Monthly Archives: September 2013

Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About My Cats (and Dogs)

I was just thinking that P’s next birthday in January will mark the start of our third year with the cats. Looking back it hardly seems like it has been that long. I have never lived with totally housebound cats without also having dogs in the mix before. I’ve got to say that cats are the way to go. The cats are so much easier to care for compared to dogs (at least my dogs). I think I would like to own a dog again in my life but I would want to have a schedule or situation that allowed the family to spend a lot of time with the dog. I still feel very guilty about the extended periods of time that I spent away from my dogs. When I was cooking and working at Bouley I would be gone from the apartment for 12-14 hours a day. I had a roomate but she wasn’t responsible for their care and attention, I was.  I read this piece in the NY Times the other day and it really got me thinking of my own “bad” dogs. While they were never aggressive like the author’s dog they had extremely bad doggie manners (i.e., jumping up, barking, whining, destructive, general disobedience) and I constantly blamed myself for my failings as a good citizen dog trainer/whisperer. I think that the dogs were happy with our life together but that is probably because they didn’t know any better. I loved them very much and they definitely knew that. Now how ’bout those cats?

bonnie mirror

My daughter’s shot of Bonnie with a mirror

BONNIE – For someone so tiny and obviously physically vulnerable, Bonnie is an extremely independant little cat. She is much less cuddly than Ponyo and rarely seeks us out for laptime. Even when she does so she seems to just want to hang out with you and doesn’t really want you to pet her that much. She is officially P’s cat and I know P wishes that she was a little mushier in temperment but that doesn’t stop P from trying to pick her up all the time. One time I was on my bed watching TV with Bonnie. We were both just chilling. We heard P coming up the stairs and I swear Bonnie let out a tiny yet audible *sigh*.  I am so glad that we stuck it out with her. Mr Awesome loves her but he wanted to return her to the shelter many many times in the beginning. It took her a lot longer to get the hang of not stepping in her own poop/diarreah than was acceptible to us or any one with a working nose or healthy fear of germs would.

ponyo holds on

Ponyo holding on in Mr Awesome’s lap

PONYO – Ponyo is such a funny cat. She has a lot of quirks and personality. She is a Chatty Cathy and punctuates her movement with little chirps and comments. I love that she still hasn’t lost her kitten-ish outlook. She loves to play with us or Bonnie but will also amuse herself for long periods with a cat toy or crumpled up piece of paper. When they both turned a year old I thought that I had to increase the amount of wet food I gave them from the recommended kitten amount to the recommended adult amount. It was essentially double the portions. Ponyo loves to eat and so she of course finished whatever I gave her. I noticed soon after that she became a lot more lethargic and slept a lot more when we were around with the extra food. Since they always have access to dry food if they like I decided to cut the wet food back to the kitten level and Ponyo soon started acting like herself again. They don’t seem to miss the extra food and it also cuts down on the cost. Ponyo is a large, solid cat and I really think the extra food would have done more harm then good. She is also very cuddly and is always looking for laptime especially from Mr Awesome. I love her pretty face, even without a full-sized right eye. We were told at the shelter that she had been previously adopted by someone who had to return her so I feel very fortunate to have her in our family. She is truly unique and plays a mean piano too.

I love all of my girls!!

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Here Again

We are here again. There have been 12 years of after in between then and now. There have been many tragic events around the world since then and inumerable happy ones. This year I want to focus on what I am most thankful for.

Thankful List

  1. My beautiful daughter and husband
  2. My health
  3. We have a loving home and my kid gets to grow up in it
  4. My friends and family (especially my in-laws)
  5. My mom beating cancer
  6. I am employed
  7. I still have a sense of humor
  8. My husband still has a sense of humor
  9. My daughter is a theater kid
  10. The kindness of strangers
  11. My sweet cats even though they are destroying the loveseat

I love you all, even the haters. Hug everyone today. Be kind.

Peace.

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Summer’s End

I started composing an email to Julie Klausner yesterday. I’ve been bingeing on her Podcast Archive for the last couple of months and since I’m finally nearing the present day I started writing down all the things I’ve been wanting to tell her about. She likes hearing stories about dogs who eat things they shouldn’t and turn out OK so I googled my post about my dogs fecal frolic in Prospect Park. Then of course I found myself browsing down my blog’s rabbit hole which inspired me to write a new post and catch myself up on where I am.

I transferred to a new job in mid-August. I was very happy about the change. My new office is an hour away and requires me to drive on the NYS Thruway which is not my favorite but I’m dealing with it. The new position meant moving to a place where the office was nicer (indoor parking garage!), the pay was a bit better and there was a lot more opportunity to move up. Mr. Awesome felt that my company has been taking advantage of me and my skills for a long time and that meant I should go elsewhere. Even though I agree with him I really really didn’t want to have to start all over again somewhere new (really!). My new office is huge and maze-like. I’m glad that I can find my way to the ladies room and back again without breadcrumbs. While the drive might be anxiety causing and made me have to start taking acid reflux medicine again – I’m very pleased with the change. I hope that this is the start of something really good for me and for us.  

P started the 5th grade this week. She is 10 now and I almost can’t believe it. I think she had a really good summer. She went back to her day camp but also went to acting camp, had two weeks home with Mr. Awesome and spent a week with my in-laws in August. She’s been going to the acting place since last fall. They did a production of The Little Mermaid last winter that was fantastic. The leads were all teens and her age group was in the ensemble. The summer camp worked a little differently since all the 4th and 5th graders were eligible for lead roles. She was very enthused about that idea and was hoping to get a leading role. They did a production of Honk! Jr., which is a musical version of the Ugly Duckling story. She is a great performer but not the strongest singer when it comes to keeping her voice in key. I got the sheet music for the songs and tried to encourage her to sit down at the piano with her dad so he could help her hear and sing the exact notes. She refused this help. The auditions were an all-day affair in early July. They audition as a group and everyone goes in-front of everyone. The director tries different combinations of kids to see who’s going to work best for each role. P was so fixated on getting a lead role she didn’t even want to consider one of the smaller supporting parts – parts with lines and singing solos. When it became clear that she wasn’t strong enough for a lead role they asked her if she wanted to audition for a supporting part and she said no. Later on in the day when she began to realize that she was going to be getting a small non-singing part she became very upset and then asked if she could audition for one of the supporting roles and they said no, it was too late. She was dissolved in tears when I went to pick her up at the end of the day. It was a fundamental lesson to learn but it was a very hard one. At first she said she didn’t even want to do the show and it took a while for her to get used to the idea again. The rehearsals didn’t start until the last week in July and she was hesitant at first but ended up really enjoying herself. The director was very proud of the change in her attitude as well and said that she had turned out to be a model cast member. She did an awesome job in the show and put her all into every moment she had on stage. I was very proud of her. My heart ached for her but it was something she had to go through herself. She says she understands why it turned out the way it did and she’s already preparing for the next audition in a couple of weeks. This time if it looks like she’s not going to get what she wants, she’s not going to shortchange herself. Her singing is improving too. We tried some lessons in the middle of the summer but I don’t think she really connected with the teacher. She’s become obsessed with the music from My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic seasons 1-3 and is constantly singing all the songs. She’s able to keep herself in tune singing those songs. As P obsessions go it’s at a mid-level. She’s singing, binge watching on Netflix and has just started asking about me to make her a pony costume. Her other obsessions of the summer have been mermaids/watching H2O on Netflix and of course Harry Potter which included an insatiable need to listen to back episodes of MuggleCast. While the mermaid mania included an irritatingly irrational desire to make and wear a swimmable mermaid tail the constant listening to 3 and 4 year old episodes of MuggleCast at top volume was very hard to take.

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