Within a week of bringing Misha home, her name changed three times and her size grew zero. She didn’t really want anything to do with humans, but at least she wasn’t hiding underneath the dresser any longer. When you least expected it, she’d hop up on your lap and kind of just sit there, looking at you. A few weeks later, she actually let you pet her. But she wouldn’t let us pick her up for the better part of a year. We thought she was such a dud. A gorgeous, perfect little siamese dud, but a dud nonetheless.
“Give her time.”… that’s what everyone told us.
And so, it all began the winter of the snowmageddon right after we bought our house. Baby girl already slept at the foot of our bed, but now she decided she deserved to sleep under the covers just like a human. She’s been there ever since. We snuggle all night long and she’s there, squished against me as close as she can get when that alarm sounds every morning. And those next few moments…. they are the best part of my day.
She usually comes to bed a few minutes after me, so she taps my face in the dark (three times, every time). That cat has me trained, it’s pathetic. I lift the sheets and under she goes for the night. My little teddy bear. We cuddle while Alex takes up the rest of the bed. And we like it that way. If I get up for a drink of water or to use the bathroom, she follows. We’re inseparable during that time and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Alex constantly reminds me that I’m going to be a wreck when she dies. And he’s right. I don’t know what what I’ll do without that little Mish’. We’ve grown rather inseparable and it’s incredibly therapeutic, having six pounds of fur love you the way she does.
I didn’t write a post yesterday. Sorry. I’m sure you’ll forgive me but I wasn’t in the mood to be doling out advice. But here’s some for you today…. own pets. Cats, dogs, birds, whatever. Share your life. The return on investment is priceless.
For reasons not worth boring you with, this week has been too long, too stressful and too crazy. But, it’s over and I’m pretty glad it’s finally the weekend. Here’s to a fabulous weekend-before-Independence-Day. It’s going to be a good one.
Dear closet, I’m pretty proud of you. I’ve needed a lot of cheering up this week and you’ve pulled yourself together to dress me bright and cheery. There’s something to be said for a good outfit, a big smile and a desire to be positive. It really can pull you out of the dumps.
Dear Anne Arundel County Public Schools, not gonna lie. That bonus you gave us for working “in the trenches” of high need schools came at just the right time. Our soon-to-tie-the-knot relatives and friends thank you. Well, maybe not. They’re probably shaking their heads furiously and cursing you because now they have 2 more mouths to feed at $150 per plate. Either way, we’re racking up those frequent flier miles!
Dear little Misher, Thanks for our little nap Wednesday afternoon on the couch. You are the best.
Dear hubcap, thank you for being amazing. And thank you for getting me properly drunk Tuesday night. And making me laugh… and laugh… and laugh… and fall dead asleep. It was just what I needed.
Dear mom and dad, I love you. And I realized this week that even though I’m 25 years old, you guys still know exactly how to calm me down, help me focus and turn my fears and worries into bravery and courage.
Dear arm party trend, I’m sorry for my unkind words last week. I still love you.
Actually, you are genius and I think you’re pretty cool.
Dear weekend, Let’s do this.
The pollen and trees have been brutal this year. I am survived by Zyrtec, Flonase, Singulair and a gigantic box of tissues. Between the sinus infections and strep throat, I am one miserable day away from begging the ENT to rip it all out and break my nose. In light of the use and abuse of social welfare programs, I can probably find a doctor who would label me disabled, taking my teaching career to the grave. Don’t you worry, I won’t. The worst thing in the world is a hypocrite.
It’s been a tough allergy season for many, including Misha. After her diagnosis of asthma this past Christmas, we’ve been particularly careful about keeping the house clean and free of irritants. Thanks to a 75 minute lunch break during a PD day, I spent the lunch hour at home with the cats. Really, I came home to fold laundry and clean the kitchen… I am pretty boring. While I was home, the lil’ Misher has an asthma attack again today. It’s her first one (that we know of) since the bad ones back over Christmastime. After a quick call to the vet, it’s back onto steroids for the little girl.
We love all six pounds of her, despite the rising price tag per ounce the older she gets. I suppose pets are really no different than children. Since Alex and I both have grown up with asthma, we can relate to the little one. Watching her work through an attack, you feel absolutely helpless. Cleaning up my camera, I found these pictures of her from a few months back. All things considered, the cat’s got a pretty sweet life.
*Filed under Cat’s Life*
Tonight, I had some friends help me clean out my closet.
They didn’t really help much.
In fact, I’m pretty sure they thought I was getting in their way.
*Filed under Cat’s Life, Home Life*
Confession. As I sit here, tucked under layers of white thread count and cotton quilting, propped up by more pillows that I could ever need, there is only one thing I care about: this little bundle of rabbit-soft fur that’s curled up next to me.
I think I might be a crazy cat lady.
Growing up I had Woody, my red doberman pinscher. We got along like great pals. You know, the way kids do when the dog is a puppy while the kid is a little tike. He used to knock me over with his tail. We’d run in the yard together. He’d destroy my snowmen and the anger would last less than an hour. I like dogs. I just can’t handle the responsibility right now.
We also had Ivan, my mom’s orange tabby cat. One time I pulled his tail and he hissed at me. My dad grabbed the video camera in time to catch me on a stool in the corner of the playroom, giving myself a time-out. Why? “Because I pulled Ivan’s tail and he didn’t like it.” I believe I was crying. I just wanted to play.
I wanted a cat as soon as I graduated from college. In fact, to top off living together for the first time ever, I may have pushed Alex a little too hard for a kitten that first Christmas. Spoiled little Baci. Misha soon followed. Baci needed a pet of his own. I mean, ahem, a little sister. As you can see in the following images, Baci wasn’t always so morbidly fat.
Since then, we bought a house and the cats have made it clear that we are merely guests in their dwelling place. They are spoiled rotten and they stay to themselves when company visits. Yet, our house wouldn’t be a home without them.
Which leads me to my point. I am not ashamed. Baci and I may talk to each other and he may wait at the door for me every afternoon when I come home, but I love him for that. Misha sleeps under the covers with me every night, her little paws gently pressed on top of my hand. She is my comfort and security.
These cats are my stress relief. They are my comedy show. They are my daily dose of innocence and a much needed reminder of what is truly important. It doesn’t matter if I had a horrible day at work, or if I’m feeling particularly sluggish and fat, or if I made a big mistake leaving me walking around in guilt and shame. When Baci and Misha crawl into my lap, their eyes tell the whole story. They accept me regardless. They love me when it’s been 2 days and 3 workouts since my last shower (the shame, I know). They love me when I don’t care to do the dishes and when I leave the laundry wrinkled in the dryer.
So call me a crazy cat lady. I’m just happy to say I’ve been able to share a part of my life with these little catfinks.
*Filed under Cat’s life*
I break a leaf off of the fresh eucalyptus atop the dresser. Crumbled between my fingers, the oils bathe my skin and I inhale the fresh, awakening aroma. It’s been a long weekend, and I don’t mean that today is President’s Day. The curtain dances in the breeze, letting in the freezing air of the remnants of a winter storm that just never came our way. Alex is still asleep and he is going to stay there all morning. He deserves a relatively peaceful night- after shuffling up and down the stairs for four nights straight bringing me juice, popsicles and cold wash cloths.
Atop the dresser, sitting patient and calm, careful not to knock over the silver wedding frames she sits between, Misha follows my every move. She’s quiet and demure. No rushing for her. My loyal caregiver. The unsung hero of my story.
Wednesday night I awoke suddenly, moaning. “Shit. My throat hurts like hell.” I swallowed… it didn’t happen. I showed up on Thursday, put in my best at work. I knew I had strep throat. Crawling into bed as soon as I got home, uninterested in dinner whatsoever, I heard a familiar little feminine grunt. Jumping on the bed, Misha cocked her head, lifted her right paw and meowed softly. Tap, tap…. Tap, tap, tap. Her paw gently taps at my cheek. A second quiet cry. I let her under the sheets where she crawls into a tiny ball at my waste, resting her head on my forearm. She stays with me the entire night.
With Alex at work on Friday, my misery took a turn for the worse. I can’t tell you what is more terrible, the sore neck and throat or the high fever that just won’t break. For every cold shower I took, she sat on top of the towels, talking to me the entire time. Too uncomfortable to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time, Misha sat on the bed patiently watching my movements. Drenched, I awoke from a semi-decent sleep that evening. Lifting the sheets, I see Misha resting at my side. She is wet with my sweat. She looks at me with her ice blue eyes and sighs, then back down her head rests. My fever has begun to break.
My weekend was not much better than Friday. Broken sleep, a stiff and weak body, and a diet of sorbet and juice, I survived. By my side, quietly keeping time and watching with concerned eyes, Misha followed. As I type, she sits in between my body and the keyboard, her 6 pounds of care and concern leaning against my body.
Loyalty comes in several forms. It seems, for most, a dog is a man’s best friend. I have been loved by several dogs. But, right now, an extraordinarily tiny blue-point siamese with asthma and the fur of a bunny rabbit is my best friend. She is my loyal companion. She couldn’t pour me a glass of juice to take my medicines and she couldn’t wrap a cold towel around my sore neck. What she did is much more unconditional. She kissed me and she stayed with me and she talked to me. She gave me encouragement and a positive thought to rest my mind on when I felt like utter death. Today I feel much better- not completely better- but much better. Still, she is by my side.
I love that little cat.
*Filed under Cat’s Life*