time online….

Well, sounds like the perfect challenge for me!

 

Flashback drawing: These cats have incredible balance.

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I'm a loner, Dottie.  A rebel. Quick - where's that from?

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel. Quick - where's that from?

Here’s another one “from the vaults”.  (P.S. I never can remember if I should put the period inside the quotation marks or outside.  I know it goes inside if it is an actual quotation and not for inappropriately used quotation marks for irony, but is there a rule I should be following?)

No idea why I decided to draw this other than I thought it would be funny.  Duncan and Smudge probably just want to escape sometimes and this is how I imagine they might want to do it.  Like rebels without a cause.

I would hope that they are currently content and enjoy their sedentary lifestyles chez nous, but they might be hitting a mid-life crisis sometime soon.  It’s entirely possible we find a note some morning written with some leftover catnip declaring their intent to get hair plugs, find some young kitten girlfriends, and move somewhere where they can wear floral island-inspired button-down short-sleeved shirts and ride a motor….cy…..cle (Quick, where’s THIS from?).

There’s really not much more to say, or that could just be the bleach from the bathroom melting my brain.  But at least it’s clean now.

Vroom vroom!

If Duncan went to school, he’d totally get at least a 3.25 GPA.

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Good thing he doesn't really love garbage...or guns...
Good thing he doesn’t really love garbage…or guns…

Duncan is a pretty smart guy and often demonstrates this in interesting ways.

He uses his head and can open doors…well, figuratively in that I’m sure he’s using his head to think about it somewhat, and literally using his head to push doors open.  He hasn’t figured out how to get doorknobs yet – mostly because he kind of sucks at jumping.

He figured out how to break into the automatic feeder and get himself snacks whenever his little cat heart desires (yeah, that had to go due to Disasterbetes2010 – more on that later!).

He knows how to read a clock; well, maybe not but he has an uncanny awareness of time (specifically food time) and knows how to continually notify us of that time.  For instance, he will repeatedly and unabashedly try (emphasis on try – I don’t let this one happen…gross…like I’ve said before, I’m not a crazy cat lady so this doesn’t appeal to me in the least.  Just like dogs licking faces.  Ugh.  vomit) to put his paw in my mouth to get me to wake up and feed him.

He has good self-awareness and can clearly point out his favorite things.

He can also beat Adam at chess, checkers, hangman, and connect the dots.

Duncan is adept at informing us of these favorites, as well.  His preferred method of informing us of favorites is to sit on (or sometimes directly next to) the object of his infatuation.  Usually this is his cat stick (literally a fabric stick with just catnip in it…oh, Duncan haven’t you learned?), some sort of string (so unpredictable and fun!…unlike spiders), or the bird with boots (an enchanting little blue cowboy bird wearing red boots…he loves that thing).

When he sits on these things, I find myself talking to him saying something like, “Oh, you’re on your bird, huh?  You love that, don’t you?” and walking past him after a pat on the head.  Then I feel guilty for not playing with him (because that’s why he’s sitting on it, right?) so I’ll pick up the toy, twirl it around for about 10 seconds until he paws at it, then walk away when it looks like he’s having fun by himself.  I’m an awful pet parent…

Generally is the same old same old upon which he sits, but he has some strange surprises up his sleeve fur.  For example, he’ll sometimes sit on shoes.  Really, Duncan?  Shoes?  They smell, you can’t use them since your paws are so small, and you’re too big to sleep in them.  Other times it’s my foot when I get out of the shower.  For a cat who isn’t into water, he loves to roll around on my wet foot, which is gross since I just got those things clean.  I’ve also seen him lay on papers or books before, which I can only assume is his attempt to finish school and get a real job.

My hope that his favorites stay cute and neutral/positive and don’t start turning into upsetting items like, say, a knife.  Or a voodoo doll of yours truly.  Or perhaps a pamphlet for some creepy cult that believes in sacrifices or Kool-Aid.

All I can say is that I’m keeping my eyes peeled on that cat.  He might just be too smart for his own good.

Some cats are magicians!

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It's like magic!  Wait.  No it's not.

It's like magic! Wait. No it's not.

I’m not sure why it happens.  I’m not sure what the deal is.  But whatever is happening it happens too frequently for it to be a coincidence.   And frankly, it’s upsetting me quite a bit.

Are the cats in cahoots or something?  Is this some sort of elaborate plan to blow my mind?  If so, it’s working.

Often I’ll be in a room just sitting around hanging out (bathroom?) and a cat will stop by to hang out for a while.  Just chillin’.  You know.  Well, after an awkward hello in the old RR that cat will leave.  Then not more than 2 seconds later that cat returns….BUT IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COLOR, PATTERN, AND (SOMEWHAT) BODY TYPE!

(cue screechy high pitched questioning voice) What the hey?!?! Seriously – what just happened?

Ok.  All insincere shock aside, you didn’t fool me, cats.  I know one of you was just waiting, lurking behind the door, peeping through that little gap where the door opens.  And the moment you saw your brother coming back to the bedroom your shenanigans ensued.

But seriously, how does this happen more than once?  What’s with the planning.  I mean, how do you even plan?  Is there some secret cat guild of trickery?  Because I’m pretty sure you are card carrying members.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t squelch my cats’ fun.  They are cats and I should just let them have these moments.  They’ll really like it when I pretend to be surprised.  I hope I make it into their diaries.

“Dear Diary,

Today Smudge and I tricked Mom.  She had no clue what to do when she thought I changed color.  What an idiot.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll stand really hard on her to make her get up and get me food.  I love her.  Mreh.

Love, Me”

P.S. Duncan just pawed the crap out of a fluffy pillow for like 5 minutes straight.  Just thought I’d share since it was pretty amusing.  Cattoon on its way!

 

Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you.

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Me-ouch.

Me-ouch.

 

Adam had a fantastic dream that he was so terribly excited about that I got to hear all about it.  In great detail.  Like, a lot of detail.  Just like the rest of his stories.  And I mean a lot of detail.

What was his dream about?  Pretty much you can read the words yourself, you lazy bum.  🙂  Kidding.  But really, it’s all right there.  This is actually the abridged version but I think you can get the idea.

The point was that I was very concerned for dream-Adam’s safety that he was going to cut his hands.  In my earnest demonstration of love and concern for his well being I was told (a bit condescendingly if I do say so myself) that it was just a dream and that it would be silly for his hands to get destroyed by shark teeth.

Can you blame a girl for being concerned?  See if I care the next time he encounters a shark.

This might be a legitimate issue at some point because Adam does love sharks.  All I can say is that I hope he does get to rip a shark in half and tell the tale.  Then he can use as many details as he wants and I won’t mind that time.  Maybe.

And I just thought of something.  For a guy who loves sharks so much and supposedly knows so much about them, you’d think the facts would properly manifest in his dream.  Maybe someone’s been a pretend shark lover this whole time.  My marriage is a sham.

If you’re ever in a pickle and need a cat who can help(?), just call on Cat Cat!

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The soon to be villain/hero (?)

The soon to be villain/hero(?)

If you didn’t know, I have a twitter account (I still don’t really get it sometimes, but what they hey…it IS the 21st century after all.  I should be getting more involved with the Interwebs and all.) and my friend @blueda99 shared with me a fun tweet from @badbanana regarding, what else?  Cats.

And it goes….ahem….

“Catwoman is so played out. Here’s my suggestion for the next Batman movie. Catcat. A cat with slightly enhanced cat powers.”

So here you have it, my version of Cat Cat.  This cat is impressive with his enhanced cat powers, which will send him to the next box office blockbuster.  He can move fast but only if he wants to, especially when it becomes an annoyance.  BAM!  He can sleep a lot!  POW!  He can shed fur a lot!  ZAM!  He can meow a lot!  SOCK!  He can digest a lot!  SLIPPER!

So, Mr. Siedell, I hope we can collaborate and make this project happen.  I’ll go in halfsies with you.  Have your people call me people.  Except after 9 because I’ll already be asleep probably.

Knock, knock! Who’s there? Candygram… Well, at least it’s not a landshark.

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OMG! It has a key!
OMG! It has a key!

One day we were coming home from the grocery store and we marched all the way up to the apartment to the delightful surprise of a GI-NORMOUS spider lurking in the corner in her/his(?) web of doom.

Being a scienc-y and fairly nature-y person I really don’t mind insects, arachnids, reptiles, and whathaveyou.  What I do have a problem with is when these things move really fast so I can’t predict where they are going, and when they hide to reveal themselves unexpectedly in a swervy and unpredictable pattern of motion.  Or when that tickle doesn’t feel so fun anymore when you realize an animal is crawling on you to create the sensation and it’s probably not a unicorn kiss.  Duncan and Smudge crawling on me – my brain has accepted that.  Small far jumping, crawly thing likely to startle me and maybe bite me?  Not so much.

I think part of that is from when I was little and I found a spider, or something equally as quick and probably likely to climb into my pant leg, inside of a shoe that I unfortunately put my foot in to find.  Lasting trauma.

So anyway, a spider generally doesn’t bother me until I start to imagine it crawling all over my being and into my stuff.  Sharing is caring and all (right, Dad?) but I don’t want to share my couch or pillow or socks or shoes or shower with life form that, like I said earlier, just moves so darn fast and I don’t know where it’s going to go!

Well, as we were walking up to the door and observing this specimen Adam had the awareness to point out that, “At least they don’t know how to open the door.”  That is, unless they have a key.  Then we’re S.O.L. for sure and I can expect it to take its revenge on me for writing about it online without its permission.

 

I’ve totally been pulling a Smudge at least 3 times this week.

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Smudge is very specific about his sleeping habits.

Smudge is very specific about his sleeping habits.

I think I am perhaps battling some sort of illness, ’cause science knows I’m around enough germs all day long it’s bound to happen.  Plus, I’ve been getting back into my old napping habits lately, so something must be up.

My friends will probably laugh at me because I’m usually always tired and the first one to pass out once it gets past 9 o’clock, so yuk it up, pals.  But this could be serious.  Cue Dorothy in the Golden Girls episode about chronic fatigue.  She finally felt less crazy once she knew she wasn’t a hypochondriac disease fabricator.

But I really can’t help my fatigue.  It got to the point where I was concerned I had sleep apnea or something worse and actually got a sleep test.  I got to spend the night at a sleep clinic and become a cyborg so they could monitor my sleeping patterns.  AND I got to stay the next day for a nap study where I had to try and nap every 2 hours.    Sounds like bliss but I think I suffered from performance anxiety; I couldn’t fall asleep in the naps when I KNEW I would be able to do it otherwise.  I recall actually be upset with myself that I didn’t sleep.  Cue perfectionist syndrome right about now.

I usually can totally fall asleep almost anywhere anytime (You can ask my friend Jessi about how I made us take a nap in the car on the side streets of Memphis as we were waiting for the businesses to open on Good Friday.  Woo!  Spring break!  Later she told me she didn’t want to take a nap and that she didn’t sleep and I almost felt bad but I was too refreshed to think about it after that.)   I thank my dad for that; he’s a champion napper.

Well today was the third day this week that I took an at least 3 hour nap.  Like I said, I come from champion stock.

I also like to think I am somehow indirectly bonding with Smudge.  He and I have taken a while to really love each other.  Mostly because Smudge is in love with Adam.  I think he thinks Adam is his baby or his brother or maybe even his mom.  I don’t know but Smudge gets jealous of me, that I do know.  He just used to look at me kinda funny and pretty much ignore me and get irritated if Adam was giving me attention.  It took him a while to know who the head queen of this palace is.  That’s right, Smudge.  You better recognize!

See, Smudge is also a champion napper, so by napping I am signing his metaphorical yearbook with “2cool 2b 4 gotten ❤ bffs!”.  If there’s no sign of him, it’s pretty obvious the first place to check.  He is a kindred spirit with me in that he loves super soft blankets so I’ll often find him snuggled up in *ahem* my super soft blankets.  It’s ok.  I’ll share.

Part of the problem is that Smudge is a cave cat.  He goes to great lengths to get all up in those blankets to make himself a nap cave.  While I applaud his ingenuity and good taste, it is also a recipe for disaster.  I’m pretty sure he’s come pretty close to being smushed several times.  For this reason, Adam devised a plan.

I came home one day and found this on the bed:

It was done with a really cumbersome marker, people.  Give him a break!

It was done with a really cumbersome marker, people. Give him a break.

Adam is actually pretty artistic but to see this on the bed firstly made me confused about what in the world he meant, and secondly made me laugh until I almost peed my pants.  I didn’t though…

This was Adam’s way of ensuring the protection and privacy of Smudgey and I thought it was hilarious.

And it saved Smudge’s life that day.  The. End.